Spring Break in Pictures

Spring has sprung here at Mt Hope! So much to do, and with the lovely weather like we’ve been having, it’s easy to get distracted in the beauty of the day. It has been a full week. Now that the good weather is come, many adventures are sure to be on their way. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures from this week:)

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The third installment of the series I’m revisiting:)

 

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Henrietta in full bloom with her gorgeous pear blossoms

 

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Still working on that blue-striped sweater

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board games, bike rides, cleaning, and visiting with Anne Shirley and her friends in Avonlea have been the entertainment for us girls this week

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The most perfect batch of rolls that I have ever made

    I used the 30-min Roll recipe for the batch above. They were absolutely divine!

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“…Thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over…”

Psalms 23

What did you do this past week?

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How to Read Yarn Labels

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Before you begin in your crocheting, knitting, or general yarn usage endeavors, it is helpful to understand how to read the symbols on yarn packaging.

standards-yarnweight

Many people just find yarn they like and go for it. To their dismay, their projects end up ripped out, too small, knotted up, too large, disproportionate, they shrink in the wash, or they felt up and they hours of intricate detail work becomes matted and fuzzy. To avoid this, read the labels, and follow the gauge on the pattern.

Generally, crafters know that a big thick fuzzy yarn isn’t going to be used in a tiny, intricately delicate doily, conversely, a thin light fingerling yarn wouldn’t be used to make a big, bulky, fluffy stuffed animal.

However, there is a gray area in between the two extremes. Yarn companies understand that every skein is different and that the same general type of yarn has certain qualities which make it favorable for different projects and unsuitable for others.

Below are some links to help you understand the different symbols on the bands.

I hope these links give you a better understanding of how to read your yarn label before we begin our projects together:)

God Bless you!
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”
  ~*~* Proverbs 31:13*~*~

The (not so) Lost Art of Crochet

Crochet: n. a fabric that is created with yarn and a hooked needle.

The origins of crochet are unknown. However, it became very popular in 19th century England. Since then, crochet has become one of the crucial elements of every picturesque ideal of mothers, grandmothers, and homemakers across the European and Western cultures. For many people, “crochet is that thing my grandma does in her rocking chair”. This nostalgic image is instantly heartwarming. Although crochet is often associated with granny, homemade quilts, pies cooling on the counter, and a roaring fire in the fireplace, it has also become very popular with the trendy chic youth. Crochet styles have evolved from necessity, to the afghans and winter wear given as gifts from grandma to intricate dolls to elaborate forms of modern artists around the world.

This year I will be publishing a new series on this blog about the art of crochet. I will cover techniques, tips, ideas, easy projects, and much more. So find a nice H-8 afghan hook and some basic yarn and come back soon for fun tutorials on the not so lost art of crochet!

Contact Paper

Recently I got my own kitchen. 
However, It needs a little TLC before I will feel comfortable stocking it 
and cooking more than simple microwave meals. 
One of the first projects that needed to happen was putting contact paper down in the cupboards. 
The reason I chose contact paper is because it is easy to put down and it provides an easier surface to clean than the exposed surfaces of the wood. It also looks nicer than the plain dingy brown.
 
The first step is to remove the drawers you want to work on

 
Next clear them out and make sure there are no large pieces of debris, rocks, or food

Above show the materials I used to clean the draws. I found bleach works well to get them clean, then after they are dry pine sol is good to condition the surface.

Wipe down the surface and be sure to not leave any grime. 
Thoroughly  clean it and let it dry completely.

The next step is to measure out the contact paper. Every surface is different, so I suggest making the length about an inch longer than you need as it shrinks once it is applied, and it can always be cut.

Peal back the corner of the backing on the contact paper and slowly, carefully remove it.
Center the paper and lay it completely flat on the surface. Make sure to press it down from the center to the edges, to ensure that there are no air bubbles between the paper and the surface. Air bubbles or left over grime will cause it to peal so it is important that the surface is clean and the paper is secure.
To clean, you can use kitchen wipes, surface cleaner, and it is for the most part water tolerant. 
I hope that this short tutorial will help inspire you if you need ideas for improving a kitchen that you can’t afford to renovate. The key to a smoothly running kitchen is clean and organized , not expensive or overly messy. Make sure items you use consistently are located in a practical location and always put away, washed, and in the same place after every use. Remember it’s always easier to do a little work everyday than a lot of work in one sitting. A clean kitchen will also keep everyone in better spirits. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a healthy heart is a happy heart!
May you see God’s blessings today!

The Lost Art of Handsewing/ Embroidery

It feels as though many of the old art forms are starting to become more and more popular as the world becomes more and more gloomy. People are searching for cheap and beautiful methods to pass time and still be productive.
One of these amazing crafts is hand-sewing and embroidery. I posted a snowflake tutorial a while back, so let’s look at some more year-round embroidery ideas.

My favorite technique is called Needle painting. The purpose is to use a variety of stitches to make the image you are portraying seem as real as possible. I still have a long way to go, but I will share my journey as I improve, as well as some helpful hints on techniques.
To start off, here are some of my favorite designs from over the last couple years.

beginning stages of a sunflower. 
This was a fun sampler I found online.
There are so many fantastic resources for patterns and techniques.
If you check out the hand-sewing section of the resources page blog, 
you will see some of my favorite links to instructional and inspirational sites.
I hope this has peaked your interest in hand sewing and embellishment!

Fun With Crayons

A couple of months ago, for a home school lesson my mom was doing with my younger siblings, we made new crayons out of old broken crayons.
If you are anything like my family, after a couple of coloring pages, there always seems to be a broken crayon or two. I thought it would be a tutorial, on how to reuse the broken crayons. This is one way to save a bit of money and can reuse the materials that you’ve already purchased.
Step 1: 
Gather all the broken pieces in the bottom of the crayon bucket.
 Strip them of their wrapping and sort them by color.
 Step 2: 
Preheat the oven to about 200F.
Line a muffin tin (any size we used a standard) with tinfoil. 
Leave enough foil to cover the edges so that the wax doesn’t stick to the pan after you are done, 
and so that you can remove the new crayons once they are cool.
Place the broken crayons in the foil lining.

Step 3:
Place the tin in the oven and keep a close eye on it. 
The timing isn’t always exact. 
Sometimes it can take five minutes sometimes ten, sometimes more.
You just want the wax to be completely melted. 
Don’t let it boil because that will bring about air bubbles.

Step 4:
Once the wax is melted, let it to cool.
Don’t touch the new crayons until it is completely set.
After the wax is solid again, remove the tinfoil.
These new crayons can be used as soon as they are solid. 
 I hope you found this helpful. It is truly a fun project to do with little kids.
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