Valentine’s Day Handwarmers

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to make Valentin’s Day handwarmers. They have little heart appliques which make them super adorable. These are really quick and simple to make,  and serve as a great Valentine’s Day gift for anyone, family, friend, or something more. Here is what you will need:

  • Sweater-like material
  • Felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Rice
  • Funnel
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Handwarmer pattern cutouts (PDF at the bottom of this post)

Step 1: Cut out 4 ovals out of the sweater material. You will use two for each handwarmer. Also cut out two hearts from the felt. Sew a heart onto the middle of two ovals using a straight stitch and slightly less than a 1/8″ seam allowance. Unless you’re using matching thread, make sure you outline the heart neatly, so that your handwarmer doesn’t look messy.

Step 2: With wrong sides together, sew two ovals together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a space about an inch wide along one curve (leaving the opening on a wide spot makes it harder to sew shut later) open for stuffing.

Step 3: Stick a funnel into the opening of the handwarmer. Pour about 2 teaspoons of rice into the handwarmer. If your funnel has a small opening, you may want to add the rice in small bits so that the spout doesn’t get clogged. Sew the opening shut. Repeat steps 1-3 for each handwarmer.

Your handwarmers are now finished! To warm them up, place on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds. These handwarmers can be held to keep your hands warm, or slid into mittens and gloves with pockets (such as Head hand-wear) to keep your mitts warm.

To access the PDF pattern, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Nancy Drew

‘Not many girls would have used their wits the way you did.’

Hello! Today I will be blogging about the Nancy Drew mystery series, by Carolyn Keene. First, I will give you some general information:

  • Author: Carolyn Keene
  • Genre: Mystery fiction
  • Age: 10+
  • Please note: These books contain tense moments and cliffhangers as well as light elements of romance such as dating.

The Nancy Drew books were originally published in the 1930’s. Since then, a newer series, called Nancy Drew Girl Detective, has come out, starting in 2006, that is published in first person instead of third. I have never bothered with the new series, as it is my firm belief that the original is always best.

Nancy Drew was actually published by many authors, all under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The pseudonym (a false name an author uses for his books, AKA pen name. Example: Dr. Seuss is actually Theodore Geisel) was originally taken up by Leslie McFarlane, the author of the Hardy Boys, which is pretty much Nancy Drew for boys. For the Hardy Boys novels, McFarlane used the name Franklin W. Dixon as a pseudonym.

Nancy Drew is a series of mystery novels originally consisting of 56 books, from The Secret of the Old Clock to The Thirteenth Pearl. In each book, Nancy Drew, a 19-year-old daughter of a well-known attorney, solves a mystery that often contains some mysterious object with her friends, cousins Georgia (George) Fayne and Bess Marvin. With the help of their boyfriends, Ned Nickerson, Dave Evans, and Burt Eddleton, they solve the case, after many intense cliffhangers (some of them quite literally), and plenty of danger.

I like reading the Nancy Drew mystery stories as something light and cheesy after reading something deep or slow, as a kind of ‘break’.  Because there are so many, the plots can get unoriginal. Something I chuckle at is that Nancy is the perfect girl: gorgeous, smart, athletic, and incredibly talented. There was one time when she did a spectacular twist-flip dive off a high diving board, and what sleuth knows how to do that?! But I enjoy the Nancy Drew books; they are still very entertaining, and in a good way.

Here is a list of the first ten books:

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock
  2. The Hidden Staircase
  3. The Bungalow Mystery
  4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch
  6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm
  7. The Clue in the Diary
  8. Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
  9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles
  10. Password to Larkspur Lane

If you like haunting mysteries and easy reading, then Nancy Drew is a great pick!

If you would like more information on these books, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Stuffies

Hello! Today I’m going to blog about stuffies. However, not just the plush toy, but the word itself. Lately, I have been thinking about how weird the English language is. We have over 10 synonyms for happy. Also, why is vomit called vomit, puke, and sick? They all mean the same thing, and unlike happy, there aren’t any variations of sick. One reason we have so many words for happy is that they describe different levels of happy (content, joyful, elated). But vomit does not have variations. It means the same thing, so why are there so many ways to say it? It’s the same with couch and sofa. Another thing I find weird is that we have slangs that make no sense whatsoever, like ‘awesomesauce!’ Why is sauce awesome? Couldn’t we just say ‘great’? Many of our words also change over time, like gayGay used to mean happy or blissful. Now it means transgender. Sick used to be slang for stupid or bad, but now it means cool or radical (do you even know what rad means? It’s the long [proper] version of rad.). To francophones (people who speak French), everything we say is backwards. An example is ‘Harrison’s wife’ seems perfectly fine, but in French it would be , ‘la femme de Harrison,’ which is ‘thee wife of Harrison.’ We also give inanimate objects possession: the chair’s legs.

Anyway, ‘stuffy’ is one of those weird English things. One definition of stuffy is a plush toy, like a teddy bear. They are called stuffies because they are filled with polyester fiberfill, giving them a cozy cushioning.

However, stuffy also means congested. If you have a head cold and your nose is plugged up wiith mucus, you have a stuffy nose.

Stuffy means hot or muggy, as well. If it’s a hot summer day and your air conditioner is not working, your house probably feels stuffy.

I find it really weird that ‘stuffy’ can mean three things that are entirely different. English is so weird … one of the reeasons I enjoy learning French is because it is so different and really opens my mind.

If you would like start Duolingo yourself, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan