Archive for October, 2011

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!¬† Time to do the dance of joy!

In all honesty, it’s not completely finished, there are a few kinks and things to work out, but it’s my very first website and I am overall quite proud of it! ūüôā¬† Please come and take a look!

Along the way, a few hard decisions had to be made.¬† Like, what was I going to do with Laundry on the Line?¬† This has been my beloved blog of several years now, where did it fit in this new space? ¬† I contemplated moving everything over to the new site and combining it all under one name.¬† And I still might do that.¬† But for now, I have decided to keep this blog as it is.¬† (I’m just not yet ready to give up my laundry line!) ūüôā¬† So….the new blog is my new home for art and creative endeavours.¬† It will be a place where I can get in depth into sewing and creativity,¬†a place for pattern testing and discussions¬†on fabrics and sewing techniques.¬† It will also be a place where I flex my creative muscles and try new things, like the¬†Art Every Day challenge I am starting tomorrow.

So what does that mean for Laundry on the Line?  It means that this space now has room to be what I have always wanted it to be.  A place to live simply in a complicated world.  A place to garden and cook and appreciate the world around us.  A place to stop and ponder and smell the flowers.  A place for laughter, and friendships, and everyday life.  A place for inspiration too, just of a different sort. 

I hope you will continue to join me here!  And for those of you who love sewing and creating as much as I do, I hope to meet you at the new site too!

Happy Halloween!

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Yesterday, I was outside enjoying the sunshine while I harvested more lettuce, herbs, celery and beans from the garden.

I even took some time to do a photo shoot with a  new sweater friend on such a beautiful sunny day:

This morning I woke up to this:

By lunchtime it looked like this:

Winter is here.  Perhaps this was why I had dreams I was sewing hats and mittens and scarves last night??

No complaints though.¬† We’ve had a beautiful fall.¬† And there is something special about the first snowfall – even when it sweeps in like a lion!

Has winter arrived where you live?

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The new shop is here!!

It has been months of work, but it’s finally here.¬†¬† ¬†Introducing, my new shop………

Find me on Etsy!

Find me on Facebook!

I even have a new website/blog coming soon!

I’m still adding and creating items every day, so the shop selection will continue to grow over the next few weeks.

I am really excited about many of the changes I have made to the shop, but am the most happy about finally being able to show you what has kept me from the blog the last few months (you didn’t think I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs, did you?)¬† I still have a few things to do on the new website, but hope to introduce you to that sometime next week.¬† Lots of things happening here at Laundry on the Line!

What’s new and exciting with you?

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I know I haven’t been writing here as much as usual.¬† Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through this busy time and still read my posts.¬† You mean the world to me!

We have been extremely blessed this year with an abnormally mild fall.¬† Usually by this time my garden is frost-bitten and gone, except for carrots, but this year we are still harvesting lettuce, spinach, herbs and celery.¬† Oh the celery we grew this year!¬† Seriously, if you live anywhere close by and you would like to have your own bunch of fresh-from-the-garden celery, please let me know!¬† I am happy to share from our bounty.¬† I’m also considering sending all my friends bouquets of parsley and dill¬†– what do you think?¬† ūüôā

This extended warm spell has also given me lots of time to harvest most of the herbs I grew this year (other than the basil, which faints at the first sign of cold, but luckily I already had most of that made into pesto weeks ago.)

I am pretty simple when it comes to preserving my herbs.

I pick them.

I brush off any dirt that might be sticking to them.

I freeze them in glass jars.¬† (We have a plethora of glass jars because they aren’t recyclable here, plastic bags would work too.)

I enjoy them all winter long.

That’s it.¬†

I make pesto with basil, and this year I tried to make a parsley paste of parsley and oil, which I froze in small clumps as I do with the pesto. 

I decided to try to do this with a mortar and pestle, because I heard that it is better for the colour of the herbs when you do it this way.¬† Next year I will go back to using my food processor.¬† The end result was not quite as “pasty” as I would have liked it, more like clumps of parsley suspended in oil.¬† However, when I’m tasting that fresh parsley flavour in our winter cooking I won’t be worrying about consistency.

Anyone else out there enjoying a mild fall?  How are you preserving your garden harvest?

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7 Things You May Not Know

I feel very honoured this week to have received a blogging award from my friend Amy at NonMom.  I always enjoy reading her posts (and admire her many talents!) so an award from her means a lot!

In giving this award, Amy asked me to share 7 random things about myself.  So here are 7 things you may not know about me.

1.¬†I don’t have a favourite food.¬† Every time someone asks me what my favourite food is I kind of stare at them blankly as I reject idea after idea in my head.¬† I am jealous of people who confidently say “steak” or “bananas” or “my Mom’s chicken noodle soup.”¬† I don’t even have a top 3, or even a top 5.¬† It seems strange to me that a woman who spends so much time thinking about and preparing foods can’t pick a favourite, but there you have it.¬† I don’t have one.¬† ¬† ¬†

2.  I have really crazy dreams almost every night that I remember in detail in the morning.  I also have dreams that run in a series, kind of like watching a tv show with each night being the next installment of the story, and I also have dreams for weeks at a time that run on a similar theme (running away from something, for example.)  I often wonder what it all means.

3.¬† I don’t own a cell phone, I’ve never sent a text message, I still use a VCR, and the main phone in our house has a cord.¬† And I’m ok with that.

4.¬† I haven’t watched TV in almost a year.¬† Now that I’m out of the habit, I don’t know¬†when I used to find the time.¬†

5.¬† When I’m reading a good book, I have trouble doing anything else.¬† I try to¬†get other things done, but I spend¬†most of time thinking about when I’ll get my next chance to read.¬† And I’ll stay up way too late, convincing myself that I’m not really tired and can read just a few more chapters.¬†(My name is Andi and I am addicted to books.)¬† ¬†Because of this I often have to limit fiction reading to week-ends and holidays.¬†

6.  I love to learn.  At the moment I am reading books on farming, sustainable living, cooking with traditional foods, running a business, herb gardening, the prophet Elijah, and the art of writing.  Almost every day I listen to recordings of people speaking on a wide range of topics (this is often what I do when I am cooking or sewing.)   If I took every course and class on my list of interests, I could probably keep myself busy for the next several decades.  And when I learn something new, I love nothing better than to share this knowledge with others.  (Which is perhaps why I love blogging so much!) 

7.¬† Remember those emails that used to get sent around all the time that usually had some beautiful message, or that were just plain funny, but then following the main email there was this huge to-do list and dire warnings: “send this to 7 friends in the next 7 seconds for lifelong peace and happiness, but if you don’t send it on you will be wretched and unhappy and you will experience bad luck for the rest of your life”¬†¬†¬† The best of these emails¬†I would send on – AFTER I deleted all of that junk at the bottom.¬† I am a big proponent of no-strings-attached mail.¬† (and just in case you are wondering, I have not had years of bad luck and unhappiness as a result.)¬†¬† ūüôā¬† I don’t do chain letters either.¬† For all those who never received their hundreds of postcards, favourite recipes, or pretty panties because of me, I apologise.¬†¬† I am the weak link in the chain.

As a result of #7, I also don’t believe in giving awards attached with rules.¬† So I am going to¬†pass on this blogging award with No Strings Attached (I can hear a collective gasp coming from the blogging award followers now.¬† Please Do Not tell the blogging police where to find me….)¬† If you want to pass it on,¬†blog about it, share random facts about you, go ahead, but don’t feel you have to!¬†

But I did want to take a moment to acknowledge one of my favourite bloggers.¬† (Because why not take a minute to share the love when you can?)¬† So today, this award goes to…..

Small Town Girl¬† – I loved this blogger from the moment she shared that clotheslines were one of her favourite things. ūüôā¬† Although we have never met, I consider her to be a friend in the blogging world¬†and always look forward to finding out what she is sewing or cooking, or what exciting thing she is doing with her daughter on Toddler Tuesdays.¬† I think if she and I lived in the same town, we might be friends in the real world too.¬† Thanks Small Town Girl, for sharing your life with us on your blog!

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In this moment I have herbs that need harvesting, a project in half-completion in the sewing room, a book half-read whose story dances around my head even when I have decided I MUST leave it and get back to doing something more productive.  My to-do list extends well beyond what time and space will ever allow, as my creative mind dreams up 20 new projects to start before I have even finished the first on the list.

And yet, I can’t help seeking out new inspiration, dreaming new dreams, solving new problems.

Truth be told, I don’t think I’d want to live any other way.

Here are just a few things that have grabbed my attention lately:

Sew, Mama, Sew is posting daily holiday inspiration.¬† I want to make a neighbourhood of these¬†and isn’t this one of the coolest scrap-busters ever?

I somehow stumbled across a new blog today and am in love with some of the cute crafts!   I am definitely inspired to do something creative with all of the buttons I own.

I was also reminded this morning that what I have is enough, I learned to use picnik¬†and created my own banner for my new Etsy shop (more on that in a few days), ¬†and I discovered this fun Halloween treat¬†¬†and am busy trying to think of a way to make it¬†without the chocolate.¬† (I’ll let you know if I come up with something!)

Isn’t¬†it wonderful to¬†be a part of a world-wide community of idea-sharers?¬† ¬†What is inspiring you today?

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Thankful for Beauty

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends and readers!  After a bout of cold weather here (and even a little snow!) we have been blessed with a weekend of summer weather.  I am enjoying the beautiful warm breeze blowing through the window right now and know I will be out in the garden later today, harvesting herbs and cleaning out some spent plants.

On this week-end of thanksgiving, I am so thankful for the beauty that surrounds us.  I am continually awed and inspired by the landscape  here Рthe rivers, the trees, the hills, the valleys.  How blessed we are to be able to hop into our canoe and enjoy views such as these.

Enjoying it all with the people I love makes it even better. 

What are you thankful for today?

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The nights are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, and my garden is starting to look a lot more brown than green.

It is time for the fall harvest.

After another two frosty evenings in a row, some plants in the garden are finished for good.

I went out in the garden and harvested all of our tomatoes.

Red – Northern Delight and a few Beefsteak, destined for salsa, bruschetta, and BLT sandwiches (where the “B” stands for Basil –¬†yum!)¬† I already canned the bulk of them as salsa and stewed tomatoes.¬†

Green Рnot even enough to make green tomato mincemeat!  I might try to half (or quarter!) the recipe and at least make a small batch for winter desserts.

I also harvested all of the Mystery Keeper tomatoes, which will keep us in garden-fresh tomatoes for at least the first few months of winter.

The green and yellow beans are finished, but I did manage to have a snack of fresh green peas while I was poking around the garden.¬† This is my absolute favourite way to eat peas, in fact, they rarely make it into the house (there’s local eating for you!)

Our soldier beans are not quite dry yet (and with the wet season we have had, many have rotted away), but I did collect a small bag of the first of the season.¬† These will be made into baked beans (Hubby’s favourite!) throughout the winter, as well as substituted for other varieties of beans in burritos, nachos, soups and stews.¬†

And what would a garden harvest be without a zucchini or two?  We almost missed out on these with our cucumber beetle attack, but one plant survived and I have been able to harvest enough for fresh eating on pizza, in omelettes, and stuffed, and have frozen some of the bigger specimens, pre-grated, ready to keep us in muffins (and more muffins!) for the next few months.   I also discovered a wonderful recipe for zucchini waffles which I made yesterday and loved!  Kind of like a waffle version of zucchini bread.  I added orange juice along with the milk in mine for extra flavour. 

I pulled out the pepper plants which are no longer producing, and harvested jalapenos for salsa and jalapeno cheese sauce.  I like to cut them in half, seed them, and then freeze them for later.

The carrots, squash, lettuce, spinach, chard,¬†and potatoes are still growing nicely.¬† The onions are curing on our deck, although I must admit I have already started cooking with some of them, I just couldn’t resist!

Most of the herbs are still flourishing, except for the basil which I pulled out by the roots yesterday and incorporated every leaf  into making pesto, which I also freeze for later, some in ice cube trays and some in small glass jars.  I of course saved a few plants to go with the delicious tomatoes all over my counter, but their season is almost done. 

I must admit I have a certain satisfaction in knowing that our freezer and store room are starting to fill up with the food that will take us through the winter.  Food that started as just a tiny seed in the ground only a few months ago.  Growing your own food is a wonderful thing! 

What are you harvesting from your garden?

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