Friday, January 29, 2010

Blessings Friday: Aloha Time

Yesterday brought me a big surprise. I had just made my blog post and was sitting there thinking a few choice words about the limited time I have on my dying laptop, when the phone rang. It was my brother calling to ask for my Delta frequent flyer card number.

You’re going to Hawaii,” he announced. “I know you’re going to argue with me and try to talk me out of this, but I have to go to a meeting and don’t have time. Bye.”

Stunned, I called my two sisters and discovered Bill called them, too. We’re all going to Oahu to celebrate my sister Connie’s 50th birthday—and we’re leaving at the beginning of the week.

Hopefully my new computer will have been delivered while I’m gone. No matter, I’ll be back to blogging on February 15.

Today I’m rearranging appointments, digging out my snorkel gear, stuffing my Adventure
Bag, and thinking about the fun we’re going to have. Three wild sisters sans husbands let loose on Oahu—aloha Hawaii, here we come!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gifts for Men: Dragon Golf Towel

Dragons in Asian mythology generally symbolize benevolence. They bring wealth and good fortune and are not malevolent despite their fearsome image. I found an Asian-design cotton fabric at Jo-Ann’s depicting dragons in my search for something masculine that would work for making a couple of golf gifts for men.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I made two golf towels with the fabric, being careful to keep the dragon intact and centered. I backed it with cotton chenille and inserted a metal grommet in the top right corner for hanging on a golf bag. One side can be used for washing clubs or golf balls, and the other side can be used for drying.

One towel is a birthday gift for one of our neighbors who plays golf with us. He practices Buddhism which utilizes the dragon image. The other towel is simply an I-Love-You gift for my golfing son who studies martial arts which frequently utilizes the dragon symbol.

I used my own tutorial (also listed in the right-hand column of my blog) for these two projects.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baked Potato Bag

How do you bake your potatoes? I prefer mine baked in the oven, but sometimes it’s convenient to get them done quickly via my microwave oven.

CraftSanity on TV offers a tutorial for making a potato bag for using in the microwave. Since I’m in the midst of making some items to use in a couple of kitchen gift baskets, I thought this would be a fun and definitely different addition. This project was also featured on the One Pretty Thing blog which is where I learned about it.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Don’t you just love this Alexander Henry fabric I found at Jo-Ann’s—hummingbirds and flowers, what could be better? The bag is interfaced with cotton batting and the lining is simply muslin.

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I made two bags using this fabric—one is for me and the other is for a hostess gift with which I’ll give this bag use instructions card I made. Two other potato bags were made in different fabrics for use in my kitchen gift baskets which I’ll share soon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Twilight Gifts

Mittens became a new knitting challenge for me when I decided to make a pair like the ones Bella wears in the Twilight movie. I needed a Twilight-themed gift for someone who loves the books and movie series.

The first mitten worked out great which tickled me no end. The second mitten went well until I reached the last little bit—the thumb. Somehow I got distracted and the thumb ended up being a nub. That’s what impatience and not paying attention will do for you.

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Not to be thwarted by a mitten, I started over and knit a whole new pair since I have no clue as to how to fix the original thumb nub. This time I managed to get everything knitted properly. The pattern was created and offered free by Marielle Henault of the Subliminal Rabbit blog.

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I also gave t-shirt transfers a try by using a project found at All Things Thrifty blog. This was relatively easy, a simple matter of printing a mirror image of the graphic on transfer paper and carefully cutting it out and ironing on to a white t-shirt.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pie Weights Box

A plastic bag of ceramic pie weights has been living in one of my kitchen drawers. Every time I open that drawer, I think about the bag breaking and the little ceramic balls rolling all over my kitchen.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I bought a small unfinished hinged wood box at Jo-Ann’s and fixed it up to hold the pie weights.

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Now I’ve corralled my pie weights, I guess I’d better get busy making an actual pie.

My laptop is dying and has been doing so for months now. I’ve ordered a new computer, but it won’t arrive until the middle of February. It’s rather awkward only getting on my laptop for 10 minutes at a time which makes for some challenging blog posting and reading.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drinks on the House

When we went on our Caribbean cruise last October, my friend Peggy told me about Baileys Banana Coladas (popularly known as BBCs). Our big plan was to have one while we cruised the islands, but we never got around to actually doing it. Peggy kindly emailed the recipe so I could try it at home.

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Back at home I was telling my friend/neighbor Cindy about BBCs. She surprised me at Christmas with a beautifully decorated basket filled with a bottle of Baileys Original, Baileys with a Hint of Caramel, a bottle of rum, bags of Ghirardelli chocolates—even bananas.

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Other than Peggy’s recipe, I had no idea what concoctions to make with my new bounty. I started looking online, collecting ideas here and there. Then I hit the jackpot at the Baileys web site—lots of different recipes and even desserts are provided. Naturally this meant I needed to make a little Baileys recipe book to hold my new-found collection.

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A miniature cocktail shaker Christmas ornament found on clearance ($1) at Jo-Ann’s seemed meant for me, so I tied it on the recipe book with a ribbon. Now I’m ready for any Baileys occasion.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (recipe from my friend Peggy)

Here’s Peggy’s BBC recipe for you (click to enlarge for printing)—drinks are on the house.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Knitting Along in 2010

Relaxing is something I’m not very good at doing. From the minute I wake up in the morning to the moment it’s time to go to bed again, I’m busy at some activity or another. Even as I try to go to sleep, my brain is concocting my to-do list for the next day. My husband worries it’s going to be the cause of my demise.

To mediate this, I’m trying a slow-time method to end my day. I’m keeping a knitting project by my favorite chair for the evenings. This allows me to still keep my hands busy but is soothing enough to invoke relaxation. Instead of flitting about from one thing to another, I can sit in our family room with my husband which makes him happy.

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After reading about a year-long Knit-Along (KAL) on the greetingarts blog, I popped over to KrisKnits’ blog to join her monthly dish/wash cloths KAL. You don’t know what the pattern is going to eventually be, but it makes for an easy yet fun knitting project. At the end of the year, I’ll have 12 new cloths to use or give as gifts.

Fortunately I already had what I need for January’s project in my stash. I immediately knit the rows she’s revealed thus far and am now caught up to the group. It’s not too late to join, if you’re interested in this KAL.


  • Greetingarts blog
  • KrisKnits blog
  • KrisKnits intro to the KAL

Friday, January 15, 2010

Metal Washers Jewelry

It amazes me that simple items found in the hardware store can turn into a bit of crafting fun.

Source: Arrow Bolt and Screw Co.

These are simple metal flat washers found at Home Depot. Turning them into something other than their intended purpose was my goal as inspired by a tutorial on the Poppies at Play blog and featured on Mod Podge Rocks.

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I did a practice run on this project using origami paper and Mod Podge. After the paper was adhered to the washers and dry, I coated each piece with a sparkly glaze. The bracelet and necklace components were purchased at Jo-Ann’s, but I like Poppies at Play’s execution better.


I’m citing my resources for my practice project as well as others available for you to learn how to create jewelry out of washers.

  • Hardware for easy jewelry at Rutland
  • Make It: How To Turn A Washer Into A Necklace YouTube video
  • Mod Podge Rocks blog
  • Poppies at Play blog
  • Punk Washer Jewelry at Craft Chi
  • Turn Washers into Jewelry at DIY Network
  • Washer Necklace at Beadage

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nike + iPod Walking/Running/Workout Tools

I have a new personal trainer to help me in my Wellness Journey program—but my trainer isn’t human. Instead, techie tools are helping me.

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My new tools:

  • iPod Nano
  • Nike + iPod Sport Kit
  • iPod arm band
  • Skullcandy headphones
Inside the Sport Kit is a little sensor and a receiver. You put the sensor in your shoe and attach the receiver to your iPod. It tracks your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. It can also give you real-time voice feedback. You can listen to your favorite music or workout programs downloaded via iTunes.

It is designed to work with an iPod Nano, iPod Touch, or iPhone 3GS. It won’t work with my iPod Classic or Blackberry Curve, so a new iPod Nano was needed.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The system is meant to be used with Nike shoes. I needed a way to make this system work with my New Balance shoes, so I bought Grantwood Technology’s neoprene pouch which you tie on your shoe with the laces. It holds the little sensor and protects it at the same time.

Another great feature is that you can plug your iPod in to your computer and the data will synchronize automatically to This gives you a record of your progress. You can customize everything.

You can also connect your iPod to a Nike + iPod-compatible cardio machine at your gym to track your progress from one workout to the next. I don’t do gyms so this isn’t an option that really interests me.

And lest you think I’m getting any kind of financial recompense for telling you about all this—I’m not. I just wanted to share my new fitness tools with you in case you’re interested.


You can buy everything except the shoe pouch at Target, but here are the resources for learning more about each of the components.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oven Hand Mitts and a Recipe

My Creative Every Day 2010 project for Saturday was sewing oven hand mitts—always useful in the kitchen.

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I used an easy tutorial created by Amy of The Idea Room blog to make starfish oven hand mitts. I paid careful attention to Amy’s edited note about doubling up on the Insul-Bright to ensure protection from the heat.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

My friend Paula, a Creative Memories consultant, hosts a monthly scrapbook crop day at her house and feeds us a delicious lunch. Yesterday’s crop was another example of her gracious hospitality.

I took along my new oven hand mitts to show her and we gave them a test run when Paula took her entrée out of the oven. The mitts worked great.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Paula kindly said I could share the recipe she used.

Click on picture to enlarge for printing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Blessings Friday: Starfish Quilt for Alzheimer’s

Take each day one starfish at a time—that’s the sentiment I wanted to convey on a little quilt I made for donating to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). I learned about this project from Michele of With Hearts and Hands.

Source: Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Quilt contributions are sold via online auction as a fund-raiser for research for Alzheimer’s, a progressive and fatal brain disease. Auctions are held the first 10 days of each month.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The beach is my place of sanctuary; it’s where I find solace and peace. I’m hoping my tiny quilt will bring invoke similar feelings for others.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

You’re probably sick of seeing my beach watercolor painted long ago as I’ve used it for any number of craft projects. It served again as visual inspiration for my quilt. I followed no one’s rules or guidelines for making this small quilt—it all came from my heart and imagination.

To emulate the ocean’s foam as it kisses the shoreline, I used a nylon-type trim and added a tan-and-white cotton trim.

The flip-flops were replaced with starfish made by taking a photo of one and printing it in varying sizes on fabric. They were appliquéd onto the “sand” and embroidered in varying ways to imbue texture; a small stone bead was added in the center of each starfish.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I added a sleeve on the back to facilitate hanging. For my photos, I used a miniature quilt hanger found at Bella Quiltworks.

The quilts have to be no larger than 9x11 inches; mine is 8.75x10.75 inches. My quilt has been officially registered (#4754); I’ll let you know when it’s up for auction.

This quilt is a gift from my heart, a hopeful blessing, for the more than 5.3 million Americans and countless others in the world who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

  • Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative auction site
  • Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative web site
  • Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease brochure
  • Bella Quiltworks
  • Liberated Quilters blog
  • With Heart and Hands blog

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knitting and Spring Cleaning Year ‘Round

My all-time favorite go-to knitting pattern is Hello Yarn’s Irish Hiking Scarf. I just adore making these. I’ve finished another of these scarves. This time it’s in charcoal-gray wool for my son-in-law Philip. He tried washing the last scarf I made him which resulted in reducing the scarf size to a perfect little scarf for a Ken doll—Barbie would be proud.

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Poor Philip learned a hard lesson, but this time I explained about caring for wool scarves and how it doesn’t involve hot water and the washing machine. And at least he was honest in confessing his misdeed when asking me to knit him a new scarf.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

My little art quilt project is just about done and I hope to show it you tomorrow. Before I get back to work on it this morning, I need to do my house chores. Instead of my regular OCD Daily Housecleaning Schedule, I’m trying something new this year. I ordered the Spring Clean Year ‘Round kit, a cute little box of chore cards which organizes tasks so your house can be spring clean all year. I think it’s a smarter plan than the insane one I was using.


  • Irish Hiking Scarf pattern
  • My old (and insane) Daily Housecleaning Schedule
  • Spring Clean Year ‘Round Kit

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calendars Everywhere

I’m in the midst of working on a really great quilt project which I hope to show you soon. In the meantime, I have other projects to share.

Last September I told you about my perpetual birthday books project. My husband asked me to also make regular calendars featuring photographs he’s taken this year. The latter is the type I usually do each year anyway, so the Microsoft Word template I created years ago made it a relatively easy task for me.

We decided the perpetual birthday calendars would go to my side of the family and the regular ones to his side. Both calendar formats were our New Year’s greetings to family members.

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The cover photo was taken at sunset when we were at the Grand Canyon last summer.

You can’t see it, but there’s a clear plastic page protecting the cover which was printed on white cardstock. The calendar back is a golden-brown piece of cardstock. I have a couple of different binding machines at home which makes it easy to put such projects together.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Here’s a sample month, January, depicting our visit to Antelope Canyon.

Each month has the requisite holidays and birthdays noted. I print the calendar pages themselves on glossy white presentation paper using my laser printer. The photo pages are printed on my color printer one page at a time because I’m forever forgetting which way to insert the paper so they print in the correct orientation for proper assembly.

Because of my fondness for such things, I applied myself to satisfying my calendar itch yesterday via free projects found at HP Creative Studio.

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The calendar in the top right of my photo is HP’s Black-and-White Jewel Case Photo Calendar for which you repurpose an old CD case. I made it for my husband’s desk.

The calendar in the bottom left is HP’s Cityscape 4x6 Yearly Calendar which I printed on magnetic paper so I could stick it on my fridge.

Many other calendar project ideas may be found at the HP site and all over the internet—simply Google or Bing or whatever makes you happy—and you’ll find a free printable calendar somewhere.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Wellness Journey Project

The end of December was actually the start of a wonderful new project for me—a Wellness Journey class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. December 31 was the first day of this 8-week class. There’s still time to join if you’re interested.

Class members are documenting their wellness journey through scrapbooking. Marrying the creative with physical exercise is a brilliant concept and enables me to be crafty to mediate something I really don’t enjoy—exercise.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

My class journal/scrapbook is an American Crafts chipboard binder with 6”-square pages (purchased from and a black cloth spine. I covered the chipboard parts with paper purchased at Making Memories Unforgettable. The cover title is framed with a decorative metal plate found at Jo-Ann’s.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The first page is my signed wellness contract witnessed by my husband. You can also see my tabs, one for each week of class, made using Melstampz’s template and adding numbers. Thoughts of coloring in the tabs with colored pencils are flitting through my head.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I decorated a small clipboard from Office Max to hold exercise checklists I created in Microsoft Word, using categories personalized for me.

Walking is my main thing, Tai Chi is for balance/strength/and various good things, and the Other category is so I can switch-up activities such as biking, working with weights, yoga, or whatever I choose to do on any given day.

Source: Goddess Guidebook

Sundays, by the way, are sacrosanct. On my checklist, I put a graphic from the Goddess Guidebook site that says Switch Off Sundays as it’s a truly excellent idea.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Personalized Thank You Cards and Creativity

Thank You Cards

The holidays have come and gone. I’m so glad I took the time this year to just relax and enjoy the time with my husband. There wasn’t any frantic hurrying to do this or that, no worrying about my blog or whether the world would end because I didn’t stress myself doing just one more holiday activity. I need to do more of this sort of non-doing next year—it’s truly lovely.

One thing I am being careful to do is writing thank-you notes for my Christmas gifts. I thought I’d photograph a few of the cards I’m making.

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As I opened my gifts Christmas morning, I took a picture of each one and jotted the details on a nearby notepad. Then I used the photos to create simple cards using Microsoft Word. Each person gets a picture of the gift with which I was blessed and a hand-written note from me inside.

I think I’ll make this personalization my regular thank-you note style for gifts received in the future, no matter the occasion.

Creative Every Day 2010

Source: Creative Every Day

A year-long project I’m undertaking for 2010 is the Creative Every Day 2010 challenge. My thank-you cards count for today. Since I don’t generally blog on weekends, I’ll not post what I’m doing those days, but I will indeed do something creative—it’s what feeds my spirit.

Curious Minds Want to Know

  • Have you written your thank-you notes?
  • Are you undertaking any 2010 projects you’d like to share?