ScrapHappy Shawl Cape

I have been so missing being able to post in and read the ScrapHappy group!   We have had a family member who has had several surgeries, the flu made the rounds…twice; life has been crazy, with the holidays and dogs attacking my poultry several times, oh and I’m taking 15 units at university. Suffice it to say I am grateful everything is calming down, my project is late, and it is a combination of scrap and not but was a necessity.

This little guy has autism and really dislikes coats and clothes, but loves to hide in blankets if they are soft or silky material.  He picked out a great flannel with bright colors and it is super soft, adorned with motor vehicles of all sort.

I used 1 meter cut in half and right sides together (since it is directional), if your fabric is not directional you can just open and fold in half.  Sew along the edges and leave about 15 cm (6 inches) open to turn it right side out. Top stitch around all the edges.

I used back pockets from Mom’s old jeans (cut larger than the pockets themselves so you have material to stitch around, turn and sew onto the cape), and fabric from the legs of the pants to face the material the pockets are attached to.  Stitch right sides together, leaving a space for turning. Turn then iron the edges flat and the opening turned in. Place the pocket about 15 cm from each short edge of the shawl cape, or wherever suits you,  opening ood the pocket towards the center of the shawl. Stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket to the cape leaving the top open,  this will give you a double opening, the back pocket and the lining behind the pocket.

You can fit a lot of treasures, trinkets, toys, a stocking cap or gloves in there.  The cape can also be worn with pockets facing inward and hands in the pockets so little arms are still covered.

So, I hope these instructions weren’t too confsing. I plan on making more of these and also some adult versions.

Have safe and happy days my friends, filled with love.


ScrapHappy, Making up for May.

During the month of May I was unable to post a ScrapHappy project as I studied my backside off trying to pass my final class, statistics, to graduate from Mendocino College.  I am proud to say, after many years in the making, I did graduate with degrees of English for Transfer and Sociology for Transfer.  Woo hoo!

Here is my make up May project, a scrappy lil’ basket to hold your scraps or other odd bits, thread, cross-stitch supplies, the telly remote or other loose doodads.

I used about 50 feet (I am guessing since it was about half the 100 roll) of  3/16 inch cotton/poly clothes line, 12 inches of 44″ wide fabric for the basket bottom, and about 9 inches of the contrasting, lighter fabric on the basket sides.  The fabric was cut into 1.5 inch strips and the selvage trimmed off if it was off coloured.  

I wrapped the end of the clothes line with my first strip of fabric and continued for approximately the first 8 inches.  A straight stitch down the center secured it.  I began coiling the cord and stuck a few straight pins in to hold it in place. A straight stitched “x” across the coiling held it in place.  I began coiling fabric wrapped line and used a zigzag stitch to connected the edge of what was already coiled to what was being added.  New strips of fabric are added as needed by overlapping them with the previous strip (I found using a couple straight pins to hold the pieces in place made it super easy).  I made the basket base about 9 inches across.  I held the base up at a 90° angle to my sewing machine and continued to join.  Here’s where I will do it a bit different in future: either I will not make the side angle so severe or I will make my base larger so as the basket grows there is clearance along the top of the sewing machine.  When I was ready to end my basket  I cut the cord at an angle, coiled the tail into a circle on the out side of the basket, securing it with pins and stitched an “x” to secure it in place.  The final step was holding the basket up to the light and checking for any spaces where I didn’t catch both sides with the zigzag stitch and running them through the machine again.  

This was super fun to make and I am definitely going to make several more.  My sister sent me extra fabric she had used to make her kitchen curtains with which I am now making my valances and curtains from so we will have matching ones.  The left over fabric turned into a basket will be a great thank you that I know matches her kitchen colors.  






Accessory Scraps for Grads, Birthdays, Weddings

My ScrapHappy project this month is for graduation, but can just as easily apply to any special occasion where a lei would be a good accessory or cash is s good gift.  This lei was made with scrap ribbon, left over beads, scrapbook paper, twenty 1$ and two 5$ bills.  I used the graduation school colors (brown and yellow) and since it is for a young man left off silk flowers and used just the colored paper and football beads for brown.  The money can be any denomination depending on how much you would like to gift and can go all the way around but I wanted it to not be distracting around his neck and have no idea what else he may also be wearing.  This took about 5 hours but I have never made one so I’m sure in future it will be quicker now that I have an idea how to assemble it all.


March Scraphappy

20170310_142006This month my ScrapHappy project was using a scrap of leather to make a pocket knife case.  Eric had been looking for a bone handle pocket knife for months so I used a 15th anniversary to present him with a woolly mammoth bone handle knife which has turquoise inlay and a damascus blade, it really is beautiful, but was next to keys and loose change in his trousers quickly leaving fine scratches in the finish.  I used leather, hand sewed the edges with sinew and added a screw on button (on an outside extra piece of material so the screw back wouldn’t touch the knife from the inside), with a thin strip of leather as a thong closure.  I love this handy little project and now I’m wondering what else I need to protect.  My daughter and I need credit card and bill pouches I’m sure, since we slide those in our pockets rather than take a full handbag so often, maybe with a key fob section?  I have go to see if I have a large enough piece for one of those !  Take care.

My first Scraphappy Blog

20170110_132234Many thanks to Kate at for allowing me to get involved with this.  My first Scraphappy project is a set of 4 BBQ, potluck or picnic napkins.  I made them from two fat quarters of fabric.  They have a handy little tab on them to tuck your eating utensils in then just roll the napkins. No more juggling plate, napkin and fork or chop sticks, this can be held in the same hand under your plate or bowl whIle you load up on the goodies.

I cut (8) 9″ squares, four from each coordinating fabric.  The strip of fabric left over from the edge of the remnants were used to make the tabs (2″wide and 16″long scraps were sewn right side together along the long edges, then turned right side out, pressed and cut into (4) 4″ pieces).  Pin the right sides of two different fabrics together with a fabric “tab” tucked and pinned inside, even with an edge seam. Stitch 1/4″ seam, including over the tab, leaving an opening for turning right side out. Trim the corners diagonally, being careful not to clip your stitching, so your corners will lie flat. Turn the squares right side out, press the edges flat, tucking the raw edge of material where it was turned, and then top stitch 1/4″ around the edges (be sure to sew shut the open edge, also).  I added a small backstitch over each edge of the tab just to be sure they could with stand a ltitle extra tugging but I don’t know if it needed it as much as I needed the peace of mind.

I will be making more of these, as gifts and for myself, but I will make them a bit larger in future.  I know people who are very good at matching napkins, place mats and table cloths… I’ll have to make sure my dress or blouse doesn’t match my napkins this summer. 😉

Indoor pursuits


It’s literally pouring here. Roads are being closed as are the counties schools, homes and businesses are flooding, trees falling and thousands are without power.  Butters the chicken and Ciera are solving the world’s problems together.


Mouse is hoping to sleep through it since she does not want to get her feet wet, she may melt.


My grandog can’t keep her sweater dry or herself warm enough and has gone back to bed.


Butters put on a fashion show.


The rest of the crew refuses to be photographed until their demands for increased hot mash and additional lighting have been met.  These are some of my cochin crew and I hate to say it but as management I’m worried.  I think they mean it and they haven’t given one egg in days to prove they are serious.


The Play-doh is drying out from over use by the short two-legger and I.  I’m beginning to think the kayaker next to the school yard wasn’t so bonky, just bored.  Maybe he should make some play-doh and have a chicken fashion show.  I’m back to my knitting, sewing and hot tea after some soup.

To everyone in our corner of the world, and abroad- shout out to Norway, Sweden, and all of you getting snow and hurricanes, we saw you on the news, please be safe, our hearts are with you.   Thanks for reading.  Karen


Late Night Crafting


I got up at zero dark thirty to feed and get the rubbish bins out and found this on the table… Either my brilliant daughter was up making hats late last night or the elves came in to help.  I’m going with the latter, it’s so much more fun!


Meanwhile… I only got this far on my Dad’s new watch cap and somehow have a weird strand draped across a single stitch on the inside, THREE rows back!  I don’t suppose it would matter, except the brim folds up!

On another note, while we weren’t sleeping last night, I found what my next stitchery project will be, after searching about and drooling for days over a bunch (and bunch really does not describe how many hundreds) of patterns.  I am going to stitch one of my mixed media art pieces. I am in love with the bold colors, message and think it will be fun, even if it takes all year. 20151214_191843-1.jpg

This took many hours to complete originally and I have dabbled with some other art mediums using it since.  Maybe I will line all of the projects up as a unique art display in a future show. Any way, this piece really sums up my feelings of peace on Earth and good will to all, how we are part of a bigger picture.  Oh, and it was created prior to our election fiasco here in the US.

Have a wonderful day, don’t forget to breathe.






“Hello, Noah? About that ark design…

Well, we are still getting our rain on. This morning I was a bit unsettled but this evening I am writing a quick blog and tucking in with my knitting and hot tea.  A few pictures have popped up with people surfing on the street or kayaking next to a grammar school play yard in larger communities, which is entertaining but I wonder when those people bumped their heads and how hard (I’m older now and being a judgy judger lol).  The highways are being shut down, some communities isolated, and power outages are setting in.  I love power outages but know some people desperately need it for medical purposes, etc, and my heart goes out to them.

The rains are expected to last until Thursday morning, then a quick dusting of snow and we will get a drying out period.  When they say it never rains in sunny California, they mean Southern, which is far enough away to be another state entirely.

I have telephoned and texted with my father several times repeatedly asking, “Are you warm and dry?  Don’t  forget the lantern are all filled and the kitchen cabinets have battery mounted lights you can detatch and take from room to room so you aren’t carrying flames..I’m  12 mintes away so call iff you need anything.” I worry too much perhaps, but he had a fall and burnt himself on the wood stove almost two years ago and now lives in my place which he isn’t  used to, but how he loves the snow again! And to be honest I am not sure he’ll remember in the new surroundings, and I know he won’t  want to be a bother and tell me if there is an issue.

I told him a few days ago to keep the heat on all night.  He didn’t.  He seemed a bit surprised as he told me the next morning there was ice on his nipples (it was around 19° Fahrenheit)… “Yep, keep the heat on, Dad, I don’t care about the bill… I care about your nipples.” Well, that got awkward quickly.  My house was built in 1915 it cools off fast 😁

Please, stay warm and dry people. Those affected by east and west coast US storms and around the world!  Stock up, be prepared to evacuate if needed and take care of each other!


Recipe for travel patterns

20170107_140845So, I am sure many people have though of this but I just did so I am sharing my moment of brilliance. I write knitting and crochet patterns on index cards to take with me.  My brain often goes on holiday without my body so I write even simple patterns down.  I needed to jot a new pattern for my father’s watch cap and couldn’t  find where I set the index cards (brain holiday…) so grabbed a water resistant recipe card.  I usually use good patterns more than once and it is pouring rain here so it made sense, I also have plastic sleeves I can slide on.  The basket in the photo was given to me by my equally brilliant daughter last night. If you thread your yarn through a hole in the side it feeds without your yarn dodging about the floor, car, bus, or classroom during lectures (yes, I am that student if i don’t need to take notes).  The basket sets well in a large shopping bag so those other incidentals I cannot live without small scissors, water bottle, a light jacket, can be stowed under it for convience. If you don’t have a basket I have also used plastic drink pitchers, beverage bottles that you cut the bottom sleeve off of and slide the bottom back on after placing yarn through the bottle neck (my grandma taught me that when I was about 10 years old) or any container that won’t wear on the yarn strand as it is pulled through is good.

My daughter and I never leave the house without a project or book, stealing minutes in line or traveling with hopes of not getting motion sickness while we get just one more row or page in! When I lived in Germany many ladies did their hand work on the bus or train, this was back in the 1980’s.  It seems to be happening on this side of the pond now also, which makes me so happy. Happily doing handwork with complete strangers somehow makes me feel connected to them all.