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January 18th, 2018

I’m not a resolution type person when it comes to New Year’s, but I do think about things I want to work towards and I set goals. One of my goals this year is to finish up projects that are in progress, then start on things I have supplies & patterns for already in my stash. I don’t want to add any new projects to my list or purchase any supplies. This year it’s all about finishing.

So far, I’m doing very well. I’ve finished up three projects that I’ve had in progress for the past year or two. One was an alpaca/merino scarf that I started three years ago. The issue with this scarf, is that I started it then realized I didn’t have enough yarn. Since I had purchased the handspun yarn from a vendor at a semi-local farmer market, I had to wait to get back to see if I could find more. A year later, I made it back to the market and got another skein.

A second project I’ve been working on is a throw for the back of the couch. This is a throw made just to protect the couch from the cats, something I can wash easily.  I started it this past spring, then gardening season hit in full force. I finished the hand stitching this past weekend.  The last project in progress was the embroidered advent pillow I started in 2016.
embroidered advent pillow
Yesterday, I finished it up. Not only did I finish the pillow, I made my own piping. This was my first time ever sewing with piping and my first time making it. I’m super happy with the finished product. Having completed this, along with two other projects, gives me a great sense of satisfaction and completion. I no longer feel like I have things hanging over my head as I move forward with other things.
embroidered advent pillow
One of my other goals this year is to learn new skills and improve the skills I have. Sewing is a skill I’ve been working on over the past few years. I got a new Juki coverstitch machine a few months ago and haven’t even plugged it in yet. My February goals are to learn this machine and to use it for a project I’ve been planning for a few years.

Do you set any goals each year? What are you goals and how are you doing on your progress?

Winter Walk-In Cooler

January 17th, 2018

Typically, we use our back porch as a fridge/freezer during the cooler fall/winter/spring months. It’s always been a way to keep things cold when the fridge is full. After a big storm in October, our fridge hasn’t been keeping things quite cold enough. It’s barely keeping things at the top of the “safe” zone.

As a result, we’re shopping for new fridges and keeping our milk on the front porch where it stays really cold, in fact sometimes we move it to fridge so it doesn’t freezer out there. Thank goodness our fridge decided to slow down in the winter. Hopefully we can get a new one within a month.

Do you have any fridge brands to recommend?

Quote of the Day: Winter

January 15th, 2018

I have a mediation book I try to read every morning, this past weekend had a fantastic entry:

“See the pine trees and learn their lesson,” a friend once said. “Pine trees are nature’s reminder that growth continues even in winter.”

Winter is an important season in our lives. It is more than a time of coldness and snow. It’s a time of going within. A time to rest from the work that’s been done, a time to prepare for the lessons ahead. Long for the sun on your shoulders, but let the frost and cold come. The ground has been left fallow in preparation for nourishing the seeds of new life.

Honor winter’s lessons. Despite this time of lifelessness and inactivity, this is still a season of growth. Trust what’s being worked out in your soul. The snow will melt. The sun will shine again. The time will come to remove your heavy garb and return to the activity of life.

Cherish the winter. Cherish its quietness, the time of going within to rest and heal. Cherish this time of preparation that must come before new life. Cherish the hope that lies beneath the snow.

Melodie Beattie in Journey to the Heart

Friday Favorite: Labeled Plants

January 12th, 2018

When I first started gardening, I wasn’t very good at labeling things as I planted them in the garden. Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve tried numerous products for labeling things in the edible garden. After much trial and error, I finally settled on a few products that work well and help keep me organized.

I discovered a few different types of wooden plant markers that work very well. Another great benefit is that they are made at a shop only abut 20 minutes from my house. When I ordered wholesale boxes of these labels and markers for my shop, I drove up and picked them up. They use birch wood from the northeast, another bonus. I love it when I can support a small business with my purchases, especially one that is so local! I use the small labels in my seedling trays and the medium and large labels in the garden.

Another thing that always frustrated me when it came to labeling plants was the fading. There’s nothing worse than checking a plant tag only to realize it was unreadable. After trying pencils, grease pencils, sharpies, and a few other products, I finally found these Garden Markers (also made for the local company I get my tags from).

These will last for a year in the garden, sometimes more. I find they last longest on the large plant tags. When I harvest my garlic, I can still easily read the varieties on the tags. I’m so happy to have found these. Which is why I decided to sell them over at Seeds & Sundries. These have become one of my most favorite garden tools in the past 5 years since I discovered them!

What garden tools have you discovered and fallen in love with recently?

What a Find!

January 10th, 2018

I grew up in the woods, my dad’s family has a cabin on 60 acres in rural Ohio. When we were in the United States, we spend every weekend down there running through the woods, playing in the creek, and dragging home all sorts of bones and skeletons I found in the woods. As an adult, I have spent many hours hiking in the woods in all seasons (and have still been known to pick up skulls I find, most recently a porcupine skull). Winter is one of my favorite times to be in the woods, I snowshoe all winter long. Yesterday, while out on my lunchtime snowshoe, I found an antler shed.

It’s quite an amazing find. I’ve always heard about sheds and have heard of people finding them, but have never found one myself. Amazingly, it was quite close to the house. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it, most likely save it and put on the bookshelf.

Were you intrigued with nature as a child? Did you find bones/skeletons interesting?

Seeds and Sundries
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Berkey Water Filter

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.