Get Well Tonic

Comfort Tea Ingredients

Comfort Tea Ingredients

Ugh, it is that time of year again — crud season.  With the falling of the leaves comes the falling of healthy folks with colds and bugs.  And this includes me.

The past 72 hours have passed in a haze of sickness in bed with a smattering of Netflix videos,  a skosh of knitting, a ton of napping and a lot of homemade get well tonic.  In the last few years, I have been sick often so I have my healing tactics down pat.  The get well tonic is simple and made with ingredients that are always in the house, or if not, easily procured.  This concoction works well with ailments such as sore throats, colds, stomach aches (lighter on the lemon, heavier on the ginger and perhaps peppermint tea), and general overall yuckiness.

Jennifer’s Get Well Tonic

Steep together – thinly sliced fresh ginger, herbal tea (or simply hot water) and one half of a cinnamon stick in a small teapot or mug.  Add fresh lemon juice and a heaping teaspoon of raw honey.  Drink often.

Variations can include different herbal teas, a pinch of cayenne (for congestion) or a dram of whiskey.  This drink has the added benefits of natural sugar and antioxidants while re-hydrating and warming the body.  If you search for “natural cold or flu remedies” online, some variation of this drink will be one of your top searches — and for good reason, it works.

Now whenever I feel the slightest twinge of a bug coming on, I make a pot of this tea.  Even if I can’t stop the crud, I can make this simple healthful drink to stay hydrated and get better.  Along with lots of sleep, this simple drink can bring comfort when needed most.

35,112 Stitches Makes . . .

Draped on the Couch

Draped on the Couch

A Bronco Blue Baby Blanket!

Living in (Denver) Bronco territory yields loads of options when crafting something for even the littlest Bronco fans.  Behold a tasteful blanket that shows team spirit while not being too overtly Bronco (not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes — and some in my family will disagree with me — it is nice to tone down the pride to a more subtle level).

Baby E. W. F. was born a few months back and although I have yet to give him a snuggle in person, I want him to experience a bit of my love from afar in the form of a cozy blanket.  He will be a Bronco fan because he was born into a Bronco fam and this yarn is a perfect Bronco blue to complement his blue eyes.  The pattern (Free Sunny Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern on created a fun checkered pattern texture while being simple enough to knit while zoning out to a movie or a podcast.  The pattern is done in rows of 18 so a click row counter is a great help, although the old method of pen and scratch paper works well too.  At only 5 1/2 skeins of good washable yarn, this blanket was affordable to make as well.  I was able to work on the blanket during many lunch hours and chill out sessions at night.  With a glass of wine and my yarn skein, I am a relaxed being.

I enjoyed this project so much that I am making a larger version for my nephew in a different shade of blue for a rival football team.  I am expandeding the pattern to be bigger and will detail that adventure at a later date.  Right now, my cozy chair, pea quilt, new project and a glass of pinot are calling my name.  Knit on!

Modeling the Blanket -- Our Childhood Stuffed Animals!

Modeling the Blanket — Our Childhood Stuffed Animals!

This Civil War is Over!

Farmhouse Style in the Bedroom!

Farmhouse Style in the Bedroom!

I can proudly announce that the Civil War in our house is over.  Done.  Finished.  A Civil War bed quilt that is.

This quilt, the pattern is a Four Square Farmhouse, uses all reproduction fabrics from the Civil War era.  Fabric designers pair with historians to recreate actual fabric patterns or design fabrics to look similar to what was used back then.  The Civil War fabric palettes tend to be darker and the motifs are smaller.  I tend to gravitate toward these reproduction fabrics as my tastes run more antique than modern.  You could create a starkly different quilt using more modern fabrics.

This quilt is also a journey.  Originally, I found this pattern in a now defunct quilt shop in Grand Junction, Colorado in June 2013.  This shop had an incredible array of Civil War era fabrics and I was instantly inspired to make something big — this pattern was perfect.  First, this pattern was something I understood and as a beginner quilter, I wanted to create a project that I easily understood.  Second, the pattern consisted of using fat quarters which allowed me to not only spend money only when able but also to procure fabrics where able.  To me, this quilt is so special because I remember all of the stores in all of the towns where parts of this blanket came from.  With an origin in western Colorado, these fabrics move west to Boise, Idaho continuing on through Oregon with stops in Ontario, Nyssa, Baker City, Halfway, Pendleton, La Pine, Burns, Bend and Portland.  It was a good summer of exploration and my keepsakes from each little town are embedded in the quilt.  The amazing Bishop’s Fan quilt work was done by long arm machine by my incredibly talented friend Heather in Ontario, Oregon.  Now, this quilt that represents the small towns and amazing quilt shops of (mostly) Oregon resides in Durango, Colorado on our bed where I admire it every day.

Oddly named Bishop's Fan.

Oddly named Bishop’s Fan.

This was my first queen sized quilt and definitely posed some challenges.  The blocks were easy to create after a stressful day at work, but the construction of something so large was new to me.   Even though we had vastly more space in our old home than our current home, finding a space to lay out 42 15 inch blocks wasn’t easy.  Also, it wasn’t always easy to see the contrasts between fabrics when laid out;  there are a few blocks that I now wish I would have placed differently.  But this a minor thing for I am immensely happy with what was created by me with the help of a talented quilter.

This Farmhouse quilt makes my day every time I see it.  When I make the bed in the morning, I smile at the quilt even if I’m not exactly thrilled to be upright.  When I snuggle down for bed, I am cozy, warm and more at peace with this quilt atop me.  What a difference a homemade bed covering can make in a day!  My utilitarian bulk Ikea duvet cover from 8 years ago works just fine, but it is nothing special — it certainly doesn’t give me any warm fuzzy feelings.  Warm, yes, warm AND fuzzy not so much.

Making things is always an experience, a journey in and of itself.  For me, this quilt is part road trip, too.  The fabrics transport me to memories of canyons, rivers, mountains and fun times with friends.  What more can you ask for in a blanket?