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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

According to many weather reporting sources, my area of the mountains is expecting our first heavy snowfall of the 2012 – 2013 winter.  Eight inches is expected to fall starting this afternoon and continuing until morning.  As I look outside my living room windows, the sky is cloudy but there’s no precipitation.  This is good.  It means there will be little, if any, ice under the snow.  I don’t mind snow at all.  Snow doesn’t usually cause power outages.  It just looks pretty, and bright…very bright once the sun comes out.  I’ll have to see about some photos to post.

This will be the greenhouse’s first big snow.  The shape of it will help keep the snow off the roof so it shouldn’t collapse.  I’ll take photos of it, too.  Inside, the plants have been very happy so far this winter.  The greens have given us wonderful salads and have given the chickens fresh treats.  The pots in that I put into the raised bed’s soil to provide greater protection are doing great.  Even the plants in the smaller pots on the work bench are over wintering nicely.  I do love my greenhouse.

The greenhouse to the right of the top of the stairs.

The greenhouse to the right of the top of the stairs.

Now, there’s talk of greenhouse number two!  Yay!  This one will be located at the bottom of the stairs where the chickens are right now.  Although, thinking about it, I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.  Maybe that area should stay available for the chicken coop’s winter location.  Hmmm,  It would be the idea location for the second greenhouse.  Whatever is grown there, would go straight into the garden.  A simple walk of a few feet from greenhouse to garden gate.  But, where would we put the chickens.  They have to be easy to get to.  They also have to be in the sun for as much of the day as possible.  I need to think about this before we do any more planning for the greenhouse.

Well, I’ve got some work to do.  The chickens need feeding and watering.  The greenhouse needs to be looked at, no watering today.  The dogs need food added to their constant feeder.  Rain is now falling.  I’ll need to salt the sidewalks later.  Fortunately, we’ve no need of grocery store or other last minute storm supplies.  We have gasoline for the generator, plenty of food and fresh water, water for toilets and such, plenty of dog and cat food, and a percolator coffee pot for use on the woodstove.  All the conveniences with or without the Lord of Lights (the power company).  Maybe I’ll get to work on the thread crochet tablecloth I’ve been wanting to make.

I hope all is well with you and yours.  If you are in the path of any storm, stay safe.  Brightest of Blessings!

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I awoke this morning with many things on my mind.  When I sat down to write the same thing occurred.  So,…what to write?

I could write about giving my dogs flea baths.  I’ve never seen my pets have this many fleas.  Freya, my 16-year-old dog, was in the bath for so long that she needed help standing toward the end.  My son and I did her bath together.  He lifted her out when it was over.  She was very happy, and she slept better after the bath than she has in many days.  Thor endured his bath with his usual patience.  Then, he promptly when outside and rolled in the dirt.  *sigh*  At least he has much fewer fleas.

I could write about the three bushel baskets of tomatoes that my son and I picked the other day.  There are probably more down there waiting today.  We’ll take baskets down later.  The yellow and grape tomatoes are producing in abundance.  (I think we’ll be canning yellow tomato sauce.)  The Cherokee Purple tomato in the greenhouse has lots of babies.  No ripe ones lately.

I could also write about the wonderful carrots that are growing in the greenhouse.  About fifty of them will be ready to pick soon.  The parsley is also ready.  Nearby, the parsnips are just coming up.  The garlic isn’t showing yet, but it will soon.

I saw three deer the other day.  The one that was alone was a spike buck.  This is probably is first year with antlers.  He had four points.  He looked very proud of himself.  The other two deer were two females, probably a momma and her yearling.  They look healthy.  Momma will mate again this year.  Maybe she’ll have twin, again.

My first novel and its first sequel are complete rough drafts.  I’ve already written down ideas for the third in the set.  I’ll be working on revisions in the first one today.

There are a few short story writing contests I want to enter.  I’ll be writing for them today, also.  Speaking of short stories, I have a few that I’ll be sending to a local magazine for possible publication.

The sun is shining.  It’s expected to rain later.  Actually, rain is expected each day for the next six or so days.  Remnants of a hurricane.  I love the sun.  I love the rain.  A day with both is absolute perfection.

I found no salt potato chips in the store the other day.  A serving of them contains just 5 grams of sodium.  Since I enjoy foods with little salt, these chips were a wonderful find.

The tobacco plants are now about five feet tall and topped with many flowers.  Each seed pod will contain about two hundred plus seeds each.  Anyone want Virginia Gold Tobacco seeds?  I’ll have plenty to share.

I want to go down to the creek later.  I miss going out into our woods.  It’s very peaceful and gentle.  Maybe I’ll stick my feet in the water for a while.  I know the dogs will love it.

The Jerusalem artichokes are sporting their flowers, too.  They are lovely daisy-like flowers.  The plants are about seven to eight feet tall.  I love it when they flower.

The chickens are doing well.  They love the fenced area, especially since we added a tarp covered area and an old truck camper top on blocks.  Now, they have shade out there instead of just open field.  They love to catch whatever bugs come their way.  The eggs are great to have.

I still don’t know who I have for Yule/Christmas gift-giving since the names haven’t been drawn yet.  I was thinking about giving a painting this year, although my crocheted gifts are very popular.

My son just woke up to “I love you”, “Good morning”, and “Here’s a list of chores.”  His reply, “Thanks, mom.”  He’s outside now, relaxing and enjoying a cigarette.  (Much to my chagrin.)

We went to town yesterday.  The closest one to us has about five hundred or so residents.  The one stop light was busy that day with more traffic than I’ve seen in a while.  Of course, it’s a big yard sale weekend.  We saw signs for at least twenty yard/garage sales.  There were many in the parking lot of the locally-owned grocery store.  We didn’t stop at any of the sales.  My son stayed in the car with our dog, Thor, who loves to travel.  I did a little shopping and drove straight home.

I thought about taking some photos today, and I still might.  I think I’ll take some of the rain and clouds later.  Maybe, I’ll take a few of the rain from inside the greenhouse.  Who knows?  Some of the rain down near the creek might be nice, too.

Anyway, I’ve got coffee in my cup and some writing to do.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to focus a bit more.  I hope everyone has a blessed day.

 

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How to make a shed roof out of old 2-liter soda bottles

This idea comes from a friend who found it on the internet.

It’s easy enough to do, just takes some time.  Take an empty 2-liter soda bottle.  Clean it out well.  Then cut off the top and bottom.  Next cut down each side.  Be sure to measure it so  the two halves are the same size.  Next, turn one side curve up and the other curve down.  Staple them together.  Continue this pattern until you have enough for the roof.  Then either staple or nail them into place on top of your building.  Done!

This idea keeps plastic out of the landfill and is useful.  Enjoy!

 

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Have an old lamp you don’t use?  Have an old ceiling light fixture?  Why not combine the two to make a birdbath?

They are easy to make.  Take the shade off the lamp.  Take apart the light bulb apparatus.  Then remove the wires by pulling them out of the bottom.  Be careful to leave the tube that the wires run through.  Apply sealant to the top of the tube.  Place the ceiling fixture over the tube’s end.  Use the decorative screw cap that came with the fixture to attach it.  Wipe away excess sealant and let dry.

After several days, fill with water to test the seal.  Reseal if needed.  Once ready, move to your yard.  Add water and watch the birds enjoy!

These were made from old lamps and ceiling light fixtures.

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I was sent the photo above on Facebook.  I don’t know the original source.  I like the idea, though.  Reusing rather than throwing away is always good.  From the photos, I can’t really tell what is being done in steps 10 through 12.  At first, I thought it might be tape.  Now, I think about it, the person may have been sewing it to flatten it out.  It looks like a total of six bottles were used.  I’ve not tried this project.  I wonder how well it sweeps.  I also wonder how long it lasts.

Any know?

 

 

 

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Many years ago when I first moved here, I naturalized some golden seal, ginseng, and witch hazel.  Naturalizing is planting seeds or bulbs in the wild and allowing nature to take care of them.  It’s a good idea to leave them alone for at least three years to let them get firmly established.  Years later, none of them took.  All three are best grown on a north slope.  Our hill faces south.

My naturalized spearmint is doing very nicely and is trying to take over a small hill.  I left it alone for four years before harvesting from the mint patch.  The tea I made was incredible, and it took only a few leaves to make it strong.  I also traded some of the plants on my plant swap group.

The milkweed that I started by spreading seeds around the slope is also doing very well.  The butterflies love it.   I harvest the seeds once the seed pods open.  I offer these on the plant swap group as well.

Our property is full of other plants that I wildcraft.  Wildcrafting is harvesting plants from the wild.  It also means being very responsible.  As with the spearmint, I harvest sparingly.  I take only what I need.  Once the mint patch expands, I’ll be able to harvest about one-third of the patch with little damage to the rest.  I will not take all the plants from one area.  Instead, I will selectively thin the patch.

I also harvest mushrooms.  I am extremely careful about identifying them before eating them.  My favorites are morel, half-morels, and a shelf mushroom that tastes like chicken, literally.  These mushrooms are not common on our property, so I am very selective about harvesting.  As a matter of fact, I’ve not harvested them in the past six years.

Edibles are not the only things that can be wildcrafted.  Pretty flowers or plants with medicinal properties, like witch hazel, are on my list.  My mom loves daisies.  I love wild mustard flowers.  Some of the grasses make a nice backdrop for bouquets.  Many are perfect for various arts and crafts projects.

This year I will be adding St. John’s Wort to the naturalized flowers.  I’ve also considered chamomile, cinquefoil, and johnny-jump-ups.  I think my best friend would love to see naturalized carnations, too.  The possibilities are endless, and the property will be more beautiful than ever.

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Crochet projects

As some of you know, I like to crochet.  Here are photos of some of my completed projects.  The first three are of a table cloth that I crocheted for my dad.  It’s made of #10 thread.  The last three photos are of an afghan that I made for a friend.

 

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