Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First snow....

We woke up this morning to a blanket of white, wet and heavy snow.   The first of the season, I guess my son win's this one.  We had a guess at the beginning of October on when the first snow would happen.

He guessed November 3rd, so he was off one day. 

Monday, October 31, 2011


WOW what a nice warm day for Halloween - we didn't even need to put on jackets for our trick or treating stroll around town.  (the high was up in the 60's)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I've been playing with Mod Podge and fabric.... and this is my 3rd work.

I sketched it out on artist board:

I then applied fabric and layers of Mod Podge.

Its a little tricky taking pictures and avoiding the glare!

Friday, September 30, 2011

And here comes winter!

Leaves are turning yellow, I'm watching the weather reports for frost warnings, missed one this morning so I'm not sure if my last two pumpkins in the garden will be ok or not.  (morning temp was 28 degrees)
I was also hoping to bring in my rosemary plant, if I can find a suitable pot for it, to see if I can keep it alive over winter.

I've been job hunting like crazy, tired of struggling with no money for anything, and with the holidays coming up, I want to make it a nice Christmas for my kids.  The new Kindle Fire is on the top of my Christmas list, as well as a few pairs of lined jeans, my old ones are now a few sizes too big!
Kindle Fire
(links are not posting properly today - see if the above one will work)

Living in a small town I almost always hear about a job when its already been taken, its very frustrating.  I've started to just send my resume out just in case.  Frustrating to see a job I'd enjoy, either disapear before I can apply, or I dont' have the experience for it (like the Natural Resource Tech. job)  I really CAN see myself testing well water, planting trees and things like that, wouldn't it be great to not be stuck in an office all day long?

I really don't want to get a job far from home, there seem to be plenty of those that are an hour or so away, but me driving those distances in winter probably won't happen any time soon.

Well, its FRIDAY - and I was blessed this morning to see two deer in the yard, a lovely Buck and his Doe.... very pretty and a lovely way to start my morning!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tunisian Crochet

I decided to learn Tunisian Crochet.  I purchased an adjustable kit (denise) - which I should have done with knitting needles a long time ago.  Its a very neat set, easy to put together or change out lengths of cord etc.

I started out with a few tiny swatches to get a feel for the stitch, the simple stitch and I tried the purl and knit type stitches.

I then started an Entrelac piece to see how that went, and after a bit decided to make another hot water bottle cover...

I decided yesterday to try tunisian in the round, using the loop method, and I cast on and made a hat, its fantastic, I used odds and ends of green wool I had left over, Galway wool. and Size K hook.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hats for the troops

So far this year I've only made 3, but I made a few last year as well....

Donations always go toward more yarn to knit or crochet!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Puffy double sided hexagon

I'll post more pictures when I knit the next one.

Size US9 DPN's
Vanna's choice yarn.
(you can use any yarn and the appropriate needle size to make various sizes of hexagons)
Hexagons can be joined to make a pillow or blanket of any size. You will need to knit some half hexagons to create a straight edge.

Using the vanna yarn and 9 needles, each side of the hexagon measures 2 1/2 inches and 4 inches from side to side.
Bind on using long tail method, onto two needles alternating from one to the other till you have 10 stitches on each needle.
The needles will be next to each other and you'll knit in the round.
Knit one round
increase on the second, and each second round till you have 20 stitches on each needle, Knit front and back of first and last stitch on each needle.

When you get to 20 on each needle, knit a round and then start decreasing by K2tog on each end of each needle every second round.

(You can stuff the little hexagon with batting or something similar before binding off)
When you get back to 10 stitches on each needle, knit one round and bind off using the 3 needle method.

Long tail cast on, alternating needles.

At the halfway point - it forms a little pocket.

The blue hexagon is knit on size 7 needles.  Caron simply soft yarn.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby hat - seed stitch

Caron simply soft yarn in pale pink.
Size 6 circular 16inch
Size 6 DPN's
Yarn needle for weaving ends.

Long tail case on 71 stitches.
Join in circle place marker. Either use DPN’s or 16 inch circular needle.
Seed stitch for 1 inch (6 rounds)
Knit all rounds till hat measures 4 inches total
(k2tog right before end of round)
Decrease rounds:
1: k8, k2tog.
2: k7, k2tog
3: k6, k2tog
4: k5, k2tog
5: k4, K2tog
6: k2tog
7: k2tog
Cut yarn, thread through live stitches, pull tight and weave in end.

A matching blanket is in the works!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wooly neck warmer

I've been knitting on and off for a few weeks now (I'm still not sure why I'm knitting in summer, normally I only knit in winter), made a baby blanket, and 4 hats... I decided to try my hand at another pattern making idea.  A neck warmer. 
(the one in the picture I only knitted to line 30 then bound off)

One size fits most, it fit me and my 7 year old. (she had more coverage on her shoulders)
1 skein of Cascade 220 wool.
Long tail cast on 84 on size 6 needles. (I managed to use 16inch circ. needle till row 30)
Join in a circle.
K2, P2 ribbing for....4 or 5 inches. (it can be folded over or left straight up the neck, depending on how much coverage is needed.  It can be pulled up over the lower face if needed)

Increase as follows:

1:K2, P2 pick up loop and purl
2:K2, P3 to end of round

3:K2, pick up loop and knit, P3 to end.

4 - 7:K3, P3 around

8: K3, P3 pick up loop and purl to end

9-13: K3, P4 around

14: k3 pick up loop and knit, p4

15-20: k4, p4 around

21: k4, p4 pick up loop and purl.

22-27: k4, p5 around

28: K4, P5 pick up loop and purl

29-35: K4, P6 around

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby pig in the house...

We have a new baby!  Her name is Sprinkles and she's a little pot belly pig. 

I've been super busy, mixing up milk and rice cereal, changing her litter box, she figured out real soon that that is where she needs to potty. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

After all the hard work - seal it!

After all the hard work cleaning chopping and drying, the best way to store and preserve your dried goodies is using a vacuum sealer.

I have one like this:  FoodSaver V2840 Advanced Design Vacuum Food Sealer

I use bags now and then, for meat etc.. I have found the weston brand to be the cheapest.
Weston 30-0101-W 8-by-12-Inch Vacuum-Sealer Food Bags, 100 Count

I've not had any failures and I'm half way through my first box.

BUT - if you have canning jars like I do, then the foodsaver jar sealer is the answer, its under $10 and is used in conjunction with your sealing machine, using the tubing that comes with the machine.
FoodSaver T03-0023-01 Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer
You can re-use it tons of times, you don't waste bags by cutting them open and making them too small to re-seal etc..  you can vacuum seal anything you can put into the jar!  I love it.

You do need to wiggle a spoon at the rim to get it open after its been sealed, it makes it a little ticky to open - but you'll add months of life to your food. 
Some people make a tiny hole in their lids, seal that hole with some tape (electrical) then seal the jar, when they need to open the jar, they remove the tape to release the suction on the lid, the tape can be put back or a new piece used and resealed again.

All in all - the jar sealer saves money!


More Dehydrating today

Today I prepared Broccoli, an apple and a few kiwi fruit.  I know you shouldn't mix fruit and veggies in the dehydrator, but I don't want to leave shelves empty.  I wanted to do carrots but I don't have enough right now - so that will be next week if I can find some for a good price.

The apple I peeled sliced and soaked in a pretreatment, I then sprinkled with a sugar cinnamon mix to see how that will turn out.

The Kiwi fruit was just peeled sliced and pre-treated.

Two crowns of broccoli, soaked a few minutes in salted water to make sure no bugs.  Then chopped into the little florets, steam blanched for 4 minutes and spread on trays.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Drying veggies today

Today is veggie drying day.  I'm actually surprised it took me so long to get it all ready and started in the dehydrator.   (almost 2 hours)
I started with cherry tomatoes and two large tomatoes on their last legs.  A green pepper, 4 or 5 mushrooms, a celery, and 3 potatoes (sliced and blanched for 3 minutes)

I'm going to vacuum seal them into canning jars.

With the potatoes I'm going to try experiment and replicate the boxed cheesy potatoes you buy in the store.  I have a bag of powdered cheese, and a powdered sour cream (not sure if I'll use that or not)


Green Pepper


At 125 degrees, the drying time as follows:
Potato sliced medium (mandoline) = 5 hours
Green pepper, roughly chopped = 7 hours
Mushrooms sliced = 5 hours
Celery sliced = 6 hours
Tomato sliced = 6 hours
Cherry tomatoes cut in half = 10 hours (and some were still a little soft)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fruit and Yogurt...

Dehydrator washed and loaded.

I used 4 trays for fruit roll-ups and 2 trays of yogurt drops.  (I'm hoping their shorter drying time will have them ready before I go to bed)
Tomorrow will be the veggies....

Mix of Blueberry, Strawberry and applesauce

Blueberry and apple.

Yogurt drops.  Just spoons of yogurt pressed a little with a spoon to flatten them a bit.

And Done!