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April 24, 2014

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day was this past Tuesday. I completely forgot, even though my trusty iPhone automatically put it on my calendar. I didn't mind. The Sailor and I spent the day wandering around garden centers looking for the perfect ferns and some red flowers to attract a few hummingbirds. What better way to celebrate the environment? 

I feel like most days around here are Earth Day in any case. I remember as a teenager, collecting aluminum cans was something we did for church fundraisers. Nowadays it's far more in vogue; our recycling bin is much bigger than our trash can at the moment.

We do our best around here to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but we don't obsess over it. I still use paper towels on occasion (after all, how else do you grease your cast iron pan?) and when we're out and about, we still buy a bottle of water when we're thirsty (usually after my glass bottle is completely empty!) 

But for the most part, we try not to waste food or electricity, and we tend to repair items in our household before we replace them. When we do have to replace them though, we usually donate the older item to a thrift store. (The Sailor is not a fan of clutter... and I have to say that most days it makes me crazy as well, even though much of the clutter stems from my own craft supplies. Here are more tips for Spring Cleaning, plus some tips on decluttering the craft supplies.)

And, of course, we plant stuff. We have a vegetable garden going at the moment, and now the porch is a perfect little plant haven for those times we want to sit outdoors. 

Happy Earth Day, every day! 

April 21, 2014

The In-Between Projects, Project

After whizzing my way through the zoo, I realized I didn't have another knitting or crochet project to start. Dishcloth 101 to the rescue. 

Long live the humble dishcloth!

I'm in the process of sorting out the office/craft room (AKA the Princess Pad as the Sailor affectionately refers to it...) Craft rooms and the supplies therein always need a good sorting. I can never remember what I have, so I've been reorganizing stuff where I can easily see it and therefore use it. 

I'm also realizing that eventually the little Peanut is going to have to sleep somewhere besides our room. So, I'm clearing out and making space and stash-busting of course.

Last year, just before we moved, I purchased three giant skeins of cotton yarn on sale. Don't ask me why... it's not like there aren't yarn stores here. I think I figured I'd need a go-to project as soon as we got to our destination. 

I didn't. I had plenty of other yarn in the pile. And so that yarn has sat on a shelf, patiently waiting for a project. 

I've scoured Ravelry for projects and nothing jumped out at me. I finally decided to simply stock up on dishcloths to use and to give away as gifts. So, now that I'm in between projects, dishcloths are the perfect excuse to use the yarn and to do some easy knitting and crochet in the evenings while catching up on TV.

Who knows, some of these may even end up as burp cloths.
What's your go-to in-between projects, project?

April 17, 2014

We Built a Zoo

Some people buy a zoo*. I decided to build one instead.

As soon as the palm tree and the giraffe were both finished, the rest of the animals arrived en masse! This pattern is super clever -- each animal ring gets gradually smaller as you make your way towards the top, so the crochet time subsequently gets less and less.

I'm not sure which animal is my favorite, but I'm leaning towards the lion. 

His mane and cheeks are the best! 

Having been on safari with the Sailor several times, I wanted to make my little zoo authentically African. As cute as the tiger was in the original pattern, I made a zebra instead. I used the same techniques to make the ring, and then I just sort of made up the head and the stripes as I went along.

Thumbs up for the pattern -- it was a worthy splurge. Plus, I ended up saving money in the end since I used up a lot of my stash yarn to make both the tree and the critters. 
 I think they're all going to be pals for a long, long time.

* We Bought a Zoo is a great movie. I highly recommend it, especially if you are an animal lover.

April 14, 2014

April Showers

We all know the saying, 'April showers bring May flowers...'

And of course I love flowers, so I don't mind today's rain. 

But that quote doesn't say anything about frost. However, after weekend temperatures here reached into the 80s, the weatherman says it's going to dip below freezing tomorrow night. 


If only we had waited a week to plant the tomatoes! I guess we'll be covering them in the meantime. 

It could be worse, I know. This weekend I met a gal who was returning home to a forecast of one foot of snow. Oh honey, I feel for you -- and for the rest of you who may be experiencing a very long and lingering winter.

C'mon Spring! I know you're out there.

April 11, 2014

Garden Green

Overnight, it seems the trees here turned green. And with the frost (hopefully) behind us, this was the perfect week to restart our garden. 

We may not have a backyard, but we like to think that all of the hiking trails and parks near us are simply an extension of our apartment. Plus, we have a neat little community garden right at our complex. Last year's little garden was such success (despite that run-in with the rusty wire...) so this year we're taking two plots.  

First, we pulled out the last of the Winter Kale, since it started going to seed.

Then we planted tomatoes, peppers and spinach. I know the spinach looks quite sad in the photo below, but after only being in the ground for 24 hours, it's now totally perked up!

Plants amaze me. What are you growing this year? 

PS: Anyone else spot that great vintage CorningWare oven/serving tray above? 
It definitely sees multiple uses around here.