Yarn (A Poem)

Yarn

A round ball of fluff,

Soft and warm, as blue as the sky

As green as the grass

As yellow as the sun

Yarn comes in all

The colors of the rainbow.

A stringy mass of goodness.

When I create something

from a stick and some string,

I feel comfort in the softness

The soft feel of yarn

As it turns into a blanket,

Or a scarf, hat or socks.

Yarn can be anything I want it to be.

When I sit down at the end of the day

I look around at my stash and it is

Beautiful to me.

I can hear it whispering softly,

The yarn calls to me and says

Make me into something pretty.

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Crafts For Your Garden Or Patio

Crafts for your garden and patio.

Making things to put out on your patio or in your garden can be a joy. It is a  sense of accomplishment and you can proudly  say, “Hey, I made this!”

Here are just a few ideas:

You can paint some pretty designs on  clay pots. You can buy the pots almost anywhere, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc. Next, you want to get some craft paint. You can buy it at a craft store.The craft stores have a bigger variety of colors so make sure you get some nice ones. The brighter the better. Get some cheap artist brushes or whatever you feel comfortable using and last you want to get some kind of polyurethane to seal the project. I generally use the spray on type, but on some projects it is easier to use the kind you brush on. Use your own discretion. Make sure you put some old newspaper down to cover your work space and most of all, be creative. Let your imagination run free.

While you have your craft paints out, another good project is painting stones. I know that sounds strange, but trust me, the outcome is truly very pretty. Look around for any large smooth or not so smooth rock. (Not so big that you can’t lift it.) They can be flat or round, shape doesn’t really matter and in fact it can enhance the finished product if the stone is a little misshapen. Make sure to brush off all the loose dirt first.  An old paint brush works very well for this.  If the rock is truly dirty, you can wash it first, just make sure that it is very dry before painting. You can start off by painting the whole stone a good background color and then paint designs on that, or you can leave the stone its natural color and paint on that.  Once again make sure that you give it a good coat of sealant when you are done with the artwork. These look pretty in a rock garden or between flower beds. You can even use the flat ones as stepping stones.

Craft stores carry a variety of unfinished wood items for you to finish. Bird houses

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Here are some birdhouses my husband and I made for my indoor garden. Bright and cheerful.

are just one of the things carried. You can get one of these rather cheaply and paint it any color you wish. When you are finished, hang it up in a tree or on a post and watch to see what kind of bird the house attracts. You can also buy a small flat piece of wood and paint it with the color of your choice and either buy letter stickers, stencils,  or if your handwriting is good you can free hand a little saying of some kind like, “Welcome to my garden.” or “Birds only, no cats allowed.” You can write whatever you wish. Really make it your own. Seal it with polyurethane and hang it up.

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If you have children, they can help you with any of these projects. Just make sure they have on some old clothes, that you protect the work space with old newspapers and finally, have fun!

 

 

A close up shot of the birdhouses.

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How To Freeze Berries

How to freeze berries.

No matter what kind you prefer, fresh berries are a real treat. Not only are berries good for you, but they are low in calories and they taste great. Sadly, you can’t keep berries fresh year round. Freezing berries keeps them looking and tasting as if they were just picked.

The easiest way I have found to freeze berries is this:

1. Most importantly, you have to wash your berries. Put the stopper in your sink, place berries carefully in the sink being careful not to put too many in at once. You don’t want to crush them. Fill sink with enough water to cover the berries. Gently with your hands, swish berries around in the water. You may have to change the water several times to get rid of stems and any grass that may be in the water. When you see no more debris, gently lift out berries and place them in a colander to drain. You may want to place several paper towels in a bowl and place your berries in that for a while to get rid of the water. I have found that if you don’t get most of the water off of the berries, that they will get freezer burn quite easily.

2. Making sure that most of the water is gone from the berries, the next step is to place them on a cookie sheet that you have lined with wax paper. Place them in a single layer being careful not to over crowd them.

3. Next, place the cookie sheet in the freezer and let the berries freeze solid. Times may vary according to how you have your freezer set and how big the berries are. Just keep checking on them to see if they are frozen. A good two to three hours is usually sufficient.

4. Take cookie sheet of frozen berries out of the freezer and place on kitchen counter. Depending on how many berries you have to freeze, you will either want a quart or a gallon size freezer bag. A good zip lock will do. Place frozen berries in the freezer bag and zip closed. Place freezer bag in freezer.

5. Continue using this process until you are done with your berries.

Frozen berries will keep for many months and they can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you need a cup for a recipe, a handful to eat, or maybe you want to make a luscious smoothie, your berries should taste as fresh as the day that you picked them. Enjoy!

While I did write this story, I didn’t take any photos of my own at the time. I found some lovely photos online that I have given a link to.

Washing Berries

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Freezing Berries    freezing_strawberries

Vegetables

I took some time out from crochet work for a while and found myself with tons of fresh vegetables. A huge thank you to my sister Tracy.

Now I would usually par boil them for a while and put them in cold water to stop the cooking process. However, I wanted to try something different this year. I decided to roast the vegetables in the oven for a while, let them cool on the trays and put them in quart bags and pop them in the freezer. Well, let me tell you, they turned out fantastic. After spreading the broccoli and cauliflower in the pans, I drizzled them lightly with EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) tossed them around and stuck them in a 325° oven until they were slightly soft but still firm. About 20 minutes. Oven temperatures vary, so the times my differ. Keep checking yours until you get the desired results.

I ended up with 6 quart bags of broccoli and cauliflower and 2 quart bags of squash(zucchini and yellow summer squash). Not a bad haul!! We will surely enjoy them this winter when the snow is flying.

Now for some photos!  Enjoy…

Just Because I Want To…Rugs

Who crochets just because?  Sometimes I have nothing planned or no project to work on and I crochet just because. I might end up with a hat, or a scarf, but most of the time I will end up frogging it out because it doesn’t look like anything that is usable. LOL

I do have a bathroom rug that I am working on for my sister. I could work on that and maybe I will. Hmmm. My other rugs have turned out quite well. Would you like to take a look at them?

Here they are. At least some of them. I have done many more that I didn’t take photos of, but you get the idea.

Here are the colors for my sisters new rug.

It’s going to be three big stripes and I will make a border of some kind. Well, I guess I won’t be crocheting at random after all. I want to get this rug finished…so I’ll be working on it today.

Tell me about some of your projects. I’m excited to see what you all are working on. Even if its not crochet.

Hope you all have a wonderfully creative day!