May 29, 2009

Eat Your Veggies (Part II)

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, May 2008

This post has been a long time coming. It's almost 3 weeks overdue. I've been distracted this month with having my wonderful mother in town for a week, and a cabinet refinishing project that came along with her. (Pictures of that project coming soon.) I can't talk about that, though, until I share more about my little garden. First things first.

As of three weeks ago tomorrow all of the vegetables have been planted, a lot of the extra dirt (mentioned in the previous veggie post) has been removed and a little fence has been put into place to divert the bunnies - thanks to Jesse for encouraging me to put one in place. It would have been so like me to put in all the effort of this garden, forget the fence, and then cry when the bunnies came and ate my new veggies - he is so good at gently helping to prevent any breakdowns. So perfect for me.

Things are coming along well. I planted too many of each vegetable with the idea that I would pull out the excess plants once they have had time to sprout. I figured at that point I would be able to select the strongest plants and allow them to grow well. Now that they have been planted, though, I realize that pulling any plants out will be very sad for me. Humf. Because it's necessary I think I'll need to somehow grow a smaller/harder heart and muster up the courage to do that soon. The next post about my garden will come after I've done that. Maybe that will give me the motivation I need.

In my garden I have (from top left): pumpkins, green, yellow and orange peppers, beefsteak and grape tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, beans, watermelon, carrots and acorn squash.

I'm loving watching it grow so far . . . so fun.

May 27, 2009

Hemming Jeans

Just recently I learned an awesome new way of hemming jeans. Sometimes with these kinds of things I figure the whole world has got to know this and that I'm just late in the game. That makes me a little embarrassed to share. Nevertheless, my recent hemming job has me awfully proud of myself . . . which means I'm gonna share it anyway!

So, you know when you're hemming jeans and it feels painful to cut off the beautiful, professional hem at the bottom because you know you're not going to be able to recreate it? This has pained me many times. Well, there's a way of hemming that allows you to keep it in tact! I just did it with a pair for my mother-in-law. It's genius!

1. Try on your jeans and measure the amount that it needs to be shortened.

2. Lay out the jeans on the table and roll up the bottom cuff.

2. Using a calculator, if necessary, divide the amount that you measured by two. For example, if you need to shorten your jeans by 1.5" then you will use .75".

3. On the "wrong" side of the jeans measure the calculated amount (.75" in my example) from the top of the professional hem.

4. Pinch that amount of fabric from above the hem and pin it.

5. Make sure your side seams are lined up correctly. Then, sew a seam just above the professional hem.

6. Do the same on the second leg, and you're done! It's as simple as that.

Now, if you have a lot of fabric hanging out because you had to shorten your jeans by several inches then you can use pinking shears to cut off the excess and use fray check to secure the edge.

Here's what my complete pair looks like:

**Update: I found my original source for this technique - you can see it here. The tutorial answers some more detailed questions at the bottom, just in case you have questions.

Also, my Mom was a little worried that I had hemmed the jeans incorrectly because in the last picture one of the legs appears significantly shorter than the other. Just in case anybody else was also concerned about my sanity/measuring skills I can assure you that I hemmed them the same length, but I had them hanging on a hook to take the picture, which made one leg seem significantly shorter. Thanks for questioning it, Mom. Lord knows I need the sanity check! ♥ Love you ♥

May 20, 2009

All Things Red

So many fun things are happening in my gardens this year. (Update on the veggie garden is coming.) It's the first year that I have been more present to the outside of my house than the inside of it come spring. There has always been a long list of projects to accomplish in the house that I haven't had enough time to even think about our yard. This year, though, is wonderfully different. Enough things have been crossed off the list inside that I have space and time to think about the outside. I'm enjoying it.

Last fall I planted my first ever flowers! I love tulips so very much, and I saw them on sale at Wal-Mart, so I thought, "What the heck? I'll give it a try". Not knowing whether or not they would actually come up (combined with the fact that I'm extremely frugal) I didn't buy very many - hence the sparsity.

I'm delighted that I actually grew something, and they compliment our red front door so nicely.

About the same time my tulips sprung up I made my very first strawberry pie. (Nice awkward transition from tulips to pies, huh?) I was asked to bring dessert for our family Mother's Day lunch and as a result of two things: a) Jesse and I had a delicious strawberry pie with a friend about three days prior and b) strawberries were selling for only 99 cents . . . strawberry pie seemed like the right thing to bring.

I used a nice, standard Betty Crocker recipe for the crust. It turned out well. Next time I will try a new way of crimping the sides - my technique was a little elementary. Okay, embarrassingly elementary. My mom has the most beautiful way of doing it, which I will try next time.

I used this yummy recipe for the filling. It was delish!