Friday, February 25, 2011

Prim Wreath Stitcheries- Corn Cozies & Mug Mats

Corn Cozies • Ice Packs • Scented Mug Mats & Trivets • Candle Mats • Coasters • Sachets •
Keyboard & Mouse pad wrist rests, Bean Bags & even a pillow for my Granddaughter’s Barbie Doll!

Those are just a few of the things that you can make with the ITH Corn Cozy Sets. But guess what? Those little corn bag liners also make pretty cool sachet, soap and seed bags! I have a ton of test squares and decided to use some of them for little salt scrub and milk bath bags for gift giving.  Print the instructions for adding to the bath, punch a hole in the corner, string a ribbon through, tie around the bag and you’re done!  I added some extra length to the top of the bags so I could have more of a ruffled look at the top when I tied the ribbon.
I've also added a couple of milk and salt bath recipes to the Hoop & Holler recipe section should you care to use them for gift giving! Since we live in a dry climate, we're always fighting dry skin, the milk bath recipes are my absolute favorite and are so nice for soothing dry skin!

Needing a larger square corn cozy or or how about a spiced trivet? Be sure to check out The Country Needle's newest sets here

Happy Stitching!

Rice Filler Recipe for Scented Mug Mats & Trivets

3 cups rice
2/3 cup dried Rosemary
1 cup cup Star Anise, broken into pieces
1/2 cup dried orange peel
8-10 drops Cinnamon Oil or more if you prefer a stronger scent
Mix together, store in a glass air tight container, shake twice daily to mix the scents. Best if made a couple of days in advance.
Use 2/3 cup per 6x6 corn/spice bag.

I like using herbs and fillers like anise and orange peel with the oils because they help absorb the scent, making it last longer.

Basic Milk Bath Recipe

Recipe # 1
1 1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1/8 cup baking soda
2 TBS cornstarch

Recipe # 2

3 cups powdered milk
1 cup quick cooking oats (ground- I use a food processor)
You don't have to grind the oatmeal, but it dissolves much easier!
Store your mixture in an airtight container.
To use, add three or four tablespoons of mixture to bath.

Add essential oils to above recipes for a luxurious scented milk bath that even Cleopatra would enjoy!

Basic Bath Salt Recipe

1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
1 Cup Sea Salt
Essential Oil (see below)
Mix together with the following Essential Oils to create your own scents.
(You can also omit the Dead Sea Salt and Sea Salt and replace with Epsom Salt)
Add desired amount to warm running bath water.

Relaxing Lavender Bath
20 drops Lavender EO
Energizing Bath:
20 drops of Rosemary EO
Stress Relief
10 drops Eucalyptus oil
10 drops Spearmint oil

Friday, February 18, 2011

You've probably heard the saying "cold hands, warm heart." Well a research study done at Yale in 2008 showed that the phrase should probably be worded as, "warm hands, warm heart." Basically, the study showed that those who held a warm cup of coffee in their hands had warmer thoughts and were more likely to feel generous towards another. While those that held an iced cup of coffee regarded that same person with opposite feelings. Hmmm! It just occurred to me that the next time I ask my hubby to take me fabric shopping, I'm going to make sure his hands are nice and warm so that he'll feel generous enough to let me have all the fabric I don't have to hide :-) LOL

All kidding aside, I thought the study made sense and as John Bargh, a professor of psychology at Yale and co-author of the research said, “It appears that the effect of physical temperature is not just on how we see others, it affects our own behavior as well. Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer – more generous and trusting – as well.”

So with that in mind, doesn't it make perfect sense to create things that give us and others the same feeling? Whether it's heated corn cozies, scented mug mats or a hand made quilt, they help warm us inside and out!
If you're interested in reading more on this study, you can click here and here for more information.
There are 2 new Prim Stitchery sets this week- both great for quilts, prim & country decor & more! 

Prim Crow Stitcheries

Price: $9.97

Sale: $7.48

Save: 25% off

This Prim Crow Stitchery set includes 8 designs for both the 4x4 & 5x7 hoops - 16 total. Know a Prim Lover? Stitch these on placemats, kitchen curtains, flour sack towels and scented mug mats. Bundle them together in a wicker country basket with some homemade jam for the perfect Prim house warming gift.

Prim Hand Stitcheries

Price: $9.97

Sale: $7.48

Save: 25% off

These are wonderful for making quilt labels! Set includes 5 designs for both the 4x4 & 5x7 hoops. Stitch in multi-colors as designed or use only one color throughout for a more traditional redwork look.
10 designs total.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember, if you're needing more embroidery designs and supplies and want hubby to be generous, make sure his hands are nice and warm!
As always...
Happy Stitching!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Special Facebook Coupon

Spend $25 or more at The Country Needle
& get an extra 10% OFF
Use Coupon Code at Checkout:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Prim Stitcheries!

I think Primitive decor always has the look and feel of warm and cozy no matter what the season.  I think it just makes people feel welcome and to me it says, welcome and come on in to sit a spell- At least that's how I want people to feel when they come into my home. A heart-warming, friendly, make yourself at home, have a cup of coffee type atmosphere, who doesn't like feeling that?
Whether it's Annie or Ornies or Pumpkins or Snowmen, prims are used all year round. February is Prim Month at The Country Needle and here are some of our newest sets:

This would be great for a stay-at home Mom that needs a bit of cheering up from all the snow days the kids have had. I remember when I could relate and there are times when I still do : )

Prim Sentiment Stitcheries
Here I stitched the 6x10 Prim Sentiment Sampler on white cotton fabric and then tea stained the entire design.  When the fabric is your desired color, rinse and hang to dry.  While my fabric was drying, I took an old barn wood frame and stretched a piece of window screen to the back, stapled in place and added my hanger.  When the design was dry, I didn't bother to iron it because I wanted an old wrinkled look. I then snipped the edges and ripped the edges off creating a fringed look. Using 4 big silver safely pins, I attached the design to the screen.  It is now gracing my rec room wall next to an antique style telephone. 

This set of 31 designs includes a 5x7 & 6x10 Sampler and 14 Prim Sentiments in 4x4 & 5x7 to mix and match to your heart's content to make your very own unique sampler. There's also a mini heart spacer included. 

We can't forget Valentine's Day! Here's a craft idea for the little ones.
Prim Valentine Stitcheries 02
Stitch these Prim Valentine Animals on just regular stabilizer. Staple them together or using a hole punch tie the pages together with ribbon. Gift with a new box of crayons or markers and let the little ones color in the designs. I think these would also be cute framed after they've been colored to hang on a child's bedroom wall.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Corn Cozies

After doing the scented mug mats, I decided I would like some body or hand warmers that could also be used as ice packs. I did a bit of research and (WHOLE) corn seems to be the best for holding heat and since I had to go to town anyway for an appointment Monday, I added the local feed store to my list of stops. On the way to the feed store, I passed the Natural Grocers store that had recently opened so I stopped there first to check it out. Good thing hubby wasn't with me! There was an aisle that was like an herbal heaven to the senses- full of dried herbs and spices! I kinda went a little crazy and purchased several varieties of herbs and spices. More scented mug mats? Sachets? Tea? My mind was racing with all the stuff I could make with these goodies I was taking home.

In-the-Hoop Corn Cozies in 5 sizes
As I was walking out of the store, I was hit with a cold blast of air. Brrrr! The predicted storm was on it's way! I couldn't get my box of goodies loaded in the truck fast enough (Note to self: they don't have sacks- remember to bring my own next time). Next stop, the local IFA- all they had were 50 pound bags of whole feed corn. I definitely didn't want THAT much, but that's the only size they had and figured if I didn't use it all, I could feed it to the squirrels or the family of deer we occasionally see crossing the back of our property.

Having received a body warmer for Christmas years ago that we finally wore it out, I knew I needed three things- a cover, a bag and of course the filler. So I began creating the designs for this week. These In-the_Hoop Corn Cozies are so easy to make and if you've never tried applique techniques on your embroidery machine, this a wonderful project to learn how. I've included photos with the instructions to help you along the way.

So what did I do with all those herbs I bought? Well after explaining to my darling hubby why I "needed" them, I mixed lavender, calendula and chamomile buds together and created "dream pillows" using the heart shaped corn cozies. It has always taken me forever to get to sleep (I think by nature, I'm a night owl anyway) and while I use a line of lavender products to relax and fall asleep easier, that gets a bit expensive. Now I have my own little lavender scented sachet under my pillow to help me drift off into the Land of Nod. It's a good thing I made more than one, because my Mom decided to keep the one I made from chenille for herself! And as for thinking, I wasn't going to use up that 50# bag of feed corn, I'm going to have to make more because the ones I made have now been confiscated by both my parents AND my kids! LOL I guess my darling hubby will have to put up with another night of my cold feet!

Now if you're wanting a corn cozies larger than what will fit in a 6x10 hoop. Here's a recycling project you might want to give a try! Gather up some old jeans, some old flannel pajamas or shirts and get your cleaned corn.
To be honest, I had a great time creating and making the corn cozies but my least favorite part was cleaning the corn! You want WHOLE Corn (also known as Deer or Wildlife Corn) Make sure it’s clean- meaning that the kernels are not cracked or broken and all sticks, leaves, rocks, etc. have been removed- kinda like sortin' beans.
I used a plastic collander to shake out the little broken pieces and then used an old cookie sheet for sorting out the bad kernels. BTW, those little cracked or broken pieces do make popcorn so make sure you get them all out!
Now that the corn has been cleaned, set it aside and get those old jeans and flannel jammies out.  Decide how big you want the corn cozies to be and cut a leg off (of the jeans, silly : ). I didn't want the extra bulk, so I cut off the double seams too. Add enough in length for stitching the bag closed. .
 Next get your flannel, lay your jean piece on top and measure twice the length plus 2 inches (for hemming each end) and about an inch wider than than your corn bag. I used an old pair of child-sized flannel pajama pants and one leg was perfect for making 2 covers. Since I was able to use the entire length of the leg, I eliminated having to hem each end of the cover.

With right side up, fold each end towards the center overlapping your hemmed edges. Pin together, stitch a 1/4 inch seam allowance, turn right side out. Your corn cozy cover is now done.
For the corn bag, turn your jean leg wrong side out and stitch one end of the tube. I double stitched for added strength. Turn right side out, fill 3/4 full with corn and stitch the top closed. You want your corn bag to be pliable- like a bean bag. This will allow the corn to heat evenly and fit nicely around your neck or shoulders.
You can make the covers out of anything you like, but please only use 100% cotton fabrics for the corn bags. I wouldn't want anyone starting a fire in their microwave and burning down the house!  Depending on the size of your corn bags and because microwaves vary, please use caution and don't overheat. I made 3 different sizes using the denim and the largest took approximately 3-4 minutes to heat, while the smallest  took about 1-1/2 minutes.
In the photo above, 2 corn cozies were made from the one pajama leg and the red one was from the sleeve of an old flannel shirt.  
Have fun and as always...
Happy Stitching!