Back from Summer Break!!
What? I never told you I was taking a break?
I didn’t really plan it…it just sort of happened. I didn’t feel like blogging, I didn’t think about blogging (that much), stayed off instagram…I guess it was kind of like unplugging. But not really.
It’s been an AWESOME summer. Let’s recap:
Jefe and I went to Wyoming and had the best time ever with my parents, friends and a long lost cousin and her husband.
A Store With All of the Dead Things. I almost bought a beaver pelt, but then came to my senses. Seriously though…it was the best vacation ever.
Hung out with my cat on lazy summer afternoons not blogging.
Started making some of those tree stumps as side tables I’ve seen all over the place. I got most of the bark off, but now it’s moved into Orbital Sander phase. I need an Orbital Sander. Project stalled.
I’m Art-ing up the joint with my hat stands. I’ve been refining my technique and am very pleased with how it’s coming along. Project full steam ahead!
I’m finally ripping up the burnt orange carpet in the upstairs bedroom. Ugh…what a chore. The particle board subfloor will be a million times better. I’m toying around with the idea of stenciling it, but then I found someone who used brown paper and stain on a subfloor! Wow…it looks like leather.
I’ve let my garden go to hell and I don’t have a picture because I am ashamed. Poor Jefe asks me every time we’re out grocery shopping: “So…we don’t have any salad greens in the garden?” Shame straight to my SOUL.
What else…we finally fired up the cob oven and ended up with a dirty, sooty, piece of raw dough and toppings. The oven, clearly, was not hot enough.
So…there’s my “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” report. Lots of focus on house projects, which I am sure will continue. We ripped out a kitchen cabinet and chopped off a chunk of counter this weekend to make room for a new fridge being delivered later in the week. (yay!) As a consequence I am patching holes in the wall and thinking about paint colors.
I am going to try to catch up on all of the blogs I’ve not been reading on vacation so I expect that everyone else has been having as awesome a summer as I have!
I have been wanting to make a cob oven for what seems like forever. I don’t even know how they got on my radar to tell you the truth, but the idea had taken root into my brain and I COULD NOT GET IT OUT.
The theme of this project was “Damn…I can’t believe that worked!”
A friend of mine lives on a piece of property that is right on the water, and her soil is really heavy clay*. She just happened to have a big plie of it laying in her yard that she needed to get rid of so I helped her out and loaded up seven buckets of the stuff.
An insulation layer was put down and then a layer of fire bricks. Sand was mounded to make the form for the oven.
The first layer of cob was applied, which was comprised of sand, straw and the clay. Looking back on this now, I realize that I didn’t add nearly enough sand. My soil is “fat” which means it has really heavy clay content (it’s super sticky) and I needed to have like a one-part clay and three-parts sand to make sure that when the cob doesn’t shrink too much when it dries.
Not too bad, eh? Looks pretty good at this point. Too bad it didn’t stay that way! Another thing I did wrong was to leave the oven uncovered as it was drying in the hot sun. I was thinking that the heat would help, but I realize that clay needs to dry slowly to minimize shrinking, which can cause….you guessed it….CRACKS!
Bummer. However, being all Glass-Have-Full like I am, I am thinking of this as a test run. I learned a lot with version 1.0 and I think that will only make version 2.0 even better! Pizza will just have to wait a little while longer.
How’s your garden growing? Mine looks so lush right now and I am loving it! I’ve let the leeks I planted last year go to flower and I can’t wait till they open. I’m going to try to save seeds. I’ve got garlic scapes that I NEED TO HARVEST. I keep forgetting and I don’t want THOSE to flower. One of my favorite things is to see what has reseeded from last year. I have a poppies coming up in the middle of the beds, DILL EVERYWHERE and mustard flowering all over the place. I need to plant more carrots, beets, and beans. And then there’s the weeding…always with the weeding…
Funny how in my last post I’m all like “I’m going to blog MORE!” and then totally disappeared. What the hell? I suppose I need to work on blogging about stuff as it’s happening as opposed to storing it up and then vomiting all out at once. Baby steps!
I started working with Sherold Barr, an amazing and wonderful business coach I met at The Blogcademy back in March to help me get my butt in gear and start my own business. I’m super inspired and am doing a lot of work and prototyping and brainstorming and drawing and my goal is to have stuff on Etsy in October. Creating is hard work.
THE NOT SO AWSOME
I got clocked in the head with the little plastic bead that is on resistance bands when the door I was using popped open as I had the band pulled back ALL THE WAY. I ended up in the ER getting my head stapled back together. That took me out for like a week and a half. Working out is hard work.
I got my herb beds built and filled with soild and have started building my cobb oven! I cast a concrete counter and it WORKED. I harvested arugula last night for some pesto and I have all kinds of starts I need to get in the ground. My back is killing me…Gardening is hard work.
NOT ALL THAT AWESOME:
I’ve been sewing like crazy and pretty much wasted a bunch of time on this vintage halter pattern before coming to the realization that just would never wear something like this. Sorta sad, but sorta freeing. Self-actualization is hard work.
So…to sum up: I’ve been working hard. But! At least I’ve been documenting it. What have you been up to?
People! I’ve been sewing! And I FINISHED something! Woo!
This dress is Laurel, from Colette Patterns and I have a feeling that I am going to be making a million of these. It’s such an easy pattern and comes together so quickly that it’s really satisfying to sew. I wasn’t sure about this fabric and the FLOWER pattern…and I’m still not sure about it. It’s a little loud for my taste, but my coworkers loved it, so what do I know?
Action Shot! My heel got caught it a gopher hole as I was running to beat the camera timer. I am on my way to fashion blogger greatness, you guys. Plus…see how this is non-constricting when I am on the way to falling on my ass? SO COMFY.
For my next performance, I’m going to copy Veronica Darlings beautiful white version. I love it so much! SO perfect for summer. In fact, check out the Colette Pattern’s flickr group to see all the different ways you can customize this dress. It’s so inspiring!