Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemon Balm Salt Scrub Tutorial

Thanks to my lovely friend Miss Angie, I've rediscovered the intense greatness of salt scrubs. They do wonders on legs like mine - aka. overused, mistreated, under-appreciated, shouldn't be shown the light of day kinda legs. Yup, they're in need of some help and love! So I figured that there must be an easy way to make my own steady supply of salt scrub that would be super cheap... and then I remembered the huge patch of lemon balm in my garden...

• 1 cup of kosher salt
• 1 & 1/4 cups of baby oil (I used "with Aloe")
• 1/2 cup very finely chopped herb of choice

Gently mix the salt and oil together in a bowl. Add the herbs and mix again. Spoon into a glass jar (I used a pasta sauce jar) and refrigerate. The longer the scrub sits the more the herbs will "saturate" the oil, so good! Most fresh herbs would be amazing - like lavender, rosemary, mint, sage or even basil. I'm thinking this is a really easy handmade gift for mother's day, Christmas, baby & bridal showers, teachers, thank yous, etc. And if you package some in a cool mason jar or baby food jar with a pretty ribbon you're all set. Oo, how fun would it be to have a set of baby food jars with different scrubs in them for a new mom? Now I'm getting excited! Happy scrubbing everyone!
PS - the photo of McB is my new favorite. I've never seen him sit still for that long! Thanks Jason for your patience & musical genius!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Giving Garden

Everyone that's ever been to a plant swap put your hands up... now, why have you been holding out on me?! Honestly, why didn't I know about this super great thing sooner? For those of you that are in the dark like I was, here's the scoop...

There are gardening groups all over the country that meet and chat and swap. Now I know this may sound like it's for the old folks, but trust me it's not. If you like local food and farmer's markets, this is a must-do field trip. Promise! I went to my first one with a friend on Saturday. We drove in to the Henry Horton State Park and there was a gathering like I've never seen - tons of tables filled with hand-potted plants & veggies of all varieties. Plus bags (literally brown shopping bags) filled with homegrown seeds. And here's the best part, you don't pay for anything! Seriously, it's truly a swap. You go around visiting the tables, spy what you'd like and then the incredibly generous, knowledgeable gardener who dug them up, hands you the pot. That simple, just bring plants and receive plants. I made a huge batch of seed bombs to share, but was totally unprepared for the generosity of everyone. One lady put it best, she said in a thick southern accent, "why can't folks just be nice and share?" It really is that simple.

So I came home with a carload (again literally) full of flowers, seeds and veggies to add to my newly growing garden. And, unlike buying at a store, my garden is now filling up with tidbits of love from other people that like dirt as much as me. Oo and I'm so excited that I scored one of these!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Sneaky Peeky!

Ok, don't want to share too much but I'm bursting... the brand new "Summer 2011" series of Lavender Kitty patterns will be ready for release VERY soon! Can't wait to share... have I mentioned that I'm a tad excited yet?! YAY! Ok, I've got to go or I'll start spilling the beans...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super Cereal Muffins!

My kids don't like eating breakfast. Try as I might, it's always a battle. So when I tasted some the the yummiest muffins ever at my friend Micah's house, I had to give them a try. They were tasty, healthy, easy and moist. So good! Surely MG and McB would love them?!

Only problem was, when I finally went to make them, a bunch of the ingredients were missing from the pantry... hmm mmm, thanks daddy! So here's my version of a classic bran muffin recipe - it's great cause you throw in all the random little bits of cereal that you have lingering. You know, the end of the box that no one wants to eat? And the kids thought it was funny to eat "super cereal muffins" - they both had 2! Shocking and healthy, yay for kid friendly breakfasts! Plus this recipe makes about 4 dozen, so they're great for brunch parties. You could even bake a dozen and keep the batter in your fridge for up to 3 days for fresh muffins every morning. Yum!

• 2 cups bran cereal (like ALL BRAN)
• 4 cups cereal mix - I used raisin bran, grape nuts, cheerios, brown rice puffs
• 1 quart buttermilk
• 5 cups flour
• 2 1/2 cups sugar - I mixed brown & white cause I was short
• 1 cup oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 eggs
• 3 tsp baking soda
• 2 cups boiling water
• Optional - 1 cup raisins

1. In a large bowl, soak bran in boiling water for a couple minutes. Add oil, eggs, sugar.
2. In a medium bowl, mix baking soda, salt, flour, raisins. Add cereal mix.
3. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into large bowl.
4. Let sit in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
5. Bake in regular muffin pan for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Latte Love Cup Sleeve Pattern!

Here's a little pattern that I'm teaching at Craft Social Workshop tonight, so you're getting a sneak peek, shhh... it's great for a rainy day or stormy night...

aka. a little bit of sweater coziness for your coffee. It's the least you can do for a drink that brings so much joy!

~ Size 7 needles
~ Medium "worsted" weight yarn

~ Cast on 32 stitches
~ knit 2, purl 2, repeat til end of row
~ Continue in pattern until piece measures 3 inches, approx 14 rows
~ Cast off
~ Sew together the short edges using mattress stitch
~ go to your favorite coffee shop, buy something yummy & enjoy!

These are great little gifts for folks of all types and super quick to knit. They're a fun way to use up scrap yarn and look extra special when stripey. You could even give someone a set with a sleeve for each day of the week. How bout one for your favorite guy in his team colors or just a charcoal gray so that he feels manly? Mmm hmm, sure to make happiness. Hope you like it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tornados Again & Some Fine Espresso!

This past week has been crazy with tornados, electrical outages and mass loss of trees. The storms came in so quickly that I only had minutes to pile the kids and pips (our little white dog) into the bathtub. There were quite a few rounds of "Row, row your boat" while the wind howled. Hey, whatever works! Thankfully our home was spared, but many friends had homes crushed and are still dealing with the after effects. If you have a chance to send relief, please give it a thought.

And on to something happy for a moment... I don't often share my design work, but I've been busy rebranding The Windfarm Coffee Bar and it's finally finished! In an effort to tie the coffee bar in with The Camp House and to position it for easy expansion, we decided to rename the store to "Camp House Espresso". The new design was inspired by The Mission's roots in Rwanda, truly "handcrafted", excellent coffee and a commitment to beyond fair-trade beans. It's been fun to watch the new signage, cup sleeves, etc go up. The only flub was the new mugs arriving with the logo printed upside down - heehee! I'm thinking they'd be great "you are special to us" gifts to the daily caffeine addicts. So check it out, if you're in town. Trust me, my friend Aaron makes an espresso like no other! He is fanatical about each and every cup he pours! And the whole crew of baristas make drinking lattes truly artful. Mmm happy coffee!