Saturday, August 28, 2010


My husband makes the best pancakes in the world. Before he started making these pancakes I could not eat pancakes without getting terrible heartburn. I have no idea why I can enjoy these, but they are wonderful.

2 cups self rising flour
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix these together then take
3 eggs and beat with mixer for 2 minutes
add to rest of the mixture

He uses an electric griddle set at 350 degrees to cook the pancakes. He pours the batter out on the grill until it is between 3 and 4 inches across. Watch the top until the batter starts to bubble and the pancake should be ready to flip over. This should make approximately 20 pancakes. Once we fill up on pancakes he cools the rest and then lays them on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet in the freezer until they are frozen. He takes the frozen pancakes and puts them in a ziplock freezer bag. Next time someone wants a pancake just take out three or four, put on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for approximately 1 minute 30 seconds, give or take depending on your microwave. They are just as good as fresh pancakes!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Route 66

Historic Route 66, from Illinois to California, still exists through most of the State of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has America's longest stretch of Route 66 - more than 400 miles with lots of nostalgic attractions to see along the way. The Round Barn in Arcadia, Totem Pole Park in Foyil, Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, The Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Lucille's in Weatherford, the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City and many many more historic sites to visit.

I remember taking a trip to California on Route 66, before the interstate bypassed the historic route. I drive on parts of it today and shutter to think how narrow the two lanes seem now, how fast we were flying down the road with no seat belts! We packed stuff in the floorboard between the front and back seats to make one big back seat for sleeping. It was quite a family adventure.

My husband remembers traveling the old road on his family vacation, also to California, in a 1959 Chevrolet station wagon with a mattress laid out in the back. They had the tail gate window rolled down and he stuck his feet out that back window and went to sleep. When he woke up he realized that he had sunburned the bottoms of his feet.

When the Disney-Pixar movie Cars came out of course we got it for our grandson, but even though he loved it, I discovered it was really like a piece of my childhood. All the sites featured in the animated movie were such real Route 66 memories. If you have not seen this movie I recommend watching it and more than once to catch all the little details.

This is a short photo trip on Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Sayre, Oklahoma where you can still drive on the real concrete parts of The Mother Road.

Elk City, OK     Flamingo Inn
Part of the Windmill Display at the National Historic Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK
Pop Hicks Restaurant in Clinton, OK burned down to the floor. This is a section of the remaining floor and one of the Pop Hicks Restaurant menus. This floor is quite a work of art!
Western Motel in Sayre, OK
Route 66 Bowl celebrated 50 years in 2010 and recently announced the sale and closing.
This is a sunset on Route 66.....Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Do you have any Route 66 memories?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 is the 90th Anniversary of the RIGHT TO VOTE for Women in the United States!!

November 2, 2010 will be the date voters go to the polls and elect the FIRST WOMAN GOVERNOR in the State of Oklahoma. As the votes are cast in the gubernatorial election voters will mark their ballots either for Jari Askins the Democrat or Mary Fallin the Republican. 

If you are a woman reading this and are not registered to vote shame on you! If you are registered and vote at every election YEAH! It is our job to honor those women who fought so hard, all those years ago, to obtain the right for us to vote. My pet peeve is people who complain about politics and never vote.

In Oklahoma to be able to register to vote you must be 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen, and Oklahoma resident. My daughter had looked forward to registering to vote her entire life and as soon as she turned 18 she went to register. I treasure photographs of every event in her life, so naturally I sent the camera with her and told her to have some one at the office take her picture. My daughter can be on the shy side and I was worried she would "forget" to ask one of the ladies to take her picture, so I called and told them she was coming with a camera and would they please take her photo. It took a few weeks for her to forgive me for that one.

On my way to work every day I see this giant billboard that reads: "You Can't Fix Stupid, but You Can Vote Them Out". It makes me laugh, because who is it that voted them in there in the first place?  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


These are some doorstops I made out of paving or landscape blocks. Super fun craft for less than $5 each. The blocks are less than $3 and the paint is about 50 cents per bottle. The blocks come in a variety of colors, the one on the left was a reddish colored block so I did not paint the entire face just the features. The one on the right had to be painted because it was just the regular concrete gray color. I use acrylic paint and then spray with a sealer. I painted these two for the schools where my daughter has taught. They have both been outside on her porch so they weather well.

The two doorstops above are suppose to be guys. The one below is a girl cheerleader. She has been outside for years too. At one time I had so many orders for these things I had to do an assembly line type operation. Had them laying all over my livingroom floor until it looked like the floor was being "paved" with concrete blocks!

I had just painted one with white and the one next to it with royal blue. I turned around and our tiny little kitten (at the time) had walked from the blue one on to the white one and left her paw prints all over the white one. I never finished that block. I just painted "First Work of Art by Buttercup Renea" on it and it still makes me smile when I see it.
I will warn you that if you handle a lot of these blocks and notice that your arms are hurting it is because they are a little on the heavy side.

Skip to my Lou

If you look on the right side of my blog under the "About Me" you will see this cute little pink square with the girl on it. This is one of the neatest sites I have found yet. It gives step by step instructions with photos on how to make crafts and yummy things to cook, etc. So after you finish reading my blog and leaving a comment, check out Skip to my Lou.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday Buffet

The white cupcakes were at my Mom's 75th Surprise Birthday party and the multi-colored cupcakes were at my Sister-In-Law's 75th Surprise Birthday party. The "7" has 42 cupcakes and the "5" has 54 cupcakes for total of 96! You can arrange cupcakes in any number to fit the age for the birthday party you are hosting. Serving cupcakes cuts out the need for someone to cut and serve a cake and no need to have plates and forks! Just put out the napkins.

For my Sister-In-Law's 75th Surprise Birthday party my husband, daughter and I prepared a salad buffet for 100 people. Packed it in coolers and hauled it 100 miles to the location. So the menu had to be something that could be hauled and served as easy as possible. We had to do lots of planning to make sure we had enough bowls, serving trays, etc. We used dollar store aluminium roasting pans to put on the table and then filled the with ice. We covered the aluminium pans with the table cloth and then set the salads and trays on top, so the salads would stay cool during the luncheon.

Our menu included: Dinner Rolls, Bagel Chips, Focaccia Sticks, Mexican Pinwheels, Little Smokies in Pineapple Chunks, Cubed Cheese (3 kinds), Pepperoni Slices, Canadian Bacon Slices, Black Olives, Carrot & Celery Sticks, Mixed Fruit, Pasta Salad, Three Bean Salad, Potato Salad, Blackeyed Pea Salad, Mexican Corn Salad, Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta Salad with Cupcakes for dessert. Tea, water and lemonade were also served. Out of all these wonderful salads my favorite was the Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta Salad.

8 ounces angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil (or regular oil) divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups shredded, peeled sweet potato
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup diced cherry or small tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives or other fresh herb you like
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
you can also use crumbled goat cheese, but I leave this out

1. Cook pasta until just tender according to package directions.
2. Place 1 tablespoon oil and garlic in a large skillet. Cook until garlic is sizzling.
    Add sweet potato, bell pepper, tomatoes and water and cook, stirring occasionally,
    until bell pepper is tender. Remove from heat and keep warm.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
    Add the vegetable mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, chives, lemon juice,
    salt and cheese if you use it. Toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 2 spoons at
    a time until you reach the consistency you like.

This was a fun event and we even made cards with the various salad names on them, so people would know what they were eating. But, the most fun about having SURPRISE birthday parties for both these ladies was the fact that it truly was SURPRISE to both of them. AMAZING no one let the cat out of the bag!      

Share your party ideas or ways you have been creative with cupcakes....

Gas Prices?

First time I saw this sign I nearly ran off the road! WOW, it was quite a shock REGULAR GASOLINE $8.80, I certainly did a double take. Of course, when I looked at the other side of the sign, I saw the gas was really only $2.79 per gallon which is bad enough. Today I could not resist taking a photo of the sign before they got it fixed. Now the other side says gas is $2.59 per gallon. In the past several years we have seen a wide variety of gas prices. We live in a college town and prices tend to rise during the school year, when all the students are back in town. It has been nearly $4.00 per gallon at different times. When we go to visit our daughter in Oklahoma City gas is nearly always cheaper there.

What are the gasoline prices in your area?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Green Bags

I receive email updates from Care2. The newsletter usually has some great ideas or tips or current events that are going on in the world around us. I am not a "tree hugger" type, but I do think if we all do a little something it will be better for us down the line. This morning I was reading tips from Crissy Trask who writes and has a book It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living and her article today was how to make things around the house. One of the things was to use baking soda, vinegar (she uses white and I prefer apple cider) and boiling water to clean your drains. I have done this for years. Some of her other tips were not only GREEN, but would also save a lot of money! She is giving away a copy of her book, so sign up for the Care2 newsletter, and leave a comment at:

Another article was about bags...paper or plastic? It was interesting too. We try as much as possible to use our fabric bags. We purchased 12 bags when they were on sale 3 for $1, if we ever used all 12 at once we would be over our budget! They are much easier to carry in the house than paper or plastic. Our local grocery store gives 3 cent credit per bag for each one we use! So why not?

The Care2 website also has free e-cards to send that are funny and cute. So I recommend the  site for a regular read.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cat Tails

Since I call this blog Cats, Kids and Crafts, I thought it was time I introduced the cats that have enriched my life. I must also confess that I never liked cats. I grew up a dog person... never had a cat and never wanted a cat. Thanks to my Granddaughter, I now love cats, my husband loves cats and they are wonderful to have around. They know how to train their humans and each one has a very different personality. This photo is of Lizzie Tu, our youngest cat, she is looking at the jewelry, wanting to tip the box over and spill it all on the floor! 

The above photo is of the cat memorial garden in our back yard. The cat angel memorial stones with engraved names and dates can be found at They also have dog memorial stones. The cats leave paw prints on your heart stone has glow-in-the-dark paw prints. There is also an angel kissing a kitten and a little girl laying down holding a cat.

One spring day in early 2000 my Granddaughter came in the house with a tiny cold wet kitten she had just found by itself out in our yard. I told her we would get it warm and dry and give it some food and in the morning it was going back outside. Well that never happened! That was the sweetest little cat ever and we named her Booksey Rose. She loved to get up in the book shelves and "hide" from us. She always ran and hid when other people came to our house. She never got up on things like other cats I had been around. She was just a little lady. I always say Booksey Rose was the perfect cat. She did not like people food at all except one time I was eating a snickerdoodle cookie and she jumped up and took a bite. Booksey Rose loved to 'help' me sew and would watch television for hours. She would stick her head in the computer printer and slap the paper. She and I had a nightly ritual where she would get up in my lap, we would sit and just enjoy each others company. (I have read that petting a cat will lower your blood pressure.) One night in 2005 I was petting her and found a lump by her shoulders. We took her to Dr. Cox and she had cancer. She had the lump removed, but Dr. Cox warned us that it was a really bad kind and to keep watch for more. We got to have our Booksey Rose for another year and in the fall of 2006 she left us.

Buttercup Renea came to us in the winter of 2002, after being found by a friend in the shopping center parking lot, in the middle of an ice storm. She could not have been more than four weeks old. We had to teach her how to eat and how to go to the bathroom. She was so tiny and grew into the biggest cat we've ever had. We never knew what type of cat she was but she had the wildest colored coat and huge ears atop a triangle shaped face. Buttercup Renea learned to get on our bed and jump up grabbing the pull string on the ceiling fan and turn on the light in the middle of the night. She was always up on everything and had no grace! Buttercup Renea could jump up on something and fall off at the same time. She was always right there anytime anyone came to our house. She was somewhat of an "evil" cat and forever hissing or slapping at people she did not like. Buttercup Renea would get my pin cushion out of my sewing box and drag it all over the house. She would get in the bed go under the covers between us and turn around with her head out. Then she would lay down with her back up next to my back and her claws toward my husband. Now remember I never liked cats and now I have one in my bed! OMG. We lost our Buttercup Renea in 2007 to the tainted cat food that was in the news. Dr. Cox said nothing could be done and it was awful.

At one point we had three cats at the same time. They are all house cats and not allowed outside, but we always have Dr. Cox fix our cats to prevent unwanted litters. Again my Granddaughter found a tiny kitten, again I told her we were not keeping the cat. Do you think this child is spoiled? Lizzie Miranda arrived at our house October 31, 2003 solid black little beauty. Lizzie was built and acted a lot like Booksey Rose so I always wondered if they were from the same alley cat line. She trained my husband to follow her where ever she wanted him to go and do what ever she wanted. She loved my Grandson more than anything in the world. She would allow him to wag her around and she loved it. When he was small he loved to play in a card board box. I found them both in the box all curled up sleeping together. Lizzie Miranda was affected by the same tainted cat food, but she lasted a few months longer than Buttercup Renea and she left us in 2008. 

When we lost our Buttercup Renea, I did not want Lizzie Miranda to be by herself so the grandkids went to a local farm and picked out a barn cat. I told them short hair and female. I prefer girl cats. Callie Ann came to live at our house in 2007, a long hair calico cat. She is really beautiful and her photo is on the about me part of this blog. She does not like people so she runs and hides under the bed until they all leave. It did not take Callie Ann long to learn that she had been rescued from the barn and turned into a princess. My friend Pat even got the girls a "royal cat bowl set" with a crown at the top! Callie Ann loves to help me type by walking on the keyboard and rubbing her head on the mouse. If that does not distract me she gets in front of the monitor! She struts around the house with her tail straight up in the air like a huge plume!

After Lizzie Miranda passed I said no more! I could not take the loss of another "family member". This time one of the ladies my husband works with brought a tiny little gray kitten to their office to see if anyone wanted her. Well, Mr. Softy brought her home. Since Lizzie Miranda was our grandson's cat and he was so upset by her death we let him name the new arrival. He was only five and he said he wanted to name her Lizzie too! So, Lizzie Tu is what we named her and the Tu is because our grandson loves Chinese food! Lizzie Tu must have known that she was the replacement, because right away she was in love with this child. He comes to our house and it is like she is velcroed to him. It is mutual love on both their parts. His favorite thing to do with Lizzie Tu is to play with her using a long shoe string. He will run down the hall with her running after him and she will pounce on the string to stop it, then she gets it in her mouth and leads him back to the livingroom. It is a funny thing to watch! Another thing she does is goes to the door and meows until someone lets her out in the garage. She thinks it is adventure land and gets on all the shelves. She would like to speak English as much as she "talks" to us.

When our Granddaughter and her mom moved from our house she took Booksey Rose, but after a few days they brought her back because Booksey Rose hated it. The girls called from the mall pet store and said they had found a litter of kittens and should they get one? I said yes, just make sure it is a girl! They got Precious Kitty to live at the other house. Dr. Cox said Precious Kitty was a boy cat when we took "her" to get fixed, so we had him fixed. LOL He ran off because they let him out part of the time and one time he parted!

My daughter moved to OKC and we got her a barn cat for Easter 2003. The basket part was all the cat supplies she needed. Bubbles was a pretty little thing with the longest eye lashes ever and little tuffs of hair on the top of her ears. She loved my daughter and was not so nice to everyone else. Once in a great while she would allow me to touch her at the risk of pulling back a bloody hand! I tried everything I knew to make friends with Bubbles. I even told her that if not for me she could have been coyote dinner out at the barn and I had saved her. She could care less. One time my daughter was sick and I had gone to take care of her. We were eating lunch and Bubbles came up to me, actually ate out of my hand AND let me pet her. That should have been a warning. The next day Bubbles had a seizure and died. She is in our cat memorial garden with our other cats. RIP Bubbles 2003-2007.

Grace is my daughter's cat she obtained at a parking lot where people were giving away kittens. She is very tall and has the world's longest cat tail! She is beige with darker brown markings and has the brightest blue eyes. She flops down on the floor when I arrive and pulls herself sideways with one paw on the carpet to come to me. She is a clown.

My final "cat tail" is about my friend Pat's cat from years ago. The cat went into a new house construction site and managed to get "built" into the wall. Pat was just devastated that her cat had gone missing. Over a month later she opens the newspaper and there was her cat on the front page! The people that had moved into this brand new house kept hearing meows, so they finally cut one of their walls, and there she was so Pat got her cat back! 

Share your "cat tails" by posting a comment at the end of this blog.

Gift Baskets

One of my favorite things to do is put together a gift basket, when I need something for a wedding shower, baby shower or other gift giving occasions. I always keep baskets on hand that I have purchased on the after Easter or after Christmas sales. There is always baskets on sale without the holiday theme look. I also keep basket shrink wrap, Easter grass or shredded basket paper and ribbon to complete the gift baskets.

The invitations usually tell where the person is registered and I check out what they have listed. The lists generally include bigger items they desire, but there are so many little things that I know will be needed and these are the type of things I try to put in a gift basket. I like to give a basket with a theme or items that go together.

You do not always have to use a real basket to make a gift basket. One of the "baskets" I have given in the past that was really a hit at the shower was for a wedding. I took a large laundry basket and put in two bed pillows. Between the pillows I put in a 11 X 14 photo frame that would hold a 8 X 10 photo. Something beautiful to hold a photo of the newly weds. On one end I slipped in a set of sheets with pillow cases and on the other end a package of clothes pins. You can also use a clothes hamper in place of the laundry basket and slip in towels or other items. These are all things that are needed when setting up a new household.

Another "basket" I like to give is to get a tall kitchen trash can and put trash bags, broom, mop, floor cleaner, dish soap, sponges, dish rags and other cleaning supplies. No one lists cleaning supplies on a registry, but they are expensive to get all at once for a new home. This is good for wedding or house warming gift.

I have also used a large mixing bowl as the "basket" and filled it with a cookbook, measuring cup, measuring spoons, wooden spoons, pot holders, oven mit, can opener, chip clips or other things to fill the bowl. Slip into the shrink wrap, gather at the top and adorn with ribbon to tie the top. Always check out the sale items when filling your baskets. It is amazing what you can find!

A new household will also need basic tools so putting together a basket that includes a hammer, packages of assorted nails and screws, screwdrivers, pliers, tape measure and picture hanging kits are great. As you are preparing a gift basket look around your house or in your drawers and think what you use on a regular basis. This assessment will help you determine what the new couple might need that is not on the regular list. Have fun creating a basket that they will enjoy.

Baby shower baskets can include so many small items. You can also do theme type baskets for these events. For example do a "bath" basket and include every thing needed at bath time: shampoo, baby wash, wash cloths, towel, lotion, rubber ducky, etc.  Do a "feeding" basket with bottles, baby spoons - oh I just love the new packages of plastic baby spoons - baby food feeder, bibs, wipes, etc.  Do a "safety" basket that includes electric plug blockers, cabinet opening stops, night lights and other gagets used to keep a baby safe. You can also make a diaper cake instead of a basket.

For general gift giving one of my favorite themes is to give MADE IN OKLAHOMA gift baskets. You can look online to find things made in your state. Lots of items you can find in the local grocery is something everyone uses! I also checked and found additional resources.

For a breakfast theme basket I found:
Griffin Foods, Muskogee, OK and they have syrups (plus relish, bbq sauces etc.)
Shawnee Milling Co., Shawnee, OK featuring biscuit mix, gravy mix, pancake mix (plus cornbread mix, muffin mix, pizza crust mix, brownies, etc)
Neighbors Coffee, Oklahoma City, OK for organic coffee and gourmet tea.
Most places also have ready made gift packages or baskets, if you would rather not put it together, that can be bought at their online stores.

While I am braggin' about Made In Oklahoma I can't leave out Head Country Barbecue in Ponca City, OK They have the best barbecue sauce, salsa, marinade and their world famous Championship Seasoning!! Another company I love is Pepper Creek Farms in Lawton, OK they have wonderful relishes, salsas and bread mixes too! There are lots and lots of other companies in Oklahoma that make great products, and I have fun looking for new things to create a theme basket using the local products!

Hope these ideas will help the next time you are trying to put together a gift basket. Remember to check the sale isles for items that can be included in a gift basket. What are your favorite gift basket ideas?
Make a comment below and share with us.

Diaper cake with 67 diapers, pacifiers, baby spoons and a baby bottle.

Baby "Bath" basket with lotions, powder, shampoo, baby wash, wipes, wash cloths, etc.
The new mom can keep all the bath supplies together in the green tote used for the basket.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Texting while driving...I can barely text much less text and drive, but my children and grandchildren think they can do both. They do not understand the concept of DISTRACTED DRIVER, and are under the impression that nothing horrible will ever happen to them. Even if they never have anything happen right away I can promise them they are going to have carpal tunnel of the thumb or arthritis when they reach my age or before! Texting just kills my thumb and trying to see the letters on my phone is a real challenge! I call it cussing and texting, because for every correct letter I manage to hit there are twice as many that I get wrong.

After watching a couple of Oprah shows, that featured parents of children who had been killed due to texting while driving, I am a firm believer that NO ONE SHOULD TEXT WHILE DRIVING. I can't watch Oprah during the day, so I have to catch the 11pm rerun of that day's program, and I was just sick listening to the sad stories. You can get the stats from and while you are there sign the NO PHONE ZONE pledge. There is never a text as important as a life!

I decided to look up texting laws for the surrounding states and found this neat web site: and if you want detailed information check it out for yourself. Several states have laws against cell phone use while driving, but I want to share with you the states that have laws against texting while driving.


Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Georgia, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

Oklahoma has passed a 2010 law that goes into effect November 1, 2010 that does not allow drivers with learners permit or intermediate drivers license to use a handheld cell phone or text while driving.

Texas does not allow intermediate (first 12 months) drivers to text while driving. Several of the other state have partial bans like these. Check the web site to see what the laws of your state might be concerning texting while driving. Some states have it enclosed in a distracted driver law, so you need to pay attention even when you are traveling through different states!

Drive safe and please do not text while driving.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Jeans Quilt

In my quest to recycle blue jeans I made a king size quilt for my granddaughter. When she was very young her jeans all had to be cut off and hemmed. I saved all the pieces we cut off! When I got ready to make her a quilt I took all the cut off pieces, plus several pair of her favorite out grown jeans. (Do not start this project until you have heavy duty denim sewing needle in your machine.) 

First I took a sturdy piece of cardboard and made a square the size I wanted the quilt blocks to be plus the seam allowance. I cut quilt blocks for what seemed like forever. Then I would sew nine blocks together to make a big square.

I also took four big pieces of denim, the same size as the nine blocks together, and embroidered on them to personalize the quilt. I put her initals with a heart around them, the year under a little saying I always tell her and 'Poppy's Angel' on another block. I cut some characters off her old shorts and included them too.

As you can see in the photo below the quilt included dark denim, light denim, black denim, red denim, striped denim and painted on denim to make for a colorful denim quilt. It is extremely heavy, but super warm. It is certainly a one-of-a-kind quilt made for a one-of-a-kind granddaughter! It recycled a lot of denim into a keepsake that she will have for the rest of her life.  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Recycle Jeans

Recycle old jeans and turn them into jean purses. It is lots of fun and you can personalize every one you make. I loved making jean purses for my granddaughter, all her friends and other friends and family members. I used the jeans my granddaughter had outgrown to make the first few purses, and then the demand got to the point I was going to the thrift store to buy jeans. It does not make any difference what brand or color of jeans you use. The size of purse you want is what decides the size of jeans you will need for this project. Or if you want to make a blue jean bookbag you can get the plus size jeans I wear.

These photos show two of the purses I made several years ago.

First thing before you even think about starting...go get a universal sewing machine needle that will sew denim (jeans). I barely sew a straight line, and had no idea there were other types of sewing machine needles. I sent my husband (bless his heart) into the store to grab me a package of needles, because I had broke my last needle trying to make one of these purses. We got home and I read on the package that the needles were for sewing denim!! OMG I thought he was awesome!!

The purses shown above are made with regular rise jeans. With the low rise ones girls are wearing I am afraid you would only be able to make a clutch purse. LOL  Cut the jeans just below the crotch seams. The jeans seams are extremely hard to sew over so you want to cut them off. Turn the jeans inside out. Sew along the bottom being careful to avoid the bottom of the back pockets. Now you have the basic purse.

Cut a long strip from the jean leg. Make it twice as wide as you would like for the finished handle to be. Fold right side of fabric together and sew on the outer edge. By pulling the fabric through itself like a tunnel you can now turn the handle right-side-out. Sew one end to the inside of the jean purse waist and the other end to the other side. I have also cut strips of fabric and braided to make the handles. I have used heavy ribbon, and lots of other things for handles, so use your imagination.

To keep the purse closed there are many things that can be used. My favorite is the magnetic purse snap. Attach to the inside middle of the waist band to keep the purse closed. Just look at the craft section and find the one easiest for you to work with on this project.

Embellishment is up to the designer. The photos above show one purse with a cross keyring through the belt loop and the only decoration. The other purse shows a dragon fly sewn on the front and lace put through the belt loops. I have used all kinds of ribbon, fringe, beads and  jewelry to create a one-of-a-kind purse. I have even made fringe hang out from the bottom of the purse, but that was more work than I wanted.

I have also made my granddaughter a king size jean quilt out of her old jeans, but that will be another blog. Do you have a fun project using recycled jeans?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Christmas Crafts & Cheap Ideas

I have always been one to plan ahead and hit the after season clearance isles with the next event or two in mind. For example, this past year knowing I had a couple milestone birthdays coming up, I hit the after Halloween clearance and picked up black plastic tablecloths for 50 cents each. When my brother turned 40 I used the tablecloths at his party. I picked up pink and red tablecloths after Valentine's Day for 35 cents each. Part of the pink ones I used for my Granddaughter's birthday. I cut several of them in lengthwise strips to use to tie big bows around all the trees in her front yard, and at the park around the pavilion poles. We covered the tables in pink too! The red tablecloths go with just about any child birthday theme such as Superman, Spiderman, Spongebob, etc. so they were for my Grandson's party.

I had enough pink table cloths that I used them later at a baby girl shower. We had the baby shower at another park pavilion. We took clothesline and tied across the pavilion from pole to pole. Then used clothespins to hang baby onesies on the clothesline. It was just the cutest decoration and gifts to the mom to be after the shower. This same idea can be used indoors by hanging the clothesline on walls. So, after the next holiday think about what you might have coming up in the next several months and buy the stuff at half price or less! Not just the tablecloths...also plates, napkins, cups, decorations...just plan ahead.

Since it is already August it is time to start thinking about how to make inexpensive Christmas gifts. My grandchildren have always taken a small present for each child in their class, and a gift for the teacher. Teachers do not need something that they cannot use, so one of my favorite "teacher gifts" get a kitchen whisk, wrapped candy (peppermints or candy kisses or sugar free), plastic wrap (colored is neat), piece of ribbon and a gift card to write on. Take the kitchen whisk and poke the candy through the wires into the middle of the whisk until it is full. Then use a piece of plastic wrap to gather up around the bottom of the whisk to hold the candy inside. Use the ribbon to tie the plastic wrap around the handle of the whisk. Write on the card "WE WHISK YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS" and attach it to the ribbon. After Christmas the teacher has a kitchen utensil to use all year. 

Another easy gift for teachers or co-workers is to get individual packages of microwave popcorn bought in bulk if you want to lower the cost. Wrap with Christmas paper and affix a label you have printed with "JUST POPPIN' TO TELL YOU MERRY CHRISTMAS". You could also use Christmas stationery and use the computer to print the words direct to the page before wrapping around the popcorn package.

A really cheap Christmas gift to make for the kids to give classmates is a Christmas Ornament. I have used red plastic ball ornaments, a paint pen, and Christmas ribbon. Just take the plastic ball ornament (not glass so it is safe) and print From: Your Child's Name and the year on the bottom side of the ball. Tie the ribbon in a nice bow on the top and you are done. I have also used gold plastic ball ornaments and a red sharpie pen. All the other children think it is neat to have a new ornament to put on their home tree. If you have the access it is even better to have each classmates name and write TO: --- FROM: --- Year on the bulbs. Of course I have always had a couple dozen plastic ball ornaments on the shelf I purchased the year before for less than half price. Even at regular price you can get 24 balls for under $5. I purchase Christmas ribbon on clearance and get several spools that are solid color to use for non-Christmas needs.

Always plan ahead and not only do you save money, it is less stressful when the time comes to use the items you have on hand.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My daughter tells me that I am a competition show nut. That is not exactly the words she uses, but you get the idea. I do watch a few television shows that last for weeks on end and do end up with a winner. I do mark the tv guide so I will be sure to not miss my favorites. I do have to write some of them in the margins, because they are not listed in the tv guide that I receive in the newspaper. So, I guess I might be a little hooked on watching competition shows.

My favorites are Food Network Star and Design Star. I watch American Idol and can send at least 150 votes in less than an hour before my thumb and arm go numb. I enjoyed Nashville Star when it was on and even made a trip to Tunica, Mississippi to see the winner's tour a few years ago. Angela and her brother Zac Hacker were so nice and gave a great performance. The Nashville Star show did not have the promotion team, like American Idol does, and most of the winners were never heard from again. Sad. You can buy the Hacker's music online.

I also watch Top Chef, Work of Art, America's Got Talent, Project Runway, Next Top Model, Cupcake Wars, Ultimate Cake Off, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped and Iron Chef. The shows that allow an unreasonably small amount of time to cook make me crazy. Even the judges could not do what they are asking! In my opinion the judges are rude on some of these shows. They could critique the food without being jerks.

Then there is the competition show Four Weddings. Just the name makes me shutter, because that is how many I've had! But, on the show these four couples are trying to win a super honeymoon. The brides attend each others weddings and then give a score on how they thought the other weddings turned out. They can be really tacky. It is a pretty crazy show with lots of money being wasted.

I enjoy some of the reality shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette, Kate Plus 8, 19 Kids and Counting, Holly's World, Kendra and LA Ink. Hate the Wife Swap show. My new favorite is Bethanny Getting Married?. She is approaching 40 has a crazy career making wads of money, finds the love of her life, plans a beautiful wedding, goes on her honeymoon, and has her daughter Bryn five weeks early. WHEW! Bethanny makes me tired she does so many things. I think the thing that I love about her is she just tells it like it is and turns lemons into lemonade. 

These are not the only type of shows I watch...I would not dream of missing a new Lifetime TV movie! My very favorite show of all time Saving Grace starring Holly Hunter just ended this season. Yes, I cried at the explosive end! It was a story based in Oklahoma City and followed the life of a OKC police detective that had a guardian angel. My friend Pam sent me the DVD of the first season. I just need to get the entire set of DVD's of the show.

Regular shows included in my tv viewing are The Closer, HawthoRNe, The Good Wife, Drop Dead Diva and Army Wives. All of these shows have a common thread of strong women and challenges they face in their daily lives. Fiction of course, but the shows all have good writers and strong actresses in the roles.

The new Betty White show Hot in Cleveland is so much like the Golden Girls it is fun to watch. I watch design or landscape type shows as well. I like game shows, but rarely get to watch them because I am at work. Jeff Foxworthy's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? show is not only funny, but I learn new facts everytime I watch it. Right away I learned that I am not smarter than a fifth grader!

Do you think our television viewing is some type of indication about our personalities? What type of shows do you watch on a regular basis?

Worth Your Time

I want to share information on this blog that will be worth your time to read. I know I have this on my profile as one of the blogs I follow, but it deserves special notice. Michelle Jones founded a web site in 2001 about Living a Better Life. It is a site you can spend several hours reading very informative information about budgeting, budgeting classes, frugal family recipes, how to shop and save money on groceries or gifts, crafts, decorating, saving money on Christmas, etc. etc. etc.

You can log on at and be sure to check out the annual Christmas ornament contest! Awesome ideas of things to make for your own use or to give as gifts. Or you may have one to enter in the contest.

I also love her daily blog so  check out Michelle Jones blog at she is currently blogging about unemployment and the job market.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check out Lame Adventures

Check out and post a comment to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate from CSNStores.... Even if you do not want to sign up for the certificate the Lame Adventures blog is great fun to follow the some times daily or weekly adventures of two lovely young ladies! In this day and time it is quite refreshing to know two young ladies with common sense and brains! One calls her husband-to-be Blondie, when in fact he is not nearly as blond as the other ones husband who has the blog title of C..  At any rate both of these Blond guys are very lucky! This is one of my favorite blogs to follow!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Super Center Shopping

Last time I briefly mentioned our local new super center store, and the fact that it was awful,  after our trip to Muskogee I confirmed what I already knew. I have been totally amazed that they could build a new facility, with probably twice the footage as the old store, and have less inventory! OMG!!

I walked into the Muskogee super center mind you it was 106 degrees on my car temp so I was hot...I was shocked at how cool the store was and immediately settled down for some serious shopping! The fact that I had to be out of the motel by 11am and could not retrieve DW from his meeting until after 2pm kinda forced me into this shopping trip. Oh darn:) When I realized the store was cool and the place had great lighting I knew Mr. S was watching over me.

Spending that amount of time in our local new super center store would have been like being sentenced to some awful punishment. Why? Our local NEW super center is DARK, the ceiling leaks so you get dripping water on your head if they do not have the buckets out already, the shelves seem to be bare or almost bare, they can't seem to get the restocking done, you have to be careful or you can bring home fruits and veggies with mold on them, the arrangement/layout of the store is the pits, and there is less than half the amount of items in the store. The new super center store is HOT which is great for winter, but not so much in the summer! They did add groceries, bakery and deli which I have tried to like with no success. Mr. S is rolling over in his grave:( 

The store in Muskogee which looks close to the same size as our local new super center had full shelves everywhere I looked. The store had  full sections of craft selections, which is where I spent most of the time "shopping", and I also about had a stroke when I saw that they had nice scrapbooks and paper to go with them! Our local new super center had the $10 cheapie scrapbooks and NO scrapbook paper to go with them. Mmmmmm I love to shop local BUT local stores need to have the product to I ordered scrapbook paper online! So shocked by just these sections I pushed my cart from corner to corner of that store just to log in my minds eye what a real super center store is suppose to look like!

I spent the balance of the "time to kill", before picking up DW, at my favorite craft store. On down the road a bit was H.L. the arts and crafters heaven. I wish we had one of these stores closer to home. This store had all their Christmas goodies, trees and everything on display with discounts already! Whew that was a little much for me, so I zipped past all that stuff to the scrapbook section. I was able to find a beautiful well constructed scrapbook and after using my 40% off coupon it was the same price as the cheapie ones at the local store. I was also able to get some jewelry making supplies for 50% off so, I left there a happy shopper. Oh and it was cool and well lighted too.

Do you think I am getting grumpy in my old you do not have to answer that...I know I am...LOL:) I am not the only one that is unhappy about the local new super center store. I have heard lots of people express their disappointment at something that many had waited for with great anticipation. Enough about our local new super center store that is one of those things we can't do anything about....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Projects

This weekend I decided it would be fun to create some jewelry to give to my friend Pat, to include in her upcoming art & crafts booth. I already had the beautiful beads, obtained from a flea market, so to get started I ran to our local super center store...which is awful and a topic for another time... and grabbed some elastic bead cord. I get my little "nest" made to be able to watch television and craft bracelets at the same time.

I should say at this point that I am extremely night blind, and this can even hinder my sight in the house at night. The holes on the beads are extremely small and nearly the exact size as my cord and it takes lots of beads to make one bracelet. Anytime anyone brings anything new into the livingroom the cats must investigate. Our little gray cat Lizzie Tu feels the need to be in the middle of everything so she was the first to offer her help with my bracelet project. First she tried to help me pick out the beads by dipping her paw into the tray and flipping the beads out onto the floor. Then she discovered that if she got under the table she could reach up and snatch the end of the bead cord to get my attention. Since the cord had a nice elastic snap it was great fun. Now this was ok until she pulled her end so hard it made the nearly finished bracelet at my end of the cord pop out of my hands and the beads all fell off!

Our calico cat Callie Ann meandered out of the bedroom to check out why I was upset with Lizzie Tu. When she discovered that I was doing something she also thought I needed help. She jumped up on the table looked at all the neat stuff on display and decided to take off with one of the finished bracelets. So in addition to trying to see the bead holes I was constantly trying to keep the cats from helping. I love doing crafts of all kinds, but this project was really fun and got my creative juices flowing so much that I looked up and it was 2am so off to bed. Then when I had the chance to sleep late Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and played with the bracelets all day.  

Late in the evening I had several really pretty glass beads, a few of the metal spacer beads, and decided they needed to be turned into a new project was born. I found my box of small paper clips and needle nose pliers for the earring project. Taking the straightened out paper clip and using the pliers to bend the end of the paper clip into a "design" to form the bottom of the earring. Then add the beads and use the pliers to bend the top so that pierced earring wires can be added as soon as I go purchase them. This may sound strange, but they turned out very pretty. I plan on making more earrings today because again last night it was 2am before I realized. Making the first earring is the fun part, but trying to make the second matching earring is not as easy. Each pair will certainly be a one of a kind work of art.

After fighting off the cats from my jewelry making process, my granddaughter came over and loved the bracelets. She managed to take off with four of them leaving me with twenty-nine bracelets to give my friend. I guess the good thing about her taking them, is that if a teenager liked them well enough to want to wear them, they might actually sell at the arts and crafts event. I made all the bracelets with only two packages of cord $4.50 so that was cheap entertainment for the weekend!