June 2013 archive

Summer Fun Activity List – Printable

| Kids Fun, Outdoors, Printables

50 summer activities to keep kids busy and having fun all summer long.

50 summer activities to keep kids busy and having fun all summer long.

No more teachers, no more books… yeah, summer’s here! Oh wait, that means it’s up to me to keep my child entertained for the summer. I’m horrible at imaginary and make believe games like the ones my daughter and husband play – I completely admire the skill to be able to just make up random stories on a whim and have incredible imaginary adventures but that’s a skill I simply don’t possess. Fortunately, I bring my other attributes to the table, mainly creativity. So, with that said, I decided this year to be proactive in my summer fun activities and create a checklist that we put on the fridge to use when we’re having trouble coming up things to do. Maybe if we’re diligent, we can make it through the entire list this summer. I had lots of ideas myself but also found some great activities online.  I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there trying to come up with activities to entertain the kids with, so I’m putting this list on my blog for others to print out and use too.

Download your “Summer Fun List” here.

Also, don’t forget to check out some of the kids activities and ideas I’ve posted previously on my blog:

It’s the first day of summer vacation for us here in Victoria so Noelle and I are off now to go complete the first item we’ve chosen from our list (find smooth rocks to paint and decorate).  Enjoy and have a great summer!

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Garlic Scape Pesto

| Cooking

Easy to make Garlic Scape Pesto

Easy to make Garlic Scape Pesto

Last week I saw a Facebook post from a British Columbia based seed company called Westcoast seeds.  This is where I purchase all my seeds from and they’re always a great source of local knowledge. The Facebook post was perfect timing since it was all about garlic scapes (garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers).  I was just looking at my garlic and noticed all the scapes and wondered what I was supposed to do with them.  This is the first time I’ve grown garlic and it’s all new to me so I take whatever help I can get… thanks Westcoast seeds!

You’ll see from my photos that the scapes are simply stunning. Perhaps it’s the designer in me, but all I see is the beauty in the shape and colour of these curly flower stalks.  The Facebook post mentioned that it’s best to remove the scapes from the garlic at this point but also mentioned that some people like to make pesto with them – perfect, another great culinary experiment to attempt!  So, although I found it hard to do, I managed to chop off the beautiful scapes and take them into the house to experiment with garlic scape pesto.

Please take a moment to “ewww” and “ahhh” and gush over the photos for a moment – seriously, another of nature’s splendour’s.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup garlic scapes, finely chopped (6-8 garlic scapes)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds  toast them lightly, if you’d like)
  • About 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until entirely mixed.  Feel free to add a little extra olive oil depending on the desired consistency.
  2. Serve with crackers, toast, pasta, gnocchi or rice. Enjoy!

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Fancy Feathers – Printable

| Crafts & DIY, Design & Technology

Printable feather design. Great to spice up gift wrap.

Printable feathers. A great way spice up gift wrap.

Fancy Feathers Printable – Feathers, feathers – everywhere!  I’ve really enjoyed the feather trend that we’ve been seeing over the past little while. The graphics and watercolours out there are just gorgeous. But feathers aren’t anything new or even a fast fading fad. They have captivated people’s creativity and imaginations for centuries – just look at how they were worn over the years; by shaman, by those of higher social standing, in Native American headdresses, by Kings and Queens, by Parisian cabaret dancers, and now in the weird and wonderful hats of the royal monarchy.

Inspired by these designs I thought I’d come up with my own version of feather design but something practical.  Print these out and use however you want; to spruce up newspaper gift wrapping, to make a banner, a wreath, as place setting name tags, to add to homemade cards or in scrapbooking. I’m sure the kids will think of lots of fun things to use these for too.  So many uses.

Just print out the feather design on some fun and colourful paper and then trim into the feather shape by following the cut lines. Score down the middle of the feather for some added detailing. I’d love to hear what you’re using your feathers for – don’t forget to send me your comments and ideas.

Download file here.

Do you have a cutting machine like Sizzix eclips™, Craftwell eCraft™, Black Cat Cougar/Lynx™, Boss Kut Gazelle™, GCC™, Pazzles Inspiration™, Silhouette SD/CAMEO/Portrait™, Silver Bullet™, USCutter™, VinylExpress™?  Download the cut files for your machine here.

This pattern is designed for personal and educational use only, not for business use or resale. Credit & Copyright remains with Jamey Ekins as the original artist and designer. If you’d like to use for commercial reasons, please contact Jamey Ekins for a quote.

Feather_Gift_wrap_06

 

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Crochet iPhone Case – Quick and Easy Pattern

| Crafts & DIY

Quick and easy iPhone case.

Quick and easy iPhone case.

Crochet iPhone Case – Lately I’ve been feeling a burning desire to start crocheting again (I think it was around Christmas the last time I picked up a hook).  At this time of year it’s not like we need scarves, cowls or beanies so I wasn’t sure what I should make but then I saw some really cute iPhone cases on Pinterest and thought that would be a great project to get me back in the crocheting game again. I looked at a few patterns and in the end, just sort of came up with my own design.  It’s ridiculously easy and quick – it took me about an hour and I’m a pretty slow crocheter. Even beginners can handle this fun project.

Materials:

  • Thick yarn (I used Bernat Roving) in 1 or 2 colors
  • Crochet hook 1 size smaller than recommended on yarn packaging (I used 5.5mm or US 9)
  • Button of your choice
  • Thread
  • Darning needle
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Your phone (to make sure the fit is what you want)

This case will have a more structured feel and appearance if you keep the tension on this firm and tight and consistent throughout the project.

sl st = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

ch = chain

Click here if you have any trouble knowing or remembering which stitches these are.

Keep in mind I’m a novice pattern maker so I hope this all makes sense.

Instructions:

  1. Make a slip knot and then chain 6 to 8 chain stitches (ch) together. Remember to keep the tension pretty tight.  Basically you want to have the chain be the same width of your phone when the chain is stretched firmly.  If you want the case to have a snug fit, (ch) 6 but if you want it a little more loose and roomy then (ch) 7 or 8 stitches. 
  2. Round 2. Not turning your work, (sc) in the second chain from the end (the same end your hook is) and continue this in every stitch back across the entire row. 2 (sc) in the last stitch.
  3. Round 3. With your work still facing you, turn around the corner so that you’re now working into your original chain and still working right to left, 2 (sc) in first stitch then (sc) the rest of the stitches in the row except 2(sc) in the last stitch. Repeat this for as many rows you need until you have you have achieved the correct width to fit the bottom of you phone (probably about 3-5 rows total depending on how snug or roomy you want your cover).  Keep your phone handy to test and make sure the fit is good.
  4. Round 4, 5 or 6 onward. 1 (sc) in each stitch for each row until you’re near the top of your phone.
  5. Second last row. Here you can either keep your yarn colour the same or add your second colour. Starting at one side of the case, do one more row of (sc) and then at the end of that row change to 1 (sl st) in each stitch.  When you reach the exact middle of your case, (ch) 30 stitches so that you have a long chain and then do 1 (sl st) in the stitch that your chain originated in so that the chain becomes a loop that will go over the button.  Then carry on around the rest of the row until you’re back where you started. Fasten off and weave in any loose ends with your darning needle.
  6. Put your phone in the case and pull the chained loop over.  Mark where the end of your loop falls, centered on the case, and then stitch your button on in that exact spot.

You could use this pattern for any phone or tablet, just increase a number of stitches at the beginning to accommodate for the extra width. These would make great gifts too.

If you’re looking for more fun crochet projects check out this great book: Crochet One-Skein Wonders®: 101 Projects from Crocheters around the World

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