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Archive for June, 2007

Today’s title courtesy of: http://www.thesurrealist.co.uk/slogan.cgi?word=compost  It is a fun site where you put in a word and it will spit out all sorts of phrases.  Check it out, it’s fun and funny.

We began our compost pile’s makeover today.  We’re probably going to build at least one more bin, maybe two for it, but it is good enough for now.  The compost makeover was part of our theme for the week, even though the kids were gone while we did it. Anyway, here are some pictures of it.  The lavender bed pictures was thrown in because I took it while we were out there today.

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The Beach Dress!

Sewing has slowed down because I have been working on L3’s birthday sweater (front and back done as of this afternoon!) and have been designing a pattern for L4, inspired by this dress from miniBoden.  Designing the pattern took a while (because I was procrastinating about it), but I finally have a finished product. 

 The Beach Dress

It’s my first project ever with sleeves and a hood, to boot.  The hood was what was freaking me out the most.  It is, of course, not perfect, but I am super happy with it.  I hope L4 is too.  She loved the fabric, and there was enough of it left over to make her a blanket.  I, however, to not love the fabric and don’t want to work with it again. Why, you ask?  The evidence:

L2 shirt covered in L4 dress material

That would be fuzz from the fabric all over my shirt (which I made for myself recently 🙂 ).  It was all over everything else, too. 

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Treats for me!

Since being a small child, I’ve always loved when the mail comes, and especially the UPS truck.  Today I received not one, but three lovely packages in the mail.

  • Package number 1: Amy Butler fabric in the form of 5″ x 5″ quilt squares.  They will be going toward all sorts of vague projects floating around in my head.  (Oh, KAB, I really need to do more with a sketch/idea book!) These were from eBay.
  • Package number 2: Hemp/Organic Cotton corduroy fabric, 3 yards in natural, though I could probably dye it if I got brave enough.  (Any advice on dyeing things, Katie?) The eBay seller was so sweet, she also sent me several yards (so it looks) of hemp jersey fabric as well, also in natural.  It’s going to make some great pants or shirts for the kids and I.  Maybe even L1…  🙂
  • Package number 3: A skein of beautiful cotton/linen yarn from my secret pal in the No Sheep for You skein exchange.  I LOVE IT!  I was cuddling with it for a bit while dreaming about what I might do with it.  Maybe a knitted choker with beads?  Some bookmarks?  A skinny scarf?  A headband?

I’ll add some pictures later.  In the meantime, I’m about to go make strawberry pie, recipe from Wise Craft.  We are cooking the last batch of just strawberry jam right now (about 40 jars).  Then we’ll move on to some other berries or mixed varieties of jam.  I took pictures and may do a little photo how-to page later as well. 

We’ve also started our recycling/environment themed week with L3.  We read about our beautiful planet and two books on composting this morning already.  We have plans to make an actual structure for our compost pile later in the week.  L1 scored with a business near the kids’ daycare today for some free pallets.  We’ll probably pick them up tomorrow afternoon. 

***

Package #1a Package #1 photos Package #1b

Package #2 Package #2 photo

Package #3 Package #3 photo. 

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We rode our bikes, trailing kids, to BJs this morning to get some of our groceries for the week.  If you’re counting, that’s two things to reduce our carbon footprint.

  1. We rode about 10 miles rather than driving.
  2. We’re buying in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging for the products we purchase.

And, of course, we got a decent workout, too!  L4 is about 28 lbs, plus the trailer.  For the ride home I towed that plus probably another 15 lbs.  The evidence:

L4 and the BJs haul     BJs haul

Next we’re off to Wegmans (walking there) to get the rest of our food, then L4 naps, then strawberry picking.  We are on our last jar of jam.  For those of you who know us well, that’s saying something.  We probably make over 60 jars of jam a year.  And with that I leave you with more from Waldon, some words with which I heartily agree:

I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man

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Last night I tried my hand at a new craft, embroidery.  I have always loved embroidered objects, have done some cross-stitch and some wonky embroidery on a grocery bag that we used to have, and sadly, lost.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for weeks now, and have even had two books on embroidery from the library for the past two weeks, but had barely opened them.  Last night while L1 continued his obsessive viewing of “Heros” I pulled out my floss, needles, some fabric and a hoop and those books.  It was love.  It might not look like much to all of you, but I was happy.

Embroidery Attempts

Two hours flew past.  I had embroidery in my dreams all night long.  I have vague ideas for things I’d like to make now.  But first I need to keep practicing. (I did this when I started knitting in earnest, making little swatches of various patterns in my copy of Barbara Walker’s book of stitches, the first volume (can’t remember the exact name off the top of my head right now).) I only made it through two chapters worth of stitches last night.

I think I’m  so happy because I’ve wanted to try this and I turned out to like it as much as I envisioned.  Have any of you had that experience?  And with what?

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I got my first tag and meme!  KABs tagged me for the Thinking Blogger Award and things to get to know me better.  Here I go!

Five Blogs that Make me think, in alphabetical order from my blogroll:

1.  Going Crunchy: I love seeing what others are doing to be more environmentally conscious.

2. SouleMama: Her creative energy and the way she lives with her family are inspiring.

3.  The Seven Things Project: A thought-provoking look at the clutter in our lives and clearing it out.

4.  Zen and the art of being mama: Again, thoughts for life and family, from consumerism to child love.

5. Wardrobe Refashion: talk about reduce, reuse, recycle!  Go check out what these people do with clothes and other objects!

And now things to get to know me better:

  1. What were you doing ten years ago?  Ten years ago I had just graduated from college, was working a full-time job and a part-time job (60+ hours/week) for the summer before moving to NH to start graduate school for my PhD in Psychology.  My mother was still alive and I was just beginning to appreciate her as an adult.  I’m thankful that happened.
  2. What were you doing one year ago? Reading articles on self-objectification theory, prepping for another new course, learning about becoming an adviser at work, and spending lots of time with the kids by myself because L1 was finishing up his classes for MS in Adolescent Ed, Earth Science/General Science.
  3. Five Snacks I enjoy: MMM, food.  Some snacks I enjoy are yogurt with almonds and Fitness Crunch cereal, bananas, peanut M & Ms, homemade protein bars, and cheese & crackers with tomatoes, cucumber, and soy pepperoni.
  4. Five Songs to which I know all the lyrics: Currently, many Gaia Consort songs, though it usually depends on what I am listening to most frequently at the time.
  5. Five Things I would do if I were a millionaire: Pay off all of our debt (student loans, mortgage) and my dad’s mortgage for him, make sure I had a good amount set aside for kids’ college, make our house as green as possible (solar power, etc), buy L1 a scull, and some revelry for myself before taking some and donating/investing in causes we support/believe.
  6. Five Bad Habits: not staying consistent with my exercise schedule, wanting dessert every night 🙂 , asking questions and not always listening to the answers, going into too much detail in my explanations, too much time on the Internet!
  7. Five Things I Like Doing: knitting, sewing, gardening, physical activity (lifting, biking, yoga), good family time (especially outdoors)
  8. Five Things I Would Never Wear Again: body suits, maternity clothing, layered socks, ??
  9. Five Favorite Toys: the swift my dad made me, my sewing machine, my ipod (can’t believe I’m writing that!!), my library card, our camera

Phew, that’s done!  I’ve got a lovely long to-do list for the day before A comes over and celebrates the solstice with us tonight!  Happy First Day of Summer to you all.

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Three times was not a charm. Turning the heel for the second time on this sock, and getting through the gusset before realizing that 1) I didn’t do enough decreases for the gusset, 2) The yarn was beginning to pool, and 3) I was not happy with how the pattern was coming out all made me realize that I need to rip this sock for a 3rd time. I have picked out a stitch pattern from Knitting on the Edge, called the maypole ridge or something like that, to try again this time. I will be sitting down with my calculator at some point today (I hope!) to work out the details so that I can knit the sock and then its mate. Here is a picture of the sock in its current state (as of yet unripped):

SP4 Sock After Gusset, Take 3

As I mentioned in my last post, Tuscany is done! Here is a picture of it blocking. Tuscany Blocking

I don’t have any others, yet. I love it! I did one less repeat than called for in the pattern because 1) I am 4’11” and 2) I was ready to have it be done so I could move on to L3’s birthday sweater (of which I have more than 1/2 of the back done at this point, yippie!). The Handmaiden SeaSilk was beautiful, though slippery, and I’m very happy I ended up working with it (got it for a deal on ebay!).

Though I said I had finished the Weekend Getaway Satchel, I wasn’t completely accurate in that statement. I had felted it and it is now sewn together (what a challenge for Lady Kenmore that was!) and the hex top is waiting to be stitched in. Then I have to sewn on the straps, make a masonite bottom for it (and cover that with fabric), then install the feet. The thing is huge! I will definitely be able to pack clothes in it for a trip, maybe Martha’s Vineyard. It will be perfect for weekend trips, too. 🙂 Pictures when it is truly finished, maybe next week, maybe this weekend, depending on life.

Finally, here are some pictures of our garden from this past weekend. I love spending time out there. It’s my peaceful place. Please ignore the long grass all around the beds. We are still trying to figure out the best way to deal with it. I’d like it gone, but that didn’t happen this year. Maybe next spring or this fall… Anyway, the first picture is of the cucumber bed. The cucumbers are actually quite small still, but the trellis is up and waiting for them to climb it. There is also black-seeded simpson lettuce growing in the bed (it’s wonderful, will grow again!) as well as some corn, dill, cilantro, and borage (self-seeded itself from last year). The second picture is of the broccoli bed. It is doing well and also in that bed are some peppers, some more borage, nasturdium (self-seeded from last year), a grape tomato, and a black cherry tomato. The third shot is of the pea bed in the forefront and you can see the cucumber and broccoli beds in the background. In the pea bed are snow and snap peas as well as celery and some peppers.

Cucumber Bed on 6/16 Broccoli Bed on 6/16 Pea Bed on 6/16

We also have two tomato beds with various other things growing in them (leeks, basil, lettuce, brussel sprouts, etc) and a melon bed (honeydew and sugarbaby water melon) with some tomatoes and arugula in it, and some more nasturdium. There are also two raspberry beds (to the left of the cucumber bed), 1 strawberry bed (alpines, yummm) and one misc bed with a Loganberry plant, some extra tomatoes that I couldn’t bring myself to compost, and some tomatilla seeds growing. Then we have a bed with zuccini and some more peppers, and a last bed with sorrel (regrowing from last year), bird gourds (for projects, not to eat), lettuce and carrots. Oh, what a harvest we’ll (hopefully!) have this year.

In closing, some things to ponder from Waldon:

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. . . You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do no see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts as in a palace. . . Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. . . Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.

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