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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I am back on track: working outdoors and an Easter project -- super simple lace headbands

These last couple of weeks were unusual for me, first with my body, and then with problems with the house, kids and a friend. You know what they say, when it rains, it pours!!! I am optimistic that this week will go smoothly enough (life is never totally smooth, so I'll settle for smooth enough). Thank you so much for your kind words, encouragement, support and "been there" attitude. Truly, your words helped.

Over the weekend I was able to get out to the veg garden and get the potatoes planted. And my husband set out on constructing the new bed where one of our fig trees will go in early April. This is right up against the brick patio, in a sunny spot. Keeping fingers crossed that this will bring a better fig harvest! (The two fig trees are currently in pots.)

And the good weather is continuing. I spent several hours pulling weeds yesterday, moving some plants to better spots, planting a couple of new plants, and adding some river rock to the new daffodil area. I had forgotten how much I like the way daffodils looks with river rock at their base. Technically, this isn't real river rock, probably glacial rock. As we dig new areas in the yard, we set the rocks aside, to use decoratively in the landscape.

I also continued with Easter bunny work, and am now done with the baskets.

We do candy and small gifts for our kids in their baskets. My son mentioned his long-sleeved white t-shirts were wearing out. He's getting a replacement shirt, from Old Navy. No sale, no discount, bummer! But it's what he wants, so I don't feel badly about not getting a deal. I also added some packets of instant oatmeal for him to keep at his office. He doesn't always get breakfast at home, so this tides him over until lunch. (And he's got a sweet deal on lunch. The bosses bring lunch in every day!)

My daughters's biggest "need" is related to next year's university expenses. So, I'm going cheap on their baskets (spending half of what I spent on our son), and putting the other few dollars into the budget for things like bus passes. But I think they will appreciate what I've added to their baskets. They both take dance classes, and are always borrowing my mascara (I know, you're not supposed to share mascara) and face powder for recitals. Well, they each are getting their own. I discovered an inexpensive cosmetic line at Target last week -- E.L.F (eyes, lips, face). The mascara was $3 (half of what Target was charging for Cover Girl), and the face powder was $1. While I was there, I also bought myself some concealer ($1) for my very dark under-eye circles, and so far I am pleased. But also, for my daughters, after Christmas I found these bath/lotion gift sets on clearance for $1.18 each. And, there was one last thing I wanted to make for them, using sewing trim scraps. (You remember, I've been cleaning out my sewing closet this winter.)

These lace headbands.

You know, I actually bought a lace headband for myself this past fall, and spent about $4 at the mall. Driving home, I had that thought, "what was I thinking? These would be super simple to make!"

And they are -- each one taking about 20 minutes of my time.

Basically, I started with about 21-22 inches of lace for each headband. One of the lace pieces I lined with peach-colored ribbon, both to add color and stability to the thin lace. The other, made of a more substantial lace, has a trim daisy hand sewn on. I also used 1 hair ponytail holder, each, to give them elastic stretch.

I changed my mind on the trim daisy, and went with 1 hot pink one instead

I ironed the lace and ribbon smooth. Sewed the ribbon to the back side of the lightweight strip of lace.

I turned under 1 end about 3/8-inch and pressed. Then turned that under about 1/2-inch, and pressed again.

I slid the ponytail holder under this fold. Using my machine, I stitched the fold down.

Next I pressed the other end, in the same way as the first, and pinned the other half of the ponytail holder into place. I tried the headband on myself.

I was guessing at the size for my daughters. I wound up cutting about 1/2-inch off this end, and pressing 3/8-inch under, then 1/2-inch under. I slid the other side of the ponytail holder under this fold, and stitched down the fold.

Voila! Lace headbands, using sewing trim scraps for a total cost of --- FREE!

And now, the Easter baskets are filled and tucked away in a closet, freeing up the rest of my week for the more meaningful activities of Holy Week.

How about you? Do you have some things you want to get done for Easter? Have you had cooperative weather for working outside? I know it is still wintry in some places, and I'm hoping for spring to come to your area soon, too. Thanks for reading, today!


  1. We are still in full-blown winter mode. I love the idea of daffodils among "river" rocks!

    1. Hi anexacting,
      Oh, I hear you on the winter there. I have a good friend in Alberta who can't even see her garden beds, due to all the snow, let alone even think of gardening. There is a blessing in that -- fewer months of the year that you have to pull weeds, mow lawns, and make everything look nice. The snow makes everything beautiful on its own.

      I'll be posting pictures of our "river" rocks and daffodils later this week.

  2. I love the idea of Easter gifts instead of a whole heap of chocolate. Although chocolate is always good :)

    My Easter weekend will involve working on the Friday and Monday, but that's by choice because I'm taking some time off later in April instead to go to Melbourne and visit my family. Hope you and your family have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Economies,
      We started with Easter gifts the year my son was 3. The year before had not gone so well with the candy, for him. He wanted to eat nothing but candy, and had his terrible two's moments for several weeks. That was one of those, "whoever thought that giving small children lots of candy all at once, definitely did not have small children," realizations. So the next year we pt things like coloring books, crayons, playdough in his basket, along with healthier treat items, instead of the candy. AND, he was just as happy. We've continued with gifts along with candy over the years.

      You'll have a great time visiting family in Melbourne in April. That's nice that you can get back there again so soon. I think you've mentioned possibly moving back there once you've finished your degree. Are you still thinking along those lines?

  3. What a great idea! I am so making myself one of these! Would love to see pics of your daffodils/ rocks for ideas. : ) Angela

    1. Hi Angela,
      I'm glad you like them!
      Your wish is my command -- pictures of rocks (and daffodils). I think Thursday's post will include a bunch of photos of how we use "found" rocks in our landscape. We have incredibly rocky soil here, and have found many ways to use the different sized rocks decoratively and functionally. Do you have daffodils in your yard?

  4. Good work on the baskets and headbands Lili! Easter's not a big deal gift wise here, and it's been so cold I haven't yet gone out to get the small things that I do plan to get.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      It's hard to think Easter when there's still cold and snow around, isn't it? Did you get snow this past week in your area? I've seen some photos of quite a bit of snow in some parts of England. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.

  5. hi lili,
    what a great idea!! really sweet headbands.we have sunny weather,but with a cold east cold for march.
    have a nice week,
    love and hugs regina

    1. Hi Regina,
      It sure sounds wintry in so many places in the world this March. The month is nearly over, and then it's April. Surely, you will have lovely spring come April! I loved your photos of bringing spring indoors.
      Have a wonderful Easter!

  6. As I was logging on, I thought, hmm, I wonder what Lili is up to? Such fun Eastery/springy ideas. I love the idea of using the elastic bands on the headbands. I'm sure that would make a better fit.

    We also do small gifts and candy. It's fun to see what you get your older kids. I usually hit the dollar store but that may not work as well as my kids get older.

    Do you have a busy week for Holy Week? Easter is, for me, the most meaningful holiday of the year.

    1. Hi Kris,
      For me, it seems easier to find inexpensive small gifts for my daughters, as the kids have gotten older, than for my son. Part of that is my son's age and stage in life. He's just needing the big things now. But as your kids get older, you'll still be able to find a few things in the dollar section of Target or at the dollar store. I've bought bubble bath, pretty notepads and pens (each for $1) for my daughters, and mechanical pencils, masculine body wash and keychain flashlights for my son ($1 each). It's possible to do dollar store stuff for older kids, but you just have to look harder.

      Our church has something going on just about every day this week. A lot to keep me busy. I really love Easter, too. The Good Friday service is beautiful, thought-provoking, soul stirring, and the Easter Sunday service is so filled with joy. Those are my two favorite events of the week. How about you? Do you have favorite activities during Holy Week?

    2. I sing in the choir, and there's nothing like singing on Easter morning. Our church has Maundy Thursday services rather than Good Friday services and those are solemn in nature and more of a time of reflection. Last year we had a Passover Seder service/meal which was a really neat experience.

    3. So you've probably been busy with extra rehearsals and such! It sounds like a beautiful service you have on Maundy Thursday.

  7. We had a lovely sunny day yesterday so went for a walk on the ocean and then came home and started weeding. I ran out of steam after 1/2 an hour though as am still getting over my cold so there are still weeds a waiting. Cheers

    1. Hi Cheapchick,
      Sounds like you had a nice day. I always have limited energy when I'm getting over a cold, too. It's probably your body's way of telling you to give it time. Hope you feel better soon!

  8. I love how you made the headbands. I was picturing needing to sew elastic the length of the lace but your idea was much easier and I think will work better. I will be giving gifts this year for Easter and still need to complete them.

    1. Hi Lois,
      how are your gifts coming along? I really like the heart wall hanging. I was thinking about something like that for my teen daughters's room. (Actually it looks like one of those projects that they could make themselves!) Good luck finishing up!

  9. I'm looking forward to getting together with my husband's family for Easter. We have just learned that one of the family members has a serious illness, so this family time will mean a lot.

    I'm glad that you've been able to work in the yard. We haven't had a lot of opportunity, but also I have other responsibilities I have to take care of first.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      oh. I'm sorry to hear of your family members' illness. It will be good for all of you to get together for the holiday.

      Everything has a way of working out as it should. Your weather may not have presented opportunities to get outside, but then you have a lot on your plate right now, anyway.

      I hope you have a lovely Easter with family.

  10. Lili,
    You are so creative with your sewing machine-your girls are sure to love the lace headbands! What a thoughtful Momma you are! I just bet that son of yours will be super pleased as well! I am also anxious to hear about your Fig Trees. Do they really produce Figs?

    We will be going to Easter Services and then back to our home to have our annual Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Dinner! This year our menu is based on Southern Fried Chicken!
    Glad you are having such a good week!

    1. Hi Jemma,
      Thank you!
      Yes, we do get figs, just not very many of them, yet. I am hoping that taking the trees out of pots and planting in the ground will improve our harvest. I have a neighbor whose fig trees do splendidly. So I am hopeful.

      Your Easter Sunday sounds lovely. And I love a menu based on fried chicken. Do you make your own fried chicken? That is on my list to learn how to do well. If you make your own fried chicken, please, someday write a post about it!


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