Monday, February 20, 2012

My One Weakness....

....if the truth be known...my two weaknesses would have to be home grown/made food and textiles.  I'm afraid I haven't been blogging very much recently because I've been a bit busy enjoying both:)

Last week my first two patterns offered for sale to the public made their appearance on Ravelry, Spudnick - a colour work Tam whose pattern is in praise of the PEI Potato, yup you read that right...Potato and Elizabeth - a Tudor inspired cowl.  I have another pattern written out and I am just waiting for test knitting.  These are very exciting times for me.

On the food front, both Mr. Homesteader and I have been busy trying to outdo one another in the kitchen, from apple scones made from local ingredients including our own dried apple rings, to sausage chili, to bread and rolls and mixed bean soup and baked beans and and and.......I just love that we've both taken better health, better food, better life to heart.  It's been so easy living on junk and shopping at places like Walmart, I don't want it that way any more, not when I can have something like this instead...


Mmmmm Apple Scones


and Vegetable soup with buttery biscuits.  Bet you wish your screen was equipped with smellavision:)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Almost There:)

Writing, knitting, rewriting, awaiting test knitting, rewriting and publishing a pattern has taken about twice as long as I had expected.  My first pattern is being proof read right now, it's a colour work Tam called Spudnik and it looks like this:




For Ravelry Users, you can get this pattern now, here

It is available on my Ravelry Store, woot woot!!!  I'm very excited, I'm also very nervous as this is my first one and I just hope that someone out there loves it as much as me.  As soon as I figure out how to add the Ravelry button to my blog the pattern will be available to all non Ravelry members, until then anyone with a Ravelry account can follow the link above.

I've also been hard at work on my second pattern to publish, it's a lovely textured cowl and looks like this:

This one is about a week away from publishing, I'm just rewriting it now.  I had mentioned in an early blog post this year that my goal for 2012 was to write 4 patterns and make them available for purchase, I guess I'm well on my way.  A special nod to Mr. Homesteader who encourages me every step of the way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Different Angle

So I told you all that I was working on a colour work hat pattern several weeks back.  I knit it, amended it, knit it again and passed it on to two test knitters.  The directions worked, neither of them were confused, they are both excellent knitters but I wasn't satisfied with the end result.  Their work was perfect, it was my work that I was questioning.  Sometimes thinking about it out loud can make you see things differently, you know, approach it from a different angle.  That said, tomorrow, as soon as my feet hit the floor I'm going to rewrite, reknit and make the top of the hat completely different (that's the part I wasn't loving).  THEN I will have it available for sale on Ravelry....I shall let you know when it is up.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Borscht

Before....


After...



I used a 500 ml can of beets that I had pressure canned in the fall, 1 enormous carrot sliced, 1 medium onion minced and 4 stocks of celery finely chopped and boiled them in chicken stock until soft...pureed it all and served with a dollop of yogurt.  Best soup ever.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More Books

Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management: Abridged edition

Just ordered two new books (they're really a birthday gift from my parents).  After watching and falling head over heals in love with the documentary series Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Tales From the Green Valley, I wanted to have some of the books that were discussed and used in the series and were made about them.  I already have the books Victorian Farm and Book Of The Farm....and today I ordered Edwardian Farm and Mrs. Beeton's Book Of Household Management.  What wonderful additions to my library, not only will I find hundreds of useful bits of information in them, but also hours upon hours of good reading....perhaps by the light of that beautiful and practical oil lamp that I brought back to life:)

You can watch Edwardian Farm HERE, or Victorian Farm
HERE.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

New To Me

Before....



After...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DIY Oil Lamp

Just found this very cool article (with pics) of a DIY Olive Oil Lamp from Mother Earth News.  Very cool and I bet it works great.  This is an inexpensive and easy way for almost anyone to make an emergency lamp from household items.  If you want to check it out, follow this link  DIY Oil Lamp.

Wednesday

It's a stormy Wednesday here, the ground is completely covered with snow for the first time this year and now the wind has picked up which always means drifting and white outs.  I've been enjoying watching it unfold from the front window but now that twilight is here it's even prettier all aglow in shades of blue.  Today's Homestead offerings come in the form of food, again...this seems to be a large part of my life...talking about food, taking pictures of food, preserving food, writing about food.  I love to cook and bake, especially when I can use ingredients that I've grown or that I've bought from near by.  I was rummaging through the freezer today and decided I wanted to use some of the apple pie filling I had made for apple crisp instead of apple pie...very good idea, it's delicious.  I made the filling this past fall after a wonderful day spend with Mr. Homesteader at our local orchard.  Our wee orchard on the homestead still didn't produce enough for us this year but we did enjoy what we were able to get.  I'm looking forward to picking pears and canning them next year (our trees aren't ready for that either so we'll still have to go back to our local orchard), especially since my canned plums (given to us by our mailman) turned out so well.  I ended up freezing 5 pies worth of filling, 1 of which did come from our own apples.


Today's weather also gave me time to enjoy a movie before work while I stitched some Tea Cozies.  The one standing looks lopsided, I assure you it is symmetrical.


I also decided to work on another project today.  Many years ago Mr. H. and I acquired two oil lamps that were in a box of auction stuff.  Neither of them were in good shape but I decided to take the best parts and make one decent one.  It took several sprays with lubricant to release the top parts that hold the wick from the base but they are separated now.  I sanded the chipping paint from the base and when I have the chance it will be spray painted a dark brown.  Luckily between the two lamps there were three new wicks so that should keep me a while and Mr. H. picked me up a new chimney from our local hardware store.  This is what it looks like now waiting for paint.


I consider anything we do that cleverly reuses discarded objects like the lamp above, preserving food, making one's own clothing, finding ways to use less, want less and repair, refresh and renew what we already have to all be steps towards sustainable living.  What do you think?  Have you been involved in a project lately that has sustainability in mind...I'd love to hear about it.