Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting ready for Atlanta.

WHOOO HOOO. Can you feel my excitement?  I finally get to go to the Country Living Fair. I have been wanting to go for years and I got my other brain (my BFF or bestie, the young people say) on board. We are going to Atlanta in October. I was using this as my deadline to make a new purse. I get so tired of hauling a bag around so most of the time, I carry one of my little clutches. However, for long days that involve alot of walking I prefer a cross body hipster. I didn't want one too big. I just need my phone, credit card, chap stick and gum. I try to be low maintenance. I got inspired at christmas last year and made a purse for my niece. I loved it and wanted to make one similar for myself.
Here is my inspiration!
Ain't she pretty? This bag is from the 50's. It still had it's tags on it.

Are you inspired? What would you do with it?

I have been waiting til I knew exactly (ok not exactly, but kinda) how I wanted the bag put together. I couldn't just go randomly hacking into the bag. It's not like fabric that could be easily replaced. However, I never wanna spend alot of time making a pattern and complete prototype. Soooo, I borrowed number 1's(our oldest, my step-daughter, a.k.a bug's)   fossil purse a few weeks ago and liked the size and style so after fliping it inside out and studying how it was made I tried to cut the basic bottom shape out of paper and laid it on my bag. These things have to be centered and I wanted to utilize as much print as possible.  I nervously pulled out my scissors and got started.
These pieces were attached at the top and since the bag was covered with some type of think coating on the inside, I decided not to make a liner for the purse. I designed  some pockets to fit my phone and other needs, attached the top bands and added magnetic closures.

This pocket is on the inside but the back will double as my outside cell phone zipper pocket. The less fabric I use the lighter my purse will be and the longer I can carry it comfortably. ( I am so stinking excited !)

This is my strap and it had to be long. I am a tall girl and want this to actually rest at my hips and not above them. I think the font on the strap will be perfect.
A view from the top.
I can't wait any longer. The big reveal !!!!

Do you like it? I think it it awesome. I always find something negative to pick out on my projects but I'm not gona do that this time. Did I mention how excited I was? Perfect bag for this farmer's wife!

This is an addendum. I am so excite to say that I linked up to alinky party for the first time ever :saynotsweetanne  My laptop crashed less than 30 minutes later as I was trying to "grab her blog button" I hope I give her the credit that is due for hosting the party. I am trying to shake the feeling that it was an omen because I really wanted to link this to more places. I am proud of my project and want to learn all I can about the "cyber-world."  It would really make me happy to know that people could read about some of my projects and enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed reading others.
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Places I've Linked to:

Second verse same as the first

Tomatoes! You wanna know what is so exciting about tomatoes? Well, nothing to you maybe, but I put these babies up all by myself. I normally do these projects with my m-i-l or call her a millon times.  I was a big girl, pulled out a canning book and tried to muddle thru it.

We have about five plants. This is kinda a small batch to drag all the canning supplies out for, but I think they will be better for cooking when canned instead of frozen. If I do it right, that is.

I think it is best to go to the experts.
And follow them step-by-step.

Step1 : Hot clean jars. 
and the cheater cheater way to do this:
put them in the dishwasher run them thru a rinse and heat cycle. By the time you get the tomatoes ready, so are the jars.
Step 2: Peel the tomatoes. Just like I did on the peaches.  Consider yourselves warned. When you drop the tomatoes in hot water, you have about 30seconds before they need to go into the ice water or they will split.

Ice Bath

Peel, Skin slides right off.
Step 3: Chop

That's my fancy chopper that my bestest friend got me in Boston, cause that's how we roll.
  Step 4: Pack them in the jars. (before you start this, boil the "flips" or lids that will top the jars.
Each pint  needs 1 tablespoon lemon juice (quart = 2T)

                                                    1 teaspoon salt per pint ( quart = 2t)
                                                       1 teaspoon sugar per pint ( quart = 2t)

                                                        Add the tomatoes. Blue book says to remove air bubbles but since                                                my tomaotoes were chopped, that wasn't an issue. And leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace at the top pf the jar. Wipe around the rim.

Step5 : Process the jars. (technical term for boil them in a huge pot) This is what seals the jars.

Remove the flips from the boiling water and place them on top of the CLEAN rim. Screw the rings on hand tight. And place them in the canning processor (huge pot of boiling water)
I didn't think the water would ever start to boil but once it did the jars were processed for 45 minutes. And make sure the water is an inch above the jar tops.

Viola! Here is the finished project. They are gonna be awesome in some chilli this winter.

As promised

So, in my last post I made a promise that I would post about what I did during the silage cutting, and so I shall. Even if it is weeks late. I love having some documentation about what we have been doing, but we are so busy doing what we're doing that I won't take the time to blog about it. I am actually on a business trip with the plowboy and have a few minutes before meeting with the wives to eat breakfast.

  Ok blah, blah, blah. What has been keeping me so busy? I have been, chopping, boiling, canning, & freezing. The first fruits of the summer were PEACHES. We have tons. As you remember from before, the peach tree actually had broke branches from all the weight. We say we are gonna attempt to do a better job of prunning next spring. I have already tried to trim back a little but all I had was an old saw blade and it wasn't working real smooth.  Enough words. Show me some pictures!

While looking for recipies online, I found some information about peeling peaches. Just like tomatoes, if you will drop the peaches in boiling water for a few minutes (depending on how ripe) and then immediately place them in cold water, you can peel the skin right off. This sped up the entire process.

So with alot of help from my m-i-l, daughters and niece, we ran right thru them rather quickly.

Now, I'm not quite sure how it works just yet, but my m-i-l would not let me throw out the peels. She says that they make the best peach pies. I know what you are thinking. GAROSS, but trust me y'all, if anybody can make a peach peel taste good it is her and I will try anything she cooks. I may ask what it is first, but I will try it. She is the bomb! She can and will cook anything.

After we boiled, cooled, peeled and chopped the peaches, we put them in quart bags. A seasoned blogger would have counted and photographed all the peaches, but I am not seasoned. I know, I know it's hard to tell with all my flawless post, but tis true. I am new at this and learning every post.

Just a few pics of what I have been doing with all these peaches.

Yum Yum. ALways looking for some recipies using peaches.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm Back Baby!

I am so happy to say that "I'm back Baby!" I have been blah and not feeling like I want to do anything lately, but today I have got it done. My day started with a 1.5 mile walk. Then I picked peaches and pruned the tree a little. I have mowed the yard, sprayed the weeds (we have a huge gravel driveway), washed and folded three or four loads of laundry, washed two sets of sheets and hung them on the line,made my bed back up,  did some sewing on a dress that wasn't fitting just right, paid bills and did some other overdue paper work, burned some trash, cleaned my craft room, and of course cleaned the kitchen , while taking care of my girls. This is great considering I couldn't muster up any energy last week.  It is now 4:00pm and I think I should sit awhile. And guess what? IT IS RAINING AGAIN. We got 1 inch of rain last night. This is a prayer answered Yes. My mother has taught me to be cautious that all prayers are answered, some yes and some no. So Thank the Lord, this could make a huge difference in our soybeans.

I wanna share some photos of what the plowboy and his family have been doing.
Anybody know what this is?
Does this help?
How bout this?

 The farm crew has been cutting silage. Silage is the entire corn crop, (stalk & ears of corn) cut up. It is put in a "pit" and covered with a tarp before it is completely dry so that it can ferment. We use it to supplement our hay for fed in the winter.  Because we did not get enough rain during the spring our cows will not have enough hay and the corn will not produce the normal amount of grain. This is what the action at the "pit" looks like.
 This tractor is constantly moving back and forth over the silage as it is brought it. They call this "packing the  pit."

               They need 2 trucks so that one can be dumping while the other is at the cutter loading.

     After the pit is completely full and packed, they will cover it with a tarp and weigh it down with tires.
They say this is the worst part of the job. The poor guys were so hot and tired. I made a fresh gallon of peach tea and got it to them just in time to throw ( and by throw I mean barely drag) a few tires myself.

And just look at this guy. Now that is what I call HOT!
He was laying right beside us the whole time and I could not resist the photo op.

My next post will show you what I was working on in the air conditioning while the fellas cut silage.
See Y'all next time.