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I am a work from home, home schooling Mom who loves her Kids...yep, I think my kids are great. You will find me: Knitting, cross stitch, embroidery and working with felt are things I enjoy for fun. I also love to decorate and find deep satisfaction in decorating my home with great finds and my handmade items.  Gardening is one of my great loves, it like decorating outside!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Silet Saturday and Sunday

Sweet Bother and Sister Cuddles...shhh...don't tell them I posted this...they would deny it anyway.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Knitted Cat Pattern

The Cinnamon Witches Cat
Finger Yarn in black and Yellow, four size 0 double pointed needles, One darning needle, one size 4 crochet needle wool stuffing.

Cast on 2 stitches

Working in I-cord: 
Increase 1 in each stitch (you will have 4 stitches)
Next row: Increase 1 in each stitch (you will have 8 stitches)

Devide on 3 needles
Round 1: Increase 1 in every other stitch (you should have 12 stitches)
Round 2: Increase 1 in every other stitch (you should have 18 stitches)
Round 3: Increase 1 in every other stitch (you should have 27 stitches)
Round 4: Pearl
Round 5 - 18: Knit
Round 19: K1, K2 tog *K2, K2tog* repeat, K2
Round 20: K2 tog in every other stitch to end (you should have 24 stitches)
Round 21: K2 tog in every other stitch to end(you should have 36 stitches)
Round 22-25: Knit
Round 26: K2 tog in every other stitch to end (you should have 24 stitches)
Round 27: Knit
Round 28: K2 tog in every other stitch to end (you should have 16 stitches)

Add stuffing to body and head of the cat, enough to make it firm but not over stuffed

Round 29: K2tog in every stitch (you should have 8 stitches)
Round 30: Cast off and break yarn leaving an extra long tail

Sew closed then crochet 3 chains then crochet back towards head picking up the first 3 chains and then pick one up on the head next to ear.  Do this to both sides.  (you should be able to string your long tail through the top so you don't have to cut and re-attach for other ear) Knot off the last ear but don't cut.  Draw the yarn down through the head and wrap around the neck drawing it tight and knotting it off.

Pick up three stitches at the base with double pointed needles (this will be the tail) 

Knit one row

Work in I cord for about 1/2 inch or until a pleasing length has been met. Sew in yarn ends.

Make French knots for eyes in the yellow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sugarless Blueberry (Berry) Pie

This is a very simple recipe.  If you use other berries besides blueberries you will have to add 1/4 cup agave nectar as I did hear.

2 Pints fresh or frozen blueberries
11 oz can of undiluted apple juice concentrate
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Juice of one lemon or 1 Tablespoon
2 pie shells (uncooked)

Heat apple juice until boiling.  Add arrowroot to a small amount of the juice to make a syrup and add to boiling apple juice.  Stir constantly until very very thick or your pie will be runny.  Add lemon juice, fold in blueberries (berries) and put into a pie shell.  Top with the other pie shell and slit crust.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

Come, Vesta, to live in this Beautiful Home,
Come with warm feelings of friendship.
Bring your intelligence,
Your energy and your Passion
To join with your Good Work.
Burn always in my Soul.
You are welcome here.
I remember you.
                                                  -Homeric Hymn

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apple Jelly

This is a simple recipe...Just look inside the Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin Box.  
I use a mix of green and red apples it gives it a nice taste and a pink like color.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Knitted Owl Pattern

 The Three Little Hoots

Material: 3 Size 4 double pointed needles, brown yarn. Yellow, white and orange  wool felt, card board, black and yellow floss. Wool fleece for stuffing.  All stitches are Knitted.
                                               BABY HOOT (MAMA HOOT, DADDY HOOT):
Cast on 2 stitches (3,4)
Working in I-cord:
Row 1: Increase one in each stitch (you will have 4 stitches)
            (Mama Hoot will have 6, Daddy Hoot will have 8.On both                     Mama and Daddy skip to dividing onto needles)
Row 2: Increase one in each stitch (you will have 8 stitches)
Divide onto 3 needles
Round (Row) 3: Increase one stitch on the first stitch so each needle will have 3 stitches each knit the remaining stitches in this round.   (Mama Increase into every stitch you will have  12 stitches. Daddy  Increase into every stitch you will have 16 stitches)
Round (Row) 4-13: Knit (Mama knit 14 more rows, Daddy knit 17 more rows).
Cast off .
Stuff with wool fleece, you will have a little flap on the end do not tuck this end it will be the owls horn. 
Sew close, then use a crochet hook and make another ear on the other side and tuck in the tail of the yarn.

Cut the white felt into eyes and attach with yellow floss then add a black french knot in the center of the eye (see photo)

Beak: Cut out a triangle and secure it under the center of the eyes.

Cut out cardboard into a foot pattern (see photo)  Cut the yellow wool felt in the same shape as the foot but a little larger (make two of these).  I just put my owls bottom down on the cardboard and traced around his body to get the size and then turned it into a bell shape with a notch.  Sandwich the cardboard in between the yellow wool felt and use the brown floss to sew closed (I use the blanket stitch) Then sew the owl onto the feet)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hawthorn Berry Herbal Tincture

Do you have a Hawthorn Berry Tree?  If you do you have one of the if not the best herbal heart remedies.  Hawthorn Berry or Haw Berry is known for its heart and circulatory system rejuvinators.  It increases coronary blood flow and decreases blood pressure.  It is also an antioxidant and I have heard that it is also good for diabetics. So don't curse those long spiky thorns but praise its beautiful fruit.  The fruit is small and has several hard seeds, so if you eat them straight off the tree be careful don't bite too hard.  The fruit  has a very mild sweet flavor.
Picking the Berries
 First you will want to attract some good help, the best way to do that is stand on a ladder with a floppy hat singing while you pick the berries...pop a berry in your mouth every now and then for good measure.  Soon you will attract a smallish person in a watermelon dress. Keep making joyful noises you don't want to scare the little helper off.  Soon they will ask what you are doing and can they eat this point you've got them ...invite them to pick one or two. 
Before you know it you are sitting on the grass sipping tea while the smallish person cant believe her be on the ladder getting the best berries while donning a pair of sun glasses...Life is good!
Once the bag is'll have to finish the job...because big brother attracted her away by climbing the cedar and shouting "Neat-O"
Prepping The Berries
Really, this is very easy.  Just find a nice shady spot and take your tea.  The berries have tiny stems and you don't want to have to pick each little stems off.  So get a hand-full and roll them gently in your palms.  The twigs will come off and lay in the bottom of you hand then you can gently roll the berries off of your hand and into the bowl.  Lots of giggling and turning it into a game will attract the little person again.
Before you know it the bowl is full and the little person is playing with the berries.

 Great Job!  What a big helper I have and so cute and sweet too.
Making the Tincture
Easier still is making the tincture.  After you have washed the berries toss them in a blender or food processor until they are slightly crushed. 
Place the crushed berries (seeds and all) into jars with tight fitting lids, leaving 1-2 inches head space.  I use canning jars with canning lids and rings. 
Top off jar with 80 - 100 proof vodka, gin or brandy.  Make sure the berries are submersed. (For those of you who prefer not to use alcohol you can use vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar.  It wont make as strong tincture but it will work.)  Place the jar in a warm location and let it macerate (soak) for four to six weeks the longer the better. Shake your jars daily during the maceration period. As you can see these are very eye catching and the colors are just right for fall.  So I let them steep on the counter and decorate the kitchen all at the same time.
Once they have soaked for a long time strain the berries using a stainless-steel strainer, reserve the liquid and compost the berries.  Store out of the reach of children in a cool, dark location.  The tincture will keep indefinitely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. 
                                                                                           - Nikos Kazantzakis

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spiced Cider Apple Butter

Spiced Apple and Cider butter
5 1/2 cups cider (the close to vinegar it is the better)
1/2 pounds apples use a variety for better taste and texture
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Sugar (measurements to follow)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
pinch of clove

Peel, core and slice and dice your apples the smaller you cut them the better they will cook down.  Zest and juice your lemons. 

In a large pot boil the cider vigorously for 15 minutes until reduced by half.  Add the apples, zest and juice cook for 30-40 minutes until its mushy.  Make sure you mash the apples and stir frequently so you can break up the pieces. 
Pour this into your food processor (you may need to do this in several batches) and pulse till smooth.
Measuring into a pan:
3/4 cups sugar for every 1 1/2 cups of pured apples.  Then add your cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir over a warm heat until sugar is dissolved.  Then boil it gently for  40-50 minutes or until it gets very thick like sour cream. 

Spoon into warm jars cover and seal.

Let it rest for a few days before serving.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Silet Saturday and Sunday

The kids and I are going on a big "Adopted" family sleep over...The people who  adopted us are having a family sleep over for the Grandfathers birthday and we are going to make Brunswick stew!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions...
And there never seems to be any end to them- that's the best of it.  
Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still.  
It does make life so interesting.
                                                                                                        -Ann Shirley (L.M. Montgomery)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Making a Garland

Isn't this adorable?  I saw this on another blog...I wish I could remember who's.  But it was so sweet and fun.
Like her though I didn't use wool felt I use the cheapo felt since it use so much and would be stored away most of the time anyway. 
To make it you just cut out leaf and acorns, sew it into a bias tape strip and ta-da you are done.  We hung it in our class room...I promise to have photos of that soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Pattern

Squashed Pumpkin Pattern
This was really fun to make and fast.  It is a gathered style pattern that makes ridges all on its own as long as you don't over-stuff it.

Using double pointed needles: I use five size 4

Cast on 4 stitches

Work in I-Cord technique increasing in each stitch. You should have 8 stitches.

Divide these up between four needles
Knit all Rows

Increase in each stitch.  You should have 16 stitches.

Continue increasing until you have 64 stitches, 16 per needle.

Knit 4 rows

Next row increase in every other stitch.  You should have 96 stitches, 24 per needle.

Knit 12 rows.

In the next row Knit 4 Knit 2 stitches together to end of row.  You should have 80 stitches, 20 per needle.

Knit 1 row.

Knit 3 Knit 2 stitches together to end of row.  You should have 64 stitches, 16 per needle.

Knit 1 row.

Knit 2 Knit 2 stitches together to end of row.  You should have 48 stitches, 12 per needle.

It should start looking round

Knit 1 Knit 2 together to the end.  You should have 32 stitches, 8 per needle.

Knit 1 row.

At this point you should start stuffing your pumpkin.  Loosen the stuffing up into long strips and crisscross two pieces and stuff into pumpkin with tails hanging out.  Doing it this way will keep it from being lumpy.  Do not over-stuff or you wont get the gathered ridge look.
Knit 2 together to the end of row.  You should have 16 stitches left, 4 per needle.

Knit 2 rows.

Next row Knit 2 together to the end of row.  You should have 8 stitches left, 2 per needle.

At this point switch to using three needles.  You will have 3 stitches on two needles and 2 stitches on one.
Cut orange thread leaving a long tail.

Add brown for stem and knit 1 round.

Knit 2 together to end of row. You will have 4 stitches left.

Place all these on one needle and work in I-Cord technique for 5 rows.

Bind off and sew in brown thread.

With orange thread sew through the center of the pumpkin pulling it to squash the pumpkin.  Holding the pumpkin tight push the needle back through to secure.  Depending on where you put the needle back in, will give you different shaped pumpkin. So no two are alike.  tie of yarn and cut.

  The darker photo shows the ridges better so I thought I would include it. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Natural Flu Shot

I once got a flu shot...and I got the flu three days later...was in bed for a week.  NEVER AGAIN!  And Never for my children.  So how do I arm myself and my family...besides utter seclusion?  Garlic and Nettle along with a variety of other things.

First we take a multiple broad spectrum vitamin...they are packed with flu fighting elements.  We also take extra zinc.  Then I make my Ice Tea.

Forrest Well Being Tea

1 Gallon Water
3 T black teak (or equivalent tea)
1 T Nettle
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
4 T Lemon

I make my tea in a coffee pot.  Adding tea and herb.   And once brewed I add the agave, Maple syrup and Lemon.
The Agave Nectar is for sweetness you can adjust it to suit your family.  And you can adjust the honey and lemon as well.

Black Tea is well know for its properties and a free-radical fighter.
Nettle  Is a superior herb, it is a vitamin factory, an all around well being herb that is excellent for allergies and hay fever. 
Lemon balances the body,  it alters the acidic system into an alkaline system especially when it is combined with maple syrup.

OK Moving onto Salad Dressing

Braggs has a wonderful salad dressing on the side of their Apple Cider Vinegar bottle.  But I add a little more and a better garlic ingredient.

1/2 cup braggs apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 t bragg liquid amino's
2 t honey
2 t Agave nectar (for taste)
2 t Kyolic aged garlic extract
1t spike
2 t kelp

Add this to your favorite tossed salad.  There are various greens, veggies and fruit that will add to you and your family's well being that you can turn into a salad, I like to put my kids in charge of this.  They get to choose what go's in and then make it. 
And I do believe most of you know about the goodness of garlic, vinegar, amino's and kelp. 

Also, if you see someone getting ill don't wait!  Give them a glass of tea, peal a piece of garlic and rub it on the feet.  Yes you heard me right.  Garlic is excellent for knocking things out of the system.  The feet can absorb something in less than five minutes!  So you may want to be careful what go's on those tootsies.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

I've always believed that one woman's success 
can only help another woman's success.
                                        -Gloria Vanderbilt

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marmalade Recipe

Well I just had a request for Marmalade and I thought I had already obliged the dear lady.  But as I looked back on my blog I realized that I shared all these lovely photos and musings but no recipe!  So hear I am feeling like a heel...but even in my goof...I am joyous to be revisiting one of the most delicious marmalade's I have ever had.   So without further ado.........                                                                                  

Marmalade and Tangerine Ratafia

2 Pounds of Tangerines
Juice of two Lemons
7 cups of sugar

Squeeze out the juice from the tangerine's (save the seeds). scrape the membranes from tangerine's but DO NOT THROW OUT.  Take the membrane and seeds and tie them in a cheesecloth bag. Cut the peel into very thin strips.
Put the tangerine strips, lemon juice and tangerine juice into a big pot. Add 7 1/2 cups of water.  Tie the cheesecloth bag to the handle so it will suspend in the mixture.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the peel is tender and the mixture has reduced by half.  (your house should smell heavenly)
Reduce the heat to low and scoop out the cheesecloth bag and press the bag firmly against the side of the pot with a slotted spoon so the juices flow back into the pan.  Discard the bag.
Add the sugar (prewarm it if you like) Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Raise the heat and boil vigorously for about 15minutes or until setting point is reached (see note at bottom for testing for setting point) Remove from the heat.  Skim the scum from the surface.  Let stand for 10 minutes, stir, and ladle into jars.  Cover seal and leave to stand overnight.  Store in a cool dark dry place.

Warming sugar:  Sugar will dissolve more quickly and completely if it is warmed.  Put sugar in a heat proof bowl and put in an oven preheated to the lowest setting for about 20 minutes or until the sugar is warm, not hot.