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Eco-Friendly Holiday Crafting at Ijams Nature Center

Looking for more frugal and eco-friendly ways to keep kids crafting?  Ijams Nature Center’s recent holiday workshop proved once again that the best decorations can be low-cost and green.  Several parents brought children and even created ornaments alongside them. Twigs and yarn provided materials for handcrafted decorations. Ijams Volunteer Jonathan Lightbulbs got decoupaged into colorful ornaments. Matt […]

Continue Reading By on December 22, 2012 in green, holidays, recycling

Work by Hand: Green Tea Lights

Planning on decorating your breakfast nook with a sense of character?  How about a tea set that illuminates? Alice Chandler Velker and her husband, Glen Velker, are handcrafting chandeliers from tea cups and saucers.  They scour antique stores and estate sales for serving sets, occasionally buying new for pieces like the harder-to-find teapots. Alice Chanler […]

Continue Reading By on December 5, 2012 in craft

Easy Blanket Craft Warms Hearts

Special blankets are a favorite keepsake for both of my children.They’ve loved every last one that was hand quilted or knitted or bought from a store, gifted from various loved ones.  In the warmer months I’ve had to continually put them back up in the closet as they get out one after another and pile […]

Continue Reading By on August 8, 2012 in craft

Enterprising Women Paint Heirloom Furniture

Ever fallen in love with a piece of estate sale furniture but thought the finish was damaged beyond repair? What about those pieces already in our families that have received too much wear?  Two East Tennessee women are finding a fresh way to refurbish heirloom decor. “We’re looking for pieces that need a little bit […]

Continue Reading By on August 6, 2012 in home, recycling

Mountain Hollow Farm Visit

Not far off the four-lane highway north of Tazewell, Tennessee, down a tree-lined gravel road, a once forgotten family farm and business is slowly coming back to life.  It took a move of faith and a twist on farming to make it happen. A mission trip once took Beth Bohnert away from her comfort zone in […]

Continue Reading By on May 21, 2012 in community, farm

Wreath-Inspired Treadle-Stitched Christmas Ornament

The girls helped me stuff another homemade Christmas ornament today, for their aunt.  The nostalgic cotton print we were using contained small wreaths, which inspired our circular design. We chose vintage buttons to stitch into the middle of the lightly stuffed circle.  A bit of grosgrain ribbon completed our wreath with a red bow. We […]

Continue Reading By on December 5, 2011 in Christmas, craft, sewing, with our own hands

Homemade Fabric Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial

It took less than a yard left over from last year’s party tablecloth fabrics to create a new trick-or-treat bag. My daughter chose her two favorite prints and I cut them to use together. I cut four pieces of fabric that were 16-inches square.  I also cut two 16 by 2 1/4-inch strips to use as handles.  I […]

Continue Reading By on October 31, 2011 in frugal, homemade, parenting, sewing, thrifty, with our own hands

Super Girly Homemade Cape Costume

Want to try sewing an easy homemade costume  It doesn’t get much simpler than a cape.  My preschooler recently gave me the opportunity by announcing her intention to be Supergirl this Halloween! So we made a super girly homemade cape costume. I searched my collection of leftover fabrics to find a solid pink polyester/cotton blend […]

Continue Reading By on October 18, 2011 in craft, frugal, parenting, sewing, thrifty, with our own hands