Category Archives: craft

Fall greens

This fall we’ve been doing container gardening in the greenhouse since we’ve been using the rest of the space in there to store lumber for house projects. Just did a thinning of the greens and ate them up. Yum.


Hard apple cider

Made two batches of hard apple cider. Collected funky leftover frozen apples from trees around town. One is prickly pear juice and mesquite pod and the other is cardamom pod and vanilla bean. Bubbling away in their jars now – tucked in out of the light by towels.



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Carpet is the worst invention

This weekend I spent quite a while cleaning the living room carpet with a rug doctor I rented at the grocery store. While I’m not a clean freak at all, and I appear to actually relish clutter, I really think carpet is the worst. Gets gnarly and you can’t shake it out. Yikes. I told the guy at the store that I didn’t need to buy any of the bottled cleaner and told a pretty unbelievable lie that I was just going to use water. The guy at the store seemed pretty chill about it but requested that I please do not use bleach in it like a repeat customer he has. This annoying customer has ruined some of his work pants. So, out of respect for the guy who rented it to me, who is super nice, just don’t put bleach in it. And bleach is probably not good for the carpet either. Natural cleaners are better for your nose.

In general a low suds soap is key. Since I went over the living room carpet eleven times I got a chance to really experience the rug doctor. The tank is pretty small so I ended up dumping the water three times per time around the room. The carpet just kept looking better and better and the water was so dirty I was compelled to do it over and over.


Should you wish to follow in my footsteps, you will definitely need to wear earplugs. Its loud and you don’t want to end up with crabby sensory overload on top of an obsessive project.


Obviously follow the general directions on the machine. The first few times over I used a natural enzyme cleaner to eat the nasties off the carpet. About a quarter cup per tank. I let it sit a while munching any dirty proteins.


Then I used some laundry soap in alternating passes with oxy clean. The soap *Oasis Biocompatible* is the very best and it can go on plants. Although no plants would have appreciated the carpet cleaning water. Just one teaspoon per tank. I also added several drops tea tree essential oil and thieves essential oil blend with the laundry soap in alternating passes. With the oxy clean I mixed the powder with water prior to pouring it in the tank. With one pass I used one scoop per tank and on another I used two. Two was just fine.




I left the two-scoops-oxy-clean-wetness over night on the carpet and then in the morning I did one pass with water and thieves oil mix and then one last pass with just water. The output water was pretty much the same level of gross the whole time, but the carpet looks really good. Between passes over the carpet I did other projects – it was okay. I’ll do this again in the future, grudgingly. Here is a pic of the nasty water is the output tank.


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Coconut oil face compress

This morning I tried a simple recipe for a steamy face rinse. Washcloth in a bowl with hot water, then pouring the water off once the cloth is hot. Melt a dab of coconut oil and spread around the cloth. Squeeze a little. I really like the feel and smell of this. Yum.


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Weekend projects

Replacing old elastic on a headlamp.




Homemade cleaning supplies


Watching the amaryllis grow


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Making chappy

Just made a great new salve. The philosophy for this one is very waxy to seal and protect for winter. i collected the pinion pine sap. A friend made some comfrey extract olive oil for me.

I like to try something new each time. No recipe, just figure out a good ratio between the basic oil vs wax mix. Then I just test it. By the end I’m really moisturized and shiny!

Grating the beeswax is the worst!



I save containers all year. Friends donate them or return them from last year for a refill.


Here’s this years ingredient list.


Put it in a pot and melt on low heat.



Then test it and adjust the oil or wax.


Pour into clean containers.




This is my favorite chappy yet. Strong pinion, with notes of orange and cedar!

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Home grown salsa

This fall we made some delicious salsa. The ‘brown berry’ and yellow tomato varieties made the tomato base syrupy sweet. I used onions, garlic, cilantro, serrano chilies (that my mom grew at a lower elevation) cumin, lime juice, salt…I think that’s all. We ate a lot fresh, and cooked & canned some up too.

We also experimented with growing high elevation green chili plants and had some luck. The plants were leggy because I planted them too near some extreme tomato vines, but they fought to survive and we got a few chilies. We dug the plants up and brought them inside.







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Dried tomatoes in oil

This fall we had a lot of tomatoes to preserve. I dehydrated them and then stored them in olive oil. The fruits softened up in the oil. I’ve been storing them in the fridge and adding scoops to recipes. The oil has an amazing flavor!





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project inspiration fabric road trip

I recently took a trip down the mountain to Phoenix for sewing project recon at SAS Fabric Superstore!! Check it out here…

I only bought reflector ribbon, 10 yards deep emerald elastic, a cleopatra-style neck cuff and some grey wool tweed. BUT, I wanted so much more. I am so motivated try out underwear and swimsuit designs, but I am determined to use up the massive collection of fabrics I already have. My current mess should do for prototypes. I have a costume idea churning, too, after all this looking. Fun, fun fun…every trim, zipper, organza, taffeta, stretch cotton, wool, spandex…I’ll be back.

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