beautiful dreamer

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The other day I got the DIY itch and headed to the craft store to get inspired. Dream Catchers just stuck in my head, so I decided to have a go at one. Usually before I try something new I will google tutorials to get an idea of what I am getting myself into, but there really were not many detailed or helpful tutorials for dream catchers. And I thought to myself, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t fix that problem? 

First a little background on dream catchers: Dream catchers originated with the Ojibwe people and slowly, through marriage, spread through other nations over time. As the stories goes, there was a Spider Woman that watched over all of the children, but as the people spread farther away, she could not longer take care of all the children. Soon the mothers and grandmothers started making dream catchers that would catch all the bad dreams and never allow them to reach the children. Children would have only good dreams and the bad dreams would vanish in the morning. I think it is an amazingly sweet and happy story.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

8′ of twine
Metal ring
Super Glue
7′ of wax cotton thread
Assorted beads, feathers, and ribbon

Step 1: Wrapping the hoop

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The first step is to wrap the hoop with twine. Begin by putting a dab of super glue (quick drying) on the hoop and giving it a moment to dry. Once it is dry you will have a foundation to begin wrapping. Once you get the hang of this, it will go pretty fast. Every several wraps, push what you’ve done so far together, so you can’t see the hoop underneath the twine.

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When you (finally) get to the end, you can either end the twine with a bit of super glue OR you can make a loop with the excess twine. This way you will have a way to hang your beautiful creation at the end.

Step 2: Making the web

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Begin by tying the end of the thread at the top of the hoop. I usually go ahead and string my beads at this point because it is easier than trying to do it in the middle of stringing the web. Use a dab of super glue on the knot, so that there isn’t a risk of it coming untied.

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Wrap the thread all the way around the loop until you come back to the top. Make sure each of the wraps are evenly spaced around the loop because this will be the base of your pattern.

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Continue making your way around the circle looping the thread through the bottom of each triangle. It is important that the thread you choose is heavy duty because you will be pulling it taut along the way.

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Drop the beads in wherever your crafty heart desires. If you went ahead and threaded them before you began, you’ll be thanking yourself right now. If you didn’t…well, you’ll be getting creative.

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You can choose how small you want the inner circle to be. If you leave it larger, you can even add a feather or something in the middle. You can also continue until the circle is almost closed. Whenever you decide you’re done, you’ll want to tie the end of the string off and use a dab of super glue to secure it.

Step 3: Embellish

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This is the fun part! You can decorate your catcher in whatever way you desire.

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Since we live by the sea, I added shells into mine. I also love a little sparkle, so I added crystal beads. Feathers are a very traditional way to go and also add the light movement that I associate with dream catchers.

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I added a feather to the web of the last one I made and I wrapped the hoop with lace ribbon.

The sky is the limit with the way you can decorate your dream catcher – you’ll never make the same one twice, which is what is so great about this project. Be creative and let your dream catcher reflect all of your favorite things. This would be a fantastic project for kids and teens. If I did it with kids I would probably pre-wrap the loops and just let them decorate.

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There you have it! I hope you enjoy your dream catcher and it serves you well to keep the bad dreams away!

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farmers market eats

Summer in pretty much in full swing in these parts. While summer brings oppressive heat, mosquitoes, and humidity, it also brings one my favorite things in the world: Farmer’s Markets. We used to live in a small rural town before our relocation to the sunshine state and the farmer’s market there was epic. There were so many choices of delicious produce from farms that were right around the corner and the cakes, oh the cakes. I even used to sell dog treats there once upon a time. Ah, memories…

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But I digress… So when we moved to a larger cities in a less rural area, I was concerned that finding a decent farmer’s market would be difficult. I could not have been more wrong. There is a massive arts market that happens every week, with a large farmer’s market incorporated with it. Better yet, we have our own market out here at the beach.

So, what to do with all the delicious food that you can pick up at the farmer’s market? I’m so glad you asked! I present to you, a few of my favorite farmer’s market dishes:

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Corn Chowder

This is such an easy recipe and you can get just about all of the ingredients at the farmers market. Better yet, make a large batch and freeze some to eat later on in the summer!

1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 pound of potatoes, quartered
1 cup of peas, fresh or frozen
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
4 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 cup of cream (or whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste

In olive oil, saute onions until translucent, add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add in corn, peas, and milk and bring back to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with fresh herds and ENJOY!

I love the corn chowder recipe because it is so easy. Throw everything into a pot and cook, can’t get any better than that, and I love a creamy soup.

The next recipe I want to mention is one that I found on The Kitchn. They take a potatoes au gratin and cross it with a ratatouille, which is sheer genius! I’m a little jealous I didn’t think of it.

Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin

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And last, but not least, a little something sweet.

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Lemon Cake

Batter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 lemons, juice and zest

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8X8 pan with butter. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour and salt. In a separate bowl beat together eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour in pan and bake for 20 minutes.

For the glaze, add sifted powdered sugar to lemon juice and zest and mix until combined and smooth. Once cake comes out of the oven, let sit until completely cool. With a fork, pierce top of the cake, this will allow the glaze to soak through the cake. Let the cake sit for a little while to soak up all the glaze-y goodness and then cut and serve.

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Gotta love some fresh veggies – Zoey sure does! But, really, if you haven’t already, I hope that you will go check out your local market! Not only does it help support local farmers and local business owners, but you can get some really great produce that you can rest assured is natural and locally grown. Support local!