Wednesday, 29 June 2011

How to Grow New Plants for Free From Cuttings

How to Grow New Plants for Free From Cuttings
June and July is a great time of the year to collect new plants for your garden. Plants everywhere are bursting into action and actively growing and producing seeds, creating easy pickings for people with green fingers to add to their horticulture collection.

Because plants are growing vigorously at this time of the year, they are ripe for cultivation by means of cuttings. You could take cutting from your own existing plants, or maybe your friend has a plant that you have had your eye on for a while. However, I recently took a couple of cuttings from a beautiful shrub that was grown in a car park on a business park.

It’s a good idea to keep some small scissors, and a few food bags in your handbag or glove box, and when you see a plant that you particularly like, take s few cuttings.

Take cuttings on a cool day or in the morning, this is just to prevent your cutting from wilting. Choose healthy, pest-free and non-flowering shoots of new growth. Cut about a 4 or 5 inch length and pop it into a plastic bag. For each plant you want to cultivate, take a minimum of 5 cuttings. Not all the cuttings may take, and if they do you can always give surplus plants to your friends as gifts.

Fill a clean plant pot with cutting compost. And then prepare the cuttings that you collected earlier. With a sharp knife, cut the stem just below a leaf. The cut needs to be clean and straight.

Remove a couple of leaves above this cut and that’s your cutting ready. Now use a pencil to make a hole in the compost around the edge of the pot. Don’t simple put the cutting into the compost because it might damage the cutting. Firm the cutting in by pressing the compost around it.

You should be able to fit a few cuttings all around the edge of the plant pot. When the plant pot is full, water it well and leave it on a sunny window sill and leave the cuttings to do their thing.

Just make sure that the compost doesn’t dry out completely. Your cutting may wilt in the early days, make sure that they are not getting too hot, and use a mister to spray water on them from time to time and they should revive. One last tip, don’t try to re-pot or plant out too soon. Let the cuttings root system get well established before you take the cutting out from the plant pot.

How to Make Cupcakes in Ice Cream Cones

These cupcake cones might be the most delicious optical illusion you'll ever taste. Professional baker and author Liv Hansen for Betty Crocker shows how to make these clever cupcake ice cream cones.



How to Make a Cat Tree - Things to Keep in Mind As You Build Your Own Cat Tree

How to Make a Cat Tree - Things to Keep in Mind As You Build Your Own Cat TreeBy D. J. Blandford

Learning how to make a cat tree is an excellent opportunity to be creative while saving up to $250 at the same time. With many costing $75 on the low side and upwards of $350 on the high side, it's no wonder do it yourselfers are looking to make their own using a good set of cat tree plans.

The tradeoff, of course, is a little bit of your time, but the payoff is well worth it. With the right tools and a good set of plans, most cat trees can be completed start to finish in just a few days or less. You'll be excited to see the finished product, knowing you created it with your own two hands. Get the entire family involved. Kids love designing things for their pets.

Things To Keep In Mind As You Build Your Own Cat Tree

As you begin the design and construction process, understand a cat tree should adequately address a few of your cat's key needs. Cats love to play, sleep, and scratch.

First, it should provide a place of safety and security. If you have a larger cat (exceeding 20lbs), it's important to use strong materials and a construction design that provides extra support. Otherwise the entire structure can tip over when your cat climbs to the upper levels.

Likewise, if you have an older cat, you'll want to make the cat tree more accessible by including ramps and/or steps. The addition of a den-like cat condo can provide a place for your cat to feel more comfy and secure. You never know when your favorite furry feline will need to get away from the family dog or hide from overzealous children.

Next, your kitty will want places to romp and play. She'll also want a place to stretch out when she wears herself out after flinging mouse and feather toys all over the living room. You can meet these needs by building in layers consisting of a variety of different sizes and shapes of platforms/shelves. Cats like to be up high so don't be afraid to build both up and out.

Build some peep holes and crawl-throughs for cats with an adventurous side. Don't forget to hang toys from the underside of upper shelves for your kitty to bat around at her leisure. Change these up from time to time to keep your kitty from getting bored.

Lastly, if you want to save the arms and legs of your couch, it's important to include scratching posts when you make a cat tree. The same posts that provide structural support for the platforms can easily be modified to double as scratching posts by wrapping them with sisal rope.

Next, now is the time to spoil your cat and learn how to make a cat tree easily and affordably: Make A Cat Tree.

If you really want to create your own kitty funland that will provide both you and your cat with years of fun and enjoyment while saving you tons of money, get the best do it yourself cat tree instruction plans by visiting http://www.HowToMakeACatTree.com.


Monday, 20 June 2011

An Organza Cake Stand Cover or Skirt to Protect Cakes and Pastries on Your Cake Stand

An Organza Cake Stand Cover or Skirt to Protect Cakes and Pastries on Your Cake Stand
Cake stand look so pretty when they are adorned with delicious cakes, buns and pastries. But the sweet smells of sugar, cream, jam and sugar also attract the attentions flies when having tea time alfresco. The simple solution is to make your cake stand a cover or skirt that is see through enough so that you can still see the appetizing sweet treats, but it keeps the flies from getting in there first.

The cake stand skirt just adds to the chintz look, and patterned or coloured organza can really create a shabby chic quaint effect, which is so, old English tea parties. I’ve called it a skirt because it does look like the cake stand is wearing a Victorian petticoat.

To make a Cake Stand Skirt you will need…
Organza fabric, any colour or pattern you choose,
Half inch wide satin ribbon to use as a draw string,
And wide lace about 2 to 2.5 inches wide.

To start off you need to take some measurements from your cake stand; you need to measure the height from the table to the top of the handle, the radius of the top plate and the circumference of the bottom plate.

Draw a rectangle (landscape) on a piece of scrap paper, the long edge needs to be the circumference of the bottom plate plus half the circumference again.

The height of the rectangle should be the height of the cake stand plus the radius of the top plate. In addition you need to add 6 inches for the top ruffle and chasing for the ribbon draw string, and further half inch for the bottom hem.

Now deduct from the width of two lace stripes. Be aware that 2.5 inch wide lace with scallops will not be as wide as in reality. You need to measure the lace across the narrowest point. Therefore your 2.5 inch wide lace may only be 2 inches wide. With two stripes of lace you need to deduct 4 inches from the width of the rectangle in total.

Cut out the organza to this size and hem one of the long edges turning it up half an inch. Also hem the two shorter sides.

From the hem at the bottom of the fabric, mark out 3 inches, and cut a strip off the bottom which is 3 inches wide and hemmed on 3 sides. Overlock or zigzag the remaining raw edge.

Sew lace over the top of the overlocked edge, turning the raw edges of the lace in.

Sew another length of lace over the top of the bottom hem, taking care to fold in the raw edges of the lace.

Take the larger piece of organza and overlock or zigzag the two remaining long raw edges.

On the top edge make a 3 inch hem, and sew into place.

From this stitching sew another line of stitching just above to create a chasing for the ribbon. The distance needs to be about three quarters of an inch, so that the ribbon can lay flat inside the channel.

This piece of organza can now be stitched to the lower piece on the top lace stripe.

Finally thread ribbon through the chasing and draw the skirt up, so that it gathers around the handle of the cake stand. Tie it off with a bow.

Dinners can retrieve a cake either by lifting the skirt or parting the skirt where the two sides join, below the bow.

Being made from organza the cake stand skirt is machine washable on a low temperature and can be ironed on a low setting.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Flower Petals Crochet Milk Jug Cover Pattern

Flower Petals Crochet Milk Jug Cover Pattern
This is a crochet pattern for a small sized milk jug or cream jug. A crochet milk jug cover is the perfect, decorative solution to stop anything falling into your milk jug. This cover measures about 4 and a half inches across from bead to bead. The design has a small flower at the centre and petals coming off from the central flower. The cover is weighted around the edges with beads to stop it from falling of the jug in a sudden gust.

The pattern is fairly simple using the basic crochet stitches and a double treble, which if you haven’t done one before you will soon pick up. The Double Trebble or dtr as it appears in the pattern is performed in the same was as a treble, but where you would initially put the yarn around the hook once when performing a treble, for this one you wrap the yarn around twice, and when you draw the yarn through 2 stitches, three times until you are left with one stitch on the hook.

To make this Milk Jug Cover you will need…
3g MERCER Crochet Cotton 40,
A hook sized 1.75
And some small beads to weight down the edges.

Make 4ch, join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1: *4 tr, sl st* into the ring 6 times.

Round 2: *8ch,sl st on top of sl st from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 3: sl st along the first chain loop to get to the centre of the loop. *6ch, dc in the next chain loop* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 4: sl st along the first chain loop to get to the centre of the loop. *8tr on dc from previous round, sl st in next chain loop* Continue to end of round.

Round 5: *10ch,sl st on top of sl st from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 6: sl st along the first chain loop to get to the centre of the loop. *10ch, dc in the next chain loop* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 7: *8tr in 3rd chain of loop, sl st in 5th chain of loop, 8tr in 8th chain of loop, sl st in 10th chain of loop* Continue to end of round.

Round 8: *10ch,sl st on top of sl st from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 9: sl st along the first chain loop to get to the centre of the loop. *10ch, dc in the next chain loop* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 10: : sl st along the first chain loop to get to the centre of the loop. *8dtr on dc from previous round, sl st in next chain loop* Continue to end of round.

Round 11: *10ch,dc on top of sl st from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 12: *11ch,dc on top of dc from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Round 13: *12ch,dc on top of dc from previous round* Continue to end of round and sl st on start chain loop of same round.

Finish off.

Where you have 3 chain loops on the out side edges, sew the loops together in the centre and sew on a bead to weigh down the loops. There are 12 loops in total.

This jug cover best fits a jug that is about 4 inches across.


How to Make Shabby Chic Cake Stands

Cake Stand Made from Odd platesChintz cake stands are making a comeback as shabby chic becomes desirable. Cake stands are great for displaying cakes at parties and BBQ’s and are space saving when table space for food is limited.

Cake stands are really easy to make, and once you have made one and discovered how easy it is, you’ll want to make more.

The first thing to do is to find 3 plates in descending sizes. The plates can be matching and that looks really nice, but equally odd plates can be as attractive. If you are choosing odd plates its nice if you stick to a theme, so for example collect 3 pink plates, or plates with spots. Sticking to a theme with odd plates gives the cake stand some continuity. Car boots and charity shops are great places to source decorative plates for cake stand crafting.

You will also need a 6mm carbide spear tip drill bit to make holes in the plates. The carbide spear head drill bit is much easier to use than a diamond drill bit because it doesn’t slide around on the plate when drilling the hole. The carbide spear tip drill bits are inexpensive, costing just a couple of pounds.

You will also need a cake stand handle with a bolt and washers. Again these can be bought quite cheaply for a brand new handle. Ebay have cake stand handles listed from around two pounds, which come complete with the washers and bolt.

To make your cake stand you need to give the plates a good wash and a thorough drying. And then you need to mark the centre of the plate with a permanent marker. The easiest way to find the centre of the plate is to draw around the plate on some scrap paper, and cut it out. Then fold the paper in half and in half again. Then at the centre point, snip off the tip. Open out the template plate and you should now have a diamond shape in the middle. Place the paper over the top of the plate, with the pattern side of the plate upwards and mark a dot on the plate through the hole in the paper.

video
And now you’re ready to drill. Set the drill up with the 6mm carbide spear tip drill bit, and make sure that the drill is not set on hammer drill. The hammer drill setting will break the plates.

Pour some cold water onto the plate that you are going to drill; the water will help to keep the drill bit cool. The water also prolongs the life of your drill bit.

Now begin to drill on the mark that you made. Try to keep the drill as straight as possible when drilling, so that your hole is straight through the plate, this will avoid your handle being at a ‘funny’ angle when the cake stand is made up. You should drill slowly and only apply a light amount of pressure.

If the drill bit develops yellow, brown, blue or black ‘burn’ marks around the tip, you need to slow down and drill slower. This is a sign that you are drilling too fast.

Once you have drilled all three plates, clean the plates up and then you can start to build the cake stand.

Starting at the bottom, push the bolt through the bottom of the biggest plate and on the bolt add a washer to sit on the face of the plate. Then screw on the first straight part of the cake stand handle. Onto the op of the spindle add another washer and the middle sized plate, then another washer, and then screw on the second spindle. On the top of the spindle add a washer, the smallest plate, another washer and then finally the handle spindle part.

If your cake stand handle is at a bit of a funny angle you can correct this by gently bending the spindles.

Strawberries and cream Cake standSee how easy it is to make a beautiful shabby chic cake stand? So why not try something a bit different, like a strawberries and cream stand. Simply substitute plates for 2 dishes. The larger dish at the bottom for strawberries and the top smaller dish for whipped cream.

What about a chocolate fondue stand? Again have a large dish at the bottom to hold the strawberries and marshmallows for dunking. The second plate can hold tea light candles to melt the chocolate and on the top tier have a small bowl or a china cup to hold the melted chocolate.

With homemade cake stands the possibilities are endless, and you can easily create beautiful table decorations and centrepieces that look professionally made at a fraction of the cost of a shop bought one. So get down to your local charity shop and see old plates with new eyes.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Crochet Milk Jug Cover Pattern with Scallops

Crochet Milk Jug Cover Pattern with Scallops
Now the summer is here, I love to have tea outside using my china tea set. Having garden tea parties turns an ordinary cuppa and a chat into something a bit more special, and a little event.

However, I did find that leaving the milk unattended on the table meant that it attracted uninvited winged guests. So I set about making a crochet milk jug cover with beads to cover over the milk jug. The pattern I created is very simple and quick to make. To keep it simple the jug cover is round and towards the edges there are scallops.

The Milk jug cover measures 15cm across which includes the hanging loop for beads. And the inner circle for covering the jug measures 9cm.

To make this Milk Jug Cover you will need…
3g MERCER Crochet Cotton 40,
A hook sized 1.75
And 20 beads

Make 4ch, join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1: 3ch, 12tr into the ring, and sl st into 3rd ch to join.

Round 2: 3ch, *1 tr, 1ch* in each tr in previous round. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 3: 3ch, *2tr, 2ch* in each chain space in previous round. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 4: 3ch, *2tr, 3ch* in each chain space in previous round. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 5: 3ch, 1tr in first chain space, *1ch, 1tr between 2tr in previous row, 2ch, 2tr in same place, 1ch, 2tr in next chain space from previous round*. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 6: 3ch, *2tr, 1ch* in each chain space from the round below. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 7: 3ch, *2tr, 1ch* in each chain space from the round below. Continue in this way to end, sl st in 3rd ch to join.

Round 8: *8tr between next 2tr from previous round, sl st between next 2tr from previous round* Continue in this way to end, sl st at beginning of first scallop on same round.

Round 9: *10ch, dc on sl st in previous round* Continue in this way to end, dc at start of first chain loop on same round.

Round 10: 5sl st along first chain loop to get to the centre. *8ch, dc in the centre on next chain loop* Continue in this way to end.

Round 11: 4sl st to centre of first chain loop, *8tr in dc on previous round, dc in centre of next chain loop* Continue in this way to end, sl st at beginning of first scallop on same round.

Round 12: *12ch, dc in dc in previous round* Continue in this way to end, sl st at beginning of first chain loop on same round.

Finish off.

In the middle of each outer chain loop, sew a bead to weight down the jug cover and to prevent the cover flying off in a draft.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Crochet Hat Instructions And Quick Gift Ideas

Crochet Hat Instructions And Quick Gift IdeasBy Linda Spangenburg

Have you been looking for some crochet hat instructions? Do you need it to be a basic crochet for a quick project? Is Christmas coming fast and gift ideas slow? If so the first thing that comes to mind is a granny square hat.

Just about everyone knows how to make a granny square. Granny squares have been made into everything from large afghans to tiny doll sweaters and everything in between.

These are great for quick projects, last minute gifts and using up small amounts of yarn that is leftover from previous projects.

If you can make a granny square you can put them tighter to create just about anything you want. If you do not know how to make one, you will find help on my site. There are step-by-step instructions on making one.

The varieties of colors are unlimited. Make the last round of each square the same color and you will pull them all together in a nice color coordinated project.

To make a Granny Square Hat
Crochet Hat Instructions And Quick Gift IdeasThis is for a child size hat made using 5 granny squares. For larger hats use more rounds on the squares. Make 4 squares measuring about 5 inches each. These are for the sides of the hat. Make 1 square the same as the others minus one round.

Sew the four bigger squares together side by side to form a circle. Sew last smaller square to the top of the ring of squares. This will form the crown. Crochet around the bottom edge and you are done.

For a Basic Crochet Hat

Another quick hat in crochet can be done in double crochet stitch using a G hook.
This would fit an adult, chain 78, double crochet in 4th chain from hook and than across. Chain 3 turn, double crochet in each double crochet. Continue until it is as high as desired. Break yarn with a long tail. Using a large eyed needles gather by running the needle through end just completed.

You can add a pom pom in contrasting color for decoration. Use variegated yarns; make stripes add pom poms or tassels for fun. Do not forget you can always make a matching scarf for a set.
You can easily make it larger or smaller just add or subtract rows and /or stitches. That is one of the great things about crochet. It is easy to take out and start over.

A basic crochet hat and a scarf are easy, fast gifts. They do not take a lot of yarn and can be done in the their favorite colors. Do not forget the dolls, from Barbie to the Cabbage Patch. These matching sets are nice for the little mothers to the collectors.

Linda Spangenburg draws on 35+ years from her knitting and crochet business experience, both as a teacher and craft business owner. She is the author behind Looney for Looms where you will find patterns for loom knitting. We hope you found the information here inspiring enough to try a craft homebased business? You can find more free information about knitting and crochet for profit at http://www.knitting-n-crochet.com


Perfect Valentines :: Tea Cosy Folk :: Santas Postbag::Halloween Mania :: Swindon Flowers ::Zafyna :: Connect2Business