Monday, February 28, 2011

NW Flower and Garden Show 2011

Well I went to the NW Flower and Garden show this year, and I have to say for the first time in about a decade of attending I left kind of disappointed. Maybe it is because I look forward to the fantastic display gardens, or maybe because I look forward to finding new ideas and items for use in the garden. Or more likely I didn't see any gardens representing sustainability. Maybe the Dervaes' Debacle has all the designers scared - they are afraid of getting sued if they design a display garden representing urban homesteading. Maybe they don't want people digging in dirt and growing their own food. Whatever the reason, it was disappointing. There were however a couple of highlights as a few purchases: I bought a hoedag and a Nicolle Dass print:

Above: the HoeDag, Below Nicole Dass Print

What I wish for my backyard to look like

Interesting reuse for water bottles

I really want to make an edible version of this

Happy Birthday Ma!!!

Well Saturday was my mom's Birthday. I already got her a Burgundy slipper chair in exchange for a recliner that she didn't like and I loved. But also I got her a Black & Decker Brew 'N Go Coffee Maker, cause she wanted a way to make a cup of coffee without making a whole pot (she has a Bunn Coffee maker that utilizes a hot water heater built in- makes it impossible to make 4 cups of coffee). And the nice thing is there is no heating element for the warmer as there is no warmer! Anyway a pound of coffee and a mug completed the gift. And to top it off, I made a bow out of the yellow pages! How About Orange has an tutorial on how to do this.

The bow made the gift! Anyway Happy Birthday, Ma!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rob's Balls Giveaway 2011

Looks like it is that time of year again- an oppurtunity for some lucky folks to play with my balls. You can roll them in your hands, juggle them, slap them together. Or you can just plant them. We are talking Seed Ballz folks. And my annual win Rob's ballz giveaway. And this year, to help celebrate the Urban Homesteader in all of us, all the choices are Basil Balls... a great blend of Lemon Basil, Italian Basil, Thai Basil, Opal Basil. This mix of ‘easy-grow’ savory herbs are a good collection for the beginning gardener. Just the thing for the New Urban Homesteader to get started. This year there will be three winners, each will win a package of Seed Ballz (8 balls per pack) enough to keep a small family in fragrant basil for a year!
To enter just leave a comment to this post, along with contact information, winners (3 in all) will be chosen on Friday, March 4,2011 at 11pm. Good Luck to all!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The $64 Tomato

The $64 Tomato by William Alexander

I don't remember where or when I first heard about this book. All I know is I am glad I did!
This book is about the trials of William Alexander, his wife Anne, A physician and their triumphs and failures at gardening or rather homesteading their ancient victorian home on 3 acres. It made me chuckle (a good sign with a book for me) as he describes in great detail how they designed and built their garden, started a small orchard and the crazy folks I who came in their circle. Very well written, not a "green garden book" per say, but very funny and a very fast read. Anyone who has ever wanted to do a homestead on their own should read this book. And it is a must read for all of us would be farmers who struggle to grow the perfect vegetable or fruit.I give it three green thumbs up

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DIY Pot Rack

I have a hard time with pot racks. I like them for awhile then decide they need to be replace or moved. Well this time I made my own. A little Ikea hacking and just some common sense.
I used Ikea Attest handles, and a Fabian shelf From Ikea, the back is from a wall lamp I had made, it is painted with Rustoleum American Accents stone paint, although I cant remember the color name (and didn't see it on their website). Different and smaller than my old pot rack, but out of the way and just as effective!
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Creations by Kara

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My 5 Things

The 4 Bushel Farm had a great post about 5 things you don't leave home without. She got it from her neighbor who writes My Full Time Life.

"5 Things I don't leave home without:"

My Glasses- I am blind as a bat. Extremely Myopic since the 4th grade. I did wear contacts, but as my luck would have it, seemed to develop astigmatism some where along the way. And before the new "Contacts for Astigmatism" were developed.

My Reusable Stainless steel mug (AKA Muggsly)- Cause you never know when you want a cuppa.

My Backpack- or as I call them "Purses for Dudes" (hey I need something to hold my empty Muggsly)

My Cell phone- cause I might need to take a crappy picture. You never know what you will see.

My Diabetes medication and Glucose Tablets- well duhh.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Urban Homesteading- My 2 pennies

Okay, up until now I have kept my big mouth shut about the Urban Homesteading Trademark debacle. You might have read about this on Ms. Chicken's Blog, but seeing as it is Urban Homesteaders Action Day , I thought I would join in the fray. Just a reminder, these are my own opinions and considering I am way too quick to snap to judgement, and drink way too much coffee, take out of them what you will.

First off, I must tell you, I don't think I qualify as an Urban Homesteader®. I am not into living like the Ingalls. I like my modern conveniences. I do however, grow some of my own food. And I can food. And dehydrate food. And freeze it. If that makes me a "Steader" so be it.

Secondly, I am sorry, to a certain family, living in Pasedena, CA., but the fact you call one of your websites "Freedom Gardens ®" (and one in which I used to be proud to be called a member) then you trademark common terms? Sounds a bit like Monsanto and their patented Genetically Modified Seed stock. You apparently do not realize that you are alienating the very people who looked up to you. And came to your website for advice. Or maybe you just don't give a rats ass. My great grandparents were actual Homesteaders® . They lived in sod huts and drank warm cows milk and grew their own food. Long before your so-called "Institute" existed.

So excuse me now if I say That I am an Urban Homesteader® .... I come from a long line of them!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

$10 off on Burpee seeds!

I just got an email from Burpee Gardens. They are having a 135th Birthday sale. $10 off on all orders of $50 or more. Use the code BDAY10 when checking out. Great oppurtunity to try new seed varieties and garden tools! Hurry though, the offer expires on 2/23/2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

I can has T-shirt?

It amazes me how some folks think! For the better I mean. I found this Instructable on Recycling Childrens Clothes. Into Doggy Clothes. I have to admit to putting poor Romeo through the indignity from time to time of having to wear T-shirts and jackets. Not neccesarily because he doesn't have enough fur to keep him warm, but rather it helps keep him clean, which for a dog as adamant as he is the bath water is evil, you would think would be a good thing. This instructable shows how to properly alter a childs T-shirt into a shirt for your pal. I am a fan.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Soroptomists Rule

My cousin Sue watches out for me! Sue is a member if the Soroptomists International in Anacortes, Washington, and as such shops their wonderful Thrift Store there. She picked me up this wonderful jacket

and theses worsted wool slippers.

Thrift store shopping is even better when others do it for you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Propaganda Posters

Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about WWII/WPA US Propoganda posters. I really think they are historical works of art. So I got excited when Savvy Housekeeping did a post on some she found recently along with a link to where I could find some. Well they got here, and I decided right away what to do with them.
This one hangs outside the bathroom as a reminder of where the "Sanitary Unit is. I put it in a "Nyttja" Frame from Ikea for $1.99
I reused a shelf from a Hyllis Shelving Unit from Ikea as a magnet board for this one.

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Creations by Kara

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My New Tool!

After reading about Pick Punch on Condo Blues, or at least I think it was a blurb she left in a face book message, I think it was Lisa... anywayI knew I wanted one. It came and I immediately made two picks for my ukelele's. I wont torment y'all and entertain with uke music, but just had to show you my neat new toy that recycles/re-uses old gift cards and credit cards. I am also thinking about business so I will probably make earrings to sell on etsy as well. Maybe small Christmas ornaments? Thanks Lisa (I think) for the link to Pick Punch!

Monday, February 14, 2011

For my Valentines

It's Valentine's Day Boys...
I can has valentine treat?
I know there is something good in here

Whatdo yo u get your cat on Valentines Day?
I don't need no stinky fish...I love cookies!


Friday, February 11, 2011

My Hack was featured

My shower corner rack was featured today on Ikea Hacker!

Neat Garden Gifts

At times I think they see me coming... I was looking at Clean Air Gardening site, hoping to find something different to give as a wedding present this June, and of course instead of buying said present I bought myself something--- A Tomato Grow Bucket and a Window Garden set.
The Tomato Grow Bucket
Here is what Clean Air says about it:

"Tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow, and they yield massive amounts of fruit. The Beefsteak is one of the biggest tomatoes out there - it's a juicy variety that you rarely find at the supermarket because factory farms prefer smaller, tougher skinned fruit. That's a shame, because beefsteak tomatoes are great salad or hamburger toppers, with big, thick, juicy slices the size and color of a steak. If you want a Southern Style BLT, you need Beefsteak tomatoes for the full taste.

The kit includes Beefsteak Tomato seeds, a galvanized steel bucket, row marker, soil, shovel, and a rake."
And here is what they say about the Window Garden Kit

"Now you can have your own self contained organic window garden with these fun window gardening kits. They make window gardening easy, because everything is included that you need to get started growing. All you have to do is add water.

Each set includes four window garden cans. You can choose one of each, or four of the same product, or however you'd like. The herb mix is a blend of Basil, Dill, and Parsley.

If you leave it blank, we will send you one of each product.

Everything is included in this exclusive garden kit, including seeds, enriched growing mix & nutrients and this leak-proof growing container. Just add water and sunlight to enjoy."
Now of course, I know what y'all are thinking. He is going to give it to his mom. I ain't buying that old woman nuthin'! Not garden related anyway. No. These are for me!!! I am hoping to find out if they are easily made- in other words Steal Clean Air's idea!!! I am always in the market for a knock off!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easy Shrimp Po' Boys

I just love Shrimp Po' Boys, I would eat them daily if I could. Out here they are available at the Tin Room Bar- If only they were easier to make. Well now they are! I adapted one of Rachel Ray's Recipes for a simpler, "semi-Homemade" version of a Shrimp Po' Boy. The end result is it tastes great and is easier to make!

Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich
This is an easy take on the Shrimp Po' Boy. One of my favorite sandwiches.
What you need:
1 Package frozen breaded shrimp (optional)
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 head of lettuce shredded
2 Hoagy Rolls
1 tablespoon of Mustard
1 tablespoon mayonaisse
1 tablespoon of honey or agave nectar

The reason the breaded shrimp is optional is some prefer to do all that work themselves. There is a recipe for that here. Otherwise hush up about it and follow along...
Prepare the breaded shrimp per the instructions (I prefer Trader Joe's Breaded Shrimp simply because there are no tails; that and it cooks up nice in the oven, otherwise I use Gorton's Popcorn shrimp). Slice the tomato, shred the lettuce. Prepare the dressing- mix the Mustard, mayo and the honey/agave nectar. Now assemble the sandwich as follows- A layer of tomato, a layer of lettuce, a layer of shrimp, and dabble on the dressing. Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lucky Bamboo

I was at Ikea and discovered these lucky bamboo plants. I have seen these at import stores in Seattle's International district, and the Great Wall Shopping Center near work. After reading up on them and discovering they are actually a Lily (botanical name: Dracaena) and they grow in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa, do not like direct sun making them perfect in my new studio_ which only has a north facing window. I took a square shaped vase I had around here and filled it with "craft rocks" that I had bought for another project. Then just filled the pot with water. So simple and easy.
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Creations by Kara

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recycling Christmas Lights

I was perusing the internet and found one of my own groups has a thing about recycling christmas lights! (I really need to make the meetings more often!) This is great for those old light strings
From the Sustainable Burien website:

"You can easily recycle burned out Christmas lights. Flemings Holiday Lighting is running a program to collect strings of Christmas lights and have the copper salvaged. Last year they collected over 8,000 pounds of lights and donated over $5,000 to the Moyer Foundation and Project Kids Art. Check their web site [page down to the section on Recycling Christmas Lights] for locations to drop off lights.

For 2010 we have the ambitious goal to collect 20,000+ pounds of lighting strands. With additional site locations, extended collection periods, and increased media coverage we are anticipating an even more successful endeavor for the 2010 event. Pass the word to family and friends to save those unusable or unwanted lights and donate to our “Recycle Lights for Charity” drive."
Checking out the Fleming's Holiday Lighting page, they are a local business here in the Seattle/Puget Sound area that actually does holiday lighting displays, and they have come up with a unique recycling opportunity for charity.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Potato Condo News

I'm not the crazed veggie gardener y'all think I am. I couple of years ago I built my first potato condo, on an idea from the shiba guyz. So really it is their idea, not mine. Any way, I just received my Irish Eyes seed catalog, and on page 17, there was my potato condo. It is also online with great instructions as how to make your own. The only difference I can see between mine and theirs is they use a soaker hose coiled up in the condo/planter, and I never saw the need as it doesn't get scorching hot here. But it is something I will try in mine this year. P.S. My potato condo has a new resident, I am growing rhubarb in it now, but will make a new condo!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No End to What they try to shove in me!

That title says it all. I am going to have to go under two medical procedures in the next two months... A tooth implant and a colonoscopy. There are no ends to the amount of things they are going to try to insert into my body. The tooth implant is to replace a missing tooth, that I lost while eating a hot dog. Damn hot dogs. The will have to first insert a threaded cylinder that will act as root for my "bionic" tooth. That sounds like so much fun.

Then in early March I am going to have a colonoscopy. The send what I call a "sea-snake" up my rectum, just short of Bellingham. And the doctor doesn't even take me out to dinner first. In fact he wrote me a prescription to give me violent diarrhea the night before. And my pre-op instructions state I can only have a clear diet of broth and jello- except no red jello (WTF? the only good flavors of Jello are Red ones) Sounds like a real nice two days. Any-hoo, If some of my future posts seem a little hard to follow, (more than usual)that is because I am on drugs. Trying to heal my sore gum and my sore butthole.