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My Front Porch

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My mood is very light today*. Start the video below if you want a taste of the mood that has filled me inside out this afternoon. It's music to read by.

I was out on the front porch watering my plants. Gracie and Steven were in the driveway, Gracie pulling him along in his red wagon, their voices punctuated with bursts of laughter. The cool breeze in a grey sky stirred the leaves on the trees making the hanging baskets swing gently back and forth as they dripped water from the long soaking drink the shower hose provided just minutes before.


I love my front porch. I love the rockers. I love the plants. I love everything about it (except maybe those aweful lamps at the front door but those can be changed one day when I remember to pick something new up from Lowes. Perhaps this but with a brighter brass finish to match the hardware on the glass door. There are some very high priced things that I love but, get real, I am not spending that kind of money on some outdoor lights when these will work and look just as nice.)


There is something so completely southern and victorian and charming about ferns on a long front porch of a big white house. It is gentile. Even on a very hot day it looks cool and inviting. White rockers, white wicker, green ferns and tall glasses of lemonaide filled with cracked ice, sweating into cool puddles on the side tables as the creak of the rockers make harmony with the birds and crickets - soothing and serene is how my brain interprets it.

My grandmother always had tons of plants on her front porch. It was like a jungle. Passersby would see a big white house with a long white front porch filled with baskets and baskets upon baskets of various plants. She had pots of mother-in-law tongues, wandering jew (varigated and purple), swedish ivy, rubber tree plants, string of pearls, peace plants, bridal veil, spider plants, several types of begonias (angel wing is my favorite begonia), corn plant, hen and chicks, moses in the cradle -just to name a few. Her plants where monster sized. She fed dozens of plants weekly with a drink of water mixed with Peter's plant food (back when it came in little white cups). I can see her now with her gallon milk jug full of blue water and a large tumbler in her hand. Every plant got a full tumbler of water.

I remember that during the winter the room she kept them in had lots of light and was filled to brimming with her collection of plants. She would see something she liked somewhere and would pinch off a piece and bring it home and stick it in a pot of soil. She would plants seeds from her grocery store fruit just to see what she could grow.

My grandmother had a green thumb beyond belief. The vining plants she grew were amazing. Some of the plants would hang from their pots and measure over five foot in length. She would eventually get around to snipping them off and starting yet another plant or give them away to someone who was awed by her plants.

My grandmother never had ferns. I don't know why. I never asked her and she never actually said but she never had ferns on her front porch. I have always loved ferns. Especially boston ferns.


The boston ferns I picked up in early spring when it might have been a bit too cool for them to be outside. I had brought home two ferns and I broke them up into four pots. In this area ferns are at a premium in price. You could have knocked me over with a feather when one plant nursery had theirs marked at the low discount price of $19.95 each. Um, no thanks. Not interested. I found my two little baskets at walmart's garden center and repotted them myself. I have spent the summer periodically breaking them up and setting new pots. Now I have eight ferns in various stages of development.


I have no idea where I will put them when the weather changes and they need to be brought in. I love the hanging baskets they are in. The baskets are lined with cocoa fiber so watering them in the house will be a mess. It is a nusance to me to have to take all the plants one at a time to the tub and water them and then have to wait for them to drip dry before rehanging them.

The large ferns on either side of the door are two I picked up at Lowes garden center. The plants had been marked down for clearance for quick removal. I always try to have something large and green on either side of the front door. It just looks inviting to my eye. These two large plants need to be broken up and put into at least 20 inch pots. Where I would put 4 twenty inch pots so that they get good light and are easily accessible for watering? I hate dripping mess after watering plants but I love the plants. LOL I don't mind all the care they need when outside I just dread bringing them in and the leaf dropping and dripping water mess they can create. Any suggestions?

On the wicker tables are peace plants, I started those from 2 little tiny $2 pots (small small plants lol). They should be transfered to larger pot also. I don't know if a larger pot will as nice on those tables. I guess I need to break them apart and make new pots, too.


I don't think I can justify the need of new (more) flower pots to Steve. He won't understand that the square ones on the chains are outdoor pots and just won't do in the house. Also have you looked at the price of large pots? Plastic ones just will not do either. Added to the problem is the need for them to match the decor in the room in which they are to rest over the late fall and winter. See? Always something in need of beautifying. He completely won't understand and will suggest some of those old ugly green or white plastic pots most hanging baskets come from the nursery in. I want something ceramic and lovely to set on a dresser or side table upstairs. I want something fullbodied to set in the downstairs hall which floods with light. I can hang two of the plants in the kitchen in new hanging baskets but the rest will have to be transplanted to regular pots with a drainage saucer. Steve just wouldn't understand the need of it.

You know, you could save me from all of this headache and send me one of your own lovely 10 inch pots and take the chore right out of my hands. Email me at big red couch (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll tell you were to send them. Haha! Just kidding! I am not scarfing for free flower pots! Who am I kidding? Yes, I am! Ummm ...


See this little rocker? I know someone is going to ask me where I got it. This is one sweet deal. This is a rocker for Steven. At nine years old Gracie is still able to sit comfortably in it so it isn't as small as you might think it is. I had seen these rockers at Tractor Supply in early summer. I refused to pay the price they wanted for it. Nearly 100 bucks. The hell? It is a small rocker not an adult sized rocker. Every time I would go in I would look longingly at them but just could not pay the price for them. I watched and waited. One day there were two left and the store had marked them down 25%. The price was still not nearly good enough for me to bring one home with me. I was waiting and watching every time I went into the store until one day there was one left and it was marked down to 25% of the original price. Score! So I brought it home.

I love the look of my front porch. It makes me happy to be out there. I love water the plants and wonderful smell that rises with water, wet soil, plant food, and the fresh air. I even like the chore of sweeping the porch as I wait outside for Gracie to be picked up by the school bus.

Now that you have seen my front porch would you show me yours?

Post a photo of your front porch (or back porch or side porch or patio) and leave a link in the comments section of this post. I'll come visit and post your link here in the main body so others can come visit your porch.

*This post was written early saturday afternoon


Badger's front porch

Happy 41, Badger!

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Badger is my almost birthday twin. I was born August 20th and she was born September 20th. Go spread some birthday wishes over at her journal today.

While you do that I am going to make some photos of what is going on at the farm as fall rolls in. Yesterday I cleaned and tilled the fall garden spots. Today I am planting my fall veggies.

One Man's Junk

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You might remember back when I was pregnant (almost 2 yrs ago!) I got busy and painted the upstairs bathroom so that it would be nice when my mother came for a visit. All these months later I had been biding my time, absolutely sure the furnishings I really wanted would fall into my hands. A couple of months ago we went to an estate auction. An older gentleman was selling off everything in his outbuildings. Some of it had been around since his grandfather was a boy. Some of it had been collected over the years and then cast aside. Up for auction came this old beat up bureau that had been in an open barn for over 20 years. I was once deep dark almost black in its finish but now was so weather worn that it was greyish white. I knew that piece of furniture. It most definitely was not a bureau. I was a buffet to a long forgotten dining set otherwise called a sideboard. I knew this because I have one almost exactly like it, twice as big, inherited from my stepfathers estate. The large buffet is in my bathroom used as a dressing table and linen storage. I knew that removing the top piece with the small mirror it would fit perfectly in the upstairs bathroom. I really wanted it. Someone else bid on it but at $50 they quit and I won. It has been sitting upstairs for about two months aclimating itself to the temperature and humidity of our house.
Look at the grain of that wood!
Wednesday night I set about cleaning and began oiling it. Colby was mad to the point of tears that I was putting that "nasty old thing" in their bathroom. I told her to get over it. When she paid the mortgage she could decorate the house. She got madder. Stomped and huffed. Told me how it was too big to fit in the door. It was too big for the room. It was disgusting and ugly. I ignored her. Put it in place. Rearranged the linen storage and all of the upstairs toiletries.
It is not too big!
I think it looks pefect in there. It is the look I wanted to achieve. It certainly sets off the clawfoot tub. The only thing left that I would like to do in this room is to have hardwood floors put in - but they have to match my existing pine floors and to have crown molding put up. I have some glass shelves I am going to have Steve put up tonight tomorrow night.
Matching pink soap!
Heaven help me. He will certainly gripe about it. The flower arrangement is there to help take the eye away from the pipes that come up from the floor. The type of tubs I have the pipes are exposed and do not run inside the walls. Colby now loves the look. I knew she would.

Homemade Incubator

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Past experience with an old hovabator over 15 years ago left me not wanting to try and hatch eggs myself. The thermostat was wonky and unreliable. Even replacing it with a new wafer it was a pain to get the temp set and maintained. With things changing and solid state thermostats available I thought I would give the idea another go. I cringed every time I looked at the price of incubators with all the bells and whistles. Over $200 in some cases for all the extras. I could not and cannot see that expense for a styrofoam box! I started collecting pieces and parts and figured this girl could make one. And so I did. This is my effort at putting together a reliable incubator. So far it is working fine. I have it running now so I can work out the adjustment on the thermostat for consistant temperature. Supplies:
1 styrofoam ice chest or a chest that is used to ship frozen foods. I had both but chose the ice chest because it is larger.
1 hot water heater thermostat ($8, temp ranges from 90 - 150 F) 25w light bulb 1lamp kit (bottle version) 4 old wine corks 1surge protector 1water wiggler Not pictured: hardware cloth water dish old pc fan adaptor/transformer I cut and bent the hardware cloth to make a rack that fit into the ice chest. I placed an old dish in the bottom to provide more surface area for the water to help with humidity and also to rest the hardware cloth rack on. Be careful because the cloth will scratch you as you work with it. I worked with it removing pieces here and there until I got a good custom fit. I also cut out the area where the light bulb would be installed to keep the light low in the box because heat rises.
I am not an electrician and have very little expeience with wiring. I followed a diagram and wired my light and the thermostat. I did wire them wrong the first time but when the breaker tripped I knew then the right way to wire them. LOL
The thermostat is the least expensive, single pole version I could find(under $10) from Lowes. The temperature range on this model is 90 - 150 F. The screw at the top is numbered #1 and the lower is #2.
I used a bottle lamp kit because it has an opening on the side so that the kit can be wired straight from the bottom or from the side. This was perfect for this project because it allowed me to run the wires, connect them, then seal the base closed. I am terrified of exposed wires and prefer to have everything contained neatly and hidden away. On the kit the ribbed wire was to be connected to the silver screw. So I cut off a piece of the cord about 4 inches long to have wire to work with to connect the thermostat. With the ribbed wire connected to the silver screw I then used a piece of the wire I cut to wire from the brass screw to the thermostat #2 screw, then used the non ribbed wire of the cord to wire it to the #1 thermostat screw. The wire is run through the base screw and then over through the side opening to that everything is sealed shut when the lamp assembly is closed.
I then carefully wittled out around the inside hole I made to insert the lamp assembly so that everything was snug and tight. The walls of the ice chest I used are rather thick -just a bit thicker than the screw/bolt that came with the light kit. I was very careful to cut away around my bolt opening to that the light assembly would screw together snug and tight so the bulb did not wiggle around and pose a fire threat by melting the styrofoam. Also I cut away a little bit to accomdate the wiring running over to the thermostat.
Assembly on the outside.
And from the inside. I put electrical tape over the little screws on the thermostat that the wires are attatched to because I worried if a child reached in and accidentally touched the screws they might get shocked. Make sure you thread your wires through your tiny holes before assebling them. I used an ice pick to make tiny openings to thread the wires through. Next I used an old adaptor, 120v input 12v DC output, from which I snipped off the end and wire it to an old pc fan.
I wired the black to the black and the red to the other mixed color wire. I secured the wiring with electrical tape and wire nuts. I used a stick coated wire to secure the fan in place.
Using a pumpkin carving tool, I cut out 4 air vent holes and used old wine corks to plug them up with.
I cut out a large rectangle in the lid and placed over it an old window glass pane.
I used duct tape to secure the glass and cover the edges of the glass. I used pink duct tape because it is a Chick 'Bator! Woot! My helper -
I recieved a box of welsummer eggs yesterday. They are now set.
Welsummer Chickens
Today is Day #1 of Welsummer Hatch Watch 2007.
Badger! Do you see how very dark these eggs are?!?! You just wait. If I hatch any and get these dark eggs I can send you some. Farm fresh eggs, never washed or refrigerated will keep on a counter top for 3 weeks. Just think if I collected eggs and mailed them same day you could be eating them in 2 days time! Farm fresh! This part is always exciting and makes me a little nervous.
This is an inexpensive project if you go around and collect things that you may already have or someone you know might be willing to give you. For example - check your local Walmart in the sporting goods section where they sell live fish bait. The worms come in large styrofoam boxes. If you ask nicely they will usually save one for you. I am waiting for the next shipment now and the guy has promised to save me the box. Free! It is an excellent project to do with your kids. Even if you live in the city (Yes, you can have chickens in most towns and cities. Some places limit to 3 hens and 0 roosters in the city limits. You can check most ordinances online at Municiple Codes.) but if you can't you can still hatch eggs and give the chicks to someone. It is not like being stuck with a litter of puppies or kittens. If you hatch some rare breed chicks you will be able to find someone through free cycle or Craig's List who will take them off your hands in a matter of minutes. For all of you teachers out there (Yes, you! And you! And you, too!) This is an excellent classroom project for elementary kids EXPECIALLY those in the city who may never in their life get to see where a chicken comes from and how life begins. I recommend this as a great learning experience for your classroom. Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch. I will be blogging the daily log of temperature, relative humidity, turning of the eggs, etc. You can follow me and use my success and failures to learn from. Rare Breed Chickens: Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Cuckoo Maran Dominiques Sumatras Golden Penciled Hamburgs Silver Gray Dorkings Silver Leghorns Red Caps Egyptian Fayoumis Silver Penciled Rocks Rare Breed Special Lakenvelders Phoenix Blue Andalusians White Laced Red Cornish Golden Laced Wyandottes Golden Campines White Faced Black Spanish Buttercups Modern Bb Red Games Silver Penciled Wyandottes Have I shown you my silkies?
How's this for a different kind of chicken? Check out ebay or or someone local if you want to try to hatch some chicks with your kids. Remember it makes a great 4-H or boyscout/girlscout project, too.

The Bride Wore Blue

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My mother was a beautiful bride.
She was excited. A little nervous.
But most of all - very happy.
We are home. The train was great. The weather was HOT and HUMID. I have 5 gallons of tomatoes, 1 peck of snap beans, 3 gallons of potatoes and umpteen cucumbers to finish today. I made salsa yesterday. It is awesome! Home grown tomatoes, jalepeno peppers, hot chili peppers, cilantro and onions with purchased garlic, lime and salt. Did I say it was hot? Yeah, the weather and the salsa. P.S. I don't think my mother looks 60. Does she?


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We make our own compost. It is not hard to do. You can do it in an outdoor plastic trash can with a lid. We just do it on a larger scale.
Warm, clean and free.
Our compost is a mixture of the remnants of about 15 giant round bales of hay that were left scattered in our field and around the fence line by the previous owners, animal poop, yard clippings, orchard clippings, weeds, and the kitchen garbage of vegetable matter only. Pile it up, mix it up, wet it down. Keep it turned, keep it damp. The bacteria present will begin to get very active. On a cold morning you can see steam rising. When you turn it you can feel the heat. It can get hot to the touch. Natures way of cooking makes a very clean, dark brown dirt.
The cabbage have tripled their leaves in a week.
Yesterday I spread 15 scoops from our front end loader in the garden and around the grapes and fruit trees.
The peas have doubled their size in a week.
All of the plants love the nice rich tea that runs off when it rains. Compost tea is full of all the nutrients your garden plants need to grow and produce. I know it sounds gross to think of things rotting and decaying but when the cycle is complete compost is clean, doesn't stink at all. It smells fresh and clean.
The corn hasn't sprouted yet.
We are very careful not to put any meat scraps, oils, etc into the compost pile. We do not want to attract wild animals or rodents. Neither do you. If you make your compost use only vegetation and plant waste.
The potatoes are peaking out from the soil. They are purple skinned.
When I was spreading the compost I found some things we did not put in there. I have no idea where they came from.
It is sort of gross but interesting, too.
First, I shoveled up a scull. I have no idea what it came from. It looks to have the beginnings of horn bumps on the top of the scull. Second, I came across a jaw bone with teeth. It is not the same or part of the scull that I found. This was found in a different section of the compost pile. Third, I found a fully intact sea shell. Both halves still closed and the membrane sealed together. Do you think a bird could have dropped it? It takes me longer to do tasks now than it used to. When Colby is home in the mornings she watches Steven and the tasks roll right along. When she leaves for work and its just me and Steven things slow down and sometimes come to a grinding halt. Some days he is content to wander and play in the grass. Some days he climbs on the tractor and 'drives'. There are times he plays in the dirt. Then there are the days when he will not stay close to me. Days when he runs off the minute I turn to do something. Days when he is bound to fall head first into the koi pond. Those are the days I give up and we go inside. The past few days have been pretty productive. Today is already looking like it won't be so productive. Steven has been up since 4am whining and tossing and fretting. He only gets still and cat naps when I am holding him. It is 7:15am. I am already exhausted and pushed to my limit. I have so much that needs to be done today. Anyone want to come play with him while I get my chores done? P.S. - I know I have a ton of email and comments to answer but I haven't had time. But I will. Maybe this afternoon or tonight.

Spring Is Busy On The Farm

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With warmer weather and lots of rain things are very busy on this little farm. It takes me an entire day to cut the grass, mow with the push mower places the rider can't reach, then trim with the weed eater and put out round-up as needed along the paved drive and tight places where weeds grow. Not to mention picking up limbs that drop from the trees. The pruning and cutting back as needed is another entire days work. Once the big stuff is done in early spring it doesn't need to be done again until nearer to fall. Thank goodness! Steven put up this rustic looking arbor for the grape vine to grow on. The vine was a tangle of knots and a lump of mess left by the previous owners. I have managed to prune, cut and mow as well as try to train the vine into some bit of order. Compared to the heaping mess blobbed on the ground this is a hundred times better. It took several hours to get the vines untangled and tied in place.
We'll have to use bird netting this summer if we want any grapes.
Steve and I also made these arbors of pvc and chicken wire for the peas in my garden to grow on. The total cost for them both was about $20. They should give plenty of room for the peas to grow on and make picking lots easier as the peas will hang down through the wire. Thanks gravity!
The peas have sprouted.
The very long awaited for fig trees are beginning to show signs of green budding. I am so excited over these trees! We have planted three of them -a very cold hardy variety.
Fresh figs are incredible!
The blueberry bushes are looking wonderful, too. We planted four of these.
I made blueberry yogurt muffins this weekend. Check the recipe journal.
The fig trees and the blueberry bushes were purchased from Lowes. I know many people who do not like buying plants from Lowes. I am willing to give it a try because of the cost difference. The fig trees from a nursery would cost me nearly $100 each up here. I found these at Lowes for $10 each. I think that says it all. The blueberries are very healthy looking and the price was far better than any place we had found also. Lowes will replace these plants or will refund our money if they fail to thrive within a year. Most places I know will not make good on their plants for a year. Right now I am just anticipating fresh figs and blueberries. What a luxury it will be! The damson trees I got from the National Arbor Day Foundation last year are look amazing this spring. They are now about 3 feet tall and growing beautifully.
Damson jam is a luxury.
The dutch early cabbages are doing great.
18 cabbages.
So far the tomatoes are growing vigorously. Some even have blooms on them.
14 tomatoes. Not near as many as normal.
This area near the koi pond is a troublesome lot. It always overgrows quickly with vines and clover. J. and Gracie pulled out the clover. I put down black ground cover. I then put in a bed of hosta that I bought from a PTA sale. Ten bags of mulch later and this place might finally be under control. The area is very shadey and the hosta should really thrive.
I love the look of lush hosta.
I love seeing small plants go in knowing the following year when they come back they will be amazingly big and incredibly beautiful. So now you know what I have been doing the last few days. We have also been working on the chicken barn. Those photos are a post all on their own. I'll get to it very soon. Have I shown you my little monkey lately?
He self feeds. I keep the peel pulled down.
He loves bananas.
Does he look 15 months old?
He eats an entire banana every morning for his breakfast. I wonder how long before he decides he is finished with them as his fruit of choice. I am buying fresh bananas twice a week otherwise they ripen on the counter too quickly. He seems so grown up lately. Feeding himself and drinking from juice boxes. He prefers to do things on his own. He also climbs far too much. It is wrecking my sanity.

Container Vegetable Gardens

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When we lived in the townhouse I didn't let the lack of a yard stop me from gardening. Those of you who replied to my gardening post shouldn't let it stop you either -if you really want some fresh produce this spring and summer. We had a super tiny backyard and I gardened in 2 little plots that were approximately 2 foot wide by 6 foot long running against the side fences that seperated us from the neighbors on either side. In those little plots I grew zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. We had a major supply of squash and tomatoes all summer long. They grew like wildfire! The lettuce just couldn't compete and soon was taken over by the giant leaves of the squash. I grew lettuce and spinach in hanging baskets off the side of our back deck. I grew strawberry plants in a strawberry jar. We had a nice harvest of those too. I also had two cherry tomato plants that I grew in containers. Those things grew so crazy! They were in containers at ground level and by early fall they were over 10 feet tall and growing up the deck posts and railing. Every day was plenty of tomatoes for salads, for snacking and for giving away to the neighbors who were awed by the idea of growing your own vegetables. In the city. In a townhouse. In some little pots. If nothing else you can grow a salad in a couple of containers right on your deck or balcony or even a bright sunny window. Yes, you can. It doesn't have to be expensive either.
I saw these planters just this past week 2 for $5.
These containers can be found at the local dollar store for 2 or 3 dollars each. Punch a couple of drain holes in the bottoms if they don't already have them, add some rocks or broken pottery for drainage. Fill with potting soil.
Miracle grow is pricey but it has plant food in it. Walmart sells a much cheaper potting soil $1.50 for 40lbs. Either way you have to feed the plants weekly to produce good vegetables.
Into one container you could add one or two cherry tomato plants. (Remember as they grow they will need something for support.) Into another you could add a couple of cucumber seeds. (Cucumbers are a vine they will spill out of the container and creep along a banister or small trellis.) Into another you could sow a mixed lettuce seed. (Lettuce grows quickly. You could start seeds about 6 weeks after the first seeds so that you have a never ending supply for your salad bowl.) Place in a sunny place, add water as needed and watch your salad grow. You will be amazed at how much better those few little vegeables taste compared to what you buy at the grocery store. Come on. Give it a try. Don't say "I can't because I live in an apartment/city/tiny townhouse." Say, "I can even though I live in an apartment/city/tiny townhouse." It only takes a small pot of soil and a few seeds. You can do it. You have plenty of time. Especially those of you that live up here in Virginia where winter and spring are still butting heads. The weather is still cool. Lettuce LOVES cool weather. You have plenty of time to start seeds. Plan this weekend to get a few packs of seeds, some pots and soil. You will be glad you did. This week end we plan to start putting all of the seeds I started into the ground. Yipeee!

Wrap Skirt

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Remember those cute little skirts that wrapped around your waist and tied with a simple and quick bow at your hip? Sometimes they had a button on the waist instead of a tie? Yeah, those skirts. The really cute ones. I have made the girls a few to have something different to wear to church. You can make one in about an hour without a special pattern. Here is how to get a custom fit perfect for your height and your hips and waist line. Measure your waist. Let's say your waist is 30 inches. Take your measurement of 30 inches and add half to itself. 30 inches + 15 inches = 45 inches Now we need to figure the proper ratio of waist to hem. For the waistline we will multiply by 30%. 45inches x .3 = 13.5 (round up to 14 inches). Now let's figure the hem line by multiplying by 40%. 45 inches x .4 = 18 inches. Next is how long do you want your skirt? Shall it hit you at just above your knee or just below your knee? Measure from your waist to where you want your skirt to fall. In the deeper south we tend to wear our skirts much longer. For simplicity sake let's say you want your skirt to be 27 inches long. So we have three numbers. 14, 18 and 27. Let's add 3 inches to each number so we can account for seam allowance, waist band and hem. Our measurements become 17 inches, 21 inches and 30 inches. How will we make a skirt from just some numbers? Get out a piece of newspaper and a ruler and marking pen. Let's transfer those meaurements to newspaper to have something to work from. It is easiest to work from the centerfold of the paper.
It is not as hard as it may seem. You can draw this out on newspaper in just a matter of a couple of minutes.
Now that you have drawn your pattern, cut it out along the lines. Pin it to your pre-washed and ironed fabric and cut out 3 identical pieces.
With wrong sides together sew the side seams. With your iron press the seams open, nice and flat. While at the iron go ahead and fold over a the raw edges of your skirt on both sides (about 1/4 inch). Fold over again to hide those raw edges about 1/2 inch. Carefully run a seam along the inside folded edge on both ends of the skirt.
Next, go back to the iron and fold over a scant 1/4 at the waist and press it flat. Now fold over another inch and press that flat as well. This will form your wasitband. Stitch along the inner fold in a straight fine seam. At this point you can use ribbons or buttons to secure your skirt at your waist. You can also cut a thin strip of your fabric and create a tie belt. I usually cut a matching strip of fabric. It is easiest and the least expensive. If I have a spare button I might use it. It just depends on what I have available in my sewing box.
Add a simple button hole on the right side near the side seam for the tie to pass through and wrap around your back. Hem the bottom edge. In about an hour you have a nice new skirt. This pattern will work for any shape and size woman or girl. It is perfect for spring and summer. Many light weight fabrics are available on discount tables for often as little as $1 per yard. You could reasonably make a skirt for about $2 and your time. Most any fabric will work. But make sure your pre-wash it so that if it shrinks you won't have a too small skirt after you have taken the time to make it. This skirt look great paired with a simple T-shirt and a pair of sandles or cute slides. You can dress it up with a crisp light blouse as well. If you make one the next one will be even easier. Think of the cute wardrobe you could make over a weekend. Think how everyone will be asking you where you found such a cute skirt and you can say with pride, "I made it myself!" Today is Wednesday. Take a few minutes this evening and make the pattern. 15 minutes maybe. Thursday pick up about 2 yards of fabric. Maybe more if you want a longer skirt or you are a bigger girl. 30 minutes - it takes time to decide on the fabric! Also decide if you want a button or a tie. Friday lay out your fabric and pattern and cut the three pieces out. 15 minutes, tops. Saturday do the sewing. Remember, just sewing simple straight lines. Voile. You are finished. It hasn't taken much time. You haven't worried or stressed over it. You spent just a few minutes on the preparations. You didn't become frustrated and ready to throw it away. You didn't become overwealmed because you took each task one at a time. You can make another one with confidence and probably do it all in one sitting. Now, go forth and be creative. Then come back and show us what you are going to be wearing. :-) I made this one last night for Gracie. I timed myself. Start to finish 42 minutes. It might take you longer but once you get the hang of it you can whip out a skirt in no time flat.
Gracie was upset that she could not have one of the bags I had made. I used the scraps and pieced a much smaller bag for her. This size would work great for a lunchbag for those who carry their lunch to work.
**Diagrams are copyright

Lurky McLukerson

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The idea for this post comes from Badger who posted the places where she rarely if never comments. It is a fabulous idea so I am stealing it and doing it myself. Three of the places I lurk are also on Badgers list as well. Who knew? Ruth Campbell Smith Diaries - I found this blog through a link left on my blog. Miz S outted me as a lurker to Carol. Carol posts daily a transcript from her grandmother's diaries. It is a bit of voyuerism probably but I love the glimpse into another time and another life. 15 Minute Lunch - This guy is funny. I love his take on even the most mundane of things. I have no idea how I found his blog. It was one of those click a link click a link click a link things until you don't have any idea the spiderweb of roads that led you to where you are. So, I was lost, then I found Johnny. Johnny Virgil. Lyvvies Limelight - I get a vicarious pleasure reading her vent about her in-laws. It may sound mean but I don't mean for it to be at all. When I read her venting it takes off some of the steam of my own. Notice I NEVER speak of that subject here. I first found her and her blog through Susie at the Underpaid Kept Woman. Prepare to Meet Your Bakerina - I consider the Bakerina to be my food geek read. I love her recipes. I love her way of writing. I don't think I am intellectual enough to create words into sentences the way she does. She is successful at something I just can't get the hang of. She bakes the most beautiful loves of bread! I can almost smell them through her photos. I also love that her pots and pans are well used and in no way look like they are brand new. They looked battered, worn and well loved. True Wife Confessions - I have been reading this blog since around entry #60 something. I found it through a google search but I can't remember what it was I had googled that landed me there. I find reading these confessions often sad. Very sad. I wonder why people can't say more out loud to each other. I find it frightening the women who have one night stands over and over and the possibility they could get aides seems not to bother them at all as they stand defiantly saying they will do it again. I feel sorry for their husbands but I feel even more sorry for the women who write alot of these confessions. I am always surprised by the things confessed. I guess there is something about dirty little secrets that draws me back time and again. Confessions of a Pioneer Woman - This has to be one of my most favoorite lurking places. Ree is just the funniest most honest woman I have ran into in a long long time. I love reading about their family ranch. I love looking at her photos. I love her impersonation of Ethel Merman. The fact that she puts a 2 year old on a horse and sends her kids off behind the rest of the cowboys makes me hold my breath. She is impressive and makes me look like I sit around and eat bon bons all day long. Ha! I think I love her. You know, in the way that she is like a heroine in the romance novels that I write in my head. (I wrote a giant one the other day when I was doing all of that laundry.)Go visit and tell her I sent you. I lurk at other places, too, but this is enough for today. Tell me where you lurk.

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