Friday, May 31, 2013

May is Gone!!!

Not sure where the heck this month went or 5 months in 2013!!  Time seems to be moving faster each day.

The garden is planted and everything is doing well.  This is one of our bed of cabbages.  Some of these will be used for sauerkraut.  They survived the transplant much better this year as it wasn't blazing hot.  We have Stonehead, Pixies, Bobcats, Blue Dynasty, Blue Thunder, Bourbon, Late Flat Dutch, Red cabbage and Caraflex.  There are shallots and peas in the bed behind the cabbages.
  Looking from the east gate to the west end of the hoop house.  The tomatoes are doing much better this year as well.  Our paste/sauce varieties this year are San Marzano, Viva Italia, Margherita, Daiquiri (these are real varities), Plum Regal, Martinos Roma, plus a few others.  We are trying a couple of Heirlooms this year, Black Krim and Costoluta.

The garlic has made up for lost time when it was frozen back in the deep freeze we had go through here in early April.  Some of it didn't make it back, in particular one of the Creoles.
We have a number of different varieties, trying them to see which ones we like the most.  A few are Siberian, Chesnok Red, Tuscan, German Red, Spanish Rojo, Italian Late and Duganski.  I even remembered to mark the rows and keep a copy of the plan, where I can find it.
 Our major project this year is an addition to our home.  This is the before photo and after waiting 5 months to stat, the process is underway.  We are turning the current office into the hallway, the extra bedroom into the office and adding a bedroom and my dream studio.  I will have everything together under one roof when we are finished.  It will be wonderful!!!  Joedy has all the cabinets built for the dyeing room.

This is how the house looked this morning after they were out here two days.  They have removed all the bricks from the front of the house, with the exception of the garage. The addition will be built on to the west wall that extends out.  So much for having both ends equal one another, but I can live with it.  There was an ash tree in the middle of the grass and it was removed several weeks ago.

They broke ground this morning, digging out the soil for the crawl space and footings.  I am finally getting a little excited about it.
We have looked at a lot of stuff, I have finally decided on paint colors for the cabinets, we found some brick we like for a couple of the interior walls, have the sliding doors figured out, found an old door from the original farm house that we will use between the dyeing room and studio area, so we are happy to be underway.  More to come as we move along with the project.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring!!??? and Buttons

I have been trying to figure out if spring is here yet or if it isn't going to bother showing up this year.  There are a few remnants of the last snow storm which was on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We have had more snow in the last 30 days than what we did all winter.  A few have actually been beneficial for the crops.  The deep, flash freeze the first of April was not.  The only positive thing about that night was that all the tiny little weeds coming up in the garlic bed died.  Along with the daffodils and anything else that was up.

The greenhouse is thriving, a little slower than years past, largely due to lack of sunshine and cold weather.  Nonetheless the little plants continue to demand more space and larger containers!  Unfortunately for some of them it is not happening fast enough.

I revisited a hobby I have had for many years, collecting buttons, but have never been very serious about it.  Just sort of a hit and miss thing for the most part. I would pick some up at quilt shows now and then, some from my husband's grandmother, some I purchased at an antique store in Colby.  My button collection is slowly coming together.  My source has been ebay and Etsy, no place around here to find the type of buttons I am seeking.

I think Shelia, who delivers our mail, might be getting a little tired of my small packages.  I do think she might like the little ones over the larger ones I was getting when I was buying Geo Trax for the boys.  Another advantage to the buttons is the postage, not the factor it was with the Geo Trax.

Back to the buttons.  I have acquired  some nice cards and right now I have a lot of loose buttons floating around the house that have been sorted.  They are in little piles here and there.  I can see a need to get them gathered up and stored for the time being until I get some frames purchased and know what size to cut the mat board so that I can mount them.
Tiny, small, diminutive, whatever you want to label them
This card came from some lady's estate in New Hampshire.  A number of buttons I have purchased come from back East.  I have received some great ones from Wisconsin, of course Alex would tell me what do you expect.  And then California, some of my favorite ones have come from there.

I have found that some people displayed them in some very unique ways, like the group above, which has a title in the orange, "SUN".  There are rays radiating out from the center circle.  I have seen many different configurations, paintings or drawings on the cards, labeling in some unique way.  It has been an interesting journey on several levels.

I am not a hard core collector, as I just collect the ones I like, which seems to be increasing the more I know about them and the more I see.

  I like metal/brass/steel ones, which there a number of different types here, but I am attracted to the floral variety on these for the most part.  Diminutive buttons, didn't know that word was associated with buttons until I really got into them.  I like glass, metal, mop, you name it, I just like tiny buttons!!  Then there are Depression glass buttons and the ever infamous Bakelite, which anyone selling a plastic button on ebay at the moment likes to attach that label to it and most of the time it isn't that.  There are vegetable ivory buttons, never knew about that stuff, but I have an awesome button with a dragon fly on it.  Horn, composition, whistle buttons, cricket cage, I have come across many different and interesting types of buttons and I know more about buttons now than I did a few weeks ago and I am having fun!!

Bakelite Buttons, yellow ones known as "apple juice"

And or course there are items to check out there that go along with buttons, thread, needles, needle cases, bodkins, baskets, etc. I have decided the best antique sewing items come from Europe.  I have seen some beautiful pieces listed and they usually come from Europe at some point in time or are still in England.  Of course there are the beautifully carved needle cases and items that come from the Far East.

My husband has commented on the irony of buying something that was once given away.  Little mending sets, needle cases with business names on them, packets of needles, button hooks with a business' name on it, are now sold.  There are some fun little items.  

This is just like the one I had growing up
Viewing sewing baskets has really aged me.  I found out that I am 'vintage' because I had one of those 'vintage' pink, round sewing baskets with the hard lid that had the floral decal in the middle of it.  And then it had a little ledge on one side where the spools of thread would sit.  Both my sister and I had one.   I saw one that looked quite similar to mine the last time I remember seeing it, pleated on one side.

I think I am getting pretty good at telling when a sewing basket has been emptied out and the good stuff taken.  I am not sure I have seen one yet that has been sold in tact.  There are always a few wooden spools of thread, maybe a card of ric rac or bias tape, sometimes both, a packet of needles, maybe a darning egg or tracing wheel, now and then some DMC thread or perle cotton.  Some crappy, old scissors they found someplace else in some junk drawer they purchased.  If you sew, you know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to scissors!!!  

  My mom collected buttons when she was growing up and had a wonderful button collection, I have seen it one time.  I guess that is one of the things we have in common, a love for buttons.  I use to pick out the buttons first when I was making something, then the pattern and fabric to go with the buttons.  I still do that, except I have a heck of a lot of awesome buttons, but don't seem to make anything anymore.  Maybe they will just have to become part of the collection.