Allotments

lettucesunflowerbrussel sproutsflowersartichokeThis past Saturday we drove to the park to have a picnic, but when we got there our usual spot was taken. We drove around to find another spot and found a perfect little area that we ended up having all to ourselves. There was a little grove of small trees that made the perfect hideaway, and just a little walk away was a section of the botanic garden. To my surprise there was also a little section of allotments. I had no idea they were there, but was thrilled to find them. Two of my kiddos walked with me around the lots trying to see everything that was being grown there. There were all the usual veg, such as squash, tomatoes, and green beans, but there were also some I had not seen grown around here like the artichokes and brussels sprouts. There were also plenty of beautiful flowers. It was exciting to see some of these and it gives me some hope of what I may be able to grow in the future. I do love having some fruit and veg growing in our garden as it’s so nice to be able to run outside and pluck some juicy tomatoes off of the bush for lunch, but I can imagine it would be quite nice to whisk away for a couple of hours on your own to just clear your head and dig in the earth. With a nursing babe, that’s not really a possibility at the moment, but in the future, who knows. I have big plans on expanding my garden next year, and hopefully not so many of my seedlings will die. As I am basically teaching myself the ropes, I guess I must expect plenty of failures, but hopefully I’ll start having more successes as well. Regardless, it’s refreshing to see food being grown, and for me it is extremely fulfilling to feed myself and my family food that we have grown ourselves. What are your favourite things to grow?

gardening • Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 • 3 Comments »

Repurposing Vintage Linens – Part 2

repurposed robeThis is another project that started with a vintage sheet. I needed a lighter weight bathrobe and I loved this sheet but unfortunately it did not have it’s matching set. What better thing to do than repurpose it and turn it into something I could use and love, much better than having a lonely bedsheet. The pattern came from Amy Butler’s In Stitches. This was the first project that I sewed from this book, and I found it to be quite manageable. I did lengthen it a touch and I also doubled the width of the belt which I think is now perfect. I also really love the wide legged pajama pants pattern in the book, but I haven’t gotten to that yet. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I really do love repurposing fabric, buttons etc. into something that I can really use and love. It may sound cheesy, but it’s almost magical how you can take a flat sheet and turn it into something really useful. It’s even better that it is a vintage sheet that I love, and now can enjoy every day as a completely different item. Next time you find some vintage linens that you love, try to think of all the possibilities, there are hundreds.

sewing • Monday, September 21st, 2009 • 4 Comments »

Sprinkle Pictures

sprinkle pictures 1I love that my kids love being creative. I think they would draw, cut, and paste for days on end only stopping occasionally to eat if they could. Even the baby likes to colour, though in all honesty, half of the time she tries to eat the crayons. sprinkle pictures 2This is part of my four year old daughter’s collection she calls Sprinkle Pictures. She carefully chooses the right colours for the intended recipient, and then goes to work creating a masterpiece. sprinkle pictures 3After each paper is coloured in, she meticulously cuts snippets of different papers to glue in the middle. She is so proud of her work, and very generous as she loves giving her creations to those around her. sprinkle pictures 4What a talented young girl we have, I can’t wait to see where her creativity takes her.

homeschooling, kid's art • Saturday, September 19th, 2009 • 5 Comments »

Repurposing Vintage Linens – Part 1

shower curtain I love repurposing things, especially vintage linens. I have found some really cute ones at thrift stores and I have several from my grandparents and great grandparents. Recently I was tired of looking at the shower curtain in our master bathroom, so I decided to repurpose a vintage sheet that I had picked up and turn it into a shower curtain that would make me smile. In order to turn it from a sheet into a shower curtain, all I did was measure for the proper length and then cut it off and hem it. Next, I added buttonholes to be able to hook it onto the shower curtain hooks. All in all it took me about a half an hour to make, and what a difference it made in the bathroom. I just love this print, it is so bright and cheery, and $2 for the sheet and a half an hour of time is my idea of a makeover.

sewing, thrift store finds • Friday, September 18th, 2009 • 2 Comments »

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

peach jam I love to buy fruit and veg from the farmer’s market if I can, but sometimes such a good deal comes along at the grocery store, I just can’t pass it up. This week at one of our local grocery stores, they had organic peaches for $1 a pound. I just couldn’t beat that price anywhere else, so my hubby and eldest son went and snagged 25 pounds. I had big plans for putting them up for the winter. Yesterday morning I got a bunch of peach jam made and the afternoon and evening were spent blanching, peeling, slicing and freezing peaches. I absolutely love a good bargain especially when it comes to organic fruit and veg. Now that summer is winding down, it’s nice to see the pantry and freezer being filled with yummy things for the winter. I’m hoping I can get a good deal on corn this coming weekend at the farmer’s market. Then I’ll put my kids to work, good thing they like shucking corn.

food • Thursday, September 17th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Sorrow and Joy

cloudy sky Yesterday was a sad day as my mother and I sat by my great grandfather’s bedside while he was dying. He was a good man, he served his country in the war, and he was a good father, grandfather, great grandfather and even great, great grandfather. We all have wonderful memories of him and will indeed miss him. It was hard to watch him go and there is sadness to no longer have him with us, but there is also great joy in knowing that he is no longer in pain and now resting in Heaven with his Savior.

family • Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 • 3 Comments »

Painted Pinwheel

Painted Pinwheel I adore this little cactus, a Painted Pinwheel. It belongs to my daughter and it sits on my kitchen windowsill. I see it many times a day and I just love that even though it’s a cactus, it is a perfect little flower.

gardening • Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 • No Comments »

The Home Creamery and Landscaping with Fruit

The Home Creamery These are two books that I am really excited about. I’ve already been making my own yogurt for about a year and a half, and we made butter once, but I have been interested in making different kinds of dairy products for a while now. The Home Creamery is fantastic and has all the info I need to try sour cream, creme fraiche, mozerella, kefir, cottage cheese and many more. I think it’s a good beginner’s look into making your own dairy products. The second half of the book is full of recipes that use all of the different kinds of cheeses and milks. I’m really excited about getting my kids involved and trying these out. I can only imagine how good a pizza would be with made from scratch dough, homemade sauce, tomatoes right off the vine, basil from out of the pot, and homemade mozzarella. Landscaping with Fruit Landscaping With Fruit is another book I’m loving. This year I took the plunge and got four fruit bushes, three currants and a raspberry bush. Granted, they are teeny and the currants aren’t even producing fruit yet, but I happily dream about the day when we can walk out into the garden and collect baskets of berries, or pick pears, or apples, or peaches off of trees. This book is beautiful to look at and has given me quite a few ideas to use when planting more fruit.

books, food, gardening • Monday, September 14th, 2009 • 2 Comments »

Espresso Cups and A Wool Blanket

espresso cups I found these adorable espresso cups in this little bowl at my local thrift store. They cost 50 cents for the whole lot and I scooped them up immediately. I won’t be using them for espresso, but I do know three children who would love to have a just-their-size mug of hot chocolate on a chilly winter day. pink wool blanket I have been keeping my eye out for wool blankets whenever I visit a thrift store. On a day outing to Estes Park, I stopped in at their little community thrift store and waiting just for me on the blanket rack was a delicious pink Pendleton wool blanket. Pendleton started in 1909 and my mom remembers my great grandmother wearing pendleton suits. How perfect. This will be sure to keep us warm, and at just $3 it was a fantastic bargain.

thrift store finds • Saturday, September 12th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

Homemade Yogurt

homemade yogurt My family loves yogurt. We eat it in smoothies, mixed with fruit, drizzled with honey, and even in our potato salad. It is so versatile and healthy and it keeps tummies filled with good bacteria. It has gotten me through some rough pregnancies, and times when my jaw hurt so much I could not chew properly. It has fed my babies that are just starting on solid food, and generally been a much loved staple in our diet. My gift for Mother’s Day last year was a yogurt maker. I had requested this and was thrilled to get it. We like to go through so much yogurt that sometimes it was cost prohibitive to buy organic yogurt, not to mention there is still a lot of sugar in the flavoured kinds. When I realized that I could make my own for half the cost, I jumped at the chance. I know that a lot of people don’t use an actual yogurt maker and do just fine, but sometimes I am so busy and trying to do quite a few things at once, so I really liked the idea of being able to put the yogurt in the maker and just forget about it for several hours. It paid for itself very quickly and I am thrilled that I can take one gallon of milk and turn it into approx. four litres of yogurt with very little effort. This way I can also regulate how much sugar goes in, if any at all. I like to use honey or cook up some fruit and mix it in. Nuts are also a favourite topping. The possibilities are endless. Homemade yogurt is one of those things that I take great pleasure in doing myself.

food • Friday, September 11th, 2009 • 4 Comments »