30 November 2011

More Beer Shelves

Kevin's beer bottle collection continues to grow. This is even though it only contains the most interesting bottles. And even though we are brewing a lot of our own beer now and should be buying less of it. But Kevin continues to remind me that it is still much cheaper to love nice beers than it is to love nice wines. And that is very true.

So I had to add some more shelving to hold the growing collection, just 2 more shelves on one wall. I used the same method as before using 2x4s, the super easy and cheap method described here.

And what has our 21 month old Henry been up to? Well we've had some cold and rainy weather recently so we've been spending some time indoors. And he really likes hanging out in the basement. It's sometimes annoying to have to go down there with him - he's not the best at playing by himself and we brought the train table back upstairs for this reason. But it's also sometimes nice to hang out just the three of us playing together in the rec room.

He even let us play with his train track pieces, Henry was not very impressed with this and just wanted to play with the smaller track on the table after awhile. And clearly we need more straight pieces.
He loves playing lego with Daddy, mostly Kevin just makes him various cars but he also loves looking through the little pieces and finding the horses, dinos, alligators, and octopi.
And of course we're still reading up a storm. This is a rare moment when Henry was reading on his own, usually he insists that you read to him (and he usually doesn't read the book upside down either!).

28 November 2011

Feeding the Ducks

We had some warm weather today so got out and fed the ducks. Henry is really into making all his toys "eat" right now so it was extra fun this time. He kept saying "duckies eat".

25 November 2011

Carrot Harvest 2011

We had a nice warm day today. So Henry and I took advantage and got out to dig up the last of the carrots. (It's been getting increasingly unpleasant to go out and dig up a few before each meal.) We've been eating them regularly since August so this shows about 75% of the total. One day I plan to weigh every piece of food that comes out of the garden in a year. I have visions of the kids getting really excited about this idea and doing it along with me - now I just have to hope I end up with the right kind of kids, the ones that don't use words like lame.

This year's harvest is not as great as 2009 (2010 carrot harvest was non existent due to a lack of watering in the spring) but I think we ended up with a pretty decent amount that should last us most of the winter. Of course though this includes lots of annoyingly small carrots which don't keep as well and which require a lot more prep work per pound of food. And I did separate them so that I can use them first but I foresee many afternoons in which "I am just not in the mood to deal with tiny carrots". I must remember that I don't like small carrots next year when "I just don't feel like thinning the plants".

Henry wasn't enjoying our time in the backyard. He spent a bit of time helping me with the carrots and then enjoying the sandbox but mostly he just kept saying "no carrots", "no outside", and "open door". But he did enjoy the other activities we fit in on this nice day.

We went to the playground, played with some big sticks, and did some hiking too. Henry always points to paths through trees he'd like to investigate and says "hike". I hope he keeps doing this for the rest of his life.

20 November 2011

A Visit with Santa

We took Henry to visit Santa this weekend. It was really fun. We looked at pictures of Santa and read books about Santa last week so he knew exactly who he was and was excited to see him. He didn't want to sit on his lap but he did seem to like Santa. These are the best pictures, there are pictures from last year here.

15 November 2011

A Warm November Day

Holy moly we had some nice weather today. Henry and I took advantage of it and spent all afternoon outside. We played in the yard a bit then headed to the park and played at the playground and in the forest. And I got the sweetest pictures of my sweet little boy.

The greenhouse

We actually did it. We made a greenhouse with the windows that we've been collecting from people's garbage for 3 years. 3 years is a long time so at the end of the summer I decided I had to actually make the greenhouse or get rid of the windows that were taking up so much space in the garage. And I'm still surprised that I ended up doing it. And even more surprised that it turned out so awesome.
We ended up using just 4 windows thanks to those 2 huge ones that made up the one big wall. And try as I did I could not find a storm door for free so we ended up buying one from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. The free windows helped but we still ended up spending a lot of money on this project: the lumber, the plastic roof, the door, the paint.

It is done, all 3 walls are complete. There are of course lots of little things left to do. I have to add weather stripping, spray foam, and sealant to keep out drafts, but I think I will leave that till Spring. And I want to find nice pebbles to cover the floor. And I have to make or buy shelving of course.

And when I tell people about our project they all ask what I want to grow. And I don't know, I just figured it would be awesome to have a greenhouse and I'm sure it will help in the veggie garden. So I have to figure out what I want to grow in there too. I know I will use it for tomatoes, maybe eggplants and peppers because I've never had much luck with those. I am also thinking about maybe a potted fig tree that could overwinter in there. And I'm sure one summer I'll experiment with melons. And I want to do extend greens season further into spring and fall. See I don't need to decide, having a greenhouse is awesome and there are loads of awesome things I can do.

We started working on it in September and got most of it done then. But then in October we were stuck waiting for it not to rain forever so we could do the painting. And then finally last weekend we had nice weather and we did the roof and then this week I finally got round to filling a few holes - one with a sliding wood panel for ventilation (seen below) and one with plexiglass.

Here's Henry helping me clear out the area back in September.
Here's Henry helping us paint in October.
Hopefully he will help with the finishing touches in the Spring.

Somewhat Simple

14 November 2011

2 New Skirts

I am very much into elastic waist skirts nowadays and think I will be through the rest of my childbearing years - I am sick of changing sizes and not fitting into my clothes. And they are comfy and warm with some soft leggings underneath. I made these 2 a couple of weeks ago.

This first one was actually already a skirt but it was full length and super high skinny waisted - not very comfortable or wearable. But I loved the pattern on it and it is a nice knit material so could be very comfortable. I've had it forever, I remember wearing it for 7th grade picture day and before that I think it was my mum's. And now after hanging in my closet for years and years I am actually getting wear out of it and I love it.
This one was made from some thrift store fabric. I just traced the approximate shape of another skirt and added a circular patch pocket.
We cleared some leaves on Saturday. Here's Henry helping. Putting leaves in the wheelbarrow one small handful at a time and then helping me push the wheelbarrow to the road.

13 November 2011

Yellow Hat #3

This is the third yellow hat in Henry's collection now as I have been trying to replace his old too small one. Luckily he doesn't hate this one like the last one, in fact he puts up little to no fuss about wearing it. And I made it nice and long to cover his little ears and his whole big forehead. I used the same pattern as back in August when I made that other hat that Henry hates but did ribbing at the bottom instead of rolling.
We had a little bit of snow on Friday that you can see in the above picture. Henry wasn't too excited about it though, he just called it rain. Maybe he'll be more impressed when it stays on the ground.

11 November 2011

Slippers for Amy

I made myself some slippers this week. I used Prudent Baby's free pattern like I did for my sister's slippers last year. I used an old sweater of mine that suddenly shrunk one time even after I'd been wearing and washing it for years. I really like this pattern - easy and makes comfy pretty slippers.
And Henry's been really into playing with something else handmade recently. Kevin and I made these zoo animal magnets a couple years ago, finishing them just after Henry was born. He's really into animals so he names them all and takes them out of the box to stick to the fridge.

09 November 2011

Some Food Experiments

I did a few food experiments recently. Well I followed recipes so nothing super experimental. Here are my results.

I finally got around to making my own almond milk. It was super easy and pretty tasty. It has a lot more taste than the store bought stuff - a marzipan taste. I quickly got used to the taste though and think I could get into the hang of making it on an at least semi-regular basis.
I also tried making some cashew yogurt using this recipe. I did add a little probiotic powder since I had it even though the recipe didn't call for it. It turned out a lovely consistency and you can see from the picture with my maple syrup mixed in I was so ready to love it but I didn't like it at all, couldn't even eat that bowl. Too much cashew taste, it also had a bit of a fizz on my tongue which I've gotten in bad batches of my soy yogurt before. I am trying to eat a little less soy so there may be some more experiments like this coming up.
And to keep things interesting, here are some pictures of Henry on a fall hike we did last week.

08 November 2011

New Duvet Cover

I had a bit of sewing time last week while Henry played with his trains in the rec room (which is also my current sewing studio). So I finally got around to this simple project.
I had acquired a few queen flat sheets before I decided that I did not like using flat sheets - I only like using a duvet with just a duvet cover. So these weren't getting used. And Kevin and I both LOVE this cactus sheet. We also have the cactus fitted sheet but even with our never-made bed you don't get to see fitted sheets enough.
I just laid a duvet cover over the sheets and cut them to size, then sewed them together on three sides. The backside is another yellow flat sheet. And the bottom is held closed with buttons. Now I can retire our old pilly duvet cover and we'll still have 2 really nice ones to keep. (You can see a bit of our other really nice duvet cover in the last picture of my last post.) And we get maximum enjoyment out of those awesome cacti!
I should also mention our artwork above the bed. I made that a few months ago. I found the yellow tablecloth with brown and orange embroidery at a thrift store. Then I used my table saw to turn a 2x4 into a frame and stapled the tablecloth to it. I do love our yellow bedroom.

04 November 2011

Bear Hood

In an effort to get Henry a nice warm hat that fits him well and that he will wear I sewed up the bear hood from Oliver and S Little Things to Sew yesterday. I chose soft fleece and made sure to make it yellow which is Henry's favourite colour. (The only hat he currently wears is his yellow hat.) And he likes putting on his bath towel that makes him look like a duck so I thought there was a chance he might like to look like a bear.
I showed it to him this morning and he hated it. He hated it so much he yelled no and ran away as soon as he saw it. So that is why Big Bird is the one wearing the hat. But Henry didn't even like that, he had to grab Big Bird off the sofa to save him from the hat.
On an unrelated note, last night I found this awesome vintage outfit, would have looked especially awesome with the yellow bear hat too. I couldn't resist not only because I love it and its one-of-a-kindness but because I knew Henry would love it too - it's yellow and has an animal on it. And he does love it, kept saying "yellow pants". But it's just a smidge too small so after these photos were taken it is on its way into storage for baby #2. Oh well, at least Henry and I got to enjoy it for a little while this morning.