Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Gardening

Well, there are very few things that will grow in 30 inches of snow, single digit temperatures and less than 8 hours of daylight, regardless of cloudy or blindingly bright days. You all know we don't have a greenhouse, and even the inside plants suffer regardless of which window they are plopped in front of. But you can grow an amazing crop of icicles! And we have a good one this January. My view from the computer is punctuated by the long downward spires

 and looking out our downstairs bathroom window makes one feel they are living in an ice castle.  We have had sunny days this week, warming us up to almost above freezing and that has created melt on the roof, dripping down from the edges and then adding a little bit every day to the crop. No matter what it is it seems water is the secret! :)  I've seen them go all the way to meet the ground snow and it looks like this year they will again.

 Of course that also means the outside horse and donkey water buckets and tanks are building up ice too. Today, we'll try to tip them, chisel out the the ice around the rims and refill. The donkeys will get the horses 15 gallon heated water bucket and I've bought a submersible heater for the big pasture water tank. I had avoided this with Nick since he likes to play with such things, but Cooper and Dandy are pretty workman like when it comes to their water tank. Such exciting stuff I know!

In sewing news, the velveteen jacket is done and worn and liked.

 It is not a fabric I pine to work with again, it sheds like crazy in process, but it certainly makes for a warm, pretty little jacket.

I used snaps ( of course!), for the closures and back yoke decoration.  Underneath is the next project in process which I'll write about on the next post.

As always, I anticipate the new year with glee since my local fabric store puts everything on sale for most of the month of January. The more you buy, the more you save. 1 yard is 10% off, 2yds-20%, 3yds-30% and 4yds and up, 40%. I wait for this sale as I'm sure many
others do too. It makes that $34/yard Italian wool suiting that you need scads of for a coat or a suit, affordable! Yesterday was the first day of the sale (runs to the 25th of January) and I was there early.  I picked up some cottons for a quilt and a jelly roll of quilting cotton already precut into strips.

 And then the wools and higher end garment fabrics. The black wool is almost a carbon copy of the wool/angora blend I used for one of my little capelets. It has a deep charcoal grey glen plaid running through it, but this one is smooth and tightly woven and suit weight.

 It will last for years made into a classic fitted coat. The blue and dark brown/black plaid is an interestingly woven cotton blend. The horizontal black stripe is actually ribbon like and only woven in at the top.

 The final piece is an open plaid in a sturdy wool that I will use for contrast/trim on the next rendition of the jacket just finished.

It goes well with the cashmere blend. I am still on the hunt for lining material.

Around the farm, the Jeep is back from its spa treatment. We'll see how that goes!  He may need a new carb, but for now, we're seeing if a thorough soaking and adjustment of the old one will do. Gene went down and did the welding on the front for the new, larger plow blade. Boy, have I got work for him when he is back in service! The lazy hay burners are fat and rather sassy. Dandy squealed at me and took off up the path bucking when I was out there shooing them away while I broke ice and checked fencing. The donkeys just hate the cold and snow. It would be a hard call as to which species dislikes this weather more, donkeys or goats. They would all prefer some place a bit warmer. Which segues (can one do that with segue?), me into the big school maps. Gene loves geography, so when I saw this school map set for sale, I had to get it for him for Christmas.

 It's not terribly old, early 90's so fairly current and we both enjoy looking up where in the world things are happening. And it's colorful.

Parting shot: Lucy, getting the hang of down time.


  1. Your icicles are like a fairy fence!!! I'm so glad you got lots of inside projects to keep you warm! Have fun!

  2. once again your skills as a seamstress shine! that jacket is fab! :)

  3. So nice running into you yesterday at the fabric store. Can't wait to see what you do with all that new deliciousness!!!...Anna

  4. Those icicles are just so magical to look at - they would melt in 1 second here at the moment!
    Your jacket looks beautiful and warm, definitely will become very well worn in your climate. And just love all your new fabric buys - some great indoor sewing times ahead...

  5. Great new fabrics and what a scene of icicles! Love the velvet jacket and looking forward to seeing the next new red it a dress? Maps are so cool, especially big ones like! Just keeping water from freezing and animals happy sounds like you really keep busy in this season of rest...Lucy has the right idea, what a cutey!

  6. Holy icicles! Man.
    And I LOVE maps. Rustling paper. Dreaming of faraway places. I had forgotten about those and now I need to find one!
    I wish we could have a winter like yours. So odd we aren't,again. But the pups and kitty do the Lucy thing anyway!

  7. Gorgeous pictures and inspiring fabric- your velvet jacket is swoon-worthy!