fun

Review: Fermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and Vegetables

Fermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and Vegetables Fermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing

Ok… I have a confession to make. I love Storey books! I love, love, love them.

I know, every time I get a book published by them, that it will be awesome (only ONE book so far, that I haven’t liked, but that was the subject, rather than the layout, or the writing).

This book was no exception. Wonderfully detailed, step by step instructions and explanations of the why and hows of fermenting. Clear and inspiring pictures throughout the book. You just want to run out and get started!

My husband and I have been trying to eat more seasonal. Alas there are things we simply LOVE and want year round. So we have also been thinking about fermenting. Sure, we have made Kraut before, but that was about the extent of it.(We shall not speak of the wine, that accidentally turned to vinegar.)

We knew there must be more out there, but to be honest, we “didn’t have time” do do all the research to find out the what and hows. Then a bunch of my friends got interested in fermenting at the same time and my husband noticed this title in the Storey catalogue and I asked if I could have it. A few days later, the postman brought the book. WOW did it ever open our eyes!

Not only did we now have all the research right at our fingertips, without having to search all over the internet, but it came with easy to understand instructions, was portable to the grocery store (yes, we still don’t have “internet on the go”, we don’t have iPhones…we live like cave men around here), and gave us suggestions, we would never have dreamed up to search for. Wonderful recipes, not just instructions on how to ferment things, but what to make with it afterwards! Fermented Breakfast anyone? No.. don’t ferment your breakfast, but have some Kimcheese, or sauerkraut frittata, maybe… RIGHT??? You would NOT think of these things!!! We didn’t either, but boy oh boy are we now!

We set right out and tried the Kimchi recipe from the book, as we really never found a Kimchi we liked any place around to buy. It. Is. Amazing! We will stick with it from now on. We did change just a wee little bit, but not much…We left out the fish sauce, since we forgot to get it lol and we left out the pepper flakes, since I can’t do spicy (one of the main reasons we haven’t found any we like and eat) Other than that, we stuck to the recipe as suggested and it was delicious! 2014-10-28 12.32.45 2014-10-28 14.20.40 Next we will do grape leaves!!!

If you have never fermented before and are really afraid to try it, get the book! It will take the fear out of you and give you confidence in trying your hand and feeding you family worth while food. Also: it is not as much work as you might think and only requires a minimum of tools (who doesn’t have Kerr glasses around the house and if not, what is your excuse?????)

This book is once again a home run. It is absolutely true to Storey’s mission statement. To serve their customers by publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment.

Thank you for finding these wonderful, talented and knowledgeable authors!!! Put together with the most inspiring photography it makes for great reading and successful recreating! I encourage you to try your hand at fermenting and providing healthy food for your family, while being in charge of every ingredient.

Storey Publishing and their wonderful authors take the scary out of doing things from scratch, if you don’t have family around to help, or teach you!

Busy times

2014-12-02 16.40.24 2014-12-02 16.32.06 2014-12-02 16.26.24 2014-11-30 14.51.342014-11-30 14.57.082014-11-30 14.55.02My daughter and I are busy making things to sell and getting stuff together for the studio. We are considering a Holiday Market this year. We shall see. There are still a few days to go.

We will be busy little squirrels. Should we not go to the market, the wonderful things we make will still be for sale. My husband and son are busy putting a shopping cart together for our website, which they are also putting together. This is really a family affair. Lots of love and laughter and good times go into everything we make. You can be sure of that!

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2014-11-07 14.38.53   2014-11-14 12.44.30colours 2014-11-14 12.15.55   shrug

 

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Review: Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and More

Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and More
Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and More by Edie Eckman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s that time of year again. Everybody is getting ready for the holidays and for us, home made decor is always on the top of the “mood setters”. So when I received Christmas Crochet for review, it came just at the right time.

This book is full to the brim with the most adorable crochet projects! Tiny mittens and socks for garlands, felted ornaments for your tree, little birds of hope and tabletop “trees”, to name a few. I fell in love with the little birds and was going to make some to show with this review, but time ran away from me and BAM, it was Friday, November 7th and my turn to post in the blog hop. I started it though. I hope that counts!

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The full size stockings for the chimney caught my daughter’s eye and she might just make one, or four of them, to display around the holidays. The patterns in the book are well written and there is something suitable for all kinds of skill levels. So the three crocheters in the family (my son = beginner, my daughter = intermediate, and I = *master of the universe*) will find something to make, that will keep us occupied, without being boring.

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One of the best things about the book: It has all patterns in both written and charted form. I am a chart girl all the way, however a lot of my students like to have the written form, just to check back.

I find the “Project notes” that come with each of the patterns a nice touch. You can see at one glance what techniques will be required for this project and know right up front what to look up, if you might need help with a sock heel, or crochet in the round. (youtube is your friend!)

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Another nice addition is the different textures the projects offer. So many different stitches and even felted ornaments, there is something new to learn for everyone.

The projects are mostly small and can be finished in an afternoon. This is of particular interest to procrastinators, such as myself. Why hasten to make gifts , when you can wait until the last minute? Or maybe you are invited to a holiday party and just want a little something to bring as a hostess gift, that is not the predictable bottle of wine, or a third bouquet of flowers, the hostess will have to take care of.

The book is small enough to fit comfortably in your project bag and you can whip it out and get an ornament going while you wait for the bus, or sit at the doctors office. I like portable projects and books, that travel with me without weighing me down too much.

Want to know the best part about this review? There is a giveaway! You can win your very own copy of Christmas Crochet! Right here. All you have to do, is simply leave a comment and tell me a bit about what you are going to crochet this year! That’s it. Easy as pie! (Sorry, the giveaway is open to US residents only.Too much postage otherwise.)

And since this is a blog hop, there are more opportunities to win! Just check out the other blogs and see their requirements to enter!
Here is a list of all participating blogs:

4-Nov Moogly

If you are on Ravelry and want to add some of the projects to your queue, here is a link for you:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/christmas-crochet-for-hearth-home–tree/patterns
And in case you don’t want to wait out the giveaway, here is a link to storey, where you can buy your own copy of the book:
Storey: http://www.storey.com/book_detail.php?isbn=9781612123295&cat=Crafts&p=0

The giveaway will close November 14th at midnight and I will announce the winner on November 15th.

Refashioned Dread-wranglers

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It’s summer and I love to keep my hair off my neck when it’s hot out. I am sure a lot of you do, too. To top it off, i have dreadlocks, they seem to be even hotter than “regular” hair. So I tie it up a lot, or have my locks in a bun. Well… t gets boring fast if that’s all you do, so I figured a few headbands are in order. One still has to tie the hair up in a pony tail, messy bun or other up-do, but the headbands make it look different and fresh and fun. One can use a bunch of things for such hair bands. Anything from the obvious Bandanna to vintage scarves and lace shawls, or ribbons. hand made ones are the most fun and can be pretty price conscious, in a pinch. (I usually want things when I don’t have the cash in my budget to actually buy them. Does that sound familiar to you too?)

I do have vintage scarves, but a girl wants options, no? So I went through my stash to figure out how I can make these things for myself. I have a BUNCH of T-Shirt material, that I scavenged from our own old Shirts and from thrift-shop and yard sale buys. I use them to make all kinds of things, as you have noticed, if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time. Now they get turned into hair bands! (I like to call them Dread-wranglers lol) I already have ONE made. Out of striped T-shirt fabric. I love stripes!!! Honestly? This one was just the leftover from another project. It went on my nerves, as it was left out after the project was done and all the stuff put away already. So there it was and I glared at it and then it hit me: Tie it! I just cut it open (since it was still a loop) and ted it around my head and VOILA! It was close to perfect!

It goes around my head once, crosses in back and then ties. I am looking into making more just a wee bit longer, so I can wrap them twice and then tie it. I also want a few wider ones. Why not, right?

If you want to make your own:

Measure your head, then measure the T-Shirt (or fabric you want to make the wrap out of. I like T-Shirts, since you don’t have to sew anything) Make sure you have twice the head circumference, plus about 20 inches for tying (approx. 10 inches of tie on each side, or longer, if you want to tie it in a bow, rather than just a double knot). Find a T shirt wide enough to give you that measurement by only cutting off the bottom part. If you want both sides to look alike, cut off the hem of the shirt as well.

It’s best to find a T-Shirt without side seams. I don’t mind the seam in t, but if you can find one with out a seam, it will give you a continuous strip of material and some people might mind the look of a seam in the middle of the wrap. Take the T-Shirt and measure the desired width of your head wrap up from the hem to the underarm and mark it, then make a straight cut right at the mark. Take the resulting loop and cut it open on one of the side seams, Presto. Done. If you like you can make the |tie| parts pointy, but I like them blunt.

In the top picture you can see the uncut section of T-Shirt, the loop, in the light blue and the striped fabric is another T-shirt already cut open. I did cut away the entire seam, since I didn’t like the way it looked hanging off the end lol.

One could go and get yardage for this project, but where is the fun in that?

You don’t have to tie them, you can just tuck the ends and make it stay that way. Use a few bobby pins to hold the wrap on your head, if you feel it’s not secure enough (mine stay on just fine….) and go have fun in the sun.

So with a few of these I will be good for the rest of the year, or will I????

Honestly? Did you think I could go without a knitted one in my collection? NOPE! So I am working on one right now as well.  I love it. here are a few pictures of it, fresh off the needles. Very lacy, very cute, very stretchy! The yarn has elastic in it! How great is that?  I let you all know when the pattern is done and out.

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If you make any of these wranglers, let me know! Send me pictures! I want to see them! <3

Wishing you a great summer!

Hugs,

Bridgett