What’s Happening Around the House

As we settle into what appears to be a short autumn there is still lots to be done.  Putting the gardens beds to rest and getting ready for the holidays has kept me busy.

While I love playing in the dirt, and just about any outdoor chore, raking leaves is my favorite. You can’t deny the colors of autumn are striking.

And then it’s time to come indoors and work on the many projects for the house and holidays. My hands have been busy.

I finished up a couple of cross stitch pictures that will be pillow covers.  This first one will be a lovely pop of color for my spring and summer decor.

I love to have throw pillows on the living room furniture to provide comfortable seats for guests and change them out frequently.  Being a minimalist I have no interest in storing a bunch of seasonal pillows instead I switch out covers on my pillows.  Storing a handful of pillow covers takes up very little space compared to a bunch of pillows.

This next one I’ve paired with the fabric I’ll be using to finish the cover for you to see.

I haven’t pressed these yet but wanted to share them with you.  This one I stitched on a marbled blue fabric to give a tone-on-tone look making the changes in colors more subtle than the pattern called for. Here’s a close up to see better how the colors work together.

In between creating new things I’ve also had some mending to do.

In hanging the cooler season curtains we found the stitching had come out of the one panel.  Out came the machine for a quick repair. I had help completing this task.  This was Little Guy’s first opportunity to help use the sewing machine and his mother had to commemorate this with a photo.

My daughter-in law also dropped off three pairs of leggings my granddaughter had worn holes in the knees.  I grew up in a home where iron-on patches were always on hand for minor repairs.  Nowadays, I skip the expense of iron-on patches and create my own patches out of leftover fabric scraps. Of course they have to be sewn on but it only takes a few minutes.  The girls love hearts which is nice since they are so easy to make.

My granddaughter thinks it’s hilarious that two of the patches were created from pants her father had torn and passed on to me to use instead of tossing them out.  (the two on the left use her father’s old pants).

With the colder temperatures I worked on a pair of leg warmers for my self using some lovely wool yarn my good friend Elaine sent to me.

Then there are the Christmas gifts I’ll be giving out this year.

I’ve inherited another granddaughter, child of my son’s partner.  One of her gifts will be this crocheted hair bow with attached pony tail band.

I also made this cell phone case for the oldest granddaughter with more yarn from Elaine and some buttons in the sewing box. There was only enough blue yarn for the front which is why the back was made in a different color. Still need to give a more finished look to the edge of the flap but this is where it is today.

Then there is the largest gift I’m making this year.  A cross stitched Monopoly board. I’ve been working on this for a few years but this will be the year to finish it.  To make sure I finished it I purchased all the necessary playing pieces earlier this summer.   I’ve purchased a small three drawer box ready to finish and will be including it for the children to paint and decorate to hold the playing pieces.

I figure I have approximately a week’s worth of work to complete the stitching before I can quilt this.  My son spotted this one day shortly after I had first begun this pattern and informed me he wanted it. While it was always meant for him I told him he couldn’t  have it as I was keeping it.  Hopefully, he believed me and will be happily surprised on Christmas morning.

Are you focused on Christmas yet?



  1. Wonderful cross-stitching Lois and so love your cushion covers, and the Monopoly Wow.. Your Son will be pleased..
    And no I am not yet focused on Christmas. I did go and get some buttons today so I can finish my waistcoat now, that has been sat a few weeks since I finished knitting it.. I spied a piece of yellow cotton clothe in the same shop just scrapes from rolls, which was just £1 and some narrow yellow ribbon.. I thought to make Barbie an outfit in this..
    Lots of ideas, now just need to get into creating them..
    Have a lovely week.. Love and Hugs Sue xx ❤


    • Sue,Your Barbie is going to be the best dressed Barbie in town. 🙂 Once Christmas is over I need to get back to a heavy sweater I started months ago for myself. The jacket I wear for the colder months is falling apart and I really need to replace it. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it, ten years now, and it was second hand to start with. Once the sweater if finished I can cut up the jacket as it’s mostly denim and flannel and use that to create newer items. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joy, I am so fortunate in that my sons and their wives love hand made items and have passed that appreciation on to the children so I can feel confident that items I make will be enjoyed.


  2. It’s nice to be back catching up with you again Lois. The hand stitched monopoly board is genius! I am not at all focused on Christmas, though I have been adding to my supply of handmade cards for the last couple of months as these will be my major form of gifting this year. I did receive my first Christmas celebration invite yesterday which quite alarmed me as such things really aren’t on my radar at all yet – but as the inviter said Advent is only four weeks away……….


    • Hi Pauline, it’s crazy how quickly Christmas is arriving. I wish we had more time before but I probably say that every year.

      I started the Monopoly board almost ten years ago as a gift for my son. Almost as soon as I started it he was expecting a child, getting married to a woman who didn’t enjoy board games and took on a job that required a lot of hours. I packed it away but now that the children are nine, more than old enough to enjoy monopoly and he has a job with normal hours it was time to finish it off and give it to him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this, Lois. You’re always so creative and enjoy seeing the ideas you come up with. My daughter has some creativity in handcrafting trunks. She’s made a business out of it and taught herself how to use table saws and routers. She just got an order for a trunk from a military family for their fallen son. She’s humbled and honored to make one of these treasured chests for them. Here’s a link where she’s burning on the personalized monogram they provided for her.

    There’s nothing like receiving something made from the hands of those like you who care.


    • I couldn’t view the trunk your daughter made. The message I get is that it’s either expired or closed to only a select audience. Your daughter may have privacy controls set on her facebook account. That said, I think it’s wonderful that she has been able to make a living doing what she loves. I can only imagine how she felt to be able to make a trunk for a fallen soldier’s family. My son, as you may know, was active military and lost a few of his closest friends. I’ve met the families in some cases and know how hard it is for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Lois — sorry about that. You’re right — I think she does have some privacy restrictions on FB and probably why you couldn’t see it. Turned out beautiful and family sent their story with permission that she could share. No doubt it’s a different life for military families and a different world. They’re all very close and I’m glad you were able to experience that through your son’s service. Love and hugs and Happy Thanksgiving if I don’t talk with you before that my friend.


  4. Wow! I can’t believe you’re thinking about Christmas already! I’m still lamenting the end of summer! I have been slowly swapping out my summer & winter clothes though. That’s something I never did before, but in the era of carpet beetles, it just doesn’t make sense to leave anything out that doesn’t need to be out. It’s a good opportunity to do some mending and consign a few things to the rag bag (which is now, actually, an airtight box).


    • Ha! I already have a list started for next year’s Christmas. 🙂 I’m always trying to come up with ideas that won’t break the bank but will be meaningful to the recipient.

      I gave up swapping out clothes for the seasons when I downsized my wardrobe. Now everything I own fits in one six drawer dresser, I simply keep the clothes divided by which drawer I put them in. Now if I had carpet beetles I would probably give up the dresser and use air tight containers for everything. Are your beetles gone yet?


      • I have to say, there’s nothing like a carpet beetle infestation to encourage wardrobe minimizing! I got rid of half of what I owned, and so much is packaged up in space saver bags. It’s been enlightening how seldom I’ve needed to dig into those bags!

        Anyhow, I hope the beetles are gone – I’ve certainly removed a whole lot of habitat in which they could be living, but I won’t know for sure until next spring. They “pupate” in the spring (you probably know that word already, but I didn’t – that’s when they go from the larvae stage to the beetle stage.) Anyhow, there’s still carpet in the bedroom that needs to be torn out, but I’m not sure I’ll get to it before next year. It will require draining and moving the waterbed, which is a pretty big job, and I haven’t seen any beetles in there. But we’ll see… I think once they’re gone for sure I’ll get rid of the airtight everything and in the process probably most of the clothes stored there!


        • I used to have a water bed for quite a few years. Loved it but hated tearing it down to move it. I would probably get a sharp utility knife and cut around it first. 🙂 I did know what pupate meant but you aren’t the only one who doesn’t. It all depends on how much exposure to insects in the home that one has as to how much they know about them. I’ve never had carpet beetles so know very little about them aside from what I’ve learned from you.


    • Winter is the perfect time to cross stitch as there are fewer outdoor chores to keep one busy. I love the look of snow but not how the cold hurts my bones so sitting near a window while stitching gives me the time to watch the snow come down.


  5. I’m tickled to see you allow the little guy even limited access to your sewing machine. Even as an adult, I was not allowed to touch my mother’s machine. She would not teach me to sew so I had to buy my own machine when my daughter came and teach myself. I bought a sweet little machine for my niece when she was 7 and taught her. It may be years before she ever has need of that skill again but it will always be there if she needs it. My daughter sews a little but was not interested as a child. pique the interest now and who knows what will happen. You do wonderful cross stitch work. Yes, I am thinking about Christmas already and have been but not really able to do much about it. I’m so far behind even reading and writing blogs that I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up. Long story for later. Have a wonderful week.


    • Marlene, I rarely refuse to let any of the children help with any machine or tool if they show an interest. Little Guy has already helped with sanding walls, using the drill so why not the sewing machine. 🙂 I can’t imagine being a child, or in your case an adult, and hearing you aren’t trusted enough to touch the machine. That to me says one loves the machines or tools more than the person and I won’t do that.

      I bought a sewing machine for my six year old granddaughter for her birthday. It’s a child’s version that has a protective guard around the needle so little fingers can’t be injured so she could sew on her own without supervision. She loves it and feels all grown up to be able to sew. 😉

      I was like your daughter. My grandmother wanted to teach me all her skills but I refused to participate because I was rejecting the idea of fitting into a mold of the perfect obedient woman who stayed in the home. I wish I had realized then that I could have the freedom to do whatever I wanted with my life and have those skills as well. The only skill she taught me that I embraced was darning socks, it saved me money I could use for other things and that was all I cared about back then.

      The weekend is coming, I hope it gives you some down time to rest and get caught up on things you enjoy doing. Christmas will be here whether we are ready or not. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Lois! I always love to catch up with you. I am just getting my breath back but feeling pretty relaxed about Christmas as we decided to put names in a bag and only have one gift each, it was getting too ridiculous. What each family does internally on the 24th is up to them, but our big family get-together won’t be featuring a huge embarrassing pile of parcels, finally! None of us were comfortable with the sheer number, but it’s nice to have just one gift to think about – I pulled one of my SIL’s names out of the hat… 🙂 On the other hand we have quite a few birthdays coming up, so that’s keeping me quite busy enough!
    I love your embroidery! I have one that needs finishing (from about 20 years ago when I did a lot!) and you are something of an inspiration to finish it 😮 The blue cushion cover is particularly pretty, and just the idea of the Monopoly board is so clever.
    Last year, my grandson (he was 8) made us all hankie holders on the sewing machine with his mother’s help! Skills skills skills… ❤
    Happy crocheting btw!


    • I often consider suggesting pulling names for Christmas too but that would mean not giving a gift to each of the children, who I think Christmas is all about. In my family there are four adults I give to and five children. Maybe when they are all older I’ll suggest it.

      I am not at all shocked to hear your grandson made Christmas gifts on the sewing machine as I expect all your family embraces crafting after seeing your beautiful work and how you share your love with your daughters. But I especially love to hear about boys who enjoy what we used to refer to as “woman’s work”. My grandson just turned nine and last month he visited with his first knitting project. I was over the moon pleased to see it. Now I just need to have him teach me as I find knitting very hard,

      I do hope you finish your embroidery project and I would love to see it when/if you do.


  7. Lois, I’ve enjoyed this, but mostly the cross-stitch pieces. The play of colours in the cushion cover is lovely and the Monopoly board leaves me speechless! I have never done a large piece like that, but I have done a few small ones and enjoyed it very much; in 2006 when Lewiscraft stores all closed, I bought several small kits and also some larger ones. In particular, three (!!!) cushion covers of exactly the same pattern. They are greens and golds; a branch of a peach tree with lovely leaves and some peaches, too. I could just see them on a chesterfield one day. But for now they languish in the storage until I have a place of my own again. Things like that do give me something to look forward to and I need that.

    I also loved that you have begun teaching even your younger grandchildren to stitch on a machine. One can’t have too many skills . . . My own reaction to “women’s work” is so different from yours. I never had a grandmother and missed it dreadfully, particularly because my Mum and Aunties had such wonderful stories of time they spent with their grandmother after their mother died. I do have four double pointed knitting needles made of steel that belonged to my great-grandmother; they are the ones she taught her children and grandchildren to knit on and I love just holding them and thinking of all those wee hands that used them long ago. And now I shall use them and with any luck, my own grandchildren one day. I love all the traditional women’s work because it makes me feel part of a long line of women, caring for their families and communities and also making the world and their homes more beautiful. I have been SO lucky!

    Thanks for this lovely post. Once again, you have given me much food for thought; one of my favourite things. Love and Light to you. ~ Linne


    • It’s so nice to hear you mention your great-grandmother’s needles. I have my grandmother’s crochet hooks. I don’t use them often any more because they are difficult for these ageing hands to hold for long but I still pull them out for little projects just to think of her while working. Not many would understand that feeling like you do.

      Glad you enjoyed the cross stitch, I’ll be sharing my pieces more often knowing you enjoy seeing them I have a couple I’ll be sharing later today. 🙂

      My feelings on “women’s work” was heavily influenced by my grandfather who truly believed in the so-called traditional separation of work by the sexes. He was stuck in the past and constantly informed me women should only wear dresses, which didn’t work well for this tomboy. I rejected being defined by my sex so much that I refused to learn the skills my grandmother wanted so much to share with me. Today I see it differently, I want to expand my skills to include everything that allows me to have a handmade lifestyle. I think it’s easier for me now because times have changed so much.

      I do hope you have a hone of your own soon to pull out all your lovely things.


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