Archive for the ‘green’ Category
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.).