Saturday, April 30, 2011

Antiseptic Spray

It is spring time and that only means one thing.  Spring Cleaning.  Why do we always spend so much time in the spring cleaning out our homes, barns, and garages?  I guess after the long winters up here we need an excuse to clean out all the dust, germs, and things that have collected in our homes from the furnace.  Well I too need to clean out the dust, cob webs, and just wash everything down.  We have to let our house air out before we shut it up for the summer and turn on the air conditioner.  Since environmental allergies prevail in my home I don't have a lot of time in the spring to air out my house before we need to shut it up to keep all the pollen out.  One thing that I like to use in my home is a home made antiseptic spray.  It is made of water and essential oils.  No chemicals for my home!!!  

A dear friend who taught me to make my own lotions gave me a great book.  Seasons of Aromatherapy has many wonderful recipes for home remedies only using a dozen different essential oils.  I have used a lot of these recipes just as they are and some I have tweaked to meet my needs.  The recipe for the antiseptic spray is in this book.   

Here are my supplies. I am getting ready to make my antiseptic spray

There are 2 different recipes for the spray.  I like the cold and flu recipe because it has tea tree oil in it and a few other essential oils.  The tea tree oil kills bacteria and germs!!

Here are the essential oils that I use.  You can buy them on line or at a local health food store. 

I use an old shampoo bottle to store my antiseptic spray.  I fill it almost all the way up with water and then I add my essential oils.  I then fill it the rest of the way up.  I use this to fill a spray bottle.


Here is the finished product. I shake it up and pour it into my spray bottle.  I set the spray bottle on a fine mist.  I spray it on my counters, tables, trash cans, in the air, on my kids toys, beds, and anything else that you might want to sanitize. 


In the winter I will pour some of this into my kids humidifiers.  It helps keep bacteria and mold from growing in them and the Eucalyptus and Lavender really helps with the cold and flu.  Here is the recipe for the antiseptic spray!!  Enjoy and get those houses clean!!

Antiseptic Spray
3 drops Eucalyptus
4 drops Lavender
7 drops Lemon
2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Tea Tree

Add this blend to 1 quart of water.  I use whatever container I can find.  If it is smaller than 1 quart that is fine.  The mixture will be more concentrated which I like.  If you want it more diluted use a 1 quart or larger container. 


Friday, April 29, 2011

Violet Jelly

Does your yard look like this? 

You can turn these into a beautiful jelly like this!!

Wild violets are among some of natures edible plants.  Many people can find these in their front yard or growing all over the forest floor.  The blossoms can be used to make a very unique and beautiful jelly.  My mother made this jelly every year when I was a kid.  We used to take a trip back to the woods and collect these flowers.  Then mom made the jelly.  Now my kids and I pick these flowers and make our own jelly.  Here is a step by step  recipe to make violet jelly!!!

When you pick your violets make sure you are picking them from a yard or field that has not been chemically treated.  Pick the blossoms only.  Do not put in any stems or the jelly will be bitter.  Put them in a quart jar.  I use a quart mason jar.
Next pour boiling water over the violets.  Fill the quart jar up with the boiling water.

Let the violets set until all the pectin has been pulled out of the blossoms.  The Violets will look grey and the water will be a dark purple.  This usually takes 1 to 2 hours. 
Strain the juice from the flowers.  This is done by putting the contents of a jar into a jelly bag and letting it sit until the juice is done dripping.  I use an old pillow case.  Notice my pillow case is no longer white.  I have used this for grape juice, crab apple juice, and many other jellies.  The key to a nice clear jelly is not to squeeze the bag.  Let the juice run out on its own and don't push on or squeeze the bag to get excess juice out.  This will lead to a cloudy jelly. 



Now it is time to make the jelly.  You only need a few simple ingredients and you are on your way.  Measure out 2 cups of the violet juice.  To this you will add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and one package of powdered pectin.  Then 4 cups of sugar is added.  That is it!!  Here are your ingredients.  I buy pectin in bulk so 1/4 cup is equal to one purchased package of pectin.
Before you begin cooking your jelly you need to have your jars ready.  This recipe will make 4  8oz jelly jars.  You can use the 4oz jars and then you will have more jars of jelly to give away for Christmas!!  You need to sterilize your jars.  Most people do this by running their jars through the dishwasher.  I don't have one so I put my clean jars into a sink full of very hot water and I let them sit until I am ready to put the jelly in the jar.
Pour your violet juice into a jelly pan or a tall pan. 

Next add your lemon juice.  Notice how the dark purple turns into the light violet color.  It does not matter how many times I make this jelly I just love watching the dark purple magically turn into the light violet color. 

Add your powdered pectin and stir with a whisk until dissolved.  Bring to a boil over high heat constantly stirring.


Once the jelly has come to a full rolling boil add your sugar.  Stir the sugar until it is dissolved.  Continue stirring and start you timer when the jelly comes back to a full rolling boil.  Once it does start your timer and cook for 1 minute.  Then take it off the heat.




This is why you need a tall pan.  During the second boiling the jelly will foam up real high.  This is only 2 inches from the top of the pan.

When you take the pan off the heat the jelly will go back down.  Before you put the jelly into your jars you need to skim off the foam.  This can be done using a slotted spoon or just a serving spoon.  Once you take off the foam you are ready to put the jelly into your prepared jars.

Using a ladle spoon the jelly into your jars.  Fill the jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. 

Before you add your lids and process you need to wipe off the rims.  Using a clean washcloth wipe off the lips of your jars.  They will not seal properly if there is jelly on the lips of the jars. 

Always use new canning lids when canning.  To activate the gum on the bottom of the lids bring them to boil before putting on your jars.
I use this nifty lid lifter to get the lids out of the boiling water and to put them on my jars.  It has a magnet on the end.

Screw on your rings and tighten by hand.  Now your jelly is ready for a water bath.  I know a lot of people stop right here.  According to canning experts and county extension agents this is not safe.  You need to process your jam and jellies in a water bath for 5 minutes.  This brings the jelly to a temperature to kill bacteria and also to help drive out air from the jars. 


Put enough water in your canner to cover your jars by 1 inch.  Heat the water to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a jar lifter put your jars of hot jelly into the canner.  Bring to a full rolling boil and then start your timer.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from the canner and let sit to cool.
Let your jelly completely cool and make sure all your jars have sealed.  I love hearing the "ping" noise as the jars begin to seal.  I think that is my favorite part of canning.  The "ping"  lets you know that the jars have sealed and all your hard work has payed off.  The jars will be put up in the pantry for future use or gifts for Christmas. 

Here is the recipe for Violet Jelly.  This will make it easier to print!!

Violet Jelly
2 cups violet juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package of powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Put violet juice, lemon juice, and pectin in a tall pan.  Whisk until smooth.  Bring to a full rolling boil stirring constantly.   Add sugar.  Bring back to a boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.  Ladle into jars, adjust lids and process in a water bath for 5 minutes.   Yield: 4  8oz jars





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nut Free Granola

Food allergies can make it hard to buy normal every day items.  When my kids had a lot of food allergies I would spend hours at the grocery store reading every label to make sure my kids could eat something.  I finally gave up and began to make everything from scratch.  Now that my kids are older and have outgrown the egg and dairy allergies it is a bit easier to make dinner.  My kids still have peanut and tree nut allergies though.  So a lot of snacks I still need to make from scratch.  It seems like they put nuts and peanuts in everything.  Not that nuts are bad, I love peanuts and tree nuts.  My kids just can't touch them.  Granola bars and granola are two things that are hard to find without nuts.  So I make my own.  Now my kids can sprinkle granola on yogurt, eat a bowl as cereal or munch on a granola bar as a healthy snack.  Here are the recipes for a nut free granola and granola bar.  Enjoy!!!

You can add chocolate chips to the granola while still warm.  They melt into it and the results taste like a healthy cocoa crispies!!!  When I do this I don't add any dried fruit.

Nut Free Granola
5 cups oatmeal (not instant or quick)
    or 4 cups oatmeal and 1 cup wheat germ
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1 stick melted margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple extract
1 cup raisins, craisins, or any dried fruit

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Spread in a shallow baking dish.  A 9x13 in pan will work well.  Bake at 275 *F  for 20-30 minutes, stirring once during that time.  Let completely cool.  Store in an airtight container. 

This granola has raisins, golden raisins, and dried cranberries.

I store my granola in this container.  The top has a spout that flips up to pour easily


Feel free to add any type of seeds or dried fruit that you like to the granola or granola bars.  The key to making them yourself is to monitor the process and to tailor the recipe to your needs and allergies!
Granola Bars
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the honey, vanilla and egg; mix well.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in oats, cereal, raisins and chocolate chips.  Press into a greased 13x9 in baking pan.  Bake at 350* F for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.  Yield 2 dozen.  Store in an airtight container or individually wrap in plastic wrap for travel. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baby Goats

Today was a gorgeous spring day here in Ohio.  We finally had some warmth and a strong breeze.  My older son had state testing at a hotel that was not far from a bike trail and some public historical farms.  So we went on a short walk on the bike trails. The warm air blowing across us was so great to feel.  My boys were just taking in God's great creation.  They were listening to the birds sing, identifying different plants springing up from the ground and watching the rushing water from the streams.  We went from the trails to a historcial farm that has a barn full of animals.  Spring time means babies and this barn was full of babies!!!  I was so upset that I had left my camera at home.  There were a bunch of goats that had triplets.  One looked like they were just a few days old.  The sheep pen was full of lambs too!!!  But what took us by surprise was one goat who was obviously in labor.  My older boy wanted to stay and watch her give birth.  I debated on staying but sometimes it can take hours.  She looked miserable but she still stopped panting and pushing long enough to let us pet her.  We will be back over there on Thursday so we will have to stop by again and check to see if she had her babies and how many. 
Goats are one of the friendliest animals.  We have two Nubian goats that are at my parents farm.  My older son takes them for 4-H.  They are just so lovable and social.  The goats are as big as he is but that does not stop him from walking them around the farm and showing them in the ring.  Yes, my son is allergic to them. We just make sure he washes his hands after touching them.  And during the fair he lives on allergy medicine and benadryl.  My son goes out in the pen and just lays on the goats.  They love it and crave the attention from people.  That is why it is not good to buy just one goat.  They are very social animals and need to have a friend. 

Here are my sons goats at the fair.  These are both his goats.
  They were in the same class so a friend showed the other goat for him.  

I snapped a picture of Freddy all tuckered out at the fair.  We came back in the evening to check on the goats before we went home for the evening and Freddy had fallen asleep on the water bucket and his ear was laying in the water. The goats loved all the attention they got from the fair.  People were constantly coming through the barn and stopping to pet them!!!


Goats can be dressed up just like any other animal.  Freddy actually loved wearing his Indiana Jones hat that I made for him.  The saddle bags I made were filled with a map, digging tools, and a whip.  Indiana Jones and Indiana Goat had a great time at the Goat Costume Contest!!


Spring time brings all kinds of baby animals.  From bunnies, lambs, goats, puppies, and kittens.  What ever the baby is just remember they do eventually grow up and get bigger!!!  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dust Mites

If you have someone in your family that is allergic to dust mites you know what they are.  For those who don't dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on shed human skin.  Dust mites actually have 8 legs and not six so they are in the arthropod family.  These "bugs"  thrive in warm humid temperatures.  Which most houses are kept.  They spend their lives eating, reproducing, and defecating.  Their waste is what causes the allergies.  Household dust has many components.  It has dander from pet dogs or cats, bacteria, food, plant and insect parts, mold and fungus spores, tiny fibers from different kinds of fabric, and many microscopic mites and their waste products.  
Dust mites can live in anything that contains shed skin.  This could be carpet, clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, furniture, and beds.  Although it is almost impossible to completely eliminate dust mites from your house, you can do things to keep the level down.  Dust mites can't take extreme temperatures.  I like to freeze mine.  My son is allergic to dust mites.  He also loves stuffed animals.  I have learned to wash the ones that I can and put the rest in my freezer.  We have a stand up freezer in the basement.  I put all the stuffed animals that don't fit in the washing machine, and will get ruined if washed, in the freezer.   I also put my son's pillow in the freezer too.  Some hats that could get ruined by washing go in the freezer. 
I decided when my son was diagnosed with all his allergies that he would have a normal life despite his allergies.  So when it was suggested to us to get rid of all our carpet, stuffed animals, and cover everything in plastic we opted not to.  I try my best to wash his bedding once a week.  I also vacuum his mattress.  I used to put a plastic cover on his mattress to keep dust mites out but I found this caused him to have more allergic reactions.  Because of his eczema and severe dry skin, the mattress cover was just filled with skin flakes.  All that skin was just loaded with dust mites right under his sheets.  Once I took it off the plastic cover and started just vacuuming his mattress he had less breakouts from dust mites.  Vacuuming does not get rid of all the dust mites but it helps get rid of a lot of the skin  that is in the mattress.  Many allergists suggest to buy dust covers for your pillows and mattresses.  These work well, we just opted not to do so.  My son breaks out from the dust mites where most people have a nasal reaction to them. 
Another thing that I do often is store winter hats, gloves, and scarves in resealable plastic bags.  I wash all of these items at the end of the winter season and put them into the plastic bags.  That way if we have one of those cold fall days that we need hats and gloves I don't have to rewash everything first.  I just get it right out of the bag and it is washed and dust mite free!!!  I learned to do this after pulling out hats that were full of dust only to have my sons face turn completely red and start itching like crazy!!
One way to keep the dust mite level down in your house is to keep the dust out.  Being a busy mom and home schooling my kids this doesn't always happen as often as I would like.  But keeping your house dust free helps keep the dust mite level down.  Also if you have carpet in the house to vacuum frequently.  Not all the dust mite and dust mite waste will be swept up, but it helps.  If you have curtains wash them frequently.  If you have blinds keep them clean.  There are a lot of products out there that claim to kill dust mites in your carpet.  I have not used any of them so I can't tell you how well they work.  Because of my sons other allergies I try not to use a lot of chemical things in the house. 
By removing the dust from your house and keeping the humidity at around 50%  you will help keep the dust mite level in your home low.  It may take a lot of work but it is better than living in Antarctica.  Which is the only continent in the world that dust mites don't live!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Allergies and Eczema

Eczema is one of those great mysteries to doctors.  They don't know what causes it and there is no cure for it.  And many doctors don't agree on how to treat it.  So what do you do when your kid is born with eczema?  I felt so bad for my son those first three years of his life when we were trying to figure out how to best treat his eczema.  As a baby his cradle cap was so bad that for several weeks I had to comb out the crust and continuously apply oil to his scalp.  The cradle cap went down onto his face and caused infection and rashes all over his face as well.  His cheeks always looked like he had road rash on them.  I used to arrange getting his picture taken in between breakouts.  Which wasn't that often.  As he got older the eczema was all over his hands and feet.  His hands  were always covered in sores.  They looked so deep at times I could swear I could see his bones!!!  His hands were always bandaged up and we used to have to hold his wrist to walk around with him in public instead of his hands.   I used to dread the looks and the questions from everyone.  People used to ask all the time if he had chicken pox.  They wandered why I had him out in public if he had chicken pox.  I always assured everyone that it was just eczema.  Once I started making all his lotions his eczema got better.
Over the years I learned that even though they don't know what causes a person to get eczema they know that certain things trigger outbreaks.  One of the main triggers of eczema is allergies.  That is why when I meet a new mom who has a baby with eczema I ask them if they have gotten their child allergy tested.  Having allergies does not mean that you will have eczema.  But if you have eczema a lot of outbreaks can be associated with allergies. 
Allergies come in many forms.  My son has environmental allergies as well as food allergies.  I also break down his environmental allergies into two groups.  Air born allergens and contact allergens.  Air born allergens are things such as tree pollen and ragweed.  These normally will give him itchy red eyes, sometimes swollen, and a runny nose and sneezing.  Contact allergens are grass, mold,  and dust mites.  These are allergens that he has to come in contact with in order for it to affect him.  These allergens tend to produce redness and a rash in the area of contact.  The rash normally will turn into eczema.  Food allergies can also cause eczema.  The first time my son had a tree nut his skin was affected for a week.  He just sucked on an Almond.  He never even ate it!!  He had blisters around his mouth, hands and feet for a week!!
It takes a lot of time and sometimes years but the key to knowing how to treat eczema is learning what triggers your child's eczema. 
Not everyone reacts to allergens in the same way.  So you have to be your child's detective and really become aware of what they are coming in contact with and how it affects their eczema. 
For example I learned that sitting in the grass will break out his skin. Any part that was touching the grass will break out.  But if someone is cutting grass it releases the grass pollen into the air and it becomes an air born allergen to him.  Another thing that we have learned has to due with all the mold in the fall.  Just being outside in the fall does not bother him that much.  But if he rakes leaves and then jumps into a big pile of leaves he is a mess. Last fall he looked like Rocky Balboa after playing in the leaves.  There has been several times too that a food allergen has caused his eyes to almost swell shut.  If he gets a food allergen on his skin it will affect his skin. He does not need to eat it in order to have a reaction. 
He is still a boy though and I do not make him live in a plastic bubble.  He plays in the leaves, goes on hikes, goes camping, has animals, and plays outside all summer.  I have just learned how to try and prevent as much allergens as possible and treat the allergens that arise.  I carry a portable medicine cabinet in my purse.  My car is always loaded with extra clothes, hand made sunscreen, hand made insect and mosquito repellent, snacks and drinks.  Many people are amazed at all I have to do or go through to take cake of both my kids allergies and my son's eczema.  To me it is just a way of life.  I don't know it any other way.  To me this is the norm.  My life would not be complete without  the allergies and the eczema!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quilting

I  love to go to quilt shows and admire the women who make these beautiful works of art.  Quilts seem to be an expression of the person making them as well as the person who the quilt is made for.  Quilts can tell stories as well as just match the design and color of the room it is intendend for.  I have only dabbled in quilting a few times.  I enjoyed making all the quilts that I made.  Here are a few of my quilts.

This is the first quilt that I have ever made.   It is a lap quilt that I designed for my friend who lives in Michigan.  She lives in Michigan but is a huge Ohio State fan.  If you know anything about the Ohio State and Michigan rivalry you will know why that is such a big deal!! I appliqued the Ohio State logo on each block and then quilted around them.

This is the first full size quilt that I have ever made. It is a queen size.  I made it for my brother and his wife as a wedding gift.  The colors did not show up real well in the photos.  The green background is more of a mint green with different shades of purple.  I machine quilted it using a varigated pastel thread.  My sister in law loved it and they use it on their bed!!!


This is also a queen size quilt.  A friend's husband hired me to make it for her as a Christmas gift.  It is a T-shirt quilt.  It is made from a collection of her track T-shirts from high school and collage.  I had a lot of fun making this quilt.  I wish I could have been there Christmas morning when she opened it up and saw it!!


Quilts take a long time to make.  After making my first few quilts I now know why they are so expensive.  The cost of materials are pretty high and then the time you put into cutting out, sewing together, and then quilting.  I have a lot of respect for those men and women who make many of these works of art.  I get bored just crocheting a baby afhgan.  No wonder I don't quilt that much.  Plus my husband does not appreciate eating hot dogs every night for supper for 3 weeks while I confescated the kitchen table to quilt my brothers quilt!!!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Components of a Salve

What makes a salve a salve and a lotion a lotion?  Well I am glad you asked.  This is purely my definition and not a scientific definition.  A salve is an oil based ointment used on the skin.  It has some sort of thickener in it.  A lotion has oil mixed with a water mixture that creates a creamy lotion that you would use on the skin.  So when I label a product that I will sell if it has a oil and water mixture formed into a creamy lotion I call it lotion.  If it is solely an oil mixture I will call it a salve or creme based on the contents. 

So what does a salve have in it.  It has 3 components.  They are a carrier oil, a thickener, and essential oils.  A carrier oil is the main oil of the salve.  You will use the most of this in a recipe.  I usually use a light weight oil or a combination of oils such as apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, or jojoba oil.  Sweet almond oil is a great oil for the skin.  Just make sure you are not allergic to nuts.  As with any oil you use make sure you use something that you are not allergic to. 

The next main component of the salve is a thickener.  This is normally a wax.  I only use 100% pure unbleached bees wax.  I get it from a local bee store and filter it myself.  Sometimes my friends who have bees will give me some wax after they collect their honey.  I know some people prefer the bleached because it will not alter the color of their lotions, but I like the pure bees wax.  It has a wonderful smell and you keep all the great properties of the beeswax that God created.  Bees wax has antiseptic properties in it.  When you bleach it out you are taking all the healing properties out of the wax.  A little bit of wax goes a long way.

The last thing I put into my salves is a mixture of essential oils and vitamin E oil.  Some people use essential oils to scent a lotion.  When I use them in my salves it is to treat a specific condition.  My eczema formula salve has a specific combination of essential oils.  Each essential oil is used for a specific purpose.  Chamomile to relieve itching, tea tree oil to heal the skin, peppermint oil is an antibiotic, etc.....  I also use vitamin E oil.  It adds nourishment to the skin and also acts as a natural preservative to the oils.  Some people use a preservative that is chemical based.  It keeps the lotions fresh for a lot longer but since I try to avoid any sort of chemical I just stick to my vitamin E oil.

When making a salve you need to melt your wax with you carrier oils.  Once melted you remove from the heat and add you essential oils and vitamin E oil.  Pour into you containers and let set until cool.  The salve thickens up after it cools.  Bees wax has a high melting point.  I suggest not to use a microwave.  Using high heat will destroy all the good properties of your beeswax.  I use a double boiler on low heat.  It will take a while to melt, but you keep all those yummy things that naturally occur in the bees wax.  Heat also destroys your essential oils.  So add these after you have removed your salve from the heat. 

Even though I do not use a chemical preservative I have found that my salves stays fresh for a long time.  At least as long as it takes to use it up.  My son uses his eczema lotion over his entire body so it does not last long.  Depending on the weather and his eczema a 12 oz container will last 3 or 4 months. 

The next time I make up batches of salve I will take pictures and post so you can see the process.  

The bees wax in the salve acts as a double agent. It helps protect the skin with its antiseptic properties but it also lays down a layer on the skin to help keep moisture in.  I normally  use the salve after my son has showered.  The skin is soft and has water on it.  Lightly towel dry and lather in the salve.  It adds more moisture from the oils and then the bees wax seals it in!!

One way to help combat eczema is by taking preventative measures against allergies.  By knowing your local pollen count you can stay in when it is too high.  I have provided a link to find out your local pollen count. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crochet Time

I taught myself to crochet about 6 years ago with one of those kits from Walmart.  The teach yourself to crochet kit.  Since then I have been crocheting and I have a new found love for yarn!!  My favorite thing to crochet is baby outfits.  They crochet up so quickly and make a really nice gift.  I normally don't do bigger projects because I get bored too fast.  I am one of those that has numerous unfinished projects laying around the house.  I eventually do go back to them and get things finished.  It sometimes takes a few years but they will eventually get done!!  Here are a few past projects.  

I made this outfit for a friend who finally had a boy!!

I have made several of these cropped sweaters and bubble suits.  I use different combinations of colors for the suit and flowers.  I make them in a 3 month and 6 month size.  I gave a set to 2 different friends and they look adorable on their babies!!



The next three sweaters I gave to a friend for a baby shower gift.  The green and purple is a size 3 months!

This is a size 6 months sweater.  The baby was born in January.  I might fit her now for Easter
This one is a newborn sweater.  She said her daughter wore it several times and looked adorable in it!!


This is a 6 month outfit I made for my cousin. 
Size 6 month sweater as a gift

Size 6 month sweater
Yellow V-Stitch 6 month outfit
I made this dress, hat, and booties from a pattern I found on line in the free patterns at bernat.com I had left over yarn and I am now making a baby afghan with it.  The baby afghan has the peach as the main color and the lavender as accent. 


I made this outfit for a friend and I also entered it in our local county fair.  I won first prize with it!!

Back of Bonnet

Back of Sweater


Another friend finally had a boy!!!  Aren't the dinosaur buttons cute?

A bowl of crocheted veges out of crochet cotton.  I made the rag bowl too!! This pattern is from sugarncream.com under the kitchen decor section in the free patterns.  It made a nice wedding shower gift!!

Crochet is a lot of fun and I prefer to crochet than knit.  I love to knit but when I want a quick gift crochet seems to work up a lot faster for me.  There are a ton of great free patterns on line.  Most people really appreciate a hand crocheted baby sweater and outfit and put them back as keepsakes when their baby gets too big for it!!