Archives for category: Thing-A-Day


Years ago when I first started quilting, I saved all my long scraps and once I had enough of one type of color, would sew them onto muslin squares. The idea was to eventually make these into a new quilt. I have 7 or 8 of them and last year started repurposing them into other items.

The purple square is now a sachet stuffed with lavender. Lavender is said to help in relaxation and also to repel insects, so it can hang by the bed or in a closet. Sometimes it pays to admit that half-finished projects may never get completed…but there is often a new way to use the work you have already done.



Technically this is not a craft project. And technically, I did buy the milk in February, but I had the other ingredients, so I’m still counting it.

I’ve been wanting to try cheese making for a while. I even put it onto my 2016 craft resolutions list. It is intimidating. I thought I’d dip my toe into it by trying mozzarella cheese. There are recipes out there that have the word EASY in the title and claim to be a 30-minute recipe, so that seemed like a good place to start.

I don’t have easy access to raw milk, and since I had no idea if this would even work, I decided to trust the instructions that said you could use regular milk as long as it was not ultra-pasteurized. From what I read, it results in a less smooth and silky cheese, but would still produce something.

And it did! The entire process is magic. Milk turns to curds and whey. Curds change texture and become elastic and stretchy, and suddenly, you have a ball of cheese.

I tried to make ricotta with the leftover whey, but that did not work, and the ball of mozzarella is a bit bumpy,but all in all, I’m pleased that I finally gave this a try. And it is delicious.


Pine cones

We were visiting friends in the mountains this weekend. I needed to bring along my craft, so I needed something that was small and could be done fairly quickly.

The pine cones were already glittered. They were saved from an old Christmas arrangement. This was easy to make because it really just takes a dab of hot glue and a wooden bead to turn the cones into something that can easily be hung.

I was going to try to take a picture of them outside, but it was -4f/-20c causing me to opt for an inside shot with them hanging off the handle of a soup ladle. It can get cold in the mountains.


Another quick and early one before heading out for the weekend. In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, a red felt rose pin. This one is guaranteed not to wilt after a few days.



Sometimes I keep projects in mind I want to try just because they look fun.

I liked the idea of a granny square skirt, but did not want to spend the time making the squares. Fortunately, local thrift shops often have crocheted afghans. This one I picked up last year, with this project in mind, was somewhere in the $4-6 range, so less money than if I had bought the yarn.

To make it, use the existing border for the bottom, then figure out how long you want it to be. Carefully separate the squares at the row that hits the desired length. For the waistband, it’s a row of single crochet as an anchor, then double crocheted rows, decreasing at every 10th stitch until it had snugged in enough to fit your waist. You could probably also weave a crocheted drawstring into it if you wanted to be extra secure.

I lined it with some stretchy swimsuit-lining fabric sewn just across the top under the waistband, but if you are the type to wear leggings under skirts, that part could be skipped.




Oil lamp

I save a lot of jars. They get used for a lot of storage, but there are always extra around to use for projects. I thought it would be fun to try to make an oil lamp out of one of them.

One problem in February…I don’t have any lamp oil, and I have to use only things I already have. After a quick search, I discovered that you can make them using olive oil, and one site even recommended scenting them with essential oils or with herbs.

Although we have had snow here, there are still some green branches on my rosemary.  The scent of rosemary is one of my favorites, so a few branches got clipped and added to the oil. I have a feeling the oil and herbs will need to sit a day or so to actually have any scent. I hope so anyway.  I also used some wick I had, but you could use any piece of cotton material. A thicker wick will provide more light if that is how you wanted to use these.


I made today’s thing at the request of a friend. She was on a business trip in a small town in England and, while there, attended a small craft fair. She purchased one similar to this, brought it home and gave it to me as inspiration for a Thing-a-Day project.  I had not seen anything like it before, but since the original traveled 3,500 miles/5,600 km to get to me, I felt compelled to give it a try.

The surprise of this lies in what is used to stuff it.  Yum.



I had to abandon my first project today because a cat got overly interested in helping. That will wait for another day when they are sleeping.

This sheep is made by wrapping yarn around a metal washer. I had trouble freehanding the face, so I found some clip art for a little cheat.  If I were to make it again, I would find larger washers, the one I had is probably only about one and a half inches, and I think I’d prefer it if the face was felt, I was just getting too tired and wasting too much material to complete it that way.

Peeps wreath

At the beginning of the year, I printed out one of those lists of 101 things you can get rid of in an attempt to get some focus on going through all the stuff that seems to have collected around here. It has made it much more manageable. Rather than looking at an entire room, I can focus on one type of item, like purses I no longer use, or VHS tapes we no longer have a way to play.

The stuffed chicks and bunnies went onto the donate pile. Then they came back out. I had the wreath form already covered with faux fur yarn from an old project that had been dismantled, and had been looking for a new use for it.

The chicks and bunnies are based on candies called peeps that are sold around Easter. They are marshmallow, covered with colored sugar and there is always a big debate about whether they are better eaten fresh, or allowed to get stale. These plush versions should stay fresh for a long while, and no one will be tempted to nibble on the wreath.


Today’s project was born of need. I use the crocheted tulle scrubbies all the time, and frequently run out before I have gotten the ones I have through the wash.  I often make these round, but square works up quickly and does the job just as well.  I had a smaller length of the tulle left over. It was not enough for another scrubbie, so I am going to give the poof version a try.