Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rose Lilac Potpourri

Rose and lilac were everywhere where I used to live, and they will be again once I am set up in my new home. This potpourri recipe comes from The Rodale Herb Book - How To Use, Grow, And Buy Nature's Miracle Plants.

3 cups rose petals
2 cups lilac
2 cups marjoram
1 oz orris root

Do not use metal utensils when making potpourris. Use wood, enamel, or ceramic.

For sachets, finely crush all the herbs with a mortar and pestle. For potpourri, keep the herbs and peels coarsely broken.

After mixing the potpourri, transfer the herbs to a wide mouth glass jar. Screw lid on tightly and keep in a dark place for roughly 4 months. Once a week, stir the potpourri with the handle of a wooden spoon, recap, and put away.

For more herbal crafting ideas, check out The Complete Book of Nature Crafts: How to Make Wreaths, Dried Flower Arrangements, Potpourris, Dolls, Baskets, Gifts, Decorative Accessories.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lemony Tea Blend

One of the things I miss right now is my herb garden. I can't wait until I am settled in someplace where I can rebuild my herb patch and begin making my own tea blends. In my old copy (1983) of The Rodale Herb Book, there's a delicious lemon tea recipe that I would love to try.

Combine the following dried, crushed herbs:

9 Tbsp lemon thyme
3 Tbsp lemon basil
1/2 tsp lemon balm
4 Tbsp mild green tea

Blend well. To use, steep 1 tsp per hot cup of water.

For more tea blend recipes, I would recommend The Herb Tea Book: Blending, Brewing, and Savoring Teas for Every Mood and Occasion. It's never too soon or too late to start planning your herbal tea garden.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Natural Composting

They say that a leaf of yarrow will greatly speed up the decomposition of fresh compost. There are other ways to speed along composting on a budget. The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money is a great book filled with tips on choosing a compost site and making composting easier.

There are also composting bins you can buy, such as this Envirocycle Original Composter Black.

For holding kitchen scraps until you head out to the composter, try Norpro Grip EZ Stainless Steel Compost Keeper. It beats having an open bowl of stinky scraps smelling up the kitchen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Super Sculpey Goddesses

I first bought Super Sculpey years ago when I was looking to make some unusual gifts for the ladies in my family. It was nearly Christmas and I didn't have oodles of money to spend nor a lot of time to knit or crochet multiple items. My idea was simple: make small figurines.

Using Marija Gimbutas' book, The Language of the Goddess as an inspiration, I was able to make small goddess figurines using the Super Sculpey.

Amazingly, years later, the figurines I made are still on display and look as good as the day I made them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HDC Washcloths

I made this set of washcloths for my daughter. I did her set in hdc and the washcloths turned out lovely.

Materials:  I used Peaches and Creme cotton yarn, color Ivy League.

Size G hook

Chain 23

Sk 2, hdc across, ch 2, turn.

Continue until washcloth is 7-1/2 inches long. Ch 1, turn, sc evenly around washcloth, working 3 sc in each corner.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simple Crochet Baby Washcloths

I've had enough of knitting for the time being and want to work on some crochet. For a quick project - gotta love that instant gratification feeling - I made 3 simple baby washcloths.

Simple Crochet Baby Washcloths

Materials: For these 3 baby washcloths I used Peaches and Creme cotton yarn, Happy Go Lucky.

Size G hook

Chain 21

Sc in back loop, second ch from hook. Sc in back loops across. Ch 1 and turn.

Work 2 more rows in sc (back loop). At end of last row, ch 2 and turn.

Dc in back loop across row 4. Ch 1 and turn.

Repeat: sc in back loop for 3 rows, next row dc in back loop, sc in back loop for 3 rows, next row dc in back loop.

To finish: sc in back loop for the final 3 rows. Chain 2 at end of third row. Turn. Work dc evenly around washcloth, working 3 dc in each corner. Join to first dc with slip stitch. Fasten off and work in ends.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Turkish Stitch Baby Blanket

I keep telling myself just one more baby blanket and I'm done. Hah! I can't wait to donate some blankets to the local women's shelter.

Turkish Stitch Baby Blanket

I made this blanket out of half a skein of Pound of Love yarn (medium weight, 4).

Size 10-1/2 (6.5 mm) knitting needles.

Cast on 86 sts.

Rows 1-4: knit
Row 5-8: *yo, sl 1, K 1, psso*

Repeat rows 1-8 until desired length is reached. End with knit 4 rows and bind off.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

That 70s Scarf

I felt I needed to knit something for my big baby. Claudia wanted a new scarf for the new school year and this is what we came up with: That 70s Scarf.

I used less than a half a skein of Pound of Love Yarn (medium weight 4).

Size 13 (9.0 mm) knitting needles.

Cast on 22 sts.

Rows 1-4: knit

Row 5: K00

Row 6: knit, letting the 2 extra loops drop

Continue rows 1-6 until desired length.

End with knit 4 rows. Bind off.

Add fringe.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Making My Own Paintings

As someone who feels compelled to decorate the walls with unusual paintings, I figured it was time I made my own instead of spending countless hours searching for just the right colors and imagery. This pack of canvas panels 8 x 10 inch (pack of 12) was perfect for my needs. A splash of color here and there and now my walls will be perfect!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Making Money on Etsy for Moms

So many of my mom friends are turning to Etsy to bring in an income, but what's it all about? How could I make money selling my crafts on Etsy?And, most importantly, how do I get the word out about my products? Etsy Success - How to Make a Full-Time Income Selling Jewelry, Crafts, and Other Handmade Products Online (Mogul Mom Work-at-Home Book Series) answered all my questions and then went the extra mile by providing some great marketing ideas and ways to keep in touch with your customers so that they keep coming back to you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vampire Knits

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller is an awesome book for dreamers and knitters. This book has patterns for knitting capes, bags, scarves, socks, hats, and other items. Being a vampire story and movie lover, this book was an absolute must for my collection. But where do I file it on my bookshelf? Under vampires or knitting?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quick and Fun Baby Yarn Knit Scarf

This scarf is made with knit rows and open lace rows. It's very easy to make and is easily knitted in one sitting.

Yarn: I used 1/2 skein of Bernat Softee Baby, color Soft Fern. The yarn is light 3.

Size 9 needles.

Cast on 24.


Rows 1-8: Knit across.

Row 9: K 00 (wind yarn twice around needle).

Row 10: Knit across, letting extra loops drop.

Continue in pattern until desired length. Finish with rows 1 through 8. Bind off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting

The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting: Learn to Knit with more than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns by Nancy Queen is the perfect book for knitters on the go. Following the philosophy of keeping knitting uncomplicated, the book is great for people who are just learning how to knit. The patterns are simple, and the ideas you'll get from this book are pretty much endless.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Sandwich Buns

During the warm summer months, hot and cold sandwiches are all the rage for the kids and I. One of my favorite sandwiches are hot chicken sandwiches smothered in mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato. My son and I set out to make the perfect buns for our chicken sandwiches and we came up with the sunflower seed and sour cream sandwich buns. Delicious! Sometimes I think my son and I should open up our own sandwich shop.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Openwork Stripe Knit Hat

When the power went out, I quickly learned that I could knit in the dark. It was either knit or go completely mad with nothing to do. Surprisingly, I didn't miss a single stitch in the darkness and, by the light of two small candles, I was able to do some openwork stitches.

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

Size 9 (5.5 mm) 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:

Color A
Rows 1-6: Knit

Color B
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: Knit
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: *yo, P2 tog*
Row 14: Knit
Row 15: Knit
Row 16: Purl
Row 17: Knit
Row 18: Purl

Color A
Knit until hat measures 8 inches. If desired, add another two or four row knit stripe of color B to hat.

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 knit 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!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Drop Stitch Lace Baby Blanket

I made this blanket out of half a skein of Pound of Love (medium weight, 4), color beige.

Size 10-1/2 (6.5 mm) knitting needles.

Cast on 86 sts.

Rows 1 - 4: knit

Row 5: K 00

Row 6: K, letting the extra 2 loops drop

Continue rows 1-6 until you've reached desired length of blanket. Finish by knitting the final 4 rows and binding off.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sloppy Joe and Steak Sandwich Buns

My son loves to help me create breads for his custom sandwiches. One of our favorite recipes is for sloppy joe and steak sandwich buns. He originally helped create this recipe for his sloppy joe sandwiches and then I used it for my cheese steak sandwiches. Excellent!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Knit Simple Baby Blanket

Knit Simple Baby Blanket

Mention a baby and the knitting needles have to come out. I made this uber-simple baby blanket out of half a skein of the Pound of Love yarn (medium weight, 4), color beige.

Size 10-1/2 (6.5 mm) knitting needles.

Cast on 83 stitches.

Knit 5 rows.

Body: K5, *P1,K1* (all the way across), K5 (knit last 5 stitches to create the border)
Repeat body until you've reached the desired length.

Knit 5 rows and bind off.