September 30, 2011

Mom's Quilts (Part 2)

Here are a few more examples of my mom's quilts. Some are original designs, some are from patterns. She has a huge fabric collection and it has been fun watching her taste and style change over the years.

Here are some close ups on the previous quilt:

She also went through a Kaffe Fassett phase (I think she still is in this phase):

September 28, 2011

Mom's Quilts (Part 1)

Both of my parents are retired, but they keep busier than most people who work! My dad is crazy about golf, while my mom is crazy about quilting. My mom is a very talented quilter and I wanted to show off some of her work. She gets asked to do trunk-shows (a quilt show-and-tell) quite often, has had a show in a local art gallery, and she also volunteers a lot of her time making quilts and stuffed toys for charities.

This last one is currently hanging in my living room. It goes perfectly with the blue and cream paint job:

September 26, 2011

Where Have I Been?

So my blogging has definitely slowed down the last few weeks due to several reasons:

  1. The garden is slowing down (and frankly, it looks like crap this time of year)
  2. I've been busy working on a manuscript at work (that will be morphed into the first chapter of my dissertation)
  3. I've been spending some time getting back to my crafty side (something that gets put on hold during gardening season).

I felt the urge to haul out the old sewing machine that my mom handed down to me. I learned how to sew when I was in elementary school and I've made a number of quilts over the years. The real quilter, however, is my mom. She's very creative and dedicated to quilting. I'll try to post some photos of her creations soon.

The old Singer sewing machine works pretty well considering it's from the early 1970s (and yes, its seafoam green). They definitely don't make sewing machines like they used to. The housing of my machine is entirely metal (no cheap plastic housing like modern sewing machines). Of course it also weighs a ton due to all the metal, but who really lugs around their sewing machine on a regular basis anyway?...oh wait, my mom does all the time.

I decided I would experiment with sewing on paper instead of fabric (partially because paper is so stable and easy to work with, and partially because paper is much much cheaper than fabric). I'm having so much fun working with the whole sewn-paper concept, that I decided to open a shop on Etsy. Head on over to my shop and take a look at some of my other projects.

Here are a few examples of what I've been making lately.


Paper garlands:

September 19, 2011

Finally A Watermelon!

So it turns out I'm no good at growing melons, but I did have a small (very small) triumph this year with one little guy...

Isn't he cute? This is a Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon. I read about this variety in Farm City by Novella Carpenter. If I remember correctly, she had difficulties with melons as well.

As the name implies, this watermelon has creamy yellow flesh. The flavor is quite good although I may have waited too long to pick it (it was getting a little mealy in places). 

September 14, 2011

Too Many Tomatoes

I'm not sure if it's possible to have too many tomatoes, but I think I came pretty darn close this year. I put up 5 batches of spaghetti sauce over the course of about 3 weeks and I've brought a couple crates (the size of the one below) in to work to share with coworkers.

I'm thinking I won't do the farmer's market next summer, so I guess I'll have a good reason to plant fewer tomatoes next year. Fifty-five plants was a bit too much!

September 12, 2011

Well-Stocked Pantry

Okay, so maybe all the items in my pseudo-pantry aren't edible, but these great handmade shelves (put in by a previous owner under the basement staircase) are coming in handy for storing all my canned goods this summer.

I've managed to fill six shelves so far (with another batch of tomato sauce on the way). 

I've really been cranking out the tomato sauce this year. I'm on my fifth batch!

In addition to tomato sauce (bottom right), I also tried dilly beans (bottom left) and tomatillo salsa (top right) this summer. After gifting many jars of my humongous batch of apricot jam (top left), I'm finally getting down to a more reasonable supply.

In addition to the apricot jam, I also made blackberry apricot (bottom left), black raspberry (top right, my favorite), and sweet cherry jelly (top left). The six jars on the right side of the bottom shelf are leftovers from the 2009 and 2010. They still taste just fine, so I'm not too worried about their advancing age.

September 8, 2011


One of the best parts of keeping chickens is collecting the eggs each day. You never know what you're going to find. The other day I found the biggest egg ever!

The egg on the right is super's almost like two eggs just got stuck together (notice how both ends look exactly the same). I sold this egg, so I won't be able to find out how many yolks are crammed in there, but I'm guessing at least two, probably three.

September 1, 2011

Who's Watching Who?

This is what I found when I went outside to shut the chickens in for the night. I'm not sure who's more curious about the other?

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