A Little Exploring and a DIY gift

This past weekend we had some really nice temperatures mid 40s to high 50s, but with it came rain.  It didn’t matter to me I grabbed the umbrella and headed out. The air was fresh, and the sights were amazing.  The streams were overflowing and moving rapidly. Some of the sidewalks and areas of the roads were flooded due to the combination of melting snow, yes we had that much, and two days of rain.  Here are my favorite pictures from my outing.

This was just one of the trees that didn't have time to lose all its leaves before winter arrived early.

This was just one of the trees that didn’t have time to lose all its leaves before winter arrived early.

The snow may have melted but not the ice covering the lake.

The snow may have melted but not the ice covering the lake.

Raging waters which were overtaking land.

Raging waters which were overtaking land.

During a lighter drizzle you could watch these droplets hang on before falling from the tips of the needles.

During a lighter drizzle you could watch these droplets hang on before falling from the tips of the needles.

I had a few last minute items to finish up as well, including a gift for my youngest granddaughter. It was based on this idea found on pinterest.


This was a piece of fabric in which colored felt was glued on. I liked the concept but didn’t think felt would hold up to long repeated use.  If I am going to take the time to make something I would like to make it to last.  To be passed from one child to another or even from one generation to another.  This was how I grew up.  My baby crib and high chair was handed through family members until the day I shared the news I was expecting my first child.  No one knew who had these pieces until my great-aunt offered them to me. They had been given to her for the grandchildren.  You have to be careful with cribs, but mine was fine and met regulations.  Any way, I got off the subject there.

So in wanting to create a hopscotch mat I rummaged through what I already owned.  I had a large piece of drop cloth which was left over from making a set of curtains for the front window and a curtain to close off the area under the counter.  I found a thin piece of cardboard the perfect size to make the squares, although mine are more rectangular, and then began to mix paints.


Once I had all the paint was dry I gave it a light sanding, painted fabric will often feel like sandpaper and tht wouldn’t be fun for little feet.  Then I stenciled the numbers. Wanting  to add more details, I pulled out some children’s stencils I keep here and began to randomly add letters all over the fabric using different colored sharpies (these I found when a neighbor moved out so no cost to me).  Once I began to add the letters I realized adding a few random words throughout for the little one to find and begin to recognize made sense. I added her name, mom, dad, and princess which is her latest obsession (Sofia the first being her favorite).


A simple hem around the edges was all it needed to finish it off.  This took me 2 days because it was large and I didn’t want to risk having a lot of wet paint should I receive company, but it was well worth the time.  This will hold up for a very long time. It is machine washable, non-toxic, and can be used indoors or out.  If you decide to make one and use it on bare floors I would recommend a rug pad so it doesn’t slide for safety sake.

I believe this is my favorite gift I will be giving this year.  If you made gifts which is your favorite you will be giving?

14 thoughts on “A Little Exploring and a DIY gift

  1. I have read that the winter storms have been harsh in USA. Colchester has had no snow so far and the temperatures have been mild, tricking the plants into thinking it is the start of Spring. I hope your festival period has been good for you and your family.


    • Alex, it’s strange because this winter reminds me of the winters from my childhood and up until just a few years ago. I hope your temperatures don’t leave you with damaged plants that won’t bloom again in the spring.

      I’ve had a lovely holiday thank you, hope you have enjoyed yours as well, including your celebration of winter solstice.


  2. your pics are gorgeous…love them

    the hopscotch looks great. I bet it will be a long time favorite.
    when I was little my sister and I used to play a lot of hopscotch.

    re favorite gift..
    for my sister (who has cancer), I made her a mirror gift, she has not opened it yet, but I think it will be loved.

    took an old DVD case, put some nice paper on outside.
    I tried to make it look like a DVD, one I might have copied. put the title on top outside, and spine,
    “One of the Most Important Gifts in my Life”,
    then made up a little synopsis for back
    on inside, repeated title, and also on top
    addressed it “to ….”name” , and on bottom, Love “my name”

    on each side of inside of DVD, is a mirror.

    am hoping when she looks in the mirror, she will “get it”, that SHE is a very important gift in my life.


    • Lynn, your gift to your sister is the sweetest gifts I’ve ever heard of, it brought tears to my eyes to read how much thought you put into this. She will love it!!

      A for hopscotch, it’s one of those activities that just doesn’t seem to fade. It was so loved I am considering making a few to sell, I already have requests for them. The little ones couldn’t get enough play time on it. :-)


    • Thank you, that says something after the lovely nature pictures you post. What a difference a day makes, Monday morning winter had returned, just in time for Christmas.

      Merry Christmas, Live and Learn hope you have a wonderful day planned.


  3. That is a wonderful idea, and made so nicely. I made lots of handmade gifts but I think the best are owls which are filled with wheat berries to be heated in the microwave so the kids can cuddle with a warm friend as they go to sleep. Happy Christmas to all!


    • Cynthia, your owls sound lovely and I am sure they will be very appreciated this and coming winters. It has been so nice to hear of the thoughtful gifts that have been made to give this year, thank you for sharing yours.

      Merry Christmas to you, Cynthia. Hope you have a lovely holiday.


    • Ah, 6 degrees, we aren’t that cold but our break from winter ended Monday and we have snow everywhere again. It’s 18 here so a tad warmer than where you are. :-)

      Merry Christmas to you and your family, I hope you will have your family with you over the holidays.


  4. Hi Lois,

    Your granddaughter is going to love the hopscotch pad and if she doesn’t, I’ll take it :)

    I loved the idea of handing down items from one family and one generation to the next. Cherished memories abound I’m sure when you see items from a past childhood.

    The pictures were great as well and while we have had a ton of snow, I’m glad it’s still here for the holidays!

    Take care Lois and have a wonderful Christmas. My best to you and yours.



    • Lyle, I know she won’t be able to hopscotch properly as being two doesn’t have that much coordination, but she’s always hopping around the house so I think she will have plenty of time to enjoy it, and with a new baby on the way I see this getting lots of years of use.

      Our break from winter ended Monday, and it’s currently snowing with huge fluffy flakes, just in time for Christmas. What’s Christmas without snow? :-) If I have to have winter then I at least want it on Christmas day.

      I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow and more through New Year’s. Merry Christmas, Lyle.


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