Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy to Do Craft

Some of you have seen this fleece blanket craft done over and over, but for some of you it might still be new.
I love making these fleece blankets in all kinds of sizes.  For the blanket shown I have used 1 1/2 yard of fleece fabric.  One layer is patterned and the other is solid.

Lay your fabric one on top of the other and get them as even as possible.  They don't have to be perfect and that is one of the joys of this craft;  it is very forgiving!

I usually start by cutting the 4 corners of fabric first.  Just cut a square out of each corner the same length that you plan to make your cuts.  Then begin to cut the fringe all the way around.  Mine are approximately 1 inch wide but they could be thinner if you like.  I usually tie a knot in at each corner before moving the fabric from my cutting table.

Once all the fringe is cut I just start tying the knots.  I try to tie a square knot (one tie one direction, the next the opposite direction) so the knots don't come out during the laundry.

I have made countless fleece blankets for my grandchildren and gifts for adults who just enjoy a blanket over their lap during the winter months.  I have made smaller blankets for my dogs to lay on.  Fleece comes in so many patterns so I should warn's hard to choose.

If you should have questions regarding my directions don't hesitate to ask me.



*Note:  Dogs love the fleece scraps to play with.  I braid them and tie them at the ends and they love to play with them.  I've actually seen the braided fleece toys for sale in the stores.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have never met a flower that I didn't like!  As the new selections make their appearance at all the local garden shops each spring, you will find me oohing and aahing over every single one.  I know that I can't have everything, but I would if I could.

As the years go by I have learned a trick or two about gathering lots of variety in my flower gardens:  first of all I have learned to spend just a little more and buy perennials (flowers that come back on their own year after year).  I have also learned that if you have a friend or two with flowers in their yards they are usually happy to let you have a start from one of their plants.

I also start some of my flowers from seed like zinnias, and marigolds.

Each year I like to add a few annuals for that extra burst of color but I just don't like the cost.  This year I found that one of our local garden shops begins to mark down "stressed" plants to 1/2 price.  I have purchased geraniums, petunias, daisies, and some vines already this year.  As long as they are green and not totally dried out you can baby them back to good health.  This store also has torn or damaged bags of soil for 1/2 price.  I now stroll through this store a few times a week in order to stretch my budget.

Another way to save money in the flower garden is to use containers that weren't  meant for flowers.  I use milk cans, watering cans, tea pots, etc for my flowers.  When I go to a thrift store I'm always on the prowl for things that will work out in my flower garden.  I have an old bicycle, wagon, and trike that I plant to incorporate into a flower garden someday.

Don't be afraid to use your imagination.  I'm sure that you will have beautiful flowers on the cheap too!


This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


While at my childcare center the other day, a two year old brought this strange little creature to his teacher and said, "Here's a WORM".  He handed her this naked little bird, and what did she do???  Of course, she brought it to me!  Now what am I to do with this tiny little bird?  It certainly won't live long, but I couldn't just let it die with out a good try.

I wrapped the little fellow in a soft tissue and placed it in a styrofoam cup hoping to keep him warm.  I wasn't sure what to feed it until someone suggested I might chew up a worm and spit it out for the new hatchling.  I just wasn't quite this dedicated, but I thought, what about the fish food with shrimp in it?  I moistened it and began to feed him and found he was really hungry.  Everytime I looked at him he was begging for food.

After taking him home for the weekend I placed a piece of fleece cloth on my heating pad, and made a makeshift nest out of the fleece also.  I fed him every hour and he was really lively.  On Saturday my grandchildren came and got to witness this little naked hatchling and were facinated by him.   They named him "E.T."  This little creature brought a smile to everyone's face who saw him.

On Sunday he was still strong and eating well, but towards late afternoon he just became listless and the life left his little body.  It was sad to see him go.  He had fought so hard to beat the odds, but he just couldn't make it.

I wondered why this little fellow was brought into my life?   Then I realized that in the 3 short days he was with us he brought smiles to more faces than some people bring to others in a lifetime.  Have you brought a smile to someones face today?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


While browsing at my local Dollar General store a few weeks ago I came across a book on gardening, called "Square Foot Gardening", by Mel Bartholomew.  It caught my attention when it said "Grow More In Less Space!"

I brought it home and we went right to work on building some 4X8 raised beds.  We mixed the soils as per the directions, and divided the sections off into one foot squares.  Our little garden is planted and now we wait!

While we have plenty of ground to plant an ample size garden the sound of growing more in less space appealed to me, especially as Sidney and I are growing older.  It is supposed to have less to no weeds (of course I will have to see this to believe it).  As I began to plant I found it really does hold a lot of seeds.  In one of the 4' X 4' sections I have planted 2 cabbages, 2 egg plants, 36 beats, 12 lettuce plants, 12 onions, and 18 green bean plants and 16 radishes.

Another advantage of this type planting is that you can cover the entire box with chicken wire or netting to protect it from birds or other animals that like to take their share of the bounty.

Sidney will plant corn, zucchini, and a few other things in his traditional garden and then we will watch and see which seems to produce the most and is the easiest to care for.

In the meantime, I'll be purchasing my veggies at the local fruit market while dreaming of the fresh flavors that only summer can bring.

Grandma B