Friday, September 7, 2012

Finally, beloved September!

I just love September, always have. It's back to school time for Steve and the kids, even though they are way past the usual going to school age.Yesterday was the first day of lectures, so Steve did his nearly famous introductory class to Sustainability 1000, Phoebe picked up her keys for the office that Teaching Assistants use at King's College and Lucas headed back to his study carol to get back to work on his thesis. It was also Lucas' birthday, we had a nice birthday breakfast for him.

Here's the newest member of the family, Snow. He's Lucas' cat and does he add a lot of excitement to the place! Mostly nice. We don't have carpets, so he's finding the lack of traction difficult.

I am not back into the rhythm yet. Too many outstanding issues from the summer, but the gap is closing. Just by writing this blog entry, I am nearly back to my desired schedule. I have been working on my online embroidery course all August. Mostly it's about making samples that can be worked into my future textile pieces.  The one above is a machine made fake organza ribbon that I have embroidered and later added to a different piece. The ribbon is about 4 inches long.

This is my current favourite, even though it is a beginner effort. I like the peek-a-boo-ness of the textile coming up from behind. I have plans for this lesson.

I also liked the techniques I learned on this sample. There is cutwork (the big open hole) and stitching on mirrors and adding lace or textiles behind holes

I worked it up a bit more and ended up with this as my sample.

I confess that I am a little confused as to what to do with this blog these days. My initial intention was to write about urban sustainability issues and tag on a few bits of studio work when they were relevant. These days, the blog is more about the studio and less about urban issues.

We are still heavy practitioners of  attempting to live simply and sustainably. The folks I interact with on a daily basis give me good feed back on the studio work. There is a pounding silence on other matters. Since I don't really know who is reading and for what reasons, I wonder what I should continue to write about?

For the time being, I will chat a bit about our dehydrator. Last summer, we dried about everything we could put our hands on. Not everything was a success. I did not like the apples with the peelings still on, nor did I like the strawberries, but Steve did. The bananas were a dismal failure. Too bad because I really liked the idea of banana chips. The blueberries were the best so we repeated that just last week.

We watched a Blue Jays Game, luckily a slow one, while we stabbed about 8 cups of wild blueberries before putting them in the dehydrator. It gave us 5 x 1cup baggies of dried blueberries, to be used in scones, muffins, and trail mix.

Cleo Belle decided to help, by keeping Steve's legs super warm, while the dehydrator was heating up the kitchen when the temperature was nearly 80. We are going to do the apples and pears again this summer, but this time peel the apples. The dried pears were very nice in trail mix, which was sucked down every time it was tucked into lunches. It was especially popular when the lunches were made for a day of sailing.

This summer's drying experiment is going to be mushrooms. I'm not sure if there is a local producer of mushrooms, we'll scout around the market this Saturday. But even if we can only get Canadian mushrooms, and dry those, it will be better than those from Brazil or Australia this winter. Less oil.

Regrettably, the list of things to do left over from the summer includes some finances, cleaning the camping gear in the basement, sorting out the boxes in the garage and attic from Lucas' move home and finding storage for it all.  Too bad the list doesn't have things like pedicure and lemonaide with friends on it this week.

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