SAL Update Project Peacock June25

I am so close to being done, but unfortunately I just couldn’t finish Mr. Salvador in the last 3 weeks. I ran out of the light brown and didn’t get to the craft store until a few days ago because I was so busy with work and home responsibilities. 

So, here is where I was last time.

And here I am now.

Sorry for the bad photo. The rest of the piece is very light in color and a bit boring so I have struggled to make any more progress. Hopefully you can see where I have been working on the flowers and branches.

One thing I did get accomplished this week was framing my poppy project. The frame, mat, and glass were only $2.50 at the thrift store. It’s just sitting in the frame but at least it’s protected right?

Please check out the other members of the group by clicking on the names below. You won’t be disappointed!


Avis
ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy, Timothy

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Thrifting- From Fans to Frames

So far this month we have struck gold at the local flea markets and thrift stores. As a family we head out with a list of things we are looking for.

A few months ago our ceiling fan in the kitchen started to smoke. Luckily we were home and caught it before it started a fire but regardless it was pretty scary. Ever since then we have had a hole in our ceiling waiting for a new fan but I didn’t want to pay a ton for a brand new one. As Doug and I were shopping at our local Goodwill thrift store I found a brand spanking new, in-the-box ceiling fan for $7. Incredible right?! Within a few days Scott had the fan installed and it works perfectly.

I also found a frame for my poppy cross-stitch project that has been sitting in a drawer ready to be framed since I finished it in January. Again I didn’t want to spend over a $100 for custom framing so I have been patiently looking for one in our shopping travels. I found one last week again at the Goodwill for 1/2 off. It only cost me $2.50! Get out! I think it looks beautiful.

This past Sunday on Father’s Day we stopped at the flea market on our way through and although Scott and I didn’t see much, Doug rummaged through a couple of vendor’s booths and found a box loaded with computer parts for just $20. Three sticks of RAM, two monitors, 2 graphics cards and a mess of cords and wires only he knows what to do with. He left with a big smile on his face I tell ya!

We buy a lot of our clothes at thrift stores. I mostly go for the stores in college towns because I can find makers like Banana Republic and LOFT at a 1/10 of the original prices sometimes. One example for Doug was a Kobe Bryant T-shirt that originally cost $80 brand new. He found it for only $5 slightly used at the thrift store. The Banana Republic shorts I found for $5 were originally $45 in the stores.

Now the sneakers we have found at the thrift stores have saved us a ton of money over the years. Just recently Doug again found originally priced $150 LeBron James sneakers for only $8. He was ecstatic!

I get that not everyone is comfortable buying clothes and shoes at Thrift Stores. I wasn’t at first either. We fully launder and disinfect the clothes and sneakers before we wear them which everyone should do when purchasing used clothes and footwear.

I have been reading a conversation on another blog by Mavis Butterfield who has written about her frustration with the rising prices at thrift stores. I do agree that on some items like fine china and glassware they have gotten wise that these items are worth a lot more than a $1 and have been uping their prices. However, in my general area it is still pretty easy to find great deals which we are thankful for.

Patience is the number one strategy when thrifting. It has taken me over a year to find exactly what I want sometimes, but if you don’t mind the wait, your patience can really pay off and the journey is exciting!

Do you like a bargain? What do you think about the rising prices at thrift stores? -MM

Re-Purposed Outdoor Brick Fireplace

It’s a fact –  I need more planting space in order to meet my 2017 Gardening Goals.

With that being said I got inspired this week to do something with our unsightly old outdoor fireplace. About 15 years ago an apple tree fell on it during a storm and crushed most of the left side. I would have taken the whole thing out but the right side of it has an electrical outlet on it and I didn’t want to mess with having to remove the power line and to tell you the truth it comes in handy when I need to plug in power tools and Christmas lights.

Without a lot of funds and a need for more planting space I decided to gather all of the old bricks that were scattered around the yard and turn them into a potato planting bed.

Potatoes need a deep planting bed. As they grow they need to be continuously buried in order for them to form lots of underground potatoes.

Check out the before and after pics. I even threw in a couple of short videos.


After a couple of hours of work and lots of back filling of a combination of soil and sawdust it was ready to plant. I even planted a few flowers at the base of it. The only cost was the seed potatoes. Everything else I had.

This is a pretty good sized space. I am excited to see how the potatoes do in their new home. As the seedlings start to sprout I will add a few more layers of bricks and more soil until they reach the top of the bed.

I don’t plan on mortaring in the bricks. Right now it is a semi-permanent bed and I plan on keeping it that way.

2017 Gardening Goals: Plant Potatoes– Check!

I’ll keep you updated on this project. Let me know what you think! -MM

Gardening and Preserving Goals Update June 5th 2017

It’s been a busy few weeks without a lot of time for updating. I did get my entire garden planted but of course I have run out of room. I thought my husband Scott would just shake his head at me but he surprised me instead by saying “where should we dig new beds?”

I am not sure I can handle more space to fill but I am thinking about it

Below is my goal list for preserving and gardening. Everything in bold is what I have accomplished so far. The only thing I have preserved is 2 batches of Dandelion Jelly and I see I forgot to add that to my goal list!

HERBS

  1. Garlic 
  2. Chives
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Dill
  5. Artemisia
  6. Calendula
  7. Chamomile
  8. Cilantro
  9. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)
  10. Sweet Woodruff
  11. Lavender
  12. Lemon Balm
  13. Mint
  14. Catnip
  15. Basil
  16. Oregano
  17. Parsley
  18. Anise
  19. Rosemary
  20. Sage
  21. Dandelion
  22. Thyme
  23. Nasturtium
  24. Valerian

CROPS

  1. Asparagus
  2. Strawberries
  3. Raspberries
  4. Blackberries
  5. Cherries Sweet
  6. Cherries Sour
  7. Pears
  8. Peaches
  9. Grapes
  10. Rhubarb
  11. Sweet Peppers
  12. Banana Peppers
  13. Eggplant
  14. Onions
  15. Shallots
  16. Snap Bean Bush – Purple, yellow and green
  17. Snap Bean Pole
  18. Peas
  19. Spinach
  20. Lettuce
  21. Cabbage
  22. Swiss Chard
  23. Beets
  24. Radish
  25. Carrots
  26. Cucumbers
  27. Pumpkins
  28. Gourds
  29. Winter Squash
  30. Zucchini
  31. Yellow Squash
  32. Cantaloupes
  33. Water Melon
  34. Sunflowers
  35. Tomatoes
  36. Celery
  37. Broccoli
  38. Potatoes
  39. Yellow Tomatoes
  40. Paste Tomatoes

PRESERVES

  1. Strawberry Jam
  2. Grape Jelly
  3. Black Raspberry Jam
  4. Red Raspberry Jam
  5. Peach Jam
  6. Pear Jelly
  7. Apple Jelly
  8. Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
  9. Canned Cherries in Syrup
  10. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sweet
  11. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sour
  12. Basil Banana Pepper Jelly
  13. Apple Sauce
  14. Grape Juice
  15. Pear Juice
  16. Tart Cherry Juice
  17. Pickled Beets
  18. Canned Beets
  19. Vegetable Stock
  20. Vegetable Soup
  21. Tomato Sauce
  22. Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Peach, Cherry Cordials
  23. Chili Sauce (Two different kinds)
  24. Bread and Butter Pickles
  25. Frozen Corn
  26. Frozen Peppers
  27. Frozen Beet Greens/Chard
  28. Red Root Relish
  29. Lemon Sage Wine Mustard
  30.  Dilly Deans
  31. Pickled Hot Peppers
  32. Sweet Crisp Pickles
  33.  Crushed Tomatoes
  34. Whole Tomatoes Packed in Water
  35.  Canned Green Beans
  36. Frozen Peas
  37. Frozen Winter Squash and some stored whole
  38. Chili
  39. Stuffed Hot Peppers
  40. Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Garlic


Shallots




I named my rooster “Cluck” he guards the garden from vicious predators.

I guess that’s it for now. Have to wait for Mother Nature to work her magic!

See you next time. -MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAL Update – Project Peacock

Salvador the peacock’s tail is finished! His whole body in fact is done. All I have to finish now is the background vines and some back-stitching on his body and this piece will be complete! Woo hoo!

Here is where I left off three weeks ago:

And here is what I have done as of yesterday:

I should have the whole thing done next update. Keep your fingers crossed!

I have to thank this wonderful group of stitchers for keeping me motivated otherwise I may not have gotten this project done as fast.

Please check the other members of the group out by clicking on the links of their names below. You won’t be disappointed!


Avis
ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy, Timothy

SAL Update Project Peacock

Three weeks ago I was struggling with having to rip a section of my project out because if I didn’t, it would look “off”.

After ripping out the bottom of the tree branch on the right side I have successfully stitched it back into place. Unfortunately I was again tired the other night, (I know, I know) and I stitched the wrong damn color for one of the shades of yellow. Sigh…I think I am going to leave it this time though and keep stitching. Must not stitch when tired…must not stitch when tired.

Here is where I was 3 weeks ago:

20170423_085227

And here is where I am now.

I would love for you to check out what the other members of the SAL are up to. Just click on the name links below and prepare to be amazed by the quality of work that is going on with the members of this fine group.

See you in three weeks!

ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendyMary MargaretTimothy

 

 

 

My Gardening and Preserving Goals 2017


Each year I try to garden with a goal in mind. My goal is always to produce and preserve as much food as we need to get us through the winter and to help me spend as little as possible at the grocery store.

Last year I had some pretty lofty goals and fell completely flat on my face. It was a horrible growing season in 2016. Heat and drought took it’s toll on the garden and a late frost killed all of the blossoms on the fruit trees. I have never seen anything like it really.

I revisited my goals from last year and chopped some of the harder to reach goals out.

Here is a list of my family’s 2017 Gardening and Preserving Goals.

Herbs:

  1. Garlic
  2. Chives
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Dill
  5. Artemisia
  6. Calendula
  7. Chamomile
  8. Cilantro
  9. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)
  10. Sweet Woodruff
  11. Lavender
  12. Lemon Balm
  13. Mint
  14. Catnip
  15. Basil
  16. Oregano
  17. Parsley
  18. Anise
  19. Rosemary
  20. Sage
  21. Dandelion
  22. Thyme
  23. Nasturtium
  24. Valerian

Crops:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Strawberries
  3. Raspberries
  4. Blackberries
  5. Cherries Sweet
  6. Cherries Sour
  7. Pears
  8. Peaches
  9. Grapes
  10. Rhubarb
  11. Sweet Peppers
  12. Banana Peppers
  13. Eggplant
  14. Onions
  15. Shallots
  16. Snap Bean Bush – Purple, yellow and green
  17. Snap Bean Pole
  18. Peas
  19. Spinach
  20. Lettuce
  21. Cabbage
  22. Swiss Chard
  23. Beets
  24. Radish
  25. Carrots
  26. Cucumbers
  27. Pumpkins
  28. Gourds
  29. Winter Squash
  30. Zucchini
  31. Yellow Squash
  32. Cantaloupes
  33. Water Melon
  34. Sunflowers
  35. Tomatoes
  36. Celery
  37. Broccoli
  38. Potatoes
  39. Yellow Tomatoes
  40. Paste Tomatoes

wp-image-1321768642jpg.jpeg

Preserving:

  1. Strawberry Jam
  2. Grape Jelly
  3. Black Raspberry Jam
  4. Red Raspberry Jam
  5. Peach Jam
  6. Pear Jelly
  7. Apple Jelly
  8. Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
  9. Canned Cherries in Syrup
  10. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sweet
  11. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sour
  12. Basil Banana Pepper Jelly
  13. Apple Sauce
  14. Grape Juice
  15. Pear Juice
  16. Tart Cherry Juice
  17. Pickled Beets
  18. Canned Beets
  19. Vegetable Stock
  20. Vegetable Soup
  21. Tomato Sauce
  22. Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Peach, Cherry Cordials
  23. Chili Sauce (Two different kinds)
  24. Bread and Butter Pickles
  25. Frozen Corn
  26. Frozen Peppers
  27. Frozen Beet Greens/Chard
  28. Red Root Relish
  29. Lemon Sage Wine Mustard
  30.  Dilly Deans
  31. Pickled Hot Peppers
  32. Sweet Crisp Pickles
  33.  Crushed Tomatoes
  34. Whole Tomatoes Packed in Water
  35.  Canned Green Beans
  36. Frozen Peas
  37. Frozen Winter Squash and some stored whole
  38. Chili
  39. Stuffed Hot Peppers
  40. Stuffed Sweet Peppers

 

So far, we are already doing mighty fine with our 2017 gardening goals and we have had plenty of rain too. Yippee!

This last weekend we added 3 more raised veggie beds which brings my planting area to about 200 sq. ft. of space to work with. Yippee! Thank you Mr. Ripley for working so hard. (He said it was my Mother’s Day present).

To date we have planted carrots, peas, radish, and lettuce but much more will be planted by the end of this week.


How will I keep track of all of this? My journal. And lists. LOTS of lists. Should be interesting! Wish me luck and I will keep you updated. -MM