citrus-infused vinegar

i’ve placed some citrus peels in vinegar. this vinegar is intended for cleaning around the house, which seems like a lot of work, but i really dislike the smell of vinegar. especially when i use it in a spray bottle and the tiny particles float around in the air. in the past, i’ve tried adding essential oils like tea tree and lavender to cut through the sharp vinegar smell. that works great, but essential oils are not inexpensive, and since the vinegar will mostly just go down the drain, i thought i’d try orange peels and see how that works.

i filled up a jar with vinegar and added orange and clementine peels to it. i’ve read that you can leave it for a few weeks, shake it up once in a while, and the citrus oils eventually come out of the peels. if it all works out, this should act as a degreaser with a fresh citrus scent. let’s see if it works.

anyone tried this yet? let me know how you use vinegar.

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bella’s mittens…for me

finished these the other day. another pair of bella’s, this time for myself.

alpaca wool blend. i like the cabling.

there’s another snow storm moving in as i write this. stay cozy!

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under the weather, dusting off…

dusting off the snow… dusting the cobwebs, too, off my neglected little blog.

i’ve been fighting a battle of sorts and we’ve had some recent success. and while it has been a good exercise in activism, bringing me in touch with some great people in the community, it has also been consuming. my remaining time and energy has been devoted to my kids and everything that that entails around the home, school and family.

the making continues. i dusted off my sewing machine recently, quite literally. took it apart and dusted out all the bits, and oiled it up. then i sewed a new cover for the machine so it wouldn’t get into such a state again. i made the cover using remnant marimekko fabric from this project.

i’ve become quite comfortable with making bread and it has become a routine i look forward to. it just feels like the most wholesome, basic, rewarding thing i can do right now. mr.MadeItSo got me a fantastic henckels bread knife for my birthday. it has made such a difference to slicing bread, i can make the slices so thin now, and it doesn’t crush the bread at all. hooray for great tools that can last a lifetime.

i’ve got a few projects on the needles. and i’m planning our planting for our new raised beds this spring. do i start the seeds indoors? how? most importantly, where? i have no idea, but i hope to figure it out.

space is feeling tighter than ever, with the kids growing bigger. i feel like i’ve expended all my decluttering and space-saving know-how (“think vertical!” —  i think we’ve run out of vertical). it doesn’t help that the walls in this house feel closer than usual in winter, when we don’t have the backyard as another room to enjoy. and with the front hall  even more cluttered with piles of boots,  coats, mitts and hats in addition to the usual backpacks on the hooks, i find it takes so much energy to just accept it as the way things are in a small house with five people. but spring will be here soon and i should at least have a plan for that room outdoors.

in the meantime, i’m trying to enjoy what is right now. as uncomfortable as that may be at times. early mornings at the bus stop with winds chilling the temps to -30C (-22F) and even lower. but i’m thankful for snow. for wool.  for hills nearby.

and for friends who deliver piping hot homemade lasagne, because they know you’re feeling under the weather. thanks S. i hope to be over the weather soon.

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warm fuzzies… socks off the needles

for my daughter. hard to get a photo when they have been worn and washed a few times already. but here they are…

i used melissa morgan-oake’s directions from her book. read my interview with her here.

i made it using some lovely gift yarn from ages ago (thanks debbie!).

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planting garlic

i have never grown garlic, but apparently, fall is the time to get the bulbs into the ground. it makes sense, as most bulbs (tulips, daffodils, anemones, etc.) go in the ground in the fall when the earth is still warm, giving them time to establish their roots.

i purchased a package of heirloom garlic from the grocery store.

it’s the “hard neck” variety. it has a fibrous part in the centre of the bulb, you can see it in the garlic bulb above that has been opened. from inside the packaging…

i broke up the bulb of garlic into individual cloves before planting. this is called “cracking.”

i’ve also heard that you can plant the root end of spring onions (aka “green onions” and “scallions”) and they will re-grow! it seems like a bit of magical garden folklore, but when you think about it, of course it makes sense. i decided to try it out as well…

we added some compost to the garden bed, and raked it evenly. it’s not a big space, maybe two feet by four.

we spaced the bulbs out, 2 inches down into the dirt, and about 4 inches apart.

we planted them with the root side down. same with the spring onions.

we then covered them up with dirt and tucked them in tight for the long winter ahead.

we also made 2 raised cedar beds for veggies, and made a little spot for composting our leaves. it’s just a small cage made out of chicken wire. we’ll be combining the leaf rot compost with our kitchen scraps compost in the spring, in the hopes of having some good rich soil for growing.

i’ll let you know how things grow this spring.

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