Monday, September 29, 2014

review: Public Produce

Public Produce: The New Urban AgriculturePublic Produce: The New Urban Agriculture by Darrin Nordahl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was an absolutely fascinating read, though not quite what I was expecting.

Nordahl clearly is screaming at us, the average citizen, to change how we get our food from the farms to our tables. Yes, I mean that literally; Nordahl is so passionate on the subject (which is a good thing) that I felt he was yelling at me, and as he often repeats his point over and over again, I felt as if he was lecturing me for all the evil food practices I apparantly am a part of, and that I was so stupid for not knowing any better. I know he doesn't mean it that way; I just felt he could have toned down his narrative a bit, but he definitely gets his point across. I still give the book 3 stars, however, because he is so passionate about the subject and did open my eyes up even more on the subject, a passion that I do share (one of the reasons I started my own garden three years ago, and am part of a CSA / buy from farmer's markets / do my own canning, etc.)

I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review & was not paid for my review.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall into Fall CAL

Fall into Fall CAL / KAL starts today! Join us!

review: artisan preserving

Artisan Preserving: Over 100 recipes for jams, chutneys and relishes, pickles, sauces and cordials, and cured meats and fishArtisan Preserving: Over 100 recipes for jams, chutneys and relishes, pickles, sauces and cordials, and cured meats and fish by Emma McDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I requested this book to read & review from netgalley (in exchange for my honest review) because I am a beginner canner - or at least, I consider myself a beginner canner, as this is only my second year. The photos are inspiring & beautiful; the directions are clear, and the recipes well laid out & I would have no problem in following any of them.

The book, however, is a little artsy for me - well, it is in the title after all! I can simple foods, and cook even simpler, so the chutneys, sauces, and cordials are wasted on me. I live in a tiny apartment (my garden is elsewhere) so even if I wanted to cure my own meat & fish, I have no space to do so, so that section is all wasted on me.

Unfortunately, there's not really a single recipe in this book that I think I'd ever actually make ;/.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday FO

I managed to finish something!

This is a quick little lapghan (donated to the nursing home already) using some of my Alzheimer's squares.

 100% of the sales goes towards Alzheimer's Research - I pay for all ravelry / paypal fees, so the whole $5 gets donated.


Thursday, September 18, 2014


It's been a crAZY busy summer for us. I can't even describe how busy it's been - between the day job, the garden, the canning, the CSA we joined, Jon's two jobs, family commitments, and trying to take charge of my health/wellbeing, it's been crazy! Unfortunately the designing really has taken a backseat, though I did manage to design a few things for Crochetvolution & a few things for I Like Crochet magazine (a digital magazine that's very exciting!)

 This is a long, pending design that's ready to be published, except I can NOT manage to get good photos - I've tried three times so far!


My current design in progress is a scrap afghan:


 In other news, my Mondrian Afghan was published in Love of Crochet:

and I published a quick little American Girl Doll cardi:

Thanks for catching up with me today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

wednesday wip

I haven't been knitting much this summer - too busy gardening/canning. But I have been working on:

freeform vest


striped cardi (acrylic, for work, because I am very hard on work clothes)


 striped fingering weight cardi with LB1878 & scraps

What have you been working on?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pendleton Handstitched Home: Projects to sew for cozy, comfortable living by Susan Beal

Pendleton Handstitched Home: Projects to sew for cozy, comfortable livingPendleton Handstitched Home: Projects to sew for cozy, comfortable living by Susan Beal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows I'm obsessed with quilting, even though I'm not, you know, an actual quilter or even much of a sewer. Still, I have to get my hands on every single quilting book out there.

I enjoyed this one. It includes a section on how to quilt, and the actual instructions for a variety of projects. Like I said, I'm not a quilter, but the instructions to me looked easy enough that even I could follow them & really makes me want to try a quilt. I love the fact that all of the quilts use wool, a fiber I love and a fiber often not used in a world of cotton and cotton blend fabrics. Just thinking about how cozy a quilt would be made with wool makes me want to dig out my sewing machine.

There's also a great little section on the history of Pendleton wool, which I found really interesting.

received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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Monday, September 15, 2014

review: Fresh from the Farm

Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and StoriesFresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories by Susie Middleton

This book is part memoir & part cookbook.

It has beautiful, full color photographs and recipes strewn throughout the book. Middleton is obviously an accomplished writer & her recipes look delicious -

Unfortunately, there was ONE - count them folks, just ONE - recipe I'd actually make, and unfortunately, I already make something pretty similar (her recipe used mustard greens; mine uses kale). I have a lot of food issues/allergies, so I have this problem with most cookbooks anyway - though it doesn't stop me from buying them all! Most of the recipes include way too many things I can't eat, and by the time I substitute everything, nothing of the original recipe is left. There's way too many fancy things in here, too - things my family just wouldn't eat, things I'm just not interested in making - I'm too much of a simple, meat & potatoes gal at heart.

That being said - the chatty, "memoir" half of the book was fabulous, and I greatly enjoyed reading Susie's tales, and that made the book worth the 4 stars to me (that and the photography).

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

review: Handbag Workshop

Handbag Workshop: Design and Sew the Perfect BagHandbag Workshop: Design and Sew the Perfect Bag by Anna M. Mazur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a beginner sewer (more of a wannabe sewer than an actual sewer) and so I requested this book to read and review from netgalley because the word "workshop" led me to believe that this would be a book on learning how to design and sew the perfect bag. I knew there'd be a variety of projects for all skill levels, but still thought it would be suitable for a beginner sewer.

It's not.

The projects use materials such as leather, and involve way too much work and too many steps, for this beginner sewer. The bags, for the most part, are not my style - they are more professional than my life calls for. Yes, choice of materials can dress a bag up and down, but that only changes things so much, and a dressy bag made in a more casual material is just going to look stupid.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

We're having a Cal / Kal!

It starts Sept 23 (first day of Fall) - please Join us!
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