yummy snack

Saturday 3pm, three hungry boys (one being the husband), quick what's in the fridge? We had been playing and working outside all day. Lunch and food was forgotten in the beautiful sun and new slip 'n slide. The oldest announces he is hungry and the little one repeats "hungy!". I ran into the kitten chopped up some Kalamata olives (we always have some) mixed it with our goat cheese and sliced a baguette. It took 5 minutes and then you have a wonderful snack or great hors d'oeuvre to take to an event.
Traci's Goat Cheese Spread
      8 oz. Chevre
      1/3 cup Kalamata olives diced        
      2 T olive oil
      2 clove garlic diced
      salt and pepper to taste
mix all ingredients together and serve!
We have a lot of goat cheese because it is the easiest to make (milk goat's in the backyard). A friend came over and showed us this simple spread that her mom makes, we have taken it every where and it always gets great reviews.


A Step Up

I love this project so much, I know I am way more excited about it then anyone else will be. It is just so cool to have something go from being thrown out to being an original piece in your home. This was a foot stool that was in my grandparents home, it is some where between 35-50 years old, one of those items that hung around for no important reason. I took it home when my grandmother past away a year and a half ago with the plans to repaint it, it was a flaking  bright orange color. It took me awhile, but I did it. I wanted something the boys could carry, and I didn't want it to look like I bought it at a store, I think I hit the mark. With all the extra paint we had from our recent mini remodel, I had all the parts right at home. Stenciling the boys feet didn't work out as well as I had envisioned, but I am happy with the finished project. I drilled two hole in the top for some rope, as a handle, and voila!


Fresh & Clean

I finally got around to making laundry soap yesterday. One of those things that I have wanted to do for years , but never actually did it. I can't figure out what took me so long, it was so easy! I guess I was finally sick of spending over $15 a gallon at Costco for "natural soap" that I don't really know what's in it. The hardest part was choosing a recipe and finding Washing soda (apparently not the same as baking soda). In Washington state the best place to find washing soda is Fred Meyer. I also needed to find a container to hold the 2+ gallons of liquid laundry soap, and old laundry soap bucket with lid worked well. I had a junior high decorating moment, mostly to keep T from throwing my bucket out or using it for something else. I found many recipes for liquid laundry soap, almost all contained washing soda and borax. I used a recipe off  Tipnut.com. After I use up this batch I plan to try a different mix, but so far I really like this one.
Recipe #1 Liquid Laundry Soap

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).

The first time I use a recipe I follow it close to get the correct feel and then play with the ingredients and amounts the next time around. I used Fels-Napths this time, but I think I will use one of my own homemade goat milk soaps next go 'round. It smells like what ever ground soap you use, so keep that in mind when choosing one, I think I might try some drops of essential oils next time too. Make sure and use a large pot to melt the soap on the stove, it will bubble up a lot. I tried to put it all in an old liquid soap pour container, this doesn't work as the soap almost instantly gels after you mix all the ingredients, I haven't figured out the best solution yet. Also, I haven't done the exact math, but I think for 2+ gallons, it cost less than 4 dollars, wow who could pass that savings up! My other laundry savings tip is to hang dry clothes, I only  use my dryer one in every 5 or 6 loads, that's a lot of energy savings and it's as easy as hanging up a shirt. You save more than money and energy, you save wear on your dryer and clothes and you're much less likely to shrink your favorite shirt. Rain or shine I move a folding rack on the deck or into the garage (next to the washer).Well, now on to dish soap.
And, more done on the sweater, one sleeve down one to go!



It does happen to be the solstice, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the weather we have been having around here. This is the wettest and coldest spring I can remember. I have to remind myself it is June because it sure does not feel like it. Regardless if it feels like, IT IS SUMMER!!! I love summer, I  think it is my favorite season, as a kid it was because my birthday is in July (not the motivating factor so much any more). I love the heat (when we get it) the family outings, the gardening and playing in the water. I believe the solstice is a special day and should be treated as a holiday (I know it is in other areas of the world, sadly not here) unfortunately for me today I feel under the weather, I guess so does the sun it seems. So, no bonfires or outdoor dancing for me today, I will be celebrating summer in spirit.On another note, you may have noticed I have been revamping my blog, blogspot had mad it so much easier. Due to this my blog had been getting whip lashed from my day to day whims, hope you don't. I know I will settle on the color and spacing I like soon, until then please be patient, I will be back with many improvements and awesome posts and projects. Do you like the new header picture, can you guess who's dirty feet those are? Well, lets all go and celebrate the growing season!!! P.S I have been working on my latest sweater. I can't remember what day I'm on, but I don't think this one will thake 6 plus months to finish.


2 rows forward, 10 rows back

 Well, it only took a day to loose my momentum. I had great progress to show you all and I even had the pictures to prove it. But, as I mulled over the the photos I saw a mistake, so I left the sweater and busied myself with something else. I haven't decided if I gave the sweater the cold shoulder in hopes it would fix itself or just to get used to the fact I had to pull most of it out (so sad). I did and it was fine, like I knew it would be, I mean it wasn't that many inches anyway (even though your body is screaming "No!" the whole time). So I won't go into how far I was before the confusion, now I'm at...
Day Three~ 1&1/4 inches and Row 12


Ready, Set, Go!

I am trying our a new motivational trick. I am going to blog my way through my next knitting project. I am going to knit my neice a sweater for this fall. I hope to document each day's progress in the attempt to expedite the project. The last baby sweater took over 6 months, lets not have that happen again. So here I go. I started the sweater yesterday waiting in the ferry line, thanks to an extra long ferry back up, I got further than expected The tiny tea leaves cardi by Melissa LaBarre, is a simple and very sweet top down sweater. The yarn is as local as you can get, it's called Moclips and is 25% mohair and 75% Coopworth lamb's wool, it actually comes from my shearing mentor (I thought this was too cool because my sister picked out the yarn). The only strange part about this pattern is how often you switch between needle sized, this is to get the puckered effect in the yoke. I am knitting size 2 for C, it will be large on her, but I am a very tight knitter so we will see. I did go up in needle sizes to account for my tension.
Day 1: sweater measurement to date~ 2 inches and on Row 16


another sweet hat

Baby hats are just the easiest thing to give as a gift at a shower. They don't take very long or very much yarn and who doesn't melt when you see a tiny sweet baby sporting a hand knit hat (ok, maybe not all hats). I try to have some knit in advance so all I have to do is pick the right one, right, in my dreams. A co-worker of T's is due in a couple of weeks and I always like to find new hat pattern or make one up as I go. This one is a little bit of both, it is a pattern from Hats Mittens and Scarves. It is kind of a cool book, well it's not a book at all, it's a box with a collection of patterns each on their own card, it makes it really easy to carry about. The hat is called a baby aviator hat, but after I finished it the top looked like it was missing something. So, I added a pompom and that's what made it look like it belonged in L.L. Bean's winter catalog. Yes I do know that we are going in into summer and being June already this hat might look a little silly. After it was blocked it loosened up some and I think it will fit this winter, of course that all depends on baby. Congrats A, you are in for the most wonderful times of your life! And of course Teddy was the only model who the hat would fit and the only one who would sit still for a photo shoot.

Inspirational Growing Quotes

"Gardening requires lots of water-most of it in the form of perspiration."
~ Lou Erickson, www.quotegarden.com