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Going to Seed…

Friday, May 20th, 2011

These emerald green days are hard to resist.  I could, and maybe should be inside doing any number of things; cooking, cleaning, organizing, responding to emails, paying bills, etc.  But the pull of fresh spring air and bright green grass is too tempting.  So, here we are, outside hiking the hills above our little house.  How lucky can I be?

My dad has been here for the past couple weeks, and it has been great.  He helps out with the kiddos, and takes me out to dinner a lot.  It's a real treat.  He loves his grand dudes so much, and I'm very thankful for it.

I am standing by my DIY sentiment I mentioned in this post.  I made bread in the bread maker my dad brought me!  I also made granola bars.  Both turned out fabulously.  I have to say, the bread maker rocks.  It isn't essential if you are an occasional bread maker.  But, if you are looking to cut costs by making your bread instead of ever purchasing it, and you are a busy person like me, the bread maker rules.  It's fast, easy, and can be left to do it's thing without you having to be present.

And the granola bars are really, really good.  I got the recipe here.  The good store bought kind are crazy expensive.  So, I know I'm saving a lot of money by making my own.  I'm hoping to get really technical soon, and actually calculate how much money it costs to make these things, as compared to buying them.  Maybe I'll plan a trip with all the money we save.  Or, buy a  new toilet, which is what we really need.  Uggh.

We have been doing a lot of fishing with Grandpa Eric.  We went to Harper's Lake yesterday, which is a great lake for kids fishing.  Although we did not catch anything, it was still pleasant.  Apparently, they stock the lake with trout quite often, and if you call ahead and figure out the day that they stock it, it pretty much guarantees at least one successful catch.  And, although this might seem like cheating, I'm inclined to do it.  Asa was so hell bent on catching a fish, when we had to leave, he was uproariously upset.  It sucked.  I felt bad for him too.

I've been in serious production mode, because we are going to be in the Missoula Made Fair.  It is going to require a lot time and energy, but I'm psyched to be doing it!

Happy Weekending!

keepin’ it cheap

Monday, May 9th, 2011

I'm challenging myself to try to make as many things that we need as possible.  Especially things that are ridiculously expensive.  Some items I have in mind are crackers, bread, granola, graham crackers, vegetables, date books, blank books for my kids, and rugs.  I've already started on the rugs, actually.

This scrappy mess is an almost complete rug made from ripped up t-shirts.  I started it 10 years ago.  I have lost it in storage for years at a time, working on it here and there.  And, now it is finally almost complete.

The first job I ever had in Missoula was at The Black Dog restaurant, and I wore my Black Dog t-shirt around town while meeting people who have changed my life.  I fell in love with Missoula while wearing that shirt.

There are also some Big Dipper t-shirts mixed in there, another job I had in Missoula with big memories for me.  Some band t-shirts, a Zapatista inspired rebel t-shirt that I got in San Cristobal, Mexico.  Oh, the memories. And now they all reside in this rug that I plan to put somewhere in our house.

I couldn't stand the idea of giving these t- shirts to goodwill, they held too many memories, but I also didn't have the space in my drawers and closets to store them any longer.  So, why not make a rug out of them?  And...

This rug is made from bed sheets that I dyed different colors and then crocheted using a huge hook.  This is a great way to get rid of stained, or worn thin bed sheets.  You could also tear up old clothing made of woven fabric, like mens dress shirts, or skirts, etc.

Next on my list are date books and blank books for the kids, made from old cereal boxes and scrap paper.

Happy Monday!


Tee shorts and Brown Butter Betty’s

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

The boys and I went to one of our local grocery stores here in Missoula.  For you locals, it was Orange Street Food Farm.  This grocery store is locally owned and operated, and is a solid fixture in Missoula.  And, they currently have a sale on organic strawberries; two pounds for three bucks.  Screaming deal on such a hot commodity.  They are not the true gems that you would find locally in a month or so, they are from California I believe, but when you are craving a strawberry, they pass the test.

So, we ate one pound of them fresh.  And with the other pound I made Strawberry brown butter Betty's, from a recipe I found off of Smitten Kitchen, a nice food blog with great recipes.

They turned out outstandingly good, in my humble opinion.  However the little boys did not like them.  They say they are too sour. I love the fact that they are in individual cupcake size portions. And, I appreciate the tartness mixed with sweetness, mixed with the nutty browned butter flavor.  The recipe is quick and easy, and relatively inexpensive especially if you have home-grown strawberries, or got a good deal on them, like I did.  Also homemade whipped cream to top takes the tartness down a notch.

These are some recycled tee shorts I've been working on.  The pockets of the purple shorts are from a Flaming Lips tee shirt!  I will be selling these at Blackbird, and in our Etsy shop.  I hope to have a boat load made soon.  Along with my dresses and some skirts.

In other news, the fox is still around.  I saw her this morning with her kits.  Apparently, I wasn't as scary as I thought.  I'm secretly just a little bit glad.

Happy Wednesday.