January 2012

Take advantage of warm winter days

I’ve been taking advantage of these unseasonably warm days this winter, I hope you have too. Take today, for example, the last day of January.  It’s nearly 60 degrees outside.  That gave me a chance to haul out all of the plants I’ve been wintering indoors. When plants stay inside all winter the insect and … Continue Reading →

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood weaves a mini potholder purse

In last Friday’s Handmade column, Kentwood resident Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood talks about how she fell in love with weaving and turned the craft into a successful business venture. Learn how easy it is to make a hand-woven mini purse using a simple wooden potholder loom, available from Ackerman-Haywood at Craftsanity.etsy.com.

Snow Days in Chicago

It is not going to feel very wintry in Chicago this weekend, but that makes Snow Days at Navy Pier all that more enticing. If you’ve ever explored Chicago on a blustery winter day, you know it’s not fun! Navy Pier’s annual event celebrates winter with a snow sculpting competition, dog sled races, snowboarding demonstrations … Continue Reading →

Hello Gorgeous Dahlias

‘Hello Gorgeous’ dwarf dahlias are one of my favorite potted plants.  These little beauties only grow to about 12 inches in height.  I usually place three plants into a 6 1/2-inch pot.  This seems to dwarf them even more so that they end up being about eight inches tall. This dahlia is only available as … Continue Reading →

Make a crocheted ruffle scarf

Crafter Alice Smith of Livonia says when it comes to knitting and crocheting she thinks about her grandmothers who never used patterns. Learn more about Smith and how she happened to design a crochet pattern for a ruffle scarf in today’s Handmade column.

'A Handknit Romance' book giveaway

Knitwear designer Jennie Atkinson who currently designs for publications like Rowan magazines, “Vogue Knitting,” and “The Knitter” magazine, has just put together a collection of beautiful garments inspired by the past in her new book, “A Handknit Romance, 22 Vintage Designs with Lovely Details” (Interweave/$24.95). The fitted designs featured in the book are created with … Continue Reading →

Never mind no snow, get out and ski

  Snow may be scarce so far this winter but don’t let that stop you from learning to ski.   Head to the snow-covered (albeit man made) hills of Metro Detroit and take advantage of Discover Michigan Skiing, an annual learn-to-ski program that offers discounts to beginners. The package includes a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard … Continue Reading →

Adjust water for winter jade plants

Every year I set my jade plants outside during the summer.  Before frost, I move them inside to overwinter. When they are growing outdoors, I give these succulent plants quite a bit of water.  Actually, they get the same amount of water as the rest of the potted plants.  During that time, they make good … Continue Reading →

Consider these travel resolutions for 2012

Every new year I aspire to travel more, to broaden my horizons and experience something new, something off the beaten path. Some years I succeed; other times I don’t. This time around I’ve made travel resolutions, inspired, in part, by the folks at Kensington Tours, a Wilmington, Del.-based company that offers customized and private guided … Continue Reading →