Tuesday Treat – Warm Feet

Today for a Tuesday Treat: Slippers!

This past winter for the heck of it I tested a few slipper patterns for felted wool. (I hold my breath as I say “past” since the last drift of snow in our yard disappeared only YESTERDAY.) I tried out three: Stephanie’s Sewn Felt Slippers  and another simply-named Felt Slippers at Martha Stewart.com, as well as Cosy Slippers by ThePrintPlace on Instructibles.com.

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Each of those test pairs has its pros and cons. (None of those made the photo shoot, incidentally. They were made of reject sweaters! the stuff I keep on hand for experimenting! The ones pictured here Stephanie’s pattern, which I later made as a quick gift for a friend.)

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For each one, I redrew the creator’s pattern with my own foot measurements. Stephanie’s was the simplest pattern to size in this way and also the quickest to sew up. Her moccasin-based slippers fit close like socks and feel snuggly warm because of that. The other “Felt Slippers” come farthest up the top of the foot of all three patterns and are really warm because of that. And ThePrintPlace’s pattern takes the most time to measure and draw, but yields a homey, traditional-looking slipper that says (don’t your slippers talk to you?) “Yea! you’re home!” when you walk in the door at the end of a long day. All of them benefit from the addition of a couple of suede or leather patches at the ball and heel of the foot so that the wearer doesn’t slip and the wool lasts longer. (I cut ovals from suede elbow patches I had removed from sweaters.)

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So, anyway, that’s my little review. They were fun to try, and now I love having extra slippers at each door of the house. You never know just what they’ll say when you walk in at the end of a long day, but it’s always downright welcoming.

Under construction…

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you might be wondering if you’re in the wrong place. But you’re not! Please stay and browse! The thing is, I’ve been wanting to make some changes here. But I found I’ve got some steep learning ahead as I try to rock with all the customizing capabilities WordPress has introduced since I first began this blog four years ago. So right now you catch me smack dab in the MIDDLE of re-construction. If you can be patient as I work my way through, I’d be really grateful!

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“Bora Bora Blue: The Sea Beckons Her”

We recently drove downstate to a revered Italian restaurant in a tiny Illinois town (the town of my mom’s roots) to attend a surprise birthday party. The surprise had been in the making for MONTHS. (The family who held the secret together may swear off surprises completely, so difficult was it to keep all their white lies straight!)

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Susan (guest of honor) and her husband drove in to this well-loved home town from their current home in Colorado. Here, let me try to give you an idea of what Susan is like: Feisty! Red-head! Vivacious! Loves to dance! Tall and elegant! Loves people! Loves an adventure! Those words would be ineffective without their exclamation points. That’s just the way she is.

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Naturally, among the top contenders in my mind for a gift for her was a blanket. I chose a lap blanket for this occasion.

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For a starting point, I asked her husband, “What is her favorite color?” His answer: “Well, she doesn’t have just one. But she loves the color of the ocean. Bora Bora blue!”

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“Directions: Open mind, pour in bora-bora-blue color plus all listed adjectives. Stir thoughtfully and allow to settle.” With just a bit more work, “Bora Bora Blue: The Sea Beckons Her” was cooked up. The red-headed mermaid begged for inclusion and then took off for warmth and adventure…and some dance-able Tahitian tunes.

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Did we surprise Susan? Only she knows for sure. If the party itself didn’t surprise her, the sweep of people there did. We came from different parts and eras of her life. We came from eleven states and from coast to coast. The emotion most clearly evident on her face was: “Oh. my. gosh. All these people came?!!…for me!?!!”

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We did! [exclamation point] !

We came because we love you! [exclamation point] !

Happy birthday, Susan!

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“Bora Bora Blue: The Sea Beckons Her” (49″ x 40″)

(This blanket was a gift and is not available for sale.)

Happy birthday, Februarians!

Note: I am not proud of the photos posted here. I did my best on a cloudy day. I’m even less proud of the dishcloth hanging on my faucet, now enjoying internet status. (Narrow photos don’t work well on this blogging template — thus the dishcloth inclusion.) Today I’m just sharing a bit of joy, so ignore all that other stuff :).

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Quick, before February is gone (although it is NOT going to be missed this time around!) I need to post one more thing. February is not a popular month to many, in spite of (and perhaps beCAUSE of) the presence of Valentine’s Day. But I happen to generally think very highly of it. February is my birthday month.

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And this year I had in mind a gift I wanted to make for myself. This sweater coat had actually been forming itself in my mind for several weeks. After all that mental cooking, I put it together in a weekend. I drew the pattern off a store-bought jacket I have, then just went from there. It’s not perfect, but it was so much fun to do.

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Happy birthday, fellow Februarians! We’ve got to hang together!