Sunday, October 11, 2009

koran pouch 2 back.jpg (JPEG Image, 541x773 pixels) - Scaled (68%)

koran pouch 2 back.jpg (JPEG Image, 541x773 pixels) - Scaled (68%)

I just love this little embroidered bag. I think it's mostly satin stitch for the larger areas. I need to learn more:>.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More jam

Hurray. Eight more half pint jars of strawberry jam:). Today was the last day of strawberry season around here and the local farm is done now. We have two and a half more gallons to can and I'll be done:)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Plus 4 pints of strawberry jam with four more on the way before I call it a night.
I messed up my earlier count. Those were pints. I used 4 containers that were 2 qts each and ended up with 7 pint jars and 12 half pints and just a small bowlfull left over. I think the first 5 pints aren't going to set well and instead are going to be renamed blackberry syrup.
1 gallon of blackberries apparently makes 5 half pint jars of jam. It would have made more but we had a little bit with some Angel Food cake.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


So if you miss the harvest you get flowers.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I'm harvesting blossoms about every three days and drying them for tea. I've come to the conculsion that I should have planted at least four plants to use as a supply for tea.


So I'm testing out mobile blogging.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming back from an Sca event this weekend I found that the storms over the weekend had caused the garden to really take off. In some cases the plants had grown between one and two feet between Thursday and Tuesday which amazed me to no end:>
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 13, 2009

Using wasted space

We have a couple of huge Oak trees in the yard that really cast a lot of shade. This means we have to get a little creative trying to find full sun locations to garden. This weekend my dh removed monkey grass for me in the latest grand gardening scheme. We'll use this previously wasted space to plant tomatoes and herbs----training the tomatoes up the fence for support. On paper is sounds like a good idea:>. Two more 8 ft by 18 inch boxes are going to go in along the fence line. The cool part is that the herbs and maters will be close to the side door for easy gathering around meal times.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Well, 12 cabbages and 9 broccoli plants are now in and mulched with straw from the bunny pen. Potatoes are in the first of three boxes. Tomorrow is garden day for the whole family so we'll all spend time tomorrow working as a family.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Since it's too cold to garden right now and littleman is sleeping so I have some quiet time I've been looking at ideas and websites of urban and suburban gardeners/farmers to get ideas for small space growing. I think I have Way more potatos to plant then I have potato boxes so I'll need to pull some wool out of the extra trashcan and get that set up for planting this week. I may need to set up more then that one. I want to find out if sweet potatos can be grown that way cause I have a lot of them with slips on them ready to go. Another project I've been looking at is self watering containers made from things like plastic soda bottles. We don't buy any but we have friends who do and it seems like it'd increase the usuable, plantable real estate in the backyard. I haven't had much luck regular container gardening cause they just dry out too fast (plus I'm forgetful about them). Also still need to make the clay pot irrigators for the upper garden as an experiment. I have a ton of clay pots down at the old house but no plans to go there for months so I guess I'll be buying some around here:<. It'll still be cheaper then the gas to go get the old ones. After tonights freeze I'm going to pop some hardy spring transplants into the ground like leeks and cabbage and cross my fingers. I know this violates the "don't plant till after Easter" rule but they are cold weather plants. My mom is still in shock at the concept:>.
So the entry on this one today is about SIPs with nice links
nice tutorials

and for fun....Rebar in the Garden...maybe I'm just too Scadian cause this seems like a cool idea to

I have an old clawfoot bathtub in the family that I'd also love to find a semi-tasteful way to incorporate into the yard. Maybe filling with dirt and planting with big, overflowing flowers or something:>.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gardening spaces

These are our current raised beds. Planning on about doubling this over the next month or so to be ready for Summer.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cheap, homemade potato chips

I am having a lot of fun exploring how to minimize the things in the pantry.  Last night I made yogurt with a crockpot and dry milk.  Tonight I experimented with making potato chips!  Now, there is a fine line between a potato chip and home fries which took a bit of time to discover but once sucessful....YuMMY!  Surprisingly the best chips to come out were the ones I microwaved rather then frying on the stove.  I still want to try the oven with a batch.  I'll be doing that again though.  I don't buy chips for the house at all...too much of a temptation and too little value for the price.  This would be a nice way to have a treat and keep the serving the right size.  Also I brought out some of the plain yogurt and used it as a sour cream sub. as a base for french onion dip.  It worked wonderfully!  We used both white and sweet potatos.  ----this recipe worked the best.  


Well, I followed the advice of the 365 days of Crockpotting site and have beautiful yogurt this morning.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here's after weeding...
Posted by Picasa


Heres a before of the herb garden...
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm going to try migrating to Wordpress and see how I like it for a while. It seems to be easier to use the reply features.

more Scythian links...

Scythian research links about the stitching/embroidery on Scythian felts,1020,688895,00.jpg ; Scythian Mummy's legs and felt boots
I'm having trouble figuring out how to actually reply to comments left here. I think I may migrate to something else if I can't figure it out. Any ideas?

Monday, March 09, 2009

This was an exciting weekend. I was able to participate in my first Kingdom Arts and Science event as a displaying artist. It was a great opportunity to talk about the joys of felting and to see some really awesome work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dyed 6 oz of bfl in the crockpot to use for some wool slippers. I'm going to dilute the blue by adding some undyed wool to it to get to the color that I want using a carder.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

med felt hats---a starting point for research
This article states that it took 190 fleeces to cover a Yoruk yurt in Turkey. Wow. That's really cool info. I read yesterday that when producing a handwoven yurt band for a Kazakh style yurt it could take between 1 and 3 years to complete weaving the band. That is dedication! but gives only a tantalizing hint with no documentation to back it up.

Mongolian printed felts and rugs of Central Asia links...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Silk Road shoe links

more shoes
this stuff is like crack... ; leather bottom ; weft beater!

felting adventures

Here's this weeks experiments with scrap felt. Don't ever use permanent marker! I also learned that the shoe pattern should be cut just a little tight because the felt is going to give just a bit.

I'm having a lot of fun adventures with researching felt techniques and then trying them out right now. Going back to my fascination with having warm feet I'm working on patterning and stitching skills to recreate a type of shoes dated from between 4th -1000ad found in Chinese Turkistan. I'm excited because some of the earliest felt found shares the same technique with these shoes which in turn are similiar to traditionally produced felt quilted pieces made by the Torgut people of Mongolia to this day. I have seen pictures of Mongolian felts in gers that basically look like Italian trapunto (sp?) where you have a running stitch making the outline of the pattern thru out the piece. I wish now I had saved a pictured of it cause I haven't been able to find it again. Actually, just now I thought to pick up my copy of "Feltmaking and Wool Magic" and there in the back on page 120 is a picture in the middle of the page that says "Quilting (Mongolia-Torgut Tribe...". All the embroidery discussion has excited me and I decided to make something using it. A similiar technique is being used by Hungarian felt artists for hats and other felts sold to the reenactment community but I've been unable to track down any direct documentation so it's hard to know if this style is based the school of thought that the Magyars shared a culture with the Urghurs or if somewhere there is an extant object to base them on. I'm just dying to know!; has a picture of a shoe excavated from a fort/outpost along the Silk Road which is id'd as being from between 400-1000 ad. The scale patterning on it in running stitch is the exact same pattern as on the small sample on page 120 of "Feltmaking and Wool Magic". How's that for interesting??? I worked yesterday to modify the clog pattern from a packet I had ordered from earlier in the year and now that I have made a pair of shoes similar to these out of scrap felt I'm ready to take the next step and make some that are much better (I hope). If you type in Stein into the search field (Bless you V!!! ) it brings up all the fellow's finds which include some amazing fabric pieces and silk banners but also more shoes. Based on the uniformity of design and pieces found I'm going out on a limb here to say that you could argue for leather bottoms that could be snipped off and replaced as needed. There are also a few shoes that are felt quilted between plainwoven wool fabric that are interesting as well. Now though to track down the history of Mongolian "quilting" on felt! Since the finds of woven shoes outnumber the finds of felted shoes you almost have to wonder if the felt shoes could have been a trade item? This comes to mind that there must have been a Mongolian felt trade due to Mongolian felt rugs being found both in Tibetan monasteries and collections in Japan It's something I'd like to explore further.

Friday, January 30, 2009