Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This W​e​e​k

The gifts of deep listening.

Oh my gosh, this is breathtaking and wonderful. Let’s go for a walk in the woods, lie in a meadow, watch rain make rings on a lake.

Mental health tools to help get through the long winter ahead.

This woman’s pandemic project of making tiny settings for her backyard chipmunk brings me SO MUCH JOY.

What Thanksgiving means to indigenous North Americans. A beautiful, heartbreaking essay.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I came across this recipe on Pinterest while looking for something new (but easy and fast) to do with chicken breasts for dinner, and holy smokes this is now going to be a regular thing. I was amazed at how tender and juicy this was for baked chicken breast, and the flavour was wonderful! Pair it with a couple of sides and you are good to go- I made some homemade french fries and salad, but whatever you want to pair this with, it’s going to work. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is over here.

Brownie cookies are the absolute best thing to bake for a chocolate lover, hands down. Easy, giftable, and so delightfully snackable, these cookies are really delicious and nail that brownie texture but in a cookie’s delightful shape. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

I haven’t seen this before, but it’s SUCH a great idea- crocheted mini balls! Those aren’t tiny pom poms – they are small crocheted balls, strung onto string to make a garland. Isn’t that so pretty? It would be beautiful to customize one for your tree, or swag across a mantel, or decorate a bedroom, or anything, really. All the colour possibilities! Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY and instructions are here.

This would be so pretty for adding books to an area of your home, or to gift! The pieces aren’t big either, and would be a great project to DIY. Pinterest link is here, and the full step-by-step instructions are over here.

I love this idea for a seasonal chandelier! It would be so pretty over a dining table, or even in an entryway if that space makes more sense for your set up. I love how these ornaments are really highlighted in this, don’t you? Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I hope you enjoy a tasty treat, enjoy that early December feeling, and do something that makes you feel wonderful.

xo Julie

 

What is a Needle Minder?!

A needle minder is a small magnet that is designed to attract and keep your sewing needle / tapestry needle / embroidery needle so that it doesn’t get lost. NO ONE likes a lost needle! It’s so stressful trying to find it, hoping no one gets pricked in the meantime…. no thank you!

Wizard Pins got in touch with me and asked if I would like to try custom designing an enamel pin to see what I thought about the process. Now, while I really appreciate the amazing enamel pins out there, it wasn’t something I felt I needed to do. BUT- I wondered if they made needle minders, which I definitely had been thinking about lately.

Turns out they do indeed make needle minders, if you ask. I was surprised at how easy the whole process was! I sent them the image of the flowers and leaves in my logo, and they sent back a digital mock up really quickly. We talked about size and magnet strength, and then they were getting made! A small, heavy box full of these beauties arrived on my doorstep via contactless delivery a few weeks later, and they were even prettier in person.

Since I got the pins for an exceptionally good deal to help spread the word about wizardpins.com, I’m passing that on – for the rest of 2020, every embroidery kit I send out will now include a free needle minder! It’s clipped to the instruction sheet inside the box, nice and safe. This is the kind of high-quality product I planned on creating in a year’s time; I had no idea it would be so easy and painless a procedure. I could have done it even sooner!

How To Use a Needle Minder

To use a needle minder, you can either attach it – enamel side up, magnet on the other side of the fabric – to the excess fabric around the embroidery hoop you are stitching. You could also put it on a notions bag or project bag (magnet on the inside of the bag, enamel part on the outside of the bag), if you prefer to have it nearby but not on your current project.

They are great to have on hand when you are weaving in ends on knitting projects as well; as long as your tapestry needle is metal, it will stay on the needle minder until you pull it off. No rolling away or blending into the arm of the sofa!

Big thanks to Wizard Pins for reaching out and giving me the opportunity to try this out. I’ll be ordering more of these when I run out!

If you have been thinking about making a custom enamel pin, or keychain, or needle minder – or even enamel stitch markers (pretty much whatever you can think of), I’d recommend reaching out to them. This was such an easy, no-fuss process. And I know the needle minder will last years and years, if not decades. That’s great, because no one needs another thing that is going to break or fall apart within the first few years of ownership.

And also – here’s a little sneak peek at the newest design that is going to launch at the end of December! I’m SO excited.

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This W​e​e​k

11 ways to support small businesses during the holiday season. Because small businesses need your money way more than Amazon, Target or Walmart.

For my US friends, but applicable all over the world: How to talk with family and friends who voted differently than you.

Love this great crochet analogy for explaining how Covid-19 spreads, so impressive! (and thanks to Heather for sharing it with me!)

I love these smart weekly habits from Apartment Therapy. All great tips!

How your brain tricks you into taking risks during the pandemic.

My Favourite Pins This Week

This chicken teryaki dinner is full of veggies, protien, and comes together quickly and easily. It’s an especially speedy dinner with a bag of frozen mixed veggies, too! I do love frozen veggies, just can’t beat the convenience factor. A great weeknight meal, healthy and delicious. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

Combine 3 amazing cookies- gingerbread, oatmeal, and sandwich style- and you have these amazing beauties, the gingerbread oatmeal cream pie. These cookies are so satisfying and comforting, and oats mean they are basicall yhealthy, right? That’s my angle, while stuffing my face. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe is over here.

I can’t get over how adorable this crocheted bear and bunny are! Especially in that fluffy boucle yarn, they look especially soft. It’s a free pattern, too! Pinterest link is here to save, and the full crochet pattern is here. Grab your crochet hook and get going!

I recently signed up for this free newsletter, called Yarnie (which sounds like my favourite of Santa’s reindeer, don’t you think?). Yarnie sends out interesting meet-the-makers and inspriation for knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery… all sorts of crafty goodness! So far there’s been some discount codes, free patterns, and I’ve heard about new-to-me peeople that are doing really cool stuff. if that sounds up your alley, you can find the newsletter website here and on Pinterest here.

Feel like trying out making your own holiday cards this year? This is a lovely tutorial for a surprisingly simple watercolour design, and the video is so soothing and inspiring to watch. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial is here.

I hear it’s Thanksgiving in the US this weekend, so for American friends, I hope you have a relaxing weekend and enjoying som extra tasty food, even if it was delivery or pick up. I think that this woul dbe an ieal time to try some fun delivery. Thanksgiving tacos? Thanksgiving Thai? Thanksgiving potato chips? It all works! Stay healthy and safe, everyone.

xo Julie

New Free Pattern – The Book Review Scarf

Looking for an easy, free ribbed scarf pattern? I got you.

Pattern: Book Review Scarf (by me!)

Yarn: Berroco Mercado (partial skeins for all 4 colours)

Needle Size: 8mm /US 11

In the summer, I wrote an essay about the parallels I find between knitting and poetry for Taddle Creek Magazine, and created a beginner-friendly ribbed scarf pattern that would go with it – the Book Review Scarf. The concept is that you choose 4 different yarn colurs, assign them each a star rating from 1-4 (4 stars being you loved the book, 1 star being you didn’t finish it or didn’t like it) and you create your stripe pattern based on that. Each scarf is unique, because chances are your striping pattern is the only one quite like it.

This would be a super easy gift idea, a great way to track what you are reading in a thoughtful way over the winter, or just a super quick and pretty way to destash leftover yarn that you have kicking around in your stash.

It doesn’t have to be just books, either – this would also work well for movies, too! And if you are a Hallmark Chirstmas movie fan, you could even do it based on that- get as niche as you want with it, it’s a really fun way to combine your knitting and your reading or viewing together for something interesting, that also happens to keep you cozy & warm. 🙂

You can find the essay and the free pattern on the Taddle Creek magazine website now – here it is!

And you can find the Ravelry link (why not add it to your queue or favourites?) right here.

I hope you enjoy it! Check out this deep summer photo from when the issue was first getting prepped- we were following the stay at home orders so it’s just my patio wall! Never have I wanted to dress up my patio wall so badly….

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

The art of maintain friendships when you are at different stages of life.

If you are a fan of british murder mysteries (I am hardcore about my british murder mysteries!) Then this list of potential ideas for new British Murder mystery series will have you howling.  I laughed so hard I cried- I would watch every single one of these.

Why implicit bias training is the first step on learning to be inclusive. 

Toni Morrison’s beautiful Tribeca condo is for sale, as is her staggering book collection.

I enjoyed the new tradition of ‘mundane’ halloween costumes in Japan, especially ‘girl who regrets telling the cashier she doesn’t need a bag’.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Cheesy, saucy dinners, yum! This mozzarella chicken in fresh tomato sauce is surprisingly easy and has lots of tomatoes and spinach, so it’s still got a high veg ratio- which is always important to me. Plus everything that has cheese and sauce just feels great for cold weather dinners, don’t you think? Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is over here.

I’m always excited for apple desserts, and this apple cinnamon bread is perfect for baking a sweet little snacking cake. Because it’s 2020 and heck yes cake is now an acceptable snack. There are some great suggestions for variations on this amazing apple cinnamon bread, such as adding different types of nuts, or a glaze to really amp up the comfort food ratio. Oh, and enjoy your home smelling incredibly DELICIOUS. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe can be found here.

I don’t know what your plans for this winter are, but mine involve drinking a LOT of hot chocolate. Going out isn’t really a thing any more, staying home and staying safe is, so what better excuse to try alllllllll sorts of different hot chocolate flavours?! I know, I know, talk about awesome goal setting. Join me in my hot chocolate quest, won’t you? Pinterest link is here, and the recipe infograph is originally found here.

Thinking about doing any holiday knitting this year, or maybe just some good old fashioned stashbusting? May I recommend this classic, unisex, looks-good-on-everyone ribbed hat pattern from Purl Soho? I recently started knitting a couple bulky weight ribbed hats and I find they are just so easy to wear (for the kids, for the adults, so stretchy!) that now I want to make loads more. Ribbed hats for everyone! I love how elegant this one looks. Pinterest link is here, and the free knitting pattern can be found here.

When you bust out your holiday decorations this year (maybe you have already, no jugement either way!) if you find that the colour scheme of them is not quite to your taste anymore, what about painting them? I love how fresh and pretty these painted ornaments look, and you could easily customize them so that they feel all matchy-matchy, or you could make them all completely different colours. This is a great way to give new life to thrift store ornaments, too! Pinterst link is here, and the full DIY is over here.

Have a great weekend everyone! The weather has turned cold here in Toronto, so I think it’s time to start up the hot chocolate. I hope that you have a cozy, happy weekend, and enjoy a treat or two.

xo Julie