Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Neighbor, Teacher, Coworker Gifts

This Christmas has really snuck up on me. I am no where close to getting my sewing projects done (more on that later), and I realized that I needed to get teacher gifts and coworker gifts done super fast. So I took to the internet to see what I could do that was quick with items I already had at home.
Then it hit me......... Sugar Scrubs!!!
As I searched the internet I found that most all of the recipes were basically the same.
Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe
3 Cups White Granulated Sugar
1 Cup + 2 TBL Olive Oil
10 Drops Essential Oil
4 7oz Containers with lids
Ribbon and Tags
*makes approximately 4 jars 
Mix ingredients in a glass bowl with a metal spoon. (Essential oils are likely to permeate a wooden spoon, or a plastic bowl.) Fill jars and seal with lids. Decorate with ribbons and tags.

I was so excited to have everything in house for this gift idea except the jars. So a super quick trip to a local big box store and I found these 7 oz Mason jars for about $1-$2 each. I used my Young Living Peppermint essential oil and oooohhhhhh it was divine!!!
I did add a few extra drops to each jar and mixed it in really well. The ladies at work loved it!!!
For more gift ideas go HERE and HERE.
Happy Holidays!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Quilt Years in the Making!

Many years ago, at least 6, I started a Halloween quilt that I found in a quilting book I had purchased.
It looked so fun at the time, little did I know how much "time" this quilt would take. So after pulling this project out almost every year and either looking at it or actually making some progress on it, I decided that this fall I was going to finish this quilt!!!

The pattern was a little difficult to follow and boy did I learn how time consuming hexagon piecing could be, not to mention how tricky it would be to get the seam allowances just right.

I got the initial spider webs finished and then set to work attaching the accompanying triangles into rows. It was a little challenging to piece rows on a diagonal instead of a straight line.

Later after I assembled the entire quilt top I put the quilt on the frame and stitched every chance I got along the center hexagon and the skeleton triangles.

So after years of work this quilt has finally come together. I learned a lot about fabric stretch, and piecing on the diagonal. I do not think I will do another hexagon quilt for well, forever, but I have learned to never say never. I'm just glad I can cross this off my project list.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wedding Shower Gift

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Ah weddings, the stress, the drama, the dress, the gifts! My sister asked me if I would embroider a few handkerchiefs for her friends that  are getting married (something new perhaps). She purchased these beautiful handkerchiefs on and sent them to me to have their monograms put on them.
I love embroidering monograms! I have made the best gifts monogramming items from golf towels to handkerchiefs. The personal touch seems to get  lost in the days of wedding registries and sending online gifts. I hope they enjoy them :) What are your weekend sewing plans?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Camo Rag Quilt Take 2

 For this post I am assuming you have seen my post "My Favorite Rag Quilt, Camo Style"
 Other posts that might be helpful to understand my Rag Quilt method can be found HERE and HERE.
Ok now that we are all on the same page, or post, (ha ha) I had left over squares and lots of scrap fabric from my first camo quilt (military memory quilt). I really wanted to make another quilt for my neighbors to have but there were not any more uniforms available to be made into a second quilt. So I decided to adopt the WWII Era philosophy "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." I used every last scrap of fabric available from those uniforms (plus a little happy accident I will share later)!!!

Left Square: pocket panels sew together to make a square. Do you love the vent holes!!??
Middle Square: A pocket opened up to full size.
Right Square: Scrap pieces of fabric sew in strips to make a large enough square.

Left Square: Mini squares cut from pocket linings with mini squares of left over fabric.
Middle Square: Mini squares cut from left over pocket fabric and mini square from previous quilt.
Right Square: Mini squares left over from previous quilt attached and top stitched for strength.

Left Row: All of the scrap pieces I could muster from every last pocket, pocket lining, pocket flaps and left over strips. I even took apart neck bands and sleeve cuffs!  These were all sewn together to form a 10" by 60" strip for the top and the bottom! That's over 10 feet of scrap piecing!!!
 (My WWII ancestors would be sooo proud of me!!)
Right Row: Quilt blocks I was able to piece together or had left over from my first camo quilt.
Notice the darker tan quilt squares? So here is my happy accident....... The same week I was trying to put together the quilt blocks my husband ripped a super nice pair of Docker dress pants!!! (Ok sad for him and me because we needed to buy him a new pair because they were really beyond repair. But woo hoo for me because they were the perfect color and similar weight to the camo!!)

 In this picture you can see how the quilt was laid out and again how much it actually shrinks when you add in all the 1/4" seam allowances.

I finished off the quilt with "Warm and Natural" batting and this plaid polar fleece that I picked up at a big box craft store. I have not made a rag quilt with both Warm and Natural and polar fleece, but it turned out great! It did complicate things a little when I tried to tack the quilt together by "stitching in the ditch" of all the intersections due to the bulk but it turned out nicely.  A good wash and dry and everything was still in place.

I wanted to present the quilt in the "bed roll" fashion like I had with the previous quilt, so I worked my magic and came up with these. The arrow pointed parts on the right were from the sleeve cuffs of the uniform jacket and the longer parts with the hook and loop tape were from the collar and sleeve cuffs. I removed some of the hook and loop tape and sewed the parts together to form the "ties" for the bed roll. 

Fold the quilt into thirds, attach the ties and tah dah! A very versatile quilt that has a lot of love sewn into it and  special meaning to my neighbors! I did want to mention that I did forget about one step that would have really helped after finishing the quilt. If the frayed edges of the quilt do not fray as much as you would like them to, you can take a stiff brush and brush them. This will help break down that fabric and produce that classic "Rag Quilt" look.

This really has been one of the most enjoyable, and most frustrating quilts I have ever made. I can not tell you how many times I had to redo things on the quilt due to dumb "middle of the night and I should have gone to bed a long time ago" mistakes. Miscounting, sewing right sides together instead of wrong sides together, and too many more things to mention. I really enjoyed thinking outside the box to try and make this quilt as big as I could using what little fabric I had left.

My neighbor really love the quilt. She was delighted that part of my husbands dress pants had been added to the quilt. She said, "Now we will always have a part of you guys in this quilt!"

My gratitude is never ending for those men and women who protect and serve our country both at home and abroad!

Have a great week, and if you try your hand at a quilt like this let me know how it turned out!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Emergency Preparedness Water

CCG Note
 *** The opinions and reviews of the following items are strictly those of the Crafty Camper Girl. I have not been compensated in any form by the manufactures and or retailers of these products. ***
I have been slowly trying to become more prepared for emergencies. I have been looking for a good way to store a fair amount of water, but do not find 55 gallon barrels very portable or practical for our family's needs. I was doing some research online and found this little gem at The Tractor Supply Co.
This is a Leg Style Storage tank that holds 35 gallons. I paid $99.99 for it at my local Tractor Supply Co. store.  This tank can be strapped down to an ATV, placed in the bed of a truck, on a trailer, or in the garage for water storage. (Note the rectangular grooves on each side of the tank)

Pros so far:
I love the small size and portability.
Clear in color so I can see how much water is in the tank.
The tank has gallon markings on the side so you know how much you have used.
The price was reasonable.
Cons so far:
The tank does not come with a spicket or a cap for the opening at the bottom of the tank. You need to purchase a way to dispense the water or keep it in the tank. (Kind of frustrating, but the guys at the store were extremely helpful in finding us a solution :) )
We choose a hose spicket with a down turn for dispensing. (Red handle on the tank)  We are trying to decide if Teflon tape will be enough to ensure no leaks or if we will need to go to a food grade plumbers putty.  I will let you know how our experiment turns out.
These are a few other options that I found online.
This first option is my favorite and I will be purchasing several of these in the near future for our 72 hour kits as well as long term water storage. These are made by the company WaterBrick. They have a couple of different sizes as well as two colors; blue and tan. I am very excited about this product due to its portability and its ability to be stacked in tight places. Also the smaller versions could be carried if needed by both of my children (not young children).

This big guy is from I would love to have room in my garage for this tank. This is really an option for when you are "bugging in" as they say. A city not far from my home was told not to use their water for three days due to a contamination issue. I do not have enough water on hand to survive 3 days with out making a run to the grocery store, so this tank made me think of how great it would be to have that much water on hand incase of that type of emergency.

And my last find, a portable 8 gallon water tank from This is a great crossover from the wheeled ice chest. This would be perfect for a day at the park, beach or short camping trip.

 So I'm off to clean out my new tank, install a spicket, and add to my emergency water supply.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Outdoor Patriotic Banner, More Patriotic Fun!

I have seen so many fun things being made with burlap lately that I wanted to make something fun to hang on my house for all the patriotic holidays. I love the red, white and blue buntings they sell at the stores around 4th of July, but find the price expensive, and the material, well crappy. Plus I am not the most traditional person and love to be a little outside the box.
 Here is what I came up with an Outdoor Patriotic Banner.
Items Used:
Spray Adhesive
Cardboard Cut Out Stars
Blue and Red Spray Paint
Blue Ribbon
Upholsterers Needle
Sewing Machine
 I started by measuring the area of the outside of my house that I wanted to cover. Next I went to my big box craft store and purchased burlap by the yard, enough for what I needed. I decided on the dimensions and folded over the top 2" and sewed a zig-zag stitch across to make a channel to hold a dowel rod in case I wanted to hang it inside.  I traced 5 cardboard stars from my scrapbooking templates and sprayed them with spray adhesive and placed them along the top of the patriotic banner. Then I tapped off the rest of the burlap and covered it with card board for protection. Grabbed my left over blue spray paint from my last project and sprayed away.
 Here is the finished result for the stars. I love the natural burlap color for the stars, it gives it a rustic, homey look with out much fuss!!!
 Next divide the bottom into stripes. Remember that odd numbers are always visually pleasing.
Because I was going with the rustic, homey look I only taped off and sprayed red stripes and left the rest the natural color. Beware I tried painters tape and duct tape for this and they both had their problems. You have to be quick and use lots of cardboard for protecting the natural colored stripes.
 I wanted a visual break to the top and bottom so I decided to  "sew"the ribbon through the burlap threads. I experimented and found that picking up two threads and skipping five threads had the best visual appeal as well as workability.
 I used a large, straight upholsterers needle to "sew" the ribbon through the burlap.
 Little Crafty Camper Girl got very excited and did much of the ribbon work for me!
Love that girl!!!
And this is the finished product! An Outdoor Patriotic Banner that looks great and is perfect for outdoor or indoor use! So just in case you were wondering how I hung this puppy up on stucco, let me introduce you to my new favorite product..... Scotch brand Removable Mounting Putty! I put it on several places along the top and sides of the banner and it did great for the few days I had it up. It will get more testing next year, but so far I am pleased with the strength, durability and easy, non-damaging removal!!!
What are you doing with burlap?
Have a great week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Patriotic Clothes Pin Wreath

I have seen some fun clothes pin wreaths being made and thought I would try my hand at one.
Items I used for this project:
Clothes Pins
Red, Cream, and Blue Spray Paint
Metallic Leafing Pen
Ribbon and Burlap Scraps from another project
Scrabble Tiles from another project
Cardboard Ring from a glass container I purchased previously
(Mr. Crafty Camper gets a little grumpy about all the things I save, until I use them for a fun project like this one.)
Hot Glue Gun

For the most part everything is self explanatory. Spray, draw stars, put on cardboard circle, etc. I used the burlap scraps to intertwine with the red ribbon and to make the bow for the side of the wreath.
 Then I hot glued the bow and the U, S, A, Scrabble tiles to the clothes pins through the burlap scraps.
I tied a knot on the ribbon and ran it under one of the clothes pins on both sides to secure it.
Not bad for under $10 and using a lot of stuff I already had.
Enjoy your week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Volunteer School Box (My Favorite Things or Hints #4)

I love to volunteer at my children's school! I have done lots of fun things but usually find that the parent work room is always out of supplies that I need for the project I am working on. So you know me..... I made my own Volunteer School Box to hold all of my supplies!!!
So here is what I keep stashed away in my box:
Scissors, glue stick, permanent marker, highlighter, red/black/blue pens, extra staples, paper clips, rubber thimble, brads, calculator, staple remover, large paper clips, rubber bands, large eraser, measuring tape, hole punch, crayons (for little siblings to color with), stapler, ruler, masking tape, clear tape, and a post it note pad.
I love having everything I need all in one box. It makes it so easy to find and finish my projects quickly!!!
What else would you put in your box?

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Favorite Rag Quilt........... Camo Style! (A Retake of My Favorite Denim Quilt)

For years now I have wanted to make My Favorite Denim Quilt out of military uniforms instead of denim jeans. (Like a military memory quilt) I finally got my chance a few weeks ago when my neighbor (who courageously served our country) had a baby and I offered to make a baby quilt for his sweet little guy. (His sweet wife jumped at the chance to get rid of some of the clutter in the garage!)
SPOILER ALERT!!! This is the finished product. I was so pleased with how it turned out, and so were my neighbors!!!

 So after viewing My Favorite Denim Quilt Part 1 and My Favorite Denim Quilt Parts 2 you will kind of get the basic idea of how I make these quilts. This way I can jump straight to the adaptations I made for this particular quilt.
Always check each article of clothing for surprises. This can include but is not limited to insect nests, items in pockets which for this project included, medication and military service patches. Be sure to wash the uniforms well before your start cutting.
 First, get ready to spend a lot of quality time with your seam ripper. Seriously, sit down with your favorite TV episodes and start picking to your hearts content, then get ready to pick out some more!
Remove all hook and loop strips (not from the pockets), tags, pockets, zippers and closures.
A trick I found for the pockets was to leave the hook and loop sections of the pocket attached while I removed the pocket from the pants or jacket. This gave the pocket structure as well as being able to use the fabric under the pocket for the squares.
Don't worry about the stitching holes that are left in the fabric. A good steam or mist of water while ironing the fabric will cause the holes to close quite nicely. (I was super excited about that trick!)

 Next cut out the seams from the areas you do not want (i.e. side seams from the jacket) and iron each piece so that it is as flat as possible. Remember to use the fun seams as part of the quilt. (See the second to last picture for examples.) Experiment with what gives you the most usable fabric. This will also determine how big of squares you will cut. My uniforms were a small/medium so I was able to get a 6X6 square nicely. Now start cutting using a rotary cutting tool, matt and large ruler. Have fun using the character of the material to make unique squares. 
Lay out your squares in a nice large open area and play with how large you would like the quilt. Remember this is the creative stage. Arrange your squares with the pocket and seamed squares as well as rotate the fabric so the print goes in different directions. Take into account that you will loose about 1/2 to 1 full square width with seam allowances. You may go back and add another row or two.

 For this quilt I ended up with an 8X11 rowed quilt of 6" squares. This was about 45 to 50 inches wide and about 1 1/2 to 2 yards long. (Yes this is a big baby quilt but I wanted this little guy to enjoy it for many years) Once the pieced top is finished, turn it over and iron the wrong side to set the seams and make it nice and firm. This will help when you are adding the batting and backing.

 The other adaptations I made on this quilt were the addition of "Warm and Natural" batting and using flannel for the backing as opposed to Polar Fleece. I wanted this quilt to be a little warmer and little more firm than my other quilts so I added the batting between the pieced top and the flannel backing and pinned the entire quilt so there would not be any puckers.
I stitched around the entire quilt edge and then went into the ditch of each intersection of the four squares and did some stay stitching to keep the batting in place.
Clipped, washed, dried and tah dah! A very handsomely cute rag quilt!

 Here you get a close up of the different types of squares I was able to cut and arrange in the quilt. I really had fun designing this quilt and adding the pockets on it. What little boy doesn't love pockets to stash his cars, rocks, and other treasures in?
My sweet Little Crafty Camper Girl who helped my with this quilt said, "Momma, you need to add pockets for baby food and milk for him!" Seriously I could just eat her sometimes, she always says the cutest things!!!
 Here is the finished quilt all rolled up like a bedroll. I used the collar from the uniform jacket to secure it. (That was a happy accident, as Bob Ross says!) All in all I was very pleased with how the quilt turned out. I did learn a few things along the way. Newer military uniforms have lines that run through the fabric called "rip stop lines." These were a blessing and a curse. The blessing came in that when the fabric was turned a certain way it gave a great gauge for clipping the fabric. The curse came in that because it is a "rip stop" the fabric did not fray as well as the denim does.

This quilt was about a 3 solid day project, from preparing the fabric to finished quilt. I hope you enjoyed this retake on My Favorite Denim Quilt. Happy sewing (and seam ripping!).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bathroom Box (Travel and Emergency Preparedness)

 This is a staple item for anyone who travels long distances and has kiddos. (Or not even kiddos I love having this for myself). We lovingly refer to this as our "Bathroom Box". We take this with us wherever we go.

Here are the contents:
Container-use one that fits well in your vehicle and can also fit everything you need.
Toilet Paper- I am not able to use a new roll as it is too big so I get one out of the bathroom that has had a few uses so it will fit.
Soap/Plastic Container-I tried using a zipper baggie for this but it did not last long and looked gross.
Knee High Stocking-When camping we use this to hang the soap from a five-gallon water jug next to the privy for hand washing. Super convenient.
Hand Towel/Wash Rag- We use these when camping or for those "uh-oo" moments in the car when a drink or something spills.
Hand Sanitizer-I am a huge soap and water girl and only use alcohol sanitizer when I do not have a water source. That being said germs still need to get killed so it is nice to have this as a back up.

These items fit nicely into my container and it is placed in a convenient place where we remember to grab it when we leave. Other items we take with it include; a small spade shovel, the "Scotty Potty" (if we are traveling in the truck, it is more stable than a three legged potty) (click on the link for information on the "Scotty Potty") and the privy tent if we are camping.

Other items we have included:
Brown Paper Bags-these are nice for discretely discarding feminine hygiene products.
Plastic Diaper Disposal Bags/Grocery Bags-for diapers/feminine hygiene products when you are not near a trash can.

This little gem has come in handy so many times, including those times when you are at the rest stop/restaurant/gas station and they have run out of one of these items :)
Happy summer travels everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Favorite Repurpose Tech Item ............. (My Favorite Things or Hints #2)

   I am always on the look out to repurpose items, especially when I can get them for free!
 Here is one of my favorites.
 When I am packing for a vacation or business trip I am always trying to find a small bag for my cell phone charger, USB cable, ear phones etc. I wanted a small bag that would hold everything and that I could throw in my purse or back pack for easy access.  My answer came when I was helping my mother-in-law clean out a closet and I found 2 or 3 of these glucometer bags that she was not using.

I took them home and found that the mesh pockets were just the right size for my USB cable and ear phones. The charger fit nicely in the middle and it zipped up perfectly!!!!!
I keep this little gem in my dresser drawer and can grab it when ever it need it. Plus, Mr. Crafty Camper set me up with a fabulous charger that plugs into the car, the wall and will charge two devices at once! And as a bonus, the circle charging indicator light makes a great night light when I am sleeping in unfamiliar places!
What is your favorite repurposed item?
(P.S. The Anniversary Geocache is almost finished!!!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Favorite Gifts To Give

Well after a very enjoyable 20th Anniversary vacation with Mr. Crafty Camper I am back to being creative again. (Also my sewing/embroidery machine has been broken but now is fixed!!)
I thought I would share with you 3 of my favorite gifts to give. I have received many compliments when I give these gifts on how much the recipients love them and use them! (Hum, maybe I shouldn't share this........ just kidding) All of these gifts are under $10!!!!

First, on the left, laundry bags. These make great gifts for high school graduates, college students, and missionaries. I purchase the laundry bag a my local big box store for around $8 or $9. The one I love to get is made of a canvas material with a polyester bottom and pocket with a strap. It has a zipper pouch attached to the pocket to hold your quarters. I embroider the recipients name on the bag, roll it up, and tie it with tulle. It is so simple but all of the young adults I have given them to have absolutely loved them! (the pic below is not exactly what I purchase but you get the general idea)

Next, the hooded towel on the right. I actually make two different versions of this towel. One with the hood and one with out the hood.
The hooded towels are great baby shower gifts. (If you know the name of the baby you can embroider it on the towel for a sweet personalization).  For this gift, again I got to my local big box store and find a towel that has a single wide band at both ends like the picture below.
This gives you plenty of room to embroider the baby's name on it, or if you don't have an embroidery machine, you can add a super cute ribbon.
I purchase two towels and one hand towel. I can get two "hoods" from the hand towel. Sew it together and add the embroidery along with a ribbon on the band of the hood and presto you have a great gift for under $5 to $10 depending on how expensive of a towel you purchased. All the moms and kids have loved them!

Towels with no hoods are great gifts for baptisms. It is probably the number one thing forgotten on the child's baptism day. Also the kiddos love to be able to choose the color they want the CTR (Choose the Right) embroidered on the towel.

I know that these gifts are not new and trendy, but sometimes the classics are the best! I always love to give a gift with love, not just something off a registry if I can.
Enjoy your day!