Monday, May 23, 2016

Crochet Colorful Baby Blankets to Brighten a Baby's Nursery


Sweet Baby Blankets to Crochet 9 Patterns
Sweet Baby Blankets to Crochet 9 Patterns  The Best of Mary Maxim
Now Available in eBook or Printed Format
Some of my favorite crochet patterns for baby are the best of Mary Maxim crochet patterns. These 9 cuddly and soft blankets for baby are some of the most beautiful crochet patterns that you can make!
From baby flowers to crochet to candy stripes and checks you will find all of the patterns you will need to make a blanket for a baby boy or girl. One of the great things about crocheting a baby blanket is that there are so many wonderful soft yarns available in so many colors that you can make a baby blanket in bright yarn colors, neutral yarn colors or the standard pink and white or blue and white baby blanket. While most of these patterns require some skill if you can read a pattern you will enjoy the 9 adorable baby blankets that you can crochet. 
Designs include Baby Flowers Afghan, Cushy Crocheted Blanket, Bavarian Baby Blanket, Baby Pineapples Blanket, Dreamy Baby Blanket, Candy Stripes Blanket, Little Boy Blue Blanket, Hexagon Blanket, and Checkered Baby Blanket. Five are crocheted using DK sport weight yarn (light weight) and four use worsted weight (medium weight).
A baby blanket is a wonderful gift for a new mom and dad to cherish. The patterns in 
Sweet Baby Blankets to Crochet will continue to be a favorite go to book for baby blankets for years to come. 



Available in Paperback and eBook Editions

Buy Sweet Baby Blankets



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How to Attract Birds and Butterflies to Your Yard with Plants and Flowers



This is a photo of our backyard patio from a few years ago.  We planted several types of flowers in our yard and each year we change them to attract different birds, bees and butterflies.  Besides bird feeders there are several different ways to have birds come in and out of your garden through out the year.  The first way is to provide clean water in a bird bath placed around your garden plants.  This is especially true in the spring and summer when there may not be enough rain or water around for the birds to find.  Locate your bird bath in an area of your yard where it is easy to maintain and you will be able to enjoy it.  We now have our bird bath located around a few small shrubs near the Crabapple tree.  
As for what to plant to attract a variety of birds and butterflies this is fairly easy.  The butterflies seem to like our Zinnias and Cone Flowers as well as Asters, Bee Balm, Butterfly Bush and several others.  The Hummingbirds like things like fast growing Salvia and also Trumpet Creepers. 
When you walk through your local garden center you will be able to view different plants and find what works well for your garden.  We have a small Crabapple tree that the birds like to pick the fruit and insects from.  It's near the bird bath so we can watch all sorts of birds while sitting on our patio.
It doesn't matter if you have a small or big yard you can easily turn your yard into a sanctuary for birds, bees and butterflies.  Here are some more ideas for attracting birds and butterflies to your yard.



Country Gardens Solar Birdbath
Small birds will enjoy taking a bath while the big birds will like taking a drink out of this bird bath. This one is easy to clean which is important when it comes to bird baths. Strong enough so that the critters can't tip it over.  When choosing a solar bird bath be sure to keep it in the sun so it will illuminate in the evening.

Fiber Clay Bird BathBurley Clay Summer Cardinal Bird BathChatsworth Two-Tier Solar On-Demand Fountain

Here is a photo of the Small Crabapple tree we have in our backyard. The birds love this tree for bugs and the small fruit on it. We keep it trimmed in order for it to stay small and not over power our yard.
View information on the Red Jewel Crabapple is a spring showstopper!  Petite blossoms envelop the small tree in white, floral brilliance each and every April or in our case May because of the colder climate.  The fragrance the delicate blossoms emit is a lovely lure to your lawn’s pollinators and will repeatedly draw you in for a closer look. 


Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush
Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush

Brilliant Blooms that Attract Butterflies Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush is an ornamental shrub with particular allure to butterflies.  Plant one near a path or patio where its vivid color and enticing fragrance is sure to delight you throughout the summer.
Butterfly Daisy
Butterfly Daisy

The Daisy Butterfly, 'Argyranthemum frutescens', is a fantastic release from Proven Winners. The Daisy 'Butterfly' is a heat-tolerant marguerite Daisy with oomph. 'Butterfly' produces canary-yellow flowers throughout the summer ­ even without  Read More...

Alcott Hill Sleeper Garden Gnome Statue
Adding decorative items to your garden make it fun for you and your visitors.




Three Posts Marathon Conversation 4 Piece Seating Group with Cushion
Make sure to create a comfortable place to sit and enjoy your garden with family and friends.

Aster Plants Where to purchase online
Aster Plants are a definite bird and butterfly attractor.

Shop for Perennials at NatureHills.com

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hands on Summer Learning Activity Boxes for Kids from Kiwi Crate

 Let your kids explore and learn this summer and save 30% off with the Best Boredom busters Hands-on Projects for Young Makers for ages 3 to 16+.
Every summer parents try to find new things for the kids to do and while the Internet can help come up with some fun ideas some of the best learning comes from the Activity boxes provided by Kiwi Crate. You can learn, have fun and experiment!  The boxes range in ages from toddlers to teens so you can receive a box made specifically for your child.  
Best of all now until September you can save 30% when you use the code SUMMERTIME on your next Kiwi purchase. 
Here is how it works...






Learn How to Crochet an Arcade Stitch Cardigan

 Learn How to Crochet an Arcade Stitch Cardigan Sweater
Learn how to crochet a beautiful sweater that you can wear, gift or sell online.
Crochet the sweater with a belt or wear it without the belt.
Sometimes mastering the skill of crocheting a sweater even if you are an experience crocheter can be a bit challenging. That's where helpful video classes come in handy for making beautiful sweaters like this Arcade Stitch Cardigan.  The lesson is provided by instructor and author Vickie Howell who is known for the HGTV show Knitty-Gritty. 
Patterns for advanced garments can seem a bit overwhelming but this online video course will make it easy to understand and create a sweater for you to wear or to give as a gift.
Master crafter Vickie Howell is here to boost your ability and walk you through the creation of a cardigan!

Join us for this project-based class, and you’ll learn:


  • How to crochet a cardigan from start to finish.
  • How to use the Arcade Stitch pattern.
  • How to add front edging to the cardigan.
  • How to adjust your sizing, from small to 3XL.
You’ll walk away from this session with a beautiful cardigan to wear, gift or sell. Vickie’s lesson plan will teach you to adjust your sizing, from small to 3XL, and develop the confidence to dive into other big crochet projects.

Join the Class and Learn How to Crochet an Arcade Stitch Cardigan



Crochet Maker 201: Hats with Vickie Howell

Knit Maker: Skills & Technique with Vickie Howell


Best Outdoor Garden Fountains to Enhance a Yard


             Driftwood Fountain
One unique way to upgrade a yard or garden area is with a garden fountain. The sound of a water fountain in a yard creates tranquility and relaxation while you sit on your patio.  Some of the best features to add to your yard while landscaping is a water feature. This enhances the landscape and brings a wonderful way to enjoy your yard.
No matter how big or small your garden is, having a fountain can easily transform a space form ordinary to extraordinary.  Whether you want a fountain with lots a jets or one with a trickle of water there are lots of different ideas to choose from. A fountain makes an ideas focal point in a yard. Depending on the particular fountain, the sound effects can be soothing or exciting.
Garden fountains come in all sizes and shapes so it makes it easier to decorate a yard with this feature. By adding a garden fountain you are creating a tranquil area to relax and enjoy. 
So how do you go about selecting the perfect fountain for your yard? Well, first of all select a spot that you want to place the fountain in. Make sure to ensure you have a source to hook it into as most water fountains require electricity. You can easily use an outdoor-rated extension cord.  As for plumbing most of these garden fountains recirculate the water so there is no hook up necessary.
Here are some of our favorite garden fountains for you to explore!
Adirondack Fountain
Adirondack Fountain
The Adirondack Fountain is a great feature for any area!  It looks like real wood and has an inlaid leaf pattern. Here are some of the features...
  • Shown in Brownstone (BR). Available in your choice of 12 classic and distinct patinas. Each of these finishes is applied by hand in a multi-step process to make every piece a uniquely beautiful original. Unlike a painted finish, the finish on this fountain does not prevent the natural aging process and therefore allows it to weather naturally in an outdoor environment.
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A. from premium cast stone concrete to last a lifetime
  • No plumbing needed! Water recirculates within the fountain
  • Includes a whisper-quiet, UL-listed pump
  • Cord plugs into any standard 3-prong electrical outlet. An outdoor-rated extension cord can be used to lengthen the cord
  • Free Shipping to any address in the Continental USA!
Ordering Information for the Adirondack Fountain

Nico Jar Fountain in Basin - Waikiki
Nico Jar Fountain in Basin
Refreshing sounds of bubbling water are the main enhancement of this beautiful water fountain.  It comes with a round or square basin here are a few of the main features:
  • Made of Glazed Terra Cotta. Basin made of Fiberglass.
  • Easy to assemble, the fountain kit includes the pump and all other components necessary to create your fountain. The basin provides easy access to the pump with a removable pump access plate.
  • Includes a whisper-quiet, UL-listed pump. No plumbing is needed. Water recirculates within the fountain.
  • Basin can be placed Above or Below Ground
  • River Rocks Not Included
  • Plugs into any standard 3-prong electrical outlet. An outdoor-rated extension cord can be used to lengthen the cord.
  • Be sure to place your fountain on a solid, level foundation. Specific assembly and care instructions are included with the fountain.
  • Free Shipping to any address in the Continental USA!
How to Order the Nico Jar Fountain and Basin
Caterina Fountain
The Caterina Fountain is beautifully designed a smooth texture and clean lines for the bases of each bowl. The fluted pedestal and the smooth finial of the Caterina Fountain creates an elegant focal point.  Water flows out the very top of the finial, into the top tier just before overflowing the top tier and gracefully falling into the grand tier below. A beautiful accent piece for your garden that will create a warm and friendly welcome, the Caterina Fountain is sure to be the one piece your guests can simply never forget.

Tall Malmo Fountain in Mediterranean BlueSiena FountainAustin FountainThe Palazzo Urn FountainGirona FountainPlatia Mini Series FountainAya FountainBird Element FountainBeauvais Fountain
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