Tuesday, March 17, 2015


... in which our plucky heroine has adventures of the mixed media sort, with a small interlude of unintentional drama...

This past weekend was a fantastic visit from all of Blue Cedar House including the children. I have been busy for the last several weeks, making these three their first set of Viking Age clothing, and this is the result of my labors. They are intending to start doing SCA activities this year, and I want them to have comfortable clothing that will work well and look good.

Now that I have the basic patterning for them down, the next step is to make up several more sets, so that they can go for an entire camping weekend... which will entail another two sets of clothing and hopefully a woolen cloak and hat for each of them. Their daughter already has a small hooded woolen cloak that I made several years ago for her. It is going to be all kinds of fun to be able to share my favorite recreation with my dear friends!

There was quite a bit of outdoor refurbishment this last weekend, as my March SMART goals chart now shows...

Mindy is absolutely whiz-bang at weeding and making my yard look cared for... The corner near the driveway now looks like this. We decided to transplant the baby rhubarb, that were growing adjacent to the lovage, to a more sunny spot...

The baby rhubarb are now in the bigger planter box out in the parking strip, with an enriched soil mixture including nutritious compost and homegrown worm castings. Hopefully they will like this better and will reward me with nice strong stalks, once they settle in... maybe by next year I can add homegrown rhubarb to my pantry...

The backyard had an expansion of the mulched area... all the darker brown patches are new. We took an evening trip to Ikea to harvest large pieces of cardboard to layer underneath the wood chips; Mindy and Heather both worked on the yard this weekend

The comfrey is waking up this spring, and soon will have a nice crop of leaves. Comfrey leaves make great nutritious "mulch" for things like fruit trees

Mindy also weeded the side yard, since there were returning weedlets since her last visit... she told me that it went about twice as fast as the last time though, so for now, we are winning (just for contrast, here is what it looked like before we started, back in 2013)

In the front yard, the long bed against the ramp was weeded and mulched. The hellebore really likes the springtime light, and the tiny violets have started to bloom, along with the grape hyacinth. The cyclamen looks to be spreading, and there is new growth on the hardy fuschia too!

In the backyard, former owners planted this arborvitae much too close to the house, and it was pressing in on the corner and the eaves. Mr Robertson cut back just the half of it, so now there is air circulation around the house edges instead of moisture being held against the siding and eaves...

There are now trays made to fit the salad table! I have to line them with windowscreening, and then can start my Grand Experiment of growing greenery on the front porch... We made a side trip to Portland Nursery where I acquired more potting soil and some spiffy nutritious compost with things in it like rock dust and kelp for extra micro nutrients.

On an earlier visit Mr Robertson sweetly cut me three pieces of plywood that I intended to mosaic for new front windowsills... neither of us noticed at the time that what I thought was red paint was actually flocking!! I sent the boards home with him last month, so the fuzzy surface could be sanded down... Apparently the red color stained the plywood, but I rather like the effect, and may just leave it as red-stained woodgrain. Once I paint the window trim (indigo/black), and repair the front windowsill edges, this long drawn-out repair will be completed...

In the middle of the long weekend visit we took some time out to celebrate Pi Day/Crafternoon, and who better to celebrate with than the folks with the household motto "Si moriturus es, morere plenus tortae"*... There was a splendid mixture of Portland and Olympia, and good conversation and project progress as well as the requisite refreshments - pie and more pie! For dinner later that night, the entire Crafternoon gang ended up staying, and we had the most delectable and convival suppertime
Young Heather has turned into an excellent piecrust maker... Mindy has been sharing her familial piecrust knowledge and lore, and our plucky heroine introduced them to the joy of lard crust last November, and no one has looked back since...

I made up a few dozen fig jam tartlettes...

... and Heather and Mindy made a blueberry custard pie with streusel topping and a pecan pie (all of these intended for Crafternoon nibbling)

but the real piece de resistance of the day was this fragrant and tasty dinner pie...
Homemade turkey pot pie, the crust so flakey it shattered in crispy shards along the cut edge and the filling was amazingly savory and delicious... we know how to eat well!... Si moriturus es, morere plenus tortae

All in all it was a totally splendid and productive multi-day shindig, up until Sunday afternoon, when I ended up with a wasp sting, after disturbing a piece of roof moss on the shed, which apparently had a wasp queen sleeping inside it. I broke The Blue Cedar House rule about it is all good fun as long as no one ends up needing to go to the ER... I was very grateful to have folks here when this happened. Two days of prescription Benedryl later, my hand is back to normal, but those two days were pretty much a total loss...

March SMART goals
1ginger candied peelsill boards sandedyard waste bin
29 tiny enamelsfront yard weeded
39 brooch settings  close plum pruned
4Bill SCA pantsmore mulch spread -
5Mindy undergownapple tree pruned-
6Mindy embroideryarborvitae pruned-
7Mindy aprondresssalad table trays-
8Laurel underdressworm bin renovated -
9Laurel aprondress--
10kawaii coasters--

*"if you are going to die, die full of pie"

1 comment:

  1. YOWZA Woman!! you done so so good by that fine looking family!! That is one gorgeous set of clothing you created, i can't imagine how much love they are feeling inside those togs. How beautiful! Really the type of gift between friends that you treasure long after the clothing has worn to tatters.

    And i think i broke my keyboard from drooling all over it looking at those pies. As far as i can tell, heaven broke out at Acorn Cottage that day! Delish!! take care sweetie, steph