Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I have a lot to do today - working on several custom orders, shipping out finished pieces, laundry laundry laundry, some baking, and the farmers market is this afternoon! I can't wait to pick up a few more herb seedlings for my kitchen garden (which is what I call the potted plants in my little kitchen).
I'll be crossing things off my to-do list one by one : )
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I've been wanting to make a new quilt project (or a few? I think probably more than one...) lately and I think I'm going to try making a rag quilt! It sounds like a good project for me because I have a really hard time getting everything perfectly cut and lined up - this type of construction is very forgiving to small
mistakes : )
I found a simple tutorial here, and it looks like a great project for beginning quilters (or quilters who need a quick gift or just don't have time for a big project). I searched around on Flickr and found a few great examples:
9. rag quilt owls, 10. wheels rag quilt, 11. I love color too Rag Quilt, 12. Rag quilt --Green Goddess,
What do you think? Would you ever try making a quilt like this (or have you made one?)?
Monday, April 23, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I like to make scented herbal sachets and pillows for different uses - sometimes I put them in a drawer with out of season clothes to keep everything smelling sweet & fresh, other times I use them as an eye pillow or relaxing heat pack.
This project is an herbal dream pillow that you can place on your eyes, forehead, or chest while resting, or you can keep it beside your pillow while you sleep. Herbs have been used in many traditions to promote sleep, stave off nightmares, ease headaches, and encourage pleasant dreams.
For this project you will need one 16 x 5 inch rectangle of cotton fabric, a sewing machine or a needle and thread for hand sewing,1 cup of rice, and 1 cup of dried aromatic herbs. You can use any aromatic herbs you like, but there are certain herbs that are traditionally used in dream pillows for their ability to promote relaxation and dreams.
You might want to try:
Mugwort (said to produce visions and lucid dreams)
Lavender (for relaxing deep sleep)
Hops (for restful sleep and dreaming)
Rosemary (to avoid headaches and nightmares)
Cedar (said to repel bad dreams)
In my pillow I mixed peppermint and lavender - lavender is one of my all time faaaaavorites and I love using peppermint to treat tension, anxiety, and headaches. They smell really good together, too!
Begin by folding your rectangle in half with the right sides of the fabric together. Using your sewing machine or hand sewing, sew up the long sides of the rectangle, but leave the top open to make a little bag. Turn the bag right side out and fill it with 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of dried herbs.
Press the raw, open edges under and sew them together to close the pillow.
Now you're ready for a night of sweet dreams (or an afternoon of pleasant napping!).
During the winter I made a slightly larger version and would pop in the microwave for 30 seconds - this heats up the rice so you can use it as a heat pack! You can use it over and over again, a great way to get through those cold winter nights.
I find most of my dried herbs at my local natural food store, but you can also grow your own, or order them online. My favorite online source is Mountain Rose Herbs : )
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I'm about to make a cup of coffee (a special treat... I try not to do it every day because I get addicted!) and start on a full day of work. Orders to fill (yay!), projects to work on, and bunch of other stuff, too.
If anyone has a special way they like to make their own coffee at home (I just add almond milk, but that's not too exciting) I'd love to hear about it. I could use some ideas for jazzing up my morning cup!
1. Coffee Break, 2. coffee time @ the cafe, 3. ♥ coffee, 4. coffee love, 5. coffee art, 6. Coffee, 7. Coffee
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I went to the thrift store on Saturday to look for frames and plaques to use in new fiber pieces - I didn't get my hopes up because lately the frame section has been pretty sad. This trip turned out to be great, though! I found several different shapes and sizes, included a perfect square and (rarest of all!) an oval.
I even found a small heart shape, which is a first!
Monday, April 16, 2012
A few days ago I stopped into the yarn shop to browse around... nothing particular in mind, I just wanted to find some fun supplies.
I found my favorite Sprout yarn in this gorgeous bright pink color - I've never noticed this color before so it must be new to the shop. Sooooo pretty! And I also found this awesome pack of embroidery fibers in shades of blue. I can't wait to design a project for it!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I ordered some fun postcards to include with shop orders for soft sculptures!
I think they are super cute : )
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I received a copy of the new Potter Craft knitting book "Noni Flowers" by Nora Bellows last week and - wow!- the variety of patterns is incredible! The book includes knitting patterns for 40 different species of realistic, detailed flowers.
One of my favorite things about the book is that the flowers can be scaled to any knitting guage, so you can use your own choice of yarn and needles. In the author's own words, "...every pattern can be used, just as written, to make a flower that will fit in a thimble or one so big it would need to be suspended from the rafters of a stadium."
very cool : )
Here are a few of my favorite patterns (and I also love the perfect tulip on the book's cover, and the daffodils, and clematis, and... you get the idea!):
Isn't that dogwood just gorgeous? It's so delicately shaded.
You can preview a photo gallery of flowers from the book here.
There are also 6 projects in the book that incorporate knit flowers into the design. I like this Forget-Me-Not Pillow:
And the Sunflower Infinity Wrap is a true statement piece:
I can see myself making flowers to embellish all kinds of projects, to turn into brooches, or to add to gift packages.
If you have any ideas of other creative ways to use these beautiful flowers I'd love to hear them!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I call these peanut butter cookies "Emergency Cookies" because I can make them when I reeeaaallly need something sweet, but realize that I'm out of essential baking ingredients like flour or vanilla. These cookies only have four ingredients - FOUR! It's amazing that you can make something so good with so few ingredients. Oh, and they're gluten free and vegan, too!
I made up this recipe myself, so I hope you like it.
You will need:
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Cream together the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl (I just stir it quickly with a wooden spoon, but you can use a mixer if you prefer). Add the baking soda and applesauce, then mix until everything is combined. The dough will be very sticky, that's ok!
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. The cookies will spread as they bake, so leave an inch or two between each ball of dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will be soft when you take them out of the oven, but they will set up nicely when cool. Let them cool completely on the parchment paper before you try to handle them.
This recipe makes about 18 cookies and here is my tip for eating just a few and not pigging out on the whole batch (because they are pretty good and you might lose control):
Keep just a few cookies on your plate and freeze the rest to eat later.
I put most of my batch in the freezer and they are quick to thaw when you need them... because you never know when you might need an emergency cookie : )
Monday, April 9, 2012
I took my knitting outdoors yesterday so I could enjoy the beautiful weather and get some sunshine.
We sat under a huge old tree with a giant canopy of leaves and there were tons of caterpillars in the grass!
I'm knitting a shawl based on my Goldie Neckerchief pattern, but modified to make it larger - I have one skein of this yarn in my stash so I'll just keep knitting until it runs out : )
Sunday, April 8, 2012
I was out walking yesterday and realized that the gully near my apartments is blooming with honeysuckle!
It smells sooooo wonderful - you can't help but stop to smell it as you walk by.
10. Honeysuckle, 11. fresh willow, 12. the new colour... beewax yellow!, 13. Saturday relax [98/366]~
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I'm trying out some color combinations on a new custom piece - crocheting a few samples to see how the colors look together. I really love shades of gold and turquoise lately!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
It's raaaaiiiining this afternoon so I'm inside working on a crochet project and hoping that the storm eases up before I need to run to the post office! I'm using my favorite hand dyed Araucania gold yarn for this piece... I always keep a little (or big) amount of it in my stash.
I feel like I'm going to need some coffee soon... stormy weather makes me sleepy : )
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I stopped into the yarn shop yesterday and picked out some beautiful new yarns (and some of my classic Sprout yarn... I always seem to leave with a skein of Sprout!).
I've been browsing Ravelry for pattern ideas, but I'm not totally sure what to make yet. I really love patterns by Stephen West for lightweight yarn, so maybe one of his scarves or shawls with the laceweight...