Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Postcards

I've always loved sending out postcards during the holidays and vacations, so I decided to go to Amazon.com and order sets of postcards for sending and collecting. Here are some great Christmas postcards that I found:


Christmas Postcards: Victorian Designs

Old-Fashioned Christmas Postcards: 24 Postcards

Old-Fashioned Santa Claus Cards: 24 Cards (Dover Postcards)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dill Nail Strengthener

As my daughter and I continue to research and try out natural beauty recipes, she brought up nail strengtheners. A search through my herb books led me to this recipe for an herbal recipes that is easily made in the kitchen.

Crush fresh or dry dill seeds and make an infusion out of them. Use the infusion to strengthen your nails by soaking nails in it for 15 minutes.

To make the infusion, pour 1 pint of boiling water over 1 oz crushed dry dill seeds or 3 oz fresh dill seeds. Let step for 15 minutes and strain.

For more beauty recipes, check out Nature's Beauty Secrets.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Violet Potpourri

Violets are my second favorite childhood flowers. I remember running around the yard, searching for the purple flowers growing in the grass. Come summer, I plan to relive my childhood and collect the purple flowers to dry for this potpourri recipe.

Violet Potpourri

1 quart dried violet blossoms
1 cup dried rose petals
2 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 oz powdered orris root

Lightly crush violets and rose petals into a quart sized glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Stir with the handle of a wooden spoon or just use a stick. You can store potpourri in a glass jar, kept out of the sun until ready for use. To add more scent, mix in a drop or two of violet fragrant oil.

For more potpourri recipes, check out Potpourri, Incense, and Other Fragrant Concoctions by Ann Fettner.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Letting Go Guided Meditation

To say that I have a lot of letting go to do would be an understatement. Recent events, past events, have all piled up into a huge puddle of muddle on the floor before me. All I want to do is grab a broom and sweep it away.

Easily enough, there are guided mediation mp3s that help people do just that - let go of the stressful baloney that's holding us down. So far,"Letting Go" Meditation and Guided Visualization is the best download I've found. The voice is actually soothing and the recording doesn't sound as if it was done in someone's basement. The guided meditation is great!


Shop Amazon's Gift Cards - Perfect Anytime

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Money Making Moms

On my own and searching for a way to earn more than a contract writer's salary, I'm taking my daydreams to a new level. I've always wanted to start my own little business, working from home while taking care of my children. With the baby on its way, now it is time to make it all a reality.

While researching how-to guides and lists of ideas, I found Mogul Mom - How to Quit Your Job, Start Your Own Business, and Join the Work-at-Home Mom Revolution (Mogul Mom Work-at-Home Book Series) by Andrea Clayton. Full of ideas on how to balance work and family life, as well as fantastic marketing ideas, I'm just about ready to make the big jump from frumpy writer to small business owner.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Knit 2tog Red Heart Super Saver Hat


In my fit of knitting hats, I made this awesome red hat in an evening.

Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used half of a skein Red Heart Super Saver color Cherry Red.

Size 9 knitting needles.

Cast on 70 leaving a long tail for sewing up seam.

Hat brim:      

Row 1: K1, P1 across.

Knit row 1 six times (6 rows total).

Hat pattern:

Rows 1 - 6: Knit.

Row 7: K1, *yo, k2tog*, K1.

Row 8: Purl.

Row 9: K2, *yo, k2tog*.

Rows 10: Purl.

Repeat pattern rows 1 through 10 two times.

Next, complete rows 1 through 9 (do not do the final purl row).

Knit 5 rows.

Complete rows 7, 8, and 9.

Knit every row until hat measures 10-inches long. Bind off and leave a long tail for closing the top of the hat.

To put together, lay out hat on a flat surface. Bring right sides together so that the wrong side is facing you. Pin side edges together, making sure the rows are matching. Sew up the side of the hat, starting at the brim.

Use bind off tail and weave it in and out of the last row. Pull tight to gather hat's top and knot in place. Weave in the ends. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy Knit Vanna's Choice Yarn Hat


The simpler the better. That's what I say when it comes to any knit or crochet project. This hat is super easy and a great beginner's project. It's also a great pattern for quickly knitting hats as a last minute Christmas gift.

Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein of Vanna's Choice yarn.

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 70 leaving a long tail for sewing up seam.

Hat brim:      

Row 1: K1, P1 across.

Knit row 1 six times (6 rows total).

Hat pattern:

Knit every row until hat measures 9-1/2 inches. Bind off and leave a long tail for closing the top of the hat.

To put together, lay out hat on a flat surface. Bring right sides together so that the wrong side is facing you. Pin side edges together, making sure the rows are matching. Sew up the side of the hat, starting at the brim.

Use bind off tail and weave it in and out of the last row. Pull tight to gather hat's top and knot in place. Weave in the ends. Turn right side out and wear!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chervil Anti-Wrinkle Infusion

On reading my herb books (I have so many books on herbs that I have collected over the years), I discovered that chervil can be used to help prevent wrinkles. It is also used as a skin cleanser.

You need to make an infusion out of the chervil leaves by pouring 1 pint of boiling water over 3 ounces of bruised chervil leaves. Let steep for 15. Strain and store in a clean bottle in the fridge. Apply infusion with cotton ball onto the skin after your bath or shower.

For more beauty recipes, check out Natural Beauty at Home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chair Caning

Sometimes the oddest memories come flooding back to me, seemingly out of the blue. Last night, just as I was getting ready for bed, I remembered the bare wooden chairs flung over the rafters in the old barn. As a teenager, I would look up at them and think about learning how to restore them to their olden beauty. I never did get around to getting those chairs down from the rafters, but I will one day get around to trying my hands out on caning.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Easy Knit Red Heart Super Saver Hat


The craft store had a sale and I was able to pick up a few skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Picking up one of each color, I was determined to make 1 skein projects. Surprisingly, I was able to make two hats per skein and still have leftover yarn for a crazy hat.

This pattern is easy enough for beginners. It only uses rows of knit and purl to make a neat, striped pattern. The hat is for adults and can be worn by men or women.

Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein Red Heart Super Saver color Cherry Red.

Size 9 knitting needles.

Cast on 70 leaving a long tail for sewing up seam.

Hat brim:

Row 1: K1, P1 across.

Knit row 1 six times (6 rows total).

Body of hat:

Rows 1 - 7: Knit.

Row 8: Purl.

Row 9: Knit.

Row 10: Purl.

Rows 11 - 17: Knit.

Row 18: Purl.

Row 19: Knit.

Row 20: Purl.

Knit every row until hat measures 10-inches long. Bind off and leave a long tail for closing the top of the hat.

To put together, lay out hat on a flat surface. Bring right sides together so that the wrong side is facing you. Pin side edges together, making sure the rows are matching. Sew up the side of the hat, starting at the brim.

Use bind off tail and weave it in and out of the last row. Pull tight to gather hat's top and knot in place. Weave in the ends. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apron Panels Sew an Apron

I have an aunt who would get me panels to sew things like pillows and stuffed animals. As a pre-teen, I found the sewing projects fun and easy. To teach my daughter how to sew, I'm starting to buy her panels for interesting projects, such as these aprons:


44'' Wide Sunrise Silhouette Apron Panel Green Fabric By The Panel

44'' Wide Verona Apron Panel Rouge Fabric By The Panel

Dena Designs APRON PANEL Blue DF68 Leanika Fabric Free Spirit

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bernat Worsted Knit Fingerless Gloves

From one skein of Bernat Worsted yarn, I was able to knit my daughter a hat, a matching scarf, and this pair of fingerless gloves and I still have yarn left over.



Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein Bernat Worsted color Folklore.

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 25.

Beginning at the fingers:

Row 1: *K1, P1*, K1.
Row 2: *P1, K1*, P1.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until length is 1-1/2 inches.

Pattern:

Knit every row until glove measures 6 inches in length.

Knit rows 1 and 2 until gloves measure 8 inches in length.

Finishing: Fold in half, sides touching, purl stitches facing out. Beginning at fingers edge, seam sides for 1-1/2 inches. Leave 2 inches unseamed for thumb. Sew remainder of seam and weave in ends. Turn right side out and you're done!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

P2tog Knit Scarf

I made this scarf to match the Stockinette and P2tog Knit Hat I made for my almost 17-year-old daughter. I am also making a pair of fingerless gloves for her from the same yarn and I should have the pattern up tomorrow.


Yarn Used: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein Bernat Worsted color Folklore.
Size 9 (5.5 mm) knitting needles.
Cast on 20. 

To begin the scarf:

Row 1: Knit 1, Purl 1 across.
Knit row 1 six times (6 rows total).

Next, knit 5 rows.

Begin the pattern:

Pattern row 1: *yo, P 2 tog* across.
Pattern rows 2 to 6: knit across

Repeat pattern rows 1 through six until your reached the desired length of the scarf.

Finish the scarf with:

Row 1: Knit 1, Purl 1 across.
Knit row 1 six times (6 rows total).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stockinette and P2tog Knit Hat

With the weather getting cold and winter around the corner, I've been knitting hats for my family like a mad woman. My newest hat is this simple knit, purl, and purl 2 together hat. The pattern is interesting and even fun to work, and, even more important, it is so quick to knit up.



Hat Pattern


Sew Up Seam

Close Opening

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy Beginners Knit Fingerless Gloves


These easy gauntlets, or fingerless gloves, are perfect for people just learning how to knit. There is even a matching hat and a matching scarf you can make from the same skein of Bernat Worsted yarn.

Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein Bernat Worsted color Mood Ring.

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 25.

Beginning at the fingers:

Row 1: *K1, P1*, K1.
Row 2: *P1, K1*, P1.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until length is 1 inch.

Pattern:

Knit every row until glove measures 6 inches in length.

Knit rows 1 and 2 until gloves measure 8 inches in length.

Finishing: Fold in half, sides touching, purl stitches facing out. Beginning at fingers edge, seam sides for 1 inch. Leave 2 inches unseamed for thumb. Sew remainder of seam and weave in ends. Turn right side out and you're done!

Easy Beginners Knit Scarf


This is the super easy scarf I made to go with my easy beginners knit hat and beginners fingerless gloves that I made from one skein of Bernat Worsted.

Yarn: Medium (4) worsted yarn. I used 1 skein Bernat Worsted color Mood Ring.

Size 9 (5.5 mm) knitting needles.

Cast on 20.

Rows 1 to 6: K1, P1.

Continue to knit every row until desired length.

Finish with rows 1 through 6 and bind off. Weave in ends and you're done.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Beginners Knit Hat


The easier the better! This great hat is perfect for people just learning how to knit. The only 2 stitches used are knit and purl. The hat knits up super fast and it makes a great gift. I made this beginners hat in one sitting.
If you use the Bernat Worsted yarn, you can make this, a matching scarf, and a matching pair of fingerless gloves from the same skein of Bernat yarn.

Hat Pattern


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Old Ketchup Recipe


This recipe comes from The American Woman's Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer (Garden City Publishing Co., 1943).

Ketchup Recipe

1 peck ripe tomatoes
1 pint vinegar
2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves

This is a recipe used in the kitchen of General Washington.
Wash the tomatoes and force them through a wire sieve, then strain through a jelly bag. The liquid is not used in the catchup, but may be used as tomato juice. Thin the pulp with the vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, allspice and cloves. Pour into sterilized bottles and seal. This catchup retains the taste of the fresh tomatoes and is an excellent flavoring for soups and sauces. Makes about 4 quarts.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy Accordion Gauntlets


These easy gauntlets, or fingerless gloves, are a striped pattern. You can either knit the gauntlets in a solid color or use two different colors to accentuate the striping.



Medium weight yarn (4).

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 25.

Beginning at the fingers:

Row A: *K1, P1*, K1.
Row B: *P1, K1*, P1.

Repeat rows A and B until length is 1 inch.

Pattern:

Rows 1 & 3 & 5: Knit.

Rows 2 & 4: Purl.

Row 6: Knit.

Knit rows 1 through 6 four times (4 lines across).

To finish, repeat rows 1 to 5. Do rows A and B for a final 2 inches. Bind off.

Finishing: Fold in half, sides touching, purl stitches facing out. Beginning at fingers edge, seam sides for 1 inch. Leave 2 inches unseamed for thumb. Sew remainder of seam and weave in ends. Turn right side out and you're done!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy Free DC Shawl Pattern to Crochet


Since my daughter's other shawl turned out so nicely, I decided to work the same pattern in a lighter yarn, using a smaller crochet hook. The result was a wonderfully soft shawl that is perfect for cool weather.



Yarn: I used Bernat Softee Baby color Soft Fern. Yarn weight is light (3).

H (5 mm) crochet hook.

Chain 5.

Dc into 4th chain from hook. Dc in 5th chain. Chain 3 and turn.

Pattern: Dc 2 times in first dc. Dc across. Dc 2 times in last dc. Chain 3. Turn.

Continue in pattern until you've reached the desired size of your shawl. Finish off.

Add fringes all along the V.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cress and Dandelion Salad


This recipe comes from The American Woman's Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer (Garden City Publishing Co., 1943).

Cress and Dandelion Salad

1 cup water cress
1 cup dandelion greens
6 thin slices raw onions
French dressing

The dandelion should be fresh and young. Wash the leaves carefully and drain well. Arrange them in a salad bowl with the cress. Add the slices of onions and pour the French dressing over all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Net Knit Coaster

Still having leftover cotton kitchen yarn, I decided to make another coaster. This one's for my daughter who never seems to remember that I hate having to clean the coffee table every day. Maybe with her very own coaster, she'll finally remember where to set her coffee mug.


I used cotton kitchen yarn for this coaster.

Size 8 needles.

Cast on 18.

Knit 4 rows.

Pattern:

Row 1: K5, *yo, K2 tog*, K5.

Rows 2 & 4: K4, *purl across*, K4.

Row 3: K6, *yo, K2 tog*, K4.

End on 4th row, about 4 inches long.

Knit 4 rows and bind off. Weave in ends.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Old Fashioned Coleslaw


This recipe comes from The American Woman's Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer (Garden City Publishing Co., 1943).

Old Fashioned Coleslaw

2 lbs cabbage
1 cup boiling water
1 egg
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1/4 cup vinegar

Shred cabbage rather fine, add water, cover and cook until tender 12 to 15 minutes. Beat egg, add sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar and mix with cabbage. Heat for 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quick and Easy Knit Gauntlets


Preparing for this winter, when the temperatures drop and my hands start to ache, I decided to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves or gauntlets. I made these out of medium weight yarn because it is what I have on hand at the moment and because I want the warmth of a heavier yarn.


Medium weight yarn (4).

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 25.

Beginning at the fingers:

Row 1: *K1, P1*, K1.
Row 2: *P1, K1*, P1.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until length is 1 inch.

Knit stockinette stitch - knit 1 row, purl 1 row - until length is 6 inches.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until length is 8 inches. Bind off.

Finishing: Fold in half, sides touching, purl stitches facing out. Beginning at fingers edge, seam sides for 1 inch. Leave 2 inches unseamed for thumb. Sew remainder of seam and weave in ends. Turn right side out and you're done!

Basic Egg and Flour Pasta Noodle Recipe


I just got my pasta machine out of storage and all cleaned up. Now it is time to make the pasta dough that will be flattened by the rollers. The recipe is very simple.


  • 4-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 6 medium eggs
  • Pinch of salt


Instructions


  1. On a pastry or wooden board, place the flour in the center.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour and break the eggs into the well.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork while it is in the well.
  4. Add the pinch of salt.
  5. Continue to mix the eggs into the flour until you can no longer work it with the fork.
  6. Begin to knead the dough with your hands.
  7. When the dough is smooth and elastic, set it on the center of the board. Place a bowl, upside down, overtop of the dough to prevent it from drying. Let set for 30 minutes.
  8. After this time, begin flattening your dough and shape it into noodles and pasta.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Shaped Breads

I can't get Halloween off my mind. If I could have my way, I'd celebrate Halloween and all things spooky year round. Sadly enough, the person I've been with for nearly 2 years hates Halloween and isn't into decorating. I've had to let my Halloween spirit come out in other ways, such as my pumpkin shaped breads. Fun to make, yet practical little breads that look beautiful when served on the dinner table.

Pumpkin Shaped Sweet Breads recipe and instructions.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Halloween Posters

While checking out my Halloween postcards, I decided to go online and see if there were any Halloween posters. With a new little one on the way, I plan on celebrating the holidays like I used to: loud and happily. For my walls, I found these great reproduction Halloween posters to frame:

Vintage Halloween Poster Made From Circa 1910 Postcard Dancing Devils & Witch 18"x24"

WITCH FLYING BROOM MOON HALLOWEEN BLACK CAT PUMPKIN VINTAGE POSTER REPRO

Vintage Halloween Poster Made From Circa 1910 Postcard Sexy Vain Witch 18"x24"