Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

Use It Up…..

One of the projects I’ve been working on this year is to use it up, in particular, wool. Not that I have a huge stash to begin with, my yarn for the most part fits in one basket, but in order to appreciate what I have and save a few pennies at the same time I have decided to use up all the yarn I have before purchasing any more.

About half of what I have had been given to me, so there were a lot of odd skeins without exact yardage. I had been avoiding using those up because honestly I had no project in mind, but I am now having lots of fun being creative and searching out free patterns or ones that I already had to make some new projects.

This has been a great motivator as well, I have already gotten a gift for a friend done, using a chart as well. I was always too intimidated by charts before and have now found out that it is quite easy, at least the one I did. A Christmas gift for next year has been finished and tucked away and I am almost done with a hat for the children. Oh, and also a sweet little hat for the new little one of a friend. My basket is slowly emptying and at this rate I should have six months of knitting to do without spending a penny. Of course it helps the motivation that I have a couple of projects in mind for when I do use up my stash, and quite frankly I am excited to get to those.

I’m also hoping that at the end of it all I will have a nice little stash of scraps for a granny square blanket. Do you prefer to have a nice big stash, or would you rather only have what you need for your next project or two?

crochet, gifts, green, knitting • Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 • 2 Comments »

Children of the Forest

Children of the Forest is one of the babe’s favourite books. It’s about a family of tiny forest people who happen to have four children, two boys, two girls, just like us. Daisy, the littlest has platinum blond hair just like the babe. They live in the forest, our house backs up into forest, and my littlest just loves blending into things just like the forest children have to do sometimes. They gather nuts, berries, and mushrooms for the winter and their mama knits them hats and sweaters too. They have toadstool caps so that if they need to blend in and not be seen, they can just squat down and disappear into their surroundings.

I knew that the babe would absolutely adore to have her own toadstool cap, so the search was on. I couldn’t find a pattern that was quite right until I found this pattern. I tweaked it slightly by eliminating the little tail at the top of the hat and it turned out perfectly. Then I needle felted some creamy roving into little toadstool spots all around the outside. She adores the hat, and I am so thrilled that I was able to pull it off. This was my first time needle felting and despite the fact that I broke a few needles, it was a lot of fun.

The babe always wants to take pictures with mommy’s camera, so I knew this adorable wooden camera would be absolutely perfect. It is used on a daily basis as she goes around snapping her own pictures. It’s really well made and the detail is fantastic, I know it’s going to get lots and lots of use over the years.

books, Christmas, family, gifts, knitting • Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 • 13 Comments »

Clementine Curd

Before Christmas we received a gift of clementines from family traveling in California. They were indeed the best clementines I have ever tasted and after eating clementine after clementine I knew I needed to do something with that last couple of dozen before they started turning.

I have to say, I’ve never been a massive fan of lemon curd, I like the idea, I think it just had too much of a tangy taste for my personal preference, so when I found this recipe for clementine curd I was very excited as I thought the extra sweetness would be perfect.

I made up a double batch, leaving out the zest (just another odd preference of mine) and was so thrilled with the result that I made up another double batch the next day with the last of the clementines. The next day we had clementine curd over waffles topped with whipped cream for a treat. It was declared the best waffle ever by the children, me too.

I chilled the remaining jars of curd overnight in the fridge and they are now in the freezer waiting for a dreary February day to come out and cheer our tastebuds. So if you have a handful of clementines waiting around, I would highly recommend that you try this out, it is oh so worth it.

We had a nice big snow yesterday and the kids were able to play out for a couple of hours. I can’t tell you how nice it is to live in a place where it is still bearable to be out in the winter. In Wyoming in the winter it was regularly -20 freezing and just way too windy to play out. Here the kids can get bundled up and play for hours in the snow, for which I am very thankful, and they are too.

food, gifts • Friday, January 13th, 2012 • 3 Comments »

Christmas in March

Well, slightly belated Christmas in March. Last month got a little crazy with all of us coming down with the flu the week before we were supposed to leave on our trip, and then the trip, and then getting back and trying to get everything back to normal, so I’m just now posting this project. It’s the Wottle Bottle Cover. I have been wanting to work on knitting hot water bottle covers for a while and when I found this pattern I got really excited. I love this, it’s simple, classy, and depending on the colours and pocket, it is perfect for anyone with a water bottle that needs cozying up. So this water bottle cover will be tucked away until next Christmas, one down, four to go. I used the magic loop method and it was so easy, so if you are in need of a water bottle cover, give it a go. Here is this project on my ravelry page. Edited to add: The ravelry link isn’t working properly so here is a link to the wottle bottle cover page, enjoy!

Christmas, family, gifts, home, knitting • Monday, April 18th, 2011 • 14 Comments »

More Fabric Gift Bags

We’ve got an 8th birthday here this week, I can’t believe my kiddos are growing up so fast. So, in my quest to have less waste at not only Christmas but birthdays too, I have added another fabric gift bag to the stash. I am trying to make all of the bags not really occasion specific, but more gender specific so that they will all work for just about any occasion or person we need them for. I really like how this one turned out, I used some denim fabric and unbleached twill tape for the ties and border. I took a rectangle of fabric, turned it right sides together and stitched up the sides. Then I turned it right side out and folded the twill tape in half and used it like bias tape, tucking the long tie into the bias in the middle of the back. Super easy and effective. My stash is slow growing, but I figure if I make a couple of bags as birthdays etc. come along, by the end of the year we will have just about all that we need.

family, gifts, green, home, sewing • Monday, March 7th, 2011 • 1 Comment »

Knitting Pattern Binder

One of my goals for this year was to get more organized, to have a place for everything and have everything in it’s place. Up to now my knitting patterns have been kept in several places, a folder on the shelf, a stack on the end table by the chair. When my mom surprised me with this binder, I knew exactly what I would use it for. She had the binder cover made with one of my Great Grandmother’s tablecloths and I absolutely adore it. It is perfect for storing my patterns all in one place, a front pocket for colourbooks and yarncards, even a little slot for a pencil or pen.Now all of my patterns are tucked away in this beautiful binder and it only take me a couple of seconds to find what I am looking for. Next, I need to go through my sewing patterns and figure out which ones I want to keep and find a great way to store them as well. This is what I really love, a beautiful, yet functional item that makes me smile every time I use it, thanks Mom! Have a great weekend everybody!

family, gifts, home, knitting, sewing • Saturday, February 19th, 2011 • 7 Comments »

Springy Pots

We should be moving closer to spring, but so far in February we have had the coldest weather this year. The other day it got down to -34 degrees (with the wind chill) and it was freezing, well actually 68 degrees below freezing to be exact. It’s too cold to snow, so it’s just cold and dead and brown outside. I needed some springtime hope, so it took the form of store bought hyacinths. I had recently seen a great idea in Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living. She made little fabric sleeves to cover the little plastic pots her plants came in. Since I was in no way going to bother going to the shed to dig out pots in this weather, I really liked the idea of using some fabric scraps to make some cute covers to brighten my windowsill up. They were very easy to make, I just measured the height and circumference of the pot added a little bit extra for seam allowances and grabbed some thin elastic. I didn’t even bother to make casings, I just took a length of elastic about 2/3 of the length of the fabric and stretched it out to the full length while I sewed it on. I did this on both long sides and then sewed the short ends together. Voila, two cute little pot covers in less than 10 minutes. So I hope wherever you are, whether you are covered in snow or just freezing temperatures or even baking in the hot summer sun, I hope you get a little relief with the weather and are able to enjoy some springiness of your own.

gardening, gifts, green, home, sewing • Friday, February 4th, 2011 • 5 Comments »

Valentines Day Garland and Giveaway

I’m not usually a heart person, but when I came across this pattern for tiny crocheted hearts, I must admit, I took a liking to them. In fact I thought they would make wonderful little garlands, so I made several. One of my favourite things about these little hearts is that you use embroidery floss, so you can pick out quite a few colours without having to have skeins and skeins of yarn. The hearts are quick and easy, but quite addictive so if you need a few decorations around the house you should definitely have a go. The hearts themselves would make adorable brooches, hair pins, package or card decorations or just a few in a small bowl to look pretty. You can go traditional with all red hearts, or slightly different but still feminine with raspberry, sage and cornflower (I had a difficult time photographing these colours, they are not quite as bright in real life) coloured ones. You can even go super trendy with charcoal turquoise and mustard. These hearts are quite tiny, but very adorable and each garland I made was approx. 38 inches from heart to heart with a little extra on the ends to tie however you want. If you’d like a chance to win the garland of your choice, just leave a comment and let me know which is your favourite colourway. I will close the comments at 12 noon MST on Thursday Feb. 3rd and announce the winner shortly thereafter. Edited to add: I will ship to wherever you are, so go on, throw your name in the hat. Please don’t forget to let me know which garland would be your choice.

crochet, gifts, home • Monday, January 31st, 2011 • 26 Comments »

Christmas Every Month of the Year

Every year Christmas seems to come up so quickly and we all try to fit in so many things that last two months of the year. I really want Christmas to be calm and peaceful and a time for reflection and family and friends. So this year I am prepared, or at least getting that way. I am going to work on a project every month to make next Christmas easier. I can see how this could very easily turn into making it more stressful by adding so many projects that it just gets out of control, so I am making an effort to keep this simple and remember my ultimate goal, simplify and de-stress Christmas. This month I started a small notebook in which to organize my thoughts and write down things that might be good projects or gifts for next year. I have the ideas and where to find specifics, if I’ve already found directions somewhere. I can gather info and as the year progresses narrow some of those things down as I decide exactly what I’m doing. Each month on the 25th I will share with you what my project was for that month, and have some giveaways along the way. I’m really excited about this as next December I shall be fully prepared (in theory) and on track for a simple, beautiful Christmas. I’d love for you to join me, it would be great to have a whole bunch of ideas on the 25th of every month. Even if you get one thing done during the year in preparation for next year it should be a help, no pressure here. This is absolutely not meant to be a way to overload and cause more stress. Ok, so laundry calls, have a great day everybody. I’ll see you in a few days with a fun little Valentine’s project.

books, family, food, gifts, green, home, knitting, sewing • Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 • 9 Comments »

Candy Cane Playdough

Well, Christmas is almost upon us, and my gift making days are just about over. Here is my last gift to make and encourage you to make. I saw this post yesterday and knew this would be perfect for keeping my kiddos occupied up at the cabin. If tempers start to flare and it’s a bit too cold to go outside, I am going to pull this gorgeous peppermint scented, candy cane striped playdough out and let the kids go to town. This was really easy to make, inexpensive too, and it made a huge batch in all less than an hour. If you have some kids that you need a quick gift for, this is it. Do try it, it smells divine. I want to thank you all for popping in and saying hi to me this year. Tomorrow we will be leaving for our Christmas celebration and then next week we will be traveling out to Oregon to see my brother, so I will be back sometime in the second week of January. Have a great Christmas everyone!

family, gifts, green, kid's art • Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 • 5 Comments »