All it takes to propagate African violets is a large healthy leaf, cut in half. To turn the leaf into a pretty gift, snip it into the shape of a heart. Using clean, sharp scissors, remove a leaf with 1 inch of stem from a plant, and shape the leaf. Fill a small pot with fresh potting soil, and poke a hole in the soil with a pencil. Insert 3/4 inch of stem, pack soil firmly around it, and water well. (While rooting, the leaf should be covered with a glass jar or a plastic bag and removed from bright light to keep it moist.) A new plantlet should emerge in 6 to 8 weeks.
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Lace Taper Candle How-To
1. Trim a strip of rub-on transfer to the length of a taper candle. Hold strip in place on candle with low-tack tape.
2. Working from bottom to top, burnish transfer onto candle with a craft stick or bone folder.
3. Remove tape and transfer backing.
An avid bird watcher keeps an eye on her little owl with a pair of binoculars. Other than the hat and a canteen (available at camping-supply stores), this costume can be assembled entirely from ordinary street clothes: Choose an outfit that consists of neutral, outdoorsy pieces, such as the safari-style jacket and brown pants shown, and don't forget a pair of sensible shoes.
Magazine holders are good for keeping old issues in order, but their handleless backs make it difficult to access them when you need to. For a permanent fix, position a sash lift on the back of a holder, and mark screw holes with a pen. With a hand drill, make two holes in holder to accommodate small bolts. Secure the lift to the holder with bolts and matching nuts.
Brass-hook sash lifts in polished nickel; $11 for 2; Rejuvenation; 888-401-1900 or rejuvenation.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
It's a dog's life -- and a cushy one at that. This soft bed, suitable for small pooches, can be refreshed with a quick switch of covers. You'll need 2 same-size dish towels, 2-inch-thick foam (cut 4 inches shorter and narrower than the towels), and iron-on Velcro fasteners. Lay towels on top of each other, good sides facing. Sew 3 sides, about 1/2 inch in from towel edges. Turn inside out, insert foam, and iron the fasteners to the open side. For a neat appearance, fold that end as if gift-wrapping a box and use the fasteners to keep in place.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, May 2007
A monochromatic log cabin design in soft cowhide gives the pattern a modern yet relaxed vibe.
To make the bag, stitch together an 8-by-5 1/2-inch rectangle and 3-inch-wide strips using a leather needle and heavy-duty thread. Be sure to increase the stitch length to avoid perforating the leather. Add a strap of natural canvas. If you like, you can sew a matching lining.
Sources: Wyoming cowhide, in Beige, globalleathers.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January 2011
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