{Cookies, Rice, & Sewing Machines}

9 Feb

Last week, I was blog-stalking reading Bower Power, when I was given the largest zap of inspiration I’ve had in awhile.  Hmmm, that takes A LOT of zap, because I’ve been pretty motivated lately. 

Before the hubby, I had a horrible not so wonderful average boyfriend with a wonderful grandmother.  She gifted me a few bean bags, to which I fell in love with.  Now, these weren’t just any bean bags, these were magical bean bags, that would grow into a magical beanstalk…oh, wait, wrong story.  These were microwavable bean bags that heated up and kept me nice and toasty on a cold day (and they are WONDERFUL for menstrual cramps, or general stomachaches…just sayin’).  A few years into the relationship with the hubby, he threw them away.  I don’t really remember why.  Then, to make up for it, he bought me one for Christmas last year.  But it wasn’t made out of the right material, and after a year of use, it started a fire in the microwave.  Yes, a fire.  I screamed.

 I’ve been on the look-out for a replacement.  It NEVER occurred to me to make one.  Even though I know how. And my original ones were hand-made.  I am such a dork.  So, I set out on a weekend project. 

Day 1

Friday night, with 2 inches of snow and a layer of ice on the ground, and more to come, the hubby drove me across town to Jo-Ann Fabric.  I didn’t buy a sewing machine, or a hand-stitcher thingy like my husband suggested.  Nope, I was going to do this the old-fashioned way.  He laughed at me.  I got sad. Then we got in the car and I remembered—these are going to have RICE in them.  I can’t loosely hand-stich them.  What the **$%&bajeezus&%%^#** was I thinking?

Day 2

With 5 inches of snow on the ground, we went to Wally World to buy a hand-stitcher thingy.  The hubby put a sewing machine in the cart.  I took it out.  He put it back in.  I took it back out.  He promised to show me how to use it:

  • I am not dumb, and I knew I could figure it out.
  • He is domesticated and does all the sewing in our house.  Or he takes it to his mom and has her do it.

I saw a picture on the side of the one and only Martha.  It was recommended by her. AND it came with a free 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Living.  That totally justifies the cost, right? I put it back in the cart. SOLD!  Happy early Valentine’s Day to me. Best of all? If you already have a subscription, you can get a refund for $15.  That’s brings the total cost of the machine to $74. 

Then I took a break to make some cookies…

Day 3

I read the instruction manual.  I thought back to Home-Economics class in Junior High when I made a crooked sweatshirt and frayed tote-bag. At first, all I could remember was the cute boy (or two) that made me laugh, and I started to worry that I didn’t actually learn anything.  BUT have no fear, I was an excellent student.  It all came flooding back.  Even when the direction manual was lacking, I totally figured it out, no sweat. Presser foots and handwheels and bobbin winders and threaders. I should have bought one of these years ago.   I even got crafty and hand-sewed some decorative elements on, albeit that needs some practice.  Not even an hour later, I had two super-cute rice packs. I even made the husband one.

I happen to like the “yeasty rice” smell.  It reminds me of freshly baked bread.  Eric hates the smell, so I sprinkled a couple of herbal tea bags in his.  He still didn’t like the smell, but he really loved it when I threw it under the covers as a toe-warmer when the temperature dropped below zero.

To make your own:

Great directions (and another great blog) can be found here.

You can make them in any size.  I made a really small one for practice, and the final product was about 12” x 8”.  Some people like to make separate compartments so that the rice doesn’t go all to one side. 

Don’t use instant rice.  It’s not the same.

I also chose to use 100% cotton, but make sure whatever fabric that you choose is microwave-safe (polyester, acrylic, spandex, wool would not be good choices).

I thought about using Stitch-Witchery, but couldn’t find any solid evidence that it wouldn’t set fire to the microwave, or simply melt off, leaving rice everywhere.

Be sure that if you want to sew on a cute element, you do it first, before the seams are sewn together.

3 Responses to “{Cookies, Rice, & Sewing Machines}”

  1. allbowerpower February 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    CA – UUTE! That is adorable. Glad you finally got your bags back…minus the crummy exboyfriend 🙂 I love the little embellishments you added. Soo creative 🙂 Thanks for the link!

    XO – Katie Bower

    • Ashley Niehaus February 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks, Katie. We’re loving them!


  1. {We’ve Been Out-Scrabbled} « This Girl's Canon - February 15, 2010

    […] meal.  Brownies for dessert.  In bed at a decent time.  We did exchange gifts-I got a sewing machine a week or so ago, and Eric got his coffee Klean Kanteen a few days ago because he woke me up crying […]

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