Friday, July 30, 2010

Gardening Notes 2010

I realized this year that I need to start making notes on our veggie gardens so I can remember what to change for the following year. Our garden will grow again next year and here's some changes we'll make:

-plant more spinach (3-4 plants)
-plant more cucumbers (I didn't think this would be necessary but I'm not getting the quantity I need to make enough relishes and pickles)
-plant the tomatoes even further apart
-potatoes (so we can enjoy fresh baby potatoes)

August 4
-zucchini for baking & grilling

I'm sure the list will grow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

one pair down

I finished the wool longies I previewed a couple of posts ago. I finished the leg while on the drive back from Toronto yesterday. I had planned to start knitting more longies for the fall and winter but I'm going to hold off a little bit, just in case there's any potty learning vibes happening. Next on my needles will be a cardigan or pinafore of some sort.

I'll be busy with customs, and canning (relish is next) this week which won't leave much time for blogging or knitting. Hoping to post again towards the end of the week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

nonpaper towels

These nonpaper towels are going out for a trade (and just wait to you see what I'm getting in return...babywearers keep posted!) These are nonpaper towels, made from two layers of flannel so you can use them again and they're waaaayyy prettier than tossable paper towels. Just keep them in a basket on the counter to grab when you need to do a quick clean. They measure 12" x 12" so they're also a great napkin size. Though we have lots of reusables in our house we don't have any nonpaper towels (but also don't use paper towels) so I should try to make some for us too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Canning = Sugar?

I got started on some canning today. I made a batch of icicle pickles, a batch of raspberry-banana jam, and a batch of raspberry-mango-banana jam. All the raspberries were picked locally, the bananas and mangoes not so much ;) but we had them so I used them up.

My partner and I have been talking about our dependence on sugar lately...white, refined sugar specifically. We're wanting to cut way back on our use of it. We figure that for baking we could use raw cane sugar and start looking into other alternatives like stevia. I've taken to using honey in my coffee, it took some getting used to but it's fine now. But canning-without sugar?? We did read that you can use up to 50% honey in place of white sugar in jam making but we make a lot of jam here so financially it's not really an option. Today I used 5 cups of sugar rather than the called for 6.5 cups of sugar (that's per BATCH of jam!) yes, that's a lot of sugar even at my cutting back. And the pickles (being a sweet pickle) took 3 cups of sugar. That's 13 cups of sugar I used today-in those jars in the pictures!! Really if you have any ideas on canning with less sugar or other alternatives please, please share!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Todays harvest

Today we picked these pickling cucumbers from the garden, I think we're about to be inundated with tomatoes and cucumbers. We're just a couple of weeks away from prime canning season. And the eggs of course, we usually get 4-6 eggs per day from our five chickens.Laundry on the line....I enjoyed some quiet time today putting out the laundry while the kids were inside with my partner. I took my time to enjoy the quiet and I was extra ornery about how I hung the laundry so that it took me longer :) It's been weeks since I hung the diapers in the line so they're due for a sunning, today the wipes and family cloth also made it onto the line.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Some crafty bits

I just added some pads to my shop, I guess we can disregard my last post about stocking every other week. It seems just as easy to stock weekly, rather than having a bunch of listing to do all at once. Today I added some bamboo velour and some cute cotton prints, more with PUL than usual. I also finished up a little custom order of more purple.
Look at this, I've been wanting to make a few of these bowl covers for a while and I did get one made this week. I've been reaching for the plastic wrap way too often lately.

Even better than the wrapping gizmo is what's inside...homemade guacamole (my baby LOVES this stuff!) You can see the inner of the bowl cover here too, it's nylon so I can just wipe it clean or toss it in the wash. I've got to make more of these.

And knitting, after two kind of disappointing projects I took a break from knitting. The knitting bug came back though and I've started a pair of longies for the fall. It seems that after 6 years of knitting these diaper cover thingies I may actually know what I'm doing! I just bought this new pattern and I'm so impressed with it, I highly recommend it. This picture is from yesterday and I'm further ahead now, I've got the gusset done and I'm onto the first leg. I cast these on last Sunday and these are going pretty quickly for me. The yarn was a custom hand dyed by a WAHM, when I was newly pregnant with my now 16 month old!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Upcycled Star Wars Style

I sewed these bibs up yesterday, they turned out amazing! I also made a couple of non Star Wars bibs for my youngest (she's over due for some top quality mama made bibs!). Anyways, the Star Wars bibs have been added to my Etsy shop. I'm sure when my three guys see these bibs they'll insist that their sister/daughter is their rightful owner, so somebody go grab them!