Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Given that we made this decision on the way home on Sunday we were less than prepared for it. However it didn't go badly. This is what we did.
We agreed that the kitchen was exempt from the rules as we had not prepared any food, bread needed making and I needed to make a cake for visiting friends tonight. The living room was lit by candles all night and we only lit as many as we needed. Spadger played banjo most of the night (no change there) which requires no power. Even his metronome is clockwork. I obviously spent most of the night in the kitchen but when I was free I tried reading for a bit. There wasn't quite enough light for that so I opted for knitting. The cardigan I'm making for Spadger is just garter stitch so I can do that in the dark! When we needed to go upstairs to the bathroom we took a candle in a jar. We got ready for bed by candle light.
All in all it was lovely. Definitely more planning needed for next week but I really feel that we can manage this every week. It was nice to not have any noise (apart from the banjo of course). I found that I was sleepy at a good time because there was no bright light to keep me up. At one point I did struggle to think of what to do but that is mostly because I need to figure out a candle arrangement that I can spin by :o) Now I know going without much power one evening a week isn't going to make much difference either to our bills or the world in general. Even less so in summer. But it felt good and I think that is the important thing.
Friday, 21 January 2011
Each block is going to be themed. The first theme is centred. I've chosen to make the centre square of my block out of an old pair of tights. I've had these tights since I was about 14. I wore them to death and then turned them into a set of sleeves for under tops. I've then had them in a bag after that stopped being a style I wore. I couldn't throw them, I loved them that much. I always knew I would find something else to do with them. It is important to me that they are the centre of an Ecologically minded quilt. They have been upcycled and hoarded and loved. They really do represent the use it up/wear it out mentality I adore. The rest of the block is made of a pillowcase (I backed the tights in that material too) that was given to me by a friend as part of a massive pile of old bedding he was throwing out. So the first block is totally 2nd hand. Love it!
Edited to alter pic sizes. You should be able to see all of them now
Thursday, 20 January 2011
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Friday, 14 January 2011
The computer died while I was in the middle of setting up my Folksy shop so it looks like the mini empire is on hold for the moment. Just as I was gathering momentum too. Ah well.
The chickens are laying well. I won't say anything about the quantity yet. I'm waiting til I get home tonight as then I will have a weeks worth.
The new oven is running nicely. It's a whole gas mark hotter than it should be but at least it is a whole one which is easy to compensate for. Much practice cooking!
Nothing else of interest to report. At least not without a computer. Hopefully we'll be up and running again after the weekend so I'll see you all soon!
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
He's not quite as good as Geldoff as far as I'm concerned but considering how rushed I ended up being I'm quite pleased with him. Spadgersdottier squealed when she opened him so that made me happy :o)
The next fibre based offering for you is my first handspun yarn. I got my wheel in October and I have been practicing by plying lots of scraps of wool together. I finally broke out the raw fibre and spun one bobbin of Jacob and one of English. I then plied those together. It's uneven and fairly ugly but I love it. I've learnt so much already and can't wait to get more fibre.
Saturday, 8 January 2011
We have however been checking the nest boxes regularly. You never know right? Over this last week a couple of them have been starting to look like they may start soon. Their combs and wattles have become a bright red and if you go to pick them up they squat down in a position which says they are preparing for the rooster.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 9 to let the girls out. I'd had a late night and really just wanted to stay in my warm bed but the livestock comes first. Clad in my dressing gown and wellies I gathered the kitchen scraps and corn ration and headed out into the still snowy outdoors. It was cold and wet and really not shaping up to be a great day. I scattered corn in the run, tipped out the scraps and cleaned and refilled their water hanger then let them out. Hilarius was clucking like a good un just as she does every morning. Shall I check the nest boxes I thought to myself. Yeah why not. There are 4 boxes. Nope, nope, nope, squeal! Our first egg. As quick as I could I locked up the run, ran inside, shed my wellies and woke up Spadger. As far as I was concerned I didn't care if he was grumpy 'cause I woke him up. He had to hold the first egg while it was still warm. Yup they had only just laid it. So without further ado I give you Sheldon.
Complete with piece of straw and a feather. It is small and perfectly formed. So perfectly formed in fact that we felt they have laid a few previously that have been failures, no shell etc, that they have eaten so we've not found them. Usually the first few are a bit hit and miss as they get the hang of the whole shell thing. We resolved to check again after we got back from shopping and the farm. Lo and behold in the actual coop hidden in sawdust there was another egg. Smaller than Sheldon and still very fresh. I tested it by dropping it in a jug of water. How far from horizontal on the bottom it lays tells you how fresh it is. There is an air pocket in the round end. The older the egg the more air. As long as your egg is still in contact with the bottom of the jug it should be ok but I'd crack it into something other than your baking or pan just to check. If it floats get rid! Anyhoo, Eggbert laid horizontal so I think he was either yesterday or today. Sheldon is still the first though as we found him first.
The 2 hens most likely to be responsible are Hilarius and Linus as they squat and the others still run.
Oh frabjous day!
Friday, 7 January 2011
I love coloured and patterned tights. They're a great way to inject some bright into an outfit. I don't hold with certain colours in certain season either. Wear bright yellow in winter and remember the sunshine says I.
I've spent the last few years being more conservative in my dress. Less patterns, less colour. Less me to be honest. This week I've been in flowered, purple, fuchsia and bow pattered tights. It's a start. My biggest problem is the lack of tops in my wardrobe. I've spent about 8 years in vest tops due to fluctuating weight and self esteem issues. One of my plans for the new year is to make myself plenty of different tops in my kind of fabrics.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
I'm sat here waiting for eleventy million photos to convert. That might be an exaggeration but only just. Over the last 2 nights I've been implementing stage one of setting up my crafty shop; photographing everything. Spadger made me a lovely stand to hang everything from. It means I can take a decent photo and could also use it at craft fairs if I start doing those. The plan was to re size etc but I'm not sure I can be bothered tonight. I won't make a dent in them and I've a hankering to watch another episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We borrowed the first 4 series from S~ and N~ and have been powering through them. I can only do that if the pics finish converting as that takes a lot of power and makes other things jump on the computer. Also I would have to pull Spadger away from his banjo hehehe
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Usually I hate new year. I am one of these people who looks back to the past a lot so normally I become quite maudlin at new year. This year we had Spadgersdottier and the 3 of us went round to our friends S~ and N~ house with another friend B~. We exchanged Christmas gifts (I got teacups. You have no idea the joy this brings me) and had a lovely meal. Us 3 girls made a course each and it was delightful! We then drank much (though as it was over such a long time no one was drunk) and played games until 5:40am. Yes folks we were all up until way early in the morning. Even Spadgersdottier. This would have been fine but we had to be at my muns for about 2 on new years day for dinner. We ended up being only an hour late and that is because I insisted on getting changed. I wanted nice pictures so I made some effort.
This year is going to be full of stuff for me. Here is a bit of a run down. WEll, I say bit. It's kinda mammoth! It is really the implementation of the plan. I will be setting up a couple of online stores, more info to come, and all money will be going in the savings to get us the farm. We want out of the rat race and we want it bad. So I'll be honing my sewing, knitting, spinning, soap making and jewellery crafts. Much going back to basics and getting really good at them. Polished products is what I'm after or who will buy them?
I'm going to start making Christmas presents straight away this year. I finished Spadgersdottier's on Christmas Eve! Never again I tell you. I'm thinking of making many general things but I'm not sure I like that idea. It only seems one step removed from buying 3 for 2 rubbish from Boots (apologies to anyone who buys those, I just find them impersonal). I'm hoping to have gotten good enough at spinning to make S~ and B~ a skein of wool each. Maybe even for N~ as he knits.
On the soap from I'm hoping to do an course on the legislation/safety front as I can't sell anything without being certified. That will be later in the year though.
Farming/gardening/foraging will play a big part in my year. Going to be more organised this year and take full advantage of everything around us. I'm looking forward to the exercise to be honest!
I intend to start meditating again this year. I was really good with it after we went on a course a while ago now but it sort of petered off. Going to bed later meant that I just felt I didn't have time. I'm thinking before bed and maybe setting my alarm 10 mins before Spadger's in a morning and having a quick one then. I think there definitely needs to be a bit more focus and centering in my life. The push for the farm is going to be stressful and Spadgersdottier informed me over Christmas that she doesn't like it when I'm grumpy. Oops, not been keeping such a good lid on the mood swings then.
I'd like to be more adventurous with my cooking this year. I do tend to make the same things over and over. I'm not thinking anythin exotic where I have to go to 4 different shops just to get the ingredients, just stuff I've not done before. I might look into some more traditional recipes. This is of course after my oven gets fixed. That's right folks. It broke on Boxing day. Right in the middle of making bread while feeling really ill. I was not happy. Hopefully someone will be sorting it this week.
Now I'm not sure if you guys know but I am growing my hair really long. I've been working on it for years and am finally getting somewhere. I abused my hair for YEARS so it's taking a long time to get anywhere due to the damange. To be honest it would have been better if I'd just shaved my head and started again. My plan for this year is to focus on the health of my hair rather than the length. I think I have been doing more damage by not trimming and have therefore gained less growth than I could have.
Well I think that is about it for a rough outline of my plans for the year. I'm gonna try real hard to blog more about it all and talk to you guys. So what are your plans for this year?