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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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.
With just a little retrofitting, an old-fashioned Mason jar can become a new sewing kit with a built-in pincushion on top. To begin, separate the lid's sealer and screw cap. Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass, draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles; make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard. Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim; quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim. Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard, fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2006
Fill old-style specimen jars with water, and add enough food coloring to produce a suitably supernatural tint. Arrange lotus pods, poppy pods, and coneflower heads within. No evil will darken your doorstep with these eerie elixirs on display.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2009
Assembled from yarn, rope, and foam balls, these homespun pumpkin decorations are simple to make. For each, gently press top and bottom of a Styrofoam ball against a work surface to flatten ends (so ball doesn't roll). Wrap orange roving around ball. Insert a T pin into top. Tie cream or orange mohair yarn to pin and cover ball. Cut a length of rope; place over pin, and attach with a hot-glue gun, pressing to secure.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
If you can peel and stick, you can bring a natural note to your home office with coordinated wood-grain accessories. All it takes to make a matched set of mouse pads, file boxes, and straight-sided glass jars is self-adhesive shelf liner.
Cut the paper just larger than the surface you want to cover, apply, and trim excess with a craft knife.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2011
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