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May 23rd, 2016

The window screens on this house are all fairly old and many of them have had a rough life. There is paint on them, their original paint has worn off, overall they’re looking pretty rough. This means that they inhibit the view to the garden, which is not OK!
painted window screens 1
Enter matte charcoal gray spray paint. I few quick sprays and voila, the screens are once again dark and seeing outside is once again an option (and a pleasure).
painted window screens 2
It’s amazing how something that seems so insignificant can make such a big impact. I’m in the process of painting most of the screens in the house and I’m really looking forward to the new and improved view to the garden outside! Quick DIY projects are the best, especially those that help me see my hard work in the garden in a better light.

Did you do any DIY projects around the house or garden this week?

Sewing Up a Storm

May 9th, 2016

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, I called my mom and sewing a ton of zipper pouches for orphans in Indonesia. They will be filled with goodies from local businesses and delivered later this summer.
zipper pouches 6
zipper pouches 3
zipper pouches 5
A friend started this project and we’ve been working on them here and there as we can. We are making each one unique, hoping the girl that gets them will love that hers is different than everyone else’s. It has been a really fun project, we have more orphanages we can make them for as well if we have the time. For now we’re committed to making 60.
zipper pouches 1
Choosing fabrics, zippers, thread, and decorative stitches has been lots of fun. I love to sew and don’t need a ton of sewing for myself, this has been the perfect way to enjoy my hobby while doing something for someone else.
zipper pouches 2
zipper pouches 4
I can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by making something for motherless children.

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

Friday Favorite: Repurposing

April 29th, 2016

I’m a big fan of reusing and repurposing items. I like being able to invest a little bit of time while making something new from something that would be discarded or recycled. Mr Chiots and I have been roasting our own coffee for many years (see here for more about that), it comes in 20lb in cloth bags. When we use up a bag I turn it into a coffee sack towel for the kitchen.
coffee sack towels 1
I love that we produce much less waste by purchasing coffee this way. We go through about 3 pounds of coffee a week, so we get a 20 lb bag every 8 months or so.
coffee sack towels 2
Our green coffee beans come from Sweet Maria’s, which is a fantastic resource if you’re wanting to get into coffee roasting. Just think, you too could be on your way to having coffee sack towels in your kitchen. They make great kitchen towels too!

What are you repurposing in your home or in the garden?

Friday Favorite: Houseplant Gifts

April 22nd, 2016

I’ve always wanted a Christmas Cactus, but I’ve never gotten around to getting one. There’s not a lot of extra room for houseplants around here, so I don’t typically go out of my way to get more. On Easter, my neighbor gave me a ‘Spring Cactus’, which is just like the Christmas one, but it flowers in the spring. I’ve also seen them called ‘Easter Cactus’ since they flower around Easter.
spring cactus 2
spring cactus 1
After a week or two on the coffee table it burst forth in bloom and what a stunner it it!

Do you get gifts of houseplants? Do you have a Christmas cactus?


April 14th, 2016

I’ve been dealing with a massive headache this week, probably due to the huge weather system that moved through. After being down for the count on Monday & Tuesday, I’m finally back in business. I have a few pumpkins that were starting to get softs spots, so I decided to feed them to the chickens. When I cut one open the seeds in side were already starting to germinate.
pumpkin seed sprouting in pumpkin
What a fantastic thing to see. I love how plants are always trying to reproduce against all odds, it’s quite an amazing thing we get to experience over and over again as gardeners.

Have you noticed anything amazing recently?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.