Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Turn a Wool Sweater into a Change Purse



My cousin sent me this link to these adorable little change purses on Adventures of Blue Girl XO. I've had it bookmarked for a while, but finally got around to making one the other day.

I bought this sweater at a yard sale for .50. It's 100% wool and pretty much totally felted. I cut a 8 " X 6" rectangle from it.

I needed to line mine:

Ready to sew on my zipper! My first time!! I'd never used my zipper foot. It was really quite simple and now I'm totally not afraid to do them! Here it is inside out before I sewed the sides shut.

And here it is all sewed up with the pretty little liner on the inside:

I really love it, although it's THICK! It's really too many thick layers folded up on one another. My purse is just too small to handle this right now. I intended to keep little things like hand lotion and sanitizer in it, but by the time you add all that, you've got a hefty little wad of wool floating in your purse! So, next time I'll use a thinner felt. And this little beauty will be put to use elsewhere. These would be great in a bigger size for make-up bags~!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meatless Monday! Kids Cook Monday!




The good people at Meatless Monday have launched a new campaign called Kids Cook Monday. I figure since I'm trying to post a meatless recipe every Monday, I'll try harder to incorporate my kids into some of them. Today was perfect because we made two recipes; Blueberry Pie and a Toasted Pita Salad. It was funny though, because I only had one kid with me at any given time. While one was outside helping Daddy change brakes on the car, the other was helping me. Then they'd switch out!

Anyway, I really thought this would be a fun salad for my girls to make, because they LOVE chopping cucumbers, I thought they'd have fun ripping up the pita, and it gave them a chance to 'play' with tomatoes (which I hoped would wet their appetite for them).

We had fun with the onion chopper:

Very serious salad tossing:

Shredding the pita:

The side salad that took shape during all of this :-)


This recipe was really tasty. The fresh oregano was really delicious. One of my girls said it smelled "divine". They both enjoyed the pita and the cucumbers, but I can't convince them to like tomatoes.

Here's the recipe from Cooking Light. Also, stop on over to The Kids Cook Monday and see what they're all about!

Ingredients

  • 2 (6-inch) pitas, split in half horizontally
  • 3 cups chopped tomato (about 4 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place pitas on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely; break into small pieces.

3. Combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) in a large bowl. Combine lime juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour juice mixture over tomato mixture; toss gently. Add pita pieces to bowl; toss gently. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

'Taters and My Garden


My husband has been waiting and waiting to dig his hands into these potato barrels to harvest our spuds. He just got back from being away for a couple weeks, and we made him get to work almost immediately!



Here's the rest of my garden:

Proud gardeners with their bounty!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Tank Top Progress


So, I haven't knitted very much over the past two weeks, but I've gotten this far.

For those of you who remember my last Fibers on Friday post, I sadly told you that my purple loving girl still had not worn her tank top. An update: still nothing :-( It's a power struggle now!

I'm going to keep on putting the Mr. Linky up. I KNOW some of my darling readers knit and it's just a matter of time for you to link your projects :-) I can't wait to see them. Remember, they can be finished projects or works in progress!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meatless Monday! Hummus and Crackers


I've never made my own crackers. When I saw this recipe on Sew Much Ado, I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't have Wheat Germ, so I substituted Wheat Bran. I didn't have my rolling pin, so I substituted MY HAND!

Crackers = Failure!

But, I'm sure they will be much better when I get some wheat germ and get my rolling pin back! I couldn't get them thin enough and they were really....really...crackily....dry....coarse....bleck.

I was still trying to eat them, though. So I thought a nice hummus would do them justice.

Hummus = Tasty Success!

To that recipe I added lemon zest and a little extra lemon juice and omitted the parsley. Yummm....yummm....double yummm!

Visit Meatless Monday for more ideas on going meatless one day a week!



Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Summer Wreath

Isn't it precious? My friend, Steph, found this idea for a wreath. I'm pretty sure it's from Make it and Love it, although when I searched for it I couldn't find it. My apologies if credit is not accurate.

Here's how we did it. You'll need:


***candy not necessary for the project. Or is it???***

Get to work with brown paper lunch bags:

This takes forever! I seriously got a blister on the palm of my hand. My darling husband actually pitched in and did some of the die cutting. You need about fifty-eleven scalloped circles. Hot glue them to your wreath:

The original idea had butterflies cut from scrapbooking paper. I totally intended to do the same thing, but I was in JoAnn Fabric yesterday and saw these adorable butterflies (they also had ladybugs and bumblebees) and decided to use these instead. I'm really happy with them because they clip on....so I'll be able to take them off and add something else later....like stars and stripes for the 4th of July!

Linking to these parties:
Sew Much Ado: We did it!
Blue Cricket Design
Somewhat Simple

Friday, June 18, 2010

Homemade Natural Deodorant

I hate using Commercial deodorant. Everyday that I'm applying it, I think, "I hate this stuff. It's probably killing me." But, store bought natural deodorants don't work for me. I'm a stinky girl. I'm not afraid to admit it. I come by it honestly, I'm a third generation stinky girl (twice removed). My husband uses Tom's of Maine. He likes it.

I saw this recipe for homemade deodorant from Passionate Homemaking, and I read the comments which had people raving about it. So I mixed some up.

Ingredients:

5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch ( I used cornstarch)

Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. It should be about the same texture as the store bought kind, solid but able to be applied easily. You can either scoop this into your old dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. After applying the product, you can just rub the remains into your hands as a lotion! This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.



I LOVE IT!!!!

I've been using it exclusively for about a month now. I mixed it up right before a camping trip and brought it along. I used it....I sweat....I lounged by the pool sweating all day....I SWAM in said pool....I trekked out in the woods for geocaching....I didn't smell! I told my friend. She asked to use some. She LOVED it, so I gave her some. She told her cousin about it and her cousin asked for some, too. So, I divvied more up for her! My first batch was split 3 ways!

Here's the deal. You will still perspire. You will. But that's healthy...it's what we're meant to do. But, I've had great results in keeping the smellies at bay. Apparently coconut oil is a natural antibacterial. Mix it with the baking soda and corn starch and it's a miracle!

The website where I found it says you can mix it up to the consistency of regular deodorant and pack it down into an old dispenser. I don't recommend this! If it gets a little warm (say 80*), it liquifies. Still usable, but liquid. Keep it in a little container with a lid, apply it with your fingers.

I can confidently throw away my carcinogenic, metal laden, store bought deodorant....I'm hooked on this stuff!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday: Craft Hope for Oil Spill Relief



Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Have you heard of Craft Hope? I hadn't until a friend clued me in since she knew I knit and have done a few charity projects. Project 8 for Craft Hope is collecting wash cloths and hand towels to use to clean oil off of dolphins and sea turtles and other marine life affected (physically coated in oil, that is), since we know:

"Ask any ecosystem, harm here is harm there....and there....and there...." Ani DiFranco.

From their site:

For Project 8 we will be partnering with The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the Audubon Nature Institute, and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge to assist them in their efforts in caring for and cleaning oiled marine mammals, mostly dolphins, other marine mammals, birds, and sea turtles. Dolphins are naturally curious and have been swimming toward the oil plumes to investigate… and that curiosity gets them in a lot of trouble against the oil slick.

So, instead of sitting down and knitting 10 or 20 washcloths (as that would have taken me 10 or 20 weeks), I cut up a few old towels, and surged the edges, and sent them off with a bottle of Dawn. It's not important what the cloths look like. The important thing is that they are cotton (not synthetic) and cut to the size specified (10 x 10 for washcloths). I feel glad to have been able to help even in that small way.


And I also feel glad that I was able to make this a lesson to my girls. It opened up the conversation about the suffering animals and their spirit and what we can do to help. I know that when people sit and handcraft anything for a specific cause, it's nice to channel energy into the project in hopes of the positive energy being passed on. Whether it be a prayer shaw for a sick friend, a sweater for an Afghan child, or a baby hat and boots for an expected baby. In this case, I put my energy into hope that the people with their HANDS ON could use the towels I was sending to save the life of these creatures. And my kids so sweetly did the same. I asked them to put their hands on the pile of towels and ask for a blessing from Mother Nature. This is what they said,

"Dear Mother Nature, please use these towels to clean the animals and help them live."

When we dropped the package off at the post office, my kids really wanted to tell the post lady what we were sending and why. It touched them. They got it. They wanted others to get it, too. I accomplished something!

My tackling this project was NOTHING compared to the job the rescue workers are tackling. I decided to post this on a day that I could link it to a party (Tackle it Tuesday )(V. and Co.) (Blue Cricket Design) (Sew Much Ado) (House of Hepworths) to spread the word about Craft Hope and Project 8. That's the beauty of blogging, is it not?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meatless Monday! A Carrot Party!



Veggies are meant to be celebrated, right? I guess so, because my little one proclaimed "We should have a carrot party today!" And you know how I mentioned my psychosis about my kids starting kindergarten in the fall and my vowing to fulfill their every whim this summer? Well, this was one such whim. A carrot party! Who could deny such an event?

We juiced:

We baked a carrot cake:

We tasted and voiced our opinions as is evident from their facial expressions:






And we had a grand ol' time! We are excited to have our tomato party next month!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Another Haiku

My child writes a song
a lot of contemplation
eyes close in deep thought

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fibers on Friday: The Second Tank Top


Here is the second tank top I'm working on for girl #2. Should I mention that girl #1 hasn't even worn her tank top yet? The nerve!

Anyway, I'll mention again, this pattern is called Eden's Adam, which can be found on Ravelry. And again, I'll say I LOVE IT! The purple one I made in a size 3 (although my girls are 5 years old and super tall, it only required a size 3) and this pink one I'm doing one size bigger for super duper tall girl.

It might be even slower going with this one. Bear with me, it's summer time. Also, it's the summer before my girls start kindergarten and I'm a little psychotic about it, so I'm vowing to make the most of this summer with my little girls. Blogging, crafting, and knitting will not be happening much except when they're sleeping or otherwise engaged :-)

Wanna link your knitting project? I'd really, really love if you would! Here's a linky if you're so inclined:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rain Water Collection System & My Garden in Early June

Here is my garden as of June 2:


And yesterday the rainwater collection system was complete. Granted, it doesn't look pretty now, but we'll spruce them up and make them a little more decorative when time permits. For now, they're collecting water! It rained this afternoon and each barrel is at least half full! Here's how we did it:

And here you have the rain barrel with the gutters diverted and ready to collect water:


Linking to:

giveaways

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rusty ol' Owls

When we moved into this house, these owls were hanging on the shed in the back yard.

When I stood at my kitchen sink, it was these owls that I would see outside. I really didn't like them. In fact, I almost ripped them down and threw them out on several occasions.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister told me she's obsessed with owls lately. And she admitted to wanting to abscond with these little rusty critters during one of her visits.

My husband had to take them down to repaint the shed. Also, it was my darling sister's birthday coming up........YES! The perfect opportunity to do something with them and pass them on to her.

I spray painted them with a Rustoleum paint called "Hammered". It was supposed to look like hammered metal. I'm not really seeing it, but I think they look nice anyway.

Now they can be perched somewhere in her yard for her to admire always!

Linking to:


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