It’s getting to be about that time when we all start itching to get our craft on. Summer is half over, kids are heading back to school, and after the glorious down time of summer, it will soon be time to create.
I’ve put together a list of our favourites here – each one is totally doable, and will result in something useful
Best DIY Craft Projects on the Farm
For the Doorway
Let’s start with our Hand Knit Rag Rug – made with an up-cycled bed sheet! I’m still super pleased with how this turned out
Protect what is left in your garden from the critters looking for their winter meal. Or just add a fun decoration to your front porch with a fun and easy DIY Scarecrow Project
For the Kitchen
It’s no secret knitting is a big thing around here – and it’s also no secret we like to DIY and we sway lightly to the eco-friendly side of life. You can too with these wonderful 100% cotton Napkins. The pattern is really easy to follow, and the results are amazing.
Also For the Kitchen
No kitchen is complete without the addition of super cute trivets. Here is a great tutorial for a DIY Trivet, from a knitted I-cord.
Sometimes, the most important parts of a household are supposed to go unnoticed. The garbage, while an essential part of any home, should definitely go unnoticed – so I’ve been playing around with creating garbage deodorizers that help neutralize and actually remove the smell of a stinky garbage!
I run a home daycare and I also do a lot of cooking as a food blogger. The two combine to make a sometimes desperate garbage situation. I want people to walk into my home and not grimace at the smell!
Previously, I’ve just been sprinkling baking soda into the bottom of the garbage can, which was fine but a bit messy to clean up every few garbage bags. I decided to see if I could make an easy-to-remove version of my baking soda neutralizer, and came up with these fun puck-like deodorizers.
HOMEMADE GARBAGE DEODORIZER PUCKS
You probably have everything you need to make these in your home already.
Simply mix 2 cups baking soda and 1/2 water, scoop Tablespoon-sized portions into muffin cups (I like using my reusable silicone muffin cups) and bake for 20 minutes at 350F, until solid.
Remove from the oven and while the pucks are still warm, add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil – I used peppermint for it’s association with clean scents. Be sure to add the essential oil after baking so that the scent doesn’t bake off.
Remove from the silicone baking cups if you used those, and place in a storage container. So far, I have been using a single puck for almost two weeks and it’s still going strong. The puck will eventually diffuse away it’s nice peppermint scent, and absorb the smells of the garbage – that’s when you know it’s time to replace it. The life of your garbage deodorizers will really depend on what you’re throwing out.
Do you make any household cleaners from scratch? What scent would you add to your homemade garbage deodorizers?
It’s Friday and we’re in love with snow! How could you not be, really?
Wonderful snow fun to be had in the garden, yard, and even the kitchen sink. We’ve got you covered with snowy treats, artificial snow recipes, great activities, and inspiration for snowy adventures. Check it out, and embrace your inner snow fairy.
It may come as no surprise that we are big lovers of snow over here. Snowshoes and crazy carpets are perhaps some of our most treasured items. Snowshoes are great for adventuring, playing, and working. Hey, and you know what, crazy carpets are even great for all of those things too! Besides being the funnest things in the world – they can come in handy for moving stuff.
But let’s get back to the great white fluffy stuff.
If you are a subscriber to our newsletter, you already know that we are introducing a new series this year, “Homemade Cleaners, Healthy Home” and I am so excited to be sharing with you the first homemade cleaner recipe a Homemade Orange Cleaner.
My friend Jennifer over at Study At Home Mama (she’s brilliant!) has put this together and I couldn’t be more pleased!
I’m so excited to be sharing with you the first homemade cleaner recipe in our new “Homemade Cleaners, Healthy Home” series: a Homemade Orange Cleaner.
There are so many reasons to opt for a homemade cleaner over store-bought options:
Cost – homemade cleaner often costs pennies per use versus the “added up” cost of using commercial brands
Effectiveness: homemade cleaners can be made strong and are often more effective than cleaners that are trying to do too many things at once
Chemical-free: so many unnecessary chemicals are added to commercial cleaners, which can lead to skin problems, breathing problems – and is also often cited as the cause for super-bugs
Eco-friendly: beyond the environmental impact of the chemicals in commercial products, the packaging is rarely re-usable – creating waste with every bottle purchased
This Orange Homemade Cleaner is my go-to all-purpose cleaner. It’s great for wiping down the kitchen and bathroom, and is also great for mopping.
Materials Needed for Homemade Orange Cleaner Recipe:
Glass mason jar
Orange peels, lots and lots of orange peels
Vinegar (enough to fill your jar)
Spray bottle, optional
Tea tree oil, optional
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to let your jar sit out for a week or more, you can swap out the orange peels for orange oil.
How to Make Homemade Orange Cleaner Recipe
I start off by having a “heavy on the oranges” day. Encourage oranges with every meal and snack time, and save all of those orange peels in your mason jar.
At some point that day, I top up the mason jar with vinegar – pure, distilled white vinegar – and leave it somewhere close enough to add additional orange peels to, but somewhat out-of-the-way so I can let the vinegar extract the orange oil and take on that wonderful citrus scent.
I started off with about 5 orange peels and added another 20 or so throughout the week.
The orange oil helps cut through grease while also being more pleasant than using vinegar alone.
Wait at least a week before removing the peels – this solution can sit up to a month as long as all of the peels are covered by the vinegar.
Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or paper towel and strain your solution into a bowl or second wide-mouth mason jar. Dispose of the orange peels and if your solution is at all cloudy, strain it again.
At this point you can add a few drops of tea tree oil if you want your homemade orange cleaner to have anti-bacterial properties beyond what is naturally offered by the vinegar.
Using a funnel, carefully pour the orange cleaner into a spray bottle and label it.
To clean with your homemade orange cleaner, use a light coating of spray and completely wipe down an area. You do not need to use water to wipe away the cleaner but can if you want to.
For mopping, use about 1 cup of orange vinegar to every gallon of hot water.
What do you currently use to clean your floors and counters with? Would you consider switching to a homemade cleaner?
This is not your grandpa’s lumberjack hat, that’s for sure! Knit with 100% Baby Alpaca, and garnished with a fun fur, this Most Awesome Kid’s Lumberjack Hat is warm, and so sweet!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience
If you’re new to knitting, you might want to start with the Quick and Easy Kid’s Hat. This patterns uses the same stitches, a basic knit stitch, a purl stitch, plus an increase. I can help you out with those if you’d like, just send me an email, or drop me a message on facebook.
Most Awesome Kid’s Lumberjack Hat
So, what is it about this hat that makes it the most awesome? First, it is made with love and quality materials for my biggest of little helpers. I used 100% Baby Alpaca Chunky Yarn for the entire hat, plus I added Boa Yarn-Parrot when working the front and back flaps. The result is a super soft, warm hat, that is exceptionally cute.
It works up quick, is relatively simple to make, and it is really really cute! I can’t really speak to being fashionable, as you may recall from my epic adventures with my skater coat, but in my mind this hat is definitely trend setting.
I have made this version worked flat, but it could totally be worked in the round. Again, drop me a line if you’d like help converting this pattern to a knit in the round version, I’m here to help!
Notes: ‘inc in next st’ – knit in the front of the stitch, and leave on the needle, then knit into the back of the same stitch, then remove it from the needle.
Chuncky Alpaca Yarn
size 7mm knitting needles
Crown and Rise
Cast on 12 sts
Row 1: Purl
Row 2: K1, inc in next st;, repeat ( 18 sts)
Row 3 and all other odd number (wrong side) rows until working the flap: Purl
Row 4: K2, inc in next st; repeat (24 sts)
Row 6: K3, inc in next st; repeat (30 sts)
Row 8: K4, inc in next st; repeat (36 sts)
Row 10: K5, inc in next st; repeat (42 sts)
Row 12: K6, inc in next st; repeat (48 sts)
Row 14: K7, inc in next st; repeat (54 sts)
Work even until the hat measures 8″ from your cast on stitches, finishing with a purl row.
Add the boa yarn, and using the boa and the aplaca held together purl the first 16 sts on the needle.
Turn, and continue to work in garter sts (knit every row) until flap measures 3″
Bind off, and fasten last stitch, leaving a long end.
Use this long end to sew the brim flat to the front of the hat, as shown in the pictures.
Continue working with both the alpaca and the boa yarn held together,
purl the remaining 38 sts.
next row: purl
Continue in stockinette stitch – knitting on the right side, purling on the wrong side, until the flap measures 2 inches. Bind off, and fasten the end.
Sew the seam from the crown to the where you started working the flaps, and you have yourself one adorable, and very chic Kid’s Lumberjack Hat
click on the image below to get the pattern in printable pdf. format
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Around this time of year, everyone is basking in the holidays of old, and reliving their family traditions, and making new ones. However, I really do love to keep things simple, and if the day calls for frozen pizza, frozen pizza it is.
That said, there are some traditions that we hold dear, and like most, there is food involved.
My family is french Canadian, and so is a lot of my cooking. Thank goodness! So many amazing foods to be had! Think classic sugar pie, meat pie, and poutine just to name a few. I’d love to share my meat pie recipe with you, but in truth it is my Mom’s and she’s holding it under her hat.
Maple Baked Beans
A family tradition. Get this in the oven in the morning, let it cook all day, and anticipation will keep you going until supper!
Add beans to a large pot, cover with water, and soak overnight.
Drain beans. Put them back in the pot, add fresh water, and bring to a boil.
Boil 20 to 40 minutes. Test the beans, they will not get any softer, so boil them to the desired tenderness
Drain beans again, place in roast pan.
Mix in all remaining ingredients, except for the bacon
Lay the strips of the bacon over the beans, cover with a lid, and roast in a 250 degree oven for 8 hrs.
Water may be substituted for some of the maple syrup, but I recommend using as much maple syrup in the 2 cups of liquid as you can manage.
Check the beans while roasting periodically. Give a little stir with a wooden spoon once in a while to check on the liquid. If the beans are getting dry, add a bit of water to prevent scorching and burning
Nemcsok Farms http://nemcsokfarms.com/
These are the perfect way to top off a day playing in the snow, exploring the trails, and chopping wood. Served with some simple biscuits, and finished with some gingerbread cookies for dessert, this traditional family recipe is easy to make, and enjoyed by all.
Have you ever read the book, Pooh Welcomes Winter (affiliate link)? It’s a favourite at our house. Pooh, Piglet and Tigger mistake a snowman for Wintur. They believe Wintur is a person that is coming soon. So cute. Anyway, the point of the story is that you can totally have a party to celebrate winter. So I say, let’s do it!
Our winters can get pretty darn wintery. It is not unheard of to have -40 C temperatures and several feet of snow on the ground. When I was a kid I loved that I could reach so many things in the winter! Like the tops of monkey bars, for example.
Outdoor fun in the snow
Now, winter is not the same everywhere, but up here in Canada, it’s pretty cold and snowy, eh?
And while the first instinct may be to hibernate – don’t go lay with bears! Get yourself some layers, and get out and play in the snow! If you can keep your feet, head and hands warm and dry, you’ve already won 80% of the battle. Even without any gear, you can have tons of outdoor fun in the snow.
Outdoor fun in the snow without extra gear!
Make snow angels. Make snowmen. Explore. See some of the posts I’ve linked to below for some really great outdoor fun in the snow ideas!
Outdoor fun in the snow with some toys!
Snowshoes ( my absolute favourite, everyone in our family has them… ), Crazy carpets ( my next favourite) sleds, skis, snowboards… you name it. There is so much fun to be had, in the snow.
I’ve collected the top ten posts for outdoor fun in the snow, see them all below!
Green, Crafty & Creative is a collection of activities that are suitable for kids and families. There are creative crafts for kids that feature recycled materials like egg cartons and cardboard tubes. There are wonderful green crafts that use natural materials found right outside your door such as leaves, pinecones and shells. The book also includes many innovative ideas on how to make your home more eco-friendly: from brilliant DIY cleaners to easy gardening and composting instructions. You and your family will love getting Green, Crafty & Creative
And do you know what the coolest thing in the world is? That nifty little blurb right there above where you’re reading now, pretty good huh? Yeah. I wrote that. Green, Crafty & Creative is a collaboration between 10 likeminded Bloggers, all trying to help you and your families get Green Crafty & Creative!
And this post contains affiliate links – to a book that I co-wrote with my green and crafty friends! How awesome is that?
Green, Crafty & Creative includes:
Over 70 crafts, tips and activities
Full color photos for every activity
Get Your Copies of Green, Crafty & Creative
The ebook is available from HERE – regular price $4.95 USD
And if you have a Kindle then we have you covered too! Get that HERE! for $9.14 CAD
Currently the paperback is not available in Canada – but will be in a few weeks. Until then, feel free to order yours HERE (this link will take you to my co-author’s page, Craftulate, and you can order your copy from her. Tell her I sent you 😉 )
Undeniably one of the worst things about charity is having to ask for it.
Donating to charity was not supposed to be about the performance. Excepting Charity was
not supposed to be about the begging. Who exactly gets to decide whether someone is needy enough?
I have a vision.
I have a vision. I have a vision where people who need stuff, can just get it. Sounds awful romantic doesn’t it? But really – let’s talk about this for a minute.
There will likely always be the haves and the have nots. Some people may likely go from either situations at various times in their lives. I have. I’ve been in both camps. I can speak from both sides.
It can be a pain to donate stuff sometimes. And it is very easy to forget to bring that box of food to the food bank when you yourself are not hungry. It can feel like people are always asking you for donations whenever you enter / exit a building, or whenever you pick up the phone.
Likewise, when you are in need of charity, there is nothing worse than having to ask for it.
I have a solution.
Take away the paperwork. Remove the complications. Take away the insurance premiums, the show, the noise. Make it simply about giving and taking.
Keep it Simple. Make it free range.
Hence, the Mitten Tree
Here’s How to Set it Up
Find a place that is easily accessible to the public. Obtain permission from a resident or business to use their space.
Ask your community to make, and or purchase mittens and other items to keep people warm, like hats and scarves, and have people decorate the designated tree or fence or whatever with these items that are free to whoever needs them.
Those that need them, can just take them.
Pretty simple huh?
The worse thing about charity is having to ask for it. When there is clearly plenty to go around, and plenty of people willing to share and donate, why not let those who need it just take it? Trust that they need it. What does it matter if in someone else’s opinion they don’t need it enough? What does that even mean? Why do we have to make those that use the food banks and the Christmas hampers defend their position of poor? Why do we have to make them justify how needy they are?
If you’ve got something free for the taking, make it just that. Free for the taking, no scrutiny. No judgement. No justifying your situation. Simply free for the taking.
We first fell in love with “Apples“ featured by Sunny Day Family. Then we fell in love with “Leaves” featured by Playground Parkbench. Next we fell in love with “Owls” featured by Crafty Kids at Home, “Pumpkins” featured by Nemscok Farms, “Fall Décor Ideas” featured by Our Good Life, and “Halloween Ideas” featured by Gardenchick.
All the Cranberry Posts
You can still add your links! This link up is permanently open!