ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
Yes, it's that time of year. Time to review everything, accomplishments, failures, and things that just didn't get done. We were able to meet our financial goals, mostly. To be totally debt free will take another 5 years. We might get there in 2024 with luck. In the short term, it's really hard. Repairs have been few and far between because we can't afford them. We've stopped using credit cards and are no longer borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I'll count that as a win. I've made a chart in my log book to keep me on track.

Also in my log book, I am tracking average temperatures per the gas company. In 2015, November was much warmer than 2018, 52° versus 44°F. Overall, this year has been 2° colder each month than in previous years. Global warming means that Greenland's glaciers are melting, cooling a lot of the east coast region. It's showing up in my gas bill. A woodstove is out of our price range. With leaky faucets everywhere, my water usage is up and so is the bill. I want to get back to 2100 gallons or less a month. Next month I'll be off because the toilet ran for two hours last week before I caught it. Looking for affordable rain barrels as a 2019 goal. It should help water usage in the garden during the dry season. And our electric bill seems to be totally dependant on the dehumidifier. When it's very rainy, we have no choice. It needs to run. I use the water it collects to run dye baths and to water the potted plants. But electricity, that I can't control. We did replace the freezer with an energy efficient model. That should save us $95 a year. The stove and refridgerator also need to be replaced but that is out of the question this year. Also our ceiling fans could be replaced with more energy efficient models but that too will have to wait. That covers the utility wishlist.

I have another sheet of garden expenditures. I spent way too much this year on things that didn't pan out because of timing. If you can't afford berry bushes until the end of April, they will die because the weather changed. They needed to be ordered two weeks sooner. I made a list of what I need and when I need it for 2019. Grow lights, seedling soil, early seed potatoes, grow bags, trays, etc. Most of the seed I wanted, I already bought from the MIGardener. He sells heirloom seed for 99¢ a pack. Hopefully the growing season will go smoother. With a good layout of the backyard, I now have a better handle on the available garden area. We only have 1/16th of an acre for growing on. If I can get more potatoes growing in grow bags, I can utilize some paved areas too. I also put pantry expenditures on the list. I need a pressure cooker. In fall, when canning equipment goes on sale, I pick up all my mason jar lids for the following year.

Today I educated myself on growing with phases of the moon. I have a plan of what to plant and when. We have a Proxigee on February 19th. The earth and moon will pass really close together. It's a super super-moon, 356,761 km apart. My list tells me I'll be planting celery in pots indoors and swiss chard, probably lettuce too.

I still have more work to do on my garden plans for 2019 (what is going where) but I have my goals set, number of plants, space they need, etc. In 2017, we grew 200 pounds of produce. In 2018, we grew 250 pounds of produce. In 2019, I hope to surpass 300 pounds of produce, more if our fruit trees start producing. We started drying medicinal herbs for tea this year. I hope to make more soothing oils and salves in the next year as well. The focus for 2019 is shifting to growing more of the crops we use instead of trying strange new vegetables. Turns out kale doesn't agree with us. No one likes collards except my neighbor. So more tomatoes and onions, cabbage too. Fermentation jars with weights are a stretch goal. I am tired of jury-rigging jars to keep the vegetation under the vinegar line.

I have a wishlist of appliances that need repair as well -the vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, computer, etc. The back porch roof needs to be repaired; a panel blew off. The chimney flashing is leaking in the attic; the roof is over 25 years old. All of these are goals. We may not reach them but at least we have a focus and direction to head toward. Now to have another good sit down and apply the same strategies to my business!


22 Dec 2014 12:50 pm
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
I hadn't woven scarves in many years. I had a lot of them for a long while. Gradually they did all sell. I wasn't sure if anyone even liked the style I weave in. Trends change. Colors change. Knitting became very popular so a lot of people were knitting their own scarves. So at the beginning of 2014, I set a goal of twelve scarves. It is enough to test the market. Some of my narrow ware got converted into a bag. I am missing pictures of some. But here is what I have:

The next color palette

something to brighten a winter's day...

Finishing Older Projects

alkanet natural dye -weft

Royal Treatment Silk Scarf

Periwinkle Blues

For a Spring Wedding

Wild Berry Scarf

Playing with Color

Perfect Weft


Not shown is a beautiful vanDyke brown an red wool striped scarf. Of the twelve, six sold. I hope to have more done soon to go up on etsy. Visit UrsulasAlcove.etsy.com
ursulas_alcove: J is for jelly baby (pamper thyself)
The show lasts all of 5 and half hours so come early! Saturday May 11th from 9 am to 2:30 pm at the Boyd Community Center, Powers Run Road. Look for the pop up with the brown thatched roof.

Of my laundry list I ended up here:

Buttercream shawl -half done
Book bag complete
Saddlebag in progress - lining too small. Needs new fabric fitted to bag. Not this time.
Dyed lacey shawl green - gapping hole - becomes something else- maybe felt later.
Dandelion yarn complete. But not for this show. Will be at Great Lakes Fiber.
Rhubarb ready to dye yarn.
Orange felt hat cut but not sewn. Fingers need to heal first.

Show inventory:
English Cottage Rose
Frost On the Pumpkin ruana
Hint of Provence
Hazelnut Mocha ruana
Lilac ruana *NEW*
Chartreuse Rectangular Cotton

Assorted Sashes:
2x green
Dusty Purple

Robin's Egg *NEW*
Muskmelon *NEW*
Ice blue
Wool- blue mist
Steel city blues

Green Book Bag
Sage leather handle
Sage the smaller
Redyed button bag also sage
Teal nightclub bag
Blue gypsy bag *NEW*
Purple Book Bag *NEW*

8 flower pins


6 May 2013 11:27 pm
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (drop spindle girl)
Hand stitched bags until I managed to poke too many holes in my fingertips. The Frankenbag is waiting to be cooked in synthrapol and dyed tomorrow. I created a bag out of bits and pieces. Dyeing will unify the lot into one coherent piece. The marine blue gypsy bag is woven and partly stitched. The brown bag is waiting patiently for its turn. The rest of the lot has been labeled and priced. The muskmelon scarf is mostly warped, another 2" to go. The buttercream shawl has decided what it wants to be. The redyed green shawl drapes beautifully, great color and has a stinking hole in a very obvious spot. Sigh. The scarf I found in a fabric bin has a large flaw that needs to be needle woven. Need better light than I had today. Fortunately I have more yarn to fix it. I suspect I'll be playing with the new warp tomorrow. Got to start on flowers tomorrow. Buttercream may get tabled if time is too short. I still need to unload the van. I forgot my car appointment today. My door handle is broken. Fudge.



ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)

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