Archive for the ‘green’ 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 »

The Warmth of Bread

Baking bread is about so much more than nourishment. Sure it tastes great, and fills up hungry bellies, but it is as much about the process for me as the end result. I have made my own bread occasionally for years, not every loaf, but quite often. In the last month I started making all of our bread, I used the bread machine to knead and rise the dough, but then would take it out, shape it, and bake it in the oven. I loved the result, but have wanted to get into baking my own truly from scratch for a while now. A couple of weeks ago, we made bagels, and they could knock the socks off of any store-bought bagels. I found I truly enjoyed the process of working the dough by hand, feeling it change from lumpy to smooth, fragile to elastic.

Seeing the dough rise in a bowl and gently pushing the air back out to shape it and let it rise again. Putting the loaves into the oven and the smell of bread baking, and the warmth from the oven warming the kitchen. I also love that I can make enough dough for two loaves in one batch, which means that I won’t necessarily have to make bread every day, or at the very least all that hard work won’t be gone in one sitting. Not to mention the side effect of a good workout, kneading dough for 10-15 minutes is very good for the arms.

I am looking forward to getting into the rhythm of baking bread from start to finish with my own hands, or like this morning, with the help of my two girls. I think I’ll put the boys to work on the next batch.

family, food, green, homeschooling • Monday, January 30th, 2012 • 5 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 »

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 »

Valentine Garland Winners!

I do love a good giveaway and as I made three heart garlands I figured I’d better give them all away. The winners are: Elizabeth- Raspberry, Sage and Cornflower Garland Rachel- Red Garland Emma-Mustard, Turqouise and Charcoal Garland. I will e-mail the winners in just a minute, please reply with your address and I will get these in the mail. Thanks everybody for playing along. I’ll be back tomorrow with a quick, easy springy project. See you then!

crochet, green, home • Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 • 2 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 • 8 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 • 4 Comments »

Cloth Gift Wrap

This year has cemented my dislike for paper wrapping paper. The bags of waste, the expense and the fact that it is a nightmare, especially wrapping with children as it tears so easily. A couple of weeks ago I decided that next year I want to switch over entirely to cloth gift wrap. We can use it year after year, and depending on the fabric, for gifts all year round, not just for Christmas. I started making some “sheets” of cloth for wrapping (below) which I think will work out really well. You basically take a square of fabric and hem all four sides. You could use a machine or just some pretty embroidery thread and stitch around the edges. The bigger the better as you can always fold it down before you wrap a gift that is small. You could decorate with anything from ribbon, to crochet yarn ribbons and you can even spruce it up a bit by adding some fallen pine tree. A couple of days ago, SouleMama had a post about making cloth gift bags. I tried out her tutorial (above) with just a few tweaks of my own and I love it. The ribbons are attached so you don’t have to scramble when you are wrapping. Just pop your gift in, fold the bag over and tie it up. I think a combination of these bags and sheets of cloth paper will be the perfect combination for us. I plan on gathering supplies throughout the year as I find suitable fabric thrifting, and making a nice stash before the Christmas season arrives next year. If you have some time still these are very quick easy to whip up, and I think they are so beautiful and we can feel really good about no waste next year for Christmas (and birthdays etc.).

gifts, green • Friday, December 17th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

For Those on the Go

This next gift idea is for those on the go. I love the idea of being able to throw an apple in it’s little jumper and it stays protected in your bag from bumps and scrapes, perfect for the time you want to eat it. I want the majority of the gifts I give this Christmas to be handmade, but that also means I can’t take weeks on each one. I have been working on projects that take less than an evening, somewhere between two and three hours. It’s the perfect opportunity to sit down with some tea and a nice movie and work on something for someone special. This pattern is perfect and at $3.49 it fits right in with my high impact low budget gift ideas. If you make more than one the cost per apple cozy goes down as well. This is the first time I have done crochet cables, and I love how they turned out. If you are unfamiliar with any of the stitches there are loads of videos you can look up online as well, that’s what I did. These are really quite sturdy as the stitches form these sort of ribs (like inside a bell pepper) so I know my apple is going to remain in pretty good shape. Give it a shot, they are adorable, and a perfect fairly quick gift for those on the go.

crochet, food, gifts, green • Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 • 7 Comments »

A Blanket, Trousers, and New Shoes

Last year I came across a crib sized duvet cover at the thrift store. It is the perfect size to snuggle up under in the winter so I snapped it up for $1. I needed something to fill it with so I also grabbed a comforter for another $1. I cut out two pieces of the comforter and serged them together to fit the duvet cover. It’s wonderfully soft and cozy and the perfect price at about $1.50. Here are some trousers I made for my older daughter when she was two. I had forgotten all about them until I dug them out for the babe. I used an old denim skirt of mine and used the existing leg seam and hems for the legs. I have skinny babies and skinny kids and this is one of my favourite waistbands to make. I took a strip of knit fabric measured to fit their little waists and serge the short ends together. Next you fold it in half lengthwise and serge the cut ends to the waist of the actual trousers. Very easy, and a very comfortable, custom fit. The babe needed some new shoes so we stopped at a little children’s boutique store on our way home from the cabin and found these delicious shoes. She loves her “ballet-rina” shoes and wears them every waking minute. Well, I have lots more to show you guys, several projects I have been working on and some different things we use in our homeschooling. I’ll get to that next week, but in the meantime have a wonderful, and hopefully restful, weekend.

gifts, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Friday, October 8th, 2010 • 6 Comments »