I got this trim idea from Heidi Hollister, a gal from the Sewing Academy. The gown she sewed was a lot more elaborate, but I'm happy with how the trim turned out on these. Interestingly, the fabric isn't blue at all. It took me a while to realize it but the checks are purple and green, however, your eye reads them as blue. Abby is looking somewhat dazed in this picture, holidays are tiring for children. :-)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The gown is called a "tent style" gown in the period, but I think of it more as just a basic "A" line shape. There is no fitting done at the waist, it just falls straight to the feet. It closes with one button in the back like the originals do that I found. The main difference is the overall length, baby dresses covered the feet, but that could be by a little or a lot. On all of Asa's gowns I have opted for about 4"-6" of skirt to cover his feet, this seems like a reasonable amount that doesn't gobble up too much fabric. However, if I were making this gown again, I would make the skirts longer because I'd like them to be somewhat wider across the middle. He has wiggle room but not as much as I'd wish. Then again he will probably have outgrown it by the day after tomorrow anyway. :-)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
First we begin with his chemise and cotton socks. Thankfully the chemises still fit him, they are one of the best things that I made, he wears them every day. He has cotton socks on today but also has wool ones if the weather worsens. He has cloth diapers but the only "period correct" wool soaker that I have doesn't fit him, he pretty much just skipped most newborn sized things. So, it's a disposable diaper for today.
We add his petticoat now, this particular one is cotton but he has a wool one for inclement weather. It should tie in the back but tying in the front goes smoother. :-)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Following are photos of the baby sacque and bonnet that I finished a while ago. I know a lot of you have already seen it but my family hasn't. The outside is light blue tropical weight wool, the lining is champagne colored silk poplin and the embellishment is peach silk embroidery
Katie has been sewing more little caps and if I feel like it I'd like to make a fancier cap from Batiste. I guess that I just can't knock it off with the sewing!
I am 39 weeks on Wednesday but since I go late I could actually have close to 3 weeks left. I am so eager to meet our "little stranger"!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
We're big fans of composting and adding manure to the garden in the autumn, it has really increased our soil fertility. Our neighbor who is a conventional farmer has soil that's pretty well dead, his yields are about half of ours. Here are some examples of healthy soil and what it will produce. Below is the first of our corn harvest. We grow open pollinated corn and grind it for cornmeal; this was not by any means the largest ear, merely the first to ripen!
Aleks also trained the pole beans to climb the corn stalks. The problem now is that the corn stalks are 10-12 feet high and the beans dangle high overhead. :-)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
We picked up 15 dozen ears of corn yesterday and will get 15 dozen more on Saturday. We are drying it all like we did last year, I want a total of 60 dozen by the time it's all said and done. Katie did all the corn yesterday, the younger ones husked it and she did all the blanching, cutting, and stirring it every 15 minutes in the oven. It's easier for me to sit and sew than it is to bustle around the kitchen these days ("bustle" seems kind of comical considering how slow I am these days :-)) We missed "sewing hour" yesterday but Katie did get another baby cap sewn this week, it's like the other only in a bigger size.
We also brought home 40 zucchinis. I really like zucchini but you can only eat it so many days in a row so we looked for other recipes and found Zucchini Pickles, I hope that we like them! I will add zucchini to our relish and I suppose if I can't find enough ways to use it then the animals can have it.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
When my sister Dawn brought out the cradle she also brought along loads of comb honey. A man that they know does bee removal and some of the honey he takes out of buildings he gives to them. As you can see, it was not the most aesthetically pleasing honey I've ever seen, so we strained out the liquid honey and got well over one gallon. With the remaining comb we rendered out the wax by repeated boilings and strainings. The house smelled so wonderful during the process!
The final rendered product all ready for candle making or salves. Quite a contrast to the "before" picture, isn't it?
We have been making peach jam quite a bit this week. I made it the same way as the other jams we made: with very little sugar and no added pectin. We added cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and it was delicious (we ate some this morning on cornbread)!
My first completed baby gown! I have several white Pima ones almost finished but I was running short on white thread after my chemise marathon so I decided to make up a printed gown.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
And! The big news is that Tansy calved yesterday!!! She had a heifer calf which is Aleks' as part of his graduation gift from us. She is named Senna. The birth went just as I wished it would: outside in the fresh grass, with no problems. Tansy cleaned her up and she went to nursing.
The little children weren't there for the birth which I was glad for, but they did watch her eat the afterbirth. Most farmers don't allow this but we do. The placenta is loaded with oxytocin which will slow down any excessive bleeding and it's full of calcium which helps prevent Milk Fever. I actually wasn't worried about Milk Fever as cows who don't eat grain (i.e. grazing cows) rarely get it. After we put the Mama and baby in the barn for the night we gave her warm molasses water and a quantity of comfrey leaves. Together they give an iron boost and an immune system boost. Life seems abundantly good right now! ;-)
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Anthocyanins – pigments in the fruit – also have antioxidant action; thus, are medicinally valuable as well. They have been studied primarily as the means to fight cancer and showed excellent results. Their content is the highest in the fruits, which are grown in the warm climate with much sunshine.
Flavonoids in the root bark of the Mulberry tree were discovered to increase the level of insulin in the body and reduce blood glucose level; therefore, they may help in controlling diabetes. The root bark is considered a mighty diuretic and expectorant. The bark of the tree has anthelmintic property.
Mulberry leaves are used to treat diabetes and hypertension, but the old leaves have tranquilizing properties and may cause hallucinations, headache, and upset stomach, so, their remedies should be used with the extreme caution.
Mulberry contains large amounts of vitamins C and K, minerals magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron, carbohydrates glucose and fructose, free acids (tartaric and malic), fatty acids (linoleic, stearic, and oleic), protein, pectin and fiber. The health benefits of the Morus tree are tightly connected with the elements composing its chemical structure.
Lately, fighting diabetes and cancer with Mulberry became the primary issue of scientific research. These diseases are difficult to manage and Morus fruit seems to possess the necessary properties, which could be of great help in controlling these conditions.
On the other hand, strengthening the immune system, relieving pain from chronic inflammation (for example, caused by arthritis or atherosclerosis), and nourishing the blood have a long history of treatment with Mulberry fruits.
In addition, naturopaths recommend to lower bad cholesterol levels (thus, helping to avoid the development of cardiovascular disorders), shed excessive pounds, increase bone strength and fight osteoporosis with Mulberry remedies. Besides, maintaining healthy liver and kidneys, soothing the nerves, eliminating weakness, fatigue, and anemia is possible with them. It is interesting to note that premature graying of the hair may be stopped with Mulberry.
Do not forget that the treatment with Mulberry remedies is not only effective against the mentioned disease, but pleasant due to the taste of the fruits as well.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
- 8 lemons
- 2 cups white sugar
Place lemons in a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. This removes the wax that lemons are coated with to keep them from drying out. Let sit in water for 2-3 minutes then drain water and wipe out bowl. Place lemons on a towel and roll firmly back and forth to dry them off and to make juicier. Slice lemons thinly and place 1 layer in bottom of bowl followed by a sprinkling of sugar. Slice lemons on a plate so as not to lose any juice. Slice all lemons and use all sugar layer by layer then let it rest for a half hour. Press firmly with a beetle, don't worry if you break the pulp. Place all contents in a glass pitcher, add 3 quarts of cold water, stir well, and serve over ice cubes for your picnic luncheon at the Fair. Because of the peels, this lemonade will get bitter if left overnight and is best consumed fresh.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Mix flour and salt together thoroughly and then add water and oil. Knead until all the flour is incorporated and dough has an even consistency. Tear dough into 12 fairly even balls and coat each lightly with oil, then place on a plate and allow to rest covered with a towel for 45 minutes. Heat oven to 450 and roll each ball into a rectangle then cut into strips (these can be rolled out without using flour, the oil coating makes them not stick). Place on floured cookie sheet, poke with fork holes and add garnish. These crackers are really bland plain, our favorite toppings are garlic powder, salt and parmesan cheese. Divine! For a sweeter cracker use sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges lightly brown and curl. They will have more snap if allowed to cool before eating. The first time I made these I cut them into circles but the dough doesn't like to be handled too much (it will get tough) so the strips seem to work best. Enjoy!!!
Today the children dug 300-400 leeks and brought them home to be preserved. We love wild leeks, they really add zip to soups and casseroles.
Below are Elisabethe and Abigail, they were in charge of washing the stems before they got diced up.
Rebekah was washing the bulbs and placing them on a tray to be dehydrated. Tabitha, in the background, is chopping up stems.
Levi, Aleks and Micah were trimming roots off, chopping stems and placing on trays.
We will dehydrate these for a day or two and then store them in gallon size glass jars. If it appears to be an insufficient quantity, then we will try to get another batch harvested before the fields get plowed and they all are plowed under. We also made 2 batches of butter today, which never lasts long. I can't hope to put any back with the way the children eat it. ;-) I fed the buttermilk to the baby chicks, usually I use it in biscuits or pancakes or something but not today. We are also freezing at least 1 gallon of milk a day so that when Tansy is dry we won't have to resort to buying milk. I think that's all the news from the home front for now, I hope you have a lovely Wednesday evening!