Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mid-Month Make-something Madness

I had so much fun making the Snuggies (correction; Cuddles from Carolyn) and putting them on my blog, I've decided to do something like that every month, hence the name of this post: Mid-Month Make-something Madness. I'm always making things, creating patterns, recipes, etc. This will be a good outlet for my energy, and maybe, just maybe I might get some hits on my sit. I actually got one comment posted on my Snuggy pattern. That was exciting.

So make sure you come back to my blog next month (from the 12th to the 18th, that's what I consider mid-month), and see what creative new idea I've come up with.

For now, I'll leave you with a photo of me with one of the snuggies I made. Hopefully this will give those of you who want to make one a better idea of how easy they will be to make.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free Pattern to Make Your Own Snuggie for Less Than $12.00

Last week my daughter got one of those infamous Snuggies as a white elephant gift at a party. When she showed it to me I couldn't believe how easy it would be to make. So I made myself a pattern (more of a recipe. I first wrote the dimensions on a recipe card in case I wanted to make another one), and then made a

Snuggie. It zipped up so fast I made another, and another. I was able to buy polar fleece from Hancock fabric for $3.99/yard. It only took 2 3/4 yard of fabric, so it cost less than $12 to make. By the way, Hancock will continue to have their polar fleece on sale at that price until Christmas. I wrapped myself up in one of them and watched a movie one night. They are really quite comfy, especially made with the heavier, better quality fabric than the official Snuggie my daughter has. I even made an unofficial offical tag like the real snuggies just for fun. But instead of calling it a Snuggie, I've made a tag that reads, "This is not a Snuggie, it's a CUDDLE from Carolyn.

I would love to share my "recipe" with those of you who like to sew and or are looking for a cheap easy gift to give for Christmas. I've upgraded my pattern from a recipe card, but if you can't read this clearly, feel free to email me and I'll send you the pattern via e-mail in a pdf format. Contact me at carolynfrank@rocketmail.com

Have a Cuddly Christmas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Walnut tree named Wally

Though the ground lay frozen under a cover of snow and my favorite trees have traded in their folaige for a vacation of dormancy, my yard still whispers to me "I'm beautiful." I love trees, I love to garden.

Last fall my husband bought and planted for me an English walnut tree. It was hard to find. The first few nurseries we went to said they no longer carry walnut trees because no one wants them--too much work, too messy. Well, I wanted one. We finally found one at Tri-city nursery in Kaysville. When we asked if they had an English Walnut, some of the employees shook their heads, "I don't think so," they said. But one young man spoke up. "Wait a minute, I think I saw one this morning." He took us in his golfcart-come-tree-finder to the far side of the nursery. There he moved aside the low-lying branches of an aspen and a birch to reveal the distinctive broad, compound leaves of an English walnut. It was almost as if that tree was hiding there, out-of-place and forgotten, waiting for me. The price on the tag revealed the cost of a tree much younger than the sturdy three inch diameter trunk that wore the tag like a fat lady in a size 4 dress.After some major work uprooting it from it's "temporary" location in the nursery, we took it home, pruned its roots and branches, soothed the tramatized roots with a cocktail of plant hormones, and planted it in the middle of our north lawn. I named him Wally. It was so enjoyable naming him a common name. Sure, he already had a name, Juglens regia, given to him centuries ago by some taxonimist, but naming it Wally made him mine. I had so much fun I gave all of the other trees in my yard their own personalized name. My kids thought I was nuts. I didn't care. I had fun. Nature is a joy. Gardening is just another creative outlet for me. Wheter it's through the miraculous science of plants, the creation of beauty through the placement of petals on a canvas of soil, or through the personification of trees named Wally, Jim, Semour, and Ashley, I enjoy my garden.  With that I want to leave a thought I found somewhere ages ago--I can't remember where.

If one isn't willing to turn the soil; to do the work or make an effort; if one doesn't plant the seeds for success, fertilize, weed, and water them, then life just passes him by. / Failure, as much-if not more than success is the apprentice to wisdom, for wisdom comes not from age (as so many think). Rather, it comes from experience (living life). We do grow wiser as the years accumulate, not because we have grown older, but because we have had time to experience more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Never Win Anything, But I Won This

This past month I had lots of support as I participated in NaNoWriMo. My fellow members of A.I. (Authors Incognito, an LDS writers group) cheered each other on and came up with a different contest each week to help motivated us as we undertook the challenge to write 50,000 words in a single month. Well, I won the third week challange, which was to creatively use or mention toenail or fingernail clippers in our manuscript. Each writer was to submit a few sentences implimenting this and the rest of the group would vote on our annonymous entries for the best one. At first I baulked at the challenge, thinking a Nazi Germany war story written for kids would not really have a realistic need to include the use of fingernail clippers in the story. But one night as I came home the cresent moon hanging low in the evening sky gave me the inspiration for my entry. And by the way, I felt that implimenting the result of this challenge in my manuscript made this passage much better than it would have been if left to my own devices.

Below is my entry. In preface, Max is in the process of escaping from camp, where he is a prisoner of the Americans. He didn't actually use the fingernail clippers, but the group said just to mention anything to do with the clipping of nails would be sufficient.

The mid-summer night darkness took forever to fall. Luck appeared to be on Max’s side; the moon rested in the western sky like a thumbnail of gold waiting to be trimmed. Only the blaring beacon of the search light lit up the camp.