Monday, May 31, 2010

The Farm Report

Weeding the herb garden of new toadstools (too much rain and not enough sun)

The raised beds

The Peas have gone crazy in this weather. The shorter plants at the end are a different variety of peas.

If all of the pea blossoms turn into pods we will have a bumper crop this year. Does anyone know if you blanch peas before freezing them?

The onions and leeks are growing quite nicely. The brussel sprout plant has grown a bit but the broccoli is not doing as well.

My sad little broccoli-Something has been snacking on the leaves.

The tomatoes are going yellow with water logged dirt. The peppers seem OK but not growing very fast. Along one end of the bed I have plopped in some mixed greens (I figure if we are going to have cool weather i might as well give in and grow cool weather plants). At the other end is calendula an edible flower. Mine come up volunteer from year to year in nice oranges and yellows.

Zucchini sprout with its first real leaf. This is surrounded by green beans (bush variety).

I replanted the corn today as my first planting didn't sprout. I think the seeds were old. I talked to my aunt and she said my grandfather did not plant corn until June 1st. The green starts you can see are zinnias, nasturtiums (I hope these trail down the wall as summer gets going) and sunflowers around the fence line.

Raspberries ready to grow and ripen when the sun decides to appear.

Below are pictures of flowers and plants bursting forth and happy in our rainy May weather.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Family Doings-

David and I went for a walk yesterday with camera-I am working with a group of ladies on a neighborhood newspaper project and volunteered to take some neighborhood stock photos to have in ready for any stories we might write. Along the way I tried out some extra just for fun pictures that came out quite nicely.

David made a few loaves of bread: challah and his home developed artisan bread.

Grace did a bit of doodling on the white boards.

Speaking of white boards--We love white boards in the house. I am a math teacher, David is an computer engineer and Grace likes to draw. As a result we do a lot of jotting down of ideas. The urge to do so on a larger scale has made us junkies for the easy availability of white boards. White boards are expensive but we found an inexpensive alternative that works great-Shower board. They come in 4 by 8 foot sheets in the paneling area of the big box hardware store (Home Depot for us). We have a friend who installed two big sheets on his sliding closet doors. We cut ours into 2 foot by 2 foot squares. I carry these to my classrooms, Kids who visit my house draw on them, and David and I brainstorm on them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Always Write Down Pattern Adaptions As You Do Them

So sock one looks beautiful-see picture in previous post. Sock two-not so much. My daughter compared it to a sock for a goat. So one might wonder how I could get such a nice looking baby sock while free styling adaptions to an adult patter the first time and then go so wrong on the second sock..well my dear chickadees it is because I did not write my changes down!! I then had to remember what I did the first time. Apparently my memory failed. I now will rip out (in knitters language this is, I hear called frogging?? Does anyone know why?)...I will knit another sock and keep track of the numbers this time. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Creative Space: The Sock Saga Continues

I got all of my beads out last week. I sorted...I looked for inspiration. I even ordered some books. I then moved them back into my Sewing room and pulled out my little size 0 knitting needles and cast on 36 stitches in an attempt to recreate the adult sized socks I made for Grace (Daughter age 8) in a smaller size for my grandson (age 2). I knitted (see the post before the creamed peas and potatoes report) running out of my left over yarn just before the toe. On Tuesday my grandson and I took a trip to the knitting store and I found a lovely blue to finish off his planned but now obviously too small socks. While at the store Grant picked out some yarn for my next pair of socks. he chose a red, white and blue self striping yarn. Now...if I can just work out how to do the math to get socks that are not too big and not too small but just right.

I just spent the evening looking at all of the creative space posts on Kootoyoo's blog. A great feat as there are so many cool ones and I spend ages looking around and linking some up on my favorites list.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Peas and Potatoes with Cream

This is stuff from my childhood. My grandma made them occasionally in the spring. Today I visited my local Wednesday farmers market with my 8 year old daughter and her school for a field trip.
While there I made my own purchases as well as helped to herd the kiddies from market to fountain and then another fountain (in the pouring rain I might add).

Purchased: Rhubarb for more crumble, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, new red potatoes, sage plant, oregano plant, lemon cucumber plant, one sesame cookie to share with my adult daughter who also came along and one french style cookie (Meghan said she found them all over the bakeries while in Paris a few years ago) that is a sandwich meringue cookies, filled with flavored cream (none of us can remember what it is called).

The recipe-
So this evening I boiled the tiny little potatoes while I shelled the peas. I added the peas to the water after shelling and then when the potatoes were soft I drained the two now together in the pot. Popped the two into a small bowl and then I poured in a little bit of whipping cream (we are cream deprived in the U.S. so if I were in the UK it would have been double cream). I added a lot of fresh ground pepper and salt and voila....a trip back to my childhood. Fresh new potatoes and peas with cream.

Sorry-we all ate them before pictures could be taken You will have to settle for children and river gazing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scrap Dilemma

Yesterday was horseback riding day. I have not started any beading yet but have continued to look and think on it. One problem I discovered yesterday and used to spur me onto (or excuse) picking up the knitting needles again is that I can hardly bead while perched on a stool in a dirty barn smelling of horse. I dug around in my little emergency knitting kit and pulled out the two tiny remaining balls of yarn from the now finished socks. I cast on 36 stitches and am making an attempt at a small child's pair of socks. I am doing this by altering the adult pattern. I am a bit of a fly by the seat of your pants girl so it has been a lot of fun to make the mathy decisions as I go.

I knitted away most of the afternoon on my new invention and hit a snag at 11pm. The yarn ran out. It would hardly make sense to go buy another skein of this yarn to finish them but my husband suggested I go try and find a solid color sock weight yarn (at the store as this was the remains of my first sock weight yarn adventure). I can then make a pair of socks for him with the solid leftovers :). I have managed to turn the heel and just have the foot length left to knit up.

I tried them in their unfinished state on my 2 year old grandson. They were to small for his chunky little legs so i guess I will have to wait for a baby to come along.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Creative Space-Finished Socks and Beaded Inspiration

My Creative Space is the brilliant idea of Kootoyoo. Go look and see all of the creative posts by artists and crafters around the globe.

They are done-I finished the last stitch last night closing up the second sock toe at about ten PM Wednesday night.

Next up beading. Today I have done a search for design ideas. I am hoping to do some corn (the orange, yellow and maroon beads inspire corn I think). I am also inspired but he idea of a dogwood flower and a butterfly. Because this is to celebrate my father and siblings joining the Cherokee nation I want to have some authenticity to what I put together. Here are sources of potential inspiration for me.

These were made and photographed by Martha Berry. She is a Cherokee beading artist. I bought some of the patterns she offers but am looking around for inspiration in designs that are meaningful for my dad and I (he and I get the first two pair of moccs).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I like This creative Space Thursday Stuff

So all week I have been working away on my sock so I can finish it by Thursday. I am down to the toe and think it will be finished just in time to make a completed pair by then. I have to say the Creative Space stuff has served to light a fire under me. Another push has been the fact that my big old piece of leather came in the mail on Saturday and I went bead shopping on Sunday (Ship wreck beads).

We packed up my second to the oldest daughter's apartment in Seattle to move her back down to Portland for a new job here. Olympia and ship wreck beads was along the way. That store has the most fantabulous selection of all things beady on the planet. It is absolutely Huge! I am planning on making moccasins for my dad and myself (a tribal celebration of sorts) and some beaded hair barrettes for my daughters. Once years ago I did a bit of beading but it has been ages (and my eye sight has slipped since then).

I picked out a range of maroons, oranges, yellows and black to bead an ear of corn. I am thinking of trying to use raffia for the husk. A range of green beads to do some leaves and then a few multicolored strands to use in any other design that I come up with. I will of course present pictures of all of these goods on Thursday (unless I finish the socks first).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Action Packed But Nothing Made Today

8:30 am-A morning meeting and coffee at Long-bottoms Coffee House. This was my first trip and although the baked goods were highly recommended I settled for a giant skim peppermint mocha. It was HUGE and tasty.

11:00 am 6 mile bike ride with sunglasses and short sleeves....ahhh SUNSHINE!!

12:00 pm lunch with some girl friends and talk of starting a neighborhood newspaper.

1:30 pm A stop with a couple of the girls at the bike shop for a carrying pouch (creative juices flowing...why are they so ugly? can't I make one with pretty fabric? I bought one to act as a shape prototype.

1:45 pm Toy store to buy a child's birthday gift-stuffed germs (e coli and MRSA).

2:20 pm Sitting in the sun knitting on the socks and talking with friend....basking in heat and vitamin D.

4:00 pm Home to make dinner, putter in the garden and do a bit of kitchen cleaning.

7:30 pm family movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers stone" with popcorn as Grace finished reading the book.

9:30 pm back to a bit of work to prepare for teaching tomorrow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Creative Space-Socks

Today as the sunshine was out and I babysit my grandson Thursday mornings the two of us went out to play. I brought my 'knitting emergency bag' with sock number two in progress. sock number one had to be knitted twice so technically this is sock number three :)...I have learned a lot from sock knitting and am having a blast with it all just now. When completed these two will be knee socks for my 8 year old daughter Grace.

While my 2 year old grandson played with the rocks in the back garden I sat on a lawn chair with knitting in hand. I also took time out to admire his bootiful (his word) rock finds.

I am using the Beginners lightweight sock pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple and the Sox Berroco Self Patterning Jacquard Sock Yarn #1477.

Her is where the Creative Space people Live-and interact-Kootoyoo

As I am new to this and don't know how to set up a nice clickable list. Please someone give me the directions and add your link to your comment :)

Happy creating!!