Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cold Feet???

It is a long running joke in our home. Cold feet in the winter. My
poor husband teases me about it when he is home. Well, I was
remembering tonight an idea that I tried when living in Montana years
ago - a rice bag! Made from fabric, you can have them in any size you
need. Here is how to make a simple one.

Cut 2 pieces of muslin (or other 100% cotton fabric) to be about 1 inch
larger than your finished bag size. This will give you about a 1/2 inch
seam allowance. Don't make the seam allowance any smaller than that!
You will need the full 1/2 inch by the time you are done. Round off the

Place the fabric wring sides together and sew 1/4 inch from the edge
leaving a 2" wide opening for turning along one short side. Turn bag
inside out and sew the seam again about 3/8 inch from the edge, leaving
the opening unsewn. Turn the bag to the right side again. You now have
a very secure french seam!

Fill the bag with rice. Some people like the nag to be more firm than
others. For a less firm bag, you may consider laying out the bag prior
to filling and with chalk, draw a line across the bag, dividing it into
3rds or 4ths. Fill the bag part way (below the chalk line) and then
top-stitch a seam across the line. Continue filling & sewing across the
line until you reach the top of the bag. Fold in the raw edges at the
opening and stitch closed.

Heat up the bag near your heater or some other warm spot. If I were to
use it, I would place it in the warmer above my wood cookstove. Just
before going to bed, place the bag near where your feet will be. These
are wonderful for achy muscles too.

An idea I remember the Amish used in their horse-drawn buggy was to heat
a big stone or brick in their wood stove's oven or near the fireplace.
The brick was then wrapped in a towel or other thick fabric and placed
on the floor of the buggy to rest their feet on. With a lap blanket
over their legs and the hot stone under the blanket & their feet, it
really helped to keep them warm. May just be a good idea for in a van
or other large vehicle where the heating may not be as good as you would

Simple Gift Idea for Kids

Here is a easy idea for a gift that kids (and maybe adults too) will enjoy. All kids love to use chalkboards. Here is a gift I am planning to make for the holiday.

Chalkboard Box


Wooden cigar box (or something similar)
Paint to decorate the inside & outside of the box
Chalkboard paint
Foam brushes
Box of chalk
Scrap of flannel or fleece

Paint the inside and outside of the box as desired, leaving box lid unpainted. Let dry.
Carefully paint the box top with chalkboard paint. Use an extra coat if needed. Let dry.

Place a box of chalk in the box along with a scrap of flannel for an eraser.

Voila' That is it! Simple, yet most young kids will love it.

Bonus Idea:

If you have extra chalkboard paint left over, use it to paint an old vinyl placemat, for little ones to use at a table.

Another off-beat version of the chalkboard is to alter an old book. Start with an old hardcover book like those found at a thrift store. Glue pages together and let dry. Leaving a minimum 1 inch border around the page edges, cut out the pages using a sharp utility knife. This forms a box inside of the book. You may wish to paint the inside to dress it up a bit. When dry, paint the book cover with chalkboard paint.