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Learning New Skills

March 22nd, 2017

In the winter I spend a lot of time sewing. Last year, Mr Chiots got me this serger for Christmas. It’s a nice machine, I read through the manual and have used it a few times. Since the manual isn’t the greatest, I finally decided to purchase the Beginner Serging class from Craftsy.com.

I’m on lesson three at the moment and thoroughly enjoying the class and I’m learning a lot. The techniques I’m learning will definitely come in handy on some sewing projects I have planned in the coming weeks.

One of the things I really appreciated about this class was figuring out how easy it is to thread my serger. I’ve heard horror stories about how difficult sergers are to thread. In fact, I was at my local fabric store once and a lady was dropping off her serger to be threaded by the sewing machine repair guy.

Now that I’m mastering what I can do with my serger, I’m certainly looking forward to all the projects I have in the works.

What new skills are you learning this year?

A Winter Favorite

March 13th, 2017

In the winter we eat vegetable from the freezer, but I still crave lettuce and greens. My favorite winter salad combines stored root vegetables, nuts, and greens. Some of the lettuce I grow under lights, the rest I get at the store.

This is my all-time favorite winter salad consists of greens topped with radicchio, celery, dulse, beets, toasted walnuts, Bulgarian sheep milk feta, and dried cranberries topped with a mustard maple vinaigrette. I can eat this salad every day and I have to admit that sometimes I do and never tire of it. It’s even better when accompanied by a new book on my Kindle.

What’s your favorite salad combination at the moment?

Trying…

February 24th, 2017

I’ve been trying to get photos off of my desktop computer for a few days now, trying to make a blog post. But alas, my computer is old, slow, and is being very cantankerous.

Luckily, I have a live in IT dept, the only problem is that he won’t have time to fix my computer until this weekend. Computers can be great and they can be super frustrating. This is exactly why I have a laptop as well, luckily I can at least get the majority of my work done on it.

A Little Maintenance

February 15th, 2017

I sew a lot in the winter, this winter has been no different. Sewing machines are like any other machine, they need periodic cleaning and maintenance. My machine gets a good vacuuming every couple months and a bit of oil.


I’ve been sewing so many zipper pouches this winter, I should have cleaned it sooner. The amount of lint buildup inside was a bit ridiculous. One of these days I need to take it in to have it properly cleaned and serviced. We’re lucky to have a guy that will pick it up at my local fabric shop and drop it back off the following week. My little machine isn’t an expensive one, but keeping it properly cleaning & maintained has made it sew like a champ for the 18 years I’ve had it.

One thing I need to get better at is keeping my garden tools properly maintained. This summer I need to build the bucket of sand with some sort of oil (maybe organic linseed or jojoba) to dip my tools into before putting them away. That’s one area I definitely need to up my game, especially before putting them away for the winter.

Do you have any tips for properly maintaining gardening tools?

Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

February 9th, 2017

“I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.”

-Shauna Niequiest in Cold Tangerines

I’ve been thinking about this over the past few years, settling in to notice the beauty in every day moments. Washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, fixing dinner, weeding the garden…

So often we assume that the good moments can’t coincide with chores or the mundane, when in fact, these moments can be the very thing we crave. It definitely takes a deliberate mindset to cultivate this gratitude and appreciation for the mundane. For me, slowing down to wash the dishes is one of those moments. It makes me stop and appreciate the landscape outside my window, the dishes in my cupboard, the clean water from the tap, and the food on my table.

What mundane item do you find the most beauty in?

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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