Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I love making these! They are such a fun, quick little craft!

The red wool came from my MIL - she meant to make herself an outfit once upon a time but instead I am using it for crafty goodness! The wool felt I got at a cute little quilt shop in Rogers. With a little embroidery felt and stuffing some cheery red strawberries are born to brighten the winter days. (The blue plate was found while thrifting - it just called to me, chips and all.)

(If there us tutorial interest please let me know. I am planning on making more and would be happy to share the process.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Estate Sale Saturday!

Today there were two estate sales in my area...withdrawal over! Yeah. Some fun finds were found...

A 1957 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree Scarf from Valley Forge, PA

A box of metal goodness - 2 toolboxes and a copper pot

Probably my favorite find! A pen holder in the shape of Minnesota featuring specimens of my favorite rock, Minnesota's state gem, the "Lake Superior Agate". Love it! And it will be living at my house :)!

A house sampler that will be making it's way to Etsy once I get it ironed up and ready to go. There is one small stain right above the chimney and I am thinking I may add some cross stitch "smoke" to cover that up. We shall see...

And a few other goodies were found such as vintage sewing trims, fabric and a SLEW of vintage pot holders...very soon to be listed on Etsy along with a vintage sewing pattern and a trivet made from bottle caps. I also got a vintage metal file box for my records. So much more charm then plastic!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sewing And Thrifting

More sewing coming out of the sewing room. It feels so good to be working in there again! (I apologize for the pictures! Our winter light hasn't been very cooperative lately.)

The first Pink Big Flowers Bag is done! It is already spoken for but I have enough to make another. Amazing what you can do with an old bed sheet from the 70s :). Kinda reminds me of the wallpaper my parents had in their bedroom in my childhood home. Wonder if my mom has a picture of that somewhere...

Second Blue Big Flowers Bag - just awaiting it's yo-yo topping. Have enough for a third one if necessary. Now if I could find just the right gingham lining for the orange and yellow irises. Maybe at one of tomorrows sales...a girl can hope right?!

The Little and I went to Goodwill this morning and along with some (more) books for the boys, I found these great vintage treasures! I almost wet my pants when I saw this gorgeous feedsack fabric and then saw the price tag - .99 - eeeeyeah!!!! I will be using it for a fun project not yet born. The books were an added bonus and will make their way to The Weekend Cottage in Clear Lake before too long.

A little hand sewing. I am all out of the wool strawberries that I make (can't remember if 3 or 4 bowls sold) so I will be making some more up. Here is the first round. Also up is the yo-yo for the Blue Big Flower Bag.

I am also REALLY looking forward to the She Is...Outdoors Women's Weekend Conference at Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro, MN. Just sent in my registration and am going with two great friends! Everyone needs something to look forward to!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Bags In The Works

I had so much fun making the "Big Flowers" bag (and considering that one already sold :) ) I am working on another one in blue and green and also a couple in pink and yellow. So glad that today is a "at home day" so I can sew, sew, sew (and maybe knit just a little as it has been awhile and my fingers are itching...fingerless mitts for the boys I think).

The pink and yellow bag fabrics - the floral was an old bed sheet and the gingham were a couple napkins!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Bag Design

I was finally drawn by inspiration into the sewing room...a new bag design that came to me in the night.

I bought this fabulous tablecloth at a garage sale for next to nothing and my MIL found this great gingham at an antique store (I LOVE gingham!) and they were meant for each other!

So after just a little trial and error a bag was born!

I added a layer of muslin in between to give the whole thing a little more "body", added a couple pleats at the top on each side and to top it all off a BIG stack of yo-yos topped with a fabric covered button. LOVING IT!  Next up another bag in the same style but this one made from a vintage fabric remnant covered in BIG GIANT irises in orange and yellow. Just waiting for the vintage orange gingham I ordered from "In Grandma's Attic" on Etsy. Haven't decided if I am going to sell this one or keep if for myself :)! Would be the perfect spring handbag...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Etsy Shop Coupon!

For the next 48 hours I am offering Mommy Made readers 20% off at my Etsy shop (links located in the sidebar). Use coupon code MOMMYMADE20.

Please enjoy visiting my shop and let me know if you have any questions.

The Week In Review

This past week was full.

Included was a trip to the dentist where my oldest had his front tooth repaired after he fell and chipped it last week. You would never know that he chipped it.

Also included were some days off for the boys, a trip to the lake to see grandparents and some snow - finally - with apparently more to come tomorrow.  There was also some sewing (another "finally") and some birdwatching (sometimes both at the same time)...

 Most important though was the celebration of my older baby turning !!11!!. Hard to believe that he is in his final year of elementary (next year - middle school - AGGHHHH - thank goodness our area has a sixth grade-only middle school so they are ushered in gradually).  His birthday fell on our coldest day yet this year just like the day he was born. Funny that someday he says he is going to live where it is warm...

To my amazing 11 year old who is so full of life, energy and love, I love you more then you will ever know and wish for you all that the world has to offer and that you take it on with the same energy you have used to approach your life so far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Glance Back At Fall - Excursion #3

Every fall, once a hard frost has killed off the bugs and and before deer season opens, we make a trip to the "Hunting Farm". This time of year when the overgrowth is dying back allows one to poke around and see what bits of the past are uncovered. We do make regular visits here throughout the year and the hubby spends most of his fall here but a special trip in fall as a family is always something to look forward to. This year was a little more difficult as we had such a lovely, mild fall (and now winter) and the bugs seemed to hang out much longer then necessary. But off we trekked with the boys playing "American Picker's" as they searched out new "old" treasures. Old bottles, bits of farm machinery and other kinds of rusty goodness.

Above and below - an old brick house on the property that is slowly being taken over by Mother Nature. (We are VERY cautious around this house and the boys respect this.)

There is also an old tin house on the property that once was the summer kitchen. This house is still sturdy and I have dreams of turning it into a canning kitchen when we build our green home here. (Yes...another dream, but it is so good to have dreams.

Another pic of the tin house. I love this one where you can see a remaining but of a blue and white graniteware soap dish where the outdoor sink used to be.

Bits of rusty goodness. An old piece of farm machinery. (Check out my MILs blog to see what an antique dealer is ding with these bits...amazing!!!)

 Taking a moment to enjoy the moment.

American Pickers!

This picture is not upside down - the car is! An old Mercury - too cool!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Glance Back At Fall - Excursion #2

This past fall one of my best friend's and I left our husband's with the kids and hit the road for a day of female bonding. She is from Rochester, MN and I grew up in that area so we made that our starting off point. Our destination was Amish country. We were in need of some peace and simplicity and there is no better place to find that then amongst the people of the Amish faith. We decided to rent a CD and do a driving tour that took us to various Amish farms and Amish-run businesses who were ready to welcome us and share more about their culture. I, myself, have been learning and studying the Amish and Mennonites since I was 12 so I was well versed in their ways. My friend, however, was fairly new to their beliefs. It was a wonderful afternoon and we came away with fresh vegetables, hand-processed sorghum molasses, homemade candy and baked goods and even some garlic bulbs that are not divided and planted in my garden awaiting Spring. I have only two pictures relating to this portion of our trip as the Amish do not believe in photographs of themselves. I made sure that the photos I took did not include persons thus a picture of an Amish school and a picture of a buggy and quilt.

A barn on our way that we just had to stop and take a picture of.

A very old sticker advertising Niagra Cave in the old depot window in Harmony, MN

An awesome pumpkin on display outside the old depot now a shop.

An Amish buggy and quilt

An Amish one-room schoolhouse

To round out our trip we stopped off at a new winery on our way back to Rochester. Whitewater Wines is new to the area and we decided to stop in for a tasting and tour. Definitely worth the stop and we will be going back!
An old tractor and wagon filled to the brim with pumpkins, gourds and squash for sale at the winery.

The moon rising over the tractor at the winery. Perfect end to a perfect day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Needle Felting

Around Christmas I was a needle felting fiend. The only craft that seemed to be able to stand up to a nasty head cold that arrived right when I needed to accomplish the insurmountable task of getting everything I had planned done for Christmas. So needle felting I did...and so did the little as I noted in an earlier post. One item that came out of this little flurry was a year-round ornament for my husband. He is an avid hunter and spends many weekends through the fall staked out in a blind or stand on the farm his family owns in west central Minnesota. The ornament I made represents the little lake on the farm where he has his ever-changing duck blind.

I sat down with a vague idea and it kinda built itself. More needle felting to come. I am thinking pins...I just bought a bag of pin backs at the thrift store for 50 cents with that thought. We shall see...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Glance Back At Fall - A Memory

The happy energy of canning tomatoes!

I love canning and kinda miss it as we go through the winter. What I miss even more though is the lovely companionship it creates in the kitchen when you are canning with others. My Mom is a long time canner and often comes over through the summer and fall to help can up the summer harvest whether it be jams or tomatoes. The little even loves canning, his favorite part being peeling the skins off the tomatoes once they are in their ice bath. My Mom and Dad are currently residing in a warmer clime so the raspberries that are waiting in frozen suspension will just have to wait until she comes back to be turned into beautiful raspberry jelly because it is so much more fun to can together!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Glance Back At Fall - Excursion #1

Since I haven't been the best blogger lately (forgetting to record all kinds of fun stuff that I would like to have have remembered) and now that it is (finally) snowing, I decided it may be a good time to look back at a couple fun little excursions that we had this past fall.

The first excursion is one that the boys and I took with my mom to go and visit my grandparents at their cabin up north by Moose Lake (yep - the same Moose Lake, MN where the movie Rio starts out - it looks nothing like that...). We spent some time throwing rocks into the lake and picking up treasures, had lunch around the campfire and then took the long way home past some family history...

Throwing rocks into Little Hanging Horn Lake
The half way point on the way down the hill to the lake. A lovely resting spot.

Having lunch on the swing by the campfire (just to the right of this picture is the outhouse that we used when I was a kid - they didn't get indoor plumbing at the cabin until I was in college.)

Lovely bits of nature found in the wood pile.

My great great Grandfather's assistance house. Their was a major fire that swept through Northern Minnesota in 1894 and my ancestors (along with many others) lost everything. This was the house that they were given to build - at one point 10 people lived in it. My mom still has the records that lists exactly what the government gave them to restart - right down to a wooden spoon.

My great great Grandfather hired himself and his threshers out to farmers all over. The machines are still there...

The house my great great Grandfather built with a special block he invented and patented. He lived here until he died.

I love history!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Comic Relief Monday

Seems like an extra smile is always needed on a Monday...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Unusual Weather And A Little Thrifting And Estate Saleing

It has been abnormally warm here. Like really warm.... Yesterday my 10 year old came home from school in a hoody, winter coat and snow pants in back pack. It was about 45 degrees which for a Minnesota boy is balmy when he is used to below zero January's. I myself have only worn my winter coat once. My Carhartt vest and shawlette have been suiting my just fine. We also have very little snow. Last year we had a couple feet at this point. Currently we have more grass showing then snow. And it is not just our area of the state. My in-laws live in blizzard central (west central MN) and my grandparents live just minute from Duluth and they are all very similar. We shall see what the rest of the "Winter" brings.

This is the view out my kitchen widow. At the right time of day this river birch seems to glow. I love that...

I am going through a bit of garage sale and estate sale withdrawal right now so I thought I would show pics of a favorite estate sale find from before the holidays and a favorite thrift store find from last week...

Wonderful cast bookends that I found at a great estate sale where everything was 65% off.
I found quite a few things but I really should have bought more...
These bookends can be found now at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, MN.
A Skemo Canada/Eleanor Paine native patterned scarf.
I found this at Goodwill and can't wait to add it to our room at The Weekend Cottage in Clear Lake, MN!

I also added a few items to my Etsy shop including some vintage valentines and some other bits of vintage paper ephemera.