Google <script> (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-49566249-1', 'greenecraftsandcountryliving.blogspot.com') ga('require', 'displayfeatures'); ga('send', 'pageview'); </script> Green eCrafts and Country Living: January 2016
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

My hands can do this --- Bathroom Toiletry Holder



Keeping our bathroom clean is very important to maintain hygiene.  Keeping our things we use everyday organized is another thing not to be disregarded. In addition, setting up even a little interior decoration can make a big difference to reflect your good style and create a nice ambience.   


BATHROOM TOILETRY HOLDER

Materials:
(1)  plastic basket container
(1)  flower foam
(1)  white and (1) red tissue paper
(4)  6-inch floral wires
(1)  long dried stick (C-curving)
(3)  artificial flowers
(6)  artificial fern leaves
(2)  artificial long branch with leaves
(1)  other artificial plant
       needle nose plier

Note: all materials are used already except for the floral wires. Dried stick came from the falling limbs of a tree. You can decide to buy new materials for this project.

Level of Difficulty - easy

Instructions:



Arranging the Floral Foam
Arrange the used floral foam inside the container horizontally. If you have to buy a new and big floral foam, cut it according to the size of the basket.


Attaching the Artificial Leaves on Dried Stick
Attach the lower end of the artificial long branch with leaves to the lower end of the long dried stick (C-curving) with a piece of 6-inch chicken wire. Do not cut the excess wire.  Tighten the wire carefully with a needle nose plier, so as not to break the wire. Do the rest with the same procedure until you reach the top. Follow the curve of the long dried stick as you attach the artificial long branch with leaves.


Attached Artificial Leaves on Dried Stick
This is how it looks like after attaching the long branch with leaves to the long dried stick. It should be curving with the shape of the long dried stick .


Tying the Wires on Basket Handle
Consider first which side of the circular handle of the basket you are going to attach the dried stick. In this case, I position the dried stick near the left side of circular handle. Then stick the lower end of the dried stick to the floral foam in a slanting position.

Move the dried stick back near the circular handle. Insert the excess wire into the holes in the center and tie it around the circular handle of the basket. Tighten the wire carefully with the needle nose plier, so as not to break it. Do the same procedure with the rest of the excess wires until you reach the last wire. Be sure the dried stick is curving with the shape of the circular handle as you attach it. Tighten the wire carefully with the needle nose plier.


Arranging the Flowers (1)
Stick the first tallest artificial flower into the floral foam near the dried stick. You can buy and choose any kind of artificial flowers you like. 


Arranging the Flowers (2)
Stick the remaining 2 artificial flowers in front of the tallest flower. The second flower must be taller than the third one. Bend the stem of the second flower a little bit to one side and the third flower to the other side.


Arranging the Flowers (3)
Stick the other artificial plant at the back of the 3 flowers. You can also buy and choose any kind of plants that can blend well with the 3 flowers.


Arranging the Flowers (4)
Stick the first of the 3 artificial fern leaves at the back of the 3 flowers. Arrange each leaf in one line near the edge of the basket.  Stick the remaining 3 artificial fern leaves in front of the flowers near the edge of the basket. Bend each fern leaf a little bit towards the front. There should be space left in the middle of the basket.

                                                                                  
Arranging the Tissue Papers 
Arrange the red tissue paper first in the middle space of the basket horizontally. Arrange the white tissue paper on top of the red tissue paper diagonally. You can buy and choose any colored tissue paper that will blend with the kind of flowers you have.


Arranging the Toiletries (1)


Arranging the Toiletries (2)
Arrange any items of your choice in the space provided inside the basket. The items you will choose will depend on the place where you intend to display the basket. In display #1, I placed a shampoo, 2 kinds of gift soap, and a conditioner. In display #2, I placed a shampoo, conditioner, a pack of small lotions, a pack of small bottles of perfumes, and make-up remover.


Bathroom Toiletry Holder Display (2)


Bathroom Toiletry Holder Display (1)

You can choose the best place you like to display in your own bathroom. It's a nice, unique-looking decor in your bathroom and at the same time, holds your toiletries.  You just need a little bit of creativeness and be practical especially, if you have just a small bathroom.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My hands can do this --- Knitted Dog Wrap with Hood


A dog is really a man’s best friend.  It’s created to protect the owner and all the family members from harm.  Though it is costly to buy a dog and maintain its good health, it’s worth it because of the joy and companionship it can give to the owner and anybody who sees it and also the care and protection it can provide.   Very rewarding also if you can train the dog to do some skills, like picking up something you throw or  getting something you want it to get, etc.   


Whisky
One day, the niece of my son-in-law came over to the house.  She was carrying something and guess what??? It’s her newly bought cute, adorable dog – a two-month old toy poodle named Whisky. Upon seeing it,  I asked her if she likes me to make a wrap for her dog and she obliged.  It wasn’t easy for me to think how I could make my own pattern for this dog.  It was really a  trial and error for this project because before the time I finished it, I saw the dog grew bigger after two months.  So, I have to start all over again and provide additional stitches.   Anyway, it’s worth every effort I made.  It’s worth it also for her to have this dog because it is really so adorable and lovable.  

 *KNITTED DOG WRAP WITH HOOD

Materials:
(1)  Red Heart, Frosty Green Fleck, 5 oz.
(1)  circular needle - US size 5 / 3.75mm / 16” – 40.5cm
(1)  circular needle US size 6 / 4.00mm / 16” – 40.5cm
(4)  double knitting needles US size 7 (4.5mm)
(2)  straight needles # 5
(1)  crochet needle F/5 – 3.75 mm
(6)  marker / stopper (bread tie coiled around the double knitting needle)
(1)  yarn needle


Measurements                       Dog (4 months old)        *Project
Head circumference                    11 in.
Neck circumference                    12 in.
Chest                                             5 in.
Chest to genital                             7 in.                                  7 in.
Armpit                                           8 in.                                  9.5 in.
Upper Body (armpit side)           15 in.                                 16 in.     
Lower Body (bottom side)          15 in.                                 14 in.
Neckline (front)                                                                       3.5 in.
Neckline (back)                                                                       5 in.
Hood                                                                              7 in. (L) x 4.5 in. (W)
Hood opening                                                                         18 in.

*The project is approximately measured without stretching around except the neckline (front and back).
    
Level of Difficulty – easy

Stitch Abbreviations:
(K2 tog)  knit 2 together
(st/s)        stitch/es 
(lp)           loop
(sp)          space

(Note: Always count the number of stitches before going to the next round to avoid committing a mistake.)
        
Special Instructions:
(K2 tog) – insert the right needle into the front of the first 2 (sts) on the left needle as if to (k) then (k) them together as if they are one (st).

(P2 tog) – insert the right needle into the front of the  first 2 (sts) on the left needle as if to (p) and (p) them together as if they are one (st).

Binding Off (knit / pur) – ( K) / (P) two (sts).  Insert the tip of the left needle into the first (st) on the right needle.  Lift the (st) over the last (st) you (k) / (p) and over the tip of the right needle.

Instructions:
With circular needle # 5, cast on 7n0 (sts).  Always place a marker to mark the beginning of a round. Turn the needles around your hand. Be sure the first (st) is closed to the beginning (st) to connect as in the picture shown below:


Connecting the Stiches

Ribbing
1st Rnd –   (K) around to connect the (sts).    Put a marker.   Turn the needles around your hand.  
Result -  70 (sts)

2nd to 6th Rnds – (K1, P1) around.   
Result -  70 (sts)  

7th to 30th Rnd – (K70)
Results70 (sts)

Changing the Needles and Binding off
Don’t forget to put a stopper at the end of one circular needle to keep hold of the other (sts).  Bind off 10 (sts) only.  Insert one straight needle #5 into the last (lp) after binding off.  Carefully insert the straight needle into the 25 (sts) one by one, as you remove the circular needle.   Put a stopper again into the other end of the circular needle.  Then use the other straight needle to transfer carefully and reposition the (sts) one by one before continuing to knit again. It will look like this as shown in the picture below:  


Changing the Needles

Making of Back Side
1st Rnd – Using the straight needle #5, (K26).
Results – 26 (sts)

2nd Rnd - (P26). 
Results – 26 (sts)

3rd Rnd – (K2 tog), (K22), (K2 tog).
Results – 24 (sts)

4th Rnd – (P24).
Results – 24 (sts)

5th Rnd – (K2 tog), (K20), (K2 tog).
Results – 22 (sts)

6th Rnd – (P22).
Results – 22 (sts)

7th Rnd – (K22).
Results – 22 (sts)

8th Rnd -  (P22).           
Results – 22 (sts)

9th to 10th Rn -  Repeat 7th and 8th Rnds.  Bind off.  Provide an allowance before cutting the yarn.  Cut and tie it twice. 
Results – 22 (sts)

Changing the Needles and Binding off
Using a crochet hook, insert the yarn end into the (lp) of the first (st) of the neck side to connect.  Tie it twice.  Using the same circular needle, bind off 10 (sts) only.  Insert one straight needle #5 into the last (lp) after binding off.  Carefully insert the straight needle #5 into the 25 (sts) one by one, as you remove the circular needle.   Insert also the needle to the first (lp) where the first set of binded (sts) are. Then use the other straight needle to transfer carefully and reposition the (sts) one by one before continuing to knit again. 

Making of Front Side
1st Rnd – (P2 tog), (P25). 
Results – 26 (sts)

2nd Rnd - (K26). 
Results – 26 (sts)

3rd Rnd – (P2 tog), (P22), (P2 tog).
Results – 24 (sts)

4th Rnd – (K24).
Results – 24 (sts)

5th Rnd – (P2 tog), (P20), (P2 tog).
Results – 22 (sts)

6th Rnd – (K22).
Results – 22 (sts)

7th Rnd – (P2 tog), (P18), (P2 tog).
Results – 20 (sts)

8th Rnd -  (K20).          
Results – 20 (sts)

9th Rnd -  (P2 tog), (P16), (P2 tog). 
Results – 18 (sts)

10th Rnd – (K18).
Results – 18 (sts)

11th Rnd – (P2 tog), (P14), (P2 tog).
Results – 16 (sts)

12th Rnd – (K16).  Turn the needle around your hand with pur side facing you.  Pur to bind off.  Provide an allowance before cutting the yarn.  Cut and tie it twice. 
Results – 16 (sts)


Making of Hooded Collar
With circular needle # 6, cast on 60 (sts).  Always place a marker to mark the beginning of a round. Turn the needles around your hand. Be sure the first (st) is closed to the beginning (st) to connect. 

I - Ribbing
1st Rnd –   (K) around to connect the (sts).    Put a marker.  
Results -  60 (sts)

2nd to 10th Rnd – (K60).  
Results – 60 (sts)

II - Changing the Needles and Binding Off
Transfer carefully the 21 (sts) into double knitting needle, as you remove them from the circular needle.  Bind them off.  Transfer carefully again the remaining (sts) one by one into another 3 double knitting needles, as you remove the circular needle.   Put a stopper on every end of the needles to hold the (sts). 

(Note: If the last (st) near the binded (st) seems to be not so closed to each other, you can pick it up to join.  (K2 tog) to maintain the total number of (sts).   

1st Rnd -  (K40). 
Results -   40 (sts)  

2nd Rnd – (P40).    
Results – 40 (sts)

3rd  to 18th Rnd – Repeat 1st and 2nd Rnds .  Transfer evenly the (sts) into 2 double knitting needles only at the 10th Rnd. 
Results – 40 (sts)

III - Binding off and Connecting the Edges
Bind off.  Test the (sts) that were binded off initially, if they are too tight or not, by stretching them. Each needle is removed as you finish binding the (sts).  Provide 25 inches of yarn allowance and then cut it.  Invert the project and align the binded area together.  Using a yarn needle, insert the yarn end into the first binded (sts) to connect the edges.  Insert it back to the same binded (sts) to strengthen the hold.  Continue doing the procedure as if you are just sewing.  Tie it twice at the end.  Insert the yarn end into the (sts) to hide the excess allowance and then cut it.

Attaching the Hooded Collar to the Body
Invert the project and choose which side you like to show.   Connect the hooded collar to the front side first and then the back side.  You will connect them as if you are just sewing using a yarn needle.  Extend both your arms while holding a line of yarn to measure an approximate yarn allowance for attaching the hooded collar to the body.  Be sure both the hooded collar and the body should have the same kind of (sts) showing before sewing them.

1)  Front Side
From the excess yarn end at the front side of the last round,  insert the yarn end and tie it twice.  Insert the needle into where the excess yarn end of the hooded collar is and pull the yarn to initially connect them.  Sew the same binded (st) of the body and regular (st) of the hooded collar one more time to strengthen the hold.  Don’t forget to hide the excess yarn ends as you sew.

Insert the yarn needle into the next regular (st) of the hooded collar and insert it back to the same binded (st) of the body.  You need to skip one regular (st) of the hooded collar and then insert the yarn needle into the same binded (st) of the body.  This is to center and align the hooded collar and the body because the front side has only a total 16 (sts) while the binded (sts) have 20 (sts).  The initial outcome will look like, as if the (sts) were still knitted or purred as shown in the picture below:


Attaching the Collar to the Body (Front Side)
(Oops, sorry I failed to rotate this picture)
For example, for every regular 5 (sts) of the hooded collar,  you have to do the procedure of inserting the needle into the same binded (st) of the body until you have sewn a total of  regular 20 (sts) and aligned front side of the collar at the center.  Sew one more time on the last (sts) to strengthen the hold. 

2)  Back Side
Continue sewing the next regular 5 (sts) of the hooded collar.  Then insert the needle into the first  binded (st) of the back side to connect.  Sew one more time the same (sp) to strengthen the hold. Before you start sewing this back side, put a marker for the last regular 5 (sts) of the hoodie collar.  Begin sewing and aligning the binded (sts) of the back side with the regular (sts) of the hooded collar.   Sew one more time the last (sts) to strengthen the hold. 

Continue sewing the last regular 5 (sts) of the hooded collar.  Don’t forget to hide the excess yarn ends as you sew.  Cut and tie it twice.   Hide the rest of excess yarns.


Let’s watch the video of this little, cute toy poodle on a skateboard.


video


*This project was featured on All Free Knitting last Jan. 23, 2014 and posted as #4 in their What’s Hot - Knitting for Pets.  I was also featured as #2 among Top Knit Designers as shown below. Though this is not a permanent ranking, I can always humbly say, “Thank you very much to all viewers.”

What's Hot

4.      Hooded Dog Wrap
5.      Paw Socks Pattern
7.      Cat Hoodie
8.      Boa Dog Coat
10.    Catnip Bunnies



What's Hot

2.      Susan Hamilton
3.      Gretchen Tracy
4.      Robin Celli
8.      Vickie Howell
10.    Carol Sunday

Read more at http://www.allfreeknitting.com/knitting-designers/Susan-Hamilton#3ug3S8SmDwMWUFog.99


Friday, January 1, 2016

My mind tells ... Let's face our New Year with a Big Bang



You might think that I’m crazy when I say this. But STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! for a moment and try to ponder on this because  I’m not referring to guns or even firecrackers.  I’m not going to talk about what are our New Year’s Resolutions. There are so many things to think about like -- starting our New Year with a plan to buy a new car or a new house or upgrade our cellphones;  starting our New Year with thoughts that whatever our problems are, they  might be solved this year; starting our New Year with hope that our children will do better, so they will get good grades in school and be able to finish their college degrees;  starting our New Year with all the conceivable things that we can think and willing to do just to be able to make our business prosper; starting our New Year thinking about more options to gain job promotions or advancement in careers. If not all of these, what else? I would like to go beyond these things.



Have we really thought of what’s in our hearts?  This is very important because whatever is in our hearts, it goes to our minds. Then the things in our minds transmit its messages for us to do what we like to do. Every year, we always make our resolutions to make up for all our shortcomings and failures. We are not all perfect and no one can really achieve that perfection simply  because we are humans and not God.  But the importance in making our yearly resolutions is our good intention to change for the better or our desire to improve ourselves.  Rather than be stuck in the same old ways and let your life be ruined just like going with the flow of strong current of temptations without any struggle to fight it. Even if we fall down many times in our life, we need to get up and face our daily existence. They say, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Yes, this is the reality of human life, but we should not use this as an excuse not to strive hard to get rid of our weaknesses.   If we can’t do it alone by ourselves, we need to seek help.   No matter how we are living independently by ourselves, there will come a time a problem will come up and we can’t solve it. It’s no shame to seek help.  No man is an island. 

Secondly, praying for someone is the most important and powerful thing we can do for our family members, friends, and even for those we aren’t really acquainted with. I believe in karma and whatever we do for others, it will be done unto us. 

Thirdly, selfishness should be disregarded. We should be living not for ourselves only, but for others also. Doing sacrifices for the sake of others is a great virtue.  We need to be proud of it as a mother, husband, brother, sister, grandparent, friend, and especially as a volunteer who does charity and missionary works.

Fourthly, learning to forgive ourselves for our failures and shortcomings. We tend to feel sorry about what we did wrong to others and ask forgiveness from them. But we should also learn to forgive ourselves to keep our dignity, confidence, and other virtues still remaining in us as a person. We still deserve respect in spite of our failures and shortcomings.

Fifthly, enhancing our sense of appreciation.  We appreciate other people for doing good things or favor for us. But our sense of appreciation shouldn’t stop when we become incapacitated or encounter some failures in our life. I greatly salute those people, like those war veterans who became disabled, those who got injured because of accidents, those who became disabled due to birth defects, and those who developed illnesses or diseases either physically or psychologically. They manage to survive in spite of their disabilities and still enhance their sense of appreciation for what is still left of them as a person and for the goodness they are still capable of doing.  They struggle so much to live and still continue to learn how they can cope with their daily life.


One good example to cite is the 18 year-old Miss Montana who competed for Miss America 2013 in Las Vegas.  She was diagnosed of autism when she was 11 years old.  But this did not prevent her from pursuing what goodness she can still do in spite of having autism. It’s also a very good thing that her mother has been so supportive of her that really boosts her moral.

Sixthly,  finding humor in life. We know that life is full of struggles in everything.  Finding humor in times of grief or sorrow, trials or problems, and failures is not an easy thing to do.  But lingering on sad stories of our life forever can succumb us to depression and cause us a great devastating effect at the end, if not controlled.  There are only two faces of life – one with the smiling face and one with the crying face. Which face would you like to have? 

Lastly, having faith that there is always a room for changes or improvements.  We think more of improving or upgrading our houses, cars, cellphones, and business facilities, but neglecting what we really need to improve in ourselves.  We need to realize that it won’t cost us money to improve what’s in our hearts.  Let's make our lives less complicated. Live simply and move forward. Let’s face our New Year with a Big Bang!



video



A Happy New Year to all !!!

A -  lways  year after year,
                                                    
H – oping for the better, if not the best,
A – nything that matters to all the rest,
P – raying for peace and goodness,
P – romoting  goodwill  and kindness,
Y – ou  have to do it with gladness.

N – eeding you to attest,
E –very good  deeds at best,
W –ith  anyone who knows you less.

Y – ou and I together to test,
E –very hope we have in nest,
A – t dawn  look for the fullness,
R – ays of strength  to  our happiness.

T - o  a new horizon  nevertheless,   
O – r anywhere  your heart can rest,

A – good decision matters  most,  
L – ife is what you make it or else,

L – ife is worthless. 



*********************************************
“Your mind is the greatest minds of the time.  It has the power to create, alter, and destroy. Positive thinking is an energy that feeds your heart, body,  and soul and  everything  good follows.