Friday, August 30, 2013

Garden Bliss

Taking care of your garden is like taking care of yourself. Sometimes you're kinda low-maintenance (like when the balance of rain and sunshine is perfect!) and sometimes you require quite a bit more attention to keep yourself green, growing, and giving. There may be more weeding and watering to do when the world around you is out of balance--but there's always the beautiful harvest. It sustains you.

See? A lot like the garden.

My garden seems to give back to me all summer long. It starts with the early crops, like the herbs, lettuces, and radishes, and keeps on going with flowers for the table, constant cherry tomatoes to snack on, basil for pastas, pestos and bruschetta, and spaghetti squash any night of the week.

Tip: always grow basil and tomato together, they are companion plants.

Spaghetti squash is easy--just boil it until slightly fork tender on the outside, then slice in half, discard the seeds, and use a fork to shred out the beautiful golden strands of yummy squash and toss it with olive oil, garlic and Parmesan--top with basil. Delicious and low-carb too.

Spaghetti squash
 Sometimes I get busy--tired--lazy and don't want to deal with the heat and the bugs...but my garden has not let me down. I make it out there, and I'm always happy and I actually get more energy from it too. Until the other day, I didn't really know why. I thought it was just the fresh air and sunshine.

Then I found out about "earthing."

"Earthing" is the practice of staying in contact with the earth's energy that nature freely provides us--a natural form of anti-aging medicine. I love to just kick off my shoes and feel the warm earth and grass in my toes, so I guess I've been earthing and didn't even know it! I've read that a good thirty minutes of earthing is all you need. Seriously, this info is out there, so you can look it up, but it is interesting, no? When I was little we ran barefoot outside almost every day. We just called it, "playing outside."

I'm "earthing" in the garden!
I'm celebrating the last days of August because I'm starting to realize that time is going to be limited on the goodies from the garden. My bento box lunches always have something fresh lately.

 And what could be easier for dinner than just tossing together some pasta, olive oil, splash of Italian dressing, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes!

 My garden has also given me some HUGE sunflowers! When their beautiful heads start to dip down, it's time to harvest sunflower seeds and dry them. I'm excited.
I have some beautiful leeks growing and these can stay in the garden even when there's snow on the ground. So I'll be making my leek and potato soup to warm us up this winter. Our whole squash patch has become squash planet...we have zukes, cukes, eggplant and pumpkins! At least one of the pumpkins is going to be a Halloween decoration.

Take care. Keep your life weeded, watered and sunny, and you'll keep growing and blooming.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WOYWW #221--My Type of Fun

It's Happy-What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday where creative types meet up at Ms. Julia's blog party--click here--and we get a peek of desks and projects in the works all over the planet.

Isn't that a fun thing to look forward to in the middle of the week? I think so!

I've got my precious typewriter out today, working on a tag and typing on a torn out page snip from an old (but very cool) dictionary I bought for 25 cents. It's fun typing on the printed pages, painting and stamping on them too.

I just got back from Hobby Lobby and I got the coolest new paper cutter that comes with decorative cutting blades. I already love this thing. I found flower buttons and some fun new embossing folders. Also got a beautiful scrapbook paper pad of Christmas papers--I can already see the cards, envelopes, tags, and layouts! Imma happy girl.

Here's what's going on in the corner of my crafty haven--I think I had about five projects going on all at once. No wonder I'm tired and sleepy--so after stitching up a new chair slip cover and watering my garden for the last hour, I need to sip some ice tea and relax and go visit workdesks! Have a wonderful week you guys.

The corner to the left of my little work table
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Shop

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Threads

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Friday, August 23, 2013

Art Journal Friday--Shh! It's a wig, not a cross-stitch.

This page smashed together what I happened to be feeling that day. First, I was going through a basket of UFO's (unfinished objects) when I ran across a pathetic little piece of cross-stitch. Once upon a time, it was going to be a flower basket motif--but for whatever reason, I didn't get past the flowers. I started snipping around it wondering what I could do, where I could patch it in, and this was while I was working on an art journal page. When I turned it upside down, it hit me.

My first cross-stitch wig!

Suddenly it had a place on a page where I was celebrating summer, celebrating back to school, and putting on  a wig of thankful for my family, the beautiful weather, and all the fun things that come with this time of year.
Layers of papers, paint, stamping, gelato, marker, ric rac and fabric.
I love filling up my Smash book.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Journal

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WOYWW 220--Searching for UFO's

Well if it's not a mess, you aren't busy--to quote someone off of a home decorating show! Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday lovelies!

Visit our lovely blog party host right here.

My very full Smash book

So I stopped what I was doing for a minute to capture my creative mess. I'm so busy, it was like now or never. I had been card-making...then I got into a mood to dig through a basket and found some of my shameful UFO's (unfinished objects) and layed them out to get them back on my radar while I was waiting for some spray paint to dry. I tend to layer up an art journal page here and there over a few days' timespan before I actually journal on it. I'm finishing up my first Smash book which is quite overloaded, as I go on to the second.

Among my UFO's I found an owl embroidery which is going to be part of a patchwork bag for darling daughter who loves owls and is back to college this week and needs more bags. I also found my butterfly scarf--it just needed finishing, so that took two minutes, and wallah! I'm ready to wear it this winter (and start on the next one).
A little owl I designed
The butterfly scarf!

Working on an art journal page's layers
The weather here in the Ozarks USA has been unbelievably pleasant, cool and dry. It makes me feel so good! We've had our air conditioning off for a week now! I don't ever remember an August like this. It's been such a wonderful summer.

Post note:  There is a sweet blog candy giveaway for stampers at:

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Finish

Tag Tuesday Theme--Windows, Gates, Doors & Portals

It's another fun theme day over at Tag Tuesday! Come visit and see all the Windows, Gates, Doors & Portals!

My tag is a mixed-media window stitched together from paper scraps, a little fabric for the curtain, ric rac, paper flowers, ribbon, and of course the door key is there if you don't want to go in through the window.

It's so fun, sewing on paper.

Visit Tag Tuesday here.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Tag

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ruffly Butterfly Scarf -- Now I Know How to Knit Ruffles!

I am not a fancy or complicated knitter, but this butterfly scarf is absolutely easy, and gives the kind of results that make me look like an expert! Gotta love that. I made my first scarf with a thin, super soft yarn, and I love the results. I didn't want this scarf to be too long, and I wanted a funky affect by starting off with a longer section in pink and then finishing with the purple in the same yarn.

Make sure when choosing your yarn that you use the appropriate needles to get the prettiest effect. When I first began this scarf, I had never done short rows before. The first several rows look quite odd to me, and I thought I was doing something wrong! But it actually looked exactly like it's supposed to look, and after several more rows I began enjoying the whole ruffle effect. So fun!
This little picot trim is ultra easy to do.

This scarf grows quickly!
The best thing about making this scarf is that you are teaching yourself how to knit a ruffle, and how to do a short row. This is also a forgiving pattern, because I know I've made a few mistakes here and there (that's what I get for knitting while I'm watching Downton Abbey) but the ruffles are so flowy and pretty, the mistakes just don't show! The little Picot trim is adorable too, and also very easy to do.

Adding in the purple.
Soon you'll have ruffles everywhere.
Just follow the instructions below.

How This Works--This scarf is created by making small pieces in short row sections that are repeated to create butterfly wings on each side of a narrow center. Small Picot is worked along the edge by casting on and then binding off 3sts. 

With appropriate needle and yarn, Cast on 24sts. Knit 2 rows. Work first section as follows:
- Row 1: C/O and B/O 3sts for Picot. Knit 9sts more.
- Row 2: Turn and knit to end of row.
- Row 3: Turn. Sl.1 and Knit 6sts more.
- Row 4: Turn and knit to end of row.
- Row 5: C/O and B/O 3sts for Picot. Knit 3sts more.
- Row 6: Turn and knit to end of row.
- Row 7: Turn. Sl.1 and knit to end of complete row. (You are now on other side of scarf.)
Repeat rows 1-7 until scarf is about 57” from bottom point or desired length less top ruffle.

You can do a regular bind off to finish or you can give it more of a ruffle in the finishing as follows.
SPECIAL FINISHING: When scarf is desired length, work across the first 12sts. Slip the remaining 12sts to another needle. Work 3 needle bind off to join. Sew cast on edge in half to close or pick up 12sts each on two needles and work 3 needle bind off to match and close beginning end. 

I am now making a longer chunkier version of the butterfly scarf using larger needles of course. This is a pretty Christmas gift--start now to make a couple--and it will be fun to wear this winter!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Knit 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Threads

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.
Proverbs 31:25

Friday, August 16, 2013

Art Journal Friday--Paper Sack

 A paper sack page in my upcycled art journal just needed a few words today. This page torn from a Panera Bread paper sack (one of my favorite places) was partially prepared with a little water color and some punched-out tags from scraps. So it's all pretty scrappy, yet inspiring to me. The white paint came next...just slapped on with the paint left on a brush after I had painted a table. The edges were inked and another page was done.

You can click here to see how the whole upcycled art journal was made.

Happy Friday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Journal

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WOYWW 219 -- A Simply Lovely Normal Day at the Desk

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday deskers! Don't know what a "desker" is? Visit the blog party here at Stamping Ground.

We are gearing up towards fall and all its busy-ness. My daughter starts back to college again, my husband is in rehearsals for a show, "Monty Python's Spamalot" and it's almost salsa canning time. While I've had  tons of spaghetti squash, cukes, zukes, eggplant and even a pumpkin growing, the tomatoes are all going to ripen in a huge batch. Pretty much the minute they are ready to get off the vine the salsa pot, jars and canner better be ready! In the meantime, I have sooo much spaghetti squash, I've found some great recipes to pin on my Pinterest Board!

On my workdesk today is a tag I just worked on, made from a paint chip sample card. Also, my knitting. I'm working on the back side of the tank top--the front side went really well, so I'm excited!
spaghetti squash

Had so much fun reading your super sweet comments last week. Hugs and happy Wednesday! Hope you stay well, happy and inspired.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Paint

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paint Chip Tag for Tag Tuesday

It's Tag Tuesday! Today the theme is "complementary colors." I tend to collect those fabulous paint chip sample cards you can find at paint displays in hardware stores--not only are they a great reference for the paint colors, but many of them have beautiful interior decorating ideas and talk about the meaning behind the colors.

I've used paint chip sample cards for scrapbooking and art journaling so it was fun to make a tag out of one. Now I want to make lots of paint chip tags!

Visit Tag Tuesday here.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Paint

Monday, August 12, 2013

Are You Pinteresting? Join Your Fellow Crafters on Pinterest!

Lately I've rekindled my love with Pinterest. I started my Pinterest boards long ago, and at the time I didn't understand why I should put much time into, but I've had a change of heart.

Here's why.

Ideas! Lately I've noticed more of the creative types on Pinterest, and realized what a wonderful source of inspiration it is, and what a great place to keep those images of inspiration in the folders I create. I can go back to them time and again to help fill my creative tank and get inspired on a daily basis.

It's my partner in creative concepting.

Also, it is possible now to pin videos, patterns, instructions--the joy is endless. Above is a small snapshot of just a few of my folders. I don't create folders, just to create them. I make happy places--the places I really want to go to and the things I really want to look at. Some pinners are organized by seasons, colors, hobbies, events and family members. And it all works! Have fun with it, there are so many ways to name and organize your boards, it's just what suits your fancy. And you can always edit--it's a beautiful thing *sniff*.

Can you tell I love it?

Now, onto the good stuff. Click the Master Crafters button on the top right side here, and you will go to a page that has hundreds of artists, chefs, and crafters' Pinterest boards. It's awesome. You will never lack for inspiration and ideas again! By the way--I'm #1900 on there. But you can click my "follow me on Pinterest" link to the right to find my boards. I'm working on them--it is so fun. If you are already pinning, join the list! Eventually we'll all find each other. But this master list is just about the best thing I've seen lately. The three wonderful ladies who created it thought of everything, and the instructions make it very easy to join.♥

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Pin

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Threads

Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won't try to satisfy your selfish desires.
Romans 13:14

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

If you cook, if you love the sunshine, and if you like soft skin, you probably need an Aloe Vera plant.

Some people call Aloe Vera the cook's plant, because if you put pure, fresh aloe on one of those little burns from the stove or oven, it simply will never hurt, and will heal so much faster. This works for little burns from the iron too.

We also use fresh aloe for sunburns, bug bites, and skin softening.

Many people think Aloe Vera is like a miracle plant and holds a myriad of health benefits.

In that light, I thought I'd share this Aloe Vera gel recipe you can make from your own plants. It keeps in the fridge for several months.

Place a few long Aloe Vera stems vertically in a tall glass or jar to drain any dark resin--takes a few minutes.
Wash the stems and remove the aloe gel.
Place the aloe gel in a blender with a few drops of vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed extract. This helps preserve the gel.
Blend and pour into a sterilized Ball jar. The foam at the top will settle down. Refrigerate.

If you have a little kitchen burn or a sunburn, the cold fresh Aloe Vera gel will feel so good on your skin. Enjoy!

If you want to read a little story about my past Aloe Vera drama, click here.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Relax

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WOYWW 218--A Little Crafty Time Soothes the Soul

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday lovelies! And I am happy to be feeling like myself with some energy going on. Last week a horrible sinus headache got the best of me. All I could do was knit. Barely.

This week, I'm happy, and working on a tag on my desk, along with working on my organizer, and upcycling a breadcrumb container!

Let your desk join the blog party at What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Mrs. Dunnit's!

After some medicine, my pain subsided, and once I was back up and crafting away with my papers, markers, stamps and stickers, it was truely like therapy. As if I set up my own little craft spa. You don't realize how thankful you are for every day at your crafty table, until you have absolutely no energy and can't do a thing!

Whilst feeling sorry for myself, I watched Season Three of Downton Abbey again! I just wanted Carson to bring me some tea, Mrs. Patmore to make me a pie, and have a nice conversation with Lady Grantham.

Hugs and happiest of hump days everyone!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Breathe