Monday, May 31, 2010

Blogcation - Returning June 21st

Well friends I'm on the move in the next few weeks so I'll be taking time away from the blog. Truth is I won't be able to keep along with all the administrative duties sorting, filing, making calls, finally putting all the blogs I lost during a computer crash onto google reader and placing orders. Almost sounds like I'm an adminstrative assistant to an executive. Along with the administrative duties I have been making slow strides to making my own laundry detergent, diswashing detergent and a few other homemade cleaing things. While mixing these things it made me feel like a kid again making homemade science experiments. I apologize that I don't have the links but they are around the blogs lately.
What is getting me through survival mode using paper plates, staying focused on 1 task at a time and doing the bare minimum when it come to laundry.
Right now looking forward to my nightly blog reading, the farmer's market this Saturday, some magazine browsing and squeezing in a little crochetting. Good thing those loofahs are easy to make and carry around :)
Wishing you all well. See you June 21!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Raising Bookaholics

I didn't think there was anything to write about for today's post until this morning. Last night read Lisa's post about being a craft book addict. I thought we can relate to that. I like to think we have a healthy library right now over 800 books. I know just nutty isn't it? We're a family that loves children's books, novels, how to books, craft and cook books. My kids loving going to the library, book sales, yard sales and used book stores. I always get good reviews from them about how much fun that was. Loving seeing even my youngest ones walking around with chapter books. Priceless book moments.

Well this morning on my way to school I spied an ecnyclopdia set on the curb next to the trash and recyclying bins. On my way way back home I decided to pull over and take a peek before the garbage collector came. I couldn't resist seeing all the that knowledge sitting there waiting to be picked up and thrown in the trash. So home they went.

I don't know where I'm going to put these and I'm curious to see what the older two kids will say? I thought it would be another option to look up information in the encyclopedia when the computer isn't turned on. Kind of how we used to look up stuff at the library. If they don't work out for our family or there isn't a spot for the whole set they will not go in the trash.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finally some baking

Lemon & Lime Love Cake

Finally tried making the lemon & lime lime cake from The Farmers' Market Guide to Fruit.

I made it with a few variations to make it dairy and egg free and then added too much lemon and lime juice it came out a little tangy. Got mixed reviews but I'm thinking it will be nice for the spring and summer.

1 lemon
1 lime
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy milk
Mix 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate lemon and lime and set aside. Cut both fruits in half and squeeze half of the lemon and half the lime and set aside. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
In a mixing bowl add dairy free margarine and sugar. Beat till creamy then add baking powder, water and oil mixture, soy milk, lemon and lime juices. It will look like it's curdling. Gradually add in flour mixture. Stir in lemon and lime zest.
Spoon into 9x5 inch glass loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan about 5 minutes then take out and cool on wire rack completely before slicing.

1. If you don't mind the lemon and lime juices make the loaf tangy. According to the orginal recipe the lemon and lime juices are not mixed in the batter and used only for the topping. The loaf can be made with just the zest.
2. For the topping mix the lemon and lime juices with 3/4 cup sugar. When the loaf is cooling down place a tray under the wire rack. Spoon the sugar mixture over the top of the loaf and let it drizzle down the sides and let cool before slicing.

Then enjoy with family, friends or a cup of tea or coffee!

Outdoor knitting

Trying to remember to post on Mondays for the Great Outdoor Challenge. We went to my mom's yesterday and the kids picked flowers and herbs and then sat down for a knitting lesson.
Couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and yarn. Join in the fun.
5 orange potatoes, the five of us, little eco footprints, potje thee, silverpebble, the work of childhood, searching simplicity, love living simply, strasilo, semi-handmade, this little kitchen, school time adventures, heirloom seasons, the loving path, a place like this, the magnifying glass, pebbles in the water, chocolate eyes, we are here, rosy-posy, oakbee farm, my year in haiku, time to craft, child in harmony, serendipity, secret water, free flowing ways, se7en, a smile a day, where ada likes to wander, wide open campus, what are we doing today mom?, chasing domestic bliss, dim sum, bagels and crawfish, adventures of a flake, frontier dreams, the snail’s trail, goose and binky, over the crescent moon, it’s a wild life, my world edenwild, the binker files, lil muse lily, foursquare schoolhouse, obaitori, boys in the woods, bumbles and light , wonder in the woods, terrallectualism, semi-crunchy mama, Gwynneth, All Things Beautiful, we are here

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Outside this week

Goodbye loofahs hello squares

Lately while on the go I have been bringing some 100% cotton yarn and my knitting and crochetting books. While waiting, watching a show or just sitting outside with the kids I have been crochetting or knitting squares to try out some new patterns. My goals are to learn some new crochetting and knitting techniques and to replace the ugly plastic loofahs . I think it's time to make a switch from loofahs to cotton wash cloths. So far 4 done 3 more to go.

The top left has heart in the middle and bottom right has flower. There was a bit of a learning curve because of the different sizes, strange corners and some edges more rounded than others.

The colors are fun to work with and the cotton yarn is soft. Which gives me hope for future socks, dishclothes, wash cloths and a future afghan of squares (or hexagons) the same color yarn but all different patterns. I can dream while letting the yarn run through my fingers and at the same time inspire my little ones to pick up their needles and crochet hooks.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This weekend

(A note about this post it was supposed to be up on Monday but due to a fussy computer that would not cooperate I had problems trying to upload pictures so it's a day late. )

What was going around here this weekend?
Went to a library book sale to to look for chapter books. My favorite arguement around here is over the books, which ones belong to which child and whose room they will go into.

These are my favorites.
Can't wait to bake a Lemon Lime Love Cake from The Farmer's Market Guide to Fruit and try some of the fruit smoothies. Makes me more excited for the farmer's markets and csa to open up.
What else I did? Finally finished 2 more red scarves for my stash for the Red Scarf Challenge.

I double crochetted this soft chenille yarn. Hoping to start another one soon if not there is alway next month.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happily in the dirt :)

Forgot to Blog Week

Hello friends! So far this week it definitely has turned into "Forgot to Blog Week". I actually had 2 recipes to share on roasted potatoes and turkey burgers but forgot to take the pictures and write how I made them. The weather well if your in New England you know what's going on. Sunny some days but cold and brisk like fall. Feeling like we need our jackets on hand. A tad confusing to my system. I definitely don't want "Forgot to Blog Week" to spread and turn into some kind of pattern. But you know this is one of those days that has turned into a week. I'm still hoping to get a post up for the Friday moment by Soulemama.

I have been doing a little of this and that a little bit at a time of crochetting, reading and undoing some sewing. I call them my sanity savers. I'm sure you may have some of those too. Maybe tonight I'll resew a few things while watching Grey's and Private Practice. Trying to keep my spirits up and looking forward to upcoming book sales, farmer's markets and csa and some outdoor kid watching while they dig. (Which reminds me I forgot to post on Monday for 5 Potatoes Outdoor Challenge.)

So far I have a few projects in progress and hope to complete them soon and I'll have more to write about next week. For now a peek into my sanity savers.

There is other stuff is in the car because sometimes there needs to be sanity savers on the go. Happy weekend see you on Monday!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This morning

"Mothering myself has become a way of listening to my deepest needs, and of responding to them while I respond to my inner child."
-Melinda Burns
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Table Runner Activity Bags

Way back in the fall I found a table runner I really liked at the thrift store. I bought it knowing it was too long for my table but loved the embroidery on it and thought it would look much nicer as a bag. Actually it turns I could make 5 bags!

After I cut the 5 squares I kept the left over strips to save for another project. For the top of the square above the flowers I undid the stiching to make an opening. The cool thing is the bottom is already stitched together.

Now for the straps I had a green table cloth I'm not fond of but I thought would go well with the bag. So I folded over a piece to the width I liked and cut. Then put the two good sides together and stitched it. Then turned it inside out.

The straps then get sewn on to the sides of the bag. I pinned it to the good side of the bag and sewed it on and and then did the same with the other side. Because I just made this up I didn't follow a pattern I'm not sure how to explain the directions it's easier to just show the pictures.

This project should actually be called the 3 season bags. Bought it in the fall, cut it over the winter and started sewing and pinning in the spring.
I'm hoping to finish the other 4 bags before summer so this doesn't turn into the 4 season bags. lol :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bits of Sewing

1. My Activity Bag Changed the frayed straps on my bag that used to be a shower curtain. I think I finally it got right.

2. Pot holders After seeing my girlfriend's home made pot holders I finally got to it last week and made my own from old place mats. I lined the middle with cut pieces from old flannel receiving blankets. I don't have a pattern just an example to follow. I don't really know how to explain how to make this. I think the pictures work best explain this tutorial.

Here is my friend's pot holder that I used as an example.

Cut off any edges and save scraps for some other project. What remains is square. Then cut 2 rectangles.

Took an old receiving blanket cut a rectangle the same size as the placemat, pinned it and sewed it together.

There are 2 ways to finish this potholder. 1. Put the good sides together and sew all around but leave a whole to turn inside out. Then do a top stich for the border. Stich lines across the potholder to give it a design and to keep the flannel in the middle in place. I should tell you it made the border more bulky and the potholder smaller.

The second option I prefer is after sewing the flannel and placemat together fold the rectangle over. Sew a top stich near the border. Then sew lines across the potholder to create a design and to keep the flannel in the middle in place. This version is slightly stiffer but bigger. The edges if you don't mind have a little flannel sticking out. Hmmm maybe next time cut the flannel a little smaller.

Either way you prefer you have potholders from placememts. The placements my girlfriend recommended getting from the thrift store. I happened to have some old stained ones and thought give it a try.

Random ::

-Maybe next time make them longer more like mitts something like the ones in Stitch

-The water ban was lifted this morning. I'm really happy we can drink and brush again :)

-It's very sunny out today and not humid and sticky. Out we go!

Monday, May 3, 2010

This weekend

1. Did a little sewing starting late last week through the weekend. I'll be posting the completed projects and the works in progress this week.
2. Sat outside with my laptop and watched the little ones play with mud. Lots of mud :)

3. Made up a chicken recipe. Cook chicken drumsticks at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While the chicken cooks in a bowl mix 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 onion and sliced black olives. I don't know if I seasoned it. Ooops! After chicken cooks for 30 minutes toss mixture with chicken and coat. Then bake for another 30 minutes. Once it's done try it and let me know how it turns it out because I didn't get any at all. It looked good with rice but it was all gone by the next day. Not even a leftover for me. lol.

4. Boiled lots of water due to the water ban in eastern Massachusetts.

5. Because of the water ban it's much harder to wash dishes. Forgive me for behaving unenvironmentally friendly this week. But boiling water to wash dishes, brush our teeth and wash our faces has not been fun. I have resorted to using all those paper plates from past birthday parties. (I wanted to get rid of those anyway and go with something that was not store bought.) But for now we are using paper plates, plastic cups and plastic utensils and then throwing them away after 1 use so we don't get any bacteria. If only I could throw away the guilt too.

For cleaning our fruits and veggies I'm keeping a spray bottle of boiled water that's been cooled down. The other spray bottle is a mixture of water, vinegar, baking soda and grapeseed oil. It's a veggie/fruit wash I found in Kiwi magazine. I'm also using a Biokleen All Purpose Cleaner. Hoping to get clean drinking water soon.

6. To finish off the weekend I did start and complete 1 granny square. This yarn was in my hope chest and it was something I was hoping to get to soon. I tried to follow one of the patterns in my crochet book. I'm trying to make each member of the family a granny square using yarn that is 100% cotton to replace the the loofahs in our bathtub. Time to say good bye to the loofah and hello to the squares.

Hoping for a good week!
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