Monday, September 30, 2013

In my garden

Just one more time. How is it possible that I didn’t take one single overview photo in September? Time flies… Here’s how the garden looks now.


And this is how it looked through the past few months:

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The herbs are still going strong (though I don’t have a clue which are perennial and which not)

The leek can grow just a little bigger

And the strawberries still think it’s summer

We’re going to eat the lettuce and rucola tonight and that wraps it up. The garden is empty and clean. Well, it doesn’t look clean, I know. But when we were cleaning out the beds, we realized that all those rests contained really good stuff. I considered a compost heap, but Theo thought we could just spread it out and let it rot till spring. It does sound a bit like permaculture, but we don’t know if it will work. We’ll see in spring.
I would have loved to have a weedless garden to show you for this last (for now) update, but it didn’t work out. Let’s just keep it realistic. We’re having some nice fall weather and the weeds would have grown back instantly anyway.

A few notes to wrap things up:
:: radish: loved them, but I now know not to move them and I should sow in lesser quantities to enjoy them all summer

:: leek: slow grower, but it just grows. Like that.

:: cauliflower: hard to grow, great attraction for caterpillars. Maybe I’ll skip it next year.

:: broccoli: see cauliflower

:: kale: I give up. We eat it after first frost, but I never get that far. Always gets eaten by caterpillars and snails

:: carrots: sow thinner, but definately growing them again next year

:: beans: my favorite this year, a big yes for next year

:: sweetcorn: a must-have for my husband and I love it too. I do have to find a spot for them. Maybe I’ll try the three sister method next year. Corn, beans and zucchini are supposed to be great together.

:: none of my seeds came up, but the seedlings I bought did great. Sow in containers myself or keep buying seedlings.

:: endives: always doing great, but I need to stop sowing so much (still don’t like eating it)

:: tomatoes: going back to just a few plants in containers next year. This year I was ambitious and it was a disaster, but before I always had a nice little harvest.

Plans for next year: depending a bit on circumstances. I do know I want more flowers, shrubs (berries) and (edible) perennials, aside from the vegetables. I like the concept of permaculture and edible gardens, but I need to find a way to make it work in our garden and lives.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Busy Bee

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Wishing you all a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Knitting pattern ~ spiraling hat

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I knit a hat like this before, but that time I didn’t take notes. Since someone on ravelry asked me how I made it, I did this time. It looks a lot harder than it is though. You basically just keep shifting one stitch, because you cast on one less then you would need for a rib. But here it is, all worked out one round at a time…


Spiraling hat

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CO 83 stitches, join in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Use a stitchmarker to mark the beginning of the needle (round)
1: K7, P7 , repeat, eind with P6
2: P1, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with P5
3: P2, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with P4
4: P3, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with P3
5: P4, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with P2
6: P5, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with P1
7: P6, *K7, P7, repeat from *, end with K7
8: P7, K7, herhaal, end with K6
9: K1, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with K5
10: K2, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with K4
11: K3, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with K3
12: K4, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with K2
13: K5, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with K1
14: K6, *P7, K7, repeat from *, end with P7
15 - 56: Repeat these 14 rounds 3 times (4 times total)

Start decreasing, change to double pointed needles when needed, but keep in mind that you need to shift stitches along the way.

57: K5, K2tog, P7, repeat, end with P6 (77 st left)
58: P1, *K6, P5, P2tog, repeat from *, end with P5 (72 st left)
59: P2tog, *K4, K2tog, P6, repeat from *, end with P4 (65 st left)
60: P2, *K5, P4, P2tog, repeat from *, end with P3 (60 st left)
61: P1, P2tog, *K3, K2tog, P5, repeat from *, end with P2 (53 st left)
62: P3, *K4, P3, P2tog, repeat from *, end with P1 (48 st left)
63: P2, P2tog, *K2, K2tog, P4, repeat from *, end with K2, K2tog (41 st left)
64: P4, *K3, P2, P2tog, repeat from *, end with K2 (36 st left)
65: K1, P2, P2tog, *K1, K2tog, P3, repeat from *, end with K1 (30 st left)
66: K2tog, P3, *K2, P1, P2tog, repeat from * (24 st left)
67: K2, P1, *P2tog, K2tog, repeat from *

At the end of this round there's only 1 stitch left, use this one and the next (so technically the first of round 680 to P2tog, followed with K2tog.
Thread yarn through remaining 12 stitches and weave in ends.

A printable pdf can be downloaded here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Three things on Tuesday ~ tadaah!

I did it. Three things that I have been planning to do for months, are done. It really helped to know that I had to write a blog about it each week. Accountability. I am going to do this again, but next month things will be a little different (I’ll tell you all about it next week).

My before and afters aren’t as dramatic as I hoped (how do those other bloggers do that), but I am so pleased with the result.

What I wanted to do this month:

1. paint office walls


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After (it is egal and white, really. Those color effects were caused by the sun):

2. clean out hallway clutter


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After (not a great change, but things don’t fall on my head anymore when I try to get something of the shelves, so that’s good. And we know where everything is, including all the tools, which is great too.):

3. clean out carport


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After (I’m so happy with this one! Such a big change!):

Monday, September 23, 2013

In my garden

It was a week of harvest. On Monday we ate carrots (and I froze the rest of it)

and on Tuesday it was beans.

Then I got the flu. But yesterday I felt better and we had ourselves a little harvest fest. I picked the beans and pulled out carrots, while Theo harvested the sweet corn.

There’s more corn, I was already boiling some when I took that picture.

These went into the freezer.

Just like over two kilograms beans and over two kilograms of carrots.

But we also enjoyed some of it that same evening. We had a nice harvest diner.

All from our own garden (well, not the pork chops). Sweet corn, beans, carrots and sauteed mini leeks (sown too close and never replanted, but tasting very good).

It was wonderful!

Friday, September 20, 2013


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Wishing you all a great (fall) weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Colors and good things

I do visit the thriftstore a lot, but usually I leave empty handed. Last week I didn't.

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I love tins. It’s in my genes, I think. My mother has a large collection and I really have to retain myself from buying every treasure I spy in the pile of old metal in our thrift store. But these had to come home with me. I love the colors. And I think my grandmother had one, since they make me feel so peaceful when I look at them. I have no idea what to do with them, but maybe I’ll just leave them there, on the cupboard. They do add a little color to my living room.

And maybe I’ll leave this book next to them (or under them?). It does have the same colors (I only noticed that after posting these pictures).

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I picked it up because of the title. So positive. And I love that it’s about the medicinal and edible plants you can find in the wild (in the UK, but most of these can be found here too).

Just a few things that came home with me last week. How about you? Any good finds?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Three Things on Thursday ~ lots of junk

After all those years of blogging I still forget to take pictures of thing I was planning to post about. That’s why I don’t have any photos of sorting through the mess in the little hallway. I just got working and forgot all about blogging.

I did remember to take pictures of assembling my new office chair.

But then I forgot again when I was cleaning up the carport. I remembered when I was already on my way to the junk yard, so I did take a close up of my little car filled to the brim with rotting wood, but I didn’t have the nerve to get out and take pictures of it in public.

That was only the first round. I think I will need to go at least one more time. And that day I did go twice too.

Yep, that’s our spare mini container. since our other one is chipped now (we pay per load) this one is obsolete. And I never really needed two anyway. We first thought it would come in handy for other things, but I never use it and I don’t like the look of those containers anyway (we have one gray and two green), so having a spare one doesn’t make sense.
I did take a picture to show you how not to shove one in the back of your car. Closing the door was quite a challenge.

My list of Three Things to do this month:

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1. paint office walls

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2. clean out hallway clutter

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3.clean out carport (I’m halfway done)

Monday, September 16, 2013

In my garden

I wish I was an all-weather-gardener. But I’m not. The rain we had last week made for another week of hardly being in the garden at all. I did pull out all the cauliflower and the broccoli (in the pouring rain, I might add), but that’s about it.

The plants don’t mind. It’s green all over the place.

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Well, most of them don’t. I thought I could leave the carrots in for a while, but all the green is dying, so I guess I’ll have to harvest. This week we’ll eat mostly from the garden, I think. I like that.

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The radish didn’t do so well. The rain washed away the soil and I don’t think the bulbs will form this way. Oh well, nice try.

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My calendula is doing great, I will plant them out this week, but I doubt they will flower. It’s funny how in August, when we had such great weather, it seemed summer would never end. But now it really feels like fall and everything is slowing down.

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I’m ready to start putting the garden to bed for the winter. It’s sad, but I’m also already making plans for next summer. That will give me something to look forward during the winter!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Looking up

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On the mend

Painting those office walls had a few side effects, as I knew it would. Removing that table and putting it upstairs was just a little sidestep from all the other things I had to do. So I made myself a little sewing nook.

Those of you who have been reading here for a long time may wonder what happened to my sewing room. Well, we broke out the wall between that room and our bedroom and that was the end of it.

Early this year I also got rid of the sewing table I had in our (now bigger) bedroom. I figured since we had a real office now (meaning my husband would mostly work there) I could go back to sewing in the living room. Well, it turned out I couldn’t. Pulling the sewing machine out of the cupboard was just too much of a hassle (it didn’t help that I had to force all my supplies and fabric in, so taking out the sewing machine meant having to remove a lot of other stuff).

So I’m back in the bedroom. It’s not a studio, or even a sewing room and all my stuff is in plastic boxes. That worked great when it was in the closet, but now it’s just a stack of boxes. I think I will be changing things around here, but for now, I’m happy. I missed having a little corner of my own to make stuff (hmn... I think I really need a new bag).

I was happy enough to finally tackle my growing pile of things to mend. I have a habit of forgetting about those things. When the girls were little I often never got to repairing cloths, since they already grew out of it when I finally sat down and sorted through that pile. This time there were also some things that had been waiting for me to do something about it for over a year.

So I added some straps to a sagging strapless dress, repaired a few torn seams in a dress and pj’s, closed a tear in some trousers, fixed a body, repaired a hole in a sock and hemmed some jeans.
That last part was so much easier than I thought. I found a link on pinterest that showed you can simply use the original hem, by sewing close to it and folding it back. Like so:

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It worked like a charm! Wished I had known that years ago.

So now my to-mend-pile is a pile of mended things ready to put away.

Of course I now think I could keep up with those little mending jobs. It feels so good to have that out of the way. Ha! Who am I kidding? I know myself… Maybe I should forbid myself to do any other sewing when there is something to mend…

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Three Things on Tuesday ~ update

I had high hopes to finish my three things early this month, but last week wasn’t very productive. I had some editing to do on my newest novel and that took way more time than I expected. I kept finding things that needed to be changed. But even the second time I read through it, I almost cried when my main characters broke up, so I guess the story is okay.

When I was finally finished I decided I really needed to paint that office (I had been looking at those ugly walls for hours, afterall). But than I realized why I didn’t do that earlier. Painting those two walls (the other walls are paneled) isn’t that much work, but moving everything away from those walls is.

I don’t have pictures of the actual painting and I’m glad nobody filmed it either, since that would be rather embarrassing. I started painting in the evening, after closing hours of any diy stores. I didn’t think that would be a problem, since I thought I had two rollers and four handles. I did, but nothing matched. So I rolled, forgot that I had to hold it in the right angle, dropped the roller, messed up the floor, picked it up, rolled, dropped… you get the picture.

Luckily it was just latex, so cleaning up was easy. I got everything off the ground and I think it’s out off my hair too (I am going gray, but I had a little insight in what I will look like in ten years).

To refresh your memory (and mine), these are the three things I want to get done this month:

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1. paint office walls

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2. clean out hallway clutter

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3. clean out carport

Luckily I still have two weeks left…

Monday, September 9, 2013

In my garden

No oversight pictures again. I was too embarrassed. My garden is a mess and I didn’t have time (or energy) to do anything there this week.
So I’m just ignoring the big picture and focussing on some details.

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The purple basil is turning green, but I do like how it looks.

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My lettuce and endives bed looks promising. I think we will eat a few meals of this soon.

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Unless all the rucola starts blooming (it can still be eaten, but they say it doesn't taste as good as the pre-bloom rucola).

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I do have some good news too: beans!

Friday, September 6, 2013


It seems today I'm not even capable of taking one little picture for a quick Friday post. Oh well, there's so much good and inspiring to find on the internet. I'll just share a few of those today (clicking on the pictures will take you to the pinterestpage which should link to the original source).

Have a great weekend!

p.s. if you don't know pinterest yet, please stay away, it's highly addictive. If you're already a victim to it: my boards are here.