Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Now I just need to decide on a strap. I'm dithering between a fabric one or a re-purposed brown leather belt. The birthday girl is as much into making something new out of something old as I am so I think she might get a kick out of the belt idea. We'll see what works out. I love that every bit of this bag came from thrifted items - fabric, thread, quilt batting...even the sheet that I cut up to make a pattern. ;-)
Now I need to make some for my boys.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So many projects, so little time. :-)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Yesterday I stopped in at the local thrift store en route to the library on a quest for chip-free cereal bowls. (is it just us or does everyone end up chipping their bowls? there does seem to be less bowls on offer at the thrift stores (compared to plates and cups) so I think everyone must do this). Anyway as I looked in their kitchen section I happened to spot this. Well, I simply had to have it.
I so want to try it out but I guess it'll have to wait for next summer. Now I have all the excuse I need for planting Even More beans. ;-) Thanks, Mary-Sue.Oh...and I found some cereal bowls too. Canadian made and no chips. :-)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
only one sock. Sigh. So...I'm posting here so that I feel motivated to get the other one done too. It is about halfway done so there is really no reason not to get going on it....except that I found a free pattern for a really nice felted handbag and I'm sure that someone in my family would love to have it for Christmas and it looks like a lot more fun to make then a second sock. ;-) Ah, I'm so good at distracting myself when I want to. :-)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I'm sure there are as many methods of this as there are gardeners. I've gone through various stages myself. I used to pull everything out, compost it, and leave the soil bare with the plan of tilling in the spring. When I made this garden I decided on raised beds and no more tilling; I felt it was damaging to the soil. For several years I would leave some things in the garden as shelter and food for animals (and I still leave some sunflowers) and then just start a new compost pile with those things in the spring. A few years ago I discovered that the mulch that I was using to keep weeds down and soil moist all summer also protected my soil all winter and made it harder for weeds to sprout in the spring. I'm all about not having to deal with excess weeds so I decided to become more of a year-round mulcher.
So...to answer your questions, Jess - I do put all my plant waste in the compost at the end of the growing season (except for the very thick main stems of my tomato plants and sunflower stalks. Oh what I would do for a shredder). I don't dig up or break up my soil anymore because it is in beds and stays quite loose. I just keep piling on more mulch to add more organic matter and the worms loosen up the soil for me (I haven't used a tiller for at least 8 years). When it is planting time I will just nudge some of the mulch (that hasn't broken down) aside and plant my plants. It's a win-win-win situation. For some things - like lettuce or carrots- I do still clear away the mulch so that the seeds can sprout more easily but most things do well with the mulch all around.
Hope that helps. Have fun. One of the things that I love about gardening is that the garden tends to be a very forgiving teacher - there really is no right or wrong in the garden. You know?
Now I want to get out there and use up those last bags of leaves. ;-)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Our library just bought this book and I couldn't resist making something from it right away.
Next I might try the mouse. The book has 16 different critters to make and the instructions (with photos) are clear and easy to follow. It's a great book, well worth buying...but since the library already has we don't really need to. Have I mentioned before just how much I love our library? ;-)
Monday, November 10, 2008
I Have Found Such Joy
I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.
I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things- old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.
~ Grace Noll Crowell
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Someone asked how I cook and prepare the pumpkins for use. First (and I don't know if this is true or not but...) I only use pumpkins that we haven't had candles in. I've heard that it is dangerous to eat pumpkins that have had candles burning in them so we used lights in our instead. I cut it in slabs and then bake them at 350 for about 40 minutes (much as you would bake squash). This giant pumpkin is so thick that it took a little longer to bake so most of yesterday afternoon was busy with this job. I could only fit half the pumpkin into the oven at one time so had to bake in two batches. I ended up giving one slab away to a neighbour too.
When it is baked (you can tell because you should be able to poke it with a fork and it will be very tender) I let it cool a bit and then scoop the flesh out. Then I run it through a food processor for a minute because we like it to be nice and smooth - especially for use in pies. After that's done I put it in freezer bags (in 2, 3 and 4 cup portions) and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet so that they will stack in the freezer nicely. This photo shows most of the cooked pumpkin from just that one giant pumpkin. Two more to go...but one will be frozen raw and shredded in portions for our dog to eat this winter.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Yesterday I finally stopped in at our local nursery to buy some and was thrilled to find Cherryville gourmet garlic available (and 25% off). They had a few varieties available and I couldn't resist - German Early Hardy, Yugoslavian, German Red, Russian Red, and Music. One of them in particular smelled absolutely delicious, I hope it was Music because who doesn't love garlic called Music? While the boys worked on picking up the remaining walnuts and mulching the leaves I prepared a bed for planting. The garlic is all tucked in for winter now. It was almost dusk when I was finished - the days seem so short already and that was yesterday - before the time change. (anyone else find the whole Fall back time thing annoying? Just at the time of year when I would like a bit more daylight in the evening we have to put the clock back?!?)