Showing posts from May, 2019

Of Weeds and Tweeds

I'm trying to catch up on documenting the projects I've been working on lately.  Ive been going through a rough time, and I just let my writing languish. For instance, there's this silly project.  Robb and I have been participating in vintage themed cycling events, which I've written about previously.  I've been wanting to make Robb a knitted waistcoat for some time.  Of course, I can't do anything the easy way, so I decided to use a v intage knitting pattern as well as y arn I'd dyed with invasive plants or garden trimmings. (The model on the original pattern gave me the creeps, so Robb collaged our kitty Smog's head on the picture.  Totally normal thing to do.) The yellow yarn was dyed with super-invasive broom plants.  The green was cardoon leaves dipped in an after-bath of rusty iron-water (made with all the terrifying nails I've dug up in the back garden over the years).  The pink color was made with the bark of twigs from my p

Adjusting Our Pantries

When last we left our heroine, she was standing in her pantry, considering the squalor... PANTRY. PAN -- TRRRREEEEE. I said PANTRY . Geez people!  Get your minds out of the gutter. It was pretty bad.  Despite what this photos suggest, this is a strangely tiny room.  We suspect it was a breakfast nook, a room that was very popular in 1920s bungalow.  The thing is that we already have a dining room, and really don't need a second room devoted to eating. On good days, we'd refer to this room as the Pantry.  On bad days, it was the Crap-Dumping Room. We really didn't know what this room wanted to be, and so we ignored it.  Until last summer, when my sister and her family came to visit.  Our little house has one guest room, but it's not fair to ask a teenager to sleep in the living room. We sprang into action.   Robb popped out our antique sash windows, and got to work scraping paint. We use a horribly corrosive paint remover on our w

Confessions of a Terrible Beekeeper

 ... My life has been over-scheduled lately, and one of the things I've totally neglected is my bees.  I had every intention of splitting my colony into two hives, but I never managed to make time for this. Until yesterday. I wandered out into the back garden, with the stated objective of drinking coffee and staring at things. And one of the first things I noticed was that there was a huge mass of bees on the outside of their hive box. Clearly it was time to attend to the bees. As soon as I took the lid off the hive, I knew I was in trouble.  The bees had built honeycomb under their roof.  This was a clear sign that the hive was overcrowded, and that I needed to take immediate action. A beehive is a lot like a filing cabinet, with frames that slot into place inside each box, much like hanging file folders.  While some beekeepers use different height boxes for different purposes -- honey production, and brood -- I like to use one size box for everyt