Our Favourite Pinterest-inspired Spring Crafts

Now that we’ve passed the Vernal Equinox we can look forward to spring! The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up and we have a bit of hope and optimism for this new season. Today we’ve gathered some beautiful and crafty ways to start welcoming spring into your home. If you’re looking for more ideas, we have a Pinterest board full of spring inspiration, but these are our favourites!

Bring the outdoors inside!

Spring is a season for planting and new beginnings. We also know you may be using a few eggs soon. Why not combine the two into these DIY Eggshell Planters from Twinkle Twinkle Little Party?

Looking to bring some spring blooms indoors? Why not gather flowers from your yard, or visit a florist and learn how to arrange them beautifully with this tutorial from A Pretty DIY Home?

This one’s even good for the environment! Upcycle tin cans you already have at home into great little planters for succulents. Check out this tutorial from Mom Always Finds Out.

Faux Florals

Even if you don’t want to bring real blooms inside, these “faux” florals will add a touch of spring to your indoor environment!

Decorate your front door or a bare wall with this romantic boho inspired wood bead wreath tutorial from Kippi at Home.

Or perhaps you’re interested in paper crafts? There are tons of tutorials on Pinterest, but we’re smitten with Cherry Blossoms from Happy Happy Nester created from tissue paper.

Perhaps you’re a quilter? There are so many quilts to love, but check out the Tulip Quilt, a free pattern from Allspice Abounds. It looks like a great way to use up stash fabrics in bright colors for the spring!

For the Kids

If you’re looking to keep little ones occupied in celebrating the new season, we’ve got you covered!

If your littles love paper crafts, here’s a simple tutorial for tissue paper flowers from Say Yes. (Bonus: creator Liz Stanley and her daughter Edie have an Art with Edie IGTV channel!)

Stuck indoors on a rainy day? Grab some q-tips, paints and construction paper and create a cherry blossom tree with a handprint trunk courtesy of Glued to my Crafts.

If you’ve got some general craft supplies (yarn, popsicle sticks, beads, pipe cleaners and the like) check out these fun woven yarn butterflies from the Craft Train!

We hope we’ve given you some crafty spring ideas to get you started celebrating the new season!

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Knit and Crochet Pattern Inspiration for Spring

We know we’ll be waiting at least another month or two longer in Canada to see spring buds, but it’s already time for the new spring and summer knit and crochet patterns to be released! Planning knits for the next season is like a breath of fresh air, and a hopeful look at what’s to come. Today we’ve rounded up our favourite new spring and summer looks to share with you. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for the season ahead!

Tops and Tees

Spring and Summer mean warmer days perfect for tops and tees. We’ve been so inspired by Pom Pom Magazine’s Spring Issue, but we particularly love Four Quarters by Julie Robinson.  Irina Anikeeva just released her Vernal Collection full of springy projects, but we think the Irvine Tank Top is a stunner! Designer Jacqueline Cieslak just released a book, Embody, full of sewing and knitting inspiration; we’re smitten with the Deren Tee. If you’re looking for a simple, elegant cardigan to fend off the chill, check out Amaryllis by Elizabeth Smith from Manos del Uruguay’s Spring collection. And we can’t forget our crocheters! We love the Riviera Tee by Sincerely Pam from Crochet Foundry’s Spring Issue. Another great find? The Mermaid Tears Tee by Katie Clary.

Shawls

Spring days and summer evenings can be a little cool and there’s nothing better than having a shawl to pull around your shoulders. We found so many lovely shawls it’s impossible to share them all, but there were a few of our favourites. The Synchronized Shawl by Michael Vloedman is a striking wrap with pops of color. Ginger by Amy Christoffers makes use of a new colorful cotton blend from Berroco. Optimism by Lana Jois radiates cheerfulness and hope. For our crocheters, we’re blown away by Feather Wings by Megan Lapp! If you’re after something a bit more practical, we love the delicate Sampler Shawl by Brianna Iaropoli. And what about a little bold and bright color with Meadow by Anna Nikipirowicz?

Other

While we were browsing for tops and tees and shawls we found a few more patterns that let us dream about spring and summer adventures. If you live in a milder climate, you may wear your socks year round. We love the Flying Birds Shorties by Joji Locatelli as well as the delicate lace of the Summer Vine Socks by Jem Arrowsmith. Spring often means new babes and how sweet would they look in Ariadne by Lisa Chemery? If you’re interested in home decor, the new Daydreamer collection by Chloe Turlow has both womens fashion and a collection of fun cushions – we love the Greenhouse Cushion. We also love what we’re seeing in Interweave Crochet’s spring issue, including the Estuary Tote by Anne Potter. Finally, spring is a wonderful time for a picnic and the Floating Squares Blanket by Craftling Designs caught our eye as the perfect blanket for picnicking in the park.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to start on your spring projects. If you’re looking for more ideas we have Pinterest boards dedicated to knit and crochet patterns we love. If we’ve missed your favourite new pattern in our roundup, please share it with us!

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Celebrate Grapefruit Month with Eucalan!

Did you know that February is National Grapefruit Month in the United States? Sources are hazy on how this came to be, but as early as 2003 people were celebrating this citrus fruit. Since Grapefruit is one of our favourite scents, we thought we’d devote a post to all things grapefruit!

Here are a few fun facts about grapefruit:

  • Grapefruit is a hybrid citrus fruit, a cross between pomelo and sweet orange.
  • It is said grapefruit originated in Barbados or thereabouts and was introduced to Florida in 1823 by the Spanish.
  • A grapefruit is about 4-6 inches in diameter, with yellow to orange rind, and segmented flesh that is white, pink, or reddish depending on variety. Its flavour is tart with a hint of sweetness
  • In 1929, the Ruby Red grapefruit became the first grapefruit variety to receive a U.S. patent. 
  • Florida grows about 75% of the total grapefruit crop in the U.S., along with Texas, California, and Arizona. Grapefruit is available all year long—from somewhere.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, grapefruits are grown all over the world, with China, the United States and Mexico as the world’s leading producers.
  • Grapefruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, plus fiber. Like all citrus fruits, grapefruit is high in Vitamin C, which helps bolster immune systems. 

If you’re looking to enjoy grapefruit this month, we’ve got tons of fun recipes on our Pinterest board!

Want something a bit savory? Try this vegan Avocado and Citrus “Ceviche”!

These Grapefruit French Macarons look like a delicious treat!

And how gorgeous is this (gluten free!) Grapefruit Tart?

If you’re looking for a frosty treat, don’t miss these Pink Grapefruit Margaritas!

Want to craft some grapefruit inspired designs?

The Grapefruit Splash cardigan by Rachel Brockman is a fun, kicky cardigan perfectly sweet and tart! This one is free on Knitty.

Fancy a little colourwork? These Citrus Mitts by Kris Knits would be so fun in a grapefruit inspired palette!

Pamplemousse (the French word for grapefruit) is a cozy, cropped cabled pullover designed by Thea Colman. Love those cables!

And of course don’t forget our grapefruit scent! Eucalan’s Grapefruit Delicate Wash is scented using essential oil of grapefruit. Grapefruit oil is a natural antiseptic which is particularly beneficial when washing garments that lie close to the skin such as hosiery, workout wear, bathing suits and lingerie. The lanolin enriched formula helps to naturally condition fibres and keep static away. Use on all your delicates and enjoy the fresh, light, invigorating scent. 

We hope you’re enjoying grapefruit month! 

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Eucalan and Your Pets

Except for our unscented version, Eucalan Delicate Wash uses essential natural oils (eucalyptus, jasmine, grapefruit and lavender) as moth and flea inhibitors, antiseptics, and to add gentle scents to your woolens. Eucalan is gentle enough for everything your pets touch (toys, blankets, etc.) and even your cherished four-legged friends themselves! Read on to learn more.

Your Pets

Your pets can actually benefit from being washed in non-toxic Eucalan. The lanolin helps to condition their skin and hair/fur while Eucalyptus essential oil can help to repel fleas.

For small pets (e.g. a small dog, guinea pig, or hedgehog), add anywhere from 5mL/1tsp to 15mL/1 Tbsp of Eucalan to basin or laundry tub. Fill with water. Then wash your friend in the water and Eucalan mixture. You can follow up with a gentle rinse but if they dash away, it’s ok, Eucalan won’t harm their coat or skin. Then remove your friend from the water and give them a towel dry.

For larger animals (e.g. a large dog or horse) we recommend a slightly different method. Get your animal thoroughly wet. Then you can rub full strength Eucalan directly onto their fur or hair. Be sure to start with small amounts as a little goes a long way. Rinse as much of the soap as you can off and then towel dry.

Pet Bedding, Blankets or Saddle Pads

Depending upon the size of item, you may want to wash these in your washing machine, in a large tub outdoors or in your bathtub.  You should always launder these items according to the directions indicated, simply substituting Eucalan in place of laundry soap.  You can then dry small items in the dryer on a low setting with a tennis ball or dryer balls. For larger items, you can dry those outside on the clothesline or draped over a picnic table or fence. If you’re concerned about discoloration (particularly in white bedding), be sure to dry items out of direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and yellowing.

If you have sheepskin or shearling rugs or mats that your pets love, we’ve got special care tips for those. We’ve also got extra tips and tricks for oversized items and wool blankets!

Horse Blankets and Coolers

To launder horse blankets and coolers, spread the blanket flat on the floor/ground. Soak the blanket well with a hose and then dribble Eucalan onto the blanket. Next, scrub your blanket with a clean stable brush. Finally, rinse off the dirty water and hang the blanket on a fence or clothesline to dry.

We hope we’ve given you some new ideas on how to incorporate Eucalan Delicate Wash into your TLC for your cherished pets. If we’ve missed anything, we’d love to hear from you!

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Valentine’s Day Lingerie 2021

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while a romantic dinner or getaway to Paris is out this year, there’s no reason not to spoil yourself (or your partner) with something silky and sexy for some indoor fun!

If you’re looking for luxurious French embroidery and sheer tulle with intricate details, look no farther than Journelle’s Spotlight Embroidered Balcony Bra. Other matching pieces are also available! Thanks to Wen at Comics Girls Need Bras for sharing this one with us!

Shopping for a curvy figure? How gorgeous is this set: Matilda Kiss by Elomi? Thanks to our friends at Lingerie Briefs for sharing!

Looking for va-va-voom red or sexy, stunning black? Parfait Lingerie debuted it’s collection over the holiday season, but we think these looks will be around long past Valentine’s Day!

Want to add a stunning piece that can be worn a variety of ways? This Victorian faux suede corset from Corsettery caught our attention!

Worried about choosing the right size? Why not try The Lingerie Gift Box from Barely There Intimates! The gift box includes: the pantie or a garter belt of your choice, a silk sleeping mask, a candle, a hand-drawn lingerie postcard with the option of gift message included and a special bonus.

We also love the Rosy Trio gift set from Amo Ambiance which includes a pink “Hibiscus Passion” bath salt, a “La vie en rose” candle and a “Hot chocolate” hand cream. 

And of course our favourite gift for any lingerie lover is the ultimate guide to intimate apparel: In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie by The Lingerie Addict’s Cora Harrington. Signed copies are available on her site!

We hope we’ve given you some ideas and inspiration for making this a sexy or sweet Valentine’s Day to remember!

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Relax, Refresh and Restore for 2021

2020 was quite the year, and even though the clock has rolled over into a new year, we find that we’re still carrying some of the stresses of the previous year with us. We’d like to reset as much as possible, and today we’re taking a look at meditation and yoga as a way to relax, refresh and restore yourself for the wonderful things that lie ahead of us.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is the practice of mindfulness or focused attention to achieve a clearer and calmer mental state. It has been used for generations as a sacred practice, but in recent years has been adopted by many to release stress and tension, and make one more relaxed and calm. Many find meditation helpful to maintaining their mental and emotional health, and this article from the Mayo Clinic suggests there may even be physical health benefits to practicing meditation.

Types of Meditation

Meditation is a broad term for things that bring about a relaxed state of being. These often include mental exercises and focused imagery, but can also include physical exercise, a focus on breathing and sometimes even chanting. There are a few examples of meditation below:

  • Guided Meditation: You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher, but you also may focus in on images, scents, sounds or textures to center your attention.
  • Mantra Meditation: In mantra meditation, you focus on a word or phrase (a mantra) that you chant throughout the practice.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: In mindfulness meditation, you concentrate on your breathing and awareness, opening your mind to thoughts but trying not to pass judgement on them or focus too deeply on any one thought.
  • Tai Chi: This ancient Chinese martial art has you move slowly through a series of poses with practiced breathing to focus your attention.
  • Yoga: In yoga, you perform a series of poses and breathing exercises to promote a flexible body and a calmer mind.
Practicing Tai Chi

Getting Ready to Meditate

The best part about meditation is you can do it anywhere at any time, but there are a few things that will set you up for success.

  • A quiet place. While you’re still learning the practice, it’s helpful to find a quiet place so that you don’t get distracted by sounds or movement. You may wish to sit in silence, or have quiet music to aid in relaxation.
  • A comfortable position. Many people like to practice meditation while seated, but the most important thing is that you are in a comfortable position that you can remain in for a period of time. You may wish to sit on a yoga mat (make sure yours is clean and smelling fresh with Eucalan), or surround yourself with blankets and pillows. Just be sure that you can focus on your posture and breathing, and hold the position comfortably while you practice.
  • Guidance. Some people benefit from guided meditation. There are several guided meditation apps that can help you with this process. If you are interested in practicing yoga, there are also tons of great videos and resources for beginners.
  • An open mind and patience. Keep your mind open. There is no one right way to meditate; it looks and feels different for everyone. And meditation takes time and practice. In the beginning experiment with shorter sessions and try not to get frustrated if it takes a little while to accustom yourself to meditation.

We hope we’ve shared a few tips and tricks to help you in your question for a more relaxed, refreshed and replenished 2021. If we missed anything you find helpful, please let us know in the comments.  We’ve also started a Pinterest board full of ideas – check it out if you’re looking for more inspiration.

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Holiday Recipe Roundup

This year our holidays look a little different, but there’s no reason they should taste different! There are tons of sweet and savoury treats to enjoy this season and, with extra time at home, we’re keen on spending time cooking old favourites and trying new recipes! We’ve rounded up some yummy looking dishes from Pinterest, and we can’t wait to see what’s cooking!

Savoury Treats

If you’re celebrating the feast of lights, check out this article from Delish on how to make the crispiest Latkes ever! If you’ve got leftover turkey, check out these gorgeous Turkey Cranberry Sliders from Graceful Little Honey Bee – sure to be a hit while snacking! Looking for an appetizer idea? Check out this Candy Cane Board from Eating Well! Do you prefer a cheese platter? The outer coating of tangy, fresh cranberries and salty, crunchy pistachios paired with the tangy, smooth and creamy herb spiked goat cheese is an indulgent, textural taste of heaven in this Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log from Carl’s Bad Cravings. Or get that sweet, salty, creamy, and crispy all in one bite with these Brie & Fig Crostini from Chew Out Loud. Skip the fruit platter and make these Grinchy Fruit Skewers from Clean & Scentsible instead!

Sweet Treats

Want a sweet treat to celebrate Hannukah? These Hannukah Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies by Shannon Sarna look fun to make… and to eat! Who doesn’t love something sweet during the holiday season? These Gingerbread Oatmeal Cream Pies from the Ambitious Kitchen already have our mouths watering. With beautiful holiday colors, this White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge from Life, Love and Sugar seems the perfect easy holiday confection! Or try the Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee from Sally’s Baking Addiction for an over the top treat. Are you a fan of the Great British Baking Show? Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirls look divine! And there’s nothing I don’t like about these Brownie Roll Outs from Foodal – they look magical.

For the Adults Only

The holiday season can be brighter with a chilled (or toasty) drink in your hand. These White Christmas Margaritas from Joyful Healthy Eats with coconut and cranberries taste like summer, but look like winter! The Cinnamon Rosemary Old Fashioned from Salted Plains is a warming cocktail made with a honey-based simple syrup that is perfect anytime, but adds some spice to the holidays. If you really want to warm up, check out the Homemade Peppermint Vodka Hot Chocolate from Aberdeen’s Kitchen.

We hope we’ve inspired you to try something new this holiday season. Do you have a favourite holiday recipe that you make each year? We’d love to hear about it – leave us a comment if you’re willing to share!

Happy holidays!

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The Cozy Holidays Hat – a new FREE pattern from Eucalan and designer Lana Jois.

The days are getting shorter and the countdown is on to the end of year holidays. We hope you’ve got most of your holiday gifts sorted already, but if you’re looking for the perfect last-minute gift knit, we’d love to share the Cozy Holidays Hat with you!

You can receive a PDF download of the Cozy Holiday Hat pattern for FREE when you sign up for our newsletter.

The Cozy Holidays Hat is worked in a single skein of worsted weight yarn, in a simple chevron ridge pattern that is both written and charted. Available in three sizes, this hat will fly off your needles just in time for gifting!

Designer Lana Jois is a doctor by day and loves to knit, crochet and design in her spare time. She is fascinated by technique, construction, the unusual and the interesting. Her designs have been featured in Interweave Knits, Knit Now, Knitscene, Pom Pom Quarterly, and a variety of pattern collections. We were thrilled to have her design this beautiful hat for us.

We wish you the happiest of holidays and hope you enjoy the Cozy Holidays Hat (FREE when you sign up for our newsletter!)

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Getting Crafty for the Holidays

The air is chilly, Canadian and American Thanksgivings have come and gone. The holidays are in full swing and this year we’ve got more time than ever at home. We thought we’d make our surroundings a little more festive and highlight some of our favourite DIY crafts for the holidays. This year we tried to select crafts that you could do with or without kids, and use items you likely already have around the house. We’ve got a Pinterest board full of Holiday Cheer; read on to see more of our top picks to try this year!

Recycle and reuse those cardboard boxes that have been arriving at your house to create a darling “gingerbread” village that will last year after year. All you need is a bit of acrylic paint and this tutorial from Oh Oh Deco

We know you’ve probably got some yarn around the house! Add some paper tree cones, a hot glue gun and some twinkle lights and in no time you can create a snowy tree scene perfect for the holidays using this fun tutorial from Hallstrom Home.

If you celebrate Hannukah and have a selection of scrapbook papers we love this simple but modern Paper Dreidel Garland tutorial from Paging Supermom.

If you’re up for learning some new stitching, we love these adorable “Chalk” Embroidery Hoops from Flamingo Toes. You could make them work for any holiday by varying the sayings and colours!

If you prefer to celebrate the solstice without any particular denomination, these boxes full of faux greenery and candles can add a fresh look to any room, and a soft glow of candlelight when it gets dark outside. Add some sticks or pine cones you find on a snow walk outside as extra touches. No one does it better than Stone Gable!

Finally, who doesn’t love pom poms? Make a Reindeer Pom Pom Garland with this tutorial from Designs by Miss Mandee, or an Anthropology Inspired Wreath from Stone Gable, or these cute Mini Pom Pom Ornaments from The Crafty Swedes at Pysselbolaget. If you don’t have a fancy pom pom maker, you can use cardboard or even a fork. Get the kids involved and soon you’ll have pom poms everywhere! Want to celebrate? Put a pom pom on it!

We hope we’ve given you a bit of crafty inspiration to enjoy the holidays. Do you have a holiday craft to share? We’d love to hear from you! Share with us on Instagram using the hashtag #eucalan or join our Facebook group!

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Caring for Shapewear

Guest Post by Sandi Rosner

Shapewear is an investment in looking and feeling your best. Whether you reserve your shaper for special occasions or won’t leave the house without it, make the most of your investment by washing and storing your shapewear properly.

If you are a shapewear devotee, be sure to purchase your favorite style in multiples. Shapewear needs time between wearings to recover its shape and elasticity. Wearing the same garment for long periods of time can shorten its life; the shaper can become permanently stretched out. Proper washing is actually good for your shapewear! Even if you layer panties underneath, aim to wear a piece no more than twice before washing.

What is shapewear made of?

Most shapewear is made of a blend of synthetic fibers, usually nylon and spandex. Spandex is derived from polyurethane, and is the ingredient that gives these fabrics their superior elasticity. Fun fact: Spandex is an anagram of “expands”! 

Some shapewear styles include latex, which can be made with either natural or synthetic rubber.

Check the tags on your shapewear. Latex and spandex have different care requirements. When in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and choose the gentlest washing method you can.

Washing spandex

Handwashing is the safest method for cleaning spandex garments. Fill a large basin with cool water and add a small amount of Eucalan. Submerge your shapewear, swish it around, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Gently squeeze to move the water and soap through the fibers. With Eucalan, there is no need to rinse. Gently squeeze out excess water (don’t wring!) and hang or lay flat to dry.

Spandex garments can be machine washed if your machine has a delicate or hand wash cycle. 

Fasten any hooks or zippers and place your shaper in a mesh lingerie bag. The bag protects your shapewear from snagging on other garments and prevents it becoming entangled with the rest of your laundry. Don’t stuff your shaper into a too-small bag; water needs to flow easily to all parts of the garment to clean well. Choose a bigger mesh bag, perhaps one that is sized for washing sweaters. If you don’t have a mesh bag, use a  pillowcase and close the end with a rubber band.

Set the machine for cold or cool water and select the most gentle cycle and add Eucalan. Chlorine bleach will cause the spandex to degrade, so choose an oxygen-based bleach if you’ve got stains. Avoid fabric softener. Do not tumble dry your spandex shapewear. Lay flat or hang to dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Spandex can also be safely dry cleaned, but the fabric may hold onto the odor of the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process. When you get it home from the cleaners, remove any plastic packaging and hang your shaper to air out before storing it.

Many cleaners offer “wet cleaning” on request. This process is gentler and more controlled than your home washing machine, and avoids the issue of chemical odors or residues. Many cleaners even use Eucalan in their wet cleaning process!

Washing latex

Latex must be hand washed. Fill a basin with warm water and add Eucalan. Submerge your shaper and let it soak, taking care to avoid deforming the garment. Use a towel to gently blot excess water, then hang your shaper or lay it flat to dry away from direct sunlight. 

Never dry clean latex.

Heat and light will damage latex. If you’re in a hurry, you can speed drying by positioning a fan to blow over your garment, improving air circulation.

Storing your shapewear

Extend the life of your shapewear by storing it in a cool, dark place. Shaping panties can be rolled loosely and stored in a divided drawer for easy access.

Hanging your body shapers can lead to stretched-out straps and damage from bumping against other garments. Avoid folding or rolling your full-body shapers, especially if they have molded cups or boning. For best results, store your body shapers laid flat in a drawer.

A little time and attention will go a long way toward preserving your shapers. With proper care, quality shapewear can continue doing its job for years. 

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