Sunday, March 20, 2011

In Case You're Wondering!

I really wanted to blog, but my camera cord won't transfer all the beautiful shots I've taken.

Step-by-step how to soak sweet peas, plant them (with a little helper, too!) and the day they started sprouting and I acted like 2-year old with a birthday present.

The entire flat of Sweet Williams that are sprouting, the exotic nasturtium, of which only 2 sprouted because the seed is 5 years old, and all the cosmos that came up, even though they were 5 years old, too.

The little black Dachshund that we're dog-sitting, and how much we love her.

The Fabulous Organic Potting Soil that I bought, and all the seeds that I can't wait to plant. How my husband is distraugt that I have not yet planted FOOD!!!

I love beauty- he loves to eat.

Somehow me must balance each other out.

Hope your seed sprouting is going well! If you have questions, feel free to ask!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Soil Issues

The potting soil that I bought from a large-well-known- superstore for $10 is full of green moss, weed sprouts, twigs, and large roots and leaves. My husband is less than impressed. That could be a recipe for fungus and disease. This is the type of soil that I used in the past. It is a compressed bale of soil with peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, and other amazing stuff. The organic stuff is definitely my preference, but it is also definitely more expensive as well! This stuff is amazing! I want some now....

Here is where you can find a great selection!

Seed Sprouts

Seeds are sprouting!


Here is the lettuce,


An excellent idea that I learned at the greenhouse was to record your planting. It makes a wonderful reference- even for future years.

Here are my new seeds- thanks to Nature's Pantry!!

Almost all heirloom, and 15% off, plus my 5% discount! And it supports a great family seed company that produces excellent quality seeds.
It helped alot when I got my woodstove going abain. It helped get the soil temperature up to 70 degrees. Our homes are usuall around 70, but it has been pretty chilly around here, so the stove helped my plants sprout right on up!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Seed Starting Ideas

If you cannot afford a shelf for starting seeds, here are some ideas.

My friends used planks of wood stuck through those cinder blocks that have 2 holes in them.

You can even set the flourescent light fixture on top of the blocks if you don't have a good place to hang.

My husband considered hanging the lights from the ceiling with 4 chains hung screw-in hooks, anchored with sheet-rock anchors. This way you can set your plant trays on a table.

I'm so excited about buying some heirloom tomato seeds to plant. Now there is how to really save money. Buy seeds once and save your own seed so that you never have to buy again.

Unless you get bored and want to add some variety to your garden.
I get bored easily and I love variety!
I am sure to come home from the store with more than just tomato seeds. I can feel it!
Trying to be cheery on a dreary day,

Hints of Spring...

There are definitely hints of spring around here! I hear songbirds in the mornings, and the air is beginning to have that wonderful hint of spring freshness.

I do apologize for my long absence from blogland.

I was without internet for a week, and before that, I was selling things on eBay to make money. Now I am gearing up for a new challenge; I am looking forward to it!

There is so much to catch up on, but the first thing is that I have been honored to write a guest post for TheGroceryShrink blog, about starting your own seeds! It will be posted at her website

Here are some I just planted today- Jerusalem Lettuce and Stock (see 1st pic!)

I'm delighted to be starting my own plants again, and hope some of you check back in for tips and ideas as I document this years' 'adventure'.

First off, I suggested using plastic egg cartons, if you cut a good size 'V' notch in the bottom for watering purposes.

To demonstrate, I stuck my finger through. :)

Here are the 6-packs in a flat

Here are professional strip planters, good for planting lettuce very thickly. At the right size of growth, the whole strip will pull out for replanting, connected by the root mass. Pretty cool!

Here are professional 'plug' seedling trays, with 162 holes. This picture also shows how my lights are longer than the shelve, but it actually provides extra growing room.

Here is the egg carton filled with soil. The lid has holes cut in it as well.

This little roll of stuff

my husband cut into pieces and bent

into brackets to attach the light fixtures to the shelf.

He's pretty handy that way.

This is a picture of the shelf, the potting soil, the light bulb package, and so on.

This picture was to demonstrate how easy it is to use, and the height of it. But since you don't know how tall I am, it's not that informative. Oh, well. Love me anyway. :)

Gardening Bessings to you all!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching Up and Casting On

Sugar is one of the food groups.
It must be, because I nearly died when I went without it.
I am joking.
Kind of.
I think the lack of sunlight and bitter cold caught up with me and my self imposed sugar fast pushed me over the edge into Seasonal Affected Disorder.
But never fear. During this week when I was not blogging, I was knitting.
I started a sweater and never stopped until I realized that I had messed up. The sweater might be bulletproof, it is so thick, and I do not have enough yarn to finish. The yarn is 5 years old, and the dyelot changed a few times since then! I am so proud of myself. I jumped in and learned alot.
Now it will be either a scarf or a bag.
Here I am modeling it.

And again.
I've noticed that most bloggers do not take pictures of themselves. I think that is odd. I love having my picture taken.

Here is my sleeve now. One of them.
And here is Paul Bunyan.

And you thought he was a tall tale.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pom Poms

Hi again folks,
sorry to be so long away. I have been busy cleaning off my bookshelves and selling the books on eBay.
I did teach the children how to make pom-poms, and they have had such fun doing it. Here is the video that I used. Even my 4 year-old could do it! I took the idea from Country Living magazine and made Valentines day colors and then hot glued them onto sticks for a fun loving "bouquet".
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An Experiment

Ok, so I started this blog to blog about sewing, crafting, and maybe a little (hopefully) fun step-by-step instruction for beginners. But because I don't get to sew as much as I would like yet, I add things about my life, my children, and toys.
Because toys are so neat.
But my experiment is stemming from an email that I recieved yesterday, telling me of the evils of sugar. Sugar (supposedly) causes changes in your DNA decreasing your lifespan, causing fatigue, anger, mood swings, acne, and weakens your heart.
In an effort to eliminate
1 acne
2 belly fat
3 fatigue
4 mood swings
(In that order. :))
I will abstain from sugar for 30 days and execrcise every day for at least 20 minutes and see if it helps at all.
I WILL ALLOW maple syrup, honey, date sugar (dehydrated ground dates), agave, or stevia.
Just NO turbinado, cane sugar, sucanat, (blessed Sucanat- I love you!)or... sugar! Duh.
Look folks, I've done those yeast killing diets where you eat nothing but vegetables and meat and a few select whole grains. I got down to -100 pounds and looked and felt like a consentration camp survivor. I have my doubts as to whether the benefits of it outweighed the damage it did to my thyroid. So this experiment seems very mild to me, and within the range of normal.
My motivation is that-I LOVE having lots of energy. I LOVE having a stable mental outlook (i.e. no mood swings), I LOVE having a clear complection, and I ADORE having a flat stomach.
Yes. I am slightly obsessed. So here is my before picture with my messy bookshelves in the background. Forgive me. It was the best lighting in the entire house, considering that we are under a blizzard watch.
So there is my game-plan for going sugar free for 30 days.
(I will keep you posted. Oh wait, that's what blogging is all about.)
Love and blessings,
The Sugar-Free Seamstress

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Of Doll Dresses and Play Tents

Lydia decided that Baby Laura required clothes-notice her Rapunzel hair?

since she had none.

She is so thoughtful.

She is working on a 3rd dress now. Aren't they cute?!! I designed the "ballet slippers" all by myself, since Isabelle pleaded for them. I am happy to report that she likes them.

Meanwhile Babykins was bothering his sisters, so I made him a tent.

He is being a dog

see how he's panting?

Now he's just being cute.

He's having a tense moment

But he recovered quickly.

Bad picture- he looks ill.

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apron from a Jumper

My sewing students had this clever idea. They took an outdated jumper, cut it off at the sides and shoulder and made an apron out of it.

It's still not done, but we're having fun cuting out shapes and sewing them on. See how I didn't get the pumpkin finished at the bottom?

They added the towel, and all the fabric trim.

It's a little like a halter style, tie-behind- the-neck...

Have a creative day!

We Interurrupt this Program to Bring you...

Two cats,

and an Angelina Ballerina Bag.

I know I started Lydia's dress, yesterday, but Elise wanted a bag "like Angelina Ballerina-all purple." So I made up a pattern-

and sewed it together, lickety split.
I cannot tell you how I did, because it is top secret.

Hush, Hush.

I CAN tell you that it took exactly 60 minutes from the first snip of the scissors to the first picture. And she loves it. So do I!!
It's very cute.
(Note: there will be a future post, addressing the plight of the "drowning"doll in picture #4-
just to keep your concern levels down.)
The ADD Seamstress,