I really need to finish this project amongst many others.  My life seems to be clogging up with unfinished projects and good intentions.  This kind of behaviour can cause stress, especially when you see the clutter of materials collected and still no changes made.  I envisioned my daughter’s bedroom transformed with 3 simple changes but after a whole summer…nothing.

I suppose I can blame it on gardening, working, and road trips but alas…that is wearing thin.  Today I make the duvet cover.

So what I have done so far is purchased a queen sized sheet from a thrift store.  I will then sew it to another same sized sheet, and leave an opening for the duvet to go in with velcro pieces to close it up.  Simple yet an annoying task with a messy house.  I’m up at 5 am right now to get cleaning so I can start by 8.

photo 1-7So these are the two sheets.  The purple is for the bottom.

photo 2-5I sew them together now with right sides facing in.

Because the sheets were not completely the same size I had to get creative and adjust but as you can see after an hour, Maggie has a new duvet cover.

photo 3-4I still have to tweak it a bit but the job is 90%.  I am content for now.

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So my friend Sarah mentioned to me “hey let’s enter the Wearable Arts Show!” I said ok.

I got busy saving plastic film, wrap, foil, and used plastic bags.  I developed a way of making snippets and nesting them into colours.  I then ironed them between waxed paper and voila… splendid sparkly snowflakes of all colours.

photo 1photo 5photo 4

So then I cut the new plastic material into triangles and machine sewed them onto an old wedding dress.  I know I make it sound so simple but believe me..tedious.  Plus I made a lot of mistakes but eventually found the style and method I wanted.  Here is a picture of the beginnings.photo 1

Under construction.photo 2

And finally on stage.photo 3

I’ve been saving plastic bags, wrappers and other forms of film for years.  My family has always wondered what I’m ever going to do with this collection.  I think they fear I may be borderline hoarder, which perhaps, I am…. but then I make things out of of the hoard.

This is the kind of stuff I do when I’m not in my garden or searching for wild goods.  It’s been rainy lately so …out comes my inner thimble.

fabric scraps plastic film scrapsSo basically, I made a rough template for the purse.  It’s just a rectangle with a rounded corner.  I fused the plastic together with an iron and newsprint and cloth over top. Parchment paper is the best thing but I was all out so these were a good alternative. I pieced plastic and cloth together with my sewing machine and then attached sturdy plastic film to that.  I used two milk bags…the clear ones that hold the actual milk.  I never throw those things out.  They are great for storing food, freezing hamburger and chicken breasts, sandwiches, travelling (washcloths, toothbrushes etc.) Anyway, I finished the edges and folded the bag together and voila! A funky little bag for lunches, makeup, photos, whatever you want.  I gave it to my 14 year old daughter Maggie who is a budding artist and can appreciate it.  It’s kind of rough and needs a clasp or big button but I can do that later.  I didn’t use up all the plastic so be ready for another project in the future.

plastic fusion handbag back of hand bag

I love Autumn.  I love the colours, the fresh smell in the air, the wind, the darkening sky, and of course the comfort of food.  I’ve been bringing in squash and making lots of soups and casseroles but forgot about the 12 pound turkey and now I have to do something with it or it will go bad.  So today is an experiment and hopefully a delicious one.

Instead of just cooking it, which I have not always been successful at, I am utilizing it.  I have all the dark meat in a crock pot, have roasted the bones and carcass with onions, herbs, carrots, and celeriac, and have the breast and skin in a weak brine in the fridge ready for stuffing it with the pulled, and seasoned dark meat.

photo-13chopped pulled turkeybutterfly then poundSo here you can see the butterflied breast that I pounded out.

stuffed turkey breast I then rolled the dark meat inside the pounded out breast and placed the skin tightly over the roll.  Because skin shrinks when cooking, I put some stale bread slices around the whole thing to keep moisture in.  Homemade garlic oil was drizzled over as well as rosemary, sage, salt and pepper.  Should be amazing.

Today is my only true day off this week and I have decided to spend the morning collecting Plantain seeds and Amaranth as well.  The Plantain was really easy.   Just scrape off the already dried seed pods into a bowl, sieve, and winnow.  I only got a small spice jar full so I’ll be going out again for more.

Plantain seed in the Fall

Plantain seed in the Fall

First stage of Winnowing.

First stage of Winnowing.

green tomatoesSo I hear it may be going down to -1 tonight.  That means I really should bring my tomatoes in as green as they are.  I have been successful however in ripening in a paper bag with an onion.  Like myself, you may be a gardening and wildcrafting enthusiast but may need a little guidance.  Here is a really good e-book that is economical as well.

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On a positive note, roots will be ready for harvesting after the frost. its year burdock and dandelion will be sweeter, milkweed, sarsaparilla, and wild carrot if you are making medicines and coffee alternatives.

 

While most people right nphoto-2.jpgow are bringing in their beans, tomatoes, and chard…I, Thimbleroot am harvesting the last of the Red Clover tops and Amaranth 2nd cutting. I have picked my first 3 quarts of Wild Grapes as well and am eying up that goldenrod. Now of course I do appreciate a good domestic haul and have my own garden but why not supplement.

 

Fruits of The Earth by Blanche Pownall Garrett, 1972.

Fruits of The Earth by Blanche Pownall Garrett, 1972.

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Not all quite ripe, they have however, exposed themselves.  Miniature clusters of blackish purple grapes alongside their green, yet eager, bedfellows are somewhat ready for the picking.  Well my Husband did just that.  He picked enough in a blue bin that we got exactly 3 quarts.  I found an old recipe in a book my Father owned in the 70s.  I liked the look of it.  Simple, yet well researched, unlike some of the internet instructions.  The author basically acknowledges that if grapes, or any fruit, were to be fermented, you would not need anything, but he adds some simple things to make the process nicer and with a more palatable result.  I just can’t wait.  They’ve been in a pail under a tea towel for 2 days now.  In 6, we add the sugar and bottle in 4 months.  Just in time for the Yuletide and Christmas Holidays.

Sounds a bit contradictory but here is what I see.  It is raining, a light drizzle.  The sky is a solid light gray… yet the leaves are brilliant reds, oranges, and rusty yellows.  The moss is brilliant in shades of chartruese, lime, and emerald.  So dull yet so bright.

A great day for cooking and making fun teas.  This morning, because I’m off coffee for a while, I made my burdock and dandelion root beverage in brown rice milk.  I did this on the stove, whisking and never letting get to the boiling point.  This keeps the nutrients in.  One drop of Stevia and it was delicious.  Just what I needed;  something robust and full of character but mellow and comforting.

Today is just full of contradictions.

Regards,

JL