Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Instant Consciousness Doubler


I have had it on my heart for some time to include posts here on the topic of personal growth.  This first post on the topic is not my writing, but is an incredibly helpful nugget of wisdom found in the book the Handbook to Higher Consciousness    I think that you can read this book as a free pdf online and it is well worth your time; this is only a tiny percent of the wisdom shared in this classic book.

Whether you do take the time to read the whole book or not, please read the following excerpt, which is like a shortcut to world peace.  I say this because we will not see world peace until we can all get along in a loving and peaceful manner with our own loved ones and those people we meet on our paths.  Peace be with you today and always!.

-=-The Instant Consciousness Doubler

Most of the time a major expansion of your consciousness requires a lot of continuous inner work, but there is one shortcut through the woods which may be called an Instant Consciousness Doubler.  Since consciousness and Love are synonymous, you might also consider this an Instant Love Doubler.

Here are the directions for making a significant instant expansion of your consciousness:

Expand your Love, your Consciousness, and your loving compassion by experiencing everything that everyone does or says as if you had done or said it.

When you use this Instant Consciousness Doubler, you will bring into play a certain programming in your biocomputer that may not consciously use now in responding to the actions and words of other people.  You are usually aware of some of the inside reasons and feelings that account for what you do.  But when you perceive similar behavior in another person, you usually interpret it with different programming than you use for experiencing your own thoughts and actions.

This leads us into such psychological conjugations as, "I am firm, you are obstinate, he is pigheaded."  "I am frank, you are blunt, he is rude."  "I enjoy my food, you overeat, he is a glutton."  "I occasionally correct people for their own good, you are quite argumentative, he has a terrible temper."  In all of the above situations, the external actions could have been the same, but the programming that you use to interpret the situation is entirely different.

The purpose of the Instant Consciousness Doubler is to remind you to use the same programming in perceiving and interpreting the actions and words of other people that you use in understanding your own actions and words.  If you simply delay your response to each situation long enough to run it through the programming you reserve for yourself, you may find that your ability to understand and love other people will instantly double.  You may be able to simply bypass the old programming and let it gradually wither away from disuse.  You begin to realize that you would probably feel and say the same things that other people are doing and saying if you could just stand in their shoes and see things from their point of view.-=-

reprinted from Handbook to Higher Consciousness, by Ken Keyes, Jr., Fifth Edition, copyright 1975 by the Living Love Center.

 This advice has been so helpful to me in my life and I wanted to share it with you.

from the flickr creative commons free photo pool, by chsh/ii
2006, Akeno, Yamanashi

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New to Sewing Help: How To Start Sewing on a Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Hi!  I am writing this post to help someone who has acquired a vintage (or "old") Singer sewing machine with no manual and is anxious to start sewing. Others have told her to order her manual.  I agree, reading your manual is the number one first thing to do to start sewing. 

But if you must wait to get your manual, I have taken some pictures which I hope will help you to get started right away.  Because really, the best way to learn to sew is to sew.  And I want you to get started as soon as you can!

Your Singer may be different than mine, of course, but hopefully you might be able to figure out what to do for your machine from seeing how mine (ca. 1960)  is set up.

Step 1: Wind the Bobbin

The first thing to do is to loosen the stop motion screw (so the needle will not go up and down while the motor is winding the bobbin).  You do this by turning the larger disc on the handwheel away from you, while simultaneously turning the smaller wheel towards you. 

Use two hands for this, I am using one in the picture because I needed the other hand for the camera.

Then you will set a spool of thread on the spool pin in the front of the machine, making sure the thread is leaving the spool at the front.  Pull the thread through the tension discs to the right of the spool.  Place an empty bobbin on the bobbin pin, which is on the top right of the machine in front of the handwheel.  Pull the thread up (making sure it is engaged in the tension discs), and bring it through the inside of the bobbin and out through a hole on the left side of the bobbin.

Hold onto the thread tail, and then press the bobbin winder down towards the handwheel.  Then start the machine, using either the foot pedal or the knee pedal, if your machine has one.  Hold onto the thread end until the bobbin has wound around a few times, after which you can stop winding, clip the thread end and keep winding until your bobbin is full. 

Then you will stop the machine, of course, and lift the bobbin winder back up, away from the handwheel.  Cut the thread, and remove the bobbin.  Tighten the stop motion screw by turning it in the opposite direction as before.  That is, turn the larger wheel towards you and the smaller screw/ wheel away from you.

Step 2: Inserting the Bobbin

The way the bobbin fits into the machine is probably the biggest difference between machines, and I don't think that all Singers have a drop in bobbin like mine does.  For this kind, you simply inset the bobbin with the thread leading forward from the left side.  Pull the thread first towards the front and then towards the left to engage it in the slot under the spring.  Pull out a few inches of thread.

The needle is already threaded in that photo; I am about to tell you how to do that!

If your bobbin is not top loading like this one, then you will need to remove the bobbin cover and place the bobbin in that casing, thread it through the slot, and replace the bobbin looks completely different than this!  Hopefully you can see how it is assembled when you unassemble it and then reassemble it again in the right way!  Good luck!

Step 3: Threading the Machine
Turn the power to the machine OFF.
Turn the handwheel towards you to bring the needle to its highest position.  Place a spool of thread on the top spool pin, making sure the thread is unwinding from the front.  Thread it through the first thread guide, at the top of the machine.  Then take the thread down, running it behind the next thread guide, on the front of the machine.  Then thread it between the tension discs and back up, pulling it to engage the little hook

Here is a closer picture to show you how the thread will look when properly engaged and threaded through the tension discs:

You see, it will come up under the tension discs, and then it falls behind the little metal finger and down through the little round hook to the left of the discs...then it goes up and you thread it through the take up lever (see previous photo), which is the metal "eye" you will see sticking out in he front of the top of the machine.

Then the thread heads down towards the needle.  On this machine, the next thread guide is to the left on the outside of the machine.  Then you pull it down and behind the guide at the top of the needle clamp.  Then you will thread the needle and pull the thread under the (raised) presser foot.  You will find the lever for raising and lowering the presser foot on the back of the machine behind the needle.

The thread guides on your machine may be slightly different than mine, though!  You just want to make sure that you pass the thread behind every single guide, because if you miss one you might lose your thread and frustrate yourself.

Step 4: Raising the bobbin thread
Pull several inches of needle thread off to the left of the needle.  Hold onto the end of the thread and turn the handwheel toward you, lowering the needle into the machine, keep turning until the needle comes back up, bringing a loop of bobbin thread up with it as well.  Pull out this loop until you have a few inches of bobbin thread coming out of the machine, pulled towards the left with the needle thread. 

Step 5: Starting to Sew
Place your fabric under the needle, and lower the presser foot.  Turn the handwheel towards you to lower the needle into the fabric. 

Use your left hand to gently guide your fabric. Turn the power to the machine on.
Use your foot or knee pedal to sew a couple of stitches forward, and then sew in reverse to "lock" your stitch.  To do this, just lift the stitch length regulator upwards using your right hand, and hold it a couple seconds to sew in reverse, then press it back down to begin sewing forward again.

 When you reach the end of your seam, sew in reverse for a couple of stitches again to lock the stitch down on that end as well.

And now (I hope) you are sewing!  I hope this helped and good luck! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sew Easy Laptop Sleeve with Pockets and a Free Camera Case Pattern

Hi! I want to show you a couple of easy projects and point you to another fun website, too.

I recently wanted to make a laptop sleeve, but all the patterns I found were missing a feature I wanted, which was large pockets.  I looked around at a lot of cool free patterns available online, and you can find some great ideas by doing this, too.

But there are very nice instructions in the One-Yard Wonders book for a quilted laptop sleeve, and I decided to use these for the measurements of the sleeve portion.  Their project example is made from a darling patchwork print and has the pattern for an adorable doggie applique.  But I wanted to make this project quickly.  So I did not follow their instructions of quilting this, and instead just basted the bag, padding, and lining pieces together around all four sides.  I did this with the serger.  You could also use spray adhesive to attach the three layers together.

To make the pocket, I simply made another 3 layered piece with the same dimensions around, and just a couple of inches shorter than the bag piece.  I simply hemmed the top edge of this piece and then layered the pocket piece on top of the bag before I sewed it together.  Now there is a roomy pocket on both the front and the back of this laptop sleeve that can easily hold a power cable and a jump drive, even an ipod and cable, or whatever you need.  Here it is, with a power cord and battery stuffed in the back pocket:

There is bias binding at the top (opening) edge, and I also used bias tape strips a couple of inches long, sewed closed and attached as loops to the top corners.  Then I added key ring loops.  I was thinking this would be for a strap, but with these dimensions that is awkward.  What would work better if you wanted to make this bag with straps would be to attach them at the top and bottom corners (when you sew the sleeve together), to make it a backpack.  Anyway, the key loops on the edge are handy, after all, for pulling the sleeve in and out of a larger bag or from beneath the couch or something.

Free Camera Case Pattern

I used the scraps from this project to make a bag for my camera.   I found a great free pattern (along with a lot more, too) at AllPeopleQuilt; here is the link.  I did quilt this one.  I also noticed that their case was going to be a good bit big for my camera, and so I modified the measurements accordingly.

You can see a strip of bias binding along the bottom in the back; that's because I decided to make this with a pocket, too, for holding the usb cable and a spare pair of batteries.

I should have used velcro on this pocket, though, as my batteries fell out in my purse when I carried my camera along!  The USB wire fits snugly in here though, so you could skip the velcro, too, but also make smaller battery pockets on the inside or outside of the side panels.  This doesn't need a strap, as you will use the camera strap for carrying it. 

I would love to know if you try one of these projects.  And I will love to make another post soon.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scrap Stash Organization

Hi! I am so happy to say that I finally, FINALLY got my large scrap stash organized.

I prefer not to throw anything out that could be put to good use, and I am thankfully blessed with the good sense to be able to imagine a use for any scrap. But having all my many scraps of all different sizes and shapes and contents stuffed into a big "barrel" pop-up hamper was definitely not working for me!

I have worked so hard on getting and keeping my sewing room clean and organized, and this was the last problem to solve. I want to make art quilts to raise money for Alzheimer's (see the link in my sidebar), but I have been avoiding making any scrap projects because the barrel issue made such a mess. First, let me show how it's all better now:

Here is a picture I took the last time I made a scrap project, to show what a ridiculous mess this scrap storage system would make.  Before I moved the scraps up to the barrel, I used a smaller version of this messy system, a scrap bag or basket.  This has always been a mess and much less than optimally organized!

I love keeping my sewing room clean and organized and I am so glad I finally got this big problem solved!

I searched around on the internet for various scrap management ideas and I stopped to read this post at quiltville, Scrap User's Organization System.  When I sew her system, I thought AHA!

So I decided my baby son really didn't need those plastic drawers in his closet, and that I needed them more!

Here's how I sorted my crazy mess of scraps into a workable order:

The top drawer holds red, orange, yellow, purple, and black and brown quilter's cotton scraps.  I see now that they are not in that order!  I was working quickly to get this done.  It took me a full day and a half to do this project, by the way.

I have a lot of blue and green cotton scraps, as these are my favorite colors- so they each got a bin.  The pink bin holds both pink scraps, and also pink pieces that are as big as a full yard.  The smaller bins hold small scraps of felt and silk.  I don't actually keep the bins on top of the drawer unit, but rather stash them neatly beneath my sewing table, which is well within arms length.  I can pull them out and put them on top when I need to work with them.

This middle drawer holds "crumbs:"  These are little small scraps to be used for string piecing and such.  The maximum size for the Alzheimer's Art Quilts is, I think, 10 by 12 inches, so I know I will be able to make something using even the smallest crumbs.  These small scraps are confined using a white open bin, so that this drawer can also hold muslin and batting scraps that can be used in making these small quilts or other little scrap projects (such as my favorite scrap project, soft crazy quilted color books for baby)..

This bottom drawer holds scraps from sheets I have already cut, a bag of plaid scraps, and a ziploc with denim and corduroy scraps, as well as some patterned white and light neutral quilter's cottons.  So it is kindof a miscellaneous drawer.

I had a lot of scrap knits, but no good bin to fit them; this reusable bag is the perfect size.  So for now, the knit scraps are in here, stashed under the sewing table next to the bins.

There is a couple more categories of scraps that I save.  One is the "stuffing scraps."  I stuff tiny pieces, even thread chains and serger trimmings, and small batting scraps, etc, into a drawstring garbage bag, which I use for stuffing things like pillows and toys.  Someone recently gave me an antique wardrobe which I am using as my "sewing room closet," although it doesn't fit in the sewing room and is at the end of our hall instead.  That "closet" holds the bag of stuffing scraps, a bag of larger felt scraps, and also some sheets I haven't cut yet, interfacings, and some other things.

I also have two large shoebox bins, one holds apparel fabric scraps for making Barbie doll clothes, and the other has novelty scraps, which I am collecting to make an I-spy/ Alphabet quilt sometime soon.

The last step to make this system workable is one more basket, empty now.  This is also stashed under my sewing table and I can use this to store daily scraps in for quick daily cleaning of my mess, and then sort these away every week or month or whenever.

It can be a good, useful, and productive thing to save and use lots of scraps, but this will work out MUCH better and be easier to do when the stash is workably organized.  Towards that end,  I hope this post is helpful!

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Grandmother's Quilts

For Mother's Day, today, I gave my mother and Mr. Green's mother baby quilts that I made from blocks left by their mamas.  Both of these dear grandmothers left a small stack of pieced blocks, and last year they were given to me.  So I arranged and sewed together the blocks, and because in both cases there were less than enough blocks for a whole quilt, I added borders. 

My husband's grandmother hand sewed the blocks in the quilt pictured above.  I used the machine to sew them together and quilt it.  I just love the pink, blue, and red color scheme, which is one I never would have thought to use.  I didn't have enough of one binding for the whole quilt, and so I improvised using two blues! 

The blue striped border continues around all four sides on this quilt.  The blocks in the middle of this one were made by my great great grandmother, who was also my mama's "mother," through adoption.  She passed away many years ago.  When my mother gave me her quilting things recently and I saw these blocks, memories came flooding back.  The fabric and color choices in this quilt could have only been chosen by her!  I can remember seeing her hanging out laundry wearing a dress made from one of these fabrics.

I keep calling these grandmother quilts because they were started by grandmothers and I gave them to grandmothers, for holding new grandchildren.  I made a bit of a mess in the quilting of these, as I always do- I love making patchwork, but not quilting as much.  They turned out just fine, though, really.  Both our mothers seemed pleased, and I feel pleased as punch to have finished these projects which were started by others so many years ago.

I hope all of you who are mothers have had an amazing mother's day this year!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sharing Garden Pictures: First Fruits 2011

Strawberries are so super easy to grow; just be sure to give them plenty of room because they spread a lot every summer.  That is chocolate mint in the picture as well.  I decided to let it run like a weed in our herb bed and I have not regretted it.  This chocolate mint seems both the sweetest and tastiest of the mints, and it also seems happier and more lush in my garden than regular peppermint or spearmint.

Speaking of strawberries by the way, I have recently discovered how easy it is to make chocolate covered strawberries, and this has been our favorite sweet treat this spring.  To make them, I just empty a cup or so of semi-sweet chocolate chips (not Nestle!) into a glass measuring cup and melt them in the microwave.  On my microwave, this takes 3 30 second cycles (stir between each 30 second nuking).  Then you just dip the berries in he smooth melted chocolate and set them on wax paper.  Stick them in the refrigerator to chill; it really only takes a few minutes for the chocolate to harden.  Share them with someone you love, and enjoy!  Strawberries are loaded with healthy goodness, and dark chocolate has antioxidants and bromine and other good stuff for your I consider these to be a health food and we enjoy them often without guilt!

These blueberries are of the Emerald variety.  We bought four varieties of blueberries in the fall, and this variety has the largest berries.  I wonder how long they will take to turn blue!

Husky Cherry Tomatoes.  I know some folks in more northern latitudes may feel amazed to see our tomatoes fruiting already, but please realize that it gets so hot here that our plants peter out (at 10 feet tall, sometimes) usually in late July, and then we will have no fresh tomatoes until late September or so, if we plant a second crop. It looks like this year I might succeed in having lettuce and tomatoes to harvest together.  This is hard to do here as it is quickly too hot for the lettuce, which bolts to seed.  Last year they almost missed each other- tomatoes seem to take a while to ripen and as the first tomatoes were ripening on the plants, the lettuce was starting to bolt.  I think we got one big salad for a party, and then the lettuce was done just as the tomatoes got started.  This year I planted some lettuce later than usual, chose an all-season mix, and knock on wood, we should have a few weeks of lettuce and tomatoes harvested together for salads.

These are a variety of Passionflower that do not fruit, unfortunately.  But the flowers are amazing and the vines seem happy and want to run rampant in this hot and humid climate.

I hope to make time for a fun sewing post soon.  Until then, Happy Growing!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Dress for Every Girl Around the World

Dress A Girl Around The World is an organization that I was glad to learn about, and I wanted to make sure that you all know about it, too.  The flyer above says "Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress."  It is a sad thought that there are little girls who don't own a single dress, and this is something that we CAN do something about!  I am so happy to make pillowcase dresses to send to this organization, and I bet you all would like to do the same.

Pillowcase dresses are SUPER EASY to sew, as I have recently discovered.  You don't have to start with a pillowcase, but if you do they make up in about ten minutes.  You can make them in the traditional way, using bias strips under the arms and casings at the top:

Or you can use elastic across the top, and put casings under the arms, instead:

This didn't work that well for me, and I will never try to put casings under the arms again!  It would be better to use bias here, too; here are easy instructions at Rostitchery for a "safer pillowcase dress."
I will make the next ones this way, for sure.

As I said, you don't have to start with a pillowcase; you could start with a yard (or a bit less) of fabric, or even make one from a skirt:

So, I am sending these off to Dress a Girl Around the World now (after I clip those threads), but I plan to make more and better dresses soon, and send more again later.  I hope some of you will sew some pretty dresses to send for other little girls, too.  Please and thank you.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Gardening

It's March already, and as we live on the warm Gulf Coast, our garden is already planted.  We are still waiting to see our zucchini and squash seeds break through the ground, but most everything else is up.  I planted a lot of heirloom tomatoes and pepper seeds, as well as quite a few hybrid peppers, too, in pots in the garden, but we also bought some seedlings from the garden center.

Here is the hot pepper patch so far:

There are Cayenne, Hot Bananas, Mammoth Jalapenos, and something known as "world's hottest," I think those are Habaneros.

And here are the sweet peppers so far, 3 each of green. yellow, and red:

There is space in between them for the seedlings I am growing, mostly a carnival mix of many colors of bells, along with my favorite heirloom, Chinese Giant.

And the tomatoes are on the other side in this garden.

So the back 10x12 garden will be full of tomatoes and peppers this year (and basil), and what was the pepper and tomato garden last year now has zucchini and squash, zinnias, black beans, garlic, sunflowers, chard, sequoia beans, and will have corn and eggplant (and more zinnias).  I am not showing pictures of that garden because it is just coming up (except for the garlic, which is a foot tall already).  It also is littered with leaves.  There is a Live Oak tree in my side yard that sheds its leaves in spring right onto that garden.  Since we planted the seeds we are having to hand pick the leaves frequently so that the seedlings do not get smothered.  This little garden is fenced in, though, so we are about to run a screen over the top and eliminate this problem.

I haven't planted luffa or pole beans yet, as we want to build a new trellis for these.

I did take some pictures in the herb bed.  The echinacea is up.

And here is a comfrey emerging:

This other comfrey is hardier and leafed out already:

The bee balm sure has spread and is looking nice.  I hope it will finally flower this year; I have had lovely flowers from bee balms in other yards, but it has not flowered at this address yet.  Bee balm is also known as Oswego Tea, by the way, and the strangely shaped flowers are really interesting.  I think it likes more shade than it gets in my yard.

The stevia is up and growing; it grows really tall and flowers; I want to better about using this herb (for sweetening tea) this year.

Oregano, one of a couple clumps in the perennial bed:

Lemon balm, aka Melissa:

The pineapple sage has not yet come back!

Pineapple Sage is my favorite herb in this garden, and we have been growing it here for 4 years; last year it was a huge bush with at least a 5 foot diameter all around, including tall.  It is the last thing to flower in the winter, and so I am thinking it is late to come back...but I read last year on the internet that sometimes they just don't come back, and so we are worried.  We bought a new one just in case:

Look how much blueberry flowers look like blueberries!

Here are my zinnias.  I planted a ton of them in pots to put in the garden later.  They are also springing up as volunteers in 2 of the three gardens and I haven't pulled any yet.  I love zinnias :)

And here is a surprise.  We have been shocked by this Gerber Daisy, which has not seemed very happy since we bought it a couple or more years ago.  It seems happy now:

That looks like summertime to me, but I took the photo today!
What are you planting in your garden this spring?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's In Style for Spring/ Summer 2011: Women's Fashion Top Trends

Are you inspired to sew your wardrobe? I sure am, and many of the trends this Spring are great and easy styles for sewing yourself.  So what are the top trends for the season?  To find out, read my new article at Yahoo! Contributor Network, What's In Style for Spring 2011: Women's Fashion.  I appreciate you reading my work at Y!CN.

I am doing a lot of Spring wardrobe sewing myself, and I hope to show you a lot of the pieces.  The top trend this Spring is the jumpsuit, and I am definitely making a few for myself.  I started with McCall's Pattern 6083.

This pattern includes 2 different bodice styles and three lengths of pants.  I have learned to make a test garment first, and so I made a sunsuit, using the shorts length and the bandeau style bodice.  My Dolly can't wear pants, and so I have no model to show you, and I cannot photograph myself.  I took a picture of my short jumpsuit hanging on a hanger, and then laid out on my table, and these photos don't look good!  So I am going to have think about how to show off my jumpsuits; maybe I will get brave and model them myself, if Mr. Green will shoot the pictures.

Anyway, the short suit is cute and comfortable (and very easy to sew), and I will wear it in my backyard, not out and about.  I also will not make another with the same bodice, as I don't love it for me.  I do really like the fit of the shorts.  They have nice front pockets and are very comfortable with a great fit. I have just cut out another pair in the capri length, in black.  I am going to try the other bodice style with this, and make the top in white.  I will let you know how that bodice works out, for sure.

I am excited about making a different jumpsuit today, though.  The most recent issue of SewStylish magazine has instructions for combining the bodice and pants from Simplicity 2227 to make an "ultra-elegant jumpsuit."  I will be making mine with some flowing chambray colored cotton.  Once I do that, I want to work with the pattern I used for this nightgown to make a version in gauze, inspired by Ferragamo's lovely jumpsuit for this season. 

That Sew Stylish magazine had another great project, a knit wrap dress, which I made yesterday.  I still have to finish the belt ends....I have hesitated on this step, because I am thinking I might like mine to tie, instead of using a vintage wooden buckle as I had planned.  Once I decide and finish this dress, I will show you that as well.  Amazon does not appear to have the latest issue of this magazine, but I found mine at the fabric store; if you see it in line, you ought to pick it up.  I think there were about 6 different garment sewing patterns that I will definitely try, and there are many more than that in the whole issue.  This is not a sponsored post, by the way, and there has never been a sponsored post here at Sewing and Growing, just so you know.  I recommend things because I like them and think you will too. 

If you didn't click the link above, please click now to read my article What's In Style for Spring, please and thank you!  Happy Sewing!

P.S. I am adding this photo, because it felt like cheating to have nothing to show in this post!  Plus, as I said, I will wear this only in the privacy of my back yard, as it is short and I certainly will never be photographed wearing this!  It's cute though and I hope I will enjoy wearing it for gardening this summer, sorry the photo doesn't look good!  I left off the belt in the photo because it wouldn't hang right, it is the same as the neck ties, but wider.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rosemary Flowers

Our Rosemary is flowering now. 

If you don't have Rosemary growing at your house yet, it should be easy to find young plants at your local garden center right now.  Rosemary is one of my favorite plants to grow, as well as a favorite herb; we love it so much we named our dog Rosemary! 

They are easy to grow and thrive in full sun.  They tolerate humidity better than many other herbs, as they are used to growing near the sea.  A Rosemary bush will grow as tall as man, but not taller, according to a legend that centers around Christ.  This particular bush has been growing for us for four years now, and it was a couple or more years old when we bought it in a large pot; this is the first year that it has completely flowered.  We had small smatterings of blooms over the last two years, but this year it has blooms covering the whole bush.  Even if you don't have a garden, you ought to grow a Rosemary.  They will do well in pots outdoors, as long as they have plenty of room for their roots.  If your temps go down below 0, not just freezing, then you will want to grow it in a pot and bring it inside or somewhere protected to overwinter.  On the Gulf Coast, where we live, they are hardy and stay green all year.
Once you get some, besides cooking with it (it's particularly good with chicken, green beans, or potatoes), you can also use it to make things like flea dip for your dog, hair rinses for extra shine, and skin cleansing products.  Here is my recipe for facial toner/ astringent made with this herb and strawberry leaves.