Planning for 2017

Welcome to 2017.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I had plans to fill it with cute modern craft projects. I neglected to post most of the year. This year, I am determined to share a post here at least once a month as a way to remind myself to focus on me at least once a month. I am starting off with a little bit of planning…..

Planning with a Planner

Back when I balanced my full-time on the go job with a couple part time jobs, managing the gallery and a heavy living history schedule, I lived on a color coded day planner. Each area of my life got a different color telling me which way to go each morning. I really did not want to end up a half hour in the worn direction, or worse. Each year a new planner was an absolute must.

When I started working at the school, I stopped using a planners.

Now, let’s pause here.

I stopped using a planner when I started working for an institution that requires students to use a planner. Duh.

Okay, so maybe for a few years I actually had fewer things going on at the same time. Then I added board meetings and event meetings and such. I neglected to implement the planner.

Fast forward….

I work full time, run a small business, manage a house… adding to that… I want to do more at the village and I feel I need to volunteer more in general.

It is time for a planner again.

I decided to order a Bloom Daily 2017 Planner. This planner had a vertical format that I wanted. It also had a full space for Saturday and Sunday, a must in a life where the weekends can have as much, if not more, going on as the week days. This planner had just a bit of inspirational, self-awareness space – just a bit for me to give it a try without being overwhelming. It also had a row of little glasses of water on the bottom. Since I am supposed to be careful about hydration, I decided this was a good thing to have.

Planner in-hand, I am planning 2017…


2017 Hunt List:

Those who follow me at If I had My Own Blue Box or on FB know I love going to yard sales and estate sales. I generally have a hunt list of my own and a rolling hunt list for friends. While, it is a bit early for me to be thinking about what I would like to find this spring and summer, I am already thinking…

  • A couple pairs or trios of reproduction plates to go with the pink repro transferware we have now, either Johnson Bros or, nuts I can’t remember the name. This way we have enough plates for holidays and family gatherings.
  • Two matching boxes that can be hinged together (or the perfect antique box that will make a tiny shop.)  I saw this book style dollhouse on FB. The image spurred the idea of putting two boxes together to make the miniature millinery shop I’ve been wanting to do. This blog has a cute child version of what I have in mind.
  • Another shipping box like the one I grew up with holding books. Or, maybe two.
  • The ongoing search for the right bookshelf continues.

New Hat Stands

I debated which blog to put this in, as it is both crafty and millinery. Since I have greatly neglected this blog, crafty wins. 

With the upcoming event that will transform a nineteenth century insurance office into a lively millinery, new bonnet stands are much needed. I lucked upon two very tall ones at a yardsale. 

Then, Gail gave me this table, with turned spindle legs:

Some pounding, walking and a hacksaw later, I had this pile of spindles:

Add wood plaques for the bases and tops. You’ll notice I decided to grab the short center spindle as well. It makes for a rather cute hat stand.

Ah, paint. After staring at the small bottles of craft paint at JoAnn’s and just not being happy with the milk paint colors, it was off to our local, right around the corner hardware store. I really should have started there. They mixed me a lovely”French Blue”. I love this color. 

Here is the first coat:

It took me a stand to realize I didn’t like the look of up and down brush strokes. They just look wrong on turned spindles. Back and forth looked much better:

Here is the second coat. Love this color:

The tops got a layer of batting. I was going to use an assortment of silks. But, I worried about taking away from the stand or bonnet. Then, I remembered the silk velvet I just picked up. Soft, smooth.jusr right.

These five make ten stands for next weekend, eleven if the missing one reappears. I think I need to get sewing . 

Rescue Cat Warmers

imageI follow one of our local cat rescues, Keller’s Kats,  on FB. Last winter, they rescued so many cats and kittens who were nearly frozen. They did a fabulous job bringing each baby back to health.

I thought it would be nice, and hopefully helpful, to have kitty warmers; a way of gently bringing the cats’ body temperatures back up to where they need to be. After some pondering over my favorite rice bags, I came up with a pillow bed that heated rice bags could go inside.

I did two different versions. The darker green one with the raw edges hidden that took 2 machine seams and 3 hand seams. The lighter green is a quicker, mostly machine, method that has the raw edges tucked inside the pocket where the rice goes.

Each heatable pillow bed is made of a width of 100% cotton fabric cut 10″ to 14″ wide. I do want to make some slightly larger ones too.

For the quicker method, with the right side down, fold the ends in lengthwise.


The selvages need to overlap. (I leave the selvages on.)


Fold the folded ends back so the selvage ends are on the outside.


This creates an M in the fabric, with layers that look like this:

imageI sewed along the raw edges with a straight stitch and zig-zagged the raw edges. This created  two pockets on each side. Each pocket was filled with batting. I played with the fullness trying to get the right loft I thought would be good for a cat that didn’t feel well.

Then, I closed the opening with a whip stitch. (this is where that selvage edge is neater.)

For the darker green ones, that I actually did first, I folded the long ends in right sides together. I machine stitched along the sides. Then turned them right side out for the pockets. Like above, I filled the pockets and whip stitched along the opening.

imageThis pillow bed was then folded in half. I whip stitched along the sewn sides to make the pillow. I did do a button-less button stitch in the middle to give the kitty a comfier place to sleep. I’ll see if this helps.

imageRobo Kitty shows how a cat can sit on top. You can see the pocket where the rice bags slide inside. I suppose, you could fit a cat inside in case of an emergency as well.


The pillow beds are washable. This was a must so they could be cleaned and used. I debated about the batting. At first, I was thinking wool, my go-to. Quilt batting wool would give the advantage of being able to be sewn into the pillow bed all at once. (poly quilt batting could too. But, I didn’t have any.) Then I realized wool could have two issues – fleas might like it and it could lump during multiple washings.

Rice Bags
The rice bags are not washable. These are simply rice in a muslin bag. Each one is 4″x4″ or 4″x5″. The fabric and thread must be 100% cotton. I filled them so they would lay flat inside the pillow bed. Each has shy of a half pound of rice.
They are microwaved for a minute or two for use.

I’ll share any feedback I get from the rescue about how they work or could be better.