Monday, July 11, 2011

Covered Button Pony Tail Holders

Covered Button Pony Tail holders

These are fun and easy to make.
Fabric scraps 3 inches or bigger
Pony tail holders
Fabric scraps to make leaves and flowers (if desired)
Leaf and flower templates
Glue stick
Strong thread
Covered button forms (use 1 ½ inch size of bigger)

1.     Cut a circle of fabric about ¼ inch bigger than the diameter of your button.

2.     Center the design and tack it down with a bit of glue from a glue stick.

3.     Fasten the edges of the fabric over the prongs of the covered button. Snap the back on.

4.     Using a heavy thread or cord, take a few stitches sew the pony tail rubber band to the button shank. Make a knot, trim the extra thread off and it’s ready to wear or give as a gift!

(Optional: Cut leaves and flowers out of felt or woven fabric. Find a flower shape you like in clip art or in a book and trace the shape onto a piece of paper. Cut this out and trace around it onto the fabric then cut out carefully.  Tack leaves and /or flowers cut from felt or woven fabric on the back of the button with a bit of glue from the glue stick.

Using a heavy thread or cord, take a few stitches that fasten leaves and flowers to the button shank. Then continue as in step #4 above.

Broken Car And What Came Of It...

When traveling, the last thing anyone wants is for her car to break down. But that is just what happened to me this summer when I was on a trip to promote my novel, Solomon’s Puzzle. Read more...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Your Neighbors are Doing: Cottage Hookers

It's not what you think. It's a group of women who get together on Friday mornings to crochet afghans. They send these lovely, soft, handmade creations to wounded veterans in hopes of bringing them comfort and showing their appreciation.  

My friend Janet Garman is a busy person. She lives on a farm, grows gorgeous fruit and vegetables, raises farm animals like goats and cows; she writes a blog or two, which I love reading and she runs a lively gift shop, called Covenant Cottage, that serves as a sort of friendship center.  Every time I'm in the store, friends stop by for something and often that something involves telling Janet their troubles, finding some hope and encouragement to go with the little gift they've selected.

Janet has been likewise kind to me. Back in November, she asked if I'd like to offer Solomon's Puzzle at her store, saying she'd host a book signing there. Well, her generosity actually heaped blessings on me because it turns out that a group of her friends that crochet also like to read. They read my book and asked me to come to the discussion of it.  After that wonderful, encouraging experience of hearing what they thought of Solomon's Puzzle, they invited me to attend their weekly meeting saying that since I didn't crochet, I could bring my own hand sewing of which I always do have lots waiting to get done.

So I went one Friday recently and was warmly welcomed.
Betsy, Mary, Carolyn, Janet, Sue, Sue and Nancy working away.

I loved hearing all about their project, which is called The Handmade Afghan Project.  They love to crochet and they are concerned with those in the military who have been wounded. That Friday, one woman mentioned that she thought it odd that in the past (past wars) citizens were more involved in supporting the troops whereas now we get nightly reports on casualties, we are removed from the war effort. But not these women! So far, they have made and mailed 6,000 afghans! What a creative and loving way to express concern.
This is one of the finished afghans which was shipped in June.

The afghans are held to a high standard. They must be certain appropriate colors and sizes because most soldiers don't want baby colors for instance.  The yarn is all acrylic and soft feeling not scratchy.
They are so good at what they do, they don't even have to look at their work!

  If they receive donations of squares or yarn that won't work for the afghan project, they sell these to raise money for the postage needed to mail the afghans. Yes, they pay their own shipping and handling.
The ladies kindly showed interest in my own project.

I enjoyed getting to know these women a bit more! They made me feel as if I were an old friend and I couldn't have felt more comfortable. This is due, I know, to the genuine generosity that is demonstrated in the way that they spend their free time.  They are neighbors to be proud of, that's for sure!