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Roasted Chestnuts

December 17th, 2018

Many years ago we harvested chestnuts from the family property and roasted them in the oven, they were good, but it was sooooo long ago. When I saw them at the local co-op, I decided to get a few for us to try again. I roasted them in the oven last night and they were delicious!

Now I need to read up on whether we can grow chestnuts here in Maine, if so, I’ll be planting a couple of trees, not only for us but for wildlife as well.

Have you ever had roasted chestnuts? What did you think?

Friday Favorite: Stash Busting

December 14th, 2018

One of my goals for my handmade holidays this year has been using up fabric in my stash, things I’ve collected over the years, fabric I love, notions I love, yarn I love. So far it’s been a great plan and I’ve managed to get rid of lots of things (more to come after Christmas so as not to spoil the gifts in case the recipients read the blog). One thing I can share that I’ve been doing to use up fabric scraps: making fabric ribbons. I’ve always loved beautifully wrapped gifts. Wrapping gifts is one of the things that I really enjoy doing during the holidays.


I’ve been sewing up all the scraps of fabric I have into long ribbons, most of what I’m using is holiday fabric that I’ve gotten in grab bags from the thrift store. Some of it matched the gift, as is the case with the Russian Nesting Doll fabric (check back after Christmas to see what I made with this lovely thrift store fabric).

These bows are easy enough to make, I fold fabric in half with right sides facing in, then sew along the ends and towards the middle leaving a 3-4 inch opening in the middle for turning. Turn inside out with the help of a pencil or knitting needle, iron, and it’s ready to use. They take only a few minutes each to make and are well worth the effort!


I’m pretty pleased with the results and will be making them for other gifts throughout the year as well. Most of the recipients are the types of people that will save the bows and reuse them, which makes me happy as well. There’s nothing like reducing waste and being able to reuse something you already have.

Are you a meticulous gift wrapper? What sorts of things do you like to use when wrapping?

The New Sewing Space

December 13th, 2018

A few years ago, I turned the tiny room above the kitchen into my sewing room (more of a nook really). It was a nice space, but the ceilings were low (being under the eaves) and I kept banging my head on it when getting up from my sewing machine or ironing. There also wasn’t enough light in there, I had to string up Christmas lights and add 5-6 desk lamps to be able to work in the evenings. When we moved our bedroom downstairs, I took over the old room as my office/sewing space.

It’s a perfect room for this because it is south facing and has the best natural light. While I’m still in the process of setting it up and organizing it for both work and sewing, it’s coming right along and I’ve really enjoyed being able to have a large space with lots of light for my work.

This year I’ve been making almost all of the Christmas gifts we are giving, so It’s been nice to have this space functional. I used two closet doors from the spare bedroom on two cabinet tops as my work table, it’s HUGE, but amazing! The plan is to tie it all together and put it up on wheels so it can be moved aside when not in use.

Overall, it’s been wonderful to have this space, even thought it still takes me 15 minutes to find the office and sewing supplies I need for projects. My goal for January is to have the room fully set up and organized.

Do you have any fun indoor projects in the works?

Better Late Than Never

December 12th, 2018

Last winter I did a great job of growing microgreens and herbs for our meals. I had great intentions of starting flats of green when we got back from Israel, but catching up with work and life got in the way. Yesterday morning I finally got two flats started; one filled with spicy microgreens and the other with cilantro.

I put them under the woodstove to warm up, this should help germination rate and speed. After the soil was warm, I put them on top of my grow light stand, which is in the same room as the woodstove and very warm up that high.

Hopefully in 10 days or so we will be enjoying the microgreens for breakfast. Now I just need to remember to start another flat next week.

What are you doing this week?

Quote of the Day: Agatha Christie

December 11th, 2018

“To be fair, he was attached to his employers, humored their fancies in horticulture (so far as no actual hard work was involved) but vegetable he knew to be the real stuff of life; a nice Savoy, or a bit of curly kale; flowers were fancy stuff such as ladies liked to go in for, having nothing better to do with their time. he showed his affection by producing presents of the aforementioned asters, salvias, and lobelia edging, and summer chrysanthemums.”

Agatha Christie in The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side

I always get a kick out of gardening references in books, Agatha Christie books are no exception. Perhaps she enjoyed gardening, perhaps it was just her British roots that made her mention gardening and plants in many of her books, either way, I always enjoy those passages.

This one was quite humorous to me, I like both flowers and vegetables, but vegetables definitely take top priority for me.

Do you prefer growing vegetables, flowers, or do you find a happy medium between them both?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

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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