Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Frozen Peppers

I never did get around to sharing pictures of the other pepper plants with you this summer, I might have to do that this fall/winter. For now, imagine I have shared them with you! Our peppers officially left the greenhouse last weekend. Matt pulled out the last pimientos de padron and pepperoncinis and we fried them up and had them as an appetizer to our supper. I can't wait for next summer, when we can have them again! He also pulled out a few more bell peppers and the last of the hot peppers. He chopped them all up and we tossed them in the freezer with the other two gallon freezer bags filled with vacuum sealed peppers.

Bell Peppers, hot peppers, and banana peppers from August 16th 2014

Tonight, we will be using our vacuum sealed peppers for supper, and we're so excited to be able to use the bounty of our harvest even though the peppers are dead and gone. I know I'll still never grow enough peas to make Grandpa Arneson happy, but I sure was able to grow enough peppers :) (check back with me in March...hopefully they do last all winter!)

How did your canning go this year? Are you still working your way thru, or are you stocked and looking forward to pumpkin season?

Friday, October 3, 2014

When did it become October?

So I'm not quite sure what happened to the last month and a half. September seems like it lasted a day, and here we are again in October. I think the beginning of the school year always does this to me, settling back into a new routine, September seems to be the hardest hit month for me, and the one that goes by faster than all the others. December might run a close second to September though!

So what have I been doing for the past month and a half you might ask. Well, honestly, it went by so fast I kind of forgot to pay attention. I know there was a lot of homework, mostly reading, some housework and some working, along with a little fun - of the MarioKart variety mostly. Matt and I also got to visit a new restaurant, one of our favorite things to do. (It is a new Indian restaurant in town and it is super good! Buffet style, and the menu changes daily!) I think Matt even did a little more pepper picking and processing. I've been trying to get some work done on Etsy, but I feel like every time I sit down with Etsy intentions, my allotted time is gone before I have accomplished half of my desired tasks. I also started a Twitter for Hide and Hair (@hideandhair) but it's hard to keep up with that too! I'm a bit better on Instagram, mostly because I am constantly taking pictures of the kitties! :)

I'm not sure when I'll be back, but I'm hoping soon. Unfortunately, midterms are already looming, so the next week at least will be a little rough on me again. Cross your fingers for me!

But of course it is Friday, so I will leave you with these adorable pictures:  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Tote Bags

As I was looking through my recent favorites to write a new Etsy post I came across these four tote bags, all recently put into my 'bags and buttons' list. It looked like my post had written itself!! As a person who feels you can never own too many tote bags or rescue too many cats, these bags seem custom made just for me!

Black Cat Tote Bag by Make Make Tees
Canvas tote, Cat tote bag : CATS are my BAG - gift for cat lover, reusable canvas tote bag, screen printed, hand lettering
Cats are my Bag by Xenotees
Hand painted - Canvas Bag - Light Weight Fabric - Cats in love - Natural Color - Cat Lovers
Cats in Love from Mamushka Handmade
tote bag  black cat quote
Don't like Cats? from Memories Warehouse 

Have a great weekend and drop by next week to see what other goodies Etsy has in store!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kitty Tree

We bought a 6 foot cat tree in the hopes that our two cats could enjoy their own space, look out the window and get some extra exercise! But, we have an extremely territorial cat - Norman has decided this is his tree, and if Lela even attempts to lounge about in it he gets upset and tries to push her off the tree. One day we made him get down and let her stay, so he spent the next few days laying in her special areas just to prove his point - stay off my tree!! We're just glad he figured out the sisal scratching posts. :)

Monday, August 11, 2014


I'll admit I'm not getting a ton of knitting accomplished between vacations, working, and tending to the garden - it seems like we are pickling peppers every other day! But I did get a few scarves knit up this summer. I really love making infinity loops - I'm so glad they are popular these days! Making a moebius is always fun, I never really know how long they will be when they come off the needles, and trying to make patterns in the fabric always has interesting results. If you remember, we first brought up moebius knitting back in December and then showed off some of the scarves in January. I used some funky yarn this summer, hand dyed by Pam, so I kept the patterns pretty simple in this grouping. I also made a super soft and lofty alpaca loop! It is by far my favorite (don't tell the other scarves though!) and I am thinking I may just need one for myself :)

I'm building the listings on Etsy today, and hope to have them up by the end of the month! For now, here's a little preview :)

Black Wool and Purple/White Fluffy Yarn - Made interesting wide stripes!

Hand Dyed Blue and White Wool from Pam, done up in wide bands as well.

Another skein of hand dyed wool from Pam, this time in a loose seed stitch, very bumpy texture!

The alpaca scarf - I did knit and purl ridges here as well, but the texture of this yarn kept them close together. This scarf looks skinny, but it actually stretches quite wide because of the ribs it created.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Round Jewelry

I love these jewelry items made in circular shapes. They make me happy just to look at them :) I hope they do the same for you!  

Water's edge - reversible dazzling blue or green enameled pendant
 Reversible Blue Necklace from Firepan Jewellery
Two Champagne Bottle Bangles // Upcycled Recycled Repurposed Jewelry
 Green Bangles from ReVetro
White leather circle earrings SALE
 Leather Earrings from Katrin Shine
Simply Stoned, Orange Calcite Pendant, Sterling Silver, Gemstone Necklace, Gemstone Pendant, Healing Gemstone, Orange Pendant, Yoga Jewelry
 Orange Pendant from Good Medicine Gemstone

Swing by next week to see what else we've got for you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy Thursday!

Sorry about the absence - we've been out and about this week! Here are a few pictures of our Yellowstone Adventure (during which the camera battery died and we were unable to take any more photos!) We finally got to see Old Faithful blow, and then spent an hour walking around looking at all the other active geysers and pools around Old Faithful. It was a really wonderful afternoon!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Crested Gecko

We have a crested Gecko, but he doesn't really like to have his picture taken. He really likes fruit, his special crested gecko food, and pooping in his water dish. He runs pretty fast when he can, and he loves to jump!! But he doesn't really like playing with people, so he mostly hangs out in his enclosure with a hiding spot, a stick to climb and leaves to hide under. Here he is!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

Since I have so many peppers this year (I guess I was expecting the same results as the last three years...and may have gone a little overboard!) Matt and I have been racking our brains to come up with uses for all the different varieties. We've sauteed them, put them in stir fries, made stuffed bell peppers, and tossed them in our scrambled eggs in the mornings...and we still have more peppers than we know what to do with. Several sources suggested pickling, which I resisted, since I don't really care for pickled anything, but when Matt got involved there was no turning back. (He loves a pickled food, so when he insisted we pickle at least some of the peppers, I couldn't say no.) It was so quick and easy that we're thinking we may pickle the lot of them! Plus, I hear you can use pickled peppers for pretty much anything you would use fresh peppers for, so I guess we'll be trying that theory out this year.

We started with the hot bananas, the chinese five colors, and the pepperoncinis.

Chinese Five Color Peppers Ready to Pickle
Hot Banana Peppers

Pepperoncini Peppers

We used a simple recipe we found online, and added a garlic clove to a few of the jars. We either didn't stuff the jars properly, or we didn't understand the recipe, but we ended up making three times the amount of brine requested in the recipe and the jars are still a little low on juice. The Hot Bananas were sliced for ease of use, while the Pepperoncinis and the Chinese Five Colors were left whole (with an incision in their sides so the juice would seep in and do its job properly.) This might have also led to the packing problem, it was very difficult to fill the jars with whole peppers! Any hints or suggestions left in the comments will be greatly appreciated, as we are planning to do the jalapenos in the coming week!

Pickled Peppers in Half Pint Jars - From Left to Right, Chinese Five Colors, Banana Peppers, Pepperoncinis

2 lb hot peppers
2 tbsp canning/pickling salt
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Combine water, vinegar, and salt to make the brine. Bring to a boil, then pour over peppers packed into jars, leave 1/2" headspace in the jars. Process in hot water bath 10 minutes. Let stand 2-3 weeks.

We found other recipes suggesting a 4-6 week time frame, so we are going to wait a full month before we open one of our jars. We also live in a high altitude area, so we did our water bath for a bit longer than ten minutes. We can't wait to see how they turn out!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

On the Needles

Yesterday Mom sent over pictures of her many tubs and cones of yarn.

Mom's Bookshelf of cone yarn
She's been reorganizing her yarn again, and it inspired me to work in my yarn closet! We are rearranging our living room, and had an extra book shelf that needed a new home...and it happens to be the perfect width to fit next to the dresser in my yarn closet. What serendipity!

Bookshelf, now yarn shelf!
During my rearranging I found all kinds of yarn that spoke to me, a scarf here, a hat there, and a pile of cat toys. That, I think, is the most wonderful part of cleaning up the yarn room - new inspiration for your knitting!

New Scarf on the Needles

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Etsy Weekends: For the Walls, Encaustically

I tend to stick to the same categories when I'm bouncing around Etsy. Earrings will always catch my eye, along with yarn, and soap, and candles. If you've been a frequent follower of our Etsy weekends, you've already figured that much out. That's why I love it when something new grabs my attention, like this beautiful wall hanging done with beeswax:
Original encaustic wall art. Encaustic Russian Winter Photography. Ancient architecture. Winter landscape. Snow. 5x7
From the shop All Of Our Beeswax on Etsy

I'm not terribly familiar with encaustic paintings/prints, but I am fascinated! I did a general search on Etsy for more and found that I really love what this medium brings to nature/animal photography, like these:

Original Encaustic Photography - Succulents I
Succulent Painting from Encaustic Images
GIRLFRIENDS - Original Encaustic Mini Painting Best Friends Black & White Bird Art
Birdies from susannajarian
Come on back next week to see what else we have found!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Tuesday - How to Have Fun

In our house, there are oh-so-many ways to have fun. Given that it is summer, and I am not currently working hard on homework for school, I am trying all kinds of ways to enjoy myself.

Lela the cat assures me that the best way to relax and have fun is by sitting on the couch, not moving, preferably sleeping, while she curls up on my lap and also sleeps. Until of course she gets hungry - then the best way to have fun is by feeding her. 

Norman the cat has suggested that I try running up the stairs as quickly as possible, fly into the second bedroom and run really fast up the cat tree. It's a great time according to him, but maybe try a few slow runs first...wouldn't want to fall off the top level - it is six feet up!

Both kitties think I should spend more time outside, with them, eating grass and chasing away the neighbor kitties (Smokey and Cassie, who both like to roll around in my garden, and poo in raised beds.)

Matt suggests MarioKart 8, and Super Mario Bros U on the Wii, after a nice long hike in the great outdoors. 

But I think I'll stick with my tried and true method...tucking in ends on the mittens I just finished today, while watching a British murder mystery. :)
 Now...just to choose which British murder mystery....

Friday, July 18, 2014

Norman Doesn't Understand Cameras

Sweet Norman is cute and sweet, but not that bright. He really doesn't understand cameras either....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden Update: Peppers Part One

So I've mentioned that I went a little overboard on the peppers this year. I was given more seeds than I could handle, and instead of trying only a few, I tried 21. 19 of the 21 varieties grew, with multiple plants for each variety. I tried to sell some plants, I tried to give some away, and in the end I kept more than 25 of them. The greenhouse is holding them surprisingly well, especially since we put up the new shelving units. We've only tried a few of the peppers so far: pepperoncini, pimiento de padron, early jalapeno, delicias, and chi chi meca. I'm really looking forward to trying the hot peppers too, but I am a little worried about how to use them :)

And of course, what you've all been waiting for...the pictures (part one anyway!):

Ancho Poblano

Biggie Chile Sahuaro

Chi Chi Meca

Chinese Five Color

Early Jalapeno

Hot Paper Lantern


Pimiento de Padron

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Knitting, Had Me a Blast

Summer, for me, is a time for knitting. Ever since I went back to school nearly two years ago, I haven't been able to find the time to knit in the cooler months - the normal time to make hats, scarves, and mittens out of wool. Sure, I knit on breaks and when I just need an hour of sanity, but the big knitting - the new patterns, rewriting patterns, and learning new techniques of knitting just doesn't happen until the summer rolls around. My big problem with this is that I don't always write things down, and I don't always remember what I was working on last summer! About a week ago I came across a bag full of yarn, needles, and a half finished pair of mittens. They just needed thumbs. They are a pattern that is new to me, but one that Mom has been knitting for a while. In fact, she wrote the pattern out and has been selling them as kits. I believe I made these mittens last spring to test the pattern, and tossed them in a bag with disgust when I realized I didn't like the thumb. This summer, seeing them with new eyes, I saw how I could very easily fix the thumbs already in place, and hopefully make them better in the next cycle.

Last Year's Mittens

When Matt saw them finished he asked if there was a way to adapt the pattern into a hat, and a little naggling at the back of my mind told me that had been an idea last spring too. For now I'm content making a few more pairs of mittens before I write out the hat pattern. And maybe learning how to take better notes for future Kirsten ;)

New Pair in Progress