Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Stocking Hanger / Holder


Very excited about this project I recently finished, just in time for the holidays!! We do not have a fireplace to hang our stockings from. Usually we lay them out neatly on the tree skirt underneath our tree, however we have recently taken in a stray cat and we were worried that she would scratch them up. That left me trying to figure out what to do about our stockings. So of course I got on Pinterest and found a plethora of fabulous ideas.  The inspiration for my idea came from The Happy Housewife blog and her DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder which you can see here. http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/stocking-holder-no-mantle/ 
She used a solid plank of wood 12 x 36 inches but we all know my affinity for upcycling shutters and I happened to have half of a shutter closet door left over from a previous project.


I cut out every other slat and sanded the piece down, leaving hints of the white paint here and there.


Then I made some strong, steeped tea, and using a cheesecloth "painted" on a coat of tea over the shutter. I did this a couple times, letting the piece completely dry in between. In order to make the wood look distressed or aged, I used a solution of steel wool and vinegar. I soaked a steel wool pad in white vinegar for couple days and then strained the vinegar. Again using a cheesecloth I wiped on the solution over all the surfaces. Once it was totally dry, I took a very fine grit sandpaper and lightly went over some of the areas that I thought needed it. If you want a lighter color, you can soak the steel wool for less time or you can skip using the tea. The tea itself does not darken the wood much at all but the vinegar solution reacts to the tanins in the tea making the look darker.  This project took a relatively short time to make and I am so happy with the end result.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Personal touch

Never too early to be thinking about Operation Christmas Child! I crocheted a bunch of barrettes this year to put in the shoe boxes which I plan on doing again this year but am also working on some of these. I already buy these small dolls for the boxes at Walmart and saw the idea of crocheting a blanket for them on someone else's site. It is just a simple granny square but what a nice personal touch. I just did this one this weekend and hope to get several more done.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Anti-inflammatory, Autoimmune, Digestive Aid TEA

     I make this tea for myself every morning and I truly believe it helps. I got tired of all the meds for fibromyalgia and started seeking natural ways to cope. This is just one of the things I use in my daily protocol to help.
     While fibromyalgia is not specifically an autoimmune disease, it often gets lumped in with them, so I have come across a lot of reading on autoimmune diseases and these ingredients are supposed to help them as well.
     An added bonus for me since I also have digestive problems is in addition to being anti-inflammatory and helping those with some autoimmune diseases, these ingredients also help ease digestive issues.
     Whole pages could be and have been written about the health benefits of turmeric, ginger, black cumin seeds, peppermint and even honey. In fact it has been said of black cumin seeds that they help everything but death. I do not know about all that but they do help a lot of ailments and in addition to tea I put them in smoothies and use them in cooking. Some studies suggest that black cumin seeds, ginger and turmeric even have cancer fighting properties.
     If you are on medication please check with your doctor before drinking this tea as some herbs react with some medications. Sometimes in addition to the below ingredients I add green tea leaves as well. I have also heard that black pepper or red pepper flakes help bring out the medicinal properties in ginger and turmeric but that seemed a bit much for putting in my tea. Please enjoy this tea and I hope it helps you.


Ingredients
1. Slice of ginger, finely chopped or grated
2. Slice of turmeric, finely chopped or grated
3. 1 tablespoon of black cumin seeds 
4. 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped
5. 1 tablespoon of honey
6. 1 mug of boiling hot water

Steep ginger, turmeric, mint and black cumin seeds in mug of hot water and cover for 10 minutes. Remove ingredients, add honey and enjoy.

If you do not want to waste the ingredients when you take them out, blend them in with your favorite smoothie. I do this often. 

I use a tea infuser that sits right in my mug and has a lid.



Friday, February 19, 2016

Easter Egg Barrettes

Finished up these cute Easter Egg barrettes last night. For the base I used this simple pattern and then added an edge to a few of them.  http://lacycrochet.blogspot.com/2013/03/easter-egg-crochet-ornament.html?m=1


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shamrock Barrettes

I made these Shamrock barrettes this morning. I think they will be super cute in my daughter's hair! I used the same Shamrock pattern as I did the headband I previously posted. I then hot glued a plastic rhinestone in the middle and hot glued the whole thing to a hair clip. The pattern is here http://midwesternmoms.com/how-to-crochet-a-shamrock/

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Easter

Easter barrettes!

Saint Patrick's Day

Getting ready for Saint Patrick's Day! I finished this cute headband up this morning and now think I will make some barrettes. The headband is just two rows of double crochet with a picot stitch edging. I got the pattern for the clover / shamrock from this website.  http://midwesternmoms.com/how-to-crochet-a-shamrock/   It is pretty simple and easy. :)