Sunday, September 28, 2014

You know it's fall when...'re buying yarn at the Woolgathering, the chestnuts are falling, and the chicken coop is in place!  yay!  the mister put together our chicken coop this weekend and its' just fantastic!  now we need to paint it to protect it - and I'd certainly rather have a colorful and cute coop!  

oh, i just love it!  I can't wait to get chickens in the spring!

The chestnut empire continues this year - I think we've collected nearly 200 lbs so far!  I roasted up a bunch this morning to freeze for use in recipes later.  I got this tip after talking to one of the Chinese ladies at work who bought a lot from me this year.  Apparently chestnuts are really big in Chinese cooking - in real chinese cooking - not the chinese that we get at the restaurants, which is not really chinese at all!  haha!  Anyway, aren't they beautiful?

I got a pumpkin and a warty gourd from a guy who runs a little farm stand just down the road from me - it doesn't get much more "fall" than that. He also had bird's nest gourds - the green crook neck ones - that will dry out and be hollow!  Those were $1 each so I got a bunch!  i want to make a couple toad houses from them - we seem to have a lot of toads here and I just love them!

This giant guy, who I call Fritz, likes to sit in the track for the sliding glass door at night when we have the light on - I guess it attracts a lot of insects and he has a feast!  

On the crafting front, I've got a pair of socks on the needles for my mom for Christmas.  After that, it'll be a pair of socks for my dad, then hopefully I'll have time for a pair of thick worsted weight ones for the mister, and maaaaybe a hat for him too!  yowza!  it's not like any of that takes so long, but I've realized that having 2 kittens in the house makes knitting really difficult!  they inevitably want to be in your lap and then it all goes downhill!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Plunge!

I just ordered a chicken coop!!!!

Our plan was to build one this fall and get chickens in the spring, but I found this Clubhouse Coop online for $399 and it had great reviews and tons of features that I wanted.  I waivered on the prospect of building a coop - it went from totally doable to something I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle - back and forth and back and forth.  Neither the mister nor I are master carpenters, but I know people with way less skill have cobbled together coops.  I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg so I thought making it would save money, but I also know I'd have to buy lots of stuff - even with our stash of lumber, I'd need hardware cloth and hinges and latches.  plus, i kind of didn't want my coop to look like crap, and our cobbled together one probably would.  This one isn't huge - big enough for 4 chickens, which is all we want to start with - but you can add runs lengthwise (they sell them separately) or if we get more chickens than this will hold maybe then we can tackle making another coop and this could be a separation coop, or one for more delicate little ladies.  I'm pretty excited!  We'll still get chickens in the spring!

Monday, September 1, 2014

baby quilt!

I finally finished the baby quilt that I've been working on!  I'm still not totally happy with the quilting, but I think I just need more practice.  I guess it's not just that - i thought it'd be cool to do some different quilting on each of the blocks, but I wish I'd stuck with one theme - either the straight lines like I did on most of the blocks or the meandering which I did on only two.  I didn't like the meandering after the 1st block, but then I kind of had to repeat it at least once.  bleah.  oh well.  i liked it after the 2nd one but then it was too late for more.  Oh well - I'm not going to stress!  babies don't judge.  The little girl is due in early October, i think, and she'll be getting the February baby sweater and the little pink dress with the bear on the front too!  For her big brother, I embroidered 4 cute aliens on a sweatshirt - because I know that a 5 year old doesn't understand why someone is getting a gift and he's not!  It'll be his big brother gift!  Now to start thinking about Christmas!  My brother and SIL have 5 kids with another in the oven AND a foreign exchange student.  because they're nuts, i guess.  Anyway, i'm thinking about making the whole darn family Thorpes (the bulky weight earflap hat).  My only fear is that for kids, a hat may be the equivalent of a pack of underwear.  I want to think a hat is more fun than that.  Part of me doesn't care.  i think I could knock them out quickly and have time to make something special for my mom, who really appreciates it!  Any opinions on how kids view hats?  they range from a baby up to 13!