wigglers

June 24, 2008 § 7 Comments

wigglers

I am so happy my hands were shaking when I took these photos, or it was the honey I OD on this morning. Some of you might know that I have been day dreaming about set up my own worm compost for a long time now. I really wanted a nice wooden bin for them to live in but settled for the (free) plastic bin for now. There’s a lots to read online about vermiculture or vermicompost. Martha Stewart had a good article about how to set if up in the March ’07 issue. Treehugger also has a lot of good things to say about the process and how to get it going.

bin

1. Drill ventilation hole for the wormmies to breath.

bedding

2. fill 3/4 full with damp shredded newspaper for bedding (I watered the paper with a watering can)

my new pets

3. get worms: Red Wigglers (Eisenia foetida) or Red Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus). They are available at many nurseries and online, I found some locally on Craigslist.

worms

4. that really is a little tiny worm in there, I saw it wiggle.

their first supper

5. Food for the worms. They eat produce and grains, everything but animal products and fats.

buring my food scraps

6. bury the food scraps around the bin so that the worms crawl around throughout the bedding.

worms nesting

7. The worms nesting in. I gently spread the worms and their castings around the bin after this photo. In theory they will eat the food and beading and then turn it into lovely poop. Obviously the process works because there were traces of newspaper and some uneaten food (avocado skin) in with my new worms. I hope I can keep a balanced environment for my new pets so I don’t having rotting trash outside my front door.

Hip-Hip-Harold

June 23, 2008 § 2 Comments

Hippo

Harold the hippo was born earlier this Spring but was blind. He was sitting on the sewing table without eyes and I would see him put every thing in his mouth; needles, thread, buttons. It was beginning to become a problem so I preformed a simple surgery and now he can see. He seems very happy with his new eyes.

Kitsch

June 22, 2008 § Leave a comment

gnome

The garden is thriving. I think the accordion music helps. A few summer ago we drove by a home on the way to Mt. St. Helen’s that was absolutely crowded with gnomes and related garden kitsch. Lars (lovingly?) predicted that our garden would someday look like that. If you’re reading this Lars, it’s started. Thankful I’m limited to a few containers and a pair of salt shakers.

to many things

June 21, 2008 § Leave a comment

mushroom

A little mushroom growing by the herbs.

I am painfully aware that I like blog about starting more projects than I post about finished. That’s because currently I have an unfinished sweater, sweater vest, two different pairs of mittens and cowl that I am knitting, a small bag that I am crocheting, shelves almost done being painted, I haven’t actually sanded the raw edges of all of the cloches yet, a sculpture that I’m working on, three small paintings that have been in process for months, the quilt, doll, and a sheep that I’ve been sewing, and the rug ready to be felted. And of course I have so many others projects/ crafts in mind that I wish I was doing right now. I think this is genetic (not a bad thing) but I have been missing the feeling of accomplishment.

Yesterday I started and finished (!) some mini quilts to go in a frame that has been hanging empty since February. It felt good. I hope to have more finished projects coming up.

mini quilts

(not the best photo to see the detail)

Homemade cloches

June 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

cloche on display

A finished cloche practicing with the parsley. After some more reading I found my nerve and started bothering the neighbors by tapping glass for hours in my attempts to remove the tops. Here is my process…

shinytoolsV-apparatusnotchapparatusset upscoringfirst cutbutter knife tooltappingsandingone and two

[left to right, top to bottom] 1. glass jugs clean and shiny 2. Tools: 2 pieces of scrap wood, sand paper, old butter knife, glass cutter (other tools not shown drill, screws, craft knife, small piece of felt) 3. Screw wood together at 90 degree angle 4. Cut notch for glass cutter to rest securely 5. Insert bolt/ nail/ etc on one end and cover with piece of felt to keep end of jug in place as it is rotated 6. Bottle set up for cutting 7. Hold glass cutter in place while turning bottle with other hand (getting the position where I was comfortable seemed to be the biggest factor in cutting a straight line) I sat on the ground with the apparatus braced against my left thigh and the neck of the bottle pointing away from me 8. Cut line around bottle 9. Bend butter knife so that the heavy end can reach the inside of scored line 10. Tap lightly (really it is better to tap than wack) over and over again until scored line cracks. You will know when the whole line has cracked because the sound will resonate differently, pull off top 11. Sand raw edge 12. The first cut (bottle on the right) took me about an hour (of frustration and loud wacking) until I found the right set up for me and the right tool to wack with (thanks Lars for the good idea). The second cut looks much better and wasn’t as difficult.

The finished 6 cloches. My success rate was about 50/50. Three have (nearly) straight cuts and no hairline cracks. One (back right) has a huge chunk that broke off but the cloche could be pushed into the soil to hide that. The last two I may toss since the cracks could continue and break especially in changing temperatures. What I read was correct, “practice, practice, practice.” I’m pretty happy with the results and I didn’t cut my self at all (ha!). I’m thinking about getting glass knobs to epoxy to the tops for a finished and unique look. Now I need more garden space…

finished cloches

Arrrgh matey

June 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

mr.jack

Here is Mr. Jack with his smiling pirate face. I’m currently at an knitting all-nighter and it’s after 3am so I don’t have much to say.

glass cutting

June 3, 2008 § 1 Comment

jugs

Dusty glass juice jugs resurrected from a friends basement. The plan is to use a glass cutter to cut off the top part of the jug to make my own cloches. Although I have watched people use a glass cutter I have never used one myself, so I’m a little hesitant to do this, besides the fact that these are round objects. So first I am supposed to “cut” the glass with a knife that wouldn’t even cut paper and then “tap” it with the other end of the tool. I picture myself smashing the jugs into dangerously sharp pieces of glass that explode into my face. If I do manage to cut the glass, it won’t need to be pretty or perfect because the cut end will be in the dirt. But I think it should be fairly close so that I don’t loose to much height on the cloche. I found some fancy looking gadgets that cut gallon glass jugs- the tool I have in mind is a bit simpler. I have read some other advice online so I hope to avoid the exploding glass scenario. I will report back after I get the first aid kit together, and read some more about cutting glass…

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