Oups I did it again…

Man, I miss writing.

I don’t know what happened over the last nine months or so, but writing was far, far, far away from my list of things that I wanted to do.

Having surgery last October took it out of me and everything that came after it was just too tiring to consider. I’m not feeling any better at the moment in regards to my health, but I am feeling a little more inclined to write.

The thing is, there was so much I wanted to write about, I just didn’t have the energy to sit down and formulate coherent thoughts about everything I wanted to write about. Most of it pertained to food, some of it pertained to projects and even some still had to do with SALLY & Co.

So what should I do?

How about I start by making this a massive photo-dumping post (because that’s always fun!) and then I could just see how things play out over the next little while.

Sound good? Good.

So without further ado, here we go!

X-Garden Update

This is what our raised bed garden currently looks like, as of about a couple weeks ago. We had a return of bees to our formerly empty hive! For the longest time we had bees and wasps coming into the hive and ransacking whatever was remaining from the previous colony’s stores of honey after realizing we had no bees. As of a few weeks ago, we now have a proper colony of bees again and the ladies are working their little butts off to get enough new stores before the winter hits. Hopefully they will be more successful than their predecessors, who, unfortunately, we were told, had gone into the winter without a viable Queen.

The Hubbs is also beginning the slow process of being mentored in the arts of beekeeping, as we will be the ones taking care of this hive as best we possibly can. Sadly, J & Miss R are no longer going to be doing the bee thing as they lost almost all their hives over the winter, except for maybe two or three of the many they had set up around the city. The Hubbs wants to make sure he can do everything in his power to help this colony survive as there have been so many colonies of bees which have been decimated from all sorts of horrible things. We have been planting as many bee-friendly flowers as we possibly can in hopes that it helps the Little Ladies to flourish.

As for other 2013 Garden Experiments, at the beginning of the summer I had purchased some corn transplants from our fantastic egg & flour CSA farms. Again, a few weeks back, is a photo of the corn’s girly bits readying itself for pollination from surrounding corn plants. Unbeknownst to me at the time, you’re supposed to plant corn in squares to increase the chances of cross-pollination in your corn. The wind is the biggest pollinator for corn and the more chances you give the corn’s silks to catch the falling pollen from above, the better odds of having actual cobs of corn with fully developed kernels on it. We shall see if we get any viable specimens this year, seeing as I only had four transplants and was sexing up all the corn by hand.

One night over dinner, we were discussing my new discovery of corn pollination with J & Miss R and everyone had the mental picture of me going around the garden “sexing up my girly corn bits with boy corn bits”, J said we should play the song “It’s raining men” around the garden to get the corn in the mood for pollination ;D

X-Garden Corn

Well, I finally finished my first crocheted commission projects. Ladies & Gentlemen, I introduce to you Peep and the Lumpy Space Princess.

X-Peep & LSP

I am currently working on Loki for my newest Project #Ranma! Amigurumi and will actually be making a second one in the near future for another commissioned project for a friend of The Hubbs’ in Vancouver.

X-Loki Bits

Now that The Hubbs & I are taking over the beekeeping responsibilities (okay, more The Hubbs, than I, but still!), The Hubbs had some very grave concerns that I might have a serious allergic reaction should I ever be stung because we’re not entirely sure what SALLY’s done to my immune system’s ability to deal with things like foreign substances in my body. The other thing is that we’re not entirely sure if The Hubbs has allergies to stings, either. So as a precautionary measure, we got me a couple of prescriptions for an Epi-pen. HOLY JEEBUS these things are terrifyingly huge! The sight of it even terrifies me and I’m pretty used to needles and scary pokey things now o_O;;

X-Epi Pen

From our wonderful 2013 CSA delivery, we have a first: CANTALOUPE! Homegrown in Alberta! I find that absolutely amazing and it tastes pretty damn fantastic, I have to admit and I am almost considering the idea of naming it my favourite melon… almost.

X-CSA 2013 Cantaloupe

Whilst shopping last week, I stumbled upon this brand new tea: Dark Chocolate Chai. Mmmmm…. so incredibly yummy and is great when used as a base for making steel-cut oatmeal, believe it or not! How, you ask?

* Bring to a boil 1cup milk + 1 1/4 cup water + squeeze of honey with 2 teabags.
* Turn down heat to simmer and add 1/2cup steelcut oats.
* Cook for 5 minutes, remove teabags.
* Continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occassionally!

X-Chocolate Chai

Finally, my last photo of today’s post: 1L of iced teaccino. The weird thing? Even though it’s a 1L mason jar, it’s not actually a lot of caffeine. There’s a full tray of ice, a small cup of strongly brewed rooibos tea, a large espresso and finally a 1/2 glass of milk.

X-Teaccino

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First Commissioned Amigurumi: COMPLETE!

I have to admit, I am pretty impressed.

I’m pretty impressed that I made this from a pattern that I managed to put together myself.

Would I ever consider doing this again? Maybe. I guess it depends upon whether it would be worth my time & effort.

This little guy is Peep and he was based upon the logo of a small at-home business.

The owner is actually someone I used to work with when we were both still massage therapists. Life has certainly changed for both of us. I just hope that the finished amigurumi exceeds her expectations when she sees it for the first time in person.

Below are just a few pics of Peep from different angles.

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Project Aliens’n’Farm Friends complete!

I finally finished our Goddaughter’s Christmas blankie ^_^

I’m rather proud of this creation more than any other blanket project I’ve made thusfar because of all the applique bits.

With the exception of the cow, I managed to make all the pieces by winging basic shapes & patterns.

The baby Cthulhu was based off Shala’s alien pattern, found here, which was fairly easy to customize into the Cthulhu pattern I wanted.

The rest of the appliqué pieces were a little more tedious, to say the least.

I have to admit, making this blankie was certainly eye opening in some respects. I am found it extremely disappointing at how few free patterns there are available that people are creating. There are some amazing, and relatively simple to make patterns that I wish more people would be willing to share instead of charging $2-5 for.

Maybe it’s because I only crochet for the enjoyment of being able to gift friends & family with something that I’ve made myself, but it seems that with platforms like Etsy & Ravelry, people are more than ever putting a pricetag on everything they create instead of considering “open sourcing” their patterns. A bit of a shame, really.

I have to admit, if I were a bit more meticulous, I would certainly put out free patterns for this blanket’s individual pieces. Perhaps if there is interest, I might still consider the idea of writing up my own patterns for this blankie.

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Project #Ranma! “Pachirisu, I choose YOU!”: COMPLETE!

Finished Project Ranma! Amigurumi #2!

I’m not doing shabbily so far in turn around time — admittedly I’ve only just begun the process and I have quite a few more stuffies to go, of which some will be quite a bit more complicated and intricate to assemble all their body parts.

I’m still collecting peoples amigurumi pattern choices and the variety of patterns is nothing short of awesome to me. I am kind of wishing I could keep them all until I’ve finished the last amigurumi before mailing them out, but if I did that, this project would probably never be completed.

…I just have this weird feeling that I should have as many sent off as possible before surgery next week. That’s the thing that bothers me the most right now — had I decided to do this project earlier, I probably would have completed a lot more by this point.

Or not.

Cuz yanno, I’m a great procrastinator, not to mention an awesome starter of projects that never get completed :P~

 

 

Happy Birthday!

It’s our goddaughter’s first birthday today and to celebrate the special occassion, I’ve made her this adorably floppy and squishy unicorn stuffy.

E=MC^2’s our very own little “haggis wonton” ^_^

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Update: His name is Arthur ^_^ After opening Lil’E=MC^2’s present, we were discussing the creation of Arthur and I mentioned to J & Miss R that even though he’s a pink unicorn, he never ever felt like a girl to me — only ever a boy unicorn. With that information, and after a few name tries, he was decidedly named Arthur.