Tuesday, June 30, 2020

How to Make an American Flag Large Hotpad - Tutorial Tuesday

As we approach the 4th of July, it's time for picnics and gatherings. Unfortunately, this year we may have to go with at-home socially-distanced versions. Even if it's just you and the members of your household, today's hotpad project made with red, white, and blue fabric strips can add a little festiveness to your holiday.
Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • Note: all fabric is 100% cotton
  • 3 red fabric strips measuring 1.5" x 9"
  • 4 red fabric strips measuring 1.5" x 16"
  • 2 white fabric strips measuring 1.5" x 9"
  • 4 white fabric strips measuring 1.5" x 16"
  • 1 piece of blue fabric measuring 5.5" x 7.5"
  • Backing fabric measuring 12" x 16"
  • 2 pieces of cotton batting measuring 12" x 16"
  • Basting spray
  • Iron
You can find the directions right here:

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Deb's Pic a Day Project

I started this blog as a personal diary in 2011 during a rough patch in life. Out of work, in pain, without much hopefulness or thankfulness in my system. I knew then I needed something to get out of my rut so I set a goal. A picture goal. A take-a-picture-every-day-to-see-that-you-have-lived kind of goal. My intent was to take a picture each and every day for a year. In the end I wound up with 1000 straight days of pictures and stories. Then I moved on.

Over the course of the last several years the blog has morphed into many different things. Then with COVID-19 having closed down our schools and businesses while we sequestered in our homes, it seemed like the right time to shift back to the picture a day, at least temporarily. So Deb's Pic a Day Project Part II began. It lasted only 101 days, but it was long enough to help me refocus. Help bring me back to looking for new and interesting and beautiful things around me.

You can find Deb's Pic a Day Part I (that's the 1000 days one) right here.
You can find Part II (the pandemic one) right here.

Tip: As you're reading the posts, when you get to the bottom of the page click on “Newer Post” to get to the next day.

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Day 101 - The Long Haul

These last few months we've only been going out when absolutely necessary. Just doctor appointments and grocery pick ups (with one short visit to the home improvement store thrown in). We have not been inside a retail store, restaurant, or bar. No parks, trails, or campgrounds. To limit our exposure, we haven't even been able to hug our daughter.

With our outings confined to just the absolute necessities, we saw enough to know. Seeing as many people as we did crowded into spaces with no respect for social distancing and no masks being worn, we knew. 

We're in it for the long haul. 

We made it through several months already, but Mr. Ed and I are starting to mentally prepare ourselves for what is still to come. For the remainder of this year there will be no mall walks, no dining out, and no shopping in the stores. No traveling and no cruises. (Basically, many more months of the same.) Our county has become a hot spot and with the attitude of so many folks it's going to be that way for the foreseeable future. I'm afraid the behaviors of others will be impacting our lives for a long time to come. 

As we expect we'll need to stay away from the general public for many months more, we've started stocking up on food and supplies. We've started pacing ourselves with the home improvement projects. While we had been trying to get them all done in the summer, we are quite certain we need to save some for fall and winter to keep ourselves from going stir crazy.

I'm also needing to pace myself on the blog. I started back with my Picture a Day Project 101 days ago to get us through this time. Thought we'd be done by now, but boy was I wrong. As I can't see being able to find another 101+ days of pictures while still being stuck at home, this will be the last of the daily posts. I'll still be back on Tuesdays for the tutorials and Fridays with the foster kitties, though!

So as my last of the daily photos, today I took some that seemed to reflect the good/bad nature of life these days.

I came oh-so-close to grabbing this huge, nasty, ugly slug as I was picking the rhubarb this morning.
Even if I had grabbed him, it might have been worth it. Okay, probably not. But if not for picking the rhubarb I wouldn't have made this delicious strawberry rhubarb pie. It is so good! (I have the recipe here, if you'd to make your own.)
For some reason, wasps are making a nest in our sunflowers. I'm allergic to them (the wasps, not the sunflowers) so I really don't like them.
Caught ya in the act, buddy. Here comes the spray!
No more wasps means I can find yet another beautiful sunflower to take a picture of.
Having to be up before sunrise to feed kitties (ugh, I don't like mornings) means I get another beautiful sunrise picture.
Remember, tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to start over. I think we're all ready for a do-over, aren't we?

Thanks for following along with me these last 101 days. I'll see you back here on Tuesday for a new sewing project and Friday with foster kitties!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Day 100 - Foster Friday

If you read yesterday's blog post, you know Sage and Thyme's time has come and they are ready for their forever homes. They were neutered yesterday and are headed to the adoption floor at Simply Cats. Before they left, we all had some grand times together this week.

Sage learned he liked to watch Westerns.
Thyme figured he might as well follow his brother's lead.
They all decided they liked the morning sunshine. The easy-to-climb wicker was a welcome bonus.
Toy theft was a popular activity. Come close and you'll get a deep growl from somewhere in that tiny body.
Can't get the toy back? Might as well give up and fall asleep instead.
What, kittens sleeping? Oh, yeah.
In between toy stealing and sleeping they somehow found time to pose for pictures.
It's amazing how fast they grow up. Remember from the first Foster Friday in May when they looked like this? I had tried to put them in the proper order and they wouldn't go for it then.
Left to right: Sage, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme.
Now they sit still and even look at the camera. And they stayed in the right order for me!
Left to right: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme.
The boys may be gone now, but the girls are still here. We'll see what kind of trouble we all can get into (or stay out of). Stay tuned for an update next Friday!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Day 99 - And Then There Were Two

Today was a quiet day. It was all because of these two dear foster baby boys of mine.
Thyme and Sage
As a foster parent you play an important role in a young kitten's life. You help them grow big and strong and healthy. You teach them appropriate play and provide lots of loving to get them comfortable with people. It’s even more important with bottle babies. You are the one who becomes their mama or papa. Feedings every few hours (including in the middle of the night), burpings, and tummy rubs to get them to go potty (and cleaning up all that little baby pee and poo that sometimes happens right in your hands!) is a lot of work. But you're the parent and that's what parents do. You are their world. And they are yours.
Rosemary just last month
So when you've been raising those bottle babies and get the text to take them back, it's always tough. Always. No matter how many kitties I've fostered, it's a day of mixed emotions. You're excited because you know they are ready to go to their forever homes. But you're sad because you loved them so darned much. 

Thyme and Sage were neutered today and will soon be on the adoption floor at Simply Cats
Bye, Thyme
Bye, Sage
Parsley and Rosemary are still with me for a bit longer so they said their goodbyes, too.
Just how cute is that?
I'm thinking the girls have been a bit happy the boys left this morning. It's quiet with no big brothers to bug them. What's not to like about that when all you want to do is sleep anyway?
They slept everywhere I went today.
I think us girls will do just fine. Not sure Mr. Ed likes being outnumbered, though!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Day 98 - Another Beauty

Looks like we had more than just yellow sunflowers overwintering in the garden. Another beauty popped onto the scene today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Sew a Scrap Fabric Flag Potholder from Fabric Strips - Tutorial Tuesday

Today I've got the 4th of July on my mind with this scrap fabric red, white, and blue potholder.

Note: Some of my links are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support the blog and allows me to continue to provide free content. Remember, I only recommend products I use again and again!

In addition to your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 9 ½” x 9 ½” piece of 100% cotton fabric for the back
  • 6 ½” x 6 ½” square of blue fabric, cut in half diagonally
  • 1 ½” wide strips of red and beige fabric for the stripes (100% cotton)
  • 1 piece of cotton batting measuring 9 ½” x 9 ½”
  • 1 piece of  Insul-Bright measuring 9 ½” x 9 ½”
  • Basting spray
  • Walking foot for sewing machine, if available
  • Sturdy scissors

You can find the directions for the project right here:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Day 96 - No More Rust

We use our clothesline every single spring, summer, and fall. When we bought this house seven years ago the wire was looking pretty old. But by golly, we kept using it and squeezed as much use out of it as we could. This year, with nothing but time on our hands and a line full of rusty wire, I finally decided to do something about it.

Ta da! A new vinyl covered wire with no more rust.
Like the clothespin bag? I made it myself and have the free tutorial and template right here.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Day 95 - We Have Yellow

On April 6 of this year it was Day 19 and I found sunflowers growing in the garden. They looked like this:
They obviously had been left behind in the fall and overwintered in the garden. It was exciting to know so many had made it through the freezing temperatures. Some thinning and we’d have sunflowers without the work of planting new ones, right?

Yep! For this Father's Day we now have our first look at the yellow those little seedlings will be producing.
Our earliest sunflower ever.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Day 94 - Summer Snack

On the first day of summer...
Put on your shorts and swimsuit top and head outside to your lounge chair.
And read the Little House series.
While having an adult beverage.
Which puts you to sleep.

Then wake up to find your husband delivering you a snack of cheese sticks, salami and pepperoni, crackers, and two kinds of mustard.

More like a meal, but I’ll take it on this fine first day of summer.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Day 93 - Foster Friday

As a foster parent to kittens, you bear some responsibility for the behaviors orphaned kittens exhibit as adult cats. There are things ingrained in them that require a little nudging on your part. Things like cleaning themselves and litter box use. Then there are those things requiring outright teaching. Maybe not so much teaching, but redirection.

My Simon & Garfunkel foster kittens are hitting the seven week mark and this has definitely been the week of nos and yeses. It's important to make sure they pick up good play habits and not bad ones so a lot of this week was spent redirecting their play time. To help keep them out of trouble, this is the week curtains came down, dishtowels and cords hidden, and tissue boxes and vent covers put away.

Here are a few (sometimes funny) activities this week.

Want to help contribute to the work I do with foster kittens? I have an Amazon wish list right here. These are the things I use again and again, year after year. With daily laundry and frequent cleaning, items have to be replaced often. I’d love anything you’d be willing to send my way!

Yes, you can play with the piece of ice I dropped. But next time we'll put it in your water bowl instead.
Want to watch TV? Yep, go ahead.
No, you can't eat my yogurt.
You also can't get into your bag of food.
No, you can't chew on my iPad.
But yes, you can play the fishing game.
You can also fall asleep on it, if you must.
You can even cheer for the home team while you're on the iPad. If sports were happening, that is.
No, you can't come into the bathroom with me. Oops, too late.
Parsley is tiny enough she can squeeze under the door.
And no tissues for you, either.
Please leave my dishtowel alone.
Dang, forgot about the other towel. Guess it'll be a bit before they let me get at this one.
Wrestle in the sunshine without the dishtowel? Go for it!
Steal my vent cover? Nope.
Yes, you can sit in the windowsill.
But nope, you can't climb on the screen.
Climb the wall as you chase your morning shadow? You betcha.
Rosemary the shadow climber with Thyme the basket boy.
No zipper and shoestring biting, missy.
Want to show me your pretty teeth? Sure. But remember, hands aren't for biting.
How about a game of tug of war? I'm okay with it.
Sage and Thyme
Sometimes it's a judgement call. Okay to be on the bookshelf? Maybe.
Thyme on the shelf with basket-explorer Parsley
Give your sister some lovin’? Absolutely!
Rosemary and Sage
Sleep peacefully? Well, of course that's okay.
Rather have me see your eyes? I'll take that, too!
Set up camp on a lap? Most certainly!
My daily pile-o’-kitties
Another lively week of foster kitties.