Crafts, garden, the usual…

Yesterday was meant to be dedicated to outside work… of which we have a LOT. Of course, it was raining all day long… resulting in lots of mud… so we took the opportunity to do crafty/family things and spend time with some friends. I can’t complain. Jeff is getting paid for a little carpentry work, which is really cool, so he spent a bunch of time in the "shop" (aka the garage that is his tool-space) working on that project. I love how happy it makes him to work out there. He could spend all day long doing that stuff. He’s also totally aware that he will zone out and spend hours out there, so we hooked up an intercom system and all I have to do is press a button and say "You can come in now if you want!" and he says "Okay!" It’s nice because he doesn’t feel bad when I call it- he knows that he’s got no sense of time with that stuff. Like last night, I was out with Vera for 4+ hours and came home at her bedtime to find Jeff with wood stain all over his hands asking me if I had any food for him (because of course he forgot to eat anything and I was at dinner with friends). I love his focus, though. He’s such a creative, hard-working, agreeable guy. Lucky me, I tell ya.

Me? I’ve been trying to feed the creative bug, too. It needs food! I find that the less I do, the less motivated I am to craft. Yesterday’s gloom got me into a temporary funk, so I took the opportunity to create something just for me during Vera’s nap. It’s a bag made from a thrifted pillowcase- and it just made me feel like spring. Super easy project– took me about an hour.

I also had finished a pillowcase bag of my own design as a gift for my cousin a while back, which is what got me into looking at alternate uses for pillowcases. I made it reversible! Fun. Anyway, I’m no master sewer, but I really like fabric and creating something with new purpose. The other thing I like about sewing is that it’s something I can do easily with thrifted/re-purposed materials (also much more in my crafting budget, which isn’t even a budget). Whereas with knitting and painting and other crafts I like it can be a little harder to do without new and often expensive stuff. 
  

I’m also starting to feel that nesting instinct, which I have to say I love. It’s so refreshing to have the motivation to do projects and organize things- and to do them start to finish. I take on projects all the time, but then I leave them at a certain point for fresher projects and it drives me nuts. That’s why I have a whole bunch of "before and after" pictures that I want to share, but the "after" isn’t really ready… Hopefully with this surge of motivation I’ll actually be able to share some of those projects. Anyway, one of the things I noticed I’m focused on is giving everything in the house a home. You see, it’s not that I imagine having a clean house when baby comes- far from it. I think I’m just hoping that the crazy will be more manageable because everything can get put away in a specific place.
As an example- the hutch in our dining room had become a dumping ground for books and papers and little screws and nails and old bank cards and rubberbands and just… no. So I cleared everything out, and now it’s only home to cookbooks, candles, certain breakables, vases, and the lower drawers contain napkins and placemats and plastic cups for kids to grab. This was very gratifying. I also moved in this beautiful cabinet that we inherited from Jeff’s grandma, that I’m planning to use for kid’s art supplies and school stuff (it even has a lock!).

 

I’m also really enjoying the living things around here… Maya is loving the spring weather, and I don’t even mind the muddy paws much. I’ve wanted to rescue another dog for a couple of years- I think it’d be really great for Maya to have a dog friend, but Jeff was opposed. I mentioned it recently and he was all for it! Weird. Maybe it’s that we made the decision about family size and now we just know what to expect in terms of space and work, etc. We decided that we’ll wait until baby is born and we’re a little more settled together, then we’ll go get another dog. I love having animals around me. It’s good for my soul. I don’t really like all the hair everywhere, but it’s a really small price to pay. 

We got new goldfish, and put them in a small aquarium this time. The fish just died so soon in our bowl- and I was even cleaning it every couple of days! We did some research and found that fish bowls are ridiculous and just kind of decorative. They create really toxic environments really quickly, and the frequent water changes required are stressful for the fish. I also learned that goldfish can live up to 10-15 years and can grow pretty large. So we’re trying to do it right this time, and keep these fish around for a while. The white one is "Gill" and the orange one is "Peter".

We’ve got to get cracking on chickens! Worst case scenario we just don’t get many eggs from them this year (we have a source for young chicks), but I’d really like to have some that are close to laying already- just so that we don’t have to worry about raising chicks this year. One less thing. Anyway, we’re going to start on the coop/greenhouse soon- probably this week. We also tightened up our design and did the final garden plan, so we’re ready to till up the rest of the land and get building. Here’s the final plan, a total now of *19* 8’x4′ raised beds, a 250 sq. ft. greenhouse, and a small chicken coop. And that’s not including the three potato boxes we’ll have. 

I’m very happy, and I think we can produce a lot of our food now. Today I’m starting the last of the seeds that I’m going to start indoors (just waiting for V to nap- she loves to help, and her help in this area is just not as helpful really…). So far things are growing nicely though. The stems are kind of floppy, I don’t know if that’s a problem, but they look pretty healthy!  (*edit: I now know why they are droopy! I’m pretty sure we weren’t giving them enough air circulation… woops!) 

Anyway, I better get to it.

Quote of the day:
"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition." (Samuel Johnson)

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