AllFreeCrafts Newsletter

September Craft News from! September 29, 2007 
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Newsletter Highlights
  • Herb Crafts and Recipes
  • Easy Bazaar Crafts
  • Crafts to Save Lives
  • Halloween Preview
  • A Cordial Invitation
  • AllFreeCrafts News:

    Free Crafts, Craft Projects and Patterns
    Late September is a great time to finish harvesting your herb garden and bring a few herb plants indoors. If you don't grow herbs, stock up at the farmer's market, or use dried herbs, for the homemade herbal crafts in this newsletter; herbal vinegars, jellies and oils, facial toner, pesto and bouquet garni, plus herbal tisanes and teas.

    Homemade crafts are bestselling fundraisers for school and church bazaars; if you pay too much for supplies, however, your profit suffers. Here, we focus on popular bazaar crafts that are both easy and inexpensive to make.

    This winter, in New York City, people struggling with mental illness will also struggle to stay warm. Some will die from the cold. Donations of warm clothing are urgently needed for children, teens, adults and the elderly. Can you help?

    Finally, we have a Halloween preview - Halloween snack recipes and easy Halloween crafts useful for planning Halloween party activities for youngsters.

    Bring in the Herb Harvest - Herbal Crafts, Herbal Gifts, Herb Recipes

    Herbal Gifts in a Jar and Mix Recipes

    mintjellsm (2K)Mint Jelly
    Lovely with ham, lamb or pork; for company dinners, serve a colorful dollop of mint jelly in pear or peach halves on the side of each dinner plate.

    mint sauceMint Sauce
    Traditional English mint sauce to serve with lamb, pork - or even TV dinners.

    herb oilHow to Make Herbal Vinegars
    A good primer for making your own herbal vinegars.

    Herb Flavored Oils and Vinegars
    Recipes for an oil or vinegar base and herb flavor combinations.

    dillherbsm (7K)Parsley Dill Herb Mix
    Enclose this herb dip mix in the corner of a sandwich bag; tie with ribbon. Step-by-step assembly photos, plus two printable labels for gift giving.

    rosewatersm (1K)Rose Water Facial Toner
    My daughter's favorite toner, with instructions on how to make rose water, and a decorative jar idea for storage and gift giving.

    Rose Petal and Rosemary Facial Toner: Combine 3½ cups witch hazel, ½ cup dried rose petals and 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary in a blender or food processor. Strain well. Use a refreshing toner to splash on your face after cleansing.

    Cooking with Herbs

    Basil Pesto
    Pesto is wonderful on pasta - but try adding a spoonful to vegetable soups, or as a topping on baked potatoes, broiled fish, or spaghetti squash.

    Puree in the food processor: 2 cups firmly packed, fresh basil, washed and drained; 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts; 3 cloves of peeled garlic. Blend in 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. On low speed, slowly add 1/2 cup virgin olive oil. Serve immediately, or freeze.
    Note: Make pesto only with fresh, not dried, basil leaves. However, for a change, try substituting fresh parsley for the basil. Also see Growing and Using Basil for how to grow, harvest and use basil, including an alternative pesto recipe.

    Bouquet Garni
    A classic combination of savory herbs, simmered in dishes as they cook and removed before serving. Use string to tie fresh herbs in a small bouquet to drop in the pot. Or enclose dried herbs in a small square of cheesecloth fastened with string. Dried Bouquet Garni Sachets are great homemade gifts to give to a new cook along with a favorite recipe book.

    Bouquet Garni Herbs Recipe
    Fresh herbs - Tie together 2 sprigs of thyme, 5 sprigs of parsley, and 1 bay leaf.

    Dried Bouquet Garni Herb Sachets
    1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme.
    herbcup (1K)

    Herbal Teas and Tisanes

    teastrain (2K) Make a herbal tisane by steeping one or two leaves of herbs per cup of boiling water, in a nonmental teapot, for about 10 minutes. Heat the teapot first by rinsing with boiling water. If desired, add a teaspoon of honey for each cup directly to the pot, or add honey or lemon to individual cups.

    Some herb leaves to try in a tisane: any of the mints; lemon balm or lemon verbana, borage, catnip, dill, scented geraniums, marjoram, rosemary, sage or thyme. You can also infuse the flowers of calendula, chamomile, hibiscus, rose-of-sharon, lime or orange blossoms, roses, sage and thyme.

    Some favourite tisane blends to try: equal parts sage, thyme and oregano, plus camomile flowers; six parts peppermint to one part sage and one part rosemary; equal parts lemon balm and mint with a pinch of dried, grated lemon peel.

    Herbal teas are made by adding herbal flavors to traditional table teas. You can make herbal tea the same way as a tisane, substituting hot tea for the boiling water.

    Tip: Freeze some of your herbs to enjoy all winter long, in tea, tisanes, or other recipes. See Preserving Herbs for more information on harvesting, drying and freezing herbs.

    Easy Bazaar Crafts

    clothsoapsm (2K)Floral Washcloth and Soap
    Make these quickly by yourself, or set up an assembly line: fold the washcloths, enclose the soap, glue on a floral decoration.

    Layered Bath Salts
    Easy enough for kindergarten; lovely enough to make kids of all ages proud. Adults show how mixing epsom salts with food coloring results in a variety of colors; the kids funnel the salts like sand art into a recycled jar.

    tulle scrunchieTulle Scrunchies
    Wrap fabric covered hair elastics in strips of tulle or try one of our Crocheted Scrunchies patterns.

    recycled wax fire startersFire Starters
    Use up your leftover candle wax or crayons, and make fire starter muffins by mixing with wood shavings.
    knitted dishcloth patternBasic Knitted Dishcloth
    My local thrift store charges two dollars apiece for knitted cotton dishcloths; they sell out constantly.

    crocheted glass coastersGlass Flip Flop Coasters
    Crocheted coaster fits to the glass flip-flop style and travels with it so party guests know which drink is theirs and furniture is always protected.

    denim pocket recyclingDenim Pocket Magnets
    Recycle cut pockets from old blue jeans, embellish with lace, glue on a magnet. Or make similar Jean Pocket Purses.

    soup jar mixGifts in a Jar
    I tried to pick just one for bazaar crafts, but couldn't decide which was best. Please choose from over 30 gift in a jar ideas; the photos with each project will help - but really only you can say which works best for your group.

    Crafts to Save Lives

    homeless (2K)Do you have some yarn or fabric stashed away? Use it to make an item of warm clothing and you could literally save a life!

    BronxHomeWorks serves needy people suffering from mental health issues in New York. Although most have shelter of some kind, some rely on homeless shelters - and all, particularly those with children, are in dire need of warm clothing this winter.

    If you can make or buy an item of warm clothing to donate, please do so - babies, teens, adults and the elderly are all in need. Warm accessories such as hats, scarfs, gloves and mitts are also welcome.
    Please send all donations to: Bronx HomeWORKS, c/o Andrew Kissel, 2488 Grand Concourse, suite 301, Bronx, NY 10458
    Need some basic patterns to get you going? Try our new section of Winter Knitting Patterns.

    No-Sew Fleece Scarf
    The width of your fleece, usually 45 or 60 inches, becomes the length of the scarf in this simple pattern. Cut a 7 inch strip across the width of your fabric. Mark a straight line across each end of the scarf, 3 inches from the edge, with masking tape. Fringe the scarf by cutting in from the edge to the masking tape at 1/2 inch intervals. Done!

    Halloween Preview

    It's a little early yet, but if you're planning a Halloween party
    with youngsters, these craft ideas and recipes should help.
    pumptoast (1K)Halloween Snacks
    Recipes for Jack O'Lantern Toast, ghost toast, marshmallow spiders, pond sludge etc.
    lollipop ghost craftRound Lollipop Ghost
    Ghostly treats made from round lollipops or suckers; easy group craft.
    candyapplesm (1K)Candy Apples Recipes
    Traditional candy apple recipes to try.
    cdpsm (1K)Pumpkin CD
    Recycle a CD into a Jack O'Lantern plant poke or fridgie.
    handspidersm (6K)Handprint Spider Smilies
    Not so scary, smiley spiders made from the handprints of younger children.
    platesm (1K)Paper Plate Jack o'Lantern Mask
    Turn a paper plate into a Jack o'Lantern mask.
    Please see our Halloween Crafts Index for over 50 free Halloween crafts and Halloween printables.

    Join Our Friendly Craft Group

    If your interest in crafts is serious and you love making homemade gifts, please join our Allfreecrafts Yahoo Group. I try to check posts every day, and our awesome moderator, Sandy, will often fill your inbox with links to some of the best crafts on the net. We'll help you find patterns and give you all kinds of ideas to help with group activities or group crafts, especially if you post a special request. Please feel free to join our crafting community, post a brief intro (if you wish, we don't insist), and let us welcome you into the center of the internet crafting world.

    Kind regards,
    Jane Lake
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