Now that it’s October, we are starting to get quite a bit of produce, ah such weird weather here. Anyway, we were able to grow a nice pot of spring onions, which I love. They were quick and easy to grow and we will definitely grow them again. Our three kind of pathetic looking tomato plants are really starting to produce. We are collecting large handfuls almost every day, and the orange ones are my favourite. There are two cantaloupes on our plant. This is the first to ripen, it looks great, it smells divine, though I wouldn’t exactly call it a success…. just look how big it is, and I have small hands. We haven’t cut into it yet, probably for snack today, though I’m not sure it could qualify as a snack for six of us, ha ha. This week has been crazy and busy. All four of the kids have come down with combinations of cold/flu/and pinkeye. No two children have the same symptoms and we got the babe’s pinkeye cleared up before anybody else picked it up, a minor miracle as it’s so catchy. I think it’s safe to say that everyone is on the mend, so we are off to the mountains for the weekend, to take a quick relaxing, restorative break. What are you all up to this weekend?
Archive for the ‘green’ Category
A simple summer salad made from the bounty of our garden. Well, it may not be a huge bounty, but it sure does taste good. There is something so incredibly satisfying about being able to walk out into the garden and pluck peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers right off the plants. In less than five minutes you can be sitting down to a wonderfully simple salad that is still warm from the sun. This was the first year we grew peppers and cucumbers and they will definitely be back next year. I’m also looking forward to growing some different veg as well. Slowly but surely our garden is expanding and it is so much fun. The kids love being able to pick veg, but they are really excited about the cantaloupe. Right now it’s about the size of a softball and growing a bit every day. What bounty are you enjoying from the garden (or the shops)?
Making bread bags has been on my to do list for well, ages. Considering it only took me ten minutes, with distractions, I should have done it ages ago. I have been wanting to come up with a more natural storage solution for keeping our bread and had decided on cloth bags. Shortly after, I saw Mousy Brown’s tutorial and decided that was just the thing. Funnily enough, I picked up these tea towels to make them when we were at the Ikea in Philly. When I went back to the tutorial, I realized that I had bought the exact same ones. I love how they turned out, they are a good weight and should be just right for keeping our bread fresher, longer. If you are looking for a new way to store your bread, give these a try, they are quick, very easy, and really nice to look at.
My seven year old loves blankets. He is buried or snuggled in one most of the time during the winter, and fall, and spring. I have to fold them and put them away during the summer and he has even been known to dig them out just to snuggle up. I have been wanting to sew each of my kids their own special quilt and I finally finished his. Most clothes that are grown out of around here end up at the thrift store. T-shirts that are too worn and/or stained get cut up into cleaning rags. I’ve always felt a little bit bad about jeans though. With a torn knee or a worn cuff they can’t be donated, but I didn’t want to throw them out either. So one day it came to me, make a strip quilt out of the decent pieces. I have to say that it turned out even better than I imagined. I absolutely love this quilt, and I hope he will too. The jeans were well worn so they are so soft, not stiff at all, perfect for snuggling up in. I used a thrifted sheet for the back. For the inside, I used the other half of that sheet (it had a few small tears and stains) and a large piece of flannel that had been given to me (I didn’t care for the print). It ends up being a nice sturdy weight and the grand cost was $1, for the sheet. Everything else I had, which makes this quilt all the more exciting to me. I really do love taking things that are no longer used or loved and turning them into beautiful things. So here we are, a well loved denim quilt for a well loved boy.
I’m a bit swept off my feet at the moment. Hubby is working on-site with a client in Washington D.C. for two weeks so it is just me and the kiddos for a while. Apart from the two months that I was in the hospital this will be the longest we’ve ever been apart. Thank goodness for modern technology as we can call, e-mail, text and even video chat to make the distance seem not quite so far away. Our days have been super busy and filled with plenty of games, lots of snuggles, picnics on the living room floor when it was too drizzly to eat outside, and even a late night snack of bread pudding when my eldest couldn’t sleep. I’ve been staying occupied in the evenings watching British tv shows and crafting. These quick change trousers were high on my list. They are from Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. They are super cute, super easy and just what we needed as the nights have been a bit chillier and the babe didn’t have any pyjama pants as she has outgrown everything that fit her last winter. These are ingenious as they are fully reversible. I only used two different fabrics instead of three on this pair as I am trying to use up some of the fabrics I have on hand without spending anything on new fabric. The striped cotton was from a pair of hand me down pyjama pants that were too short for me, so they matched up pretty nicely with some purple floral fabric I already had and voila, cute pyjama pants to keep those cute little baby legs warm. There are definitely going to be more quick change trousers in our future.
I am so very excited about a project I have been working on, but shhhh, it’s a secret. I do hope to unveil it all after we get back from our trip, around the first week in June. Hope all the mamas out there had a wonderful day yesterday!
This is one of my go-to gift giving gifts. They are fun and easy to make and hugely practical. This is the tutorial I used. I modified a few things. I added a bit extra for the height of the pockets as some of the tea bags I use are a bit taller and I was having a few problems with them sticking out the top. Oh, and I didn’t use interfacing either, and I think it ended up thick enough, but if you were using really thin fabrics, you would probably want to add it. And lastly, I used one of the girl’s hair elastics instead of making a strip to hold the button in place. Last year I made quite a few of these for Mother’s Day gifts, and I think they were really well liked. I always have one in my diaper bag, just in case. Now in a moment of desperation for a good cuppa, all I have to do is find a cup of hot water. I really do love these, and as they use such little fabric, they are great stash busters as well. Have fun making some. I’d love to see them if you do try.
Well, at least the store bought kind. This month for our One Small Change we are going to make our own salad dressing. I’ve been making my own ranch dressing for a while, but I’m going to branch out and try a bunch of different kinds. We will finish up what we have in the fridge, but I won’t be buying any more this month. Last month went pretty well, not exactly how I had planned, but well all the same. We have had so much snow (got more today, ugh) and so much wind that I have not been able to start hanging out clothes out yet. I also didn’t get any air purifying plants for the house, but I did make more string bags and we planted a bunch of seeds to get out garden started. So it wasn’t exactly what I was aiming to do, but I still feel satisfied that we made some progress. Hopefully soon I will have an update on the string bags. I had started one that just ended up taking entirely too long, so it was abandoned, but I do believe that I have found my go-to string bag for produce. I’ll tell you more next week. Hope the weather is nicer where you are.
Last year was the first year that we did any serious gardening. I really do prefer to have my hands in the soil, but there were a few jobs where it would have been nice to have a good pair of gardening gloves, so this year I bought some. I love them, they are so bright and cheery, and they are leather rather than that plasticy, rubbery stuff which I would imagine would make my hands feel all sweaty and gross. This year, dealing with the prickly raspberry bush will be a much nicer task. My friend Deb tells me that there really is no such thing as greenfingers so I just need to get out there and do it (well, she put it much nicer, but really that’s what I need to do). So here we are, a new spring to start working with. I’m throwing myself into it this year and though I expect plenty of failures, I’m hoping for more successes as well. Look, some of the seeds have sprouted and we are on our way. Not brilliant pictures, but I was so excited to show you that at least I haven’t managed to kill them off yet. I must admit, I still have this knot in the pit of my stomach that somehow I will manage to wipe them all out, but I’m giving it a go. We should learn plenty in the process, and besides, it sure is fun.
Yesterday the girls and I started planting up some tomato and pepper seeds.We had a break in the cold weather and snow (though it was still chilly) and I decided that now was the time. Quite frankly I have no idea what I’m doing with gardening. Last year was the first year we tried to grow anything, and it’s a miracle anything survived. No seriously, the only plants that did survive were the ones that I bought from the plant sale, so they already had a good start in life by someone who knew what they were doing. So this year I decided to take out a little extra insurance. We bought some trays with those plant-straight-into-the -ground-peat-pots and we planted quite a few seeds. I daresay, way too many, but I figure that when half of them don’t make it, we’ll still have a decent amount of viable plants. We didn’t have any markers so we improvised and used tiny clothespins meant for their art wires. They worked well. So now we’ve got tiny tomato and pepper plant seeds buried in moist, nutrient rich soil, just waiting to start their productive, fruitful, delicious lives. Fingers crossed that some make it. What are some of your favourite things to plant?