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.


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


“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.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

After 5 years of drought in California we have not only reached our average for the year we have surpassed it!  The storms moving in this week are expected to drop as much water as the entire month of January and the warmth will raise the snow levels to above 9000′ which will cause melting snow levels to create even more flooding.

I love the winter weather, the crisp days, snow and rain. I love power outages, but we are prepared with oil lamps on the walls, wood stove and a 1953 (6) burner stove, batteries for the radio and a phone that is a land line not just the cordless handset. I think this is one of the best parts of rural living, our ability to disconnect from the world and truly relax after feeding and chores with books, handwork or games and not only survive it but relish the peace and quiet it brings.  The only bad thing on the home front is perhaps things going bad in the fridge if the power is out too long, but realistically I need to clean it out properly so now’s my chance.

This is why I have so much on hand to complete any painting (including not only prefab canvas’, stretcher bars, a bolt of canvas, and gesso), craft, sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch project and a shop with an old magazine side table to be refinished and broken chair to be mended.  Days like today are meant for project completion, as long as you don’t rely on the ability to connect to power.

It is hard to believe in one week I will be at Disneyland in much warmer (mid 50’s) southern California for a 10k and seeing sunrises while it is still dark from storm cloud and just above freezing at 8 AM here.


This picture is blurry because I was so excited to go out and take it I didn’t grab a jacket and am shivering!  It is cold!

We send friends, family and communities good wishes for a safe and comfortable week.  From our Blue family to all other First Responders, may you return home safely to your families at the end of shift.


A dark and stormy morning in Mendocino County, California.





New Year, Renewed Hope

Well, we have officially closed our 2016 calendars (except for tax purposes) and are ready to tackle 2017 with renewed hope and some trepidation.  I have seen the United States and world become more divided than in several decades and also many more are once again outspoken about love and unity.  The equal and opposite reaction of our pendulums (faith and fear, brotherhood and racism, factions opposing each other, and good and evil) are in full swing.

We as a nation, and our global community, are facing new challenges and as history has shown us good people with good hearts can overcome and prevent further pain and devastation. We are the key to preventing history from repeating itself and writing a future based upon hope, love, equality and peace.

From the ashes of events which have rocked the world, broken our hearts and made us feel helpless, have risen the unified voices louder than any hatred can drown out.  We will not be silenced and we will continue to live our lives free and without fear.  We will prosper and those who have died senseless deaths will not have died in vain. We will carry them in our hearts and act on their behalf.

Terrorism, genocide, global warming, nuclear weapons, polution, violence, freedoms of religion and press; these topics unify us more than they divide. This life is ours to embrace and our legacy to leave.

For my friends and family here and around the world, I am so glad I have been touched by your lives, enriched by the things we share, that I am allowed to be part of your joy and pain.  I am grateful we are facing another year of opportunities to make the world a better place, practice random acts of kindness.  I look forward to Anna’s pictures showing me beauty and wonder and Dave’s strength that helps me heal and know I’m not alone.

From my heart to yours, may 2017 be filled with good people, sweet memories, love, laughter, and peace.