We have been betrayed…

I don’t get political here. Never have, thought I never would.  But this makes me cry.  I will never shop or knowingly purchase foods affiliated with these companies again.

Et tu?  Whole Foods?  Really?

Please read the article at the Organic Consumers Association‘s site:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm

So glad I grow my own.

My little bit of earth.

“Please Sir, may I have a little bit of earth?”

Mary,  The secret Garden

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PLEASE:  If you have heard anything different since this article was published please enlighten us in the comments! 

Thank you.

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Photo Friday: a changeling of a day

Yesterday I got up and didn’t have to dress like a polar bear.  I liked that, but it got better!  Due to my increased comfort I felt brave enough to just throw on some jeans, clogs and a sweatshirt to try to take some pictures in the fog.  I had wanted to try this since I read about it in Kerry Mark Leibowitz’ blog entitled Lightscapes Nature Photography.  The particular post I mention can be found HERE  <— (click)  but don’t pass up his other work it is breathtaking!

I will try not to be too wordy today, it will be hard, but I will try.  But first a word about picture quality.  If you want a really stunning view of the more artistic photos here, then please click them to sharpen them up!  😉

Ground fog in the country

I liked the stark beauty of these twisted branches against the muted background.


I wanted to share more of these with you, but this turned out to be the best of the bunch.  So, I will share some others that I took while out on my early morning excursion.

Farming

Farmers, being early risers, need a bit of light to keep things running smoothly.

We call these the Walkingsticks, but they’re properly called irrigation and they are huge.

Each section is roughly 10 to 12 feet in length.  This particular string was nine lengths long.  The rest of it is on the other side of the rise in this picture.  Notice the light in the upper right?

Each of the “walkingsticks” is attached to an underground water source.  As it runs, sorry I don’t understand the mechanics involved,  anyway, as it runs it slowly travels on the wheels and in a circuit around the well pipe to keep the crops irrigated.

This new to our area watering system was begun last year.  Trenches were dug, pipelines laid , and submersed pumping stations set up to keep the crops irrigated.  We are fortunate here to have massive underground water reserves to keep things growing even when it doesn’t rain… It’s all that limestone and underground rivers and caves!

A severe drought was the case in this post <— (click)  of August 2010,  and as it will happen, they’ve installed all the costly irrigation and now we have had plenty of rain.  However, better prepared than to do without!

It has in fact rained so much that the soil is saturated to the point that the water collects in puddles now and will not drain away.  Do you see the Alligator in this puddle?  😉

It takes very big equipment to prep all the fields and ready them for planting.  Big tractors, and other farm equipment leave big tracks in the soil.  You may have an opinion about Big Agribusiness and the practices they follow, but I will not get into that topic here.  Suffice it to say that you know my mind on gardening practice here on the Farmlet.

The lake scene above came from this set of mighty tractor ruts!

This compacted area will be like concrete when it dries in summer.  Note to self, when running out the door, take a moment to put on proper hikers, and not your nice expensive clogs!!!

Later that same day…

The sun came out and warmed the air to 76 degrees, everyone enjoyed  the break from the cold and gloom of wintertime.  This rise in temperature caused the sap to rise in the maple trees, which dripped down the trunks from the holes the woodpeckers had made.  It was a sticky mess but apparently, not everyone felt the same as I did.

Do you see her?

How about now?

She is sipping the maple sugar through a straw  her *proboscis.

~*~*~*~

!!!

The leftovers from last years harvest.

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*NOTE I know that technically proboscis is correct, but it certainly lacks that alliterative quality of the word straw.  Does it not?

Keepin’ busy. How about you?

I have been working feverishly on regaining my sewing skills and over the course of an entire year I have, I think, regained much of what I need to get my Etsy store going.  I have made simple  curtains, a dust ruffle, and a hand tied quilt for the guest room… to which I just put the binding on this past week.

This is the first full-sized quilt I have ever made.  I totally cheated and hand tied it to a wonderfully warm and fuzzy blanket.  I made the binding from leftover blocks I sewed together and stripped.  I owe deepest apologies to my friends Tim and Pam for not having the binding on by the time they arrived… I could hardly stand the fuzz as I worked, I simply can’t imagine sleeping with it.  Sorry!

I made my first apron,  using my own pattern.  It is machine sewn with a hand quilted pocket and embroidery to dress it up.  It is very fifties in style, but the embroidery is a thirties effect.

No, it is not uneven, I hung it crooked!  I will have to be more careful when I’m photographing my items for sale…

For Bob I made two pairs of pajama bottoms from flannel I found at Sir’s in Fayetteville, TN.   The deal with Sir’s is this… if you find it and you like it grab what you need, plus a little extra for later, or it will simply have vanished the next time you go back.

Such was the case here.  Not wanting to wear Hello Kitty, or anything juvenile or pink,   we bought what was left of the blue plaid and I had to get creative with the length.  Using the selvages I cut a cuff, and applied it with a bit of black piping I made.  If there had been enough material I would have been able to match the plaids and put the cuff on the bias.  But then if that were the case I wouldn’t have had to add the cuffs now would I?  😉  He is comfortable and warm so that’s what counts, yes?

And now we come to the portion of today’s post that I am totally in love with… these newly quilted half-square triangles that I made last week.  I am using scrappy looking finds from, you guessed it, Sir’s.

Balkan Puzzle

Chunky Chevron

I was so exited to get these completed, and I really think my work was good, so imagine how disappointed I was when I put the 12 and 1/2 square rule down on top only to find that they were a bit smallish.  My only explanation for it is that my 1/4 inch quilting foot is off.   So, I will forge ahead and remember to not work so tightly along the foot’s edge.

In the meantime, I am debating whether or not to make pillows or incorporate these into an apron.  What do you think?  Other ideas?

I almost forgot!  I made myself a clock too!  Many years ago my friend Andrea was hosting some exchange students from Japan.  I guess in Japan it is simply unacceptable to go visiting with empty hands.  Hence I was the recipient of a lovely silk kerchief.  I am allergic to silk… so the kerchief sat in a my drawer for almost 20 years.  A travesty I say!  So,  I carefully quilted it on the machine with lovely metallic gold thread, and set it into an embroidery hoop.  I then backed the piece with heavy cardboard and inserted clock works into its face.  I have seen many of these on the different quilting sites, but none done in lovely whole cloth silk!

Now I can enjoy my lovely gift and know what time it is as well.

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OK, BACK TO WORK!

Where there is a will there is a way

Having recently discovered how much I love quilting, and especially needle turned applique, I was dismayed at the difficulty I was having with finger strength, dexterity, and painful joints.

So I went to the internet looking for a better solution to grasp the needle and to keep my fingers from being stabbed countless times per session in the studio.  The logical solution, or so it seemed to me, was to find some non-latex finger cots to give me a better grasp of the needle, and thus avoid the strain on my index finger and thumb.

FOUND…

😦

Sadly I could not afford to buy the box of 500 Nitrile finger cots at a cost of about $57.00.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not to be deterred I reasoned that I could get the same traction from a finger off of a Nitrile glove.  So it was off the hardware store for Nitrile gloves, in the paint department, at a cost of $4.99 for a package of 25.

Do the math!  5 X 25 = 125 finger cots!

I snipped and…

Voila! 

Well, OK they are Smurf Blue but what do I care?

I also ordered special longer, coated, quilting needles, and a good leather thimble for my pushing finger.

I’m good to go!

Now if I could just quit stabbing the thumb on my left hand!  Guess I will have to spring for another thimble and quit using my thumbnail for a needle stop.

😉

~*~