Friday, August 26, 2011

DIY: Groovy Scratching Post (or wallpaper saver)

Ok, remember all those home renos we did when we first moved in here? And how hard it was? Well, guess, who has been trying to "redecorate?"
She has her own vision for the place. And that spongy wainscotting wallpaper is just so much fun to climb! It was high time we got the holy terror a scratching post.
Except, you can't buy any in town. So we stopped in Vanderhoof, 40min away, and they would have to order one in, plus they cost upwards of $70. Sooo, it was time for a DIY project.
Actually, it couldn't have been any simpler or cheaper. I had the wood and carpet scraps already, so the only cost for me was the brackets which were 5 bucks for a box.
First, I screwed the 2x4 onto a square scrap of plywood.

Next, I headed to the former "ugly room" which resides in the basement suite. I remember seeing some really groovy carpet under the existing carpet in the closet, so I ripped that up. I cut a square to overlap the bottom board, cut a slit in the middle for the post to fit through, and then nailed the overlapping sides underneath the board. Then I cut a rectangle strip of carpet, wrapped it around the post and nailed it into place. Finally, I attached a felted ball with twine to the top of the post, to add more pizzaz. (Sorry, I didn't really take pictures of these steps. oops.)It was an instant hit! She went wild, trying to destroy it! I think what's left of the walls will be spared now.

Isn't that such groovy (read: ugly) carpet? I love it in all its gaudy glory!

Friday, August 19, 2011


This picture is a dream come true for me. For sometime I have dreamed of having my own chickens with sunflowers growing around the coop. Maybe that was a very specific dream, but there it is. Two of the sunflowers have finally bloomed and it fills me up with smiles.
Lately I have been in to gathering what the land is happy to provide. This is a nice alternative since my garden has been a dismal failure this year.
The other night, I rode my bike down the back roads and filled my basket chalk full of goldenrod.
Boos loved to examine the flowers, along with all the insect hitchhikers!

Next, I filled my dye pot with the flowers, covered them with water and simmered them for an hour. I then let it cool completely over night. The good people over at Joybilee Farm are always so helpful and I think they know pretty much everything! They helped me out with the instructions for making this dye.
In the morning, I added a Tbsp of washing soda, squeezed out and removed the flowers, and then simmered it until it was reduced by half.
It is so concentrated and a nice bright colour. I then put the dye in freezer bags and froze it, so it can be used later in my ultimate made-from-scratch project. Do you want to know what that is? I plan on harvesting wool from my very own fibre bunnies, spin it, dye it, and knit it into something wonderful! Stay tuned for more on this project!

The berries are finally ripe in the Fort, and I picked a bunch of Saskatoons and wild raspberries. My boss brought me some huckleberries to try and I just loved them! I mixed them all together and made a wonderful Wild Berry Crisp. Delicious!
What sort of berries or plants have you been gathering in your area lately?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

29 Days of Rain

...In July alone. That means 2 days without rain. I think June was the same. We had about 5 or so good days in August, but that's it so far. It has been one failure of a summer. It makes me spitting mad. I'm going to have to go somewhere warm in the early Spring, just so I can make it through another Winter!
What has your summer been like? Unusually wet or unusually hot?
Well a lot has happened in that last few weeks since I have written. I did some crafts, I went on holidays to Haida Gwaii, and I got my first! (how pathetic!!!) harvest from my garden. The rain and cold has kept much from growing and I got such a late start. It is really upsetting, but next year I will do better. At least the little apples look promising.
Here's a project I did. I made a coat rack/hooks out of driftwood I found at the beach.

The driftwood hooks. It was supper easy! I just drilled little holes (to prevent the wood from splitting when I put the nails in) through them and put 2 nails in each hook. Done!
The first pathetic but delicious harvest: Lettuce, carrot thinnings, and a few peas.
The 3 ladies: Georgia Girl, Betty Bloomer, and Honeychile'.

Fly, Betty Bloomer, fly!
Boos continues to be the most precious, most rambunctious, most cuddly kitten ever. I just love her to pieces!
2 eagles on a totem pole in front of a long house in Haida Gwaii.
Did you go anywhere exciting for holidays this summer?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I finally got her! Her name is Boos (rhymes with juice) which means "cat" in the Dakelh language, the local language. She is 6 weeks old, very cuddly, and very rambunctious! She has a purr that sounds like a motor and goes from 0 to 100 in milliseconds. She is licking my foot as I type this. I just love her!

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