April: Chainsaws and Sewing Machines

I think I have a new motivational quote.  When life hands you fallen trees, make a campfire.



April consisted of many nights of trying to make a dent in cutting up the numerous fallen trees from last summer’s big storm.  As a result we were able to have our first campfire way earlier then usual this year and it looks like we will be having many more! Also, I now have lumberjack size muscles and have picked off more wood ticks then I want to think about…OK I’m kidding about the lumberjack muscles, but the wood tick part is unfortunately true.    All this “family fun” chainsawing has also meant I’ve been unable to finish a few of my ongoing projects around the house, BUT I did make sure to make time to get our monthly family service project squeezed in so I wanted to share with you all.

I know a lot of amazing people out there are donating money, time and resources to animal shelters and this month we decided we wanted to help.  As some of you may know we adopted our beloved dog, Shadow, from our local vet clinic.  They are a wonderful clinic and most of the stray animals that get picked up in our area are brought to them.  If the strays are not claimed and are found to have a good disposition they are put up for adoption.    Now, since this is a vet clinic and not an animal shelter, I’m not sure many people think of donating items to them.  I know I wouldn’t have until I became familiar with their animal adoption process.  However after speaking with them I found out they are always in need of old blankets and towels for kennel bedding.   I have some excess flannel from past projects and decided making kennel pads would be a perfect use for them.   I cut a couple kennel-sized rectangles out of my fabric and doubled up some batting to make it extra soft.  Then I sewed it right sides together,  turned it out, sewed up the opening and quilted a quick square on it so the batting wouldn’t shift.   We also went through our blanket stash and donated an older but still soft fleece blanket that we weren’t using.

We decided to make a few homemade toys as well. My daughter did most of the man work on these. For the cats we saved the rings from old milk jugs and then simply tied strips of leftover fleece from another project around the rings.  She even tested them out on our kitties and they were found to be Roxy and Jo Jo approved.

The dog toys were simply flannel strips we braided and knotted.  Poor Shadow didn’t get to try these out as I’m not sure we would have gotten them back.   He seems to prefer the game Keep Away over Fetch.

This service project was a great one because (1) we got to help animals which is something I think kids are always excited about and (2) we got to discover that even if we don’t have a lot of money to spend, with a little bit of creativity, we can still make a difference.

If you have old blankets, towels, time or other resources to give I encourage you to check in with your local animal shelter or vet clinic.   I also encourage you to learn how to run the chain saw if you are cleaning up fallen trees, otherwise you will be the one stuck picking up all the branches and stumps! 🙂

LOL (lots of love!)


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