Wednesday, October 31, 2012

 A clucky Halloween

This costume got a lot of mileage this year and may continue to get more use around the house. My mom got it before Harriet was born at a garage sale and it finally fits. It was a big hit! There was a lot of excitement around the house about Halloween this year; the night finally arrived:
 Our sweet next door neighbor "Mrs. B" had some special treats set aside for Harriet when she arrived, three honey crisp apples (no razor blades in there, not to worry).

This weekend we had a bunch of fun Halloween festivities. This was one at Ginny's parent's house with her best buddy Lauren. The highlight of the night was the spook pond where they put up a blanket and threw a fishing pole over and got little toys.

We have been doing a lot of practicing and, despite my stammering, this video is pretty cute. As Steve and I kind of predicted, Harriet got super shy when we went up to everyone's doors tonight and we had to coax her a bit.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Clockwise from left: Snap, Crackle, Morton Salt Girl, Pop,  Gorton's Fish guy, Kebbler elf, Betty Crocker, Land O Lakes Girl, Green Giant, Greek Yogurt Goddess and Kool aid man.

Packaged food icon Halloween

This year was the last hurrah (we think). Our friend Matt has been hosting a party for 10 years and after this year is calling it quits, a good run. We went out with a bang, bringing a robust group to the party. To make it even more fun we all brought our products to give out to everyone. The fudge striped cookies, rice krispie treats and cupcakes were really a hit. No fish sticks though, seemed like it might be weird to turn on Matt's oven. 

Kool aid with his mask on. He was really the hit of the party in his blow up suit.

Quite possibly the easiest costume. Kool aid man lent Steve this yellow slicker and pants outfit and I attached a logo to cover up the Columbia logo on the jacket. done.

Snap, Crackle, Pop with their cereal purses filled with rice krispie treats.

Matt as a keg of beer with the original group of attendees, plus a photo bomb by Steve and batman.

Friday, October 26, 2012

 Chain necklaces

I made some of these this summer but forgot to post about them. The above necklace I found at a vintage store and used to be the heart choker below, but i liked the repeating lace form so I took off the charm and added a chain to it for length. Much better.

This one I have already given away to a friend. I took another enameling class this summer and make the circle on the necklace. I know bought all the supplies I need for enameling so I don't have to take a class ever again.  I love enameling.

It's hard to find a cute yellow necklace. My mom got me the beads from a sale at my favorite bead store that went out of business in Northfield. I like how the beads all nestle together to make an interesting design.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


We have been composting for years. We are so devoted to it that when we moved from our old house to my dad's house (before buying this current house) we moved the compost bin too. In hindsight that was just ridiculous, but just proves our dedication (we left that composter at my dad's house). Given all the waste we have from the chicken coop, composting is the only thing that makes sense for us. Basically we give the chickens our kitchen scraps, they break it down for us, we take their straw and manure to the bins for composting and then we put that finished compost in our veggie garden. A cycle.

We have been using these blue barrels for the past 4 years and they don't work very well in practice. Originally we had bungee cords on top and then we were going to roll them down the alley to mix them. Some scraper immediately stole the bungee cords and then we have been mixing them with a pitch fork. The picture below, from a while back, illustrates how cumbersome this process is and these bins are heavy!

Not fun and also grueling work. Life on the urban farm is hard sometimes.

Welcome our new composter! It looks like something out of the dharma initiative on Lost. A coworker didn't want it anymore and so we went out to Rosemount to get this beast. The barrel (drum?) is 3 ft x 3 ft. and was a chore to cram into our friend's giant Tahoe. It's awesome though and can fit an immense amount of stuff! It has a handle to turn the barrel and I've noticed that it breaks down everything far quicker than the blue bins. It is now far easier to retrieve the compost when it is finished. It fits perfectly between the two garages. Let's hope we don't have much snow this winter because now we have no where to put it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Road trip wedding

Wedding season isn't finished for us. Amanda, my good friend from high school, got married Friday in Milwaukee. We decided to drive to the Dells Thursday to breakup the trip. Christina enjoyed the outlet mall and Harriet loved the hotel's pool, CASTLE SLIDE!

The Ramada next door had a strange promo going on worth noting (see below). I'm curious how their continental breakfast was. (If you can't read the sign it says: Bring me a pound of bacon and receive 16% off room)

It was nice to get up friday and only have a two hour drive ahead of us.We had a nice lunch with my dad. Harriet seemed to enjoy eating most meals in restaurants. We stayed with my mom friday night and Harriet really liked her sleepover with grandma AKA Bubbe.

The wedding was beautiful. Christina already ranked it top five. The reception was at the Grain Exchange. It was a very grand room. One highlight from the night was Amanda's dad serenading her mom with the help of the 10-piece band. It was fun to catch up with her whole family and meet her new husband Charles. We're so happy we could attend.

On the ride home Saturday we...
stopped to see our friends Eddie and Michelle, their kids, and house (Harriet and Evy having a snack),

stopped for yarn at the Knitty Gritty Shop,

and ran around a pumpkin patch. Driving further down rural Hwy 33 we noticed a sign for Ethanol Days, a one day open house that included family fun and plant tours at an ethanol plant. We skipped it and regretted that decision a ways down the road, but just couldn't bring ourselves to turnaround and backtrack when we had over four more hours of driving ahead of us. After that Harriet actually slept in the car for a few hours before we stopped in Hudson for some pizza and the required New Glarus beer run. We had a fun trip!

Friday, October 12, 2012

CSA recap
Last week was pick up for our CSA (community supported agriculture) haul from the North Creek Community Farm. It was our first year doing it and we split our share with our neighbors. Although we still grew all the usual stuff in our garden (tomatoes, basil, herbs, broccoli, beets, hops, etc.), we decided to do the CSA in hopes of challenging ourselves. And challenge we did, we ate things we ordinarily wouldn't buy like fennel, kolrobi, tons of kale and so on. It was fun to go pick it up each week and not know what we were getting. Surprisingly, we used about 80-90% of the veggies each week and the rest we didn't get around to and we fed to the chickens. Each week we got a cute little newsletter with notes from the farm and the some recipes and most weeks we tried to make at least one of the recipes. Some were better than others. So there you have it – everyone's a winner. We would definitely do it again.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Craft room/new office sneak peak

We have been busy lately, as usual, I guess. We have been redoing the 3rd floor craft room and making it into an office too, not just a craft room. The space is rather bizarre, as 3rd floors in 112 year old houses tend to be. It's rather hard to photograph given the, often, strange lighting, so hopefully the ones in the next post will be better.

When Steve first showed me this desk from craigslist I didn't even hesitate to say, no it was the ugliest desk ever. I think we can all agree, but he sweet talked me into agreeing to it by complimenting me on my creativity. Apparently, this was the perfect size for the weird space and it was only $30. I did a little research and found out that there is laminate countertop paint so there we had it – problem solved. I would paint it white like the legs. For anyone who is thinking of doing this, it is very smelly. It looks pretty good though, but I think I did too many coats (five) at one time and now it if you put anything down on the top for any period of time it will make an indention. Great. Maybe, with time, it will cure. 

After. I'm mind of convinced that white wasn't an actual color of the countertop paint, but just the paint that is then mixed with a colorant (hence why it stay base tint on the can). Seemed to work ok though. 

We needed a makeshift chair until we can find a more suitable office chair. This has been up in the rafters in our garage for a few years and we got it from some neighbors who were throwing it out. 

After. Spray painted and recovered. It will do for now.  

 One of the only pieces of furniture in this room that we actually purchased new from a store. Problem being that it claimed to be white, but it was really a cream and didn't match the now white desk.

After. So I spray painted it turquoise (well technically, Rustoleum Lagoon) to add a little color to the area. I like it. 

While Steve was dismantling the ugly desk at this weird thrift store in Burnsville, I saw this dresser thing in a back room. It was $15 and so I went back and picked it up another day. 

 After. Spray painted it the same color as the metal cabinet and added some wheels to lift it off the ground a bit and add some height so there would be less of a gap between the desk top. Also I like how it makes it look less like a dresser and more like some industrious. Reused the knobs although I might switch them, I'm on the fence.

A little paper organizer thing. I got it at a thrift store a long time ago. It's kind of an optical illusion since it is actually plastic, not wood. 

After. I primed this with spray primer and then had to wait a week for it to cure since it was plastic. Seemed to work out just fine.

This is how the same area used to look. Don't judge. The beauty of this room is that you can close the door and not look at everything for months at times. As you can see, the popcorn is on all the white areas, it's a lot of popcorn to contend with. More on that later...