Monday, August 29, 2011


I have been on a sewing rampage recently. Seriously. It's bad. It had taken over my life before I finally made myself just STOP already and do something else!

It all started when I went to a sewing class last weekend. It was called Intro to Applique and Embroidery and I had so much fun doing it. Then I got online and found some really good sewing and crafting blogs. There were a ton of easy projects that I decided I needed to undertake.

It started with my curtains in my kitchen. I needed something to cover those windows and they had just the right fabric at Sew to Speak...

Then came my plastic bag holder. Because, really, you can't just have them all sitting around cluttering up the place.

Then there was the maxi dress tutorial from Sweet Verbena. You seriously just make a big pillow case out of white knit fabic, cut out a head and arm holes and then dye it any color you'd like with fabric dye. The belt give it some shape and it took me maybe an hour to do.

Next was another tutorial from Sweet Verbena. This one was supposed to be for a knit top. BUT, I found some beautiful orange linen fabric at Sew to Speak that was 40% off. And I wanted it to be a dress, not a shirt. I added a belt for good measure and we get this...

Which I was really happy with and feel like I could even wear someplace nice...

Next came what was supposed to be a knit skirt. Also, from Sweet Verbena this tutorial literally involved folding a piece of knit in half and sewing in a place for an elastic band, and then sewing it together. For real. And they had some organic bamboo knit fabric at Sew to Speak which was just the thing I needed. When I was done, it was either a long skirt, or, pull it up and add a belt and it is a dress, which I wore out to dinner with Charlie last weekend...
Sorry it's so blurry, I couldn't figure out why or how to make it better...
And the last project so far was a skirt. This tutorial I did not get from sweet verbena, but I did get it somewhere on the internet. It is super cute and even has an invisible zipper, which is not as invisible as I'd like but it was my first try, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself about it...

I got this fabric from JoAnn's, on the sale rack. I think it was $4 a yard or something.

I have more fabric to play with but I think I need to put it down for awhile. Other things are beginning to suffer...:)

Exploring Columbus

We've actually been home these last few weekends, and we haven't had a huge "To Do" list for the house, so we've been trying to take advantage of that and explore this city we live in a little bit more.

Despite living here for six years now there are still a ton of places that I have no properly explored. And since I know that I will probably be leaving in the next few years once I'm done with residency, time is running out!!!

Two weekends ago while I went to my sewing class (more on that in another post) Charlie went and bought a new bike. His other bike got stolen off our back porch (how rude!) so he had been without one for awhile. Since he got a new bike, we had to try it out! So off we went, Groupon in hand, to the Frankling Park Conservatory.

In the desert

Amongst the vegetables there were glass pumpkins, squash, tomatoes etc...

I love the butterflies!

Bonsai garden
Then we got on our bikes to ride home and it started POURING! It started as a few drops, but by the time we got home we were dripping wet. I couldn't help but laugh the entire way home because, well, what else are you going to do? You have no other choice but to keep on riding and enjoy the rain:)

This weekend we also spent a good amount of time on our bikes. On Saturday we went on a longer bike ride. I am ashamed to say that it was the first time I had gotten my nice bike out this whole entire summer. But we rode up to the topiary garden. It is where the original school for the deaf was located in Columbus. It's not very big, but it is very cute.

Huge fish in this very shallow pond at the Topiary Garden

From there we drove through Old Town East to Franklin Park. We had wanted to look at it last weekend but the rain had other plans.

Old Town East is so beautiful! It was originally where all the really wealthy people in Columbus lived, but then when they put in 71 it cut it off from the rest of the city and it fell into disrepair. It, like many older neighborhoods in Columbus, is starting to come back to life, but it is much farther behind places like Victorian Village and German Village.

These houses were amazing though! And HUGE! I'm talking 4000-5000 sq ft at least! And they were so ornate with beautiful fences, spires, towers, gabled windows etc. Really a step above most of the houses in German and Victorian Village, you could just tell that they were truly mansions at one point. Many of them have been rehabed, but it is still pretty patchy. I didn't get to take any pictures of the houses because we were riding out bikes, but hopefully next time I can.

So, two years left in Columbus and counting. I really do love this city and will be sad to leave. But for now I'm going to try to enjoy it as much as possible:)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August so far...

It's been a busy few weeks! Last weekend we went to PA to spend some time with my parents. Which was a lot of fun. We, per the usual, went to Lackawanna State Park a few times to walk and run, one of my favorite things to do while we're visiting them.

I always wonder how many air balloons leave from this launching area each year...

my Mom's hydrangea's

We left on Sunday to make the drive back home, and on the way home we saw the most amazing rainbow! It went all the way across the sky and was even a double rainbow in some parts! Charlie was a big meanie and would not stop for me to take a picture, so I had to take one from the rearview mirror...

This past week was a fairly busy one, though not with work. I decided to make a skirt for myself, which I have never done before. That took most of one afternoon/evening. I also made it to yoga and went out for 1/2 price sushi on Monday.

On Friday Charlie and I went to a farm near Canal Winchester and bought a TON of vegetables. I mean a TON. Thirty-nine ears of corn, 1/2 a bushel of green beans and fifteen pounds of tomatoes. On Saturday morning we got up and ate breakfast on the patio, because there was no room to eat breakfast in our house. I saw the tiniest little spider with the tiniest little web on my marigolds...

Then we went to the North Market to get our biweekly CSA share. I took some pictures of the North Market while we were there...

Then we met my a bunch of my family, including my Momma, in Westerville for lunch. It was so good to see everyone!

Next, it was off to find a pressure canner in order to can my green beans and avoid botulism. You might think that this would be not that hard, but we spent a few hours looking with my Mom, with no luck. We then took her to the airport and I broke down and called Walmart. They said they didn't have it, but online it said they did, so we went. They had one. A little piece of me died when I had to spend money there to buy something, but I literally went everywhere else in the entire city of Columbus to no avail. If I had planned enough in advance I would have gotten one online, but my green beans would have gone bad if I waited for that.

So home we went and Charlie, who is such a good sport, sat outside with me for almost two hours cutting up green beans...

Then the canning commenced. It took forever. We have so many green beans now I don't even know what to say about it. Cans upon cans of green beans. We finished the green beans round about midnight last night.

On top of the 3 quart size and 13 pint sized jars of green beans, we have four or five quart sized freezer bags full of them as well.

This morning we started on the tomatoes. Those all fit into 6 quart sized and 2 pint sized jars.Plus they did not need to be pressure canned, so it was quicker. We ended up cooking the corn and cutting it off the cob and putting it into freezer bags to save. We were clean out of mason jars, plus you have to pressure can corn for like a hour at 10 pounds of pressure, which is just crazy. We have I think 9 or 10 quart sized bags of corn too. Like Charlie said, if there is a nuclear holocaust this winter, we should be good for at least a few weeks:)

My aunts were asking me how I had time to can. Well, I have a tendency to commit myself. Like I will go and buy a crap ton of produce and then I either can it or it goes bad. So I can it. I was up until midnight last night doing it, and I spent the better part of today doing it as well. I suppose that I should have been reading ophthalmology or something, but I will do some of that later today after I go for a run. I think that I really do not like to be bored or not busy. So, I find something to do. I think you have time to do anything that you are motivated to do. And I was motivated to do this:)

Canning has fallen out of favor, but I think it might be making a comeback. And I can be at the leading edge:)

On a different note, it is cooling off and getting dark sooner, which means that summer is on it's way out. Seems like just yesterday I wrote about the summer solstice. <Sigh> Life goes on. For now, I'm going for a run!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A few updates...

Some people had been wanting to see what my garden looked like now. So here is an updated picture:

The cucumber is growing so fast, I took this picture yesterday and today I had to pull it off my lantern because it was starting to grow onto that.

 Also, this year has apparantly been a good year for blueberries. We've gotten 4 pounds from our CSA so far. I have no idea what to do with 4 pounds of blueberries. So I'm going to make jam. Blueberry jam. Just as soon as all the canning equipment I bought gets here. These blueberries are to DIE for! I never really have liked just plain blueberries when you buy them in the store, but these are amazingly sweet and delicious.

I also have about 10-15 cucumbers from our garden. I'm going to try my hand at pickles. And we have lots of peaches, so I'm thinking of doing someting with those. I don't know if I have enough to can, but maybe just make some peach pie filling to freeze and enjoy during the winter at some point.

And last but not least, look at this spider web I saw on my way out the door to go to work today! Crazy! By the time I came home it had been destroyed. I think if I was a spider I would get really tired of people constantly destroying my house.

I can't believe it is August already. The summer has flown by! Last weekend we had 6 friends at our house for a college reunion, and next weekend it's home to see my parents. Summer will be over before I know it. Time to enjoy every last day:)