Sunday, December 30, 2012

Making do

December 30

It's such a beautiful day today.  It's cloudy, it's chilly and I have the most amazing scent of pine/bay leaves/nutmeg simmering on the stove.

One of the reasons I always get real trees for Christmas, aside from the fact that I just love them and find them gorgeous, is that before I get rid of them, I cut off as many branches as I can and store them to use throughout the year.

December 30

I have always been of the opinion that you should make do with what you have and that everything has more than one use.  It's almost become like a tradition for me each year, as soon as the tree is put out I get to work.

Some of the branches I just store in ziploc bags and keep them in my pantry, and then with some of the other branches I make a few simmering jars to store in the fridge.

December 30

There's nothing to it, really. Just get a bunch of pine needles or branches, throw them in a stockpot with water to cover.

Add a few bay leaves (I do about 2, sometimes 3 if they're really small), and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

December 30

Set the heat to very low and let it simmer away. You can let it simmer for as long as you like, just keep an eye on the water level, if it's getting very low add some more in. When I'm done simmering, I let it cool down and then pour it all into a mason jar, close it tightly and set it in the fridge. I will simmer that concoction again another time before throwing it out.

December 30

There is a blog post on another blog who does the same thing, and she has a bunch of other mixtures you can try using rosemary, lime etc.  I wish for the life of me I could remember the name of the blog, I'll come back and add it in if I find it :)

December 30

I've also used Lavender before and it smells AMAZING.

December 30

Had half a lemon and half an orange in the fridge, so made two simmering scents to use those up.

First one is Lemon, Thyme and Mint extract.

December 30

And for the orange one, I added in orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

December 30

These are all in the fridge and I'll them up within the next 2 weeks or so.

Another way that I'm making do, is by using leftover yarn from my dishcloths.

As we watched TV last night, I worked on this project and very quickly whipped up some washbags for the bathroom.  My idea was to make just one for each kid, but my husband thought they were a great idea and I ended up making him one and then thought "what the heck?" and made one for myself as well.

December 30

Very easy to make.  Just chain 4, then do 12 dc's into the fourth chain from the hook. 

Next row, chain 3, then 2 dc's in each stitch all the way around, finish with a slip stitch in the first chain 3.

Next row, chain 3, then 2 dc's into next stitch, 1 dc into next stitch and repeat that all the way around finishing with a slip stitch into the first chain 3.

Then just do a dc into each stitch all the way around and keep going that way until you have as many rows as you want.

When you're done, finish off.   Make a 50 chain with the yarn/thread, then weave it in and out of the stitches on the second row from the top.  Tie it off and you're done :)

December 30

They're adorable and I have a ton of ideas to use them in other rooms of the house, in different sizes and colors.

December 30

December 30

And they look super cute hanging on the bathroom door too.

December 30

The kids have filled theirs up with their toiletries.  Jasmine has her deodorant and brush, lotion, perfume, hair bands etc.

Nicholas has his deodorants and brush in his too.

December 30

Now, before I leave, I have a giveaway coming up next week for all my readers, kind of a late Christmas present from me :)

I'll be giving away 2 dishcloths, 1 crocheted washbag and a cookbook "The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook". 

So be on the lookout for that, I may or may not add something else to the goodies above, not sure yet. 

Hope you're all having a blessed Sunday and I'll be back tomorrow for our last Happy Homemaker Monday of the year.  See you then!


MamaBoz said...

Oh amazing...going to start simmering right now!! Thanks again for the wonderful ideas!! :)

~Carla~ said...

Love the beautiful bags, Sandra! Your photography is what I think I love most... can I ask what your favourite lens is? :)

Linds said...

The wash bags are gorgeous!Such a wonderful idea. I must haul out the crochet hook and the wool. I think I can remember where I hid them all when the invasion of kids began....

Now. About those simmering jars. So you heat up one of them - or the contents and just let the scent waft around the house? Am I right? And you store them in the fridge, then empty one into a pot and heat? I must sound completely thick here!

Unknown said...

Quick question, I want to learn to crochet. Are there any rarticular books or sites you would recommend?

Judy said...

What an awesome idea with the pine needles and branches, and those washbags are so clever, thanks for sharing the pattern. I'm gathering up my knitting and want to bring small projects for in the van on our way to Texas and for knitting while I'm down there. This pattern will be added to my knitting bag.

Kristen @ Hope Abound said...

That's such a great idea. Makes me wish we had a real tree.

Terri said...

love the bags - think i might give them a try!

Malorie Shepherd said...

So excited for this giveaway! I love your crochet projects!

Sweet Tea said...

Reading your blog makes me feel "cozy". You do know that your son will never find a wife who is as good as his Mom - what will he do? Would you like to adopt me? I love the thought of those simmering scents and the cute little bags!

Debby said...

I can smell your house from here!! The bags are super cute and ditto on what Carla posted your photo's are amazing!!!

CaityClaire said...

Definitely going to make a few of those bags!

Alice said...

What a wonderful idea! All of them!

I wish I knew how to knit better so I could make them but in the meantime, I'll just admire your bathroom knit bags!