Sunday, February 28, 2010

Signs of Spring

1. The snow is melting, though the garden beds are still covered.
2. Monday there was no ice on the duck water. And I say three daffodils blooming on the hospital campus.
3. Tuesday I got two eggs!
4. Wednesday I got no eggs.
5. Thursday it was damp bone chilly and windy.
6. Saturday we got 6 eggs and the bluebirds were flying around the yard with some serious intent, of what I know not. The daffodil fronds are starting to come up.
7. Today I collected 4 eggs and shall feed the bees and watch the sun shine. I am encouraged that the bees are still taking short flights in the warm weather, though I know this is the most vulnerable time for them. I will keep stuffing them with sugar water and hope for the best. Last year I bought a bag of "pollen substitute" whatever that is. Apparently you made up little cakes of it for the bees and it provides extra protein for them while they increase the brood. Now would probably be the time to get rolling on that as April is when things start blooming and I think it takes about a month to raise a bee. Cross your fingers for the little ladies. Not only is it a big setback to start all over again honey-wise, it is freakin' expensive at $65/3# box. They need all the help they can get right now. Especially since I am still in the steep learning curve of beekeeping.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Good Stuff

I was inspired by all the vintage sewing blogs I have been reading lately. That inspiration combined with a weekend full of sunshine meant that I actually dragged out some of my fun vintage things and took some photos. Here we go.

First, but not vintage... The sock I have started ....
And the yarn, beautiful to behold....
Some buttons, still on the card, from my great aunt Marge's attic....
An old bone crochet hook, also from Marge's attic. Have I told you about the attic? Oh my, well that is another story entirely.....
Snaps on an old card... I love this stuff. Also, most likely from The Attic.... (doesn't her outfit remind you of Wonder Woman?)
Here is a quilt top from a yard sale I bought for $2. What to do with it?
Some old weaving bobbins from a flea market...purely decorative....
This FANTASTIC piece of hand work given to me by the SB many years ago and STILL wanting to be framed and hung, but how? It really is delightful.... Entirely of satin stitches. The most fantastical birds and flowers....
One of the few Vogue patterns I have, my tastes and budget run more to Advance Patterns... More on those after another sunny weekend.... Check out that saucy blond!
One of my favorite children's patterns.... I just love this coat! (And I also love how the older girl is gettin' all bossy.)
Finally, one of my favorite pattern envelopes... So cute. I can't believe the price on it though... I wonder what else 35 cents would have bought during that time period!
OK, that is all for now. This should get me off the hook for a few days in the posting pictures department.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I'll check in again in about a month after I have read through every last stinkin' post from my new blog crush who I found via one of my long time favorite blogs (did I mention these folks moved to Palmyra?). Be sure to check out the exceptionally cool and very fresh Fashion on the Ration section. The ping back section took me to this post on darning, which I have been interested in as I am working up to a pair of socks. I figure I should know how to darn if I am going to spend time knitting socks. I have some of this heavenly make socks from. I am disappointed that the color isn't showing up quite right, at least not on my computer. The color I have is closer to something just between cinnamon and paprika. Not orange, but definitely not red. It is luscious and has a particular sound when it goes through your fingers. It is an unmistakably silky scrooshing. I went in to ask a question about how to determine my stitches per inch when I am using a rib stitch (after 20+ years of piddling around at kitting, I am constantly reminded of what a novice I am) and the owner of my LYS (who rocks) told me I was a loose knitter (whoot!) and that I should change my needles to a size 2 and work from there. In the event that you are unfamiliar with knitting needle sizes, size 2s are roughly equivalent a toothpick. I figure it will build character. And really, someone is going to have to do something with all the yarn in the sewing room. Since everyone I know already has a scarf, I definitely have to branch out.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Snowing again here at the Urban Farm and, of course, on the entire mid Atlantic. I am hoping for the lower end of the predictions, only 12-20 inches rather than the upper (around 40). The ducks are having their outing early so as to get a little exercise before the worst of it hits. Poor critters didn't get out much this week with the SB in NYC doing some work. I just hope I don't lose them in it... But that won't happen for another 20 inches or so.

I stocked up on milk (new farm, have I told you? So reliable. Milk is so ridiculously sweet and creamy - criminal really - there is plenty for hot chocolate), beef for stew (first time in months I have bought beef as I have been eating the cow my Dad raised and had butchered, but I couldn't get out there before the snow), wine (from my favorite wine shop) and I finally used my gift certificate from my local yarn store to score some new projects (needed like a hole in the head). And the pantry is full to bursting, so we should survive for the next 48 hours at least.

They closed the U last evening. I don't ever remember them doing that in advance of a storm. But I guess we were all very sure. Of course, even now the roads in town appear quite passable, but probably not so in the hinterlands.

I found this article in the NYT the other day. I thought you might enjoy reading about a psychic in Hell's kitchen who is giving shoe making lessons. As devastating at the recession is, it seems to be encouraging a creativity that I think our culture has been lacking for many a year. The innovation is inspirational. And I especially love that she has only two students at a time.

Thanks to another blogger, I found Kiva, which I love. Waiting for them to find partners in Haiti to continue the support there. Kiva lets you loan more or less directly to projects. And the money comes back to you (unless there is a default) with interest and then you can re-loan it. It is nice to know what you are supporting and you can make $25 go a really long way if you leap frog it from loan to loan.

I haven't even placed my seed order yet. Theoretically, we are 10 weeks from our last frost date, but is sure doesn't seem like it today. I think we are probably 10 weeks from seeing the dirt again, and who knows when things will dry out enough to plant, much less to dig the new beds we were hoping to put in.... Sigh.

I have resorted to sewing more summer outfits for the tiny ones.