100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches Part ll

Do you embroider?

Embroidery has intricate stitches, beautiful patterns and is a relaxing hobby.  Remember the old “samplers” that used to be made?  Women would show off their stitching talents and create a piece of art for their home.  Hand embroidery is an art that is all but lost, so I thought I’d share with you an old Canadian J & P Coats instruction booklet on embroidery stitches, that my hubby found for me. 🙂

I haven’t embroidered for years, but looking through this booklet has me dreaming up all sorts of fun projects!  I hope you agree and will join me in keeping this beautiful art alive!

This is the Part ll of the 100 Embroidery Stitches and will complete the booklet.  (Part l was last week)

 

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

Hope you enjoyed the booklet and will have fun with these stitches!

🙂

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches Part l

Do you embroider?

Embroidery has intricate stitches, beautiful patterns and is a relaxing hobby.  Remember the old “samplers” that used to be made?  Women would show off their stitching talents and create a piece of art for their home.  Hand embroidery is an art that is all but lost, so I thought I’d share with you an old Canadian J & P Coats instruction booklet on embroidery stitches, that my hubby found for me. 🙂

I haven’t embroidered for years, but looking through this booklet has me dreaming up all sorts of fun projects!  I hope you agree and will join me in keeping this beautiful art alive!

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

100 Embroidery Stitches

 

Part ll will be next week and will complete the booklet with even more intricate stitches!

🙂

frugal living, simple living, homesteading

Being Frugal: The Savings is Substantial

As you may have noticed, I like to show how much money I save by doing what I do.  Right now, the savings is a little over $5000.00 in about a year’s time.  To me, that is a substantial savings!

Everyone’s lifestyles and ideas are different, but here are a few things that saving that much money can mean:

  • More money for family fun
  • More money for charity
  • A little “breathing room” if money is tight
  • More time with family
  • Less stress
  • Possibly being able to work less
  • Satisfaction that what you’re doing is adding value

OTHER BENEFITS:

  • Being environmentally friendly
  • Feeling at peace with your lifestyle
  • Finding what truly is “enough”
  • Creatively looking for solutions
  • Learning valuable skills

Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread Recipe Make Your Own Fish Fertilizer seed-saving-and-frugal-gardening Pear Butter Recipe

Yarn Slipper Booties Reasons to Be Outside  Seed saving and frugal gardening Reasons to Be Outside

Spiced Grape Syrup Sewing Clothes Christmas Cookie Recipes oxeye-daisies

What are your reasons for being frugal?

🙂

Reasons to Be Outside

So Many Reasons to Be Outside!

I try to get some fresh air every day.  Nature has a way of calming my senses and clearing my mind.

We have often been witness to spectacles of nature, just because we were outside.  Geese flying overhead that appear golden in autumn’s setting sun, shooting stars racing across the night sky, rabbits teaching their young how to find food.  I’m never bored being outside; I have Mother Nature’s symphony and theater to entertain me.

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Reasons to Be Outside

Connecting with nature is priceless.

🙂

Don't Stress Over the Mess

Don’t Stress Over the Mess

It seems like we run ourselves ragged.

We try to do it all.  Hold a job, raise kids (or fur-babies), clean the house, make appointments, do the laundry, cook meals, fix the car, mow the lawn….the list goes on and on.

We stress ourselves out about things that we perceive have to meet a standard.

Think about it:  If someone drops by unexpectedly and your house is a mess, would you “die of embarrassment”?  Is that embarrassment because of what they will think?  Why does their judgement of you matter?  Essentially, you’re trying to keep your house spotless for someone else, who may or may not stop by, and who’s opinion of you shouldn’t matter.  LOL  Kind of nuts, right?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a lot less “fussy” about how my house looks.  I guess I feel that if someone drops by and doesn’t like how I keep house, they don’t need to come over.  Plus, the people who are invited over, know us and know we’re pretty laid back and that they should probably expect the house to look lived in.  (Especially, with 2 big dogs)

It’s all in perspective and how comfortable you are in your own skin.

For example…

The house is messy:  Hubby and I can pick up and put away what we need to and then sit down and enjoy each others company.

There are muddy dog prints on the floor:  If it’s rainy and things are going to be muddy for a few days, I don’t obsess about them.  Besides, seeing their cute paw prints makes me think about how much joy they bring to our lives.

There are dirty dishes in the sink:  Sometimes after working and making dinner, the thought of doing dishes goes over like a fart in church.  Relaxing and watching a TV show with my honey sounds like a better idea.  Dishes will still be there tomorrow.

I’m certainly not advocating being a slob, I’m just saying it’s better to slow down and enjoy the people around you first, and then do the work according to your own standard.

Life is less stressful that way!

Don't Stress Over the Mess

 

🙂

How to Have a Garage Sale, Rummage Sale

Use It or Lose It: How to Get Organized

Being organized can feel like floating on a cloud!  You can find what you need, your home runs efficiently and you have time to relax.

Unfortunately, many of us are sinking under piles of stuff that we feel we should keep.  As the pile grows, so does anxiety and the length of time we spend trying to find things.  Ironic, isn’t it?

Look around.  Are you floating or sinking?  (I’d like to take this opportunity to mention that I lay no claim to that messy, messy garage in the photo. 😉 )

I usually organize my home once a year and here are some tips that work for me!

How to Organize Your Home

Sort:

Start with the easiest room first. No procrastination, pick a day to work and finish that day.  The success you feel will give you energy to tackle another room!

  • Sort into piles.   1. Keep  2.  Not Sure  3. Get Rid Of
  • Items in the Keep pile should be put away in their proper places.
  • Items in the Get Rid Of pile should be bagged or boxed up. (more on that in a minute)
  • Items in the Not Sure pile should be gone through last.  Take your time and think about these items.

Decide

Sometimes it is hard to decide what to get rid of.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re sorting:

  • Have you used it in the last year?  If not, do you really need it?
  • Do you have something similar that can do the same job?  e.g. Do you need a large kitchen mixer if you always use your hand mixer?
  • Is it worn out?  Sometimes things just wear out and outlive their usefulness.
  • Does someone in your family need it?  Maybe a younger family member would really love that extra chair.  Nobody complains about freebies!
  • Do you have more than one?  Do you need more than one?
  • Are there good memories attached to it?  I am all in favor of keeping items that you have sentimental feelings toward.  Although it is true that it is just a “thing”, these “things” help us feel connected family and friends.  These connections are very important to our well being.
  • Is it an heirloom?  Then you probably have good feelings toward it.  People have differing ideas on how to deal with their heirlooms.  I wrote an article about attitudes toward heirlooms that you may find interesting.

Get Rid Of

I’ve sorted, so now what?  You have lots of options, depending on how much work you want to do.

  • Have a rummage sale.  This option is a bit of work, but you can also make some extra money!  I’ve gone to tons and have had tons rummages sales over the years and compiled some good tips here:  How To Have a Garage Sale
  • Donate.  Donating is a quick and easy way of getting rid your extra stuff and it really helps out other people in need.  Remember to only donate things that are in good shape.  If you wouldn’t use it or wear it or use it, why would anyone else?
  • Repurpose.  This is a fun and creative option!  Would those worn out boots make cute flower planters?   How about using old neckties to make a pillow?

Once you have organized your home, you can set back, relax and be proud of yourself for the work you have done!

BENEFITS:

  • Saving time by knowing where things are
  • Efficiency in the home, shop, studio, etc.
  • More time to enjoy life

Being organized…Priceless!

🙂

Organizing Tools

Organize the Tools of Your Trade

Whether your tools are in your kitchen, studio, garage, workshop, or greenhouse, having your tools organized, easy to find and ready to use can mean the difference between getting a job done now or putting it off.

It’s human nature to decide to not do something if there is a barrier which makes the task more difficult.  Most often, the hardest part of a job is just getting started and here are where the barriers lie.

If you can’t find your tools: “I don’t feel like searching right now.  I’ll do it later”.

If your tools are unorganized: “I’ve been digging for 5 minutes and still can’t find what I need.  I’ll do it another time”.

Does that sound familiar?

I owe a lot to Mr. McKigney, my high school music teacher who taught me to play saxophone. (I was a late bloomer).  He understood the psychology of barriers and told me to always have my saxophone assembled and ready to play.  He said that if it’s ready to just pick up and play, I will practice more often.  Such wisdom!  Thank you Mr. McKigney, wherever you are!

 

5 Tips for Organizing Your Tools

  • Sort your tools and get rid of ones you don’t use (broken or worn out tools are of no use)
  • Keep your tools where you use them the most (keep wooden spoons and spatulas next to the stove)
  • Assemble your tools (take saws and drills out of the boxes and hang them on hooks in the garage)
  • Clean your tools when you are done using them (clean paint brushes so they are soft and ready to be used again)
  • Put your tools away when you’re done (kind of obvious, but how are you going to find them next time if you don’t put them away????)

Organize more, stress less!

BENEFITS:

  • Less stress
  • More piece of mind
  • Can always find what you need, when you need it!

🙂

Life Lessons I've Learned From My Dog

Life Lessons I Have Learned From My Dog

If you have the good fortune to have a dog as a companion, then you know that you can learn a lot from them by watching the way they live.

Dogs are unpretentious, straight forward, honest, happy and well, they know how to live.  Here’s what Heidi has taught me:

Life Lessons I've Learned From My Dog

  • When you get up, stretch and shake yourself off
  • Get up early and go outside
  • Sniff the breeze
  • Follow a bumble bee to see where it takes you
  • Be curious
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Ask for what you need

Life Lessons I've Learned From My Dog

  • See things from a different point of view
  • Live in the moment
  • Scratch what itches
  • Lick your wounds and they will heal
  • Play spontaneously
  • Eat treats often

Life Lessons I've Learned From My Dog

  • Lay in a sunbeam
  • Take a nap
  • Get into mischief
  • Protect those you love
  • Be patient and kind
  • Greet people warmly
  • Be a trusted friend
  • Enjoy being part of your pack
  • Let people know when they make you happy

🙂

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The Importance of Extended Family

I grew up in an extended family, on a homestead in rural Minnesota.   Childhood was a continual wealth of lessons in simple living, gardening, self sufficiency, home-making and finding ways to live well on a modest income.   With my maternal grandmother living just a few yards “up the hill”, we all benefited from the knowledge and experience she had garnered through her mother and grandmother.

 

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was being presented with a wonderful gift.  The gift of knowledge, experience, love and a deep connection to my ancestors that I only came to understand as I grew older.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

My grandmother moved onto our place when I was 2 years old.  My parents moved an old house from another piece of land they owned, and plunked it down on a little foundation they made on their home site.  I never asked, but I think Grandma paid for having the house moved.  Otherwise, the house and the land were free to her.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The house was about 15 yards from ours, had 2 rooms downstairs, 1 room upstairs, and no running water.  Grandma lived like that for about 30 years.  She carried water from our place up to hers, kept her house spotless and stayed busy by making herself an important part of our family; helping out with canning, cleaning, gardening, babysitting, baking, cooking, sewing and anything else she was capable of doing.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

 

 

My mom had her mother right at hand for advice, help and company, which I know my mom appreciated, since she wasn’t used to living out in the country and maintaining acreage with wild animals and such.  Grandma had been raised on a farm, so she was able to handle more “country” type problems that arose, and pass her knowledge along to us.

I can remember many summers of all us working on the garden.  Mom and I usually planted the garden and then Grandma would be out there with her hoe, cutting down the weeds as they would come up.  By mid summer, Grandma would come to the house with her always-present apron filled with vegetables she had picked from the garden.  We would form an assembly line of Grandma and I cleaning and preparing the veggies, with  mom working at the stove, pickling them.  We had a huge variety of delicious pickles and relishes that would accent every meal we had during the long, cold winters!

During the winter, mom and Grandma would let me help with the quilting.  They would always sew a bunch of patchwork quilt tops to take to the church for the sewing bees, then the church would ship the quilts to the needy.  I not only learned to sew, but I also learned from their example that you can make things with your hands that can benefit others.  We never had much money, but we could always make something to give to someone else.  That was a very important lesson for me.

Extended Family, Frugal Living, Simple Life

The bond between the “3 of us girls”,  was very strong.  Even though I couldn’t express the feeling as a child, I know now that it was a feeling of belonging and a sense of who I am that they extended to me throughout my life.  I learned skills that I will always have, and I also know where those skills came from and why they made so much sense to the generations that came before me.  Through them, I am connected to who I am and where I came from and that is the greatest gift of all.

🙂