Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Good Days Work

This is one of the three quilts I finished today. This one is for a friend and her future baby. There is a lot of love in this quilt. Pink and sage greens with vintage fabric tree appliques. The butterfly fabric that adorns the bottom left tree is from 1978, and the brown baby flower tree trunks are from my aunts fabric stash from when her girls were little. Both of these I was saving for a special project and they just were perfect for this quilt!

This one is in imitation of Logan's baby quilt. It isn't perfect, but it is well made and I love the little rough edged mushrooms! So cute!

Someone asked me for a girly version of Logan's quilt.... so here it is. Same adult type colors, and same mushrooms, but with a female air.

The fairy fabric in the background of this picture is a favorite of Cyan's. She has a skirt made out of it.

I just love sewing and am very happy to have my space fixed up and back in working order! I think I would consider these a good days work.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Late June Bounty

A beautiful garden friend.

A companion bed. Radishes holding up the bush peas, borage bringing beinificial insects to make more peas later this season. Not the most beautiful arrangement, but it does work well. The radishes were not sturdy enough to hold the peas, and they were also prickily, so I won't plant that combination again, but for this year, it sure is bringing a good harvest.

Shucking peas, filling and nearly ready for harvest.

Behind them, one of many callendula flowers.

A forest of bean seedlings, about ready to climb.

Whirly twirly garlic tops.

Hanging with the Dad

Here is my other half with Logan. He is the love of my life. We are so different and so the same. We are truly set up to be the halves of a whole. I am so grateful to have him in my life and to share our children with him.

Oh, and Logan is 5 mos old in this picture. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Broccoli Chedder Soup

2 heads broccoli (stems and crowns)
1/3 lb sharp Cheddar cheese
5 small white potatoes
32oz chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c heavy cream (or milk)
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop onion and garlic in small pieces and saute in the oil until clear. Add the chicken broth and the potatoes (chopped but skin on if you like) and bring to a boil with a lid on. Once the potatoes start to get tender, add in the broccoli and boil until soft. This will make the veggies nearly to the top of the liquid. You don't want more liquid although it may seem you do. But if you put more water in it, it isn't as creamy. Cut the cheddar up into tiny chunks leaving a bit back for garnish. Add that to the soup along with the cream. When it gets close to boiling again, blend with a heat sturdy stick blender until smooth, season with salt and pepper to your liking, and serve.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My sweet baby!

Almost 5 months ago I welcomed this baby into the world from my body. Now he is rolling, starting to crawl, and gets upset every time we eat something he can't. He smiles at everyone, and loves to laugh. He is the most charming child that I have ever met, with these inquisitive eyebrows that make you think he is always thinking a very deep thought. His smile is infectious, even at 3 in the morning.

5 mos ago it was hard to imagine so much joy could have come out of that pregnancy that was so hard, but now I can't imagine my life without him.

He is my love and my joy.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sunflower Houses

Let me just preface by saying that I LOVE Sharon Lovejoy. She is a wonderful children's garden author, so before I even picked up this book I knew I wanted to own it and have it on my shelf forever.

Sunflower Houses is filled full with the lore that made the ideas of Sharon's gardens come to life. (This book goes along with "Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots". Roots and shoots is the book that talks about the how-to's of many of her most popular gardens.) She has interviews and stories from her many years of gardening experience and some just make you tear up reading them and the memories they hold for the people being interviewed. The story of the sunflower house in particular, where this woman fondly remembers the day they planted the sunflowers every year for their summer playhouse and reminisces with Sharon about what joy that brought her as a child, and how she will treasure it always. The drawings are amazing and done with vivid color, and the book is chalk full of wonderful stories, memories and best of all, ideas on how to make the most memorable gardens with your children.

I have learned a lot from Sharon over the years. Many of her ideas are the ones that turned my garden from a place of refuge for me, to a place of honor and refuge for my entire family.

First Strawberries

The joy of the first strawberry harvest.

Ugly coop for ugly chickens...

I have built pretty much the ugliest chicken coop ever. lol... made from an old dog kennel, it will work great, but I am planning (as soon as I am able) to make it again, out of 2X4's with the walls one foot higher (so it will be 6'X8'X5') and a nice little place for them to nest in the back. But for now... here it is, my first city chicken coop. :)
And here is my ugly adolescent chicken. The one Cyan is holding here is Rose. Amazing that they have gotten so big in just 5 weeks! They are even more scared than they were when we first got them, but they are also getting more adventurous. It will be great to have them outside as they are starting to be much more messy (bigger=more mess). Soon we will be able to give them garden weeds and kitchen scraps and such. My little city homestead. My dh said no to the mini cow though. lol!

We love our small backyard flock. The kids and I also really enjoy the idea of being more in tune with nature and living as sustainably as possible, gathering our own eggs and feeding the chickens our vegetarian kitchen scraps. Cyan especially loves this. She will sit with the chickens in their new dog kennel changed chicken coop for hours, finding bugs to feed them and talking with them. Alex feeds and waters them every morning. It has been such a wonderful experience for these two city kids. They have learned so much about nature and where their food comes from by the times we have spent outdoors. We live in a very rainy climate, and so often it is easy to stay indoors and not see the beauty that awaits outside in all seasons. Having the huge garden and the chickens gives us a reason to get into the outdoors and see what nature has to offer. I couldn't ask for a better playground/classroom/produce stand/medicine cabinet as I have in my own backyard.

Here are all the girls in their new coop:

Monday, June 4, 2007

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

This sauce was so tasty and beautiful... I bought a Costco Cheesecake today for Don's birthday. He loves cheesecake and not being able to eat it, I didn't think I wanted to bake one from scratch... but I had to add some love in there somewhere. So along with some organic strawberries (some from my GARDEN! YAY!), and a stroke of genius, I made this sauce up. It was SO good.
Strawberry Balsamic Vinagar Sauce
1 quart of strawberries
1 Tbs sugar
1 tea balsamic vinagar
1 tea corn startch
Blend all with a stick blender (a new gift/toy... I adore the thing!) in a mason jar. Put in a sauce pan and bring to a low boil stiring consistantly. Put over cheesecake and enjoy. Everyone loved it... Don, the kids... my dad raved about it. I wish I could have had more, but a bite was all I needed... it was great.
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