Here are the latest bracelets added to my shop on Etsy. Don’t forget – free shipping to the US and Canada ends this Saturday!
I’ve never been interested in creating a felted knit piece, but after I found a pattern for a felted bobble hot pad on Ravelry and fell in love, I decided to give it a try. The free pattern is by DROPS design and is available on GarnerStudio.com.
Surprisingly, the hardest part for me was finding 100% wool yarn. The pattern called for bulky weight yarn, and I checked out two big box craft supply stores and had no luck. I’m sure I could have found it online or at an independent yarn store, but because I’ve never felted a project before, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on yarn in case I created a giant mess. So I ended up holding two yarns of aran weight together.
My first two attempts at felting were disappointing. Another knitter suggested I check out this website for some felting tips. It seems the key is wash on low water setting to create a lot of agitation. My third and final attempt came out much better!
As my first felted project, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m planning to make this project again for some Christmas gifts. Next time, I’ll buy bulky weight yarn and make the finished piece square.
This is one of my new favorite muffin recipes! By using a whole orange, peel and all, this muffin has a wonderful sweet citrus flavor. I also used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. I’m under no delusions that this made these muffins healthier, but I think whole wheat flour gives baked goods a richer, fuller flavor. If you’ve never baked with whole wheat flour, I definitely recommend it! I would suggest going half and half with all-purpose flour so that your baked goodies are still fluffy.
I found the original recipe here on mybakingaddiction.com. I made quite a few mods, such as using whole wheat flour, swapping in dried cherries, and adding crushed walnuts.
- 1 orange, cut in to 16 small pieces and seeds removed (with peel and pith)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine (to soften, let butter sit out until it is no longer cool to the touch)
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- Coarse sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Put orange pieces in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
- Add egg and softened butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
- Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add walnuts and cherries and stir to combine.
- Line muffin pan with liners. Fill muffin cups, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for 5 minutes before removing muffins.
You cannot get away from chevron right now. It’s every where, from floors to clothes to stationery. Since I love to knit, I’ve searched around for some great chevron patterns. I love the subtle look of a chevron lace stitch in a solid color for cowls and scarves.
All of these are free knit patterns, but you may need a log-in for certain sites.
I first saw the creations at The Indigo Forest a few days ago and I was blown away. Not only are all of the pieces beautifully handmade by Kellie, the shop owner, but there is a variety of different mediums and styles. Below she answers a few questions about herself and her shop.
My name is Kellie and I’m the creative force behind The Indigo Forest. I live in central North Carolina with my family and love all of the beauty this part of the country has to offer.
I’m a mama to two wonderfully mischievous boys and I have a little one on the way. When I’m not chasing my little ones around, you’ll usually find me crafting.
I started my Etsy shop at the encouragement of my mother. It was something that I always wanted to do, but was a little hesitant at first. I knew nothing about keeping up with a shop, but I’m so glad that I pursued my dream. I have learned so much and have met so many wonderful, talented artisans through Etsy.
Well, being a mama is my full-time job. The Indigo Forest is more of my creative outlet. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a job. I am just lucky enough that I don’t have to get up early and leave every morning!
Hmm…Everything! I love the whole process of starting with nothing and creating something truly unique that will bring people joy. It is amazing every time I finish something to go “I did that, I made that with my own two hands.” Being able to take an idea, something you see in your mind and to make it appear in front of you is always exciting.
Thank you! I was inspired by the many other Waldorf artisans out there to start creating my own pieces. I loved working with natural materials to begin with and with myself having small children, it seemed like a natural place to venture into.
Like I said above, I love working with natural materials. Wood, wool, cotton, etc.. If I had to pick a favorite medium, I guess I would have to say wool, in all forms. The feel and the smell of it is soothing to me.
I wouldn’t really say I have a “process”. An idea will just pop into my head and when that happens I usually write it down or I have to begin creating it as soon as possible. I try to just go with the “creative” flow.
Well, I would still love to be creating and selling in the future. As far as actual goals go, I don’t really have any. I find it best to just see where life will take you.
Outside of my shop and taking care of my children, I love to cook! I have a passion for whole, real foods. Making food from scratch and being able to share it with people always makes me happy.
I received this email today. See my thoughts below after the email.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.
When I started reading this email, I liked it. But as I read on, I started to get a little annoyed. It’s true, people used to do a lot more things by hand / without electricity. People also spent more money to buy things that lasted longer than a year/season. And people were also not as quick to replace things that weren’t broken just because they were no longer fashionable. But I wonder how many of these “old people” still do all of these things? It would be great if they did! It seems to me that the “old people” were the ones who adopted all of the conveniences that this writer is criticizing.
I don’t buy bottled water, I ride my bike to the store if I can fit what I need in my basket, I would love to take a streetcar or trolley downtown but Minneapolis ripped out all of their streetcar lines in the 1950s (see my previous post about MSP’s steetcars), I have quite a few friends who use reusable diapers (no kids myself), and I used to cover my books with paper bags.
My husband and I have been making a conscious effort to consume less stuff (cause in the end, most of it is just stuff) for the last two years. For the last 6 months, I’ve refused to buy anything made in China if I can avoid it. Clothes are absolutely no exceptions, but it gets tough with electronics. It’s been my experience that items made in China just do not last, and they’re not meant to. These items are produced quickly and cheaply, and are meant to be replaced after a year or two. It got a little tricky around Christmas, but I did it! My hubby embraced my goal, and all of the gifts he gave me were made in the U.S.
What are your thoughts about this email? Are you a “smartass young person” who likes to be green, or are you one of the “old people” who knows the real meaning of green?
Here are the latest bracelets added to my shop on Etsy. Don’t forget – free shipping to the US and Canada during June.
After knitting about a dozen cowls, I decided I needed to try a new knitting project. While browsing the yarn selection, the bright colors from Lily Sugar’n Cream caught my eye – Hot Green (lime), Hot Orange (neon), Hot Pink, Red, Sunshine (bright yellow). These colors looked like summer to me, and at $1.99 a skein, I decided I had to knit a few dishcloths.
I used Homespun Living’s free Waffle Knit Dishcloth pattern available here. I used Hot Green and White to make my pair of Lime Striped Waffle Knit Dishcloths. I started my stripe after repeating the main color 8 times, but other than that I made no mods.
I still have a skein of Hot Pink and Sunshine, with a little bit left of Hot Green and White. I’m planning to make fruit shaped pot holders. I’ll post pics when they’re done!
I discovered Pinterest about 5 months ago, and I have since been completely sucked in by it. I check Pinterest everyday, usually 3 to 4 times. I was a bit surprised by how quickly I fell into the black hole (said with love) of Pinterest. I have a Twitter account, but it never really clicked for me. And of course I have a Facebook account, but I only check that about every other day. Pinterest is definitely my social media obsession!
A few of my friends have told me they tried Pinterest, but were frustrated by the search feature. And I agree! Search on this site is not the best, and we have only the Pinterest community to blame. It is my pet-peeve to see no description with a pin, or worse yet just a period. These pins will never be found in search!
If you are using Pinterest to promote your business, you need to understand how to use keywords to ensure your pins are being found in search.
Here is a really easy tutorial for using keywords:
- Think about what words you would use to search for your pin, then use all of them.
Outfit pins are super common and one of the most abused on Pinterest. This is an outfit that I pinned and in the description I put: “love everything about this outfit – crossbody bag, boots, trench, white shirt.” I still put a little comment of my own at the beginning, but then I used keywords that people might search for.
- Seriously. Use all of the keywords.
Here’s another one of my pins that’s been pretty popular. I originally pinned this 9 weeks ago, and someone repinned it yesterday. In the description I put: “MAGIC Decal Transfer Tutorial with Free Printables! DIY container jars.” Tutorial and DIY mean almost the same thing, but someone may search for one or the other. Since I used both words, this pin will show up in either search. Don’t simply put “I’m so going to try this!” How would anyone find this pin with those words?
- ALL of the keywords.
For recipe pins, I try to list all of the main ingredients. For this description I put: “Portuguese Stew by Aida – bacon, chorizo, potatoes, and tomatoes – how can you go wrong? Great comfort food that makes lots of leftovers.”Again, don’t just put something like “yum!” or “sounds delicious.”
Of course, there is more to mastering Pinterest to promote your business (such as great photos and finding followers), but using keywords is so easy that there is no excuse not do it.