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The Portland Flower Show

April 5th, 2018

A week and a half ago, a friend and I went down to the Portland Flower Show. I haven’t been to one of these types of shows since I was in high school. While they’ve improved a bit, it’s still a lot of marketing and sales, aimed at getting you to buy things.

One thing I did like about this garden show, was that there were actual gardens set up, with boulders, and plants, and trees, and themes. From what I see/hear, this is the new norm in garden shows, I just haven’t been to one to see it.

While I did see some interesting things at the show, it was a bit pricey for what was there. It was also super busy, which means I couldn’t get any wide shots of any of the garden because it was wall-to-wall people. I did snap a few great pictures of some timber frame sheds & pergolas for Mr Chiots. Perhaps some day I’ll have a lovely potting shed like the one above.

Do you attend your local garden show? What do you think about it? 

Couch Potatoes

February 14th, 2018

The Winter Olympics have been on for the past few nights, which means we’ve been parked on the couch watching them. We’re not big fans of the summer games, but the winter ones always suck us in.

The Nordic events always draw us in, we watch them all in their entirety. We’re not big fans of the popular sports like figure skating. Generally, we don’t watch sports, but boy the winter games find us spending most evenings on the couch watching. It’s a good thing they only come once every four years.

What’s your favorite Winter Olympic sport to watch?


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?

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

Homemade Gifts

January 9th, 2018

I’m always making gifts, sometimes they come out of my sewing room, sometimes I crochet them, sometimes they come from my kitchen, other times they’re just creative things I come up with. Most recently, I made a set of spice jars for a good friend. The jars originally came filled with delicious local mustard, I’ve been saving them for a year just for this project. For those of you that love mustard, give Raye’s Mustard a try, I’ve tried most of their flavors and they’re FANTASTIC. Old World Gourmet is the most used variety in my kitchen, but I always have a few others around as well.

The labels were designed on Avery’s website, I printed them here at home, then added a few details with a gold pen. Overall, they turned out beautifully and she LOVED them.

I’ll keep saving jars and keep printing labels. She’s been wanting to organize and beautify her spice cabinet, so I gave her a good start and will continue to add to her collection.

Have you come up with any creative gifts recently?

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.