I just got a new homemaker merit badge — lawn mower repair!
Our lawn mower was working just fine and then, poof, it wasn’t. Jason and I went back and forth over the last month about whether to take it to get repaired, try to fix it ourselves, buy a new one, or just hire someone to mow the lawn.
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This week I’m on the trail of RAGBRAI for the first time. In fact, when this post goes live I’ll be well on Day 2 of riding. I’m nervous. I’m excited. And I’m dreaming about all the cool things I should make for my bike.
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I’ve been getting into fermented foods lately, trying just about anything to give my immune system a well needed boost! Did you know you can actually make healthy soda for instance? Try out these five great recipes, a most amazing book, and this interesting article on eating fermented foods.
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When I inherited my lastest stash in mid March I just new I had to share these stories with you. I’ve been so fortunate, and kind of a sucker, when it comes to getting free and super cheap craft supplies and tools!
In Volume 4: when you order the print version, you get instant access to the full color PDF version of the zine too! A little print love, a little instant gratification, a whole lot of crafty goodness!
Monday’s weekly round up! A great way to get the creative juices flowing and beat the Monday blues!
I am definitely in a bread mood lately! Maybe it’s because I’ve been limiting my calorie consumption starting last Monday. Nothing nuts, just getting my eating back under control. That first day I tracked my regular eating habits, I was at like 3000 calories! Holy moly. The only bread I should really be making is that Polymer clay toast I showed you on Thursday!
1. Rugbrauo Icelandic Thunder Bread on Midwest Exposure – my friend brought this to dinner the weekend before last and it was gone as soon as it was set. It’s made from whole grains, but because of the steaming it’s super moist and, dare I say it, fluffy!
2. Orange Pistachio Biscotti with a Smidge of Chocolate on Midwest Exposure – after falling in love with her Rugbrauo Icelandic Thunder Bread, read back through the posts I had missed and found this gem! I can’t wait to try them.
3. Emily Dickinson’s love of Baking on the Emily Dickinson Museum Website – on a side note, did you know that Emily Dickinson loved baking and was amazing at it?
4. How Baking Became Making on House on Hill Road – baking as a creative process
5. Homestyle Bread here on Craft Leftovers – one of my favorite breads to bake.
6. Dinner Sandwiches on Rosy Little Things – delicious looking bread, delicious looking sandwich!
7. My other favorite White Bread here on Craft Leftovers – it’s a traditional recipe – seriously just flour, yeast, salt, and water.
8. Bread Flower on Rosy Little Things, I love no knead breads and I think this one will be great to add to my recipe collection.
Now go out there and bake some bread!
I love toast! I was freaking *de-light-ed* in Chicago and went into a japanese toy store and saw Kawaii Toast! So cute! Love them! But I didn’t really want a keychain. Or a coin purse. I just wanted a little toast to bring me joy and hang out on my shelf.
So, surprise surprise, I made it myself! And here’s how you can too!
This year I decided move a few things around in my yard. The coop is in the corner and the chickens get their own space (so Bob doesn’t terrorize them) and instead of having the garden in a square, I’m moving it along the fence. The hope is that this will considerably open up the feel of the yard while over doubling my garden in size.
But there is the matter of the grass (weeds) where I want the garden to go.
Use a measuring tape and then mark the borders with a piece of wood or spray paint. While my guestimations were good, they were also very cock-eyed. We straightened things up with some spray paint and a measuring tape.
I cut the sod into 6″ squares with my shovel and lifted it away a chunk at a time. This is the first part of the weed free equation, by removing the grass completely, it won’t crop up again in a week or two like it does when you use a rototiller.
Covering the dirt has a two-fold purpose. One is it keeps moisture in. Two is it keeps new weeds from cropping up. Straw (not hay which has seed heads still attached) or grass clippings work great.
Dig dig dig.
Cover cover cover.
Here’s Michelle lifting the final bit of sod out of the first garden bed. The total size of the new garden is 4′ deep by 50 feet long.
And what did we do with all that sod bits? Well we tossed it onto bare patches in hopes that it would take root (doubtful). Seriously though I’m using it to fill holes the chickens dug all over the yard. Which is another reason they are now confined to a corner for most of the day. If you want to compost them, put them roots up on the driveway and dry them out before adding to the compost bin.
Now, this is something I hadn’t thought of, but there might be more steps if you live outside the midwest. I’ve taken our awesome soil for granted, but Michelle (whose helping me in the garden this year for a share of the space and bounty) kept saying “oh my gosh, this dirt is so black!” She just moved here from Texas and the soil is all clay and sand. So if you live elsewhere, you’ll need to dig in some compost and top soil before topping it off with straw or mulch.
I hope you all are having a great spring!
Just about every day Jason asks “so what’s for dinner?” to which I reply: “umm, I’m not sure, let me look it up”. And then I rifle around until I get distracted, and then 2 hours later when it’s about dinner time and I’ve forgotten to take out the chicken to thaw and Jason’s like “what’s for dinner? I’m hungry” and then I’m like “crap”.
Taking the lead from Average Jane Crafter, I’m posting our meal plan from now on to eliminate all of the above synario. I started out with a dry erase board that I had purchased from the $1 bin at target or some such place. It became frustrating pretty quickly because I had to scrub the dry erase marker off with a scotch bright pad – not so “dry” erase-able.
My next idea was to take a cue from my sister and make a dry erase board from an old vintage frame. She did this for my wedding, but with chalk board paint and it worked great. But after snapping the glass in half and reading pretty bad reviews of the paint, opted to go a new route – use what I already had a pile of in the basement.
I just sharpied the days of the week onto this fine chalk board my sister made and I was all set. Here’s how it came together. So easy.
Remove the glass from the frame and paint it with 2-3 coats of the chalk board paint. Let it dry thoroughly between coats.
Use a metallic permanent marker to write the days of the week on your board. I do this to save time. When I’m chalking in my meal plan I just wipe it down and write in the recipes.
One of the draw backs of the chalk board vs the dry erase board is that the chalk can be a little frustrating to write with. But, while working on the chalk boards for the wedding, I found that a sewing chalk pencil works great. Or even better, one of those fancy chalk holders that have the small sticks of chalk in them. Until I get my hands on one of those again (it got lost in the post-wedding shuffle), I’ll make do with just sharpening my chalk in a big crayon sharpener, haha. Works well enough.
What does HFLL and EDF and 125 BVSC stand for? Three of my go to recipe resources: High Flavor Low Labor, Every Day Foods, and 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes.
Of course here’s the part where Gregory discovered the chalk.
And that he could pick it up in his mouth and run off with it.
I’m pretty lazy, so for me, I didn’t want to fuss with writing in the days of the week each week when I could just do it once and be done with it. Plus I like the way the silver looks. All you need to do is “squirt” “squirt”, wipe it down and I’m all set to write in next week’s plan — which I’m still working on.
Happy Crafting and Meal Planning (which is hopefully then followed by cooking)!
I was going to write up a how to on making a matchbook notepad for today, and then I realized that “hey, this feels familiar”. A quick search through the Craft Leftovers archive and I found this sweet little tutorial (circa 2008) on how to make one for drawing – and just about any other purpose for that matter. So, without further rambling, here’s the tutorial I promised you on Wednesday. Enjoy!
When trying to think of a title for this little matchbook style sketch book, not really sure why, the song by Eddie Murphy came into my head. Oh you know the one… so Drawing all the time, you have to say it three times like “Party all the time” maybe even sing out like “My girl wants to draw all the time, draw all the time, drawwww alllll theeee tiiiiime!” Hahaha. Okay, seriously though, these little books are so easy to make, quick, made from things most peole have on hand. They make wonderful gifts, stocking stuffers, letter stuffers if you like to send packages like I do, and the covers are such an open canvas for any kind of embellishment. You can also use paper that would normally go into the recycling bin to fill it too!
And really, they aren’t just sketch books either, you could make little “To Do” books or little “Idea Books” “Think Books” “Write Books”. You get the idea. Very free form indeed.
Winter is always the season of weaving for me. With my overly large floor room, it’s the only time of year that I’m okay being tucked into my basement studio for hours shuttling back and forth. I turn on the space heater, bring down a pot of tea and put it on my candle warmer. [...]