Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Crochet Pattern

....and for those of you that only crochet,  here is a quick and easy crochet triangle scarf.  This is so big, though, that it could double as a shawl.

Easy Triangle Fringe Scarf


2 skeins of Monsoon
Size P hook

I used 2 different color ways of Monsoon for this scarf, color S3 and color S6. I crocheted 1/4  of the scarf in color S3, 1/4 in color S4, finished in color S3 and made the fringe in color S4. 

1. Ch for apx 60”-70”. (I used my “wingspan” as a guide, hand to hand).

2. SC into the 2nd Ch from hook. *Ch1, DC into the 2nd chain* repeat until 2 or 3 sts remain. Ch1, SC in the last Ch, turn.

3. SC into the 2nd Ch1space. *Ch1, DC in next Ch1space* repeat until there are only 2 Ch1spaces left. Ch1, DC in next Ch1space, Ch1, SC in last Ch1space. Turn.

Repeat step 3 until you have 3 or 4 Ch1spaces left.
If you have 3 Ch1spaces: SC in the 1st Ch1space, Ch 1, DC in middle Ch1space, Ch1, SC in last Ch1space. Tie off.
If you have 4 Ch1spaces: Sc in 1st Ch1space, *Ch1, DC in next Ch1space*, repeat once, Ch1,  SC in last Ch1Space. Tie off.
I cut 14” lengths from the remaining yarn and attached the fringe with 2 strands held together using a lark’s head knot (so the final length of the fringe is 7”). Adjust this as desired.

Hope you like this fun scarf! Until next time, Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Free Scarf Pattern

Yes, I'm crazy... knitting scarves in the dead of summer.  I have nothing to say for myself... except that misery loves company so here's a free pattern!

Super Easy Anthro Contrast Scarf

size 17 knitting needles

Holding 1 strand of Silk Bamboo and 1 strand of Lace Sequin together, cast on 13 stitches.  Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) until you are at the end of the Silk Bamboo skein.  Bind off loosely.  Tuck in ends. 

With Sheep(ish), cut 56 pieces of fringe each approx. 18"long.

Holding 2 pieces of fringe together attach evenly to both ends using a lark's head knot.

That's it!  This is SUPER easy and definitely a good beginner project!

Hope you are staying cool this summer! Until next time, Happy sweating Knitting!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Garden

My Garden as been a work in progress since I started one in 2008 and you can see the evolution on this post.  Last year we converted the garden and made raised beds with walkways and it has made a huge difference!  Here in the Midwest we get TONS of bugs and they all seem to LOVE me.  I want my garden to be as organic as possible so once the bugs come out, I stay in.  Making the beds raised has made the bug situation a lot better without having to treat my plants with pesticides.

I've had a few people ask me about my garden, so this post is going to be the grand tour.....

Let me start with a little background.  The lot that our house is built on is about 1/3 of an acre.  Even if you take out the house and the front yard, it leaves a pretty big big space.  

The garden is about 15'x17' in the South West corner of my back yard.  Behind our property is a wooded lot that I adore...  although this means more bugs, it gives an extra element of privacy and it is so pretty.

Right when you walk in you will see my herb garden.  Most of this is perennial with leeks, oregano, chives, thyme, sage and catnip.  A few of the annuals that I have to replant every year are basil, parsley, cilantro and rosemary (although our last winter was mild enough that my rosemary came back this year!)

Next to the herb box I have the asparagus box, with a few rhubarb plants in between.  The asparagus are the really tall ferny things on the right.  I usually get a nice crop in May, enough to feed the family and then they come up sporadically after that.  The sporadic stocks I just let grow, and they grow crazy!!!

Right next to the asparagus, we have the pepper box.  I plant green peppers and jalapenos and for me, the peppers do better in the shade.  So I made sure their planter was closest to the trees.  They still get a bit of sun, so I planted 2 varieties of sweet potato vine and when they start to vine out, I will trellis them over the peppers for more shade.  I also LOVE the wild honeysuckle that is filling up the back of my fence.  I have to trim it aggressively but it is well worth it and right now it is in full bloom and the garden smells amazing!!!!

In the center of the garden are my pallets.  I have 3 and last year they were full with vegetables but I had bad luck with most of them.  Our last summer was horrible for vegetables, so it may not have been my fault.  But this year I decided to limit the veggies... The front pallet is filled with mostly tomatoes, the middle pallet is mostly flowers and the last pallet is filled with Strawberries.  Here and there in the pallets I also have shallots planted, which are perennial as well as the strawberries.  (on a side note the chicken wire box on the top/left of the pic below was an enclosure for a few box turtles that we were keeping as pets.  This Spring, we let them go and I haven't decided what I will do with that space yet).

These boxes aren't too pretty and not well taken care of but the left box is filled with potatoes and the right is filled with weeds scallions.  Both of these are perennial, provided you don't dig them up :-)  We left some of our potatoes in last year.  We haven't quite figured out how to get the most out of our potato crop... until we do more research, it will probably look just like this.  The scallions are fun and easy to grow, I have learned to just trim a few of the stems/leaves at a time instead of digging them up.  This way I don't even have to replant.  Maybe I should pull a few of those weeds so that we could find said scallions :-)

A few years ago, my neighbors built a matching garden on their property and we took down the fence that separated the 2 gardens.  (I think the real reason why we wanted to do this is because our neighbor's are our best friends and this makes it a lot easier to go from side to side.)  So now we venture onto the neighbor side of the garden.  This box was originally for sweet corn, but we couldn't keep the squirrels from eating it so we turned it into a compost pile.  We have a few pallets that we are going to build into this to section off the different sides, but haven't made the time for that yet.  This is our first year for the compost pile and so far so good.

Also on the neighbor's side is the Chicken Coop.  Now, it's nothing pretty but there's a reason for that.  When we built this coop, we used the wood that we had on hand and purchased only the chicken wire.  We used every darn scrap we could find and even managed to incorporate an old dresser hutch/book shelf for the nests (which was falling apart anyway).  Given that this cost us less than $20, I say it looks pretty darn nice!  :-)

Last year a fox got into the coop and killed the chickens that we had.  So after a few adjustments to the coop, we bought more this year so they are about half grown.  I have no idea of what the varieties are but a few of them will lay colored eggs!!  How fun is that?!?  (I just fed them so clearly they have better things to do than pose for pics.

Oh wait, we have a taker!  :-)

That's pretty much the garden!  Here are a few close ups of my faves....

I planted some hens and chicks in the corners of the pallets.

I just bought this Dahlia plant a few weeks ago and I am IN LOVE! Although Dahlias in my region are annual, I can dig up the bulbs in the fall, winter them over in my garage and replant next spring!

My lilies are sooooo close to blooming!

Oh and look! I had some fresh Strawberries ready today!

I hope you like my garden!  Feel free to ask any questions and if you have any tips/tricks/advice for this garden novice, they will be greatly appreciated!  Until next time, Happy Gardening!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing on the Wall

I decided to update my mantle recently and really like the idea of the painted word.  Lots of people are making painted words on canvas...  here is one by Elsie Larson:

Here is one by Elise Blaha Cripe:

I love the simplicity of it and how easy it is to achieve.  Most of the examples that I have seen are quoting a song or some lovey dovey poem, both are really not me.  I guess I am an atypical girl on this note, mushy stuff makes me want to gag.  Seriously...  If I open a sentimental greeting card, I just move my eyes to make it seem like I'm reading it and then put it in the recycle bin because I don't enjoy being sick.  With that said, I thought long and hard about what I wanted my wordy canvas to say and I decided on my favorite Amy Sedaris quote from this book:

Here is my process:

1st step: I painted the canvas white.  Why paint the canvas white if it is already white when you buy it?  Well, there are a lot of reasons for this...  from an artist's perspective, when you paint the white... white, it will look intentional instead of looking like you forgot an entire section.  An additional coat of paint with also help stretch the canvas even more and the most useful reason is because if you have any touch ups to make at the end, you can paint over them with the same white paint.

Step 2: I cut a piece of paper down to scale with the canvas.  I measured out the lines on both the paper and the canvas, then wrote the quote out on the paper to figure out spacing.  Then I transferred the words to the canvas with pencil:

Step3: Then I painted the words.

With a quote this long, I would have liked to have had a bigger canvas.... but I was limited since the space between my mantle and the ceiling is pretty small.  I still love how it turned out and I get a chuckle out of the irony that you assume that this is going to be a sentiment of sorts and then you read it and it's about throwing up in dishwashers.  Heh heh.  This is a really easy project and I would recommend it to anyone that needs a little update to their decor.

Until next time, Happy Painting!