March’s Cheep Trills – 10 Ways to Keep Busy at Home

Chirped by Cass and Tina

We hope that all of you and your family and friends are doing well during this crazy time. So many of us had to adjust our work, school and lifestyles due to this virus. This month’s Cheep Trills post details how we are keeping busy at home in this new norm. We have listed five things we are doing for others, and five things we are doing for ourselves.

For Others:

Homemade Masks

Homemade MasksTina and her crafting groups have been researching and sewing homemade cloth masks for health care and other essential workers, as well as friends and family. There is some research that questions the utility of cloth masks. However, healthcare and safety specialists that they’ve talked to say that at the very least, the homemade masks:

  1. physically remind people not to touch their faces,
  2. visually remind people to give each other a wide berth, and
  3. protect other people from the bulk of any cough or sneeze that the wearer might project into the air.

If you want to join the cause, check online for local Mask Makers groups – we have a really well-organized Facebook group near us: Mask Makers of Doylestown, PA, but there are others out there. Ours has a porch pick-up/drop-off spot where you can donate materials, grab more supplies, or drop off finished masks. Also check out this Continue reading

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February’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

Oh February! Even though it had an extra day this year, it still seemed to fly by. The weather didn’t help, being very mild, warm and wet here in PA – hurrying us along towards spring. Our shortest month did, however, yield some efficient days of crafting, blogging and catching up. We squeezed a lot in! Here are our top ten favorites from this productive month…

Favorite Books

February’s choices for both book clubs had mixed reviews from our members. Cass’s book club read Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood. It describes a mother in the ’70s trying to save her daughter (born with Downs Syndrome) from a cruel institution and manipulative in-laws. The novel is based loosely on a 1971 exposé of horrific care inside a Massachusetts “school for the feeble-minded”. A guest speaker came to talk about her adult son, who has severe autism. The writing was good, the discussion interesting. Some of us were dubious about how quickly Lucy adapted and rebounded from her first two neglected years. But hey, kids are resilient, right? Continue reading

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Frugal Fibers for Budget Crafters

Chirped by Tina

Any devoted fiber artist or crafter probably has an overflowing stash of yarn for new projects. But let’s assume for the moment that you don’t, or that you’re new to crochet, knitting, etc. Maybe you want to test the waters with some small beginner projects – without breaking your budget on materials. Or perhaps you’d like to help a non-profit with a crafting cause, but can’t afford skeins of expensive wool? Sure, you can find discount bins at the craft store. But why not give the Earth a high five and try some of these upcycling ideas instead?

Thrift Store Gems

For many projects, used or re-purposed supplies may be perfect. If you’re making things like rescue nests or a potholder, you don’t need brand new yarn. You also don’t need perfect technique, so it’s a great way to learn and practice! Allow me, therefore, to introduce you to the Goodwill Outlet Store! These and other pay-by-the-pound-type thrift Continue reading

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Ten Christmas Decorating Joys

Chirped by Tina (and Cass)

We love having an excuse to mix up our decor for the holidays, especially at Christmas time. Unboxed memories catapult us into the past, then boomerang back to brighten our season. Here’s a list of ten Christmas decorating joys, and why they make us happy…

#1: The Tree

Ten Christmas Decorating Joys

For me, the tree is the show-stopper. My family loves the look and smell of a real Frazier fir. Fraziers tend to have branches strong enough to support our heavier ornaments, too! In our house, the motto (ever since the boys got big enough to help haul it in) has been “Go Big or Go Home!” This year’s specimen is 10′ 8″ – but that includes the “antenna” that my husband refused to let me trim down to size. I love the afternoon we spend each year trimming our tree. I even look forward to the day I devote to taking it down by myself. It gives me a chance to savor every ornament, and Continue reading

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12 Days of Christmas Hanger Tree

Chirped by Tina and Cass

12 Days of Christmas Hanger Tree

Christmas is right around the corner, and our chicks are in their final weeks of the semester at college. Last week we put together a 12 Days of Christmas Hanger Tree for each of them, to add a little holiday spirit to their dorm rooms. Since the accompanying decorations will be wrapped up with little treats, it’ll also make their countdown to winter break more festive and tasty! These three-tiered coat-hanger trees are compact, whimsical, and best of all, easy to assemble in an afternoon. Plus, you can adapt them for different decorative Continue reading

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