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Decluttering with a Cause

January 10th, 2017

Every year I minimize more and more things around the house. It’s like a breath of fresh air to get rid of things that are no longer needed or used. One space that I want to focus on this year is my sewing room. Over the years I’ve collected lots of fabric, people give it to me, I purchase some, some is from old pieces of clothing, some from scraps of past projects. I want to get rid of a lot of this fabric, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
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Then I remembered the zipper pouches I made to send to an orphanage last summer and decided to start making lots more of these to send down to the school I work with in Colombia. The only problem is that if I want to send them to the school, I’ll need around 400 – yes FOUR HUNDRED!
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With that in mind, I set a goal to sew one pouch each day this year. So far I’ve managed to do 2-4 per day, which is great because in the summer I won’t have as much time to sew. It’s proving to be the perfect project to reach my goal. I get to sew and be creative, while using up fabric from my stash. I’m even using up all the random spools of thread that I got from my grandmother’s sewing supplies. My scrap jar is overflowing with all the tiny scraps of fabric that are too small for using (these make perfect stuffing for various projects). One thing I will need to buy is more zippers, I only had about 50 in my stash (many came from my grandmother’s sewing supplies). I’ll purchase more from Zip-It on Etsy.
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If I end up making four hundred of these pencil cases I’ll use up most of my unwanted fabric, which will be just perfect. Last time I counted I had made 25 zipper pouches as of the first of the year. Each pouch is unique, I want no two to be the same, partly because each child is unique and partly because it makes it more difficult for them to be stolen by another kid.

What charitable goals do you have for 2017?

And They’re Off…

January 9th, 2017

The spicy microgreens I seeded under the grow light are growing. Obviously the flat I put on the heating mat germinated quicker, but the second try caught up quickly and they’re pretty much the same now. Which shows that with these the heat mat isn’t worth using.
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These are supposed to be ready to harvest in 10 days to 2 weeks, as soon as the first set of true leaves appears. I’m anxiously watching and waiting to see how long it takes and what they taste like. While I’d never grow enough greens for an entire salad like this, they will be nice to add a bit of green to certain dishes, like fajitas, soups, or omelets. I’m thinking of seeding a tray of cilantro microgreens for enjoying on fajitas in a few weeks.

What’s growing in your house this winter?

Friday Favorite: Wood Heat

December 30th, 2016

‘Tis the season for heating the house, around here that means firewood. Every couple days we carry in wood, stacking a little by the stove in the kitchen and a little in the entryway.
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Wood heat a warm heat, probably because it’s a radiant type heat. There’s nothing better than sitting by the woodstove on a cold winter evening circling seeds to order in my catalogs.

Have you ever experienced wood heat?

The Orchid

December 28th, 2016

My grandpa’s second wife gave my mom and orchid a year or two ago. She’d had it for a long time, but no longer wanted to take care of it. My mom tried splitting it and thought she had killed it. Then she noticed that all three starts were producing new growth.
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When I came home from visiting her at Thanksgiving, she sent one of them home with me. After a little research, I put it under a grow light upstairs. Amazingly, within a week it started to produce buds. One fell off, but the other one is just starting to open up.
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I’ve never grown orchids before, so this is completely new for me. I read that they like little water and lots of light. So far I guess I’m doing OK since it’s blooming.

Do you have any new houseplants this winter?

The Indoor Garden

December 21st, 2016

This winter, the indoor garden in flourishing. I’ve always had houseplants, probably because my mom always had them scattered throughout the house. I have a dwarf banana that should be fruiting here soon, I’m pretty excited at the possibility. There are also a host of different things under the grow lights upstairs, herbs, African violets, orchids, ivy, lemons, and so much more.
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Some of these plants are new, some are old. In fact one of our houseplants was on the stage during our wedding 18.5 years ago. Some plants come and go, I don’t like some, some don’t like the climate in the house. I enjoy having them around, not only for their air cleaning qualities, for for the beauty and greenery during the long cold winters here in Maine.

Do you have lots of houseplants? Do you have a favorite?

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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.

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