The importance of organic

Not just the importance of organic but just “being green” in general. I wasn’t always concerned about the environment like I currently am. Sure, I recycled but that was about it. When I was younger, I didn’t know what an organic lifestyle even was.

And then my mother and grandmother were both diagnosed with different health issues and it made me think about what would happen to me as I aged. I didn’t want diabetes or macular degeneration. Or anything!

So, over the last decade and a half, I learned. A lot. I’m now very dedicated to the organic industry and being as kind as I can to this overburdened earth. Conventional methods (farming, living, eating, etc) are literally poisoning everything on the planet because they almost always involve toxic chemicals that find their way into our food, air, soil, water and our bodies! We need all of these to be healthy in order TO LIVE. I get that now.

Last week I helped a 72 year old woman organize her severely cluttered walk-in pantry. Every cardboard box, every tin can of expired food, every piece of plastic she was discarding, I took! She kept telling me, “You’re making more work for yourself”.

I kept telling her I wasn’t. Eventually we had ‘the talk’.

After my brother’s recent scolding banning (!!!?!?!?!?!??!) of my recycling in his home, I thought about who I am and why I do the things I do. Simply put, I consider myself to be a steward of this earth. It’s arrogant for us to believe we can abuse this planet while we live upon it. It’s careless to believe we don’t need to consider future generations. It’s that kind of thinking that has us precisely where we are! And yes, I was guilty of it once.

My brother has kids!!!!!! I cannot comprehend the chosen nonchalance because it’s so far removed from who I am today.

When I mentioned to Judy (not her real name, lol) that she had grandchildren and she should safeguard the earth for them, her matter-of-fact response blew me away. “I don’t care. I won’t be here forever”. I know there are people like Judy everywhere (my brother, my mother. . . . ), the state of our environment is proof enough. But it quite fries my brain to actually speak with someone like her. I was speechless after she said that, my mouth was probably hanging open, and I simply had to go back into the pantry🙂 I wasn’t going to begin an argument with her. It wouldn’t have changed anything.

I’m only 46. I shudder to think of the environmental damages mankind will still do while I’m alive. And Mother Nature is paying us back! Big time! Massive wild fires are raging across Canada already and it’s unusually early in the season. There IS a connection between how we’ve treated this planet and all the ‘natural’ disasters we see every day. It’s the same as not taking care of our own health, we get sick.

Well, this world is sick. Because we haven’t taken care of it.

Why is it easier for so many people to ignore this and live in their little bubbles instead?

Living green isn’t that difficult. Find a starting point and proceed from there. Choose organic whenever possible. Don’t use man-made, beneficial insect-killing chemicals on your lawn or in your garden. Make your own environmentally-friendly house cleaning supplies. Walk when you can, rather than drive. Recycle. Give stuff away instead of tossing it in the garbage!

Use a really good, natural, vegan bar of hand and body soap made with certified organic ingredients. It’s better for you, our waterways, the animals, our entire planet.

And there’s my segue to my new website!

https://simpleorganicsoap.wordpress.com/

It’s currently still being worked upon but is largely complete. Have a look-see if bar soap like I mentioned is something you’re interested in.

Dandelions

I’ve known for a long time that you could eat dandelion greens and dandelion root. I even have dandelion tea in my cupboard. What I didn’t realize until last night was the flowers are edible too!

I discovered this after doing some Googling because my dog had eaten some dandelion blossoms I’d picked and tossed. In all her 5+ years, she’s had dandelions growing all around her and had no interest in them UNTIL I threw picked ones on the ground. Go figure.

I’ve been heavy into making my own natural and organic bars of soap. It is SO easy and so much fun. Wanting to keep all the ingredients truly opposite of synthetic, I’ve been researching the kinds of things that can be added to soap.

Flower petals are on the list. I have chamomile and red rose petals on order but I began to wonder if I could use dandelions. Goodness knows there are enough of them around here at this time of year! I can make sure they’re not from an area that’s sprayed or well-traveled by dogs🙂 and go on a harvesting spree.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make tea and infuse oil, for soap making. Infused oils can adopt many of the medicinal properties of the herb. I’m going one step further and drying the flowers as well. I want a dandelion soap that’s really dandelion-y. Flower petals can add an exfoliating aspect and a visual one also.

I’ve experimented with natural colorants and will hope for yellow although I likely won’t achieve it. So far I’ve ended up nowhere near what I was aiming for🙂 and that’s okay, I’m happy with the earthy results I did get.

  • Rosehips, in 2 forms, liquid and ground, began rust red and ended up very chocolate brown.
  • Turmeric, which yielded a bright, yellow, infused oil, gave me off white. It has poppy seeds in it.
  • Paprika infused oil with ground lemon peel, once wonderfully orange, is now caramel in color.
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All 3 soaps are exfoliating and I must say, having never tried an exfoliating soap before, I HIGHLY recommend it. Aside from making your skin healthier, smoother and softer, it just feels good! The scrubby scratchiness🙂 I’ll be experimenting with coconut flakes, oatmeal, clay and the aforementioned flower petals soon!

My latest venture is what I’m calling my Peppermin-Tea soap. You guessed it, it has peppermint tea in it. It began rather dark in color and settled on this, I’m not sure what shade of brown it is, but I think it’s pretty.

And the soap that started this whole obsession is very plain, no natural coloring attempts, just olive oil and/or coconut oil, both with amazing lathering qualities.

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For soap that’s free of everything harmful (and conventional soap is loaded with toxins!), buy some natural and organic soap today. And I say organic because even natural soaps made with conventional ingredients are not that fabulous.

 

 

 

False Solomon’s Seal

Before I joined a local Facebook group about edible nature in Northern BC, I’d never heard of False Solomon’s Seal. Recently, many of the members have been posting their pictures of this strange (to me) flowering plant. I’ve long been a fan of fiddleheads but typically can’t find them close to home. So I’ve missed out on them for several years now😦

But it’s okay! False Solomon’s Seal to the rescue!

I impulsively veered off into the bush yesterday while I was walking my dogs and I found some! There’s a ‘true’ and a ‘false’ version of this plant. I made sure I had the right one before eating it.

The last picture is the easiest way to be sure you have the proper Solomon’s Seal. False will have a flower bud on the end. True will have flowers and berries along the underside.

Let me tell you, False Solomon’s Seal IS delicious! Mild and sweet. Many people say it’s similar to asparagus but I’d disagree. Only because I suppose we all have different taste buds🙂

Now that I know where I can pick it, and it’s close to home, I’m going for more later today. The only “aggravation” is having 2 dogs on leashes, lol. For some reason, they rarely want to go in the direction I do! Or in the same direction as each other. The rewards though (more False Solomon’s Seal for dinner, fresh air, exercise and being in nature) are well worth it.

If you can find it where you live, I highly recommend it. And here’s a link to a great website that features True and False Solomon’s Seal.

False — and true — Solomon’s seal

Good grief!

Okay. I will admit, I’m not a WordPress expert. Every now and then, I receive an email notification for a new post of someone I’m following. And it’s usually the same someone, or two. I follow several blogs but often wonder why I never hear from them.

And just now, after beginning to follow someone else, I was told I’d get new posts from that person IN MY READER. My what?? My reader? So I see the word up there, at the top of my page, Reader, and decide to check it out.🙂

Lo and behold, there’s EVERYONE I follow!!

Didn’t I say recently, it pays to learn everything you can about the things you do or use? Clearly, I’m not following my own advice! And perhaps that’s why I get so few likes, LOL, from my tiny group of followers, they’re not looking in their readers either🙂

But anyway, back to my soap making, sewing and yard work! I hope everyone is enjoying their day!! It’s sunny here after a weekend of much needed, and appreciated, rain.

To sharpen or not?

I’m talking about the blade of my rotary cutter. (THIS is the post I meant to publish, so you’re getting 2 in one day :))

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They’re expensive! A pack of 5 runs about $50 plus taxes or more, depending upon the retailer. Fortunately, I learned I can print an online coupon for 40% off one, regular priced item at my local Michael’s craft supply store. Right now though, I can’t even afford that.

Being environmentally-friendly and trying very hard not to throw non-biodegradable items (or anything really) in the garbage, I hang on to all my old, dull blades. There has to be a way to sharpen them. Right? People sharpen scissors, kitchen knives and skates. Why not these as well?

And this morning I was finally compelled to Google it🙂 My current blade is driving me nuts, it’s approaching the likeness of a butter knife. I prefer efficiency when I’m working and when I have to roll my blade back and forth AND back and forth to make a cut. . . . that simply isn’t time well spent. Nor is it enjoyable.

I typed in ‘how to sharpen a rotary blade’ and tried the very first trick (link at bottom of page) I clicked upon. It involves tin foil, something I don’t buy or use anymore (for environmental and health reasons), but actually have because I’ve been saving it for years in the hopes of being able to recycle it one day🙂

This is my ‘inside’ bag. There’s 10 times more in my shed!

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I located 3 flat, folded pieces and used the 2 smaller ones to begin with. I can honestly say I was underwhelmed with the result.

SO, I employed the larger, much more layered piece. It has so many layers I couldn’t cut through them all.

 

Now, when I go to a particular website, and find a recipe or instructions on how to do something (like sharpen a rotary blade!), I always scroll through the comments. In many cases, I can’t read them all but I can glean the general idea of the success or failure. In this instance, most people said ‘great idea, I’m going to try it’ or ‘it DOES work, on scissors too’.

The author of the article claims it works as well. And I’ve no doubt it probably does. For them.

My verdict is this:

I really can’t say for sure if it’s a useful trick. I don’t notice a massive difference in the cutting ability of my blade or even a decent difference. Maybe it’s slightly better. Maybe it’s a placebo effect and there’s no improvement at all, lol. Perhaps it’s because I mainly cut denim. I don’t know. This was not the OMG, so amazing moment I was hoping for.

I was relieved to find one commenter who said ‘tried the trick, it does not work’. Someone else said it didn’t work for them either. At least I’m not alone. It didn’t hurt to give it a go though and it certainly didn’t make my blade duller. Now I’ll just do some more Googling and see what else is recommended. I have enough blades to experiment with.

http://pennyshands.blogspot.ca/2011/03/how-to-sharpen-your-rotary-cutter-blade.html

 

Vermicomposting

Shoot! I had 2 drafts going at once and published the wrong one! I don’t know if I can ‘unpublish’ something without actually deleting it, so here it stays. . . . . minus proper editing. Argh. I can’t be bothered now🙂

Composting with worms. I’ve intended to do this for years. Although I’ve buried plant-based kitchen scraps in my garden for a while now, I’ve neglected to specifically compost with worms. As an organic gardener, I’m very interested in how I can feed and nurture my veggies. Naturally. Synthetic, cancer-causing chemicals are not welcome in my body, in my food or in my home. They can stay away from my yard, and all the critters that reside here, too!

We live in a world full of chemicals used to kill fungus, bacteria, insects, plant diseases, snails, slugs, as well as undesirable plants or “weeds”. Oftentimes, these chemicals kill indiscriminately, much like antibiotics destroy bad bacteria along with the good! It’s why we’re seeing a decline in bees and monarch butterflies, to only name two. We should be protecting and caring for all of the beneficial insects because without them, healthy soil and rain/water, the human race would quite possibly die. Our food supply depends on these three basic things, along with farmers of course.

Since I’m also a vegan, I’ve rejected the standard animal manures many people use. Biosolids? NEV. ER. I’m OKAY with worms though. I’m super vigilant when I’m raking up yard debris like leaves and branches or when I’m moving heavy items such as firewood, rocks or lumber. If I see a worm, I must pick it up! And save it.

A sure sign of tip-top soil is the presence of worms. And let me tell you, I have worms! It thrills me to no end, when I turn my shovel, and see their wonderful, squiggly bodies. Weird perhaps, lol, but I can handle that category. I think I covered it last year when I wrote about my toads🙂

And speaking of toads, I found my first one yesterday! I was wondering if they were out yet and now I have my answer. He (or she, I can’t tell, nor do I care) was under an old board in my main garden bed. I was looking for worms, not expecting a toad. I took a QUICK pic and left it be. Toads in the garden is a good thing! Although now I have to be careful walking around my yard at night, when I let the dogs out to do their business.

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I did some preliminary research 2 nights ago, and much more yesterday morning, because I’m anxious to finally get at it! This business of vermicomposting. I learned very quickly there are two main types of worms; earthworms (commonly called night crawlers) and redworms.

They’re each valuable but have different tasks in our garden.

earfhwormsEarthworms, aptly named, are responsible for ‘moving earth’. They do a lot of mixing and aerating, traveling deeper than redworms, taking organic material with them. They’re not suited for composting as they need to burrow through soil to eat and survive.

 

redwormsRedworms, however, are designed for consuming kitchen scraps and yard waste. They have voracious appetites and will make short work of the food you provide them. They migrate upwards, towards food placed above them.

In return, they’ll multiply and give you lots of poop! The more civilized term would be castings🙂

Worm castings improve soil texture and provide high nutrient levels your plants will thrive on. This valuable “waste” is significantly more beneficial than regular compost and highly admired by serious gardeners..

To be honest, I resist the idea of having to buy worms. I try to use what I already have these days. It fits well with my anti-buying mentality. I’m an eco-friendly person and want to tread as lightly as possible upon this planet. I KNOW. Buying worms would not be a huge deal considering what I’d be doing with them. But still. I’m stubborn.

During my perusal of the many different websites offering advice on how to layer a worm bin, I discovered the plethora of materials used. Broken bricks, pebbles, leaves, shredded newspaper, grass clippings, cardboard. All of these, and more, can have a function in your worm bin. Personally, because I’m an organics freak, I dislike the notion of cardboard and newspaper, which can and do have ink on them. I wouldn’t eat a piece of newspaper, so I’m not going to feed it to my worms either. I use organic sugar when I make hummingbird food and organic nuts and seeds when I make suet for my chickadees and woodpeckers. It would be otherwise hypocritical to me. I don’t want to harm myself with conventional foods but will potentially endanger the teeny, tiny bodies of the birds with it? No way, José. It’s why my dogs eat well also🙂

In regards to this worm bin, I decided I was going to employ creativity instead. I have the space and the time to adapt and conjure up my own version. For those of you who are confined to utilizing an actual, store-bought contraption, you’ll obviously require a purchase of worms.

Me, I’m making an open worm bin, from wood. NO plastic for this plastic-hater! I’ll designate an area in my yard and measure off a 3′ x 4′ section. I’ll dig down a full 6-12 inches and then begin constructing the sides. I believe 3′ will be deep enough, with the option to go higher if necessary. OR I’ll make an off-the-ground bin with a tray below. It’s an as-I-go project. And I’m known to change my mind.

I’ll do layers like I’m supposed to but ONLY with organic materials gathered from around my yard. Leaves, dead grass, broken up pieces of bark, etc. I also have organic eggshells and organic coffee grounds. I think I’ll be pretty pleased with the outcome.

In the meantime, because I couldn’t wait, I concocted a smaller model directly in my main garden bed. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. It didn’t cost me anything and the worms are free to wander, if they so choose. It’s an experiment.

I had an old, wooden drawer missing the bottom. I nestled it snugly in a corner of my garden bed. I layered dead grass, dead leaves, an organic potting soil blend with includes peat moss and dirt. I put in some worms, not a huge amount, just what I could readily find. More dirt. Leaves only this time and then my (previously frozen) kitchen scraps (celery, spinach, carrots mostly) and some crushed eggshells. I have SO MANY saved from when I wasn’t a vegan. Now I can put them to use. More dirt and leaves on top of the food and more worms! Covered by more dirt and then finally some large, super thick pieces of bark.

I did all of this while it was cloudy. Worms can dry out very fast when the sun is shining. It’s also why I dig in the garden, preparing it for planting, when it’s overcast. A light, rainy day is even better!

I watered each level as I went, not too much but enough I hope! And as mentioned, if the worms don’t like it, they can leave. MY EPD was near by as usual, with her EPB. (that would be my Ever Present Dog with her Ever Present Ball, lol). I also call her Charlotte.

I figured, half way through the process, it made sense to have worms above the kitchen scraps, as opposed to below when using redworms. If earthworms travel down, they’ll encounter the food, and hopefully stay to eat. And then they can go elsewhere, they’re not trapped in a plastic bin. The most difficult thing for me will be leaving it alone! I already want to see WHERE the worms are. Are they eating? Are they gone? What are they doing?!

There are several key things one should know when composting with worms:

  • Type needed – redworms, not earthworms found in your yard.
  • Moisture – too much slows down their activity, not enough, they’ll dry out and die.
  • Food – mainly plant-based but also ground eggshells. NO fish, meat, cheese, dairy or oily, greasy stuff. Coffee grounds – limited because they’re acidic
  • Shade – they prefer it, please don’t leave the bin in the blazing sun
  • Ventilation – is a must
  • Sand and soil mixed in the bedding will provide grit for digestion
  • When they’re happy, they can double their numbers every 90 days🙂

I’ll keep you posted on the success, or failure, of my worm composting adventures. And if it’s something you’re keen to try, it’s easy enough to Google ‘how to compost with worms’.

You gotta love the internet. AND worms!

http://www.homecompostingmadeeasy.com/wormcomposting.html

Okay, I did include one link, the information on this particular site was exceptional. Like any subject I’ve researched, I’ve learned how scattered important details can be. It’s not often I find one written piece that covers a lot of ground.

 

 

Keep Your Country Clean

Over the past several years I’ve developed a deeper love for vintage items. I suspect it’s due to my dad and all of my grandparents now being gone. And my own advancing age, ha, ha. Somehow, 46 sneaked up on me. It baffles me sometimes🙂 I don’t feel 46. HOW can I be 46?? My mother was right. Time really does fly!

The younger generation, for the most part (not every one of them), views antique and vintage things as junk. For me, I’m fascinated with the history attached to “old stuff”. Who owned it first? Was it a gift? Why did they get rid of it? Or did a family member carelessly do so? Was there simply no family left to keep it?

I suppose that’s just how it works out sometimes. I have several pieces that are special to me. I don’t have kids though. Once I’m gone, I imagine my things quite possibly could end up in a thrift store. I pray never a landfill!

I made the choice recently, prompted by a severe (and extremely educational) cash flow problem, to sell much of my stuff. It’s been stored away in boxes and bins for eons anyway. What’s the point, right? I’m a pack rat trying to kick the habit of hanging on to everything. It’s difficult, easy and freeing all at the same time!

The other day I was looking for a small drill bit to complete the construction of a mason jar organizer. During my rummaging around I came across a key chain. I’d seen it many times and largely ignored it. It sports a picture of Uncle Ben and I’ve never been a beer drinker.028 I figure it once belonged to my dad, a fan of cerveza🙂 I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ll sell this after all, surely there’s an Uncle Ben collector out there. I could get five bucks for it. Maybe” and I picked it up.

And decided to keep it! (give me a break, I’m still a pack rat)

I love, love, LOVE what it says on the back. Aside from the awesome Canadian flag, it promotes fighting litter and pollution. 027I have to keep it because I’m highly dedicated to being as environmentally-friendly as I possibly can.

This incident proved to me that we can see something over and over and over again and never give it a lot of consideration and then one day. . . voila! We view it in a whole new light and appreciate it. Being a PR does have advantages🙂

I actually Googled ‘Uncle Ben beer’ and now that I know the story, this key chain is even cooler. The man behind the beer, made it all happen right here in my home town! AND the beer came out the year I was born!

We have an off leash Ginter’s Park where Uncle Ben’s house once stood. Knowing the history of something is like hitting the jack pot🙂 For a weirdo like me, lol.

For those of you who can’t make out the blurry photo (sorry, my camera is cheap), it says ‘Please fight litter and pollution, Keep your country clean’.

Wise words to follow!

Creativity. Use it!

I’ve learned a lot about being frugal in the past year. Being financially strapped will do that for you. And I actually highly recommend it! Many of us never consider how many squares of toilet paper we use. Or how much further inexpensive rice or pasta can make a meal go. Toothpaste, shampoo, laundry soap. When we run out, we run out and buy more!

But what happens when you don’t have the money for “necessities”? You get creative. And frugal🙂 You begin to understand a tiny blob IS enough. You ration your food (and hey, some people can handle that!). You start to realize we have so many luxuries we take for granted.

Yesterday, with the record breaking warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing, I was outside often. It’s time for massive yard work. And I’m easily annoyed when I have to remove my shoes and put them back on repeatedly.

I thought to myself, “I need some slip on shoes. But they’re all probably made in China!”. And I refuse to buy anything from there. I have plenty of reasons why; their appalling environmental pollution, their ivory trade, how they contaminated the honey industry, their animal testing. I could go on and on. I’ll restrain myself however🙂

I’m also on a huge anti-buying spree in general. If I can reuse something for a new purpose, I do. I recycle. I refuse. I reduce. In other words, I try. This planet matters. There was a time, when I was young and foolish, that it didn’t. I have much to make up for!

So back to the shoes. I needed some slip ons. And I remembered I have old runners in my shed. Old runners that are too small! Yep. You’re a kindred soul if you figured out what I did. I cut the heels out of them! And now I have slip on shoes, lol. (One so far anyway). I don’t care if they’re pretty or not. I didn’t have to buy them AND I’ll get tons of use from them. Annoyance is gone.

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THAT is what I like to call ‘using your noggin’. Or mine, in this case. It’s like the broken crock pot that’ll become a planter in the garden soon. Or the weathered fence board I’m turning into a ‘No touch, no talk, no eye contact’ sign. Or the vintage door knobs from the house I grew up in becoming a coat rack.

My point is, throwing things away, into the never-stops-growing landfill, isn’t always necessary. Even if YOU won’t repurpose “garbage”, someone else will. Say NO to the landfill and ask friends or family if they want what you don’t. Or donate it. Place a free ad online, giving away FREE stuff. Heck, put it at the end of your driveway with a FREE sign on it. Someone will take it.

Now, I’m off to cut my other shoe. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Happy Easter Sunday!

With the sun being absent, snow still on the ground, and rain coming down, it just doesn’t seem right that Easter was moved from April to March this year. Who does that?? Not a wise decision in my opinion. No one can have an outdoor egg hunt!

But anyway, I’ve been super busy the past few weeks. I’m an admitted pack-rat and have had oodles of stuff in storage for YEARS. I’m beginning to understand how extremely pointless it is and one day a wonderful idea occurred to me.

My brother, who purchased a new town house last summer, has one, ground floor room with a separate outside entrance. He was hoping to have a renter but with his 13 year old daughter occasionally staying with him, it wasn’t possible. SO I thought, “Hey, I wonder if Brett would let me use that room?”.

For a few key reasons it would be ideal.

  1. He lives in town. I’m somewhat out of town and people don’t always want to drive “so far”.
  2. I have dogs and always had to meet people in my driveway; often awkward with larger pieces and/or crappy weather.
  3. My stuff, for the most part, has (had) to remain in various boxes, bins, cupboards, closets, etc. because I didn’t have one place to put it all. ONE room is perfect!!

I emailed him at work with this long spiel about how much he’d be helping me out, how he’s not using that room, yadda, yadda. He replied with a YES less than 10 minutes later! I was so thrilled and also surprised as I was expecting a no. I began hauling things in the very next day. That was almost 3 weeks ago.

I went from this. . . . . .

To this. . . . . in record time. Looks messy but I’m organizing it!

I suspected I had a lot of stuff, and I do, but gathering it all in one place. . . .wow. I’m the only sentimental one between my brother, sister and myself. Much of what I have belonged to our grandparents. I also have things left over from my days of being a step-mother (of sorts, my ex had 2 kids and they all lived with me for a while). Clothing, toys, my own collections (roosters, cows, old rolling pins, old flour sifters, key chains to name just some). I have things that belonged to my sister and our mom. I really DID latch on to whatever I could! And I still really love all the things I have but, again, it’s rather pointless when it’s mainly in storage.

That’s my agenda now. Sell it all before snow flies again in October. Sooner hopefully so I can be out of my brother’s way! He absolutely had no clue what I meant when I said I had tons of stuff to get rid of. It literally looks like a small thrift store. And I’m adoring it, lol. Probably because I love thrift stores on account of the whole ‘recycle, reduce, reuse’ lifestyle I try to lead.

But this isn’t even why I began writing today’s post. Since I’ve been placing ads on various online sources, I received an offer I wasn’t expecting. I’d also posted an ad for my finished Tigger quilt.

A woman was interested in it for a baby gift and she mentioned the nursery was done in Winnie the Pooh. I told her I could do a custom quilt IN Winnie the Pooh. AND she’s all over it!🙂 And that’s not even the best part.

During our email exchanges, she also mentioned she has a children’s clothing and accessory store and I can put my quilts in there if I’d like. IF I’d like?!!! Of course I would!

My very immediate agenda is designing some baby/child size quilts. I’m staying home today, although it’s quite chilly in here right now (my wood stove has been out), and beginning the process. I have plenty of dormant ideas, I simply need to resurrect them. When my fingers aren’t cold and I don’t need to huddle under a pile of blankets that is.

Oh, yeah. I forgot to say, I still have stuff to haul to my brother’s!! It’s turning out to be a very good thing I finally decided to get rid of the clutter. My dream is to work from home and I’ll have room for all the different areas I’ll require. Because quilts are not the only passion of mine🙂

Labeling your work

I’ve always toyed with the idea of putting labels on my quilts. Being a fan of antique and vintage items, I wonder about the history associated with such things. Who had it first? When was it made? Why did they buy it? Or was it a gift? How long did they have it? Why did they get rid of it? WHO made it? It’s endlessly fascinating to me. Most of the time my questions go unanswered.

I want to put the year I made a quilt on the quilt. I’m hoping they’ll be around long after I’m gone and it would be neat for the owner to at least know how old it is. One day one of my quilts could be vintage! Is that wishful thinking or what?

I have this old, patchwork quilt top. Please excuse the picture, it’s the only one I could find. I’ve packed the quilt top in a bin somewhere and couldn’t locate it for a new photo.

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I discovered this quilt top in my grandmother’s stuff after she passed away and that was in 2004. I can only guess that her sister, Gertie, made it because my sister and I both have patchwork quilts also made by her. I LOVE this quilt top! It has the most hideous, wonderful fabrics. They’re so ugly, it makes them fantastic. It was probably fashioned from scraps and simply as something to cover up with because the pattern has no rhyme or reason. Way back when my grandmother was young, that’s what people did. They made what they needed. Oh, how I wish I knew the details surrounding this piece.

Why was it never completed? Was Gertie a procrastinator like me? Did a “better” quilt divert her attention? Maybe her sewing machine broke down and she couldn’t get it fixed? Sadly, there’s no one I can ask. This quilt top could be anywhere from 50 to 70 years old!

Labels are so necessary!

A couple years ago, I looked into pre-made options. Alas, I would’ve had to order too many to make it worth it. And with the year being on them, it wasn’t logical. So the idea of labels was put on a back burner. Until recently, when I began to actually FINISH my quilts.

I follow a few different blogs and one of them covered labels just today. Jodie (she spells her name the same as I do! Rare, I know🙂 ). http://homesweetdreaming.com/about/

Now that I’m beginning to complete quilts and would like to attempt selling them, the matter of labels is upon me once again. I’ve considered iron-on Canadian flags since I’m Canadian and am always so thrilled when I find something Made in Canada🙂 002

But I think the year is important too. My initials, not so much. No one will know what they stand for. JLH Quilts. . . . I like it. However, I’m never going to be a huge corporation, pumping out hundreds or thousands of quilts.

So despite my impressive collection of embroidery floss (picked up at a garage sale!), it may be pointless to do so much hand stitching.

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Althoughhhhh, there’s a product out there, printable fabric sheets. I’ve only just begun researching them, so I can’t recommend brands or even comment on how well (or not) they work. I may give them a try, it would be faster than hand stitching, which I could save for special quilts because I do enjoy the idea of coordinating threads to the quilt.

046. . . . I know why I have so much trouble focusing! Too many ideas!

I also Googled ‘make your own fabric labels’ and found this handy video. Of course, it’s not the only one and I thought I was simply putting a link in my post. Imagine my surprise when it showed up as the video! (Am I even allowed to do this? If someone knows that I’m NOT, please tell me).

 

My head is swirling now with label ideas. On something as large as a quilt, it wouldn’t be awful to have more information than just a date and initials. But would a printed label fade after so many washings and end up useless? Stitching might be the best?

Decisions, decisions! Whatever will I do?🙂