Sunday, December 20, 2009

Craft Project: Abigail's Sheep

Here is a picture diary of the making of Abigail's Sheep, a present Marcus and I whipped up for our friend's cute little daughter.  It uses raw wool from a friend who owns sheep in upstate NY.  The base is a stuffed old sock , some wire, and some old felted sweater.  Yeah--recycling!  Buttons, some spare ribbon, and a bell we happened to have lying around completed the project.  It was a great deal of fun.  

We also made felted snowmen in this way for presents.  We put a paper Chinet bowl upside down, put a hole in it, put a chopstick through it, then hot glued the chopstick in place.  We then used the chopstick as a way to balance the snowman from the inside out.  You don't even need a sock for this project.  We then covered the bowl with some knitted fluffly scraps I had as swatches when planning out knitting projects, but you can use some old sweater pieces or some felt.  An alternative to the bowl idea is using a circular wooden base.  Hot glue the snowman pieces together and then hot glue them to a circular wooden base. 

Specialty items needed:  raw wool, felting needle, and hot glue gun. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Natural Cleaning Recipe & Green Resource Recommendations

I love making my own gifts for people and I am always looking for new ideas so that people do not get bath salts from me every single year, that is, unless they really really want them. 

One gift I recently gave which met with great approval from the receiver, Sarah, was a tile cleaner from The Naturally Clean Home, 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning, by Karyn Siegel-Maier.  The book has made it possible for Marcus and I to afford to switch to organic, plant-based cleansers for every room.  It explains the purpose of the various ingredients and essential oils, which I find helpful, because I like to play around with recipes.  Although this product is not glamorous, the most important gift evaluation criteria for Sarah is usefulness--so it was a great gift for her.  Of course, I piled it into a pretty container and added a nice gift tag and ribbon, but Sarah's review of this product was outstanding because it cleaned better than other store-bought products she used.     

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poems by the Chinese Concrete Plant Worker Shu Ting (Female)

This entry contains nutrition for the soul; it contains several poems by Shu Ting, a female concrete plant worker. 

Maple Leaf
Here is a heart-shaped leaf
Picked up by a gentle hand...