Upcycled Arm Warmers

I’ve been a fan of the artist Katwise for years. Her coats are works of art! She graciously sells pattern tutorials for both her upcycled coats and arm warmers.

Recently I made myself a pair out of old tshirts. They turned out so cute! I’ll definitely be making more. One of them had the phrase “Enlighten Up” which I positioned over my hand. A gentle reminder during this stressful year.

Ursula loves soaking in the sunshine.

Extracts

Back in April, the world seemed pretty scary. Not like today right? Right?!? :/ Erm…anyway. I decided to make extracts as a way to put some positivity into my future. I made vanilla extract by slicing six vanilla pods and adding them to a bottle of rum. (Some people use vodka but I think rum makes it taste better.)

I’ve made vanilla extract before but also wanted to try something new. Almond extract is a bit more work but worth the effort. I blanched a cup of almonds to make the skin slide off. After chopping them up, I added them to a bottle of grain alcohol. Then I put them in our fermentation closet, giving them a shake whenever I bottled up some kombucha.

Three months later the extracts were ready. I strained out the pods and nuts using two filters. They taste great and will be perfect for baking. Josh added some vanilla to our morning coffee and it was delicious.

Ursula is being as cute as always.

Cat Fur Hack

Recently I fixed my sewing machine with a clever hack. I inherited this machine and it’s pretty solid except that it was missing a small part. Usually there is a thin circle of felt that rests between the thread stopper and thread.

The missing felt meant that the thread moved around the thread holder rod and sometimes both it and the stopper slid off completely while I was sewing. With stores shut down because of Covid19 I couldn’t find a replacement locally. Ursula’s fur came to the rescue!

She’s a long haired girl and loves being brushed. Every time her hairbrush fills up I pull it off and store it in a zippie. I figured I’d experiment some while in quarantine! When I had a few hairbrush merkins I started needle felting.

Since the felt circle holds thread into place, I slid off a thread label and used that for my template.

Cat hair takes longer to felt since it’s not as long as sheep’s wool but otherwise it’s pretty similar. After needle felting for awhile I had a good thickness. I put the thread label on top and cut around the cat felt to match the shape.

I snipped a hole in the middle and needle felted more to round it out. It slid easily onto the thread holder rod.

To thank Ursula I took her on a walk. She loves sitting outside and eating grass.