Trying Out Meal Delivery

For the last few years meal delivery services seem to have become more and more popular. I know I have seen the ads for a long time. I’ve never used them myself but I did get my daughter a promotional membership to one of the services a while back when she was moving. I figured it would relieve some pressure and work for her. But I didn’t ordered any for dinners for myself.

So, the other day, an agent for one of meal delivery companies, Hello Fresh, knocked on my door, offering a pretty good special. (FYI, this is not a sponsored post.) I could get their Classic Plan of 3 meals for 2 people for only $39.99 per week. For me, that is less than $6.75 per meal. That’s much cheaper than eating out, even at McDonald’s or Wendy’s. I thought that was pretty good, so I signed up. The special pricing was for two weeks, so I decided to go for it. I don’t know if I’ll keep it up once the special pricing is over because the price increases to $59.99 a week. We’ll have to see.

Anyway, for my first week’s meals, I received:

  • Sesame Beef Tacos with Quick Pickled Veggies and Spicy Crema
  • Chicken Lo Mein with Carrots and Green Beans
  • Breakfast Bacon Quesadilla Stacks with Poblano Hash Browns, Avocado, and Bacon

I first box was delivered. It’s nice that I work from home but I didn’t hear it delivered and Cian did not put a din either. I was a little concerned about the food because I do live in Tucson, Arizona and it was a fairly hot day. But I didn’t need to be. The packaging is beyond compare. Too bad I forgot to take a picture, but I’ll get one with the next box. When I opened the box, everything was wrapped in a thick packing material. Under that were three boxes just a little bit larger than a Velveeta box, one for each meal. Below those boxes was a separate compartment where I found the meat and udon noodles. I put everything in the fridge and saved the really fantastic reusable long-lasting freezer gel sheet. The meat was so cold and the gel sheet was still partially frozen.

Chicken Lo Mein

The first meal I made was the Chicken Lo Mein. I pulled out the wonderful menu card with all of its’ step-by-step instructions with pictures.

I got everything out of the refrigerator to make sure everything was in the box (I probably should have checked that right off). They really do provide everything expect the very basics. You can see the green beans, carrots, green onions, mushrooms, udon noodles, garlic, and ginger. The little fish contains soy sauce and the little jar is hoisin sauce.  I forgot to include the chicken, it was still in the fridge, but it included a package of chicken tenders (enough for two).

Chicken Lo Mein 1

I cleaned and chopped the vegetables I needed to. The directions said to chop the garlic and ginger but I decided to grate them instead.

Chicken Lo Mein 3

The chicken tenders were supposed to be left in large pieces. I’ve never been a fan of really large pieces of meat in my Chinese food, so I cut them into much smaller, bite size pieces and threw them in the skillet to brown.

Chicken Lo Mein 2

Then I removed the chicken from the skillet and sautéed the vegetables and made the sauce (probably should have done that right after prepping the veggies).

I added the chicken back in, then the noodles and finally the sauce.

I have to say, I was impressed by Hello Fresh. The directions were simple and easy to follow, and having everything for one meal all together made it so easy. And most of all, I didn’t have to think about what I was going to make for dinner. I decided that when I made the choices for my box. I hate having to think about what I’m going to have for dinner after working all day…and cooking for one is just so much trouble and bother. It does look like I should have used my larger skillet, things are started to fall out as I stirred.

The meal was absolutely delicious! And since I get the meals for two (the smallest quantity available), I had more than enough left over for lunch or dinner the next day. (Wonders of wonders, I think it actually looks a little like the picture on the recipe card.)

I was going to add he preparations of the other two to this post too but it is getting waaayyyyy to long. FYI, the Breakfast Bacon Quesadilla Stacks with Poblano Hash Browns, Avocado, and Bacon was absolutely delicious!

New Christmas Tree Skirt

I’m slowly redoing my home with mid-century modern furniture and accessories. So far, the living room and dining room are looking pretty good. I still need more accessories but I can do that slowly so I can get the pieces I really want.

As part of the make-over, I decided I needed to think about changing up my Christmas decorations too. The first thing I thought about was my Christmas tree. After all, the tree is the show piece of everyone’s Christmas decorations.

My first purchase? A silver tinsel tree. That was the iconic tree of the time period. There was no way I could afford a real antique one — mid-century modern is so freaking expensive. I started looking online for a reproduction. Ugh! The ones that look most like the originals are still too way expensive too, even a smaller one that would fit nicely in my apartment. I’m going to have to save up for one of those.

What I did find was an inexpensive one on Amazon, it is no longer available so I can’t provide a link. I also started looking for a tree topper. I knew I wanted one of the atomic looking ones. Again, the real thing was out of my price range. However, I was luckier finding a really great reproduction. I found a great 11 ½ inch starburst on Amazon. I was worried that it wouldn’t look as good as I hoped. However, it is perfect.

Then I got out the ornaments I used last year. While not being particularly MCM, I found they looked just fine. I’ll eventually get new ones but these will work this year.


Finally, the only thing missing was a great tree shirt. I couldn’t find any originals, within or outside my price range. I looked for reproductions but the few I could find still were not within my price range. So I decided to make my own. I started looking for mid-century modern fabric to use. While there is quite a bit of MCM fabric out there, the amount of Christmas fabric is limited. I couldn’t find anything I liked. The piece that kept coming up in all my searches was this piece with birds sitting on a limb with an orange background. I mean, really, orange? For Christmas? I love orange. I love mid-century modern. But I do not love mid-century modern orange Christmas fabric!

So, after doing more research, I decided I would make one out of felt. I knew I was going to be really busy at work, so I went to my old standby (and favorite) retailer, Amazon. I purchased the following materials:

My idea was to make the skirt itself from the red felt and then use the multi-colored swatches to make cutouts of mid-century modern ornaments to place around the skirt. I figured it would take me “no time at all” to have the tree skirt finished and under the tree. Oh boy, was I wrong. Cutting out the skirt turned out to the easiest part of this little endeavor.

First, I measured how far far I wanted the tree skirt to hang. I decided on 12 inches. Then I cut a piece of the red felt that would be large enough for the size I wanted. I folded it in half, half again, and then again until I had a nice little triangle that would make it easy to cut a circle. Using the tape measure, I measured out 12 inches along the edge. I cut along that edge to make the circle. I then cut off the tip of the triangle to make the hole for the tree trunk. I unfolded the circle and trimmed any unevenness in the outer circle so it was nice and round. Finally, I cut from the outer edge to the middle to make the opening so I could put it around the tree. That took all of about 30 minutes.



Then I started working on the ornaments. I did a lot of researched, looking for what ornaments looked like during that time period. Then I tried to cut them out and decorating them freehand…with mixed results. A few turned out okay, the rest looked like total crap. I was really disappointed. So much for thinking it was going to be easy.


So, I started looking for printable ornament patterns. I found a number I really liked and went to print them out.

Aannnddd, my printer decided it wasn’t going to recognize the color ink cartridge. I couldn’t print them out even though I had it set for black only. UGH!!!!!! With Christmas being so close, I really wanted to finish the tree skirt.

So I resigned myself to going to Just using it plain and working on it again after Christmas.

In the meantime, I was also collecting a few other MCM Christmas decorations. I found a couple of felt stockings on Amazon that were kind of cute. When I got them, I thought they were cute, not great, but would be good enough for now. But then I went to Lowe’s, I found some I really wanted. So, I snapped up two at 50% off along with a matching door mat.


I was going to just throw the two felt ones away (I’d only bad $2-3 for them) since the loop was already looking like crap because I used tape to hold them to the front of my TV credenza. But the more I looked at them, the more I thought that I could use the figurines (Santa and a reindeer) on the front for my tree skirt.

I cut out the reindeer, Santa, the candy cane, and the Ho! Ho! Ho!.


I placed those around the tree skirt, as well as the few ornaments I thought were decent.


After gluing everything down. I placed it back under the tree. It looks fairly nice and, overall, I like it.

Is it want I want forever? Definitely not. But it’s cute enough that I now have the time to find the PERFECT tree skirt.


DIY Washi Tape Storage

If you remember the post glue gun storage, I said that I was going to be making washi tape storage that would coordinate with it.

It took me a while to get back to it but I finally got back to it. This is what I needed for my washi tape storage:


(You can see the glue gun storage in the background.)

  • 8×10 picture frames
  • Rule
  • Utility knife
  • Set of three storage baskets, blue
  • Small easel
  • Double-sided tape
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Craft paper (same as I used for the glue gun storage)

The first thing I did was take apart the picture frame.


I used the back piece to measure the background paper. So that the cuts were very clean, I used the utility knife.


put double-sided tape all over the back of the paper to adhere it to the back of the picture frame, like I did for the glue gun storage.


I put the picture frame back together, using the glass but not the ‘picture’ that comes with the frame. I used the glass so I’d have something to glue the baskets to. Then I ran a line of hot glue around the back to make sure the back didn’t fall out.


I put the picture frame in the easel just to see what it would look like. Thankfully, I did because it pointed out a few things.


As you can see, the picture frame leans back pretty far. I don’t like the look of this. I don’t like it one little bit.  I have to find a way to get to sit more upright.

I’d planned on gluing the first basket on the bottom of the frame.

Welllllll, that’s not going to work because the bottom of the frame is inside the easel. Time to rethink the basket placement.

I don’t know if you can see it in this picture very well but the front part of the easel was wonky. While one side of the front brace rested on the table, the other side did not. UGH! Why didn’t I check that before putting in my basket? Or maybe I did and it got bent while it was in the bag…who knows. But now I have a problem to solve.


So, I got out the tools and started pounding and twisting and squeezing. It got a little better, enough that I’m good with it.


I still need to make it sit more upright…thinking….thinking. But at least it is sitting flat against the table.


After doing a lot of thinking, I located a small piece foam. It wasn’t ever thick but I thought it was big enough to cut in half. I the first half to the back of the frame and then glued the second half to it. I’m concerned that it won’t be thick enough to make a big enough difference but we’ll give it a try.


I then glue the baskets to the frame. I forgot to take pictures of the whole process…of course. But here is a picture of all them already on. I tried to put enough space between each basket so that I could easily get the rolls of washi tape in and out. I think it looks pretty nice.


This is what it looks like with all my washi tape in it. I tried to group them by color, starting with the lighter ones on the top row and the black/brown ones in the bottom basket.


I didn’t get a picture of the angle of the frame but I think it still leans back to far. I need to find something else to glue to the back to make it stand up straighter.

Frowny Face



I found something to add to the back of the frame so it will stand up straighter. It’s a piece of Styrofoam.


After gluing it to the back, the storage stands up pretty nicely. I’m really loving this now.


And finally, here’s a picture of the glue gun storage next to the washi storage. I think they look nice together. 🙂 However, I just noticed that the top basket is a little crooked…I’m going to have fix it fairly soon because it will drive me nuts until I do.


DIY Glue Gun Storage

As I get more into crafting, I have started setting up a small corner of my bedroom as my crafting area. I’ve purchased a whole bunch of things for area, which you’ll see in other posts.

Two things I really need is something to store my glue gun in when it is still warm and something for my washi tape. I decided to tackle the glue gun first.

I looked on Pinterest and YouTube to see what I could DIY. I found one I really liked that used items I could buy from the Dollar Tree. One of the required items was a plastic napkin holder. However, no matter how many times I went looking for it, I could never find the napkin holder. I found all the other items but not the napkin holder. So, I went looking for another idea. I found it on coupontoprovide’s YouTube station. I already had most of the items, the only thing I’d need from the Dollar Tree was a picture frame.

Well, today I finally got around to making the holder.

I pulled together everything I needed:


  • Picture frames – I show two here. The 5×7 is for the glue gun storage and the 8×10 is for washi tape storage.
    According to couponstoprovide’s directions, I was supposed to use a 3×5 frame but I wanted something a little larger so I could see more of background since that is how it will coordinate washi tape storage.
  • Ruler
  • Needles and thread
  • Silicon pot holder, green
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Craft paper – I pulled a few options. I wanted the background for the glue gun and washi tap storage options to match. I have the green pot holder and blue baskets for the washi tape.

The first thing I did was take apart the picture frame. I set aside the glass because I won’t be using it in this project but I want to save it to use in another project sometime in the future (maybe).


I used the back piece to measure the background paper. I decided on the multicolored chevron. I used the utility knife so the cuts were very clean.


I put double-sided tape all over the back of the paper to adhere it to the back of the picture frame.

Now I needed work on the two pockets. First, I needed to cut the silicon potholder in half. I found the middle by using my mat. Then I used my ruler to make sure the cut was straight and made the cut using the utility knife.


Now, I needed to make each half into a pocket. I started by rolling the first half into a tube and sewing the two sides together.

Then, I sewed the bottom together.

This was actually easier than I thought it would be. I just had to find the right needle and a pretty strong thread. The first needle I picked was nice and heavy but it had a blunt point, which I figured would be difficult to push through the silicone and would definitely not make it through the back of the picture frame. So, I found another one that had a nice sharp point and  heavy enough.


I finished the second pocket. I placed both pockets on the backing to figure out where to place them. So far I’m liking what I think this will look like.

To sew through the back of the picture frame, I pushed the needle through the front out the back, but I wanted the thread knot to be in the back, so after I made the hole, I withdrew the needle and used the hole to push it through from the back. It was pretty each to push the needle through from the front to back but much harder from back to front, mostly because I couldn’t see where it was going to come out. I ended up making the holes from the front when I needed to come through from the back. After I got the top sewn down, I repeated the process with the bottom of the packet.


After I repeated the whole thing for the 2nd pocket, I put some hot glue on the back to secure the knots.


Then I had to put the frame back together. I put the back in the frame and ran a line of glue around the edge to make sure it didn’t fall out.


Then I put in the cardboard and matting from the front to add bulk for the metal closures. I also ran another bead of glue around the edge of the cardboard piece for even more security and put the piece of matting over that to cover all the messy stuff. And finally, I pushed the little metal brackets back down to hold everything in.

So, what do you think of the final product?



I really like it. It holds a nice supply of glue sticks and my glue gun very nicely. The really nice thing is that I can put the glue gun in the pocket while it is still warm since it is silicone. And it any glue drips in it, I can just scope it out once it is cool. And I think it looks really nice on the corner of my desk (close to the outlet).


Best Dog Treats Ever – Asparagus Jerky!

Hey Peg!

I just made the cheapest, tasty dog treats ever. Rufus loves them and they are made from scraps!

You know how crazy I am about pet food. It has to nutritious, tasty and, for Mom, cheap. Well, I found it. Asparagus Jerky! Let me ‘splain.

Remember how Pete’s cancer at 5 and death at 10 put me on a mission to keep Poncho healthy? I spent 2 years making his food from venison, brown rice and asparagus or broccoli.  I found that Poncho loved, loved, loved asparagus. He only “liked” broccoli. Anyway, it was a lot of work and it was hard to make sure that I had time. I stopped doing it, but I never stopped 1 thing. I still saved the stem ends of the asparagus to treat him when I was cooking. Don’t know if it made a difference, cancer got him too. But, he stayed with me for almost 17 years.

The other day, I was making dinner, breaking off the ends of the asparagus, and setting them aside for Rufus. I don’t like to give him more than 1 or 2 as treats per day (who wants to risk the “runs”?), so there are always more ends than he needs. Then it struck me; why not make jerky?! Why not cut them into smaller pieces and dry them in the NuWave oven. I even used the whitish, really tough stalks ends. No oil or flavorings. He loves them!

Now instead of him getting into the garbage, I’m feeding him the garbage and he thinks it’s great!

Here’s how I made Asparagus Jerky:

I put some parchment paper on the grill of the NuWave. I didn’t use any oil or spray because I wasn’t planning on adding any flavor later.

Asparagus Jerky 1

I broke off the ends to the asparagus we’d had for dinner and cut the pieces down to about 1 inch.

I set the NuWave to 175 degrees. Since I know you don’t have a NuWave, use the same temperature for your conventional oven.

Then, I spread the end pieces out on the grate.

Asparagus Jerky 2

Finally, I set the timer for 1 ½ hours and walked away.

When they’re done, they will be really shriveled and not pretty.

I let them cook down before placing them in a paper bag. I learned the hard way not to place them in a plastic container because they got soggy-ish. The paper bag lets them continue to dry out without getting moldy.

Asparagus Jerky 3

I know they don’t look like much, but every time Rufus goes out and does his business, he gets one of these. He loves his “Sparaguses”!

First Order

You know, I’ve been hearing about for a while now. I never really paid much attention to it because I buy my dog food at Costco and Cian gets his heartworm shot at Banfield (though PetSmart).

If Cian needs something (I want to buy him something), I go to the PetSmart across the street or I buy everything for JT, my hamster, on Amazon. So didn’t spark anything for me.

But I needed to buy Cian some flea and tick medication. I looked on Amazon but everything was in the $30-$60 range, and I really didn’t want to pay that much if I didn’t have to.

After thinking it about it for a while, I remembered Chewy and figured I’d give them a try.

The first thing I looked for was the flea and tick stuff. I was able to find a 3-month supply of PetAmour Plus. I did research it and it has the same active ingredients and basically the same rating as Frontline for a whole lot less. We don’t have much of a flea and tick problem in southern Arizona, so I’ll be interested to see how it works.


So, with you get free shipping on any order over $49.99. I decided that was just a little too much to order since I hadn’t ordered from them before. But I did want to order a few things to see what their products were like. So, I ended up purchasing 5 different types of treats.

First was a beef trachea. I contemplated whether or not to buy something that sounded so disgusting but went for it.


I decided this would be the first thing I gave him. I unwrapped it. It felt very odd: greasy, slimy, papery. Basically it was DISGUSTING!!


Cian smelled it the minute I unwrapped it and started bugging me for it. I gave it to and he took off with it. I wanted to get a picture of him with it but he was having none of that! He really did not want to get close to me and give me the opportunity to take it back.


I was finally able to get a picture of him when he laid down on his blanket to really start eating it up. He always eats all his really “special” treats on his blanket. But I had to stand across the room from him and zoom in, which did not provide for the best resolution. But as you can see, he was really into it!


He enjoyed his treat so much that after he finished, he had to take a nice long nap at my feet.


I also bought him Crunch Kale Treats from Wet Noses. This was the second treat I tried. I was worried about whether or not he would like them because, even though I know kale is a super food, I think it tastes like dirt. He gobbled right up. Then I remembered…he eats dirt all the time. So kale would probably just taste like things he eats every day. Besides being made with kale, I also liked that they were grain free, organic, and non-GMO.


Then I ordered two different flavors baked dog treats from American Journey: turkey and lamb. These were also grain free, the protein was the first ingredient, had no by-products or artificial preservatives, and with a lot of fruits and vegetables. He’s only tried the turkey so far but he really likes them.


The last thing I ordered was a beef marrow bone. So far I’ve held this back. He’ll get this on a special occasion. Grandma is coming in a few weeks, that might be the special occasion that calls for a nice bone full of marrow.

Overall, I liked my experience ordering from and I’ll definitely order from them again.

Knit Along Shawl, Part 2

I’ve finished the first two sections of the shawl (Knit Along Shawl, Part 1), and it is time to move on to section 3. I took a very short break after finishing the first two sections, just one day. I started section 3 of the next evening.

This section was a combination of stockinette and the lace stitches. I thought this section would go much quicker since I was in the groove for the pattern. However, it was not. Since there are four stitches added every front side row, it is getting rather wide. But still it went together in not too long a time.


After taking a few pictures, I started on the last piece, section 4. This section is mostly just the lacy stitch.

I got a few rows in and I noticed I was a stitch off one side. So, I fixed that. A row or two later I noticed I was a stitch off on the other side. So I fixed that one. Then I was another stitch off. It was driving me absolutely mad! I got so mad, I just ripped out the entire thing! I just rolled the yarn up in a big ball so it would be ready when I decided to start it up again. I couldn’t start again right away because I was just too ticked off to be careful enough.

I still wanted to finish the shawl on time, so I started again the next day. The first night I was able to reknit sections 1 and 2. I did section 3 the next night, which left section 4 for the third night. I have to say, I just love, love, LOVE this shawl. I love the pattern. I love the yarn, which is very soft and easy to knit with.

I finished the 4th and final section. It was difficult to tell exactly how wide the shawl was at the top due to it being on needles. I didn’t want to take it off the needles because I knew I wanted it to be nice a fairly large. It just didn’t seem big enough.

The picture below shows the shawl completed as far as the pattern was written. After some thought, I decided to knit part of section 3 and all of section 4 again (as shown).


This was getting really, really wide but I think it was the perfect decision. When I finally finished it, I think it is just exquisite. Even my daughter likes it, and I think she has only ever liked one thing I’ve knit her and that is a huge round afghan. 

This picture shows the shawl stretched out on my queen size bed. It went all the way from the top of the mattress to the bottom. 🙂


And here is my daughter modeling it for me so I can get a picture.


Knit Along Shawl, Part 1

I really like to knit. And if I have to say so myself, I’m pretty good at it.

I started knitting a long time ago. My Nanny taught me when I was pretty young. She loved to knit and was really good at it and used to supplement her retirement income by selling her handmade knitted items. When my sister and I were growing up, our Barbie and Ken dolls did not have any store bought clothes. What my mom didn’t sew, Nanny knit. I still remember the blue knit bathrobe Barbie had and the pink one Skipper had. Great memories! Of course, my mom made my sister and I let me younger cousins ‘borrow’ all of our Barbie stuff once we outgrew it. To say the least, we one got one or two pieces back, they destroyed the rest. I don’t know that we’ll ever really forgive her for that!

I stopped knitting when I got into high school because there were just better things to do. I didn’t start knitting again when I got pregnant, again there were still too many other things to do. Then one day, a new co-worker decided that she would teach all of us to knit or crochet. I picked up those needles, learned the basics again, and have never looked back. My daughter has a tendency to make fun of the things I knit, she really just doesn’t appreciate handmade items. That first Christmas, she made a snarky comment that she bet we were all going to get knit scarves for Christmas. Well, I hadn’t planned on it but decided that she definitely would. So, I knit a scarf to add into every box or bag. She was so frustrated by the last present but I just had a really good laugh at her.

I’ve never done a knit along before. But I was looking at this one, and I do like the pattern so I decided to sign up. We’re doing the Textured Triangle Shawl from Red Heart yarn. The premise of a Knit Along (KAL) is that the pattern is broken down into sections and everyone in the group knits the same section of the pattern during the same period of time. This pattern is already broken down into four sections, so we’ll be knitting it over the next four weeks. Each participant posts a picture of their project at the end of each week.

I needed to buy the yarn and, since most of my knitting needles are still back in a storage locker in Columbus, the required circular needle. (I REALLY do need to get my stuff shipped out here.)

I figured I would just purchase the yarn listed in the pattern since I plan on just wearing it around the house. I should have thought that through. The only color left was black, everything else was out of stock. So, I ended up on my favorite retailer, Amazon. They had lots of the yarn, in just about every color imaginable. I really liked the teal and tangerine. However, they were almost $10 a skein and I needed at least three skeins. I ended up getting off-white. While I think the color is kind of boring, it will do with anything and everything I have in my wardrobe. If I like the shawl, I’ll probably make another one out of organic cotton, in a really cool color.

My yarn arrived today!

Yarn and needles arrived from Amazon.

I am so excited. I immediately put together my project bag, which includes the yarn, needles, crotch hook for emergencies, and all that other stuff you need in your project bag, including the pattern.


As I said, I’m pretty excited. I pulled out the pattern, my needles, and the first skein of yarn. I got the needles out of the package and realized they were coiled pretty tight. The pattern begins with just two stitches. The needles are coiled way too tight to allow me to knit those first couple of stitches.


One way to loosen the coil of your circular needles is to warm them up. So, I turned on the hot water, filled the sink, and let them soak for a while.


This loosens up the plastic do it is more malleable.

Now it is time to get going on the shawl.

I tried to start the shawl right after I got my yarn but the very first thing in the pattern confused me. I was supposed to make a Garter Tab. I’ve never made one before and the directions in the pattern just totally confused me. They didn’t make any since. I went on the Marly Bird website because she said she was going to post youtube videos and row-by-row instructions. Unfortunately, they weren’t there yet. She actually waited until the start date of the KAL. Sigh

Once the KAL started, I went on the site and found the link to the youtube videos. Once I watched Marly knit the Garter Tab, it turned out to be much less confusing than I thought. After that, the first section of the shawl was pretty easy and I took off. But you know what they say about feeling too confident. It wasn’t long before I realized I had made a mistake somewhere along the way and I had to unravel the whole thing a start over. The silver lining to that is I got to do another Garter Tab so I’ll be really good at that next time I need to make one.


Luckily, it didn’t take me very long to reknit it. I almost forgot to post a picture of section 1 of my project but I started seeing the notifications from other people’s posts and hurriedly took the picture and posted it to Marly’s Facebook page for the KAL.


The same night I finished section 1, I started section 2. I really had to pay attention to the row count because this was a lacy section. I got a few rows in and discovered I made a mistake a few rows back. So, I had to take several rows out. Let me tell you, it is a lot more time consuming to take out the stitches when you can’t just rip out the whole thing. It took me two evenings to finish the 2nd section. I’m not posting the picture to Marly’s Facebook page until later this week because the 2nd week started the day after I finished the section.


After I finished the section I did notice another little boo-boo. I knit a couple of stitches that I should have purled. Oh well, there is no way I’m ripping out all those stitches. It will just have to be that little imperfection that makes a hand knit unique. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Boo Boo 1

Since this is a knit-along, we’re doing this in sections. Knit Along Shawl – Part 2 to see how it looks at the end.


MCM Coat Rack

One of the things I really wanted was an Eames Hang-It-All. I think the Hang-It-All is just a wonderful piece, plus it will provide a place to hang my hoodie and purse out of the way.

But have you seen the price of those things? It is SO not something I can afford. And I love just about everything he has ever designed. So, I started looking on Pinterest for ways to make my own Eames Hang-It-All. I found a few posts that gave me the basics of what I needed to do. All of them used some form of existing coat rack and painted wooden balls. I decided that, since I live in an apartment, I’d use one of the over-the-door coat racks.

I started pricing things out to see where I could get the materials the cheapest. I was down to a combination of Amazon, Michael’s, and the Dollar Store. I was just getting ready to purchase my Amazon supplies when I found a coat rack on Amazon that looks almost exactly like Eames’ and it was less than $30. The total for all the supplies I would need to make my DIY version was way over $30 (much closer to $60-75) and, after spending the time to put it together, it just wouldn’t look enough like an Eames Hang-It-All.

So, I bought the knock-off and I don’t feel bad about it. There are times when, even though I love making thinks myself, it is just better and easier to buy what you want. I placed my order and, thanks to my Prime membership, it arrived two days later. I was worried it would look cheap and be made of inferior parts (I was ready to send it back if need be) but it looks wonderful. What do you think?


It would still be nice if I was able to hang this over the door. Hmmm. I may have to think about that a little bit longer before I drill holes in the wall. I’ll let you know what I finally decide.


The first thing I tried was a hanger made for an ironing board. Unfortunately, it left the coat rack too high to be of much use. Next I purchased two 12-inch wreath hangers. These put the coat rack at the right height (for me) but left it hanging too far from the door due to the width of the hook at the bottom. After all, it was meant to hang a wreath. So, I slowly bent the hooks so they would only be wide enough for the crossbar of the coat rack. I was worried that I would have to heat up the metal but it was soft enough that I  just do with with pliers and my fingers.

I also decided to hang it on the folding doors in the hallway instead of on the outside of the door to my office (spare bedroom). That way, when the door was open during work hours, it wouldn’t be in my office. The folding doors hide the washer/dryer and, therefore, are only open when I have to do laundry.


So now I needed to think of a way to keep the hangers attached to the door. The first thing I tried were some Velcro dots I had. They would hold for a few minutes but then would pull away. It was driving me crazy! And I couldn’t use it, which was making me even crazier. (And people who know me well will tell you it is a very short trip.)

I kept looking for something that would hold the coat rack to the wall and carry the weight of my jackets and purse. I finally found these large Command Picture & Frame Hanging Strips on Amazon. These are really heavy duty so each one can support 16 pounds.

I put three strips on each of the hangers. That basically covered the entire length of the hanger.


I then determined where the hangers needed to be on the door to best support the coat rack, and marked the outside edges.


I carefully placed each hanger on the door using as much pressure as possible to get a good seal. I then hung the coat rack from the hangers.


And once I close the doors it looks really nice. I think this is the perfect solution for hanging my coat rack in my apartment.


Unfortunately, as soon as I hung something on it, the hangers pulled away from the door. I was so disappointed because I only put a scarf and a hat on the rack, nothing heavy. I think this happened because the part over the door was wider than the door. I was thinking that I could add something thick (like layers of cardboard) between the door and the hanger but there really isn’t any easy way for me to get behind the doors since my washer and dryer are in there. I could sit on the washer and close the door but then it would be pitch black.


So, I went back to Amazon to see if I could find anything I could use. I really just did not want to put holes in the walls of the apartment. And I found some 3M Command Jumbo Utility hooks. They are supposed to be able to hold up step ladders so they should be able to hold up a scarf and hat, shouldn’t they?

I purchased four of the hooks thinking I’d use two on the top crossbar and two on the bottom crossbar. They weren’t as inexpensive as the other 3M hooks I’ve purchased but if they work, they’ll be worth every penny. The pricing was really weird. I could by individual ones for less than $4 but a package of two was almost $10. To say the least, I bought four individuals ones.


I had to do a little of measuring to make sure I put them on the door at the same level since I didn’t have to worry about that when I used the wreath hangers. I measured where the bottom of the previous 3M hanger was, used my tape measure to make sure that both marks were at the same level…and you can see how well that worked out.

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Well crap! So I took the one side off, being ever so thankful for the ease of removing Command hooks. I remeasured and rehung the one hook. I waited for almost two hours after that to give the adhesive time to really settle into place before I put the coat rack on.


You almost can’t see the hooks from the front due to the smaller layer of hooks on the coat rack. The hooks are a little more prominent from the side but still don’t look bad.

I then put the same hat and scarf on the coat rack to see if it would hold. I think this solution is going to work!!


Four hours later and everything is still looking great! Woo Hoo!!!!


Stone Trivets

I was bored. I hate it when I’m bored because I usually do stupid things like eat too much. And since I’m trying to lose some weight, I like to make sure I’m not bored.

So, I started looking for something interesting to do that wouldn’t cost me too much, as it was in between paydays. I had no idea what I wanted to do or what I had the materials to do. I don’t have a lot of supplies here in Arizona yet but I look through those that I had. It was sparse.

So then I started looking around on Pinterest. I kept seeing these trivets made with small rocks or stones. The posts I saw had the small rocks hot glued to felt. I liked the idea of the stone trivets but really thought the felt would just be too floppy.

I had purchased a set of four cork tiles a while back. I had thoughts of making my own corkboard but just never got around to it. And now I’ve found one I really liked on Amazon, and purchased it. I decided the cork would be a good base for the trivets. I also knew that a great place to get the stones I needed was at the Dollar Store.

I made a quick trip to the Dollar Store on Saturday and picked up a couple of bags (along with a few other things I couldn’t seem to live without). Does anyone else have that problem? You go in to the store for something specific and come out with a couple of bags of stuff. And half the time, I forget the item I actually went in for.

So today, I gathered up my supplies and started to work. I thought about using one of my luncheon plates or soup bowls as the pattern for the trivets. However, the soup bowls were too small and the luncheon plates weren’t round. Exactly how did I not remember my plates are square? But I did find the top to the canister I keep my tea in and figured it was just the perfect size. This is actually supposed to be the flour canister but I drink a LOT of tea. My flour I keep in plastic bags so I can store more in a smaller space, while not having to worry about bugs getting in it.

I traced around the outside of the lid to form the circle.


After cutting it out, I placed the rocks around trying to get the most coverage and an fairly even top.


After cutting it out, I placed the rocks around trying to get the most coverage and a fairly even top.

Then I started gluing them down. And let me tell you, it is not as easy as you would think it should  be to try to glue them down in the same place where I’d placed them while the designing it. The rocks kept scooting around and slipping. In the end, I just did the best I could at putting them back where I thought they went.


And here is what it looked like at the end. Now, I’m really glad I used cork for the base, because even though you can see it, it looks like it goes with the rocks.


For a first try, this isn’t bad. But there seems to be too much space between the stones. I wish I had some very, very small rocks to put in-between the bigger ones, or sand, or just something.



I had enough cork left over for another round trivet, so I went ahead and cut it out. However, I really wanted to use one of my plates as the pattern since I liked the shape – obviously since they are my plates. But once I cut it out, it really didn’t end up looking all that different from the round ones.

I ended up giving one of the round trivets to my neighbor. She loved it. I gave the other round one to my daughter. She wasn’t all that impressed. In fact, her comment to me was “Getting crafty there, Mom?” She is really not into home made things unless it is her organic face wash, body wash, and other beauty products. Her partner and his son both loved them. Marcus wanted it for himself. Bronwyn said he carried it around all night.