February 2011

I love wool.  There.  I said it.  It has such a primitive smell, look and feel to it.  Handling it is such a wonderful tactile experience, whether it’s uncarded, carded, spun, dyed, wet-felted, needle-felted or washing machine-felted.  My latest wool obsession using the washing machine to felt wool sweaters has taken me to multiple thrift stores and found me exploding with the desire to create, create, create.

A few weeks ago, I purchased several sweaters at my FAVORITE thrift store and proceeded to throw them into the washing machine on hot with detergent.  After a full cycle, each sweater was about 1/3 of its original size:

The shots of these sweaters are only after they’d been felted.  In my excitement to get them into the washing machine to felt them, I failed to take “before” pictures.  (I did, however, take pictures of my most recent purchases.)

I settled in to start creating.  I wanted some kind of banner to hang on the front door for Valentine’s Day.  Something very cozy-looking.  I chose to begin cutting hearts out of the felted sweaters and then stitched them one on top of another.

Cutting and stitching together hearts.

Ivory background for hearts banner...or another heart?

All hearts. A warm welcome for guests.

And my first recycled sweater project is complete!


Many years ago…maybe ten…I baked my first pie.  It was pumpkin and it was tasty, but it was not a crust made from scratch.  You see, I’d been told by many that making piecrust from scratch was too difficult and time-consuming.  And that Pillsbury  refrigerated crust IS awfully tasty.  I’d hear horror stories about others spending hours working on piecrust only to have it fall apart before they could get it in the pie plate.  And it didn’t taste so good.  That was really enough for me.

Until this weekend.

I had picked up a magazine at a Tractor Supply Co. a few months back called Mary Janes Farm.  What a great little magazine about country life and organic living!  Loved it.  Anyway, there was a recipe for a homemade piecrust that didn’t sound too difficult.  I set aside the issue for when I had a chunk of time to work on it.  That chunk of time came this past weekend.

I knew I had apples….yummy granny smiths and galas (my favorites!).  And I was fairly certain I had all of the ingredients.  So I set out to give it a try.

It was easy!  You wouldn’t believe how easy.  Flour, salt, butter, cream cheese…and that was it.  It rolled out easily, although I chose to make it a little thicker than Pillsbury would approve of.  And it was tasty, too.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn, this was my husband’s proclamation.  He LOVED it!  All I did was follow the recipe.  I certainly can’t take credit for how tasty it turned out to be.


My first homemade piecrust...unbaked.



And baked.