Category Archives: How-To

Yarnimania

I read a tutorial on dying yarn with a crockpot and kool-aid and thought “Well, why not?” So I skipped down to the village store, bought a packet of each flavor and spun up two spindles worth of yarn. I soaked the yarn as soon as I was done spinning it and then followed the directions in the tutorial. About an hour later I had a ton of yarn pretty bright orange and salmon yarn that smelled like hot juice. I wanted to make a yarn that went from yellow, to orange, to red then to blue and back through the colors again. Turns out the kool-aid in the blue pouch is NOT blue. No, it’s also red. The same red as the stuff in the red pouch. SNAP. I was hoping to work some purples and greens in with that blue pouch and instead I have something crossed between sherbert and construction site.

But, now it’s been two days and I’m getting over the initial peevishness. The colors are starting to grow on me, to the point where I’m even starting to think of some projects I can work it in to. Next time, it’s blue all the way baby. If I can find a wrapper that doesn’t lie, lie, LIE.

Oh, and it was a great tutorial, so if you’re interested in spending the minimum amount of time and money dying something, this is definitely the way to go.

Mason Bees

I’ve wanted to keep bees since I took a beekeeping class at Evergreen last year. The proble, however, is that bee hives take a while to get going, are large, and I want to be around for a few years when I do it so that they have time to really get established. That’s for honey bees though.

I’ve been hearing rumblings about mason bees for a while and I decided to do some research. Mason bees are solitary little creatures. The female lays her eggs in existing wood holes and pollinates your garden. Apparently two or three mason bees can pollinate the equivalent of a mature apple tree each spring. Neither male or female bee is able to sting. While they don’t make honey they do pollinate your garden. Plus mason bee houses are super easy to build. All you have to do is find a thick block of untreated wood (between 4-6 inches) and drill 5/16″ holes as far into the wood as you can without drilling through the other side. Space the holes 3/4″ apart. Block should be erected in early spring and placed at least three feet above the ground.
Position block to face southeast, allowing it to get morning sun. That’s the basic house.
I found this sweet one over at Free Range Living where there’s a great explanation about mites and how to clean out your bee house. You can buy all manner of mason bee houses if you don’t want to spend time constructing one yourself.
mason_bee_house

This has a very sweet exterior… I can’t figure out how they deconstructed it to get to the insides (see below photo). I would LOVE to have a little bee house like this! It looks really easy to clean out and take care of (plus it’s home to leaf cutter bees as well!).trays

It might be a little too late to start this for this year, but it might not be. My garden is just starting to bloom so maybe some mason bees would move into my house if I made one this week. Maybe not. It’s on my list!

Chachachachanges!

blogWow, more changes! Subtle, but they’re there. A shop tab has been added. It shows everything I have up in the etsy shop and yes! You can totally buy them! More recently, I’ve added an “About” page right next to ye olde shoppe. You can read a little about m’self there. Take advantage of the new changes, explore a little, do whatever it is you do on this blog. Etc.

Handmade Wonderful

The purlbee is featuring one of Mimi Kirchner’s felt doll patterns on their site… for free! I’ve loved her tattoo man-doll forever and now I can make one of her pretty ladies… for free!? Can you tell that I think this is insanely awesome!? You can download the pattern too, plus everything is handsewn so no need for you to have one of them fancy ma-chines to do the sewing for you.

The way she is constructed is lovely and simple… now I just have to get my hands on felt for her.

In other DIY/Handmade news, I found this Altoids tin candle tutorial that I think I might have a go at, over at Design Sponge. I like those tins so much but I’ve only ever been able to brainstorm up a collage to put in one. Candles are much better, I think. Plus this means that they’re portable… portable romance! Or Christmas. But that’s not as interesting.Go over and check out the tutorial. It’s fairly simple and straightforward… I think the most complicated part might be making the fancy paper cover for the tin, but I’ve leave it as it is, skip all the fuss.

I'm Invincible!

I found this site that has 50 ways to fix/get rid of things like smells. Just throwing that example out there. Anywho, here are some in case you’re too lazy or not curious enough to visit the site yourself. Silly dogs.

Time to go use some home remedies!

11. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

13. If you aren’t sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.

16. Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.

37. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

49. A cotton ball soaked in white vinegar and applied to a fresh bruise will reduce the darkness of the bruise and help it disappear sooner.