Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 31

So, being as that I was out of the house all day today, my craft isn't really relevant at 9:50 after everyone's done Halloweening. But because it's still freakin cool, you can make one and store it for next year!

You can buy one here for twenty bucks. it includes the curtain and the rug. Or you can make it with dollar store curtains and rugs and red paint.

Perhaps a fabric medium for the rug though. Don't want to have to re-warsh your feet!

Anyway, Happy Halloween! Time for NaNoWriMo!!! YAY! See you all in a month.

Branch out and Be Creative!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 30

Praise be to God what a fantastic service today! Pastor Warren was there and we had a dedication service for M&M!! It was super sweet and my parents were both crying and me and hubby were up there hugging while Pastor Warren prayed over her. I wanted to keep up this wonderful feeling of joy I have in my heart and focus today's wonderful crafty-biz on these Red Letter Words. They are scripture based subway art that I just love!! I can't wait to either buy it or try out my own. I know cutting out the letters from vinyl on my Cricut and then spray painting canvas is one way to do the art. Maybe I'll do it old school and hand draw the letters and paint the canvas or wood. I'm so excited to see this project come to fruition.

Branch Out and Be Creative!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 29

So, I've been really into watching Gossip Girl (Silly I know) and I just watched the Christmas episode!! YAY CHRISTMAS TIME IS NEAR!!! I was so interested in it that I seriously thought about getting the tree out now...but I'm sure my husband will not really go for that till after Thanksgiving.

BUUUT, since I can't get the tree out, I'll go ahead and start working on other decorations!! I found these! Beautiful and green! It's a great thing to do with all those old wine bottles I've got in my fridge from the last wine tasting I went to with my mom.

Branch Out and Be Creative!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 28

Here is something cool that seems pretty easy to follow and can be completely customized for any cool pictures you have!

Branch out and Be Creative!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 27

Now, I never want to be one to rip off someones hard work and creativity but I'm also an artist who loves a good challenge! I found these and I just HAVE to try it! Especially when the totally awesome dollar flippy floppies come around at Old Navy!! Plus I have three pairs of Yellow Box that no longer fit me around the foot because of my pregnancy and my permanently swollen foot.

Branch Out and Be Creative!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 26

So, I've been on a big "Quite Book" kick. Little did I know they're super popular. I have been wanting to start a church quiet book since our church doesn't have a sunday school currently and before I know it M&M will be too big to nap on my chest during the service. So I googled it! I found these::

Photo Credit: Marta-Mojepasje

I LOOOOVE the butterfly page! I want to have an angel in there somewhere with full of different textures. :-) I can't wait to start this. The best part is you can add in all kinds of mediums onto the pages and totally get away with it!

Branch Out and Be Creative!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 25

So, I have this friend. Her name is Casey. She's pretty much the shit. Yes, thats right, I cussed. She's that awesome...anyway...

Casey has this group on facebook that's also the shit because they cook....a bunch! This month she decided to make it Pumpkin Month (which I love) and was asking for some savory dishes because it's all too easy to find sweet punkin treats.

Well, my dear friend, I have one to contribute!

Freakin delish! The leaves are sage--the recipe has steps to roast the pumpkin as well. The whole thing has 4 steps. That's right, 4 steps. The roasting bit takes a little bit of time but it's super easy. So put it on and browse around on Casey's Group Page for some more wonderful ideas!!

Branch Out and Be Creative!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 24

My wonderful hubby and I have been watching this show called the Colony which is about a group of people trying to rebuild after an apocalypse. This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately because we have been talking about becoming more self sufficient and going much Greener since he started his job at Whole Foods. So, in honor of that, I found these which will not only just be handy but much cheaper and totally resuable! They are available on Etsy or you can use your creativity and try to make your own. I'll try once I get some fleece and perhaps I can post a tutorial of sorts!

Anyway, as always,
Branch out and Be Creative!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 23

So, we've covered Paper Crafts, Fabric Crafts, Knitting/Crochet, and Gardening! This week I want to touch on things that kind of put all of it together! Starting with THIS beauty!

She used pieces of leather she had around her house from bags that were destroyed and actual book pages for the books.
Then, a headpin through the middle of them all and a chain and voila! Beautiful necklace! It was inspired by Anthropology and they wanted $165 for it. She made it for around $4.00! I have someone I know that would love something like this for Christmas. Hopefully she doesn't see it! :-)

Branch out and Be Creative!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 22

I found this really great pattern for the Rhiannon Bag online and I just thought it was adorable! I love that it's pretty cheap and would be adorable in just about any color!

I was beginning to think about my compost bucket (that I'll be making today since it's lovely outside!) and I had some potato shards that I wanted to put in it but I wasn't sure what was allowed or I looked it up for everyone if you're having the same questions I was!

Old can of paint
Bread products: This includes cakes, pasta and most baked goods. Put any of these items in your compost pile, and you've rolled out the welcome mat for unwanted pests.
Cooking oil: Smells like food to animal and insect visitors. It can also upset the compost's moisture balance.
Diseased plants: Trash them, instead. You don't want to transfer fungal or bacterial problems to whatever ends up growing in your finished compost.
Heavily coated or printed paper: This is a long list, including magazines, catalogs, printed cards and most printed or metallic wrapping paper. Foils don't break down, and you don't need a bunch of exotic printing chemicals in your compost.
Human or animal feces: Too much of a health risk. This includes kitty litter. Waste and bedding from non-carnivorous pets should be fine.
Meat products: This includes bones, blood, fish and animal fats. Another pest magnet.
Milk products: Refrain from composting milk, cheese, yogurt and cream. While they'll certainly degrade, they are attractive to pests.
Rice: Cooked rice is unusually fertile breeding ground for the kinds of bacteria that you don't want in your pile. Raw rice attracts varmints.
Sawdust: So tempting. But unless you know the wood it came from was untreated, stay away.
Stubborn garden plants: Dandelions, ivy and kudzu are examples of plants or weeds which will probably regard your compost heap as a great place to grow, rather than decompose.
Used personal products: Tampons, diapers and items soiled in human blood or fluids are a health risk.
Walnuts: These contain juglone, a natural aromatic compound toxic to some plants.
Aerosol cans: Sure, they're metal. But since spray cans also contain propellants and chemicals, most municipal systems treat them as hazardous material.
Batteries: These are generally handled separately from both regular trash and curbside recycling.
Brightly dyed paper: Strong paper dyes work just like that red sock in your white laundry.
Ceramics and pottery: This includes things such as coffee mugs. You may be able to use these in the garden.
Diapers: It is not commercially feasible to reclaim the paper and plastic in disposable diapers.
Hazardous waste: This includes household chemicals, motor oil, antifreeze and other liquid coolants. Motor oil is recyclable, but it is usually handled separately from household items. Find out how your community handles hazardous materials before you need those services.
Household glass: Window panes, mirrors, light bulbs and tableware are impractical to recycle. Bottles and jars are usually fine. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) are recyclable, but contain a small amount of mercury and shouldn't be treated as common household bulbs. For ideas on how to handle them, see 5 ways to dispose of old CFLs.
Juice boxes and other coated cardboard drink containers. Some manufacturers have begun producing recyclable containers. These will be specially marked. The rest are not suitable for reprocessing.
Medical waste: Syringes, tubing, scalpels and other biohazards should be disposed as such.
Napkins and paper towels: Discouraged because of what they may have absorbed. Consider composting.
Pizza boxes: Too much grease. While some compost enthusiasts steer clear of adding pizza box cardboard to their pile, others report no problems. It's that or the trash.
Plastic bags and plastic wrap: If possible, clean and reuse the bags. Make sure neither gets into the environment.
Plastic-coated boxes, plastic food boxes, or plastic without recycling marks: Dispose of safely.
Plastic screw-on tops: Dispose separately from recyclable plastic bottles. Remember that smaller caps are a choking hazard.
Styrofoam: See if your community has a special facility for this.
Tires: Many states require separate disposal of tires (and collect a fee at the point of sale for that purpose).
Tyvek shipping envelopes: These are the kind used by the post office and overnight delivery companies.
Wet paper: In general, recyclers take a pass on paper items that have been exposed to water. The fibers may be damaged, and there are contamination risks.
 Branch out and Be Creative!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 20

Yay! We're on to actually crocheting something! Huzzah! I found this lovely thing while browsing around and I wanted to share it with you all. This one is not free but it's very in expensive and would make really great gifts! Good luck!

The other day we were talking about raised garden beds. I really love this idea since I'm all about utilizing space. They turned the pots around the edges into herb plants! Perfect and fragrant!!

Branch out and be creative!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 19

Boy we are just truckin along here! It's already day 19! Yay!

Today is Learn to Crochet day here at Branch Out Craft Club! YAY! I honestly think Crocheting is much easier than knitting and it only uses one needle! So, to start, go HERE! It has a video plus step by step illustrated instructions that are pretty darn easy to follow! Don't try them all in one day- Just remember: Crafts are for relaxation and fun! Not frustration!

 I want to touch on one of the major problems with gardening: critters. Bugs mostly is what we're covering today. I wanted to have a garden so I could have my own somewhat organic veggies but I can't seem to grow squash without buggies gettin in the vines. So, luckily there is this!

Homemade Pest and Disease Remedies
Insecticidal soap, rotenone/pyrethrum liquid spray, and diatomaceous earth for horticultural use (silica particles from the skeletal remains of sea creatures that penetrate the bodies of insects on contact-sold as a dust) are good store-bought natural pest remedies. Follow the directions on the labels.
Alcohol spray for Aphids
Mix ½ to 1 cup alcohol with a quart of water. Do not spray the entire plant until you have done a test leaf. Spray one leaf. Wait a day. If it shows signs of burning, do not use alcohol on the plant. Never use in the heat of the day in the sun.
Beer Traps for Slugs
Put some cheap beer in saucers. Place the saucers every 3 to 4 feet around the plants that are being eaten. The slugs will crawl into the beer and drown.
Chamomile Tea for Damping Off
Spray seedlings with a hot water infusion of chamomile tea to prevent the disease.
Citrus Spray for Aphids
This is a good spray for aphids or any other soft-bodied bugs. Boil 2 cups of water in a glass or stainless steel pot. Remove from the burner and add the peel of one lemon or one grapefruit. Cover the pot and let steep overnight. Mix ½ water and ½ citrus liquid. The spray must come in contact with the insects' body to be effective. Spray as needed.
Eucalyptus Liquid Soap (found in health food stores)
Add ½ teaspoon to a quart of water and spray for insects
Horticultural oil
These sprays have a petroleum distillate carrier for natural botanical insecticides. Never use them on a sunny day, and be sure plants are watered well before spraying.
Insecticidal soap
Sold under the Safer brand name. You will find it in any garden store. The concentrate is a better buy than any others.
Liquid rotenone/pyrethrins spray
Bonide is the brand. Follow directions on the label. This spray is very effective, especially if not overused.
Molasses Spray for Rusts
1 cup sulfured molasses
1 cup powdered milk (optional)
1 gallon water
1 cup seaweed powder (optional)
1 cup rock powder (optional)

If you are using only molasses, stir into water and use. If using all ingredients, mix molasses and powders and make into a paste. Wrap 1 cup of the paste in a panty hose. Put in the water, and let sit for 2 to 4 hours. Strain and spray.

So good luck with your gardening!
Branch out and be creative!'

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 18

Hopefully you understand now how to follow a knitting pattern. The next step is to actually knit something! So, here is something useful and adorable! McLaughlin Designs: Cowl/Headwrap

Today in the Garden, tiny spaces can be fruitful also! Check out THIS really cool idea for an herb garden on your counter! Really great if you live in an apartment and only have window boxes!

Branch Out and Be Creative!

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 17

So, now that you have some kind of grasp on how to work the needles, the next natural step would be how to follow a knitting pattern so you can make something more than a scarf! So, since I didn't know a thing about how to read a pattern I looked it up and found this! It seems pretty easy to follow. Since knitting is so far away from where I started (scrapbooking) it's taking me a little longer to learn than other crafts. Maybe in December we can come back to knitting and focus some undivided attention to it.

Yesterday we learned how to prepare our gardens for both the raised versions and in ground versions. Today I wanted to touch a bit on composting. We eat a lot of food in our house which means we have a lot of waste! Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are all outstanding materials to add. The benefits of composting here in Texas are pretty fantastic. Especially if your backyard is anything like mine and consists of pure rock. Yay south Texas... Anyway, adding it to your soil or your potting soil that you've purchased will loosen clay soils and help sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants.  So, I know where all of our scraps will be heading now! Have fun!

Photo Credit: Young House Love: Compost Post :)

Branch out and be creative!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 16

So, last night I totally didn't realize it was Saturday thus starting a new hobby week. So, I've been going back and forth on what I should do: Knitting/Crochet or Gardening. I don't know that gardening is a craft but it's a pretty popular hobby and one that I'm interested in starting so I think I'm going to do both. (Next week is reserved for Holiday kid activities). So starting today I'll post things about how to knit and how to prepare a raised garden bed! Have fun!

The Knit Stitch Video!
Note: when I started knitting, I picked a lovely grey yarn and got the needles that it suggested on the paper wrapping. I started with a straight scarf so I could get the rhythm down and then introduced patterns. Check out this link for a getting started in knitting detail that will help you get your bearings.

This amazing website called Sprout Robot lets you enter your zipcode and tells you what plant you should plant and when. Like a digital Farmers Almanac. It also has some pretty great illustrated tutorials on how to do just about everything in the garden. Below, you'll find the pictures on how to do a raised garden bed. It's terribly simple!

also, below that, potting soil basics!

Click HERE to see their website and how to do a bed if you don't want it raised...ya know, like ones directly in the ground...**REQUIRES DIGGING** :)
Plus, their little Sprout Robot is adorable!

Branch out and Be Creative! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days to Branch Out: Day 15

So, I'm super tired today so I'm sorry but this is going to be a short post! Luckily it's still SUPER cute!!

It's not an actual tutorial but it's got a really great explanation on how to make it. 

Plus, my daughters name is Madeleine and I love her so there ya go!

Branch out and Be Creative!