Storming and Juicing….

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I don’t know about you but living in Massachusetts this winter has been a bit chilly! There’s the temperature drop, and then the dreary gray skies. Then we’ve had some snow! Brrr! I’ve been carbo loading so to speak (best I can on a Gluten-free diet) and Ithink the amount of sugar in the house multiplies when it snows. There’s been school days and sick days and I think my body is seriously craving some summer!

Since my veggies have been neglected and are about to rot in the fridge, I cranked up the heat and decided to balance my Ayurvedic dosha somehow by juicing it all. Ahhhh, so much better. Juicing is about the last thing my body craves when it’s cold and wet outside. In need of such a reprieve from carbs juicing certainly did the trick. Once I sucked that juice down it calmed my entire system and reminded me throughout the day to consider self-care, natural foods from the source and healthy choices. Then it also made me want to plan out my garden!!! I’m envisioning this year, kale, swiss chard, lettuces & arugula, beets, carrots, snap peas, zucchini & summer squash, cucumbers, some random herbs and I may try brussel sprouts! Yum! Can’t wait…what are some juicing recipes you like and what do you choose to grow in your garden?

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A Mid Summer’s OWL Complete!

Yay! I finished my OWLS sweater…It was a quick knit, just took me a bit to get it up here as a completed project. It’s summer, I’m slacking, and that’s great- as a new englander, you gotta enjoy this fantastic weather while one can!  There are a few things I would do differently next time on the OWLS though. Maybe try it as a cardigan, get rid of the decreases on the back and just make it a raglan style, as I like to hide a bit in my sweaters, I’m not a tight fitting sweater person. Overall, I love the color and it feels wonderful! It’s made with the EcoWool Cascade. It does tend to pill, but it hasn’t been to bad yet. We’ll see post-summer how the pilling continues.

As excited as I am to finish the OWLS, I can’t wait to start another big project for myself but can’t decide on which lovely cardigan to knit. I have some Arucania Atacama I’m not to crazy about. It’s a variegated green yarn and I’m not sure how it will turn out and haven’t been to impressed by what I’ve seen on Ravelry. I can’t remember why or where I purchased it but it must have been so cheap or free if I’m not all that excited about it…Maybe a February Lady, a Shalom, a Coraline or Trellis & Vine….decisions, decisions…

1970’s Chair Re-Do: A Tutorial

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but time does get away from me…so without further ado, a chair covering tutorial!
See the before and after:


Granted, the red vinyl covering on the original wrought-iron chair lasted a real long time. It was my parents first kitchen set. When they moved out of their apartment and bought a house they inherited a larger table and chairs from my mother’s mom. This set went to the basement, was stowed away for twenty some odd years till I rediscovered it in college and used the tabel and chairs when I set up and art studio in the basement. Eventually, when I got my own place, a family etc, we needed some chairs. I remembered these and put them to use in my kitchen. It came with a table that had wrought iron legs and we replaced the yucky old tabletop with a butcher block type octagon top a friend had stowed away. Eventually we found a beautiful antique farm table and these chairs have been adorning it ever since. There’s something about the wrought iron I really like. Somehow, they’re timeless but also medieval or spanish inquisition-like, okay they’re very 70’s and remind me of my childhood I suppose, even though they lived in the basement my whole life. So onward in revamping these 30 something chairs!

What you need:
A cushion cut to size (if your chair doesn’t have one)
Fabric to cover
Batting (optional)
Screwdriver
Staple gun & staples
Measuring tape
Scissors
Hammer (or use the screwdriver or something to remove the old staples)

Step 1:
Grab your old chair and flip upside down. Look for screws and un-hinge your cushion from your chairs frame.


Step 2:
In this case, there was just one rusted old screw in each corner. Check out the vintage manufacturing info!

Step 3:
Once the screws are removed, set aside that chair frame and get to work removing the old cover to the chair. Yank those staples out, check out how the old covering was put on for reference, try not to stab yourself with any of those yummy rusted staples….

Step 4:
Okay, most staples are out! Check out your cushion cover and see if you need to replace it (ie. any animals that have been living there for a while etc.) I won’t get into cutting foam cushions here as these were still bouncy and cushy! The wood could have been replaced but no one ever sees that anyways. The extra upholstery in the corners was there and I kept it for extra shape to the final cushion. If you notice at all in the picture in Step 3, the red vinyl covering was actually sewn, like a box and somewhat capped the chair cushion. Here, instead, I’m simply going to wrap the fabric over the cushion to keep it simple and quick.

Step 5:
Grab your handy fabric measuring tape!

Step 6:
If your chair is square, yippee, very simple measuring for you! Measure across your seat cushion. Just wrap the measuring tape around the cushion like you were tying a package. I added some batting for a little extra cushion and fluff so the edges would be smoother. If you add batting just size it to the length and width of the cushion and include the depth or height. The fabric is what we’ll be stapling, feel free to staple through the batting as well by adding 2 extra inches to each side so the batting will fold over the cushion edge with the fabric. That’s a lot of layers to staple through and may be a tight fit back on your chair frame-FYI.

If you’re just using the fabric the go ahead and measure the width of the chair and the depth then add two inches to each side, do the same for the length. I think my chair cushion was 23″ x 23″, it had a 2″ depth and then I wanted at least two inches on each side so I have plenty to staple (you can always cut it off later! So I cut the fabric to be a 31″ square of fabric.

Step 7:
Just a photo to show you how the fabric flips over the edge of the cushion-Tah Dah!

Step 8:
Begin to staple! Fold over one side and staple in the center. Go to the opposite side of the edge you just stapled and fold that fabric up and staple in the center. Continue stapling the opposite sides and moving from the center out to the edges, pulling tightly but not allowing and bunches or buckling of the fabric to occur.

Step 9:
Alrighty-Good job!!

Step 10:
Now the corners!
I simply folded them in a pleat. If you’re familiar with hospital bed corners on sheets when you make your bed (something my mom taught me from her candy striper days) you can do those! Be sure no rough edges are showing, probably the trickiest part of the whole sha-bang! One side is tucked under and stapled to secure it. You may want to test it out a few times before stapling just so all your corners with match. There will be a seam or pocket for that folded corner and if you like symmetry, you may want to be sure the 2 back corners of the cushion and 2 front corners of the cushion go in the same direction as each other. It will just look more professional in the end!


See the seam/pleat I’m talking about here below?
Staple like crazy!

Step 11:
Whah-La! Corners done….trim any unsightly edges! Flip the cushion over and admire!

Done! Sit and enjoy your new seat! You can choose to add the screws back on or not, pending thickness, the chair, etc.

One last note!!! On picking fabric, choose something that won’t show stains….just something to think of! Also, I used a heavyweight fabric or home decor fabric just so it wasn’t wimpy and wouldn’t rip once you sta on it! PLus it also matched my Ikea chair in the background-how about that???  Think they’ll last another thirty years???

Myriad of Musings…

Took a little time to hang with a good girlfriend for a much-needed caffeine and brainstorming session. Boy that felt good, and they should definitely happen more often! Where does time go anyways?

Saw this find on the side of the road and thought it was a keeper! Cleaned it up and with some new nails and coat of wax it sparkles in the little corner it’s in.

It’s housing spinning, knitting, sewing and other art supplies now!

Pondering Siggs…

I’ve mulled over the stats on this for a few days, well actually more. These empty containers sit near the door ready for a quick exit but are exhibiting hope of turning into something more useful. They are Siggs!

A bit late upon hearing the news, I found out about the recall on older Siggs bottles and their dangerous lining that miraculously contains BPA. The very thing I thought I was getting away from, Hmrphf!

I have three Siggs bottles that meet the bad lining criteria and I’m not sure where to go from here.  I’ve missed all the shmancy exchange programs and replacement offers and truth be told, I prefer my Klean Kanteen and haven’t used the Siggs for sometime. I purchased the Siggs bottles after the Nalgene scare…and might I add, I still have my favorite Nalgene bottle or two and love them. Okay, so I haven’t used them, but the scuffed up, stickered and well loved Nalgene bottles hold great memories and if they end up contributing to my demise someday as I have consumed the many gallons of  water that flowed from these containers throughout my life, then so be it, bury me with it. My daughter however, has her Siggs in school every day…hence enormous concern on a safe replacement and how to not add more BPA to the landfills if I toss the old Siggs…

So the bottles sit empty and hollow near the door as I can’t bring myself to toss them and don’t know what else to do with them. Possible vase? Nice experiment really on the effects of BPA and a living organism, hmmmm. Or just another vessel of sorts hold knitting needles. I mean, at the least the bottles are pretty, even if the paint will probably be proven to conatin lead someday.

Now officially, Siggs did offer an exchange/recall, but I missed all those and they don’t seem to want them back this late in the game. If you Google “Siggs Recall” there’s a lot of info on the topic and I’m surprised that folks are more subdude about itas the info was so misleading and even large conglomerates such Patagonia have dropped the Siggs line from their inventory. This leaves me perplexed and I will have great guilt if I just pitch them but don’t feel like becoming a collector anytime soon either.

What have you done with your old Siggs bottles???

Green Evolution

So going green doesn’t seem to be new to anyone. Most folks know what it is, what it’s about and have even ventured into being more green. Do I need to elaborate?  

Abandoned rocker found on a corner, all cleaned up for it's new home...

Enter Hip Mountain Mamas’ One Small Change…I’m a bit late in the sign up but urge you to take some steps big or small to get a little bit of your green on. One Small Change is about doing something good for the planet, our environment consistently as possible for one month at a time. Maybe, if you’re greenish already it’s about trying something a little more green that you’ve always wanted to venture into or being more consistent in your green goodness. You can view some ideas at the site suggested above. 

We recycle paper- and whatever else our town will take…
We turn off the lights- in small house, it’s very easy to keep only one light  on.
We turn down the heat- for the day and well into the eve, although we wish we could get a wood stove for heat (as that would truly benefit us since my husband is a carpenter and wood tends on being around…)
We donate, upcycle, and reuse what we have and think about any purchases in-depth if we do need to make them (doesn’t happen often) Some items we’ve revamped, were gifted, or in dire need of a home is our boat (my hubby fixed), the studio (made from wood that was going to be tossed, can you imagine?), some awesome skates, and so on…
We eat in-irregularly, if we eat out we enjoy a real good meal and are a little choosy. Sometimes we even make our own bread, delish!

 

Homeade bread in handmade recycled tea towel bag...

Off the top of my head, those are the biggies, a lot of little things we don’t even think about anymore like the hand me down clothes we receive or creating new clothes from them, updating lightbulbs with more energy efficient ones as they blow out, bringing our reusable bags to the supermarket, being conservative on gas and walking or biking when we can, or packing school lunch in reusable containers. 

It is amazing how being green moves into your life unbeknownst sometimes. Good friends and some family have chickens for eggs, and amazing organic gardens, I hope to venture there but enjoy their greenness most of the time and don’t have a great green thumb, so to speak. 

Lastly, we would like to get better at composting, that seems to be a wave we sometimes ride but mostly we do pretty good. What are your typical ways of being green and getting greener? Where do you hope to start this year to get your family more green? I’d love to know!