Baby food jar light catchers

Oh, I had so much fun last week! I was out at my workbench drilling holes in my saved baby food jars to make these pretty little crystal hangers for Christmas presents.
Be sure you wear your safety goggles before you begin drilling. I used a very small bit made specifically for glass and tile. I didn’t press down hard on the jars. I let the weight of the drill do that work for me. Pressing down hard will crack the jar. You only need about a quarter inch hole or even smaller, when your done. I put the jar in my vice grip with an old towel to cushion it and only adjusted the handle to hold it snugly in place. Too tight and you’ll break it, obviously. 😉

After I got done drilling the holes, it took some hit-and-miss education to figure out how to do this easily.

So you have your quarter inch hole in the bottom and it’s time to do decorate the jar with your flat sided marbles. I put them around the threaded part of the jar to cover up the threads.

I used the Loctite clear silicon for this. And the longer it sits, the firmer it gets at holding things in place. That gives you time to bake bread (ha! that’s a joke) or do laundry or look through your stash for stuff to decorate your jars. But don’t start stringing your beads until the silicon is totally set up. Overnight is my suggestion. And don’t put your fancy pieces on (in my case, I used old earrings that had no mates) until you’ve strung your beads and crystals in place.

The easiest way to string the crystal beads and the chandelier crystal at the end is this way:
Cut a piece of 26 gauge wire about a foot long and gently fold it in half so you have a small loop at the end.

example of loop

This prevents the beads from falling off as you string them on and gives you something to attach the big chandelier bead to or you can string crystals together to make an icicle as I’ve done on one of my jars.  (I’m trying not to buy more craft stuff until I use up what I already have.) You’ll want this to hang just to about the mouth of the jar. This will go on the inside of your jar and then thread it through your little hole in the bottom. It will take 3 or 4 more crystals before you’re ready to bend the wire and make a loop to hang your chain from.

Ana's birthday present

Lins Xmas

Because the beads are all glass, I don’t recommend you hang them outside in the wind or weather.  But they do look really nice hanging in a sunny kitchen window.


Patio lights with recycled baby food jars


I’ve been away for a while but I’m back with a new idea for recycled baby food and gravy jars.

Merry Christmas to my brother and his wife! They never see this blog so I’m not giving away any secrets. I do think this will look nice on their deck this next summer though.

I saw this on another website (can’t remember which one because I go to so many) and I’m sure you’ve seen them too. But I wanted to share what I used and how much I used to make these.

I bought a 42oz size of flat sided marbles in the flower department at WalMart and used about half the bag for all 3. I also used a tube of clear silicone by Loctite to adhere them to the jars. It says it’s safe to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. And of course 3 votive candles.

I don’t think you need a step by step instruction on this – it’s pretty obvious what to do. I did the bottom rows first and let it set up for about 45 minutes before I proceeded with any more rows above them on each jar.


Hope you have fun with it!

I was looking at WalMart for votive candles for these and all the others I’ve done and found these really cool ones:

candless votive candles

They are battery operated just like the little mini ones I have for the smaller jars.

Baby food container reuses


I think there’s another use for almost everything we throw away. Sometimes it just takes some imagination to see it. Having this grandson has been a real blessing but using his left over baby food containers has been fun for me and challenged my imagination. He loves these fruit and veggie puffs – I call them “styrofoam thingies” – and they come in great containers. I’ve been saving them and found one great use for storing my crochet hooks.

The Gerber brand ones come in almost the exact shape of those plastic toy bowling pins. I have enough of those saved to make him his own bowling set – when he’s old enough to play that, which won’t be too long from now.

They hold about 3 cups which is a generous amount of my homemade coffee and cocoa mixes that I give for Christmas presents.  And decorate nicely with a Christmas bow or ribbon.  I’m sure once you look at them, you’ll think of lots of great uses. Let me know, please.


Easy potholder and coaster pattern


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These make the nicest potholders because of the double thickness. They also launder really well.

I use regular ol’ 4ply worsted weight yarn and a size I hook.

Chain 40 for potholder: 20 for coasters

Sc in each ch to end. Then continue to sc up the other side of foundation row.

Continue going around and around, without increasing stitches and right away, you’ll notice the ends begin to curl inward. This is how the potholder becomes a square. There’s no real need to count stitches or rows (unless you’re compulsive about that kinda thing and really want to) but I do about 20 to 22 rows until the ends meet in the middle of the potholder.

Leave enough yarn to stitch the ends together to form a double sided potholder or coaster.



356 days until Christmas


It’s a new year and the first thing I think about is next Christmas. I start scoping out all the sales throughout the year and set a goal to be done with most of my Christmas projects and purchases by July. Call me nutty but, I know I’m not alone in this.

Times are not all that easy for many of  us so I spend a lot of time looking at yogurt containers, plastic water bottles and all kinds of other silly things for ideas that I can upcycle and recycle.  Projects for grade school kids are big on my hit parade, too.

One of the first projects I’m going to post will be something really easy and fast to crochet – potholders and coasters. I know you are probably rolling your eyes, but I think this might be a pattern you’re not all that familiar with and you’ll be pleased with how fast it works up. Not only that, but they are very functional and effective potholders. I love to give these to friends and family with home made holiday breads or with cooking utensils or homemade coffee or hot cocoa mixes. If I include homemade beverage mixes, I usually add a couple of coffee mugs with the gift. (The dollar stores have really nice mugs for really nice, cheap prices.)

I hope you’ll enjoy crocheting it. I will have the instructions and photos posted in the next couple days.

And keep in mind, this blog is not going to be solely a crochet or knit blog. Stay tuned for art, craft, quilting, fabric dying, beading and hundreds of other ideas in the future!



A new blog for a new year


Welcome to our new blog. I hope to include my sister-who-isn’t-so-in-law and my daughter in this blog. They are very talented ladies and have wonderful ideas.

I am a wife, mother of 2 and grandmother of 1. I’ve been a stay at home grandma for the last year and a half and love it! Just like all of you, I have the most beautiful, smartest grandchild (and children) in the world!

This blog will be about everything, from cooking to painting to quilting to beading and back again.

I hope to get feedback from our readers. Pictures and descriptions of your own work will be very, very welcome and greatly appreciated.  Your additions will improve this blog immeasurably.

My daughter, Jane, is a 2nd grade teacher and I’m always looking for great projects for kids. I’ll be posting my own ideas and some of our projects in her classroom, here. Jane is a beader and jewelry maker. She’s made some beautiful necklaces.

My sister-in-law, (who I will refer to from this point on as my sister because it’s more true and much easier) is a fabulous art quilter, as well as an accomplished traditional quilter. She has a wealth of knowledge in everything from quilting to fabric dying to embellishments to… well, you name it.

So, I hope you’ll enjoy what we offer and I hope you will feel free to share your own ideas and projects with us and the world. Suggestions that might improve the blog are always welcome!

Please join us! And we hope you enjoy what you read and learn here. We also hope that you will be teaching us.

Again – WELCOME!