15 February 2013

Delicious compost

We always get a few sunny days in the middle of rainy ones in February here. It is a welcome sight, and it is usually the thing that I need to get outside and start preparing the garden beds for the first planting.

I decided to pull off the door to the compost bin to see what was brewing in there that I could shovel into my beds.

Liquid gold at the bottom there. That stuff costs big money in bags at the nursery. I was so happy to have my pitchfork that I splurged on last year, as it was just the tool to sift through and scoop it out to mix in.


This was interesting: SunChips bags claim to be compostable, but obviously they take much longer to biodegrade than raw produce that has been thrown in. I threw it back in to let it keep composting. You can see around the edges have started to biodegrade. It is a fun experiment, if nothing else.

A few of you reading will appreciate these last pictures.
From this                                                          

to this. Now the compost can nourish the soil and get it all ready       for planting.

13 February 2013

New hemp

After a long hiatus, the shop is open again. Hooray! Feels good to be sewing again, and I have accomplished something that has been on my to-do list for months now, with the listing of some new items.

Sandwich & snack bag sets in your choice of three different colors of hemp. This fabric was a sweet deal scored from my local fabric lady, infinitecosmoshemp--she recently moved and gave me all her scraps and pieces of this gorgeous hemp for an amazing price. The lightest color is a hemp/cotton blend, soft as you can imagine, and is also the base of the brown one at the front there--I was experimenting with dyeing the fabric, and was happy with how it turned out. The middle one is a 100% hemp fabric.

These are also my first snack/sandwich bags that have the choice of muslin or ripstop nylon for the lining. I have found that muslin keeps food just as fresh as the ripstop, and I really like the look of it, so decided to offer it as an option.

These are some items that have been brewing and stewing in my head for a long time, so it feels good to have them finally made, pictures taken, and listed for sale.

08 February 2013

Origami Valentines

Since the origami craze is going strong, the boys and I found this pattern for a folded heart to give away in their classrooms for valentines.  The older boys decided they both wanted to do these hearts, and they were happy with the finished product.

Pattern was found here, we tried it with origami paper and also red cardstock, and decided the stiffness of the cardstock was better since we wanted to put a reeses heart inside. Once the heart is folded, a magic pocket is created that is just the size to fit one flat piece of candy.

We cut the 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half, squared each piece, making two 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 squares per sheet, and it was a perfect size.

I remain convinced that handmade valentines are much better than the boxes from the store, mostly for the good times we have making them together.

In other news, I'm loving the new Jason Castro album. I have followed him since American Idol, and still listen to his first album. This one is faith-based without being cheesy, IMO, and I find it inspirational and refreshing.

Also, our local newspaper just started printing seven little words each day and it is another thing that I can do with James that might be more fun for me than him. The format is so great--simple, quick and yet you feel like you really accomplished something when you finish one.

06 February 2013

Origami craze

Last weekend while Jeff was gone picking up our van and making the unbelievably long drive home, the boys and I watched Between the Folds on Netflix. The documentary is just the right length for kids to watch, was interesting enough to keep us all interested, and we were fascinated to have a glimpse into the world of these extreme paper folders.

The older boys were riveted, especially since their interest in origami was recently  re-kindled after reading The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, which was on the OBOB list this year. We have dabbled in origami at different times over the years--I have always encouraged it and participated with them, since I loved it as a kid and find that I still love it as an adult. I think this time around the whole process of folding is easier for them, as they can follow the directions much better, and have a bit more patience. Origami is not easy!

These are a couple of great books we found at the library: Uber Origami--much more difficult; Origami Zoo--a lot easier; and one James bought with his precious Christmas gift card, The Joy of Origami, which has some easy and some difficult.