Friday, January 20, 2017

Send in the clowns

Some time ago I came across six unique vintage applique blocks.  I had never seen applique stars that were transformed into clowns.

The six blocks that I have are incomplete, some being partially embroidered with faces and outlines and some unadorned.  I had always wanted to use them in a baby quilt but never came up with a design that would use all six.

With a new grandbaby on the way, I took action and purchased some bright fabrics to make a quilt from new clowns.  Tonight I cut and stitched the beginning shapes.

I used the freezer paper method for applique.

I've assembled three of the five blocks and will complete the remaining two this weekend.  Next, I will embroider the outlines and apply "clowny" faces  :)   My plan is to have the quilt top assembled by next month's FNSI so that I can start quilting!

But now I'm going to pop over to Sugarlane Designs to see what all the other crafty folks have been doing tonight  :)

2017 Sewing

Welcome 2017.  You have so much in store for us!

I've got a good jump on the year, but that's all for another time.  Today I found that Wendy B of Sugarlane Designs is still hosting Friday Night Sew In (yay!)  In the past I stitched along with some very crafty folks there, and I am glad to see the group still gathers.  I've signed up for tonight and will be working on a quilt for grandbaby number seven who is due in May (xoxoxo)  The quilt is based on some very old quilt blocks I found a few years back.  Please stop back tomorrow to see my progress.  And stop over at Wendy's to see what everyone else is working on  :)


Sunday, March 13, 2016


I hope you have some time to sit back and relax today :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New bread from ancient grain

I found some einkorn flour and products in the natural foods stores near me.  One small natural foods market had the best selection.  There I found packaged flour and some crackers made from this grain.  At Whole Foods I bought a box of delicious chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cookies made from einkorn.

This morning I baked a load of bread using the recipe on the package of flour.

In this condo I seem to have a problem with getting a good rise on my bread.  It could just be the yeast, or maybe it's just too cool in here.  But the flavor is really good.  It's not the same as a loaf of store-bought white bread.  It has a sweeter or nuttier taste, reminds me a bit of cornbread.  It's so hard to explain but it is good and I'll be making it often.

I've seen a recipe online using some of the bread dough to make cinnamon rolls....Mmmmm!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rob's Modern Victory Garden Challenge

Just about a week ago Rob set up a Modern Victory Garden Challenge, similar to one previously run by Sharon Astyk.  I remember challenges like this (and participated in some back in the day...), so I though I would join Rob in learning and sharing.  I will post a recap at the end of each month highlighting what I have done to be more self-sufficient.  This month is a little lean since we're just coming out of winter here in the northeast, but here goes!

Grow your own:
I didn't grow anything edible but went through my left over seeds from last year and found what I needed to buy for this season.
I am also sending out a check tomorrow to renew my space in the community garden plot  :)

Repair something:
This one is special.  I got a vintage babydoll on the internet (very reasonably priced), cleaned it, and used some cloth scraps to make a new outfit and bedding (blanket, pillow, mattress).  This is a present for my 16 month old granddaughter who is coming to visit me next week   :)

Learn something new:
I'm trying to find out as much as possible about einkorn, an ancient grain that is finding a new audience.  It is higher in protein, minerals, and fat than modern wheat varieties.  I've found some websites and recipes for using einkorn flour that look very interesting.

Eat it:
Onions from my garden.

They've come in handy this winter.  (One is going in my lunch salad tomorrow.)

I'm still enjoying the swiss chard and green beans from last summer's garden, and found some pureed pumpkin and greated zucchini in the freezer.  I'm thinking about baking in the next few weeks :)

Preserve it:
Couldn't do much about that this month.  The closest I came was freezing meal-size portions of stuffed shells.

I'm hoping to do even more in March, and hope you'll stop back to see what's up.  Perhaps you'd like to join Rob's challenge!

Happy Sunday evening!

Friday, September 11, 2015

garden wrap up (almost)

It was a very good first year for my plot in the organic community garden, considering this parcel had been abandoned by it's previous owner and left to go to weeds.  This part of New England suffered from early blight.  I was unprepared for this, and have learned how to (hopefully) prevent a repeat disaster next year.  And the squash bugs and cucumber beetles were out of control.  This is an unfortunate side effect of community gardens if others do not take care of their plots, plants, and pest control.

Considering all that, I continually walked out of there with bags of delicious, wholesome, nutritious organic produce!  I would harvest swiss chard, green beans, beets, and squash in amounts that would have cost at least fifteen dollars a trip at the farmers market.  Overall, I at least doubled my total investment (plot, seeds, etc).

My garden "neighbors" are wonderful folks.  We share stories and ideas as well as veggies.  There's always someone who can water for me if I'm away, and I do likewise for them.

This was taken mid-summer.  The chard keeps on going!  The beets are all pulled and cooked (note to grow more next year).  The onions are drying now.  I've given away so much food to neighbors, co-workers, and family!

I experimented with VT Cranberry Beans.  One small pack yielded over two pounds of beans for this winter.  I may or may not grow drying beans again next year, due to the space needed, but it was interesting.

I've already started thinking about next year's garden.  A different layout, more flowers to encourage beneficial insects.  And the beginning of "lasagna gardening".  I have access to LOTS of pine needles, which I can use for mulch in the pathways, and possibly some sheep manure.

My small plot isn't much but my fridge and freezer are full   :)

And the squash keep coming!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Garden porn

I'm having the most wonderful summer, all smiles and play and dirt-under-my-fingernails  :)

I start each day checking my garden plot, watering if there's no rain on the horizon.  And sometimes after work I stop back to inspect, gather, and weed....and chat with my garden-neighbors.

It's been a long road to get to this space in time....I haven't been gardening 7 years (unless you count my container garden on my deck a few years back)  Now I've spent the spring and early summer turning the neglected soil, planting, weeding, weeding, weeding ;)   and now checking for little garden pests, but I'm so gosh darn pleased with it all!  I've had my fill of snap peas and there are six servings in the freezer along with ones that I've given away.  I have salad almost every day.  There's a year's worth of cilantro in the freezer and more coming, plus I'm stocking up on basil and parsley.
I'm drying lemon balm (that plant is amazingly prolific!), stevia, and sage.

Here are some proud mama photos:

12 ft x 37 ft plot

lemon balm, stevia

beets, chard, onions, kale

Italian green beans (yum!)


yes, there are small yellow squash hiding under those leaves

There are winter squash coming, pickling and burpless cukes, cranberry beans, dill, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant (hopefully!)

I was so fortunate to find this community garden.  The folks are great, and we have fun sharing stories (and veggies).  From this scruffy little patch of dirt I've gained a new batch of friends and I'm enjoying wonderful meals.

Wishing you a terrific week!