canning adventures year 2

Sooo my garden actually worked out this year! Last year the only thing that was (marginally) successful were my peppers, but this year almost everything has been going fantastically. I’m very excited because I hope that by canning, I can enjoy these garden-fresh vegetables all through the winter. 🙂

I currently have 3 raised beds, plus a variety of container peppers and a single tomato plant. In my raised beds, I grew radishes while the cucumbers were growing and between the peppers. This was a bit of risk for such a novice gardener, but it worked great and I had enough radishes to enjoy them on sandwiches and to can five 1/2 pints!

The salad I made from the radish greens and arugula I also grew. 🙂

Now that it’s the middle of summer, my cucumbers have really taken off! I love growing cucumbers, because they’re so ridiculously easy to grow and keep alive. I’ve been enjoying picking a few for sandwiches every so often, and trying to time it so I have plenty to harvest in a single day for pickling. So far I’ve canned 5 pints of bread and butter pickles, but I have many many more still on the vine to pickle soon!

I make the sandwiches by mixing a bit of garlic, salt, and fresh thyme into cream cheese and then layering the cucumber slices on top. It’s not fancy, but it’s very good and refreshing for lunch.

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The best, of course, is how fancy my pickles all look lined up. 😀 I love the bright color from the radishes, hopefully they taste as good as they look! After more cucumbers, next up will be taqueria pickles. Or if anyone has a favorite canning recipe they want to share? I’m definitely going to have more cucumbers than I know what to do with!

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kitchen cross stich!

I have a confession.

I am a very, very lazy person. I start a project—I almost finish it—and then, of course, I don’t. That was the tragic case with my latest cross stitch project, a very cute little pattern of tea cups and their accruements. 🙂 I finished the cross stitch, but properly framing it like a non-lazy person was another matter entirely. IMG_5653

Who can guess what’s wrong with this picture? (Yes, I taped up my cross stitch for months with painter’s tape. Months.)

Anyway I finally decided enough was enough, so I dug out a cheap craft frame, painted it, and now my cross stitch looks at least mildly more presentable. 😉 I’m sure I’ll still replace the frame eventually, but at least it’s a step up from tape.

Look at that painter’s tape blue! 🙂

So what are your laziest crafting moments? Anyone else use ‘temporary’ solutions that turn into semi-permanent monuments to laziness?

oilcloth lunch bag

I made a project with my sewing machine! It turns out the thought of sewing through two layers of oilcloth is enough to finally inspire me to tune up my vintage singer and learn (kinda) how to use it. Okay, well goad my dad into tuning it up for me.

I saw this tutorial and really liked the look of the bags, so I ordered some pretty oilcloth prints a few weeks ago. My sister and I have a longstanding campaign to encourage my mom to use more reusable containers, so this seemed like the perfect solution to her daily brown paper lunch bag.

 

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Who doesn’t love kittens with roses and yarn?

My top-stitching is…not the greatest. I actually didn’t even use the motor on my machine, just the handwheel, because I kept messing it up. But isn’t the kitten print cute? Maybe that makes up for it. 😉

I used a bit of velcro to keep the bag closed and make it easy to use. It’s just a bit roomier than a brown paper bag, although not so much bigger that it’d be difficult to put into a tote or backpack. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on throwing things away, I think this is a great alternative!

patchwork chair cushions

I said I had more plans for my kitchen—here’s the next addition. 🙂 I decided to cut down on my fabric scrap collection by making some scrappy patchwork chair cushions. I’ve only finished the first one right now, but it turned out very cute.

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I apologize for the random plant in the background—I’m procrastinating studying for finals by redoing my whole gardening set up, so pots and plants are currently all over my kitchen.

Doesn’t the cushion look cute though? I’m not a big fan of those serious foam cushions, but I did want this to have a bit of padding, so I used 3 layers of 1/4″ loft batting and then tied it rather than quilting. All of it is pieced and sewn by hand, but it wasn’t so bad, as most of it is just squares.

Let me know what you think!