Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gifts for my Sorority Sisters

Whether you are young or old—friends are important and help us through life, both the good and the bad. I am blessed to be a member of Kappa Epsilon Phi—no matter how many years go by or where our lives, jobs, or interests take us in life—my sisters and I are still friends. Today, I thought I’d share a few of the projects I’ve done over the years for my sorority sisters.
After moving here from Tucson, I was teaching at the college and care-giving for my mother-in-law. I could not easily leave town, so I invited my sorority sisters to come here to the beach.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I sent each of them a special invitation I made on my computer using a wedding invitation kit found on clearance at A.C. Moore. The seashell theme works for my beach/house party just as well as for a wedding itself.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
When thinking of a gift for my sorority sisters when they came, I thought a glass vase acid-etched with our sorority’s letters would be perfect as place settings at the table, especially when filled with flowers. Flowers always make people happy.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Some blue glass beads and Windex were put in the vase so you could see the finished etching better. I crafted my own stencil by printing the size Greek letters I wanted onto paper, tracing them onto white contact paper, and the carefully cutting out the stencil with a craft knife. The glass vases were purchased at A.C. Moore on sale.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
The scrapbook project was actually done years ago before I moved to Florida. I ordered a scrapbook for each of us to document our adventures together and had each one inscribed. We all have a special “sister” name; naturally, I am Sister Junie Moon as that’s what I’ve been called for numerous years.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Scrapbooking our shared experiences makes for wonderful memories. When we are truly so old we can’t hobble about wreaking merry mayhem together, we can always look back on the fun we had.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
To keep paperwork together, I purchased Martha Stewart cases and stenciled those as well. We stick bits of souvenirs, tickets, meeting programs, invitations, postcards, or whatever in the case until we can put our little memories in our scrapbook.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I love thinking of little projects like these I’ve shared with you today and over the years on my blog. Not only does it make me happy to do something creative, it gives me great joy to gift people.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rolling Along Julia Child’s Way

Three years ago, I read about Julia Child and her rolling pins. She favored a no-handled pin made of hard wood such as maple about 18-inches in length and a diameter of about 1 3/4 inches. Around the same time, my friends and I were taking a series of classes where we learned special cooking or baking skills from each other. One of those classes was for making donuts and other assorted goodies. On the supply list was bringing a rolling pin.

Source: Unknown
Remembering Julia and her rolling pin, I set about finding one and then decided I’d simply make a pin using Julia's specifications. That thought led to the idea of making a pin to gift each of my friends attending the baking class. Not having any previous wood workshop experiences other than some minor efforts with my dad, I ordered lengths of unfinished solid maple from a wood company and asked my friend Paula’s husband Sam to help me as he has every tool known to man. The following pictures show my progress.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
To add a small note of grace, I personalized the pins by stamping each attendee’s initials into one end of the pin with a metal alphabet stamp set attached to a wood-burning tool to finish it off.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Sam was such a sweetheart to help me with this effort. I learned so very much from him and am grateful for his willingness to do this and his patience.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
The final step involved using a special sealant made for wood items that come in contact with food.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Since a dish towel was also on the supply list, I tied a new dish towel around each pin.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Here are my friendship gifts—I loved this project and think Julia Child would have approved.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
The class itself was so much fun and we made all sorts of yummy treats: maple bars, donuts, and so on. The series of classes/workshops helped us learn more about each other and the amazing skills each woman has to offer.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I miss my friends back in Tucson—they are such awesome people! Maybe I ought to start a similar sort of group effort here with my new friends as they all have skills in a variety of ways, too.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
And these are the homemade cinnamon rolls I recently made using my own special rolling pin.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Holiday Trees

Yep, it’s another pillowcase blog post—one of thousands you can find online at many a seamstress’ blog. They are so much fun, though, it’s kind of hard to stop with one—just like the potato chip commercial asserts. And much like a favorite recipe you make over-and-over again, I have a favorite sewing tutorial. Michelle’s Magic Pillowcase tutorial is my go-to sewing instruction when I want to sew something fun and easy.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I made some adorable flamingo pillowcases for my sister at Christmas but completely forgot to take a picture of them. But you can see the cute pillowcases I made for my own bed using festive holiday fabric. What could be more fun than sleeping on holiday trees—and these aren’t even crunchy under my head.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Camera Strap Sleeve

Last year, I made another new camera strap sleeve. One of the things I like about sewing these sleeves is that they are removable for washing. This is important to me because sweaty camera straps are just plain nasty which is why I make the sleeves in the first place. While we’ve been having some cold days here in Florida, sweat is not so much the issue right now as is constant wear and tear on the strap.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
The strap cover is simply a tube of fabric I sewed and placed over the original stretchy camera strap. I'm preserving the orgininal strap as it does not strain my neck--my Nikon is quite heavy. There was enough of this fabric in my stash to make two new straps over the last couple of years, but now the second one is looking the worse for wear.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I guess a new one should go on my “to-do” list. Actually, I really ought to just go ahead and make a small “wardrobe” of straps—would save time later and be fun to make seasonal or even holiday versions. BUT, there are other projects on my list, so maybe I won’t worry about it right now.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

It’s supposed to be a rainy day here in the Panhandle and some health emails I get keep telling me to drink more water. But I can’t stand outside with my mouth wide open to get water to drink—it’s rather hard on one’s neck. And since regular water bores me, I made a more interesting version yesterday before the rain moves in—yet again.

So, I’m giving the Skinny Fiber Fat Flush and Detox drink a try. I’m avoiding soft drinks—don’t drink them all that often anyway—but I am a big sweet tea drinker as a born-and-bred southern girl.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I made two big batches of this purportedly-healthy beverage from a recipe found on Pinterest. It involves merely slicing up 1 cucumber, 1 lemon, 2 limes, and 1 bunch of fresh mint. After dividing the ingredients between two large pitchers, I filled the pitchers with water and put them in the fridge to get cold. Super simple and tastes pretty good.

A small tea strainer works to filter out all the bits and pieces when pouring in my glass. While I probably will never give up my sacred southern sweet tea, I still need to drink more water for my health and this recipe makes for a less boring refresher than say … water.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Moon for Junie Moon

Since the inception of my blog, I’ve used the header depicting a glass art piece made by my wonderful sister Connie. Deciding the glass moon definitely has a personality, we named her Junie Moon and she served perfectly for my blog header.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I absolutely loved my Junie Moon and was horrified when I broke her moving from Arizona to Florida.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Connie made me a new Junie Moon for Christmas—don’t you just love her beautiful lips? Notice her mouth is slightly open? That’s because she always has something to say—so me! The new Junie Moon is going to hang on the wall in my sewing/craft/office and hopefully I never have to move again and risk breaking her.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Look at those eyelashes—this Junie Moon is definitely a flirty girl! Thank you, Connie, for this beautiful work of art. I love it and you!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Big Herringbone Cowl

It’s freezing here in Florida—as most everyone in the country is experiencing this week. The golf club cancelled our golf league play today, so I’ll do some errands instead. Compared to a lot of the country, I am indeed grateful our temperatures aren’t worse, but we live in Florida and this feels alien to our flip-flop wearing life.

While I knit and knit, along with my knitting friends here, we rarely get to actually utilize a lot of the winter wear we diligently make. I’m breaking out my knitted projects to wear while I run my few errands this bitterly cold morning.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I finally get to wear the Purl Soho’s Big Herringbone Cowl I knit.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Size US 17 circular needles and 3 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton purchased at Unwind the Yarn Shop here in Fort Walton Beach were all I needed for this project.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
The finished cowl feels like a special hug around my neck.


  • Purl Bee scarf blog post
  • Ravelry pattern 
  • Unwind the Yarn Shop website
  • YouTube video of this project pattern here

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chips off the Banana

Happy Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day)! Today marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Epiphany colors are white and gold to celebrate new hope. It’s a feast day and I have a small food offering—homemade banana chips using a recipe I found on Pinterest. Although you have to stretch your imagination just a tad, the concept somewhat invokes white and gold.

Banana chips ready for baking! © June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Turn your oven on to 200°F. Using olive oil, lightly coat a piece of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheet(s). Slice bananas into thin chips, dip in lemon juice, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2 hours at 200°F, then turn over each little chip. Bake for another 1.5-2 hours or until crisp.

Banana Chip Crisps© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Each oven is different, so monitor your banana chips now and then. My husband actually liked the little treats and they do make for a healthy snack. I’ll give this recipe a repeat try in future.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Note to Self

Pinterest has become my go-to source for ideas lately—more so than Google. Probably, it is because I save my little Pinterest jaunts until late at night when I’m too tired to do anything else but look at pictures. Many DIY pins have made it to my own Pinterest board for safe-keeping.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
One such pin was for making a dry-erasable board. The original black-and-white inspiration project was made as a teacher-appreciation gift and shared on Classroom CollectiveI decided to make a more colorful version.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I bought a white standing picture frame to accommodate an 8.5x11-inch piece of paper , designed and printed my own notebook paper using pink paper, hot glued a bow I made, and there it was—my own board for writing notes to myself.

Super quick, very easy, and almost as fast a bit of instant gratification as looking at stuff on Pinterest.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Knit the Sky

Isn’t the very phrase “knit the sky” lovely? It’s another way I plan to celebrate each day of 2014. The idea of knitting a sky scarf was conceived by artist Lea Redmond of Leafcutter Designs.

Source: Leafcutter Designs

The goal is to knit two rows each day using two strands of yarn at a time which represent the color of the sky where you live. For example, if the sky is a pretty blue but has lots of fluffy clouds, I’ll use the colors blue and ecru. I love this idea. It reminds me to be mindful of the world outside my window and is easily transportable so I can capture the sky wherever I may travel.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Instead of the pattern’s suggested garter stitch, I am knitting my Sky Scarf in moss stitch:

Cast on 41 stitches.
Row 1: K1, *P1, K1; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: P1, *K1, P1; repeat from * to end of row.
Repeats rows 1 and 2 until done.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
A small 2014 calendar freebie and some colored pencils have been added to my Sky Scarf kit and are being put to use to track my progress in written form by simply making two squiggly lines in the colors of the day’s sky.

This conceptual knitting project pattern is free (see Resources below), but I did opt to order their yarn kit which contains five different colors of 100% baby alpaca made in Peru: Caribbean Heather, Sapphire Heather, Silver, Charcoal, and Ecru.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
My two rows are already knitted for today—adding on to those I knit on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately for those of us living in Florida’s Panhandle, we’re experiencing gray wet days, so my scarf is not very colorful yet. Blue skies are coming though!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Splendid New Beginning

Since they were way too heartbreaking, I’m closing the battered door on the past three years and opening a freshly-painted door to hope for 2014. Although I really don’t care about making resolutions at the beginning of a new year, the turn of the calendar does give me a benchmark by which I can start fresh. This is my year for doing so.

While we all carry a bit of tattered baggage with us, we can celebrate our lives in myriad ways as advocated by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book. Breathnach’s opening essay challenges us to look for “the splendid in the simple gift of the everyday”. It is my intention to do just that.

SourceProject Life Becky Higgins
Project Life is one of the ways I plan to celebrate 2014. It’s a simple scrapbooking system that means I will not have to spend hours recording my adventures but will be out enjoying them instead.

I chose the Seafoam edition of Project Life and its associated peripherals which I have completely assembled so it’s ready to document my year by simply popping in my photos and making a journal note.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Today I’ll insert pictures from our fun at last night’s Commodore’s Ball at the yacht club. It counts as part of Day 1 since we partied until the wee hours of this morn to welcome in 2014.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
I’m keeping this documentation of my year relatively simple—my entire toolset is gathered in a basket. The point is to keep it easy to being mindful and grateful for the simple gifts life gives me over the year as encouraged by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Goodbye 2013 and hello, my love, to a splendid new beginning of 2014!