Tnanks for all your supportive comments. I picked up the Noel I was working on and put in a few stitches. It was fun to be stitching again!
I made a few "Draft Dodgers" yesterday and today. I live in a older home (about 90 years old -seems hard to believe!) and some of the windows are drafty. It's in the single digits here in western NY and frigid. I could feel the air seeping through the kitchen window and set off to make some draft stoppers - fabric tubes filled with kitty litter. I learned a few things in making them - estimate a wider piece of fabric than you think you will need. If you fill the tube pretty solid (to give it the weight it needs), it isn't as wide as you think it will turn out! It's rounder and higher and that makes it narrower (if that makes any sense to you!). I had to make a second one and if truth be told, I should have made it even bigger, but it is working ok. I used the first one on the middle sash of the window which didn't need the same width as the sill. I'm pleased! I also came up with a great idea for a funnel. I needed a funnel with a wider bottom to accommodate the kitty litter I was pouring in. I took a 20 oz. soda bottle and off the bottom third. The opening at the neck went into the tube and was easy to hold and I used the bottom of the bottle as a scooper! It was a cheap solution and worked really well. The only thing I would've done differently is tie a scarf around my nose and mouth. The dust from the kitty litter kind of aggravated my nose and lungs a tiny bit. I also learned a trick on-line. I've been making these for years and never thought of this. One site suggested ironing interfacing on the fabric and I used that idea. It keeps the fine dust particles from sneaking out of the weave of the fabric. I guess you can always learn new things!
Here's another thing I like to make for myself and the family - different size cozies. I sew a two pieces of fabric together in square shape or rectangle (or other shape like a kitty) and fill it with uncooked rice and stitch it shut. Warm this in the microwave and put it on sore joints or muscles. I like to put them on my forehead or cheeks when I have a cold to help drain my sinuses and it feels really good. Don't fill them too full and they will shape around the body part. In these parts, we warm them up just to warm up our hands or feet when it's this cold out! It's a nice moist heat (believe it or not) and feels wonderful. Slip one in bed while you're brushing your teeth and it warms you right up! Flannel is my favorite fabric to use, but any fabric is suitable. Now if you are out there saying "I wish I knew how to sew!" help is on the way. You can fill an old sock with rice, put a rubber band tightly to secure the rice and pop it in the microwave. Not fancy - that's for sure, but it works! When the rice gets really old and smells slightly burned (this doesn't happen for a long time!), just replace the rice or make a new one! Hey - you could use my new bottle funnel to fill the rice!