It's a red letter day at Casa Pinata -- two of our girls laid their first eggs this morning!!!
My man was the first to make the discovery, and woke Miss H up to carry her down to the coop to see what they could see.
That's Hola in the photo peeking out at us, but it was Rebexie, our Marans, who had laid a beautiful speckled brown egg!
Miss H and I had it for breakfast, of course.
Beautiful and tasty!
I dropped Miss H at school this morning and came back home to an inkling that I should check on the girls again. Surprise surprise!! A little pale green egg out in the run.
This one would belong to Hola, our Americauna. She was poking around the nest box this morning, so I'm thinking she felt the egg coming--but we interrupted her with egg collecting, watering and feeding--and it kind of snuck up on her while she was out and about having breakfast this morning. At least that's what I hope--I don't want any more eggs out in the run, that's what the nesting boxes are for!!
It's that time of the year again! We've had a nice NICE long stretch of awesome weather, enough for the ground to dry out, get some weeding done, play with the chickens (no eggs yet!), and start moving on some garden plans.
We do all our vegetable planting in the front yard, as it gets the best sun. We already have strawberries, blueberries, snow peas, a meyer lemon tree, and a variety of herbs that made it through our wet winter, but NOW,.. a little more to get the party started!
Before the close of the month, I'd like to get the following accomplished:
My warm weather crop area weeded, amended and turned.
Snow peas and sugar snap peas planted.
Chard planted along the front wall.
Thyme transplanted to the herb area of my garden, as well as sow some additional seeds to border my strawberries.
Rhubarb,... where am I going to put the rhubarb?
Tear out an old failing bush by the front door and replace it with a raised bed and raspberry canes (and a yet to be determined trellising system).
Mix up a batch of worm compost tea (courtesy of our own worms!).
Pot up some potatoes (Yukon Golds did the best for us last year).
Start some basil seedlings.
Whoa,... that's kind of a lot considering I'm sick right now, Miss H's birthday is next week, the school benefit auction is this weekend, oh,... and I have a job.
Anyhoo, moving right along on to the warm weather crops:
(1) Seven heirloom tomato plants (and one lonely hybrid), already procured from Love Apple Farm last weekend, selected for flavor, color, and our coastal weather (except for the Caspian Pink, which is an experiment in growing a giant tomato seven blocks from the ocean):
Black Prince (purple, round, medium)
Green Zebra (striped yellow/green, round, small)
Japanese Oxheart (pink, oxheart, medium)
Jaune Flamme (yellow, round, small)
Ludmilla Red Plum (red, oval, medium)
Mandarin Cross (orange, round, medium)
Sungold (orange, round, cherry)
Caspian Pink (pink, round, large)
(2) A three sisters planting scheme of dakota black popcorn, butternut squash, and musica and emerite pole beans, where the beans climb the corn stalks, and the squash keeps the weeds down.
(3) Trombetta squash, a very cool, light green, climbing vine variety of summer squash.
(4) Sprinkle some beets and carrots randomly around.
The chickens have landed!! Three little ladies came home to live with us last weekend, and are currently taking up residence in our dining room.
(photo courtesy of Miss H)
We have an Americana (the brown with the racing stripe down her back), a Blue Andalusian (the little grey looking at the camera -- Miss H named her Lulu), and either a Barred Rock or Marans (question mark for a few weeks due to a major post office mix up). They will lay green, white and brown eggs, respectively, in approximately six months. Unless one is a rooster in disguise, then that's a whole other kettle of worms. Fingers crossed that the chick sorting person at the hatchery was having a great day!
On another note, I was catching up on my Google Reader last night -- HELLO! 1000+ new posts it informed me -- and espied a new Sew Liberated pattern, the Schoolhouse Tunic (the link is a special sale link page, 20% off all patterns if you purchase by Saturday). I usually don't sew for myself, but I'm drawn to this pattern. I figure I'll either look very cute in it, or more like a Korean farmer / Japanese fisherperson.
I also ordered a vintage feedsack off of etsy on a total whim. I have what I believe is a cloth napkin made from feedsack fabric that is like THE BEST NAPKIN EVER. It is cute, absorbent, the perfect size, and doesn't get all wrinkly/wonky when it comes out of the dryer. It really is cloth napkin perfection. And I need more!
Here is the link to the chart for the Pigtail Pirate Beanie, which also will live on my right hand nav bar under pattern mods and tools.
As mentioned before, the hat construction is based on the We Call Them Pirates hat by Adrian over at hello yarn, so use her directions to knit the hat, and my chart for the charting.
You're going to have some heck-a-long floats in this particular pattern if you knit as charted, so I suggest weaving as you go. I personally am a fan of the Philosopher's Wool two handed fair isle technique. I can't find an explanation online, but it's in the book "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified" by Ann Bourgeois from Philosopher's Wool.
For my preschooler, I omitted one row of skulls for sizing, so two instead of the three in the chart.
If anyone makes one, let me know -- I'd love to see it!
In preparation for the "Big Storm", I got down with some knitting that's been in my Ravelry queue forever.
Back in the day, I made The Beast and The Husband matchy matchy pirate hats. Unfortunately, both were lost. The Husband will get a duplicate of the original per his request, but I've had this girly version in my head for a while now, and finally got around to laying it out.
All these women have voices that are easy to listen to and stay fairly focused and on topic, with a little bit of crafting, cooking and kids thrown in for good measure. All good things -- keep up the good work! I listened to a few others that are out there, but found myself turned off for a number of reasons, such as too much non-quilting/craft related ranting, an overall condescending tone, and the inability to please oh my god get to the point already! But hey, to each his own.
I hope to get back to my projects later this week after another long day in the car on Tuesday with just me, a 3.5 year old, and a secret DVD player stashed under the front seat for emergencies. Wish me luck!
For the longest time, it was so stressful to even try and get any type of sewing or quilting accomplished in my house. With a toddler running around, pins and scissors and seam rippers and rotary cutters (shudder!) were tools I just couldn't have sitting around. I do have a dedicated office/craft/guest room, but the "no kids allowed" approach doesn't work for us -- it's too difficult and frankly, just isn't our parenting style.
So enter the craft apron. Why did I not think of this sooner??? I noticed the girls at the fabric stores sporting a variety of aprons, poked around a bit for different options, then cobbled this one together from stash fabrics -- Robert Kaufman Carnaby Street, and an old lightweight canvas curtain. I particularly love the slanted pockets which allow me to sit down without impaling myself on any pointy tools (I picked up that idea from seeing this pattern).
This live model shot is courtesy of my almost 3.5 year old, hence the blur and subsequent refusal to reshoot it. The apron measures 20 inches wide by 10 inches tall, and the ties are a ridiculously long 110 inches from end-to-end, tied jauntily over at the side. It makes me super happy!
Wow. Cutting up all these strips was much more time consuming than I imagined. Working with such gorgeous fabric well made up for it, and watching Top Chef Masters at the same time didn't hurt either. Yay Hubert Keller and Boo Michael Chiarello. If you saw the Wednesday night episode, you know what I mean.
I had a little time to myself Saturday morning, and cut my paper foundation pieces down to 11 by 11 inch squares (thank you my new 12.5 inch square ruler!) and got to pasting the first piece of fabric across the diagonal of the foundation pieces. At first I tried eyeballing it, making creases down the center of the fabric and matching to the corners of the papers, but when I got the ruler out to check my work, the inconsistencies were too much for me to bear, so I ripped all the fabric piece off the paper, drew a pencil line 1/2 inch off the center diagonal, and used that line as a guide to paste down my 1 inch strips. Worked perfectly!
Later the same afternoon I managed to piece four blocks.
I love it!! I excluded a darker blue fabric from my palette last night (thought it would make the quilt too somber), but after seeing the blocks come together I'm going to add it back in. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this quilt once I finished it up, but now I know it's going in my room. We have done next to no decorating in our bedroom, and hopefully this piece will kick start the process.
Sunday was a very strange day. I'll leave it at that. As a result, I stayed close to home and kept busy with a mindless piecing project.
I scored a Momo Wonderland layer cake on sale, which is 40 pieces of 10" x 10" fabric, and cut it into fourths to make 5" charm squares.
Clearly nothing original, but gorgeous fabric, isn't it? And I still have 80 square left. I'm thinking of using half the squares for a disappearing nine patch -- combining the print squares with solid natural linen/cotton blend. I think that will result in some happy randomness.