Yeah, yeah, another month has passed by since my last post. But you know what? I have really been getting focused for the new year trying to accomplish some projects which have been laying around for far too long. I have talked about them before — my genealogy research/book and my cookbook! Connor has been helping me a lot too, and we are making some serious progress! It has felt really great and I feel like so far the New Year has been treating me well. Along with these big projects of mine, I have a whole box full of small crafts I have wanted to get around to as well. One of them was finishing my re-usable handwarmers. I bought the fabric for them quite a long time ago, and I wanted to finish them before winter was over! I found this idea on Pinterest and just thought it was really handy, and not as wasteful as the disposable ones. I already made my own rice bag for muscles aches and cramps, and these handwarmers are basically the same concept, but small enough to fit in your pockets to keep your hands warm on those bitter-cold days. It took me less than an hour to do!
I started by cutting down my fabric into rectangles. I folded them in half (one less side to sew), and I made sure to do this so when I sewed it, it would be inside out. (It looks nicer and leaves a cleaner seam when you pull the fabric out the right way). I then stitched the remaining three sides, leaving a small gap so I could fill them with the rice.
^^ I then had to pull the fabric through the small hole so it would no longer be inside out. It then looked like this (notice the little wing on the top right? it is the hole to put the rice through):
^^ All full of rice and now ready to stitch up the hole!
^^ And finally, complete! I made two sets, a pair for Connor and a pair for me!
To use, just throw in the microwave for a minute or two. I have found with my rice bag that if I do it for a shorter amount of time, it feels hot at first but quickly releases the heat. If I warm it for a bit longer, it holds the heat for much, much longer (although it is way too hot in the beginning!). Test out times to see what works best for you. Enjoy, and stay warm out there!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 01/14/2015
Today, I wanted to share the Advent Calendar I have been working on the last few weeks, as it is finally complete! I went back and forth about many different ideas, but felt super inspired by the tags, fabric, and textures in this little project by Jones Design Company and all of a sudden I was ready to go for it.
I went to the craft store at a perfect time, too. All of their holiday fabrics were on sale (not that I needed much, anyway), and I got the holiday fabric and burlap for a total of $5.00. Woohoo! I had the doilies from some of the projects we used at our wedding, and they were ready to be re-purposed into snowflakes! (Another doily project here from our wedding). The large tags were just a couple dollars, and the wooden dowel was $1.00. So, not only was this project a fun and useful Christmas decoration, it was SUPER inexpensive!
I cut the holiday fabric into little squares and sewed them onto the paper tags. I am still learning to sew, and this was a great project for practicing straight lines, which from the close-ups photos you can tell I still have a lot to work on! Then we stamped the tags with numbers for each day, 1-24. For the burlap, I just folded the edges over to get clean looking sides and used a hot glue gun to secure it. I also used hot glue to attach the doilies. Finally, I cut down a wooden dowel, slipped it through the top of the fabric, and used some hemp twine to hang the whole thing. The tags were fastened using little pins through the burlap. I debated using an actual bulletin board behind, but I chose to go without so the whole thing can be disassembled and rolled up for easy storage!
Last year, a friend and I came up with advent activities, so I printed those out, selected the ones we would do this year, folded up the papers, and put each activity in a fabric pocket. I realized we definitely need more adult-friendly ones, as most of the activities we came up with were more aimed toward kids. Any activity ideas you can share would be much appreciated!
Day 1 of our advent activity this year will be setting up the Christmas tree, and I am just so excited to get started!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 11/19/2014
Autumn has been here for the last few weeks but I love that the trees are still holding on to their leaves for as long as they can. It is so beautiful, especially when you go to places like Finch Arboretum or Audubon Park, where for once, you see more leafy trees than pines. Connor and I took an early morning walk through the park where we soaked in all the colors and smells of fall. I am hoping winter will hold off for another month or so!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 11/05/2014