Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Normal Life

I can feel my quilting mojo creeping back up to a level that will motivate me to sew.....very soon. In the meantime, I haven't been idle.

This pair of mittens was finished very quickly. They are still waiting for hands to fill them. I had a moment of guilt for posting knitting on a quilting blog, until someone reminded me that when you knit you are creating fabric.

They match, hooray!
These pink mittens were commissioned by my Pixie who needs everything pink. She has already put them to good use making a weird snowman with a tail, and rummaging through mud puddles. You can see leftover leaves from her last excursion into the great outdoors.

My yarn stash has been severely depleted. In fact, it's almost all gone.
Here is a shot of my weekend house: It is very, very scary. But you forgive me, because all of my Readers know what it's like to have small people underfoot constantly.

Just keeping it real, Folks.
See? We're as normal as bohemian gets. The toys are awaiting a severe downsizing, the laundry drying rack is positioned over a heating duct, and the children and cats are as happy as pigs in mud.

Scary kitchen:


Time to clean.

This is this morning. Better? Yes. Exhale.

Waking up to this sight makes me happy.
It's not just me - kitchens really do look cleaner when you can put the dishrack away.

The dishwasher is just for decoration. I'm too lazy to use it. The microwave hasn't been plugged in for months.
That pot on the stove is rice pudding for breakfast, made with raisins, maple syrup, and spices. We relax our healthy eating habits a little bit when we have rice pudding. It's not that the rice pudding is unhealthy, but we chose to top it with a touch of soy cream. It's our one vice, and pretty tasty in coffee, too. Recipe at the end - it's my own creation. It's vegan, but I promise you won't miss the dairy.

These are the shelves above my stove. They hold my teas, herbs, and a few dry goods. I think they're pretty, and if they make me happy then they deserve to be there. I create my own blend of fertility tea from what you see here.

Fertility tea: red clover, red raspberry, nettle, dandelion root and sometimes melissa or rosehips.
To achieve this monumentally clean oasis, I used a homemade citrus cleaner and a lot of old-fashioned elbow grease. To make my cleaner/degreaser (worked like a charm on the stove hood), I just fill a jar with orange, lemon and/or lime peels as I use up the fruit. Then top with white vinegar, cover, and let it marinate for a month or three.

When you need a refill, just strain and dilute 1:1 with water. Use liberally and your house will smell as clean as it looks. It could also be used to wash floors, but I haven't used it as such yet.

What did I do after my kitchen was clean? I cleaned the living room. Seriously. But I didn't take pictures in time and it's already a mess again, thus the need to downsize the toys (prioritize, not organize). Coming soon will be the downsizing of my quilting book collection and you could benefit!

In the meantime, some pre-school work was done, and some nurturing was practiced. The doll in the Pixie's arms was given to her by Gramady when we visited the Island this past summer. It is her absolute favorite, and she rarely loses track of it. It gets fed, rocked, sung to, diapers changed, and tucked in beside her every night. Thank you, Gramady. She named it "Blue Baby."

And this little doll is also from Gramady. It gets cuddles when the Punk can't steal the Blue Baby. This is my Punk trying to be like her sister....she learns a lot from the little one.

Finally, my biggest achievement this weekend: I caught up on ALL the laundry. This was me, folding the laundry.

I am supremely proud of me.

Rice pudding recipe:

1 cup rice
7 cups water

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt if you like. When the rice is ready it will be partially broken down, very mushy and thick. Might even have a lovely scum cooked onto the top. Tasty.

Let the cooked rice cool for ten or twenty minutes and then stir in the following;
1/3 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sweetener of choice (agave, maple, honey, sugar...whatever) or to taste.

The flavour is awesome, and when cold it tastes like tapioca. To change the flavour, add dried fruit at the beginning of cooking time (raisins, blueberries, cranberries, etc) and spices to the end. I really like doing a sweet and salty flavour and adding extra agave and a pinch of coarse sea salt. A friend reminded me of the tastebud tickling power of lemon flavouring.


  1. Awww...bounty of eye candy today! Thank you, lovie. I'm also a home brew cleaner. My pet hair/dust loosener is 1/3 cup decent smelling fabric softener to a squirt bottle of warm water. Spray carpet and furniture liberally; wait (or drag out vacuum which is the same as waiting) 2 or three minutes. Vacuum. All dog hair vanishes in seconds. (It's the same formula as Febreeze, btw. And a lot cheaper!)
    To dust, dampen a cleaning cloth with the stuff, wring to almost dry and dust away. Seems to repel dust, too. In a valley where dust will drive you to distraction, it's a life saver.
    Counter/stove top and other things not wooden; 1 tsp dish liquid/2 tbls bleach topped off with warm water in squirt bottle. Does a swell job especially on stainless steel sinks. Squirt and wipe.
    Drain unclogger for life with a septic tank system: Pour a small box of baking soda into the drain; pour a cup of vinegar into baking soda. Enjoy the volcano action and rinse the lot down with hot water. Cleans pipes, leaves all smelling fresh.
    And I'm chuffed to see the girls like the dolls. I'm keeping the bears, tho, LOL.

  2. Thanks for the recipes! Was craving some rice pudding just today.....and I love the simplicity of your cleaner. Commercial products give me raging headaches so look forward to trying yours.

  3. Me too! craving rice pudding, but since I am not vegan, it is milk for me instead of water! Love those mitts, I am working on creating a few pairs for relatives who live in winterpeg...

  4. Cute mittens! And you can totally post that on the quilt blog-it says any type of fiber work!!

  5. Well; be glad yu have them underfoot....lol. They are gone before you know it!! Can't say I don't love my quiet; but everthing in it's time,eh. Your kitchen looks delightful....

  6. I agree enjoy your kiddies and their busy mess while you can because they grow up way to fast. That citrus peel cleaner sounds very interesting. I must give it a try.

  7. Oh my goodness! I couldn't stop reading! Tips and tricks to try...so going to make that rice pudding if I can find some coconut butter. And the cleaning detergent with lemons is noted too. Don't feel guilty about knitting...just think of your blog as a crafty, creative place balanced with family! Nice meeting you!

  8. Those mittens!!! Congrats! I'm going to have to try the citrus peel cleaning concoction. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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