Wednesday, June 30

How to crochet a hairband or headband

Before I get into crocheting, I just want to ask, "Do any of you know how to get rid of all the comments on your blog?"
I do!
All you have to do is change your URL, save it, then change it back to your old URL, and POOF! all your comments will disappear.
I did this yesterday morning.  I just wanted to see if the URL "mom of daughters" was available instead of "mom of 5 daughters".  When I realized this change wouldn't work because all the links with "mom of 5 daughters" would no longer work, then I quickly changed it back.  It wasn't until later in the day that I noticed all the comments on my blog were gone!  I couldn't believe it.  I treasured those comments so much (probably way too much!), even if the comment was only one word, it still meant a lot to me because this is a new blog and a new undertaking for me and the comments were encouraging to know someone visited my blog.  Okay, now that I got my "boo hoo's" out in the open, maybe I can move past it and do the hairbands.  Yippee!!! Crocheted hairbands or headbands.  These are really so adorable!!!!!

But not as adorable as my super model step-daughter!

FYI, there are links to some youtube "how to" videos I made that show step-by-step instructions below.  These videos are so much easier to follow and understand than the written instructions, but I have provided those for you too.  Also adorable, are the crocheted flowers on the hairband/headband.  The links to show how to crochet the flowers are also in the list below: 

Start with a size "G" crochet hook. Knot yarn on hook, chain (ch) 8.  Work a double crochet (dc) in the 3rd ch from knot, ch 1, then work a dc in the 1st ch from knot.  You are now done with the first row!

Ch 4 and turn what you have crocheted counter-clockwise, work a dc in top of previous middle dc, ch 1, skip a ch stitch from previous row and work another dc in the next ch stitch (row 2 is now done!).  Ch 4, turn, dc in previous middle dc, ch 1, dc in 3rd ch stitch of the previous rows ch 4 stitches (or skip a ch and work it in the next chain-- either way it is the same chain stitch, in the photo to the left the tip if the crochet hook shows the chain stitch to work the next dc in). Row 3 done!

In the fourth row, you will be increasing.  Ch 4, turn, work a dc in the first loop (hole), ch 1, dc in top of middle dc of previous row, ch1, dc in next loop, ch 1, dc in 3rd ch (of the ch 4 of previous row). Row 4 done! 
Work row 5 and 6 by working ch 4, dc in tops of previous rows dc's with a ch 1 inbetween each dc. 
Helpful hint: 
Rows 1,2,3 have 3 dc's (with ch 1 inbetween)
Rows 4,5,6 have 5 dc's (with a ch 1 inbetween)
Rows 7,8,9 have 7 dc's ( " )
Rows 10,11,12,13,14,15,16 have 9 dc's ( " )
Rows 17,18,19 have 7 dc's ( " )
Rows 20,21,22 have 5 dc's ( " )
Rows 23, 24,25 have 3 dc's ( " )

Row 7 (increase), ch 4, turn work a dc in first loop, ch 1, work dc in tops of previous rows dc's with ch 1 inbetween, work another dc in last loop, ch 1, dc in 3rd ch (of the ch 4 of previous row).  Work rows 8 and 9 by working ch 4, dc in tops of previous rows dc's with a ch 1 inbetween.

Increase in row 10 the same as in row 7 (in first and last loops) for a total of 9 dc's.  Work rows 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 the same as rows 8 and 9 (with a total of 9 dc's in each row).

Decrease in row 17 by: ch 4, turn, skip previous rows first dc and work a dc in the previous rows 2nd dc, ch 1, continue working across as usual, except skip the previous rows last dc and work dc in dc in 3rd ch (of the ch 4 of previous row). This row should have 7 dc's. Work rows 18 and 19 with 7 dc's. 

Decrease in row 20, then work rows 21 and 22 with 5 dc's.  Decrease again in row 23, then work rows 24 and 25 with 3 dc's.  You are almost done!!!

Fold the hairband in half and single crochet the ends together. It will be about 4 single crochets.

Knot at the end (through the loop) and weave yarn ends into hairband to hide them, then trim them off.


 I forgot to say what size crochet hook I used (it's a "G").
Oh, and here is a link to a video I made on how to crochet a little leaf on the flower, in case you're interested:

Happy crocheting!!!

Tuesday, June 29

The 4th of July

Last week me and my hubby watched a movie called "Taking Chance".  It is inspired by a true story of the United States Marine who volunteered to escort the remains of a nineteen year old soldier who was killed in Iraq, to his small hometown in remote Wyoming. Lance Corporal Chance Phelps (USMC) was just nineteen years old when he was killed during active duty. Now, as Lance Corporal Phelps is prepared for his final journey back home, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl (USMC) (played by Kevin Bacon) makes it his personal mission to ensure that his fallen brother is laid to rest with the proper respect. As the journey begins, Lieutenant Colonel Strobl gains a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made in war than ever before. ~ (Write up by Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide)

I recommend watching this movie as the 4th of  July approaches.  It brings back to home what the holiday is about.

Then, coincidentally, me and my hubby and my 2 step-sons went to a Patriotic fireside-program on Sunday evening.  It was a lump in the throat experience as former football star, Steve Young, introduced Senior Airman Michael Malarsie, who was injured in Afghanistan in early January.
Here is a quote from yesterday's newspaper article about the evening: 
"Malarsie joined Young at the podium and talked about losing his comrades as well as his eyesight to an IED blast. His voice caught as he recounted the loss, but his gratitude was genuine as he thanked the friends and strangers that held him up.

"I would not change a single thing," Malarsie said, noting that it was even through the accident that he met Jesse, his wife of two days. The audience stood to salute the soldier as he shuffled with a walking cane back to his seat. Young then closed with the question: "How will each of us, in the privacy of our own hearts and own souls, answer the question, 'How am I going to treat those around me?' "

Later in the program, two young men were honored:

Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen, 21, of Orem, Utah, died March 4 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon, 19, of Orem, Utah, died March 1 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A flag folding ceremony was performed and the two flags were given to the mothers of the brave fallen servicemen,  Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen and Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon.

My heart aches for these mothers.  I honor them and their sons.  They have been on my mind and in my heart constantly since Sunday night.  I hope I don't ever forget them for the great sacrifices they have made.
They represent what the 4th of July is all about.
So many great men (and of course their mothers) have made ultimate sacrifices for our free country.  Let's pray to God that we will do all we can to keep it that way.


Monday, June 28

To eat or not to eat white sugar

Last week I was helping myself to a nice sized bowl of ice cream before going to bed.  On Thursday night, along with the ice cream, I had a large piece of cake (okay, it was two pieces of cake), to go with it.  Again, I was eating this right before I went to bed.

Well, that night, I couldn't sleep and I just felt icky.  I didn't exactly feel sick, I just didn't feel very well.  I decided at that moment in the middle of the night to go on a white flour / white sugar (including high fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners) fast.  I've done fairly well, with just a few indulgences and guess what?!?  I already feel better and have more energy.  I haven't had that lethargic feeling like I usually have at different times of the day.  I hope I stick to it, it's so worth it and if I loose some weight at the same time, all the better!!!

Here's some profound info from Women Fitness . . .

An eye-opener:
Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (white flour, noodles, processed, devitalized foods, etc.) require little metabolism and enter the bloodstream rapidly. This is the "lift" phase! But oh, the crash that follows!

Strike One! The pancreas, the organ that regulates how much insulin is released into the blood, is "caught off guard" by the sudden surge of sugar. Sensing that it has more work to do than it really does, it releases too much insulin. (Insulin processes starches and sugars to keep blood sugar at an even level.)

Strike Two! The result of all this chemical "warfare" is a dramatic drop in blood sugar (usually within the hour), and a resulting feeling of lethargy, mental confusion, weakness, and false feelings of "hunger!"

Strike Three! If it could be worse, this has got to be it: Sugar causes weight gain, not merely because of its caloric content, but because it actually alters the metabolism, as well! What does this mean? This means: If two groups of people are fed the exact same number of calories, but one group takes its calories in sugar and refined products, while the other group consumes the calories in the form of whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, the sugar group will gain weight, while the other will not. This finding comes to us from studies published by the U.S. Department of Health.

For more info click on:   Women Fitness

I have discovered that finding replacements for the sugar is more difficult than finding replacements for the white flour.  I just replace the white flour with wheat flour, but the sugar, that is more difficult. 
I'm using more honey than ever before!
Any suggestions?  Especially ones that don't cost a fortune?

Friday, June 25

Mini Bread Baskets!

Perfect for a tea party, or for kids who don't like salad.  It is fun for kids and grown-ups to make and healthy too!!! 
*One caution, I just made this up last night and it is a work in progress and I will be fine tuning it as time goes on.*
Stuff you'll need.

First, cut off the bread crusts of the same amount of slices of bread as you want to make baskets.
(I used wheat bread to add more nutrition.  Also, save the crusts and use them to feed the ducks this summer.)

Second, roll the bread slices flat.

Third, make 4 small cuts on each edge of the bread.

Now, either brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (I just used Italian Seasonings), or do it later after you have molded the bread.

Then, mold the bread on an upside-down muffin tin by getting the four cuts wet (with water, not oil) and press the overlapping bread.  You can cut off the corners if you want to.

I also tried putting the oil and seasoning on after molding the bread to the cup, but this didn't work so well.  It was hard to get the seasonings on the sides of the cup.  Then, later I discovered it is better to have the seasonings in the bread cup, because they scatter all over the place.

Bake at 250 for about 10 minutes.  You don't want them totally crispy yet, because we still have to add the basket handle.
(see, I only made one basket with the seasonings on the inside and I like that one the best -- it's less messy)

Cut the crust off another slice of bread, roll it flat, and cut it into strips, then put water on the ends of the strip and press onto the sides of the bread basket cup. You may need toothpicks to hold up the basket handle while it completely dries.

When the basket is dry and crispy (I just let it air dry), add your favorite salad stuffings, or veggies, or fruit.  Have fun getting creative!  Let me know about your creative ideas with this. 

Top with your favorite salad dressing and eat up.
Instead of having croutons in your salad, you have one giant crouton holding your salad!

Thursday, June 24

Mom's tea party home

I think my desire to experience the late 1700's and 1800's began with Christmas programs on tv when I was a pre-teen.  I loved the fancy, flowing cloths and the kind, polite charm and magic of it all.  As years went by my thoughts and dreams of a gentler, more cultured era never dimmed. 
Having five daughters, it was easy to have little tea parties with them.  Then about 10 or so years ago, my mom and dad moved from the big city to the small town area where they grew up.  I couldn't believe it, the turn of the century house they moved into had so much of what I had dreamed of -- it is magical and a step back in time -- I love it!
I want to share this love with you from my 4 day stay last weekend . . .

Our tour starts with the front of the house.

As you go through the arbor, up the front walk, you arrive at the front porch.

Then you walk around the side of the house,

to get to the back of the house.

Keep going, and you come to the gazebo.

This is where you will find my mom! (isn't she pretty, the prettiest flower in her garden!)

You will also find my sister, my brother, and myself having a little tea party (or to be more correct -- brunch).

Now that we've had a bite to eat, we will continue with our tour.  Here are the neighbors.  They live next to my mom's orchard.  They love the apples that fall off the trees!

Poppies, clematis, columbine, and bleeding hearts are just a few of the pretty flowers everywhere.

There are more roses than any other flower (don't ask me what varieties they are, I have no idea).

Some inhabitants: the bell to tell us when to "git" home, lazy boys, Mr. Turtle, and the evasive roadrunner.

Snapdragons, miniature roses, daisies, and iris.

We will end our tour by the backdoor, where these lovelies live. 
Going to my mom's home is like a breath of fresh air, a long tall glass of lemonade, and a tranquility that feeds my soul.
Thank you for visiting with me!

Wednesday, June 23

Making Dreams Come True

As many of you know-- the English countryside, Elizabeth Bennett's era -- is my dream.  Now, after years and years of thinking about it, I am doing something about it (which I have this blog to thank for that!).

Wearing time period costume clothing is the strongest pull into make believe that I can think of (that's what makes Halloween so fun . . . dressing up as your alter ego). 
Me and my daughters and all of you who want to come are invited to make a 1800's-ish dress and come to our English-style tea parties.

Soooo, here is the adventure I've embarked on,

 turning this pattern into a Regency period dress.  I bought this pattern cuz it was cheap and because it has the princess waistline of the Regency era.

I'm using my mom's old "portable" sewing machine.  I love this machine, it will last forever.

I had to line the whole dress (I just used white cotton fabric) because the floral print was kind of see-through and thin.  I just extended the top blouse pieces to go to the floor for the skirt part of the dress.  I'm tall so it was a lot of fabric.

After sewing the bodice to the skirt part, it was time to try it on (yup, over my shorts and tee shirt).

This pattern has a drawstring that you then pull and tie into a bow in the front to gather it in.

The dress goes to the floor, but those pictures were too blurry to post (from me setting the camera timer and running to get in place!).  Anyway, it fit pretty darn well, and I enjoyed wearing it.  I just noticed that the color of my t-shirt matched the dress.  Sorry, the t-shirt must go and puffy sleeves must be added.  I also want to make an apron to wear over it, just like in the newest Pride and Prejudice movie.
(Look, I'm already practicing the pinky thing, that will be handy when sipping a cup of herbal tea!).

I will post the finished dress when I get it finished.  Until then, the moral of this post is that you can create anything you want to, even from a pattern that looks nothing like the finished product, re-affirming that you can make your dreams come true!!!

Wanna learn something else? Just click.

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