Woolpets Needle Felting Kit Review

A few years back I picked up needle felting as a hobby, and the boys had been bugging me for a year to teach them. I decided they were old enough to not put the needles into their hands/fingers on accident, so we had fun learning how to do a Woolpets kit together.

I had found the kit at a yarn shop, near our old home, and it got packed up for the move. The boys were helping me get the sewing machine set up and Alistaire found the box.

The pumpkin was a breeze to make, the squirrel…well, I am sure with a few more I could be a pro. Still fun though! It was my first 3D one, where I had to attach arms, feet, tail and head, so there was a huge learning curve. We had lots of roving over so Alistaire made a “wrapped gift” with some of it.

Cute kits, and yes, they come with everything you need to do it: a pad, needles, roving and anything else needed (except for a a sewing needle, if needed).

~Sarah

Celebrating The Winter Solstice

This year, in 2017, the Winter Solstice will happen December 21st, a Thursday, at 8:28 am in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Solstice has always been a comfort to me, even as a child. I was raised in a cult, and we were forbidden from celebrating Christmas, so as a child, without knowing what the Solstice was, I gravitated to it. No one took that from me. Sometimes it even snowed, making it so much more special.

The days return to getting longer, and suddenly all I can think about is planning for the next year. It’s grounded me to our homesteading, it forces you to pay attention to the Earth, even when lights provide warmth that is artificial. When you consider it, most of us don’t notice the changes on a daily basis. Especially if you get up in the dark and travel to work before the sun rises, and come home in the dark. It begs one to go outside during the day, even for a few minutes, if one can. Over the past few weeks I have tried to mindful, watching as the days shorten.

There is so much to celebrate:

  • The longest night of the year
  • The sun coming back
  • A feast to be had before the cold winter sets in
  • To be with loved ones
  • A fire to keep the long night away
  • Curled up in warmth of light, reading, talking, eating
  • Dreaming of the coming seasons, planning gardens

Unlike the commercialism of Christmas, when we recognize the Solstice, gifts of light are the choice for presents. Light your path for the coming year. Most years I make fancy candles to give out, but this year I picked up a winter theme beeswax candle kit for the boys to play with. It wasn’t Prime, but Hearthsong promptly shipped it out.

I had forgotten how fun it is to roll up the candles. It’s simple, and even little hands can join in.

And Thursday the boys will get to light them while we have a roaring fire!

Update:

And oh did we love them!

The boys decorated a table with bricks –

They burn so pretty, and light the day.

Handmade With Love Super Bundle

I love the Super Bundles brought out by Ultimate Bundles, and the newest one released today, Handmade With Love, is amazing. If you love to craft, sew, knit or have wanted to learn, this is the one for you! As soon as it went live I picked up my copy, which I am happily going through today. I often print out the ebooks, and put them in my craft binders for a go-to library. The bonuses are often the best part of the bundles, and this an early bird deal for a Craftsy class included! (Also, if you are a craft fair seller, the craft fair planner is worth the cost alone.)

The super bundle includes:

Applique

  • Applique Made Easy: A Beginner’s Guide to Simple Applique Techniques by Leslie Rutland ($12.00)
  • The Joy of Christmas Quilted Dinner Set by Liuxin Newman ($24.99)
  • Baby Storybook: A Day at Home with Bearhug & Honeybun by Sedef Imer ($14.00)
  • Lovely Liberty Cushion: A Needleturn Applique Project by Emma Jean Jansen ($10.50)

Crochet

  • A Doll Like Me: A Collection of Customizable Crochet Doll Patterns PLUS A Beginner’s Guide to Amigurumi by Stacey Trock ($20.00)
  • Crochet Earrings by Dobi Ivanova ($7.00)
  • Imagical Seasons: Spring, Crochet Couture for Kids 2-12 by Alla Koval ($24.95)
  • Slouch Hat Crochet Patterns (Vol. 2) by Rebecca Langford ($7.99)
  • The Perfect Product Line: The Grace Collection by Pam Grice ($16.00)
  • The Plaid Collection: 14 Cozy Crochet Patterns in Classic Plaid by Bethany Dearden ($6.99)
  • Crochet Rug Making by Morgan Roberts ($15.00)
  • Little Miss Wheo by Carla Schwind ($5.50)

Cross Stitch

  • Cross Stitch Pattern Collection by Susan Fitzgerald ($18.00)
  • Geometric Birds & Animals Collection by galabornpatterns ($38.94)
  • Spirited Animals Bundle : Queen Bee and Spirited Animals Alphabet by Dana Batho (business name Peacock & Fig) ($19.98)
  • Summer/Winter Wreath by Jenny Van De Wiele ($10.00)

Decorative

  • Creative Cloth by Linda Matthews ($15.00)
  • Printing on Fabric: Instinctual Mark-Making, Screen & Stencil Printing by Ellie Beck ($47.00)
  • Shibori & Natural Dyeing Course by Francesca Stone ($25.00)
  • Welcome to Weaving: Tips and Tricks for Weaving on a Frame Loom from Start to Finish by Lindsey Campbell ($30.00)
  • Luna: Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern by Krystle Luvis ($13.80)

Embroidery

  • 23 Easy-to-Make Christmas Ornaments: Three eBooks in One! by Erica Hite ($14.00)
  • Embroidery Pattern Set by Pumora ($94.00)
  • Insect Embroidery Pattern Set by Sarah Milligan ($18.00)
  • Modern Embroidery Pattern Set by Stitcharama ($10.00)
  • The Embroidery Project: All In The Details by Mollie Johanson ($35.00)
  • The Girl Gang: An Embroidery Pattern Bundle by cozyblue by Liz Stiglets ($20.00)
  • Brother Rabbit: Raised Embroidery by Anna Scott ($7.35)

Knitting

  • Cozy Christmas Knits by Jessica Bolof ($22.00)
  • Double or Nothing: Reversible Knitting for the Adventurous by Alasdair Post-Quinn ($17.95)
  • Essential Baby Knits by Tatsiana Matsiuk ($20.00)
  • How To Arm Knit with Cowl, Blanket and Pouf Pattern by Anne Weil ($16.00)
  • Weekend: Simple, Modern Knits by Jen Geigley ($27.00)
  • Fair Isle Knitting by Liat Gat ($26.77)
  • Fairy Tale Gloves by Shehla Ahmed ($5.99)

Quilting

  • Color in Quilting: A Trio of Simple Quilt Patterns + a Lesson in Effective Color Placement by Alison Glass ($36.00)
  • DIY Block Design: Your Designs From Sketchbook To Quilt by Alyce Blyth ($15.50)
  • Mother’s Medallion Quilt by Becky Dietz & Cindy Leis ($35.00)
  • Quilting Jetgirl Best Selling Patterns by Yvonne Fuchs ($30.00)
  • Solids: Five Quilt Patterns by Lauren Terry ($10.00)
  • Get Quilty by Elise Cripe ($18.00)
  • Patchwork Planner & Journal by Becky Jorgensen ($14.99)

Sewing

  • 10 Simple Sewing Projects for the Home: Even If You Only Know How to Sew a Straight Line by Corey Willis ($20.00)
  • How to Sew Japanese Sewing Patterns by Rin Gomura-Elkan ($25.00)
  • Retro Rucksack & Penfield Pocket Tote: Two Essential Bag Sewing Patterns by Sara Curtis ($19.00)
  • Sewing Fancy Dresses for Little Girls (Aged 3 and Under) by Tatiana Kozorovitsky ($19.99)
  • Sewing School 101: Simple Tips to Get You Stitching by Nicole Bennett ($9.99)
  • Art Caddy Tote by Virginia Lindsay ($8.00)
  • Happytown Dolls: Maisie and Max Fly Kites by Anne Oliver ($9.99)
  • Hipster Teddy Bear by Stephanie Woodson ($7.00)
  • Mr and Mrs Deer: DIY Woodland Felt Decorations by Jenny Blair ($7.00)
  • Patchwork Elephant and Baby Quilt by Abby Glassenberg ($9.00)

Bonuses

  • 6 Month Digital Magazine Subscription + Instant Download of the Latest Issue from Make Modern ($29 value)
  • “Rock Your Craft Fair” Digital Planner from Crochetpreneur
  • Free class from Craftsy! ($70!) if you buy by Nov. 30th.

Book Review: Finger Knitting Fun

fingerknittingfun

Vickie Howell’s new book, Finger Knitting Fun: 28 Cute, Clever, and Creative Projects for Kids, is a god send for me with my middle child. He wants to learn how to knit so badly, and well….if you have read my crafting posts you know I am 10 thumbs with knitting. I can do loom knitting, but teaching a 6-year-old how isn’t easy. Too many things to remember. He loves craft time, but hasn’t the patience for long-term projects.

Perfect for 6-7 and up!

DIY Citrus Body Wash

This recipe has won me over. Or rather, it has won my skin over. Taking us off the more commercial versions of certain body products has been very hard. It’s really hard when you miss the lather of a good bottle of brand name body wash….what I don’t miss is the dry, tight and very itchy skin. I am just not a bar soap user in the shower. I’ve tried making my own before, but hadn’t gotten the right proportions. Or ingredients. The key in the body wash is the added glycerin. It gives it that lather that so many natural or homemade products is missing.

Citrus Body Wash

Ingredients:

Directions:

Using a small funnel, add the ingredients. Seal the bottle, and shake gently to combine.

In shower, use a shower pouf and add a quarter size amount, lather up and scrub up!

Gently shake bottle each time before use, as it will separate. Shelf life? No different from other body washes.

I’ve tried a number of liquid Castile soaps, not all are equal. Some are really thick and leave an unpleasant scum on the skin, others have many oils added in, so read carefully (such as Dr. Bronners). The Desert Essence unscented I used in this recipe has a very short ingredient list, and the oils in it are safe on our youngest son, with his allergies. (Castile Soap (Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tall Oil (Pine Oil), Potassium Hydroxide), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil) The soap is thinner, and washes off easily. It does have a faint scent of the tea tree oil, but I don’t mind that, it plays well with citrus.

Don’t worry about adding the coconut oil, it really leaves your skin soft – and not greasy.

The amount of essential oils is up to you, you might want more. Add, shake, and smell. The smell is more potent when it is under warm water.

Disclaimer:

No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this oil. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for medical or professional advice. Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Should you have a pre-existing medical condition, please consult your trusted health-care practitioner before using these products. Pregnant women should exercise caution when using essential oils. By using this site, you agree to indemnify administrators and owners for any and all responsibility regarding your wellbeing.