Monthly Archives: December 2009

Seeds for the New Year

I’m embarking on a new project. I’m going to try to grow lettuce and other leaf crops inside to give us some salad greens. We haven’t set up our plant light yet, but today I planted lettuce and Swiss Chard and hopefully everything will be ready by the time they germinate. If it works, I hope to plant successive crops to keep the supply going. It’s all very new to me so we’ll see how it goes. This is not a very exciting photo, but I hope to be able to share pictures of a little indoor garden in a few weeks!

While we were in Halifax Seed we were turned on to sprouting, which is something I’ve heard about but never tried. We now have two bottles, one of broccoli and one of wheat berries, hidden away under the counter, quietly sprouting away (I hope).

We have a lot of frozen vegetables in the freezer from the summer, and we haven’t really touched them yet as we’ve still been able to get local produce. And also, I admit, in all the business of the season we’ve more than once ended up at the grocery store buying imported produce. But this, along with some pretty unhealthy eating, must now change! We will now rely on what we can get from the market and, when we find things lacking, dip into the freezer. It will be interesting to see how long it takes us to work our way through our store, and what we wish we had more of. Having a bit of fresh lettuce and sprouts of various kinds will be a welcome addition.

And besides that, it seems like the perfect thing to be setting up on New Years Eve; planting the seeds of new beginnings and imagining what will come of them! Happy New Year!

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A Little Snowy Walk

Christmas has happened. All the preparation, the gift making, the decorating, the cooking, the eating and celebrating. And I have found that I took pictures of pretty much nothing! We have just returned from visiting family in the valley, where I should have been taking photos left and right of the beautiful houses, the cookie decorating and the joyful  (if a bit cacophonous) music making. Not to mention the beautiful winter landscape. I was constantly eyeing the way the yellow tufts of grass stuck up through the snow, the dark purple of the mountain backdrop, the intricate tangle of bare branches….. But alas these things will just have to live inside my head!

This morning we woke up in my aunt and uncles beautiful “Christmas house”, and I at least managed to pull out my camera as went for a little snowy walk down to the river before heading back to the city.

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Printing

At the last hour, some Christmas card printing. Well, perhaps not the last hour, but getting close!

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Simple Snowflakes

Sometimes simple decorations are the best.  Paper snowflakes are so basic, and yet there is always that little feeling of marvel when the snowflake is unfolded and your random scissor cuts are transformed into meaning and design. Besides, who can tire of the endless snowflake possibilities?

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Christmas Doings

With out getting into any great detail, here are a few of my “Christmas doings”.

Food-stuffs ready to be delivered and greenery waiting to deck the halls.

A carving block to finish and cards to be printed.

Some handmades to be wrapped.

I hope you are all enjoying your own particular “Christmas Doings”!

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Welcome Wreath

We’ve had our wreath from the Ecology Action Centre for a week now, but I just got around to decorating it. I had plans to do something with cranberries and popcorn but we didn’t have any of either, and I didn’t seem to be making any progress in getting any, so I decided on the gingerbread. I used my new Christmas cookie cutters and some ribbon and raffia and there you have it! I think it looks quite jolly!

Christmas is getting closer! It’s about this time every year that I have all sorts of ideas of things I want to make and do and I start to realize that it’s not all possible….. But that’s when I remind myself just to enjoy what I am doing. I love making cookies, or knitting presents, or designing cards and I am determined only to be happy about what I’m making, not regret things that didn’t get made!

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Soft Toys with SHYM

A few weeks ago I started some soft toys with my group at Supportive Housing for Young Mothers.  I wanted to give them a chance to do something a little different, and since I’ve recently been doing some sewing, it seemed like a good idea. I tried to make the experience as accessible as possible and success a good possibility. Above is my example. I cut out some very simple templates of a bunny, cat and bear for the soft toys. Each person got to choose and had to trace and cut out the shape. The only real detail to the toys is whatever face features they chose to embroider. I should also say that I provided a sheet with some embroidery ideas for noses, mouths and eyes. Normally, I would let people just use their imagination, and of course, some of them did anyway, but because I was pretty sure the whole embroidery thing would be new to them, I thought it was ok to include some examples.

By chance, it was a group of only four, so we had a nice intimate work session. I think they enjoyed it, though there were a few frustrations. I think it would have been really good to have embroidery hoops but as this was our only embroidery project, and I was expecting 9 people, I didn’t feel we could buy them. Only one person finished on the first night, and then I took it home to sew it up on the machine. She did a really nice job! I also liked how she picked the pink embroidery floss with her daughter in mind, and the cat template because her daughter had just started saying “cat” . I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a photo of her daughter with the toy, but there is always so much going on at the sessions.

Last night we had another session but as there were new people and some of us were starting on a Christmas project, the dynamics were such that only one other person finished the embroidery. (She had a few problems with it, so I’m really glad she stuck with it!) So 2 out of 4. But you never know, I may be able to persuade them to do a little bit each time and get them done.

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