The Martha Stewart Holiday magazine was FILLED with fantastic ideas this year. I've got many of the projects flagged to do "someday". But one particular item really struck my fancy...hand warmers (pg 65). My hands are always cold and I thought these looked perfect to tuck into a pocket. I made one, mostly following the directions in the mag only I used rice instead of pie weights to fill the warmer and I machine stitched around the edge (I hate hand sewing!) The result was less than I had hoped...You can see my attempt there on the left. Part of the problem was the fabric. I used wool felt, which ended up being too stiff. I also used too much rice further adding to the stiffness of the piece. And the over all dimensions were too small. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with an improved version of the hand warmers. I call them Hot Spots. Mine are a bit larger and have an inner bag containing rice and salt which is sewed up with the tiniest stitches possible to prevent leaking. Then I sewed a larger bag to encase the rice bag and blind sewed it shut. Finally, I hand stitched around the edges for decoration (this step could be skipped, but it does look nicer if you take the time to do it). The result is a soft, flexible little pillow that can be warmed in the microwave and stuffed in your pocket to keep your hands warm. It's also great for spot heating an sore muscle. I added a drop of fragrance oil to the rice bags of a few of them, these are particularly delightful.
Today was Christmas Bread day. Can't wait till Monday to have some!
Check out my cool flea market score last week...Clara, Herr Drosselmeyer & the mouse king nutcrackers!!
We got to the flea market about an hour before closing time and really didn't expect to find anything. I saw these three nutcrackers laying in a box. When I asked the stand owner how much he wanted he said "$8 each or I'll give you all 3 for $9". I thought he was pulling my leg, so I asked his wife if he was joking and she just laughed and said no he's just like that. Needless to say, I took them. I'm sure they aren't worth much, but I think they are so adorable. The mouse king needs a sword, but I should be able to find something that will work. Clara appears to be missing something to go on top of her head. I've looked online, but can't find this particular version of Clara anywhere. There's a hole in her head where a peg for a hat might go. But I'm thinking of just getting some blond doll hair rather than trying to make a hat.
I must be off to finish wrapping and baking. Merry Christmas everyone!