Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to make an easy no sew fleece hat and scarf?




I can't sew!!! and that is why I have always shied away from any crafts that have to do with fabric - until now that is!! I discovered the wonder of fleece and no sew techniques. I was at JoAnn's fabrics after thanksgiving, just perusing, and I saw the nice fleeces. A nice lady at the counter told me I could do great things with them without having to pick up a threat and a needle. She explained to me the basic techniques to do blankets, hats and scarves. She gave me some photocopies with a few designs too! I bought some stuff and went home to experiment. This is the result! I am so pleased and so is my daughter as I am making her so much stuff right now.

How to make a simple scarf in about 5 minutes!!

Materials:


  • Fleece (standard length of 60 inches). Width: 10-12 inches for adult scarf, 6-8 inches for kids
  • Good pair of scissors (fabric scissors)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self healing mat
  • Plastic Ruler

You can buy your fleece already cut to your scarf width at your fabric store, but  if not, you can easily cut it with your rotary cutter at the desire width.

Cut away the fabric borders on both ends. Carefully place the fleece on your mat, place the ruler over the edge of the fleece and cut with the rotary cutter. (Be very careful, these things are SHARP!)



To cut the scarf (if not pre cut at the store), place the fleece straight on top of your mat, measure your width with the ruler and place a straight ruler over the material, score with your rotary cutter. Now you have a long rectangle which is pretty much a scarf.



To make the fringe. Place one of the ends of your scarf on the mat and align it to the grid so it is straight. Place your plastic ruler at 3 or 4 inches on top of the edge (depending on how long you want your fringe). With your scissors, cut stripes of approximately 1 inch wide al along the border.



From here on you need to let your creativity fly. You can leave the scarf as is or you can cut thinner fringes, make knots, you name it! For this little one, I cut my fringes half an inch wide and then made a square knot with 2 of them at a time. That is it! really.



How to make the kid's hat! 



This one takes a little longer than 5 minutes, but not that much longer!!! I found this one in the following blog: (Creative Jewish Mom). I modified it a little bit with some advise from the JoAnn's lady (she was awesome!!!)

You are going to need a rectangle for the hat. The dimensions will be according to the size of the head of the child. The vertical measurement of the rectangle is standard at 13 inches (do about 10 for babies). The horizontal measurement will be the length of the head's circumference, plus 2 inches for the bows (fringe). In my case, I started with a 13" by  24" for my 5 year old.





Cut your rectangle carefully with the rotary cutter or with your scissors. Place your rectangle on the mat and on the vertical edges (shorter ones) you will cut a 2" long by 3/4" wide fringe all along. It is important that you cut both edges at the same time so the fringes match perfectly, or you will get holes in between your bows. To do so, fold your fleece in half, perfectly aligning the two vertical edges together. Align the folded  fleecer with the grid on your mat. Place the ruler straight on top of the fleece at a 2" line. With your scissors, cut the fringes at 3/4" intervals.  



Open your fleece now and place it on your work surface horizontally and fold the edges so they touch each other. Take the first set of fringes and make a square knot (making a bow). Then take the second set of fringes and do a knot and so on until you get to the desire height of hat. Make sure you use the same knot technique each time for consistency. (i.e. left side fringe under all the time)





Fold over the bottom of the hat twice for the brim of the hat - Make sure you have the right height of hat by scrunching the top with your hands. If so continue on with the instructions, if not, make more bows!



You will now have  a row of bows and a few fringes left untied. Cut those fringes off so the two sides of the hat touch. You will now make the fringe that will become the pom pom on the top. Align the hat with the grid of your mat. Take you ruler and place straight just after your last bow. Cut your fringe at 1/2 inch intervals.





Now, scrounge your hat with your hands right after the last bow. Take a thin piece of fleece and secure it with a tight double knot. You have your pom pom!! Adjust it by pulling it to the desire shape (or cut it if you think is too long!)



Your hat is almost ready. Now you can cut the bows to your desire size. I like my bows small, so they look like tiny bows, so I cut them. If you like them long you can leave as is! and voila! you have a super cute no sew fleece hat!!!




I have fell in love with these techniques, for their simplicity and beauty. I have now made quite a few scarves (for dad, son, daughter and myself!) and also a few blankets (posts coming soon!). It is amazing what you can learn from a trip to your local fabric store!

If you do not want to do them yourself, you can always get them on my Etsy shop (click here)! I will make them to order - just let me know what do you want!!


    

Friday, November 25, 2011

Arts and crafts weekend blog hop!








If you want to display the blog hop in your blog here is the code:

get the InLinkz code

Please do not forget to comment!!!

End of Season Garden Update

We have finally reached the end of the gardening season. I look at this time with dual feelings: I am sad because we will not get any more fresh organic produce, but I am also happy for a much deserved break! November is the time for clean up and preparation of the beds for next year. So that is exactly what I did last weekend.  Here are the photos I took and the latest update. Enjoy!

Right side beds

Before Cleaning
After Cleaning


Left side beds

Before Cleaning
After Cleaning


I finalize my harvest and left only a couple of cabbages and broccoli. For the clean up, make sure you remove all your hardware (trellises, tomato and vegetable supports, etc.). Pull up all your dead plants and add them to your compost pile. After all that is done, I put a thin layer of leaves on top of my beds, they will decompose during the next 6 months and add wonderful nutrients to the beds for next year! 

We had a good season this year! Please have a look:


On the right side vegetables beds I just harvested:



Herbs

Oregano and thyme are perennials so I leave them in the ground - I will clip some of the leaves later on to dry them and use them as dry herbs during the winter.   Parsley is not perennial here so I pull it up and save it in the freezer so I can use it for the next 6 months, I had enough for one full gallon freezer bag. Spring onions are perennials but the foliage dies, so instead of pulling the bulbs, cut the foliage with scissors and keep. Leave the bulbs in the ground and they will come back in the spring.The basil I left in October was fully dried, so I carefully removed it so I can save the seeds for next year.




Carrots:

Harvest time!! I got 5 pounds of yummy sweet carrots! they found their way on our Thanksgiving menu!



On the left side vegetable beds we have:


Broccoli

There is still broccoli to enjoy, I keep collecting the small shoots every 3 days or so to make soup for my girl or to use in my salads. I cut the branches that went to seed and have been collecting the seeds during the last 3 days (there were so many little pods! it takes a while to collect them all). I will leave the plants there until the first snow, then I will pull them out.



Beets

I have picked the rest of the beets 4 pounds in total! I really do not know what to do with them! Only my son likes them.... Beets anyone?


Greens: Lettuce, Arugula, Spinach, Cabbage

When I picked my last 2 cabbages last month, I left the stump in the ground in the hop it will grow more cabbages and it did! I know have 2 more baby cabbages! I will pick them to make coleslaw this week. My second crop Arugulas are doing great, small but there. I also have some baby lettuce growing. As these are cold crops, they will still be OK for a while.

So there you have, all ready for next year!. How is your garden doing?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!! Gracias!!

If I were to write all the things I am thankful for, you will be reading my blog all day and all night! So I am keeping it to the most important ones:


  • I am thankful for my children, my mother and my family!
  • I am thankful for my health!
  • I am thankful for my friends!
  • I am thankful for the food on my table, the warmth and the roof over our heads!
  • I am thankful for the safety of this country, it keeps me sane!
I wish you all a great Thanksgiving! 

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Salsa Verde Recipe: My Yummy Tomatillos Sauce!

I love Salsa Verde, it is truly one of my favorite Mexican salsas! Last week my neighbor came to my house carrying a small bag of tomatillos from her garden and I was in heaven! Immediately I made my version of Salsa Verde. I modified the original recipe given to me by a Mexican friend's mom and made it mild (honestly I do not like my food too spicy hot). However, if you do I will let you know how to make it hot!



Ingredients:

  • Tomatillos (you can buy them at ethnic supermarkets)
  • One small onion
  • One green pepper (Serrano or jalapeño for a spicy version)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes
  • Cilantro
  • salt, pepper and vinegar to taste 
The reason I am not giving you quantities is that you really can alter the amounts according to your taste.

First you need to prepare the tomatillos! You will have to peel them to remove the husk. They are extremely sticky! Put the peeled tomatillos in a colander and wash them thoroughly until they are not sticky anymore.



In a food processor, put the tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro and work it until it is a smooth paste. 



Put the paste in a pan, add the lime juice, salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.



Cook for about 15 minutes until the salsa turns a darker more yellowish green. Try it as you go and adjust the taste with more salt, pepper, lime juice ad vinegar as needed.



When ready, put on a container and let it cool. You can use it  for everything! on top of steaks is the best, but you can also use with potatoes, chicken, tacos, etc.

It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!!

PS: This recipe is Dukan Diet approved!! you can enjoy it during your PV days during the cruise phase!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Make crayons out of broken crayons: Easy, Fun and Eco-friendly

What do you do with your kid's broken crayons? I truly think the majority of people simply throw them out. I know and I agree, they are annoying! your kid does not want them, they can't hold them and they have no other use! Well, the truth is that they do have some use after all, you can make them back again in to crayons, fun crayons!



We keep our crayons inside a big plastic jar and the little broken pieces stay right there too.



Every so often, I taken them all out and make funny crayon's disks with the kids.

Here is what you will need:

  • Broken Crayons
  • Cupcake tray  or metal candy molds 
  • Oven

Pre heat your oven at 300F. Get all your broken crayons and remove their paper covers. 




Take your cupcake tray and put some crayons on each individual cup. You can sort your crayons by color if you want to make one color crayon's disk



or you can put lots of different colors in one cup to make colorful fun crayon's disks. You can let your kids sort them to make their own creations.





Put the cupcake try in the oven for about 5 or 6 minutes, keep looking at them through the glass, if they are almost fully or fully melted they are done.

Carefully remove the tray (do not move it too much or the fun colors will blend).



Let the wax of melted crayons dry in a flat surface (about 30 minutes to 1 hour). Once dry, pop the disk out of the try by gently pushing the metal from the back, they come out very easy. Turn the tray over a kitchen towel carefully (they broke easy). Turn them around and you will see the lovely colors!






You can now use them for painting, just as normal crayons, but they will paint in different colors!!
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