Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Fall!

This summer has gone by way too fast. It's my favorite season and I want it to last forever. I've never been a fan of the hot, dry days of September, when the pool is closed and the kids are back in school.  But then the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to change, and I'm loving autumn! Fall is my favorite season to decorate for, maybe even more than Christmas. So I've been having fun arranging the pumpkins we grew, adding faux leaves and flowers here and there, and trying not to buy too many cute things I see at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  LOL! How are you guys doing in that department?







The pictures above are all from our kitchen/family room. I decorate it the most because this is where we spend most of our time! This past winter my husband put on new counter tops and added glass fronts to some of the upper cabinets. I wanted an apron sink, but we decided the cost wasn't worth it. (Well, my husband decided!) But the changes we made add to the farmhouse look, especially since this is an old farmhouse! !00 years old, as a matter of fact!



Besides painting a few pieces of furniture, the only change to the living room this year is that we brought down the glass fronted cabinet that had been in our guest room. I like the way it looks in front of the window. Inside is part of my collection of antique toys and games.


I hope you enjoyed my little home tour. Pretty soon it will be time to put out Halloween stuff - love that too! Until then, happy fall!

Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm Back - With Garden Pictures!

Well that was a long break, wasn't it? Life has been crazy and I just wasn't feeling it. But summer is here, I'm loving our garden, and I want to share it. Today I'll showcase our vegetable garden.

 In the front raise beds we have sugar snap peas and mixed lettuce in the first square. I planted some more lettuce and onions on the other side of the peas.

Next comes the first crop of bush green beans, one of my favorite homegrown veggies. I love making a salad with them.
Then we have a bed of swiss chard, spinach, carrots and green onions. I planted these onions from seed so they make tiny green onions for salads.

I have 24 tomato plants that I grew from seed. Lots of paste and a mix of heirloom tomatoes. Yum!



I also have a bed of peppers, both sweet and hot. These took such a long time to get big, but they are doing great in the hot weather.


In the center square I always plant flowers and this year I put in some pansies and zinnias.


In the bigger back beds we have different squashes, cucumbers, onions, sunflowers, strawberries and asparagus and rhubarb. All the annual vegetables get rotated every year. We still have trouble with viruses on our tomatoes, but it doesn't seem to limit our harvest.




Strawberries, asparagus, red raspberries, and blueberries on the right.
Justin, Andrew, and grandson Tad picking strawberries in May.
I hope you all enjoyed this tour of the vegetable garden. I really love to keep it looking nice (when it's not too hot:) and it's fun to show it off! I will be back (much sooner) with flower gardens, and the crafting I have been doing. In the meantime, have a great weekend!!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Botanical Dyes




Last summer I finally played with dyes from plant materials, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I bought an inexpensive ball of white wool yarn to experiment with. After looking at a few sites on the internet, I gathered up some plants, fruits and even beans that are shown to make dye colors. First I prepared the wool by scouring it which is just soaking it in soapy water and then rinsing. Then the yarn has to be soaked in a mordant. It can be alum, cream of tarter, or copper. I chose alum for the first round. I prepared the dye stuff by boiling and straining it and then in goes the wool. I wasn't very careful about measuring, but I did keep a record of what I got. Pretty colors! I especially liked the colors from the red raspberries and black beans.

Later I wanted to dye enough yarn to knit a hat. I used the black bean water again only this time I used cream of tarter for the mordant. Guess what? Instead of a pretty green I got this soft gray blue. Still very nice and it made a beautiful color for the ombre hat. I am definitely doing more of this next summer. I even got seeds for a few traditional dye plants such as woad and weld. They get a little more complicated to extract the dye, but I'm going to give it a try!