Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Heirloom

This year I found five heirloom tomato plants at my local grocery store (I love you New Seasons). After a cool, wet spring my tomatoes are finally starting to really grow. Hopefully they will have time to ripen before the cooler weather hits, or I should say stays as the next seven days are suppose to be in the low 70's. I finally picked my first tomatoes of the year.

Paul Robeson and Yellow Pear tomatoes

I wanted to enjoy the flavor of the tomatoes so I made a simple salad by slicing these tomatoes. I added a few lemon basil leaves from my garden and drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar. These have so much flavor. I must say after eating these its hard to buy grocery store tomatoes.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preserving Summer's Bounty

I've had the past month off of school and had wanted to do a lot of sewing during this "break", but I've found myself working on other projects instead. Earlier this summer I picked local strawberries and made homemade jam. It was my first time canning as an adult and I couldn't get any of my jars to seal. I purchased canning supplies also hoping to make some pickles as well. However my interest, and LeMont would say obsession, has gone beyond strawberry jam and pickles to many other canning projects. I love the idea of eating something I've preserved myself. Equally important to me is knowing when my food came from, especially in our current food system. The egg recall has only increased my desire for healthy, local food. Plus its great to know that  by using reusable canning jars it also limits the amount of resources I'm using.

Over the past month I've made dried peaches, peach jam, kiwi jam, dried kiwis (very sour, I may not keep them), dried blueberries, pickled green beans, pickles, cucumber relish, spicy pickled carrots, blueberry lemon jam, blueberry lime jam, and blueberry meyer lemon marmalade. I've filled up a whole shelf in my pantry with preserved goods.
Here's a few pictures of what I've been doing.

I would love to hear what you've been working on lately.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crater Lake National Park

I know I've been absent for a while. I've been a little stressed with my school projects. I've also been working on some fun projects as well that I will post soon. Tonight I'm spending my evening with my fiance BBQ-ing and watching Whale Wars. My kind of Friday night! LeMont and I have been dreaming of a vacation but haven't been able to make it work this summer, but I thought I would post pictures of a trip we took in 2008 for my birthday. We went camping at Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon. It is so incredibly beautiful. I would definitely recommend it.

                         If you ever visit, definitely hike up the mountain to see the amazing view.

                                                        Take some silly pictures of yourself.

 Hike through still melting snow (in August no less).

 Hike down the the water edge. 

                      And be sure to take the boat trip around the lake. (Look how clear that water is.)

Man I need I vacation.
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oversized Floral Silk

 So far 30 feels pretty good. I had several friends over Saturday night to celebrate my birthday. I had such a wonderful time and feel lucky to have a great group of friends. Today I thought I would share a quick project that I had mentioned last week. I found this silk jacket at Goodwill for 4.99. It was too long in the length and the sleeves and the shoulders were too low. I loved the fabric and hoped that I could alter it to make it fit better. Here's the before..

 I shorted the length, shortened the sleeves, added pintucks to the shoulders and sewed the button back on.
 Although the pintucks aren't perfect, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think it will be perfect for late summer and fall. I can add layers under it and can also add a sweater or jacket over it.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Berries, Peaches and a Dehydrator

I grew up in a family that was incredibly resourceful. We grew an organic garden, baked our own bread, canned produce during the summer, and sewed much of our own clothing. During the 80's this was very uncool. We would often get the question, "Did you make that?" in a tone that meant it wasn't cool to do that. I told my Mom many times that when I was an adult I would not be doing any of these things, but she always told me that someday I would thank her. I seem to have gone through a change over the past year. I have started gardening, sewing, and yes even canning. In this past year I have noticed that I appreciate those things I've spent time making much more than something I bought, and now when I'm asked if I made something the tone is one of interest and appreciation. So I guess my was right (I hate when that happens).

For my birthday during the day I went to the island to pick blueberries. Yesterday I went on a walk to pick wild blackberries along the road and today I went to the island to pick peaches. I just bought a food dehydrator and dried most of the blueberries, as well as some of the peaches. I think tomorrow I might make some jam with some of the peaches. I think next week will be pickles.

 This morning I had banana-blueberry bread and wild blackberries for breakfast.

mmmmmmmmmm peaches

Tryin' out my new dehydrator!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Little Garden

This spring was very wet and cold so it was pretty late in the season when I was finally able to plant my garden. This time last year I was picking cucumbers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, but the first of my harvest is at least a few weeks from now. Here's how it looks right now.
Here's my zucchini plant with a few little squashes starting to grow. 
 Here is Oregon we have Himalayan Blackberries that grow wild. They are incredibly invasive and often choke out native plants, however they taste great.

 One of my jalepeno plants with so many yummy peppers growing!

 Beautiful heirloom tomatoes finally!

 My cabbage has been attacked by cabbage moths.

One gross photo, sorry. My garden is often overrun with slugs. I can handle slugs in while hiking, or really anywhere but my garden. They especially love newly sprouted plants. This is the solution I found that works wonders, though it rather disgusting and you need many throughout the garden. You start out with a plastic container and add beer. The slugs crawl in and drown. Another option I've read that works in copper around the garden but that can get expensive. I might have to do that as these little buggers are everywhere!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Big 30!

So I'm officially 30! My little sister and I are two years and one day apart and throughout childhood we shared our birthday parties together and always wanted the same gifts, including our cabbage patch kids. My Mom always wanted us to have our own day, but we insisted on sharing. I was thinking about her today and missing her, wishing she didn't live so far away. So in this spirit I thought I would share a photo of the two of us from childhood.
                                                  (I was six years old in this photo)

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Floral Silk

Hi Friends, I wanted to thank all those who are following my blog and those who have added such kind comments. Over the weekend I finished a project from my stash of thrifted clothing. I wanted to share it with you today, but I worked too early this morning and just woke up from a nap, sooo I thought I would wait until I am showered and my hair is not sticking straight up. Anyways, I cut shortened the item and used the fabric for another project which I will share with you. I got my idea from many sources and those of you old enough may also remember these necklaces from the 80's. Here is my inspiration


                                   I found this plastic bead necklace at Goodwill for $2.00.

                            I cut the necklace apart and cut fabric strips of a beautiful floral silk fabric.
To make this I tied a knot, then wrapped the fabric around the bead then tied another knot. Another way to ensure the bead stay in place is to fold the fabric in half and sew a seam, but I was feeling lazing and didn't do this.

I cut several petal shaped pieces, stitched them together in the middle and sewed them to a knot.

And here's how it turned out. I'm pretty pleased with it, although I cut the ends fairly short so i added a clasp. I think next time I will leave them longer so I can simply tie the fabric.

Thanks for stopping by,