Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How To Dehydrate Basil

Today I wanted to share with you how I dehydrate my basil. I absolutely LOVE Basil. It is one of my favorite herbs to grow and cook with. There are many kinds of basil but today I am going to show you how I dehydrate my Sweet Basil. It is one of the easiest herbs that you can grow. In fact, all of the sweet basil that I have growing this year is from seeds that fell off of last years plants. I didn't have to do anything at all to get them  to grow. It is truly one of my sweetest blessings every spring.

They say that your basil tastes better if you trim it before it flowers. I, however, think basil ALWAYS tastes good. Even after it flowers. If your basil flowers, cut off the flowers to encourage it to keep growing. 

Here is how I trim my basil...

I trim the basil stem right above where I see new leaves growing out of it. Basil grows pretty fast and you will see it grow back in no time.  

After I trim my plants enough to fill my dehydrator, I wash the leaves with cool water to make sure their are no bugs on them.

Then I pull the leaves off of the stems and put them in my salad spinner. This will easily get off all of the excess water. I break the stems up and give them to my chickens. They love it when I share with them too. :) 

After spinning the excess water off of the leaves, I lay the leaves on a towel and pat the remaining moisture off with a paper towel. It is best to get the leaves as dry as you can before you put them into the dehydrator.

Now I lay the leaves onto the trays of the dehydrator.  It usually takes between 6 and 8 hours for the leaves to dry. I rotate the trays from time to time so the leaves dry evenly.

You can tell the leaves are done when they all turn brownish and they are crispy when you touch them. I usually put them whole into a mason jar for storage. 

When I need to refill my shaker I grind them up with my herb grinder. It is quite handy. I have crushed the leaves with my little stone crusher too. I refill a used empty herb shaker with the crushed sweet basil to make it easy to shake into my food.

If you save your empty shaker containers, you can put a fancy label on it and give fresh basil as gifts for Christmas. Family members always love a little piece of my garden and this is a very special way to say "I have been thinking of you all year long". 

Here is a picture of my back porch herb oasis. I love to sit on my back porch to enjoy my flowers and herbs. The butterflies, humming birds and bees love to visit and I love to watch them. :)
 Do you grow your own herbs? I would love to hear about your experiences with growing herbs. Do you grow them in pots or do you have a special garden for them? Do you give herbs as gifts too? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

How To Style Your T-Shirt - 4 Styles

How To Style Your T-Shirt -  4 Styles

This is a simple tutorial on how to make 4 different T-shirt styles by cutting and tying. No sewing required. They are fun to make and they turned out AWESOME! This is a great way to style an old T-shirt to give it new life. It is really exciting to make your own styles.

Our video has lots of visuals and a very easy step by step tutorial. 
A link to the video:  How To Style Your T-shirt - 4 Styles

Last week we showed you how we used old T-shirts to tie dye with Sharpie markers. This week we want to show you how we styled our T-shirts.


How to make a little girl's dress out of a T-shirt 
How To Make A Little Girl's Dress Out of a T-shirt

We laid our T-shirt on the floor and cut out the collar and both sleeves.  

Then we cut the seams off of the shoulders.

We put a small "V" at the neckline in the front of the shirt.

Then we tie the two front pieces.

We put the shirt on Daja and made a small cut down the back of the neckline. We make a practice knot at the shoulders to see if the cut is long enough to tie.
Once we see that the cut is long enough, we lay the shirt on the floor and cut a "V" to the bottom of the cut line.

Then we get one of the cut off sleeves and cut a strip off of it. Then we tied the shoulders, put the strip under the back straps and tie the strip together.

STYLE #2 and #3
How to make a vest and scarf.

Lay the shirt on the floor and cut all the way up both sides of the T-shirt and then the sleeves. 

Now we cut the collar off and the bottom seam.

The last thing we do is stretch the edges.

You put your arms through the hole with one shoulder seam at the back of your neck and the other at your lower back.
Wrap the shirt around your neck and put one side into the hole and let the scarf fall down the front.

How to make a shirt with ties and beads.
How To Make A Shirt With Ties and Beads

The first thing I did was cut slits down the side and then cut each slit so I can tie them.

I cut the seam off of the sleeve and cut slits on the sleeves too.

Then I tie the slits together down both sides of the shirt.

Now I cut the collar off.

I cut the seams off of the shoulders.

Now I cut a slit in the middle of each shoulder.

I then tie a knot on each side of the slit.

I pull each cut strand on the sleeves to stretch them and then put a bead on each one of the strands. Then I tie the end so the bead wont fall off. 

I hope this tutorial makes it easy for you to make a stylish T-shirt too. Please leave a comment below if you give this a try or if you have any other ideas. Thank you so much for stopping by. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss anything.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Looking For The Beautiful Things In Life

I came across this video today and wanted to share it with you because I know how true it is... "WHAT WE LOOK FOR... WE WILL FIND". I have learned this very important lesson and I love little reminders like this.

We all have days that seem to never end. What will help us through these days are the things that we choose to look for. The little things. The little joys that we find in life. The more we choose to focus our attention on these beautiful things, the more they seem to show up. That is why I love to look at my blessings. When I choose to focus on my blessings, I notice that my mood starts to lift. The day starts to look brighter. The things that made the day drag, start to fade into the background. 

Today I choose to focus on:

A good relationship with my hubby.
 Good times with friends and family.
 The beauty around me.
 A yummy cup of coffee.
 Butterfly kisses.
 Being silly with my family and enjoying life.

What do YOU choose to focus on today?

Friday, July 19, 2013

How To Make A Tie Dye T-shirt With Sharpie Markers

This is such a fun project for kids AND adults! It is easy and inexpensive. It is a great way to make your old T-shirts look new. 

What you will need:
*An Old T-shirt
*Sharpie Markers
*Rubbing Alcohol
*Rubber Band
*Dropper or Squirt Bottle

The first thing we did was pour the rubbing alcohol into our dropper bottles. The droppers make it easy to apply the alcohol to our designs.
 The next thing we do is place our T-shirt over the top of the cup and place the rubber band around the cup. After we are done coloring our design we filled the droppers with rubbing alcohol and squirt it over the marker designs.
The more rubbing alcohol you use on your designs, the more the colors blend. It is a lot of fun and very creative to come up with great patterns.
The last thing we do is set the T-shirts out to dry. 

1. Make sure you use plenty of alcohol

2. You do not have to use the cup. You can make your design anything you want it to be. You can even write names or words. If you use names or words, be sure to put cardboard or something between the front and back so the words don't bleed onto the other side of the T-shirt. 

3. If you press the colored portion of your shirt onto a part of the shirt that was not colored and you wet it with rubbing alcohol, it will transfer the colors to the uncolored part.

Watch our video on how we did our Tie Dye T-shirts! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How To Make A Friendship Bracelet - An Easy Kids Craft!

I give easy, step by step, instructions on how to make these cute Friendship Bracelets. This is a craft that is easy enough for kids to do without help from their parents. They are fun and inexpensive to make. I would love to hear from you if you give this a try. 

How To Wrap A Stone With String - More Ideas!!

I will show you many creative ideas on what you can do with your painted rocks, seashells and coins. My inspiration was to create a backpack decoration for kids. I thought it would be neat to use cool painted rocks to decorate a backpack zipper. When I figured out how to do it, I realized that we can use this idea for wrapping lots of other things besides rocks. This opened the door to plenty of ideas for jewelry, decorations and crafts. You can make wind chimes, key chains, jewelry, zipper embellishments and much more.  I would love to hear some of YOUR ideas too. I feel that there is so much more that we can do with this idea.