Recycled Sari Christmas Tree Skirt

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The Inspiration

I know it is not Christmas but I thought I might share a sewing project that I just completed. My inspiration photo for this project was this tree skirt from Anthropologie which is no longer available for purchase. Even if it was available I couldn’t bring myself to fork up $278.00 for this beauty. That is why I decided to take my old tree skirt and make it over. The inspiration fabrics used for this skirt are recycled saris that I purchased off of Ebay at an amazing price. So here is what I did…

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Supplies

  • fabric
  • saris
  • thread
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • old tree skirt
  • pom poms

The Process

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I started out with some beautiful Sari fabric that I bought off of Ebay.

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I used this tree skirt as a the base onto which I sewed my fabric.

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I cut a large piece off fabric, pinned it down and used a embroidery stitch on my machine to sew the fabric to the base.

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After all my fabric pieces were added.

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At the end, I decided I to add some pom poms for embellishment.

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Just a few close-ups

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Beauty From Pain: A Grief Journal

 The Journey

I mentioned before that I dealt with a miscarriage within the last 2 years. You can read about my journey through grief and art journaling in the Summer 2016 issue of Stampington and CO Art Journaling. Here is my journal in it’s entirety with the exception of one graphic picture of my baby.

I hope this can be an encouragement to you. Art can help with the healing process but I have found in my life that the only one that can completely heal is Jesus Christ. My heart still hurts but each day the pain becomes a bit more dull.

I would enjoy seeing or hearing about how art has helped you in time of grief. Feel free to email me.

The Album

I made this album using manila mailing envelopes. Pieces of cardstock were cut to the length of the spine. They were folded in half and attached to the envelopes in  accordion style. A pretty simple technique and it allows for all the pages to open completely.

Warning: Picture Heavy

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My Trader Joe’s Style Sauerkraut: Recipe and Some Fermentation Tips

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Left- My Sauerkraut   Right- Trader Joe’s

The Comparison

Well, my sauerkraut is finally done and it didn’t take me quite as long as I thought it would. I estimated it would take about 4-6 weeks on the counter but I tasted it at 3 weeks and I am happy with the outcome. I compared the taste of the two different sauerkrauts and mine is not as crisp as the Trader Joe’s but it has a very nice flavor. I could definitely taste the garlic and I loved the addition of the cucumbers.

I think next time I may omit the pounding of the cabbage and just allow it to sit and macerate. This in turn will keep the cabbage leaves crisper.

The Ingredients

The How To…

  1. Wash outer leaves of cabbage and discard spotted leaves. Slice cabbage thinly. Toss cabbage with 1 tsp of salt and set aside (about 30minutes) to allow juices time to drain.
  2. Slice cucumbers thinly and peel garlic cloves.
  3. After 3o minutes – 1 hour, toss the cabbage again until you have extracted enough liquid from the cabbage. Some sources say this step could take anywhere from 1-3 days to create enough liquid. Just cover, and toss every now and then.
  4. Next, I started layering my ingredients in the jars, packing in between layers to compress mixture and extract more liquid.
  5. Once the jar was filled 2 inches from the very top I pounded once more to make sure there was enough liquid to cover the ingredients.
  6. Place a weight to keep food submerged. Any food exposed to air increases the risk for mold.
  7. Cover and set on the counter for a minimum of 3-4 weeks. (to keep the good bacteria breeding, it needs to be kept out of the fridge until all the stages of fermentation have been completed)

A Few Tips

I am sure some people have different tips that have worked for them during fermentaion but here are a few I have found from my reading and small amount of experience.

  • Use fresh ingredients
  • Make sure you have the right amount of salt
  • Keep all food and floaties below the water line. Use a weight even if you don’t have a ‘fermentation weight’.Be creative (google fermentation weights)
  • Don’t use tap water as the chemicals can interfere with fermentation
  • Keep it covered and don’t touch it
  • Wait patiently

The Vintage Circus: Altered Book Part 1

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The Vintage Circus Cover

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The Inspiration

I have always loved the circus and of course anything vintage so this was a very fun project for me. It  was a great place to explore background texture and bright colors. It all started with a circus kit that I won, full of lovely papers, stickers and images. From there I decided to make an altered book around the theme. I still have more pages to show so be looking for Part 2.

Book Review: Medicinal Herbs

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The Beginning Gardener

This past year was my first time cultivating a garden on our new homestead. I started off small, unsure of how the plants would handle the soil. Also, I was less than confident in my skills as a gardener. My husband likes to call me  “The Plant Hospice.” Back when we lived in New York I had a garden for three years before ‘throwing in the towel.’ My tomatoes caught the blight, my green beans were plundered by bunnies and  my cucumbers seemed to have a insatiable thirsts.

My recent discovery of natural and herbal medicine has set me on the path to growing my own herbs for teas, medicine and cooking. After buying dried herbs for several years I  know I can grow and dry them cheaper. The enjoyment I have received from performing the process from start to finish is also a reason I wish to continue perfecting my brown thumb.

The Review…

Medicinal Herbs By Rosemary Gladstar is a fabulous book not only for the beginning medicine maker but the beginning gardener. Rosemary covers the basics of herb gardening and medicine making techniques such as tinctures, salves, poultices and syrups. Each herb she features has several easy recipes whether for medicinal purposes, food consumption or beauty treatments. While the step by steps have enough details for the beginner I would have proffered to see a few picture tutorials. Overall, this was a easy read full of helpful information. I always find myself reaching for this book despite my large collection of herbal medicine making books.

A few of my favorite makes from this book were pickled garlic (great natural antibiotic), mullien flower ear oil (for ear infections) and Rosemary’s Famous Face Cream (the only face cream I use).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me + You = Crabby: Altered Box and Pinterest Picks

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The Box

I used a recycled box that previously held a collection of small baby books. PA Hot Pick stamps embellish the lid along with lots of texture. You can see the whole process on the PaperArtsy Blog at Part 1 and Part 2.

Pinterest Picks

I thought I would share a few inspirational boxes. Links to the original artwork are below the photo.

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Jack & Cat Curio for Ice Resin

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Linda Cain Designs

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Stephanie Rubiano

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Kindred Chemistry by Rod Lathim

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Old Curiosity Shop By Melanie Forbes

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Time Travelers Apothecary Kit By Azirca

Healing Bone Broth Recipe

The Gut Healer

A lot sources I have read recommend bone broth to heal the damaged lining of the gut which occurs in many autoimmune disorders. I have mentioned before that I suffer from autoimmune hypothyroid disease called Hashimoto’s. Bone broth, made from the bones of chicken helps to seal the gut and aid in proper digestion thanks to essential amino acids, minerals and  gelatin found in chicken bones. The gelatin acts like a thickening agent and attracts liquids and digestive juices  and holds them in place to ‘seal’ the gut. Cool, huh? I have been incorporating this broth into my weekly regime of healing foods. It is easy to make and has enormous health benefits including immune boosting properties. I hope that you will give it a try.

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My Bone Broth Recipe

  • Chicken Bones from a whole chicken
  • 8 cups of filtered water
  • 1 piece Astragalus Root (immune boosting; aids in lung and heart function)
  • half of onion
  • a few baby carrots (or whatever MILD flavored veggies you have on hand)

 

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Veggies and Astragalus Root

Combine all ingredients in crockpot on low 6 hours or over night. Mash chicken bones with masher and allow broth to cool to room temperature. Strain solids using an old clean t-shirt or fine mesh strainer. Squeeze to extract all the liquid. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Ready to Cook: Veggies, Chicken Bones and Water

I make bone broth every week. On Sunday’s  I roast a whole chicken for dinner while we are at church.After we eat, I throw the bones in the crockpot with the remaining ingredients.

Ideas for Cooking with Bone Broth

  • Use it in recipes as a substitute for chicken or beef broth (I use it in Shepard’s Pie, Beef Stew and Rice Pilaf)
  • Make soup with it (I use it as the base for Spinach Egg Drop Soup YUM!!!)
  • Drink it in a mug
  • Don’t forget to drink the film / skin on top. It is full of nutrients.

 

Butterflies and Swirls

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Netflix and Blogging

My little’s are all in bed sleeping soundly while I sit here on the couch blogging and watching Netflix. We live in the mountains so there is not a lot of choices for TV. In fact, to get any channels at all we have to have basic cable. We are literally in the middle of nowhere! Since hubby and I are trying to become Debt Free via Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, we don’t have any money to waste on cable packages. Netflix is cheap and there are no commercials! Right now we are in the middle of watching the TV series Arrow and Hawaii Five-O. We are also waiting for the new seasons of Reign, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Leverage and Once Upon a Time. What TV series are you watching?

Altered Photo Frame

I didn’t place a photo in this frame box but I had a lot of fun decorating it. Beautiful stamps, watercolors and texture paste made this a fun make. My step-by-step tutorial is here.Thank for having a look.

Kate

Textured Bloom: Mixed Media Card & Some Current Reads

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The Card

I am not a card maker but to date this is one of my favorite. I made this for Paper Artsy and you can find the step-by-step process HERE.

Current Reads

Here are a few books that I am currently reading.

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Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It is so relevant as everyone has a boundary issue somewhere or with someone in their life. I would highly recommend this book if you have children or problems with friends or family members taking advantage of you.

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Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart. This book is for creative moms that are having to put their creative endeavors aside for a season while raising a family or while dealing with other time consuming issues.

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The Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Krum and Alex LaGory.  I have enjoyed flipping through this book until I have the time to dedicate to reading.

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It’s Mayhem!

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Vintage Circus Altered Book

I just loved the idea of doing a Altered book centered around the Vintage Circus Theme. My very first layout in the book was this one, created for PaperArtsy, using Lynne Perrella stamps. Her images have the perfect amount of vintage and quirky to fit with this theme. Have you ever seen the circus scene in the Phantom of the Opera movie? It is all color, sparkle, and mystery. Everything I envisioned the vintage circus to be. I had so much fun creating this altered book that I  sent it in for publication and was published in the 2016 Summer Issue of Art Journaling by Stampington and Co.

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My step by step tutorial for the creation of this layout can be found here. I will be sharing the rest of this altered book in future posts so be looking for that if you enjoyed this post.

Feedback

I enjoyed all of your feedback from the recent poll that I posted. In case you didn’t notice, I have started to implement those ideas into my weekly blog schedule. I am having fun writing about other topics that interest me. Someone asked why I didn’t include mixed media and scrapbooking on my poll. To answer that, I will continue to include those types of projects as that was the initial inspiration for starting my blog.

Kate

Recent Knitting Makes

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Knit Cable Stocking

I have been attempting to make knit stockings for my family for the last 4 years. In all that time I started one, messed up one and completed one, all from two different patterns. My husband has a crochet stocking from when he was little but they are sporting the traditional Christmas colors, which I can not bring myself to display in my house. I detest red and green together at Christmas. My husband will not let me get rid of the stocking because it stretches and you can fit a TON of loot inside. To remedy this I will have to replace it with something else that stretches. He is requesting a knit camouflage stocking…

This stocking was just made for my oldest son. I finished another one in opposite colors (green sock, blue cuff and pom poms) for my youngest son Christmas Eve. Just in the nick of time! That is 3 down and 2 to go. Lets hope a year is enough time to complete the other two.

You can find the free pattern for this stocking HERE.

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Harbor Knit Baby Blanket

I made this for my sweet baby girl because I wanted her to have something handmade by me. I spent so much time before she was born making blankets for all my friend’s babies that I barely had the time and energy left to make something for my own.

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I really love to cable when I knit. It is relatively easy but the outcome appears complex. This blanket is made using a scarf pattern. I obviously wanted to make it wider since I was making a blanket and not a scarf so I added on more stitches. Because it was my first time modifying a pattern, I didn’t account for the cables and I came up quite short. To remedy that I added on two panels the width of the scarf, one on each side, and I took off the border closest to the inside edge. I am very pleased with the result.  It is the perfect size for a crib blanket and it is a great weight for the summer air conditioning and the chilly winter nights.

You can find the free pattern HERE.

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Cabled Cradle Spread

Another of my favorite patterns using a cable. A cradle throw is the PERFECT size for a newborn. I have used this for my daughter’s entire first year. I love having it around while nursing her or just throwing over her for short naps or a trip into the cold air. As you can see this blanket has seen a lot of love.

I have been unable to get on the blog where I found this pattern but I will link to it anyway to give credit.  You can find it HERE.

What are you knitting? I would love to see some projects, links etc.. I am always looking for ideas to add to my “Wishlist to Make.”

Book Review: The New Bohemians

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Bring Boho Style to Your Home

I have had this book on my Amazon wish list for several years. This Christmas I got smart and moved the priority of this book to high. My hubby always gets me gifts based on how I prioritize them. Global decor specifically centering around Asian, Moroccan and Indian elements has been a interest of mine for a while so this book appeared to be right up my alley based on the cover picture and description.

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The  Beautiful Back Cover

 The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes By Justina Blakeney is a book about Bohemian decor, which includes a lot of bold color, texture, and patterns (do you see why I like this?) with natural elements such as house plants, wood accents and natural fibers. I Loved the amount of photos included and that many of them were a full page. The author takes several inspirational living spaces, interviews the decorator/home owner and zeros in on details about the space. She chooses 5-7 elements from each space and wraps up the section by giving the reader ideas on incorporating them into their space. There are even a handful of DIY projects with photographs and written directions.

 I was so pleased with this book that I walked away from it teeming with new ideas. If you like Bohemian decor or inspirational decorating books this one is for you!

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My Man Loves Flowers

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Fun Facts about Me

Ok. So I thought I would let you know a few things about me so you can get to know me better. I always love when the writer reveals information about themselves as it seems a bit more personal. Here goes…

  • I love Vanilla Custard Gerber Baby Food (I know, some of you are grossed out right about now)
  • I tap my teeth when I am nervous
  • Jane Austin is one of my favorite authors
  • My favorite color is purple, turquoise come in as a close second
  • I have a thing for Egyptian history, culture and art
  • I HATE being pregnant but I LOVE having babies
  • I dislike going to the beach for vacation (I end up looking like a lobster, broiled and baked)
  • I am a very cautious spender
  • I am not a risk taker

Art Journal Cover

I love taking dollar finds and turning them into a piece of art. My art journal cover was one of those things from the dollar bin. Using stamps and paint from PaperArtsy I made an fun journal cover that inspires me to house some new art journal pages. My step-by-step tutorial is here. Please stop by and take a look.

Kate

 

Fermented Saurkraut: Trader Joe’s Style

 

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My Version of Trader Joe’s Sauerkraut and Blueberry Kombucha

Sauerkraut and Kombucha

I don’t know if any of you are sauerkraut fans but this kind sold by Trader Joe’s is AMAZING! I can’t seem to get enough of it but for 5 dollars a container it will break my bank. My problem is I can’t stop at one teaspoon. I could literally eat the whole container in one sitting. So, I am making my own version and crossing my finger that this works. Aside from making Kombucha (fermented tea) every week, this will be my first ferment.

  If you have never made Kombucha or tried it, RUN to the store and get some. It has a  wonderful tart/ sweet flavor with fizzy soda-like qualities. Totally addicting and here is the kicker…it’s healthy! My husband and kids (okay, only one kid) love it. But seriously, it is a miracle that my husband is on board. He goes through a few boxes of movie theater candy a week. That is anywhere from 100-150 boxes of candy a year! He has a major sweet tooth!!

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DAY 3: Look at those bubbles!! Bubbles equal fermentation.

Probiotics and Gut Health

  My Dr. has recommended I ‘eat’ my Probiotics instead of supplementing them. Fermented foods are an amazing way to build good gut health and fill your gut with healthy bacteria. Those healthy bacteria get bred during the process of fermentation. Not only do they aid in digestion, those little buggers also help build immunity. By eating only a tablespoon each of different strains of probiotics per day, I can  protect myself the same way, if not better, as if I was taking a store bought probiotic supplement.

My Probiotic Journey

I have autoimmune hypothyroid disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.I have battled with years of stomach and gastrointestinal problems (IBS), among a few other issues. I am a registered nurse and have seen the way pharmaceuticals have wreaked havoc on the health of our current society. I am convinced that going back to the old-fashioned way of preparing food and treating minor illnesses could alleviate obesity, many autoimmune disorders as well as the overuse of antibiotics that we are now experiencing. My personal goal is to lower my antibodies to where I can become drug-free and restore my gut health. I intend to share my journey with you and hopefully at the same time encourage you to implement some of these amazing foods into your daily lifestyle.

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DAY 2: Homemade Sauerkraut: Cabbage, Garlic and Cucumbers

 

 

 

 

Lynne Perrella Tag

 

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Just Chit Chat…

I forgot how much I missed blogging. Football season is the perfect excuse to hop on the computer while hubby is busy. I don’t much prefer football so I find it the best time for crafting or catching up on other things.

This week I am focusing on making personal lists. Since I am all about lists I am working on creating a bunch of ‘TO DO’ lists for my art goals. I love the new year because it gives me the chance to start over on all those uncompleted projects. Of course that means I am a year older this time around but that can’t be helped.

The Tag

So, on to the project. Lynne Perrella is one of my favorite stamp artists. She never disappoints when it comes to her new releases over at PA. I made this tag for PaperArtsy using a beautiful Lynne Perrella stamp and a few other goodies from PA. I have a step by step Tutorial over on the PA blog.

If you didn’t answer my topic poll. I would love to hear your opinion. It is in my last post. Take a sec to fill it out so I can start implementing a few more interesting topics into my posts.

Kate