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 »

Springtime Sketch

A sweet little sketch from my boy last springtime with our plans for gardening. Have a great weekend everybody! I’ll be back Monday morning with a little Valentine’s Day giveaway.

family, gardening, kid's art • Friday, January 28th, 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 »

Baked Nutmeg Doughnuts

So if you are cold and tired of the winter, wishing for blue skies and plenty of flowers instead of brown grass and lots of wind, embrace the cold and do a bit of baking. Baked Nutmeg Doughnuts, yum, you will be so glad it’s not too hot to turn the oven on. I dipped mine in powdered sugar because that’s what I had on hand, still super delicious. This makes a huge batch, even for the six of us, so next time I will probably half it. Stay warm everybody, unless of course you are on the other side of the world, then enjoy the warmth for us.

food • Thursday, January 20th, 2011 • 7 Comments »

Road Trip

Well, we had a whirlwind trip that included going from Wyoming through Utah, Idaho, and then to Oregon. We took a week and a day and what fun we had. We saw some of the most gorgeous scenery… We had some real highs (elevation 8,664)… …and some real lows ( -13° F) Ate some of the most gorgeous food… and had my first fancy latte (I have had lattes before, just never one that looked so pretty) We had such fun with my brother, we can’t wait to go back and visit again. We made it back although a few of us caught the sniffles. This last week we have tried to get acclimated to the wind (we did not miss that one bit) and our regular routine. I’ve got so many things going round and round in my head and lots to share with you all this year. I hope to be post a little more often than I have been, but we’ll see how it goes. Hope everyone is settling into the new year, it’s nice to be back.

family, food, travelling • Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 • 5 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 »

Convertible Cowl

Here is another low budget, high impact gift for the Holidays, or anytime really. This convertible cowl is fantastic for keeping you warm on a chilly day. As with all crochet and knitting projects depending on your yarn choice is can be budget friendly or super luxurious. I took these photos with it on my six year old and it is obviously a bit big, but I find it quite difficult to take decent pictures of myself, so there you go. It would be very easy to make a smaller version for a child though. You can wear this around your neck, or pulled down over your shoulders, or pulled up over your head to wear as a hood. This was a quick project, it took me just under three hours, so if you have an evening free and you are in need of a beautiful, warming gift for someone, give it a try. Even if you don’t already know how to crochet it would only take you a bit to learn the stitch and then you could make a beautiful convertible cowl. The pattern is free (yay budget!) and the results are fabulous. What is your go to winter accessory? What can you not leave the house without? Is it a pair of gloves, or do you have to have a hat on? Is a scarf the one thing you reach for?

crochet, gifts • Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 • 10 Comments »

Tis the Season

Receiving brown paper packages tied up with string Reminding my children that my mama made these ornaments when I was still in her belly Tucking into the most gorgeous oranges that Grandad brought back from a business trip to California Seeing all the beautiful handmade ornaments that hang on our tree Hanging our super-bargain $1 handmade winter wreath I found at a thrift store last year We’re very much getting into the Christmas spirit around here. Packages are being assembled to ship, sweet treats are being made, bowlfuls of hot soup are being devoured and Christmas music is playing. We’re also making plans to go visit my brother in Oregon after Christmas, which has all of us a little giddy. Hope you all had a restful weekend and are remembering to be still and breathe in a season that can quickly become overwhelming if we let it. What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

family, food, gifts, home • Monday, December 13th, 2010 • 5 Comments »

Winner!

Congratulations Amy! You’ve won the capucine hat. Shoot me an e-mail with your mailing address and I’ll get it right out to you. Thanks everybody for entering. Hope you are all having a wonderful day.

gifts, knitting • Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 • 1 Comment »