Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bits of Spring

What we saw on a walk....

Latesty thrifty find asain tea cups.

Daffodils and god's eyes for our table.
Trying to get through another rainy spring day. What is your favorite spring day like lately?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weekend Woolapoolaza

This weekend we went to a farm to visit the wool and sheep.

Love all this yarn. Dreaming of what I could with all those lovely colors.

Checking out these fun hats.

Feeling the wool.

Playing with pom-poms.

The kids loved seeing the sheep shearing, the wool and how it turns into yarn that we use for knitting. Similar to the food idea of where does our food come? Well now we know where our yarn comes from.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning Week: Paper Clean Up

As the week continues there has been more paper sorting going on. Slowly I'm cleaning up my Hope Chest of Craft Projects (I'll explain the Hope Chest tomorrow) and there are many patterns, printouts and articles. Because of the lack of space I chose folders instead of binders. This is also to make sure that I don't start collecting more than I can handle and go into craft overload.

Here's a sample of what's in the folders that will go into the Hope Chest in the near future.

Knitting Folder: scarves and sweaters

Redwork Folder: Redwork Embroidery

Other: Wordle

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning Week: Clip Art

What to do with all that art work we love to look at? Hang it up like laundry.

I have tried many methods of hanging artwork and nothing has worked. This is what I am currently trying out. I used the long chains of yarn that the kids finger knitted and hung up the artwork with laundry pins. Hoping that this is my last attempt to figuring out what to do with hanging artwork. I'm thinking of a similar idea for near my desk to hang my inspirations.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Cleaning Week: Under the sink

Starting this weekend I began a small crusade of spring cleaning. With all the sun and fresh air it certainly got me motivated to get some things off the list from one of my clipboards. So this week I hope to share the completed tasks and tips that have helped me along the way. I should warn you I will be showing before and after pictures so there may be ugly pictures involved. So here is the first one.

First off the list is cleaning under the sink. What's going on under there? No answer.

What should be under there spray bottles filled with homemade cleaning solutions, laundry detergent, dish soap, borax, baking soda, bleach( sorry but that was a last resort purchase) rags and a bucket for cleaning. Why all the other spray bottles those are for the kids to fill with water when it's hot out. It's better than those water guns that don't hold too much water or the super huge soakers.

I try to keep away from the lemon and pine smell nasal burning cleaners and make my own. What I have found useful in cleaning my home is Green Up Your Clean Up. This book is a handy reference on cleaning the home inside and out using homemade recipes. It's a good cleaning guide to keep around the home because of the green cleaning methods, glossery on the dangerous ingredients and other references. What's odd is that with a few essential oils to added to vinegar and/or water while cleaning actually made my home smell clean not deadly and dangerous. And if you can believe it we even survived the flu season using the recipes from this book. Makes me wonder about all those 99% germ figthing disinfecting products marketed out there.

After all that under the sink cleaning I found some homemade recipes on one of the spray bottles to pass along.

  • General Cleaner: Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to 16 oz. warm water.
  • Window Cleaner: Add 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar to 16 oz. warm water.
  • Disinfecting Cleaner:Add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil to 16 oz. warm water.
  • Floor Cleaner: To 16 oz warm water add: 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, 1/2 teaspoon borax, squeeze of a lemon or splash of vinegar. Spray floor with solution and mop as usual.
  • Linen Spray: Add 5 drops of your favorite scented oil to 8 oz. water. Use to freshen linens and curtains.

Some of you may know these recipes and some may not but no harm can be done by making a small change for the sake of the environment or passing it along or gift giving a couple of spary bottles of homemade cleaners with a recipe card.

Happy and healthier living.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random thoughts

Snack time with new straws and popcorn.
Neat braids that Stefania did herself.
Quilting Dilemna: taking old receiving blankets and trying to come up with a quilt design I like before I begin cutting. I'll talk more about this another time.
Completed the doll cardigan now it just needs to be assembled.
What else I'm loving this week:
  • Yarning with my kids
  • Finishing 1 project
  • Finally getting on the ball to make my own bread Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
  • New stainless straws - Finally we can stop using the disposable plastic straws filling the landfills. Amazon has a few different sizes. Also looking into glass straws. I know sounds crazy but these straws are forever.
  • Glad Rags - (I'll let you research this one) and Glad Rag Hankies (to replace tissues)
  • Food Inc. - I have a feeling I'm not going to love what I hear in this but maybe making my own bread and joining a csa and shopping at farmer's markets will ease the pain.
  • Japenese Masking Tape Craftiness - Definitely check out all 4 parts. Who knew you could do that with tape?
  • I really want to crochet this someday.
  • Washing my face with honey. Really I'm not kidding. I even read it on Crunchy Chicken . Is it odd that my face felt cleaner after washing it with honey?
  • No more rain just loads and loads of sunshine.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Shelf

New shelf to hide some yarn and craft projects.
Taking a blog pause for a few days to get some sun after the rain. I'll be back at the end of the week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pounding Dough

What have we been doing inside with all this New England rain? Pounding dough.
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 3/4 cups warm
Mix and enjoy. Store in a bag or air tight container. This dries well to be painted later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quiet Moment

One of my favorite quiet moments this week. Have a great weekend friends.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tasty dinner

This was a pork tenderloin dinner that I made a few nights ago from Redhead Recipes. The apricot and dijon mustard sauce was also great over the rice. It was a hit because there no lefovers. Some other hits from Redhead Recipes are coleslaw, carmelized onions, minestrone and the grape and chili sauce that goes with the meatballs. I love finding recipes that are a hit for the family.
A note on the coleslaw because of the egg allergy I use Trader Joes 1% lowfat mayonnaise it has no eggs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Orzo Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad
1 box of orzo pasta
diced black olives
4-5 baby carrrots
handful of baby spinach leaves
red onion (optional and quantity is according to taste)
1 plum tomato
feta cheese (as much or little as you like)
2 tablespoons olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper
garlic powder
Cook orzo according to package directions. While orzo cooks chop vegetables and set aside. In a cup mix dressing ingredients. The are no measurements because it's all according to taste. When orzo is done and drained pour in a big bowl toss in chopped vegetables and feta cheese. Then stir in dressing. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold.

If a box of orzo is too much half the recipe and use or omit any vegetables. Makes a great meal or a great side.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunny Monday

March arrives, the last hurrah of winter and the whisper of spring. Slowly our spirits reawaken, along with the natural world, from a long winter's slumber.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pizza Night!

I was hoping to get some sewing done this week but that didn't happen. My desk is littered. I haven't begun reading my new book. Started the same doll cardigan 3 times because of knitting mistakes but that's ok I'm learning. What did work out?

Pizza Night!

Can't go wrong with pizza night. Around here I have been making my own pizza dough for several years. Sometime in the morning I make 3-4 bowls of dough cover them and let them rise. After that I cook the meat for the topping. When it's closer to meal time that's when the fun begins because it's more of a family event. Everyone likes to get involved chopping, pouring, spreading and sprinkling. Somehow I think it makes the pizza more mouth watering. What's nice is Gianfranco can help make his own pizza (dairy free). Some like their cheese pizzas plain and some like it with everything. Whatever the topping it's fun for all. I'd love to hear of your family meals (or baking) that brings everyone together.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tea Time

A little tea with snack . Sometimes instead of tea I squeeze some lemon, sugar and add slices of lemon into hot water. Asian tea time with the kids was an inspiration from Lise's 30 days of beauty day 6.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bible Study

New craft books added to my library. Really enjoyed browsing through these while doing laundry. So many ideas to dream up.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Red Scarf Challenge

Finally finished a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project. I knitted it garter stitch and for the border I single crochetted it to give it a softer finish. Unfortunately the deadline was February 14th. I was thinking to prevent something like this from happening in the future is have a scarf basket and make a scarf every month or every other month. So when autumn rolls around or there is anothor Red Scarf Project I can have some things already made. I decided to create on the sidebar the Scarf Challenge 2010. Counting so far 1. I invite you try out this challenge for yourselves and would love to see what your crochetted and knitted scarves look like during 2010.
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