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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Giving Back - Hobby Challenge #1

As I mentioned a few weeks back, part of my challenge will be to use my talent as a crocheter  to give back to my community in any way that is possible.

For the month of June, I will be teaching Free Crochet Class for the young people in my church on June 13th. In doing so, I am hoping that I love my art and  they think about the next steps that they want to take in their life and pick something that they love to do.

Tomorrow, I will be blogging on this weekend experiences. It has truly been an amazing weekend.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Neki® Naturals - May 26, 2010 Blog Carnival

Welcome to the May 26, 2010 edition of Neki® Naturals. This is our first edition and will do this at least once a month. Enjoy the various articles on this blog carnival and comment if possible.


Kara Sebbert presents 10 Most Influential Fashion Designers posted at Fashion Merchandising Degrees.

Mike Ross presents The 25 Best Fashion Design Blogs on the Internet posted at Star Costumes Blog, saying, "The Internet is a powerful resource for any fashionista. Everything fashionable, from news to shopping to insightful analyses of the latest runway shows, can be your with just a few clicks. Lately, the World Wide Web has also proven to be a fantastic resource for fashion designers. There is a boundless stretch of inspiration available for the fashion designer in everyone, alongside valuable tips on improving your craft. Here are 25 of the very best fashion design blogs on the Internet."


Neki® Naturals presents Top iPhone Apps for Nature and Sports Hobbies posted at Neki® Naturals.

Natural Skin and Hair Care

TaraV presents {DIY} Cucumber Facial Mask Recipes posted at Go Green Street.

Linda@NHE presents How to Thicken Your Hair naturally posted at Natural Health Ezine, saying, "These are some all-natural options for thickening your hair..."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Neki® Naturals using our carnival submission form.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great sites for Craft Ideas for Boys

With a boy toddler, I am learning to find activities for him to keep his mind occupied and provide a learning opportunities.  In addition, there are mothers like me who are asking questions on this particular topic on twitter.  As you know, boys like directions and anything to make with their hands.

Here are some links to some sites that I found:
  • The Disney Family fun Craft site is great and very organized. This was my first stop and there are options depending on age.   Excellent ideas for Father's day crafts.
  • From Kiwi Families site, it has different activities just for boys such as: Home Made Board Games, Massive Message Centre,Treasure Chest, Marvellous Machines, Fabulous Flags Paper Mache, Box Robots. See this link for additional info  at KIWI.
  • Family Craft site also have some fun creative crafts that include Alligator Clip on, Baseball Magnet, Basketball  magnet, card collector frame. 
  • have ideas that are more generic but creative.

I hope this helps.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Finish what you Start

Yesterday, we ran another 5K in Mount Poconos, PA.  From the town's name, it was full of hills and to top it of, it was raining. As we started on the race, I cruised to the first mile at 6:55 min/mile. As I ran to the second mile, the hills started to slow me down, my shins started to hurt, my breathing was difficult . As I reached the second mile, I began to wonder if I can be able to make it the finish line. All I could see was trees and hills and no one in sight either when I looked forward or backwards.  I wondered if I can just walk the rest of it. I thought to myself how hard I have trained for this moment and how I will be cheating myself if I quit almost at the end. So I started to sing myself and as I saw the finish point, I gave it everything I got to the end.  Time? 22:30 minutes for a 5K. My own personal record! Was it easy? NO! Do I still hurt? Yes!

It is the same with any craft or hobby. You are so enthused about starting a new hobby or taking your hobby to another level and  you need to take some action to follow through. It may start so easy that you think it will be a breeze and then bam! you hit a road block or stumbling block. My craft is Crocheting and I will be one of the first that will tell you that I have hit so many road blocks either when trying out a new pattern or creating a new pattern.

What's next?
1. Picture, Picture, Picture : When I run or working on a crochet project, I try as hard as I can to picture myself at the end of the run or the final crochet product. Visualize perfecting or training in your craft. Cut out images of things to remind you of your goal. When it gets tough, pull the pictures out or sit quietly and visualize  it. Write down what your thoughts are and where you are going with this.

2. No more Procrastination - When I think about early morning runs, I just want to slip back into bed and sleep for another hour.  If I do that and tell myself  I will do it later, I will never run that day. So I get up and do it whether it was a great run or not, I just do it. Same has to go for your craft. You will need to push through whether the project is coming along as you planned or not. You may not where you want to be or complete the project as scheduled but as you do it a little bit at a time, you will learn about your craft and when you do the next project, you will use what you learned from the past project to perfect your techniques.

3. Seek and You Will Find: At some point, you may have hit a road block and really have no idea what to do next. Seek advice from people who can help you either through the Internet or ask someone you know. You may need to take a class or buy additional books to help you to keep moving in the right direction.

What am I telling you?

Just do not stop.  Do not Quit. You will not know what great things are lying ahead if you quit at this point. Pick up that project, hobby, goal and try to do the best that you can. You will surprise yourself.


Friday, May 21, 2010

MInimize Dandruff with Hair Cleanser Recipe

It's Friday and  I use the weekends t give my body and hair some home spa treatments.

Here is one for you if you suffer from dandruff's.  If you have dandruff's always use clean hair brushes and do not wear anything that will heat the head.

3/4 cup rosewater
2 teaspoons sweet almond oil
3/4 teaspoon soothing Bath Vinegar
1/2 ounce glycerin
10 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops thyme essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. To use, rub the scalp thoroughly with this until no further evidence of dandruff is needed.

Share any dandruff recipe you have. I will love to  share them with everyone.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

DIY Beautifying and Moisturizing Hair Butter Recipe

Cocoa butter or Shea butter is a great oil to moisturize the scalp.  My preference is to use unrefined Shea butter. Shea Butter provides moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness.  It also absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp to rehydrate without clogging pores.

This is a recipe to use for dry scalps that will not heavy on your hair.

4 teaspoons Shea butter

2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
3 teaspoons of salicylic acid or facial toner

5 drops of tea tree oil

    You can use Cocoa Butter if Shea butter is not available.

    Melt the Shea butter and combine the Shea butter, jojoba oil,tea tree oil and salicylic acid.  Allow it to cool. Then apply to the affected spots. Wear a night cap to prevent soiling the bed linen and wash the whole hair in the morning with a mild soap and warm meter. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Repeat this process as long as it is needed.


    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Tips to De-clutter and Organize Craft and Hobby Supplies

    I love to keep every single craft supply that I bought or someone gave to me especially yarns. I had so much unused yarn that I could not even think clearly or be creative so I decided to de-clutter and organize. Here I am sharing tips that I have used and ones that I am going to use this week.

    Where do you start?
    • Bring out every supply out and sort them into different piles: Keepers, throw outs and donate. Try to be as logical as possible because I know there are a lot of emotions attached to our craft and hobby supplies. I tend to hoard yarn whether I have a project or not especially baby yarn.  It is still a work in progress but last year I donated over 30 unused yarn to the M.A.R.Y project. This way I know someone will use them and it allow me to start new projects.
    • For the items that are throw outs. Quickly put them in the garbage and throw it out so you do not have second thoughts about keeping them.
    • For the Keepers, use the following for storage:
      • Ziploc bags: Use Ziploc bags to store small supplies. I am actually going to do this today. I have buttons and  threads and hooks everywhere. This will definitely them this all together.
      • Shoe Organizers - Use Over the Door shoe organizers to store scrap booking supplies, stamp supplies, knitting and crocheting yarn supplies.
      • Totes: You can use the totes you have or buy the new totes now that they sell for specific craft. I saw one yesterday at Bed Bath and Beyond with pockets for pictures. I thought that was quite innovative. There are totes in my shops as well.
      • Containers - Use different size containers for different supplies. Organize paint brushes, markers, pens and pencils in large cups, I use small glass flower vases to add a touch of elegance and decor.
      • For Fabrics - Use clear containers for fabrics. For my already made products, I use small clear plastic containers to store hats, and baby dresses and larger containers for blankets . You can cut up heavy cardboard to use as separator or to wrap fabric around the cupboard to keep it neat .
    After you are done de-cluttering , you can enjoy your space to create and enjoy your craft. Make sure you put away supplies immediately after you are done. I am still struggling with putting supplies but I am getting better at it. It makes it so much easier to put it away.

    I hope this helps.


    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    New Challenge Hobby - Giving Back with talent

    I have always been a giver of time and money but  when I think about it, I do not think I have used my talent for crocheting and reading.
    Here is my challenge for  this summer: Using my talent as a crocheter to give back to non profit organizations. This may sound strange but I feel if I can spend 30 minutes to an hour a day finding out how I can use my talent to help someone or make someone happy, why not do it?
    Life is not just about us or what we want but how we can help with what we have been given.

    I am making a promise to myself to find all that I can on this new challenge and let you know my progress.

    What new hobby are you going to challenge yourself this summer? Is there something that you want to do but hesitate to do it because of time , money and fear? Share it here maybe someone can provide you with some insight.


    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Best iPhone apps you need for Knitters and Crocheters

    It is amazing what the iPhone apps can do and the crafts apps are still very new. Here are iPhone apps for knitters and crocheters that helps to stay organized, assist in tracking rows, patterns and finding new patterns for your pleasure.

    • Ewe Stash - This iPhone app is a digital organizer and helps to keep your stash organized and ensure you have everything you need.
    • Vogue Knitting - this is another digital organizer and similar to Ewe Stash. This one is more geared to Knitters than crocheters.
    • Stitch Minder - This iPhone app I absolutely love. It is a counting utility to track rows completed, pattern rows, increases and decreases.
    • Knit Counter - This is similar to Stitch Marker and geared towards knitters.
    • Lion Bran - This is a pattern app from lion bran. I like to use it when I want to make a quick gift and looking for a quick pattern.
    There are other apps such as Craftlit which is a podcast for craft and Craftvideo for learning and I cannot wait until Ravlery has its own app. Hopefully this will happen soon.!


    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    This Week Blogs

    I am so excited about this upcoming week. I look forward to sharing  and discussing  a lot of information  about hobbies, craft and technology. It has been a great weekend and I know it is going to be a great week.
    Come back tomorrow for more!


    New Post from Blog Carnival in May

    I will be periodically posting some guest posts from  Submission deadline is May 21st to be posted on this site. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I will.

    Enjoy your weekend

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Love your hands with Almond Milk Hand Wash Recipe

    Use this if you have intense itching of hands or sweating palms.
    1/3 cup almond milk
    1 teaspoon Epsom salts
    1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil
    5 drops patchouli essential oil

    Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Pour the mixture int a bottle, cork tightly and put aside for future use. to use, apply a few drops to affected areas.


    Treat your Tender Feet Recipe

    One of the best treatments for tender feet is soaking them nightly in a bath. Try this recipe for a soak bath. If you do not have bran, use Epsom salt for an equally effective treatment.

    1 cup Bran
    2 quarts Water

    Mix both ingredients  together in a large pan. To use, soak the feet in the bath for half an hour.


    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Challenge Yourself With a New Hobby

    I found out that a typical adult brain contains 15 billion to 200 billion neurons. Assuming we use the lower figure, the brain is capable of remembering 2 the 10th billion power bits of information. If you like to see wto see ee how large it is, "grab a piece of paper and write a zero for every second for 90 years", says neurologist R. Restak.

    So isn't it time to use what we have and fun with it? We are so capbable of so much more than we are currently doing and I think we can have more than one or two hobbies!

    I am challenging myself and hope to challenge to take on a new hobby this summer.  Try out a new hobby! Learn something new. See ourselves through the eyes of children. They are always learning something daily!

    I am excited to say that I am narrowing down what my new hobby will be starting in June but I hope you will do the same. By this time next year, you will have mastered something new. If you can, start now. Life is very short.

    Enjoy your day!

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Calming Lavendar Bath Salt Recipe

    Lavender has a calming scent therefore makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and helps to induce sleep. Treat yourself to these salts that will make for the most serene bath.

    6 drops clove essential oil
    3 drops lavender essential oil
    3 drops chamomile essential oil
    3 drops cinnamon essential oil
    1 cup baking soda
    1 cup sea salt

    Mix the essential oils thoroughly. Place the baking soda and sea salt into a bottle, cork and shake. Uncork and pour enough of the essential oil mixture over the salts to scantily cover them.
    Discard remaining essential oil moisture. Keep closely corked until you wish to use.
    To use dissolve 1/4 cup of salts in bath water.


    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Top iPhone Apps for Nature and Sports Hobbies

    There are thousands and tens of thousands of applications on iPhone for everything. Here are some of the top apps depending on your hobby:

    • Fishing -  Fishing is the #1 hobby in America. There are so many apps for fishing but if you want a great interactive fishing game, check out Flick Fishing iPhone app. It is fully animated with living environment.

    • Bird Watching -  More than 5 million Americans bird watch as a hobby. Great app to use is called  BirdEyes  which can find birds nearby, help discover rear birds and find great birding locations.

    • Golf - Many golfs apps but the Golf Shot GPS as pricey as it is provides information such as yardage, tracks scores and stats and helps to improve your golf game. If you are looking for a #3 interactive game, check out another app called GL golf.

    • Photography - PhotoCaddy app provides guidance and tips for amateur photographers. It is also very inexpensive to buy.

    • Running/Biking - As a runner, I have my preferences but I have to say the RunKeepers app is great for tracking mileage, location and even allows you to change the type of activity from running, biking , walking etc.

    It is good to provide feedback on the apps to encourage either more changes to the app or commend them for the app.   I will keep providing more info for apps on other hobbies in the future but take out the time to try these and provide your comments on these or on the ones that you currently own and use.


    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Creative Ways to Fit in a Workout

    There are just times that I do not have time to fit my workouts into the normal schedule either early in the morning or later during the day due to one reason or the other.  I devised my own way of having good workout while I am working on my craft. I normally sit for 3- 4 hours in a stretch while crocheting so do most people in the office. On those days, here are some creative ways to get exercise into your routine:
    • First thing I do is to set a timer. This helps to remind me that I need to get up and start moving.
    • Warm up : While crocheting, I will stand up and warm up with a few steps matching in place slowly for about five minutes. It does not hinder my concentration on my workout.
    • Speed up :  After the slow warm up, speed up the match in place and do so for another 10 minutes while working.
    • Tummy Tuck:  You can choose to sit or stand for this one. Squeeze and hold your stomach for 20-30 seconds and release. Do this 10 - 15 times for a quick ab exercise.
    • Leg Lifts: If you have ankle weights, put the ankle weights on. Sit down and lift each leg 10 times.You can repeat for a second set. 
    • Cool down with a quick stretch and drink some water.
    This is quick and easy and I am still working while I perform all the exercises except for the strectching. Try it and let me know what you think.