Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine notices the beauty in the everyday....

The apple tree in the backyard has become a sort of pet vegetal companion, as I learn by doing how to care for it.

While I am pretty arachaphobic, somehow I don't mind that tiny spiders build webs here and there in the apple tree. The tree has it's own community of folks that live with it, I am only probably the biggest one. There were several webs visible today, in the early morning light...

There is an apple ripening that is already bigger than the palm of my hand, on one branch. This is one reason why the books say to thin the baby apples to only one in each cluster of infant fruit. For the last two years I have been learning how to prune the tree, to keep it productive and at a height I can reach without a ladder. I am slowly learning as well the other ways to encourage it to produce apples that will be a treat for our plucky heroine. If you have ever seen a neglected apple tree, of which there are plenty all round the city, you have surely seen the clusters of plum sized scabby fruit which even so are likely worth picking for cider should one happen to have a cider press (I don't have a cider press, or the vehicle to transport masses of produce).
My goal is to do what I can to add a modicum of zero food mile apples to my everyday life each autumn. The tree is sort of "tame" in that I keep it groomed aka pruned so I can reach the branches, and I clear away the dead leaves to compost, and mulch the underthetree with nutritious comfrey. This year I will be able to let the chickens under the tree in the late autumn, to help dig up the weeds and to add their fertiliser contribution to the surrounding earth.
...and there are quite a few apples ripening on the tree. I have been learning to prune the tree, and thin the apples, this year and last year. (Next year I will add some apple "footie" covers and kaolin powder as mechanical barriers to help protect the fruit from insects, which will help dissuade the apple maggots and codling moths. I acquired the relevant supplies too late this year to use them)

While decluttering, I found a random rayon challis tank top summer dress. More hot weather clothing is sorely needed, but tank tops are not my best option. Fortunately the dress is at least six inches too long, being almost ankle length, so slicing off the hemline at a more-safe-for-bike-riding level will allow for plenty of matching material for covering my shoulders. I was initially thinking of trying to draft a short sleeve, but then saw this simple tutorial that I can easily adapt... There might even be enough leftover fabric to do something interesting with the overly wide neckline as well... shall see what ensues (photos later when there is something to see)

I've been putting off sewing for myself for over well more than a year now, as my added avoirdupois has made all my TNT patterns less or not useful, and facing both my own increased girth and the effort of recreating useful patterns has been and remains dreadfully daunting. Still, since finding RTW clothing is an even worse option, I must take self by the scruff of neck and get over it. Perhaps actually sewing some comfortable and acceptable clothing will improve my outlook

July SMART goals
1 pewter casting Thora cuff trim bag of hangers
2 charter #12 Thora trim bands yard waste bin
3 charter #13 pruned apple tree bag to Goodwill
4 chicken hurdles hem rayon dress bag to Goodwill
5 - - bag to Goodwill
6 - - galvanised mesh
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -


  1. Hi IndigoTiger hope you can find the desire to sew for yourself. You are a lovely person and your body deserves nice clothes to wear. If you are only a little bigger adding at the side seams when cutting out. That sometimes distorts though and slicing through the centre and adding there can be more effective. You had a dress all made from triangles would that be easier to remake larger?

    1. Thank you Ruthie! I rather channeled my sewing mojo for the last year into sewing clothing for my Blue Cedar House pals instead of for me - I found it so much more satisfying to sew for an "appreciative audience"! I am indeed going to make up several of my popover dresses, since they are easy to wear for summer, and easy to fit, consisting of only rectangles and triangles. I add interest by changing up the necklines and hemline treatments, and that way I will have a start on a variety of clothes to wear for an upcoming whole family reunion/visit later this year.

  2. Hi, Alison, I once read old advice for fruit tree pruning: you should be able to throw a hat through the branches. That seems drastic!