Monday, February 28, 2011

Garden Starts

I discovered a few years ago that I love to garden. I'm still learning (and probably always will be) especially having moved somewhere new last fall. The soil here is clay. From what I understand, I'm going to have to really work the soil over or I won't be growing anything but pottery. I hope to have a garden this year...

In the spirit of this hope, I started a few seed indoors. The season isn't long enough for green peppers to just be planted in the garden in the spring so I started some of those and decided I'd give some herbs a try while I was at it.

I tore a newspaper in thirds the long way,

found a container that I liked the size of,
wrapped a length of newspaper around it,
tucked the ends in,
pulled it off the jar and made a biodegradable container to put my sweet little seeds in.

I cut the top part off a gallon milk jug.  The milk jug works as a nice little green house for the seeds.  If it gets too warm, I can just take the lid off and let a little heat out.

and placed my newpaper pots inside. 
 
To help them stand a little better, I pour a some water in the bottom of each one.  That softens the paper so it doesn't knock itself over.
I figured out what I was going to plant where and went to it.
After having planted all these things, I got to thinking and remembered that the teacher of an herb growing class I took said she replaced the peas in her garden with basil.  Peas haven't even been thought about yet...I may  have started my basil too early...we will see.

I had a couple of helpers dump in some seedling mix.

we added the seeds and ended out with:
The container on the bottom right held doughnuts, I believe.  It works perfectly.
I just need to keep them moist and in the sun as much as possible.  Not having an accessible south facing window is not ideal but it is what it is...

Have you started planting anything?  What plans do you have for your garden?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cold Feet

I have incredibly cold feet.  I'm talking COLD here, folks.  I have to wear socks all day.  No exceptions.  Even with wearing socks and shoes until seconds before I hop into bed, my feet are too cold to fall asleep.  They are still cold enough to keep me awake.  There are times that I think the socks just insulate the cold.  This is a serious case of cold feet.

I have tried all kinds of things but sometimes I just don't feel like taking an overly hot bath, putting on socks and slippers to keep the heat in and tromp out to warm up a heating pad for the foot of my bed every night.
Or wearing the knee length heated wool socks from the men's department at Sportman's Warehouse. 

image source


And it's not just because they make me feel ultra feminine with their rugged gray and blackness but because they have a D battery attached to the top of each sock to keep the one little strip of heat coming under my toes.  The batteries pull my socks down.  I think they were actually intended to rest the battery on top of the side of your boot...but they are too thick to fit into any of my ladylike boots.  And I don't wear my ladylike boots around the house because they just aren't comfortable.  There I said it.  They are for fashion and protection from nails and tape worms, not for being sensible.  They do not work with men's battery heated wool socks.

I have posted this to help my fellow cold-feeters with a very simple and easy to be lazy way to keep the tootsies warm(er).  So here is the newest idea that has worked for two days in a row while my husband has been out of town so I had no warm legs to thaw my feet on at night.  I have been wearing two pairs of socks.  Yes, two pairs of socks.  My feet are a bit bulky but not as bulky as socks and slippers.  (Yes, slippers and socks do keep my feet warm sometimes but you can only wear slippers around the house and they tend to fall off going down stairs.  All of my sewing and crafting stuff is upstairs and I don't like chasing them to the bottom of the stairs - and sometimes, again, they just insulate the cold.  Socks will allow me to quickly slip on some shoes right away to go to the mailbox or when the neighbor knocks on the door because there is a trampoline being blown about while it was stuck on a power pole and she wants help getting it secure before it damages something or someone or turns out our power.  True story.  Shoes slipped onto my socks nicely...)  I decided today that maybe I would like it if I got some new cute socks that #1 haven't been worn thin because they are older than my children and #2 are new cute socks! 

Just trying to keep it warm this winter.



maybe if they weren't worn thin, I might not have to wear two pair...


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pile of Fabric Strips

I received this pile of fabric strips. It's a continuous strip of different fabrics sewn together with seams inside. (You know, like how we used to make scrunchies back when scrunchies were still made. Just a REALLY long one.) I think it was intended to be used for a crocheted rug. I was pretty sure I could figure out something to do with it. I did.
Cute huh?




I call these Love Buds.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Linking Up the Shop

I apparently didn't do this right. Here is a link to the shop:
SimpleBlue.etsy.com




*Remodelholic* is hosting a
link-up to promote home-based businesses - like little ol' me! If you have a shop you would like to promote, head on over there and link-up too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quilt Cookies

My mom is a quilter and prefers cookies to cake so for her birthday I made her some quilt cookies.

Now, having done this, I have a few things that I would have done differently. I would have rolled the dough out on the tray and then cut the squares out so they would sit more uniformly next to each other. I also would have made it so the border could have fit all on one cookie sheet so I didn't have to use pieces. I also would have decorated it on the tray I was presenting it on. There was a lot of cookie shuffling going on.

Monday, February 14, 2011

When Life (or the Food Co-op) Gives You Lemons...


I got 10 lemons from the food co-op and my mom was about to toss her five out so I grabbed them. My children love lemonade so I made lemonade. I've only made it from concentrate before so I was happy to try it fresh.

I cut the lemons in half.

I have an automatic juicer but I lent it to my sister when she had a million and a half apples to deal with so I had to borrow my mom's not so automatic juicer. In the end, because I only had 15 lemons, it was probably just as fast to do it this way because I didn't have to peel them all. I first squeezed as much juice as I could out of a half over the top of the juicer to collect any seeds that may have fallen out and then I stuck it on the juicer and pushed while twisting it back and forth.

While I was doing this, I was thinking of an episode of Caillou where he makes juice with his grandma. I think they had a grapefruit and a lemon they were going to use. What kid wants to drink grapefruit and lemon juice?! Good thing Caillou decided he wanted orange in it too. Really, I was thinking that I wished I had paid more attention to the show so I would know the proper way to use the juicer. It worked out okay though because as I was thinking those deep thought about a children's educational cartoon these

turned into these


There were a few times when the juicer started looking like this:

so I emptied it out in my compost bucket.

Next I disolved sugar in some boiling water (1:1)


to create a syrup. This was supposed to make it so the sugar didn't drop to the bottom. It worked much better than just adding straight sugar.

I then added the same amount of lemon juice to the syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water, 1 part lemon juice) I also tried a bit of the straight lemon juice to see if I could taste a difference between fresh and concentrate. :{ I couldn't. It was to sour to taste anything. I won't do that again.

After mixing that, I added four more parts water.

It almost felt like summer again.

I composted the pulp, seeds and peels but I got to thinking that I could probably have actually used them too. I could have used the zest - although that is a lot of zest and I don't know how to preserve it - or I could have boiled the peels with some spices to scent and humidify the air. Do you have any other ideas of ways I could have used them?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Felt Valentines for Girls

I got my pile of Valentine clips done for my daughter and neices. Cute!



I have a neice that likes green so I threw that in the mix.

I love keeping my hands busy while watching a movie. This was the perfect project. I was watching Music and Lyrics and enjoying it so much that I wasn't paying as much attention to what I was doing. I overshot the mark. I have an extra set in my shop.

Featured Friday


Gelfling Gifts featured my Goose Orange Napkins in her treasury Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose. My napkins were the goose!

Here is my treasury: Self-Portrait
Go see what I look like!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Treasuries

I like having been featured in treasuries. I decided it would be a good thing to make a treasury every time I was featured in one to return the favor. Here are the links to those I've created.

Zip Your Lips
It's So Late
Garden Plans
Clean Up Your Act

It turns out that it's a bit addictive and I may not be able to wait to be featured again before I create another...we'll see.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thank Heaven for Little Boys...


There is a little boy that lives at my house.
Oh how I love finding his little boy finishing touches.