Fabric De-Stash

As I get older and acquire more things for my various hobbies and whatnot, I am becoming more aware of the clutter. I hate clutter, but it seems like lately I am having a more and more difficult time of controlling it and that is causing me some stress. I’d love to live a minimalist lifestyle, but that just isn’t me – I love making and cooking and books, and all of the things that go along with them, but I would like to pare it back a bit. Look at me complaining about living a life surrounded by material possessions and a roof over my head.

Anyway, I figured the best course of action to organizing and making the load a little lighter was starting with the obvious suspects – the paper pileup, clothes that I don’t wear or that no longer fit, old gross and barely held together shoes (they were well loved!), and so on. But then it came to my studio/office/crafting room. I have a lot of fabric that seems to be waiting for that special project. It was purchased with no actual projects in mind, just that I liked it. And some of it has been sitting in plastic containers in waiting for years. So sad. So I’ve decided to send it on its merry way, to someone that will make good use of it (if you’re interested in any of it, please click this link to my Etsy shop).

Heather Ross Gnomes Fabric Japanese Linen Fabric

I think the hardest fabric to part with is the gnome print – it’s so darn cute! But it would be perfect for a little girl’s dress or a little boy’s bow tie!

I am going to continue the Big Purge and hopefully soon I’ll be able to close the closets in my studio!

Amy Butler Home Decor Fabric

Thanks for hanging on for this post! I don’t normally like to use my blog as a sales mechanism, but all the proceeds from my de-stash sale will go towards making beautiful things to share with you on this blog!

Delicious, Beautiful Rhubarb

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – rhubarb harvesting! Maybe a close second to the garlic harvest or the the tomato harvest. And it just happens that my rhubarb is a gigantic monster this year, so this will be the first of a few harvests!

Fresh Rhubarb

One of my very first posts on this blog last year was about rhubarb where I talked about growing it and preserving it. This year I don’t have a ton of time, so a bit of rhubarb got cut up, bagged up, and stuck in the freezer. But some of it got made in to rhubarb sauce for ice cream.

This is one of those recipes that is reminiscent of my childhood living in the country. It makes me think of the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. It’s a good thing. To make it, just cut rhubarb in to about 1 inch bits, add to a pot with a little bit of water (enough to just cover the bottom of the pot), and as much sugar or sweetener as you like. Simmer it on the stove, stirring every now and then, until it is quite thick and the rhubarb has broken down. Let it cool and store in the fridge in a jar, and when you’re ready, dump as much as you like over top of vanilla ice cream. If you happen to have quite a bit of liquid in your rhubarb sauce, you can reserve a bit of it to add to lemonade, fizzy water, or ginger ale.

Freezer Rhubarb

I’ll be thankful for this rhubarb in the dead of winter. To freeze, just wash, dry, cut and bag the rhubarb.

I still have a tonne of rhubarb to harvest! I am eying a few recipes in this book I got for my birthday, so I’m hoping to try a few of them out. Do you have any favorite rhubarb recipes? I’d love to hear about them!

The Great Planting Extravaganza 2015

I’ve been spending the last week or so mostly doing heavy lifting work around the garden. Not the stuff that gets me very excited about gardening. It was my own fault – totally self-inflicted. I was the one who foolishly decided to grow a million seedlings this winter, and I was the one who realized I was going to need a lot more pots if I wanted to keep all of those seedlings. So I bought a whole new collection of pots for my deck, and a whole lot of soil to fill those pots up.

Garden

Excuse the horrible photo – I took it through the screen window. Things are still pretty tame but in about a month this garden will be exploding!

Once all of those pots were moved around and filled, I could begin the fun part of gardening: planting all those seedlings! I must admit that I was feeling a lot of anxiety. First of all, I wasn’t sure if I had enough room, even after buying all those new pots. Second, a lot of the seedlings were getting too big for their small containers and needed to be planted in the ground right away.

Seedlings

I usually plant basil in with my tomato pots. Tomato + basil = true love. I’ve also been making a habit of planting tumbler tomatoes in with determinates in the larger pots – it’s a good way to maximize space in a small garden.

The first order of business was the tomatoes. Out of all the plants I grow, the tomatoes are probably the most important to me. Next was planting all of the peppers in the greenhouse. Then my corn got planted in the big galvanized steel livestock trough (I think the corn will like it in there, it gets nice and toasty!). Luckily after planting all of these, I still had quite a few empty pots.

Squash Seedlings

The next thing to plant will be all of these squash plants in the above photo. There are about 20 seedlings here (pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, a watermelon) which will be planted in various pots and raised beds. Last night my husband and I sat out on the deck cutting up chicken wire and fashioning them in to some not-so-pretty-but-hopefully-functional squirrel-proof cages. The last thing I want is for the pesky little squirrels to murder my baby squash plants. After I finish planting them in their cages, I’ll need to figure out some sort of trellis for the pumpkins to climb in my back alley raised bed.

I also still have a few trays of marigolds and zinnias to plant around the garden, but I’m less worried about those as they are still fairly small-ish. I’m positive I’ll have everything planted this week. And I have my fingers crossed that I have enough empty pots for all of those squash seedlings.

And once everything is planted I’ll get to some much needed weeding, as well as setting up some of the soaker hoses to make watering a little easier. I’m really excited to be finished the planting – it will be nice to sit back and enjoy things a bit.