Shades of White Garland

You may remember the rainbow garland I made for the minion’s first birthday party.  Well, I also made some in shades of white for the winter holidays.

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Happy Solstice!

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Update On My New Loom

You may remember the loom I got at the Ladies’ Homestead Gathering of Statham meeting.  I asked my mom to help me get it working and she referred me to a weaving friend of hers.  She helped me get it working and taught me that it is a mix between a table loom and an inkle loom.  She showed me how to thread a string heddle and showed me her collection of various patterned weavings.  She also let me try her spinning wheel and now I want one!

I started with a really simple thin strip just to get the feel of the loom and understand how it works.  Since we (yea really she threaded it, but I watched!) threaded it with alternating colors of yarn, I got lots of little stripes.

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I’m excited about starting my next project, I just have to decide what I want to make.  Any suggestions?

Ladies’ Homestead Gathering Herbal Medicines and a Loom

I went to a meeting of the Ladies’ Homestead Gathering of Statham Georgia a few days ago.  It was so much fun.  There were about 40 women there and we all made two tinctures and one salve each.  I really liked that it was hands-on and not just a lecture or even a discussion.

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One tincture is a wound wash and one is for stress relief.  The salve is sort of an all-purpose skin cream for bug bites, dry skin, ect.  Beyond these great herbal medicines, I’m really excited to have found this group.  There’s so much knowledge that these women have, I’m so excited to learn as much as I can!

There was also one woman who was trying to get rid of a few looms and gave me one.

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I’m going to try to figure it out (with lots of help!) and weave something on it.

How To Make Wool Dryer Balls

We use felted wool for many things at our house.  It’s especially great to make mattress pads for our and the minion’s bed.  We get this wool for just a few dollars by buying 100% wool sweaters and blankets from thrift stores and felting them in our washer.  I’ll do a tutorial on that soon.  But my most recent project is these wool dryer balls.

To make the dryer balls you need to use felted wool.  Cut a piece of felt that’s twice as long as it is wide.  3 inches by 6 inches is a good general size, but it doesn’t have to be exact.  Sew the two short sides together wrong sides together.  Your seam will be on the outside.  If you want you can do this on the machine, but if you do it by hand it will look nicer.  I did mine on the machine, but if you’re making these as a gift or have too much time on your hands, feel free to hand sew the whole thing.

Next is the part that’s going to be hard to explain.  Sew each of the ends together in opposite ways.  One side fold the circle of fabric with the seam in the middle and one side with the seam on the end.

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Leave a little opening on one of your seams and stuff with random felt scraps.  Then just close up your seam and you’re done.

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A quick few minute project that will reduce static on your clothes and help them dry faster.  These are also safe to use with cloth diapers unlike most commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

Removing Labels From Glass Jars

From making my multi-bean soup, I had to clean the labels off a bunch of jars.  I think I found the best way to remove them.

First, just try to peel it off.  The labels of 2 of my 7 jars just peeled off in one piece leaving just a little bit of adhesive.  If you are lucky enough to have this happen, just rub a little bit of oil on them to get the glue off.

If you’re not quite that lucky, make sure the top shiny layer of paper is mostly peeled off.  This will leave the thin white more textured paper.  Then you want to put a thin layer of oil on and let it sit for a few minutes.  You can use any kind of cooking oil to do this.  Be sure you coat the entire outside of the jar otherwise you can just push the adhesive onto other parts of the jar.

When you come back, you should be able to scrub the rest of the label and adhesive off with a dish scrubber.  Then you can just wash the oil off.

Just be sure that the inside of your jars are completely dry before you try to store dry beans in them.

Other than storing dried foods in them, what other uses are there for reused glass jars?

Honeysuckle Vine Wreath: Finally Dry Edition

The gardenias are in bloom and the honeysuckle vine wreath I made HERE is dry.  No thanks to the super rainy and humid Georgia weather this summer.  Now I can embellish it in a variety of ways.  I could cover it with fake flowers, ribbon or another permanent item.  Or I could change out  flowers / leaves from our yard and keep it rotating with the season.

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Mushroom Spore Print: Art

I’ve been eying some mushrooms that I thought were edible.  To help make a correct identification I did a spore print on one of them.  This is a way to get more information on a type of mushroom (different mushrooms have different colored spores) as well as a cool art project.

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Basically you put a piece of white paper next to a piece of black paper and put the mushroom cap on top.  You need both colors of paper if you don’t know what the spore color is because it might be light or dark.  Then you cover the whole thing with a bowl and let it sit for 24 hours.

I came back to this beauty:

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You could even take this a step further and try to find shapes and images in the print.  The spores will rub off the paper but you could try spraying with fixative if you wanted.

A more defined cap will produce a more defined image.  Experiment!

Easy Earrings How To

Since I cut my hair for locks of love, I have wanted to wear big bold earrings with my short hair.  I saw these necklace pendants at the craft store the other day and thought they would be great earrings.

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I bought two and just added earring hooks on them to make them earrings.  Super easy, just a new way to look for earring ideas.

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I also wanted to teach the proper way to open a wire ring such as the ones on the earring hooks.

The first instinct is to just make the circle wider but this weakens the wire more than needed, you should pull one side up making it more like a spiral to open it.  This puts much less stress on the wire and makes it less likely to break especially after opening a ring multiple times.

Sunny Summer Solstice Headband

The minion and I celebrated the summer solstice by picking some blueberries.  It was the first time the minion had eaten blueberries.  Tonight we are going to a celebration at our Unitarian Universalist church and the invitation said “seasonally appropriate clothing” so I decided to make her a sun headband.

I started out with three concentric circles of t-shirt fabric then I cut the rays of the sun in each circle.

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Then I hand stitched them together with three french knots in the center and stitched them onto a strip of regular cotton fabric.  Then I added two ties on either end of the strip of fabric.  The ties are strips of t-shirt material that I stretched so they curled up.  The idea is that you tie the red ties and thus it is fairly adjustable.

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I did iron it, but I like the way the rays curl up, it kind of reminds me of solar flares.  Happy Midsummer!

 

A Quick List of Things to Make from Scrap Fabric

  • stuffing for toys
  • patchwork dolls (post TO COME)
  • rice bags for applying heat to injuries
  • reusable baby wipes (we just use squares of old t-shirts and wash them with our cloth diapers)
  • reusable ‘paper’ towels
  • bookmarks
  • rainbow garland
  • fabric flowers (can be used as hair barrettes, pins, to decorate bags, ect)
  • covered buttons
  • reusable sandwich bags
  • plush baby blocks
  • quilted coasters
  • draft snake
  • aromatherapy sachets (sew a small bag and fill with herbs)
  • gift tags
  • braided rag rug
  • rag hair curlers (take strips of fabric and wrap hair around them towards your scalp.  When you have wrapped a length of hair, just tie the strip, spritz your hair with water and leave overnight)
  • reusable produce bags
  • of course, the original way to use scraps, a quilt

Any other ideas?