Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Handmade Holidays - a simple pouch

This year, I will be putting three little gadgets into a stocking, and needed a way to package them up. Something the gadgets could be kept in all the time, something handy, so I decided to make these little drawstring pouches, with a tab on the side (for a caribeener)  to clip onto a belt.

Originally, I wasn't going to share this little tutorial, thinking it was just too basic.  Then I thought that maybe some of my readers don't have experience sewing and a tutorial for an easy peasy and basically free project might be just the ticket to get someone started, so here we go.  
You could use any fabric you want for this, but if you are a beginner, and don't want to start a fabric stash right away, consider this:  I cut the legs off of a pair of outgrown toddler pants that were too worn out to donate to the thrift store.  The back side of the leg was still in great condition (after all, how often do you wear out the back of the pant leg?) and just the size I needed for one pouch.
I used a rotary cutter, a straight edge, and a cutting matt.  These are great investment if you plan on doing more and more of your own sewing, but a pencil and ruler with a pair of scissors will do the job as well.
I cut a rectangle from the fabric: 5" x 11" for mine but you can aIf you don't have a serger, you can zig zag stitch the edges, or leave them plain if you are not terribly concerned about your fabric fraying (jersey knit, wool, fleece, faux suede etc).
This will give you nice neat tidy edges on the inside.  If you are a beginner, you may scoff at the idea of putting in an extra step before you even start sewing, but the longer your pieces last, the more inclined you will be to actually stick with it.
 I also cut a piece for a tab.  You can omit this entirely, or use a piece of ribbon for your tab instead if you choose.  That's the beauty of using what you have on hand, right?  If you are not going to serge the ends, sew along the long side and one short side of the tab (my piece was about 2 1/2" x 4", and then folded in half).  Then turn it inside out.  If you are are going to serge the ends, you can just sew along the long side, turn it inside out, and then serge the ends afterwards.
 To turn it inside out, you need to fold the open end over the rest of your "tube" and pull bit by bit until the inside works its way out.
 Sometimes near the end it helps to stick something in there to poke your corners out.  A crochet hook, a dull pencil, a bamboo skewer, whatever fits.

Ok, now to assemble the bag.  Fold your rectangle in half, right sides together, lining up the edges neatly.  You can pin it in place  if you want.  Sew along one side of the bag only, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  Because I expect these bags to get very heavy use, I decided to put in a double seam - along the red lines in the picture above.
 Fold down the top edge of your bag to determine how much space you are going to need for your drawstring.  I used a shoelace, so 1/2" opening is ample in my case.
Sometimes it is helpful to mark your spacing with a pen.  In this case, it will also help you with the positioning for your tab, if you are putting one in.
Slide your tab in between the two right sides of the fabric, facing into the bag.  Once you are done and turn the bag right side out, the tab will be on the outside.
 Now, sew up the second side of the bag, leaving an opening where you marked your space for the drawstring.  You can't see the tab here, but it is just to the right of the opening.
When you roll over your top edge, the opening should be just inside your hem.  Sew around the top, being sure to sew below your opening, but above your tab.  
 Turn your bag right side out.  To put the drawstring through, I always find it much easier to insert if I attach a safety pin to the lace/ribbon/elastic.
Insert the drawstring through the opening, and guess what - you are done!  That wasn't so overwhelming now was it?
Pat yourself on the back.  

How is your handmade holiday making coming along?  Anything you would like to share?

                         needle and Thread at in the Heart of my Home
                         Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder
                         Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
                         Make it Monday at Brassy Apple
                         The Backyard Farming Connection's permanent link-up 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Planning Ahead

Some of you may know that I am a "plan for disaster" kind of girl.  I have an evacuation pack in the basement (I recently read that each member of the house should have their own, so I will be looking into that), our basement is stocked with canned food to last a few weeks in case of disaster, we have some large bottles of water stored (not enough, but we do have some).  You know what I am talking about , right?

I should explain that we live in a small city in Ontario referred to as "Chemical Valley".  Everybody here is recommended  to be equipped for a shelter in place in case of a spill/leak/disaster - most ignore it, but I cannot.  Tornadoes in the county are not unheard of.  The power goes out on a regular basis in the winter.  You get the idea.  So I have always tried to keep things on hand in case we need to dash quickly, or in case we have to shelter in the (unfinished) basement for an extended period of time.

Where am I going with this?  Although I have a good stash of food, I am nowhere near the 3 month supply that is recommended in case of a pandemic or other equally disruptive major disaster.  Because I have most of the things outlined by the Canadian Red Cross, I thought I was pretty prepared, but realistically, if something is going to happen here, it is going to be BIG.  So I thought I should maybe do a little more investigating.  I came across this pretty comprehensive list over here and decided I need to get my butt in gear.  Plus, it has been pointed out that I haven't done "Three things on Thursday" in a while, so why not combine the two.

I figure picking up 3 things a week will get me well on my way to completely setting ourselves up without causing too much strain (either time, stress, or money).  So here is what I started with this week:

Water.  We used 4 jugs of our water stash this summer when we rented a cottage that had no drinking water.  I finally replaced them this week.  We now have 6 4L jugs of water.  We obviously would need more than that, but I don't like buying water in plastic jugs, especially since we have to use it and replace it every year to keep it within date.  I am working on my conscience on that one.

Yeast.  I hadn't thought of stocking up on yeast at all, but it was on the comprehensive list I mentioned above.  It's brilliant actually, because we get get so so bored of canned food.  I use enough yeast in a year to keep it rotating through anyways.  I bought one spare jar for now, and I will pick up another jar some time later down the line.

Sugar.  Same as the yeast.  I now have one extra bag in the basement, so each time I finish the sugar in my kitchen, I will buy a new bag as usual, and then rotate out the bag from the basement.  Plus, sugar would go a long long way in a disaster.  you could even barter with it if you were so inclined.

Because I have most of the basics already stocked up, I will be trying to stock up on things that would make us just more comfortable in the case of a disaster.  We do have children to keep in mind and little things could go a long way in helping maintain family harmony.

This week, the three things on my list are soy sauce (this will go a long way in flavouring bland foods), popcorn seeds (we eat a lot of popcorn, and it has a very long shelf life, so we can easily keep this in rotation), and honey.

What do you say - want to come along for the ride?  What are you going to try to pick up this week?  Do you have a suggestion for something we should all have in our "bunker"?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Finished object, and a birthday.

I'll be joining yarn along at small things just to show the hat about half way down this post.  It's N's birthday hat, so this post will be all about him.  I haven't yet shared the pictures from N's birthday...he declared it the best birthday ever.

Homemade english muffins for breakfast, with "rhuberry jam" as per his request.  Then school, even though he asked to skip for the day.
Dessert was "candy sushi" - cupcakes, rice krispies treats, and cookies wrapped in fruit by the foot and topped with coconut and sprinkle "rice" and candy for the filling.  This is his new mama-made sushi plate that is supposed to look like bamboo.  It kind of does, and the wonderful thing about N is that he loves everything I make...even when it doesn't come out as I intended.  And he sure loves having special dishes for individual things - like eating spaghetti from a sushi plate.
 A lot of candy sushi... N sure loves his candy, so for his birthday - why not, right?
He had also been asking for a campfire on a daily basis for weeks and we hadn't had time yet.  So of course, for his birthday, some of our friends came over for a lovely evening around the fire.  And sparklers. N has become a firebug.  He loves to start them, he loves to watch them, he loves to light candles.

He truly enjoys life!  I need to take a little page from his book and live in the moment the way he does.

His Saturday chore is to clean the powder room.  He lights candles to do it because "it's prettier".

He takes true delight in selecting his herbal tea from the tea chest - it's like a treasure box to him - and then he savours every single sip.
I shared this hat a few weeks back being modeled by his brother (N hadn't received his birthday hat yet).  This is how N wears it in the house because "it makes him look like an elf".  Actually, this is also how he wears it in the grocery store, and on the way to school if it is not so cold that he needs to pull it down over his ears.  Never mind what people say about his hat - this is how he likes it.
And this is a tame version of his daily sock choice.  He likes to wear non-matching socks because matching socks are just too boring.  I should add that he is usually wearing much brighter colours on his feet.  He has a selection of red, teal, green, blue, striped, solid, argyle, and a couple pairs of white for "please wear some decent socks today" events.  He has been doing this for 4 years now - and you know what - then longer he does it, the more people he converts.

He calls our attention outside whenever the sky looks interesting - pink in the morning, multicoloured in the evening, a strange shade of orange or yellow - he never ever misses one.

He collects rocks that sparkle, or look interesting (never mind that he leaves them in his pockets when the pants go through the laundry).

He has the biggest pile of blankets on his bed that I have ever seen.  Last night  I counted 2 sheets, his "soft blanket", a bigger soft blanket, a quilt and a comforter - just so he can make a big nest of it and curl in all nice and cozy.

He will eat a whole bowl of popcorn with chopsticks, just because he loves eating with chopsticks.

I truly hope that he doesn't outgrow the delight he takes in simple every day things. Two nights ago it was "Oooh, breakfast for dinner?  That's fancy - let's light some candles!"  And I hope he continues to teach me these things.  May you all take a page from his book today and take delight in the moment.  I plan to.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Handmade Holidays

Holiday preparations have been started in good measure around here.  After Thanksgiving, and N's birthday (which I have yet to share) we get pretty motivated to get things started so that we can enjoy December without the stress and the hustle and bustle.

Getting Organized:
Every year I print myself off 4 blank calendar pages - September through December.  I usually print these off in January, after the holiday season and jot down a few notes...what I left for too late, what didn't happen, what we loved...then I put them away until September.

September's sheet has things like finding all the cookie recipes, calling to book an appointment for the boys' photo, making my supplies list for Christmas cards.  In October, I start the "big cleaning".  I like to get each room done, one per week, so that when December arrives, I just have to maintain it rather than clean the whole house top to bottom.  I also start cookie dough, a batch or two per week to put in the freezer in advance (did you know most cookie dough recipes can be frozen for three months?).  I also like to start the things that can be done in advance...more on that later in the post.  November I focus on getting things in order - finishing up the cleaning, the cookie dough, shopping for non-perishables - things like that.  And then that leaves December clear for cookie decorating, parades, parties, sledding, and decorating.

Cookies, cookies, cookies:
Cookies are a big part of the holidays for us.  Cookies, if you haven't heard, are my second favourite food group, but I really do try to control myself.  In September, I find all the recipes, make the list of teachers/neighbours/friends that need cookies over the holidays, and hardest of all, make "the list" of cookies to make this year.  In October, I make up a batch or two at a time, roll them up in wax paper, and then freeze them in milk bags or bread bags until we need them.  Incidentally, if you wrap these rolls of cookie dough in fancy papers, they make a great gift for a family that just doesn't have the means or the time to make their own.  Don't forget to label your bags with indelible ink - even though you think you can tell them apart - it's much easier to read the label then to have to unwrap them for a full inspection.

All those cookies need to be delivered in pretty packages too don't forget.  This week, to save some last minute stress in December, I sewed up the bags that the cookies will be packaged in.  I make these in a few different sizes (bigger families means more cookies, and our closer friends also get a nice variety).  I make a few more than I think I will need, that way if a surprise comes up, I can just package up another little bag of goodies.
And all those bags of cookies will need tags, of course.  Last year, I made some fabric feathers and attached some craft feathers, and wrapped them all up with a wood slice tag.  Ummm, we have a cat.  He is a feather thief.  I found feathers for days, not to mention the number of tags I had to remake because the cat destroyed them.  This year, I am opting for some pottery tags.  This is phase one - they have to dry, and be slip decorated, and then glazed and fired...all of which I will do over the next couple of Monday nights at pottery "class".  The cat can't get these, and they were actually quite quick to make up.  I made a few extras in case of breakage.  You can do this with salt dough, or that air dry clay you can pick up at the craft or even dollar store.  I'll try to remember to share them when they are all done.

I'm curious - do you start early to take December nice and easy, or do you thrive on the hustle and bustle?
Feel free to share!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Eat what you grow/Grow what you eat - October

It is time once again for the update of my challenge.  For those of you who are new here, I have challenged myself (or someone in my immediate family) to eat something from my garden every day for a year.

So, how have we done in the last month?  Not too bad, until Sunday.  Can you believe that on Sunday, I just plain forgot about it?  No reason, no excuse, I just simply wasn't paying attention.  Usually jam or mint tea saves the day, but we didn't even have that.

So, here is the rundown:
In the last half of September, we had peanuts:
lots of tomatoes and jalapenos(which we were giving away by the basket full to spread the love), the first carrots, cabbage, green peppers and lots and lots of herbal teas (the weather was starting to change, so this was a lovely way to "eat" from the garden).
I pulled some of the frozen tomatoes out of the freezer to make some spaghetti sauce.   Another batch was made with store bought canned tomatoes, but with our own tomato juice, peppers, jalapenos, and herbs added in.

We have enjoyed another round of chocolate zucchini bread and muffins with some zucchini I froze in the summer.  I was sneaky and also added an eggplant in there and nobody even noticed.  I have a lot of eggplant to use up!  Note to self:  plant more zucchini next year.  I only planted 2 this year...I think I need 4 at least next year.

The first half of October has been interesting as we start to put the garden to bed.
The carrots are being used in soups, stews, school lunches.  Herbs are being used in soups/stews/stuffing/ stuffing bread and spaghetti sauce, plus of course - tea.  I have pulled and used leeks for the first time ever.

He are still enjoying some of last year's salsa.  We have already broken into the jam (Homemade english muffins with homemade "rhuberry" (strawberry/rhubarb) jam was N's birthday breakfast of choice on Friday - with a repeat on Saturday morning.

We have also enjoyed the first of the pickles.  It has been difficult to wait for them, but it was worth it.  My husband does not like garlic (*what??*) so we replaced the garlic in our pickles with lemon thyme, with the dill of course.  Oh my land's sakes!  It was so so so good.  I plan on trying a whole variety of herbs in the pickles next year. 

We were excited to try this heirloom watermelon. We weren't sure we were going to get one at all because they were still quite small, but I thought I would just go ahead and harvest it anyways before the frost got it and it happened to be ready after all.  It was truly delicious.  I will be planting these again next year.  I couldn't collect the seeds as I only got one melon from the 4 plants (we may still get one more if we are lucky, but I am not holding my breath).  I will be starting them earlier in the house next year.  I actually did start them early this year, but the squirrels ran away with the first 2 batches and I ended up planting the seeds directly in the ground when it was almost too late.

And arugula.  I didn't used to like arugula...now it is my very close friend.  I love it on burgers.  I love it on sandwiches.    I really enjoyed an arugula pesto (that the boys did not enjoy at all).  I just whizzed it up in the food processor with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, parmesan, and walnuts.  I tossed it in with the tiniest pasta I could find.  I enjoyed it for 3 days since the boys wouldn't eat it.  Oh well, I will still do it again. 
Most of all, I enjoy that it replants itself and keeps on going.  We have had a few frosts, and the temperature has hit 2 degrees C a few times and it is still going strong.

What are you eating from your garden this month?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dyeing with walnuts.

I have been experimenting with natural dyes for a while now, but this time, I was blown away.
The yarn on the right is just walnuts...no mordant, no vinegar rinse - just walnuts.  It is by far the nicest colour I have ever made.  The ball on the left is the yellow yarn I made with carrot tops that I re-dipped.  I am much much happier with it now.
 A friend of mine gave me a bag full of black walnuts from the tree in her back yard.  I cut along the outside and twisted them open like avocados to get the hull off.
 I am letting the nut dry out before I split them open to get the "meat" out.  In the meantime, I put all of the hulls in my dye pot and filled it with as much water as possible and let them soak for one week.

By the way...you should wear gloves.  I knew this, but I always forget to wear gloves.  The picture above is what my hands looked like when I finished separating just that bowl of hulls.  It got worse and worse as the day went on until half my right hand was dark dark brown - almost black - and no matter what you do, it will take days and days to wear off.   Today is day 8 since I separated the hulls and I still have dark brown stains around a few of my fingernails.  It did, however, give me high hopes of what would happen to my yarn:)

So, the hulls soaked for one week.  I brought the whole mix up to a boil and simmered for about an hour.  Then I strained it through a regular household strainer (that I only use for dyeing) and plunked a piece of linen in the pot, just to see if anything would happen.  That's when I realized that I had forgotten to finish spinning my yarn that was intended for this particular dye pot.

The linen came out a nice camel colour just from sitting in the dye bath while I finished spinning.  Next up was the wool.  I didn't even get it wet first (I forgot in my hast to test out the new colour).  I just put it in the pot, returned the pot to a simmer, and let it sit there.  I had intended to let it soak for an hour but after half an hour, the colour was GORGEOUS so I took it out.

I loved it so much I walked around the house seeing what else I could throw in the pot.
The top piece of linen was my first test run.  It's kind of a nice dark camel colour.  The wool (that came out chocolate) was my 2nd piece in the pot.  I thought I would try cotton (on the far right above) but it came out looking like dirt.  I decided to go ahead and overdye my yellow yarn from last week, and then I thought I would try to tie dye a piece of linen but I didn't put the elastics on tightly enough (bottom piece of linen in the photo above- right above the white piece).  Overall I am quite pleased with everything.  I could pretty much get a succession of lighter and lighter pieces as they came out of the pot.  I will definitely be doing this again next year - with linen and with lots and lots of wool.

What have you been dyeing lately?
Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On over at Frontier Dreams on Tuesday.
                        The backyard Farming Connection (Hop)
                        Barn Hop over at Homestead Revival
                        Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia on Friday
                        Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder
                        Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest
                        Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
                        The Self Sufficient HomeAcre for the creative homeacre hop
                        Wildcraft Wednesday at the Self Sufficient HomeAcre (shared with other hosts as well)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Long weekends.

This weekend, while I was in the kitchen making some soup stock, I figured I may as well get out the dye pot at the same time.
I had this many carrot tops, times two, in my freezer hoping to get to this soon.  I have been told that carrot tops make a very reliable green so I thought I would give it a go.  According to my dyeing book, using alum for the mordant would give "chartreuse" and tin should give "deep celery green".  Deep celery green sounded lovely, so I chose to go with tin.
Carrot tops simmering in the dye pot look suspiciously like pond water.

I added the tin and stirred it all up.  No problem so far.  Then I added the cream of tartar, and that is when the whole pot turned cloudy yellow.  I was under the impression that one always has to add cream of tartar to the dye pot...maybe that is just with alum.  I have since looked it up, and it turns out that cream of tartar can be added to the tin "if desired" to soften the wool, and change the colour.  Hmmm.
This is what the colour looks like compared to the daffodil dyed yarn.  It is clearly not "deep celery green".  I currently have some walnut hulls soaking so I might give it a little dip in there after dyeing the next ball of yarn to tone down the yellow a bit.  I'll have to see what happens to the test run though.

Incidentally, I finished the fingerless gloves and have started a second pair to give as a gift.  I used a free pattern from the internet - by Bernat - but try as I might I can't find it again.  I will have to check on my printout and add it here later.  It is on their website and the pattern is "Softee Chunky - Family Convertible Gloves/Mittens".  You have to sign in to get to the patterns.
For mine, I used a bulky yarn and larger needles and then followed the kids pattern.  For the "gift pair" I am using two strands of worsted weight yarn and following the adult (men's) sizing. 

In the kitchen:  I had a pot of beef stock simmering on the stove for most of Saturday.  I bought some bones from the butcher for it.  In the past, I have pretty much stuck to chicken stock as those are the bones I usually have on hand, but I wanted to see if it really was the stock that made a difference between my french onion soup and my mom's.  It is.  I had plans to make a huge pot of soup and pressure can several jars to have on hand in the winter, but by the time I was done and we had some for dinner, I only had 3 pint jars left, so I put them in the freezer.

Here is my recipe:
Put a good size glob of butter in your pan...more than you think you will need.  For this many onions...
 ...I'm guessing about 9 or so (that is a pie plate, heaped) plus this many leeks...
...12 small ones...I probably started with about 3 or 4 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.  I added the leeks because I had originally bought 2 bags of onions, but used half a bag over the weekend, so I wanted to top it up.  They are from my garden so as a bonus, they will be the "eat something from the garden" ingredient for the next 3 times I eat my soup.  Little bonus there.

Saute the onions (and leeks) until they start to caramelize a bit.  When they start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add another pat of butter (1 tbsp at a time) if needed and scrape up all those nice brown bits.  Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of flour on top and stir stir stir.  It will want to stick and burn at this point.  When it is all a nice golden colour, add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups white wine and again, scrape up all those nice brown bits.  Now add your stock.  Beef stock.  I have always used chicken in the past, and trust me on this one - it makes a world of difference.  (This is the stock I spent all day Saturday simmering and then dropped a third of it on our back porch steps bringing it in from the garage).  I think I probably had about 7 cups.  Adding more would not hurt at all if you have a really good broth going.  Add a bit of tabasco (sounds weird I know, but it makes a difference) or Buffalo wing hot sauce if you ran out of tabasco (*grin*), 4 bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about half an hour.  Then top it up with bread/croutons of choice, cheese of choice, and broil it until it is all melty and delicious.

From the bookshelf:  I have finished reading "The Far Side of the Mountain" which follows "My Side of the Mountain" and the child in the book is always eating wild plants.  It has peaked my interest enough to check out a book about edible wild plants from the library but it isn't a very good one, so I will be going back to check out some more.  I am also reading the current issue of "Mother Earth News" a little bit at a time on my lunch break at work.  

Linking up with:  keep calm craft on at frontier dreams on Tuesday
                          yarn along at small things on Wednesday
                         the backyard farming connection
                          fiber arts friday at Wisdom begins in wonder
                          creative friday at Natural suburbia 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my Canadian readers.  I wish you all the best of family, friends, laughter, harvest, abundance, comfort, and plenty to be thankful for.

A thanksgiving surprise for the family, made by my youngest son, N.  I love it!

Now, if you will excuse me...I will be in the kitchen.  For the next three days.  I am taking advantage of the cool, crisp weather to make some soups and stocks that we have been waiting for...and of course our thanksgiving feast.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Catching Up

Whew!  It's gotten busy around here.

It is our busy season at work (my husband and I work for the same company, so we are actually both busy - I'm busy in the office in the day - and back up to full hours, and he is working longer hours (very) for the next couple of weeks).

School is back in full swing - and the extracurricular activities that comes with it.  We decided this year that the boys would not be doing any extracurricular activities outside of the school board, which is a good thing since they have both signed up for cross country, lego robotics, plus soccer for S and spirit club for N.  Most of it is during school hours but 2 or 3 times a week, it is after school or in the evening.

Pottery class is back!  Yippee! Nothing new to share yet, but I am working hard at improving my skills.

All this means that there is less time for crafting and sharing.
I have managed to finally finish of a new wool hat for N's birthday (being modeled on the ever cooperative S for the picture).  A truly simple hat...cast on 80 stitches of worsted weight on size 4.5 needles, k2p2 rib for ages, then decrease 4 stitches every other row 6 times, and then every row 6 times, and then k2tog, k1 around for a couple of rows until you have a small enough number to thread your yarn through.  It is my go to hat for N because he loves it.  The orange yarn in there was dyed with Easter Egg dye a while back, and the grey was left over from his hat I made last year that was his favourite hat ever.
I am almost done this fingerless mitt for at work.  It gets darn cold where I work sometimes.  The guys all have layers of fire retardant clothes and coveralls on, so sometimes in the office, I am quite chilly.  If I turn the heat up, they melt, and since there are many of them, and only one of me, the better solution is to layer up myself.  This stash bash fingerless mitt is made of very chunky wool that I spun myself.  It was my first attempt at chunky yarn and I quite liked it but had no idea what to do with it because there was only 8 ounces of it.  It is the yarn I dyed with daffodils.  I don't know that you can really see it, but the last two inches (right by my fingers) is green. That was daffodils too with an afterbath of copper.  It is a really lovely colour in person.

In the kitchen:
An experimental focaccia with four flavour toppings.  I wanted to see what the family liked best so each flavour stripe was cut in 4 pieces and sampled.  The verdict:  the hubby liked the tomato best, I liked all but the tomato, S liked plain and olive, N liked plain and he says he liked the tomato, but he actually pulled the tomato off and left it on his plate - ha.  He did the same with the onion the next day in his lunch.  We will be experimenting with more flavours shortly - I'm thinking herb and garlic or just herbs.  And, as a bonus, I got to use my pizza peel for the first time ever.  With a little practice, it will be great.

 Sorry, my computer won't let me rotate this today! 
My parents recently made a trip to visit family in Quebec.  My aunt sent me some treasures from my late grandmother's house.  This book, for one - a surprise since she didn't speak a word of english, but I guess she must have just followed along with the pictures...and...

 a crocheted rug that will be going into N's room - at least until I can finish the one I started for him months ago, a small vintage table cloth, a beautiful piece of woven linen and some other woven pieces that I will have to investigate.  I am pretty sure they would have been woven by my grandmother many moons ago.  At least one has some irreparable damage on a part of it, so I won't even feel bad cutting it into some smaller tea towels.  I love getting these care packages of treasures every once in a while.

I'll be linking this up with  Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia and Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom begins in Wonder on Friday.