Friday, February 27, 2015

52 Projects (Project 7)

(Is it spring yet???)

My mother-in-law gave me a set of pillowcases last fall, and I set them aside to do something with them. I decided to make my daughter a pillowcase nightie.

I thought I'd just use a t-shirt that I had on hand but lo and behold I didn't have any white or solid t-shirts. So I headed to the thrift store and found a cute t-shirt. It was half off so I ended up paying $.52 for it.

 $.52 + free is not bad for a nightie!

I used this tutorial as my idea. I used a knit stitch to join the two, hopefully that will help it to hold together well.

My daughter was in her room for quiet time while I was sewing, so I just guessed on where to cut the shirt and the pillowcase. She tried it on and kept it on, so I would say she likes it! It ended up being knee-length, which is nice for a summer nightie.

Cost: $.52 (t-shirt), $0 (pillowcase)
Running Cost: $10.81

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review (A Woman After God's Own Heart)

I recently finished Elizabeth George's book, A Woman After God's Own Heart, and wanted to write a short review and share a few thoughts.

I don't have a lot of time to read, so I read this book in the morning along with my devotions. The shorter chapters allowed me to read a chapter at a time, which I appreciated.

I am in awe of Elizabeth George. I've never heard her speak, but this is the second book I've read and I just keep gleaning from her wisdom and love for the Bible and her dedicated study of the Bible. I love that she infuses her books with Scripture. There are not many pages that do not have a verse or verse reference! Not only does she include Bible references to support her points, but she digs into the meaning of the Scripture and does not take it out of context or use it to support her own ideas outside of Biblical interpretation and meaning.

She writes humbly - not as someone who has "arrived" but she shares her teachings with her readers in an attitude of "this is what we must do". Of course, she does share personal stories to make points related to the issue she is writing about.

The book is broken into sections related to the Christian woman's life, and covers her devotion to God and her priorities in life and her ministries. I loved this book but it was also very convicting in several areas - not because I learned some new truth but because I was reminded of the truth I already knew. When I read a book like this, I use a pencil to underline key points, and my pencil got a workout for this book!

Much of the book is counter to our current culture, a culture which permeates our ways of thinking in all areas if we are not careful! This book sets things back into a biblical perspective, something I believe is important for Christians to do on a consistent basis!

In the near future I'd like to read her book on marriage, A Wife After God's Own Heart. Last summer, I read Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart and gleaned a lot for mothering my sweet daughter.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Links are affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Creative Housework

"...All of housework is creative, including the so-called janitorial part of it. When God created the heavens and the earth, he started with chaos and ended with a finely differentiated and beautiful universe. Housework is all about bringing order out of chaos. That heap of damply repulsive clothes on the bathroom floor turns into stacks of neatly folded clean laundry in a matter of hours; a dining table piled high with junk mail, school papers, and forgotten socks turns into a table neatly set for a meal; a sack of potatoes, properly peeled, boiled, riced, and seasoned, turns into a dish of mashed potatoes that the individuals assembled around the table are happy to eat."
--Keeping House, The Litany of Everyday Life, by Margaret Kim Peterson, p. 38

I'm continuing to enjoy Keeping House. As someone who was raised in a Christian home, with a mother who stayed home and kept the house, and for whom that was my own dream, I do not snub my nose at "just" staying home. But this book is full of wisdom and grace and drawing together the spiritual with the everyday. It's simply beautiful to look at my homemaking through a slightly different lens. (And this book is truly applicable to anyone, whether "stay at home" or working mom, wife, mother, single, college student, etc.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

52 Projects (Project 6)

When I saw this washcloth tutorial/pattern, I knew I had to make it. I dug through my yarn and pulled out some bamboo yarn (solid pink). It worked up fast and feels so lovely. I immediately wanted to make more. Since we were going to Meijer that same night, I bought a skein of cotton yarn.

I got two washcloths from the one skein. I got to the end of the second one and had three rows left and no yarn to knit with. So I did the reasonable thing and bought more yarn pulled it out and started over. The second one is a little smaller - I started with 13 stitches instead of 14, and followed the pattern with the same number of increases, but adjusted the number of stitches after the yarn over (7, 6, 5, and 4).

As you can see, the join is visible. I do feel that for something as utilitarian as a washcloth, it's ok. But going forward, I plan to do a provisional cast on and a kitchener stitch to close them. It will make the seam invisible.

With a bar of soap, these seem like a lovely gift. There will be more of these coming from my needles!

I gave the solid pink one to my daughter. She was very excited to have a "special washcloth". :-)

Cost: $0 for the bamboo from my stash, $1.90 for the cotton yarn
Running Cost: $10.29

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Today's agenda:

not necessarily in that order, probably all intertwined with one another...

The laundry that I got caught up on last week has piled up again, and so I find myself in the same position as last week - lugging baskets of laundry up and down the stairs, switching load after load from washer to dryer to basket to drawers.

I found this encouraging this morning; it brings my household tasks from the mundane to the spiritual:

..." 'for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me...Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 
"There is a tendency, I think, on the part of those of us who are well fed, clothed, and housed to imagine that the needy people to whom Jesus refers in Matthew 25 are people we don't know--the sort of people who are served at homeless shelters and soup kitchens, at which we ought therefore to volunteer at least occasionally. But housework is all about feeding and clothing and sheltering people who, in the absence of all that daily work, would otherwise be hungry and ill-clad and ill-housed.
"There is undoubtedly more to the merciful service that Jesus describes in Matthew 25 than caring for the daily needs of the members of our own households. Housework is a beginning, not an end. But it is a beginning--not a sidetrack, not a distraction, but a beginning, and an essential one at that--in the properly Christian work of, among other things, meeting the everyday needs of others, whether those be our fellow household members, our near neighbors, or people more sociologically or geographically distant from ourselves."

(from Keeping House, The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

52 Projects (Project 5)

The weather here is typical for February but I seem to forget about February's brutality, until February rolls around again. Then I rush from the house to the car, muttering, "I hate winter, I hate Michigan." Both of which are not true, but in February it feels true and so I sometimes say it. Under my breath.

Two weeks ago, our evening church services were canceled due to a blizzard, and so I had a whole afternoon and evening ahead of me. I started rummaging through my fabric bins, and decided to make a skirt for my daughter. My daughter pulled out a one-yard length of very bright yellow polka-dots, and that was her choice. Serendipitously I had scraps from a vintage pillowcase that contrasted perfectly. Those became the waistband and pockets, and I used lime green bias tape for the hem. I think it helped tone down the yellow a bit. I had everything on hand, including elastic, to make this.

I centered pockets on the side seams. I was so tempted to just make a simple patch pocket, and be done, but I took the time to make a cuter pocket, and I'm so glad I did!

I do have several patterns for skirts, but I didn't use a pattern this time around. I love the way it turned out, and the springiness of it gives me hope that spring is indeed coming! I finished this up yesterday afternoon, when I finally had a little time to devote to sewing.

Cost: $0
Running Cost: $8.39