Small Pleasures – Mending

Recently, I have taken pleasure in hand sewing. In an effort to save money and a pair of my favourite jeans I decided to tackle the task of mending them myself. Armed with the knowledge of what to do through watching a few Youtube videos, I tackled the job.

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For the patches I used scrap material I had saved from another pair of jeans that had seen better days. Using an assortment of different blue threads I hand stitched the patches to the jeans. I could have done a way better job with a sewing machine but I don’t have one. I am pleased with the end result, although I know I need to add more stitches to make this repair last.

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There is something meditative about slowing down to mend something. Now, let’s hope this lasts a while.

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Small Pleasures – Beeswax and Wooden Spoons

Twice a year I like to season my wooden spoons and cutting boards. Some of my wooden spoons were starting to look like they needed some TLC so I pulled out my wooden stuff and got to work seasoning them.

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There is something calming about this chore (plus, it leaves your hands super soft). First, you pull out all the wooden implements you have that are in need of a re-boot. For me this includes wooden spoons, cutting boards, wood-handled knives, and a wooden bowls I scored last Christmas from a second-hand shop. Then you get to spend some time lovingly caring for those hardworking kitchen utensils that work so hard for you every day.

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Second, apply the beeswax salve on dry and clean articles (recipe below) and let stand overnight.

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Third, the next day take a piece of cloth (I use an old terry nursing blanket) and buff the wax salve into the wood, creating a nice waterproof (and slightly darker) sheen to the wood. This compound is 100% food-safe and leaves the wood soft and smelling slightly like beeswax.

 

Recipe for Spoon Oil (wood butter)

16 oz. mineral oil

1/4 pound of beeswax (113.4 grams)

  1. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a gentle boil.
  2. Place your beeswax inside a 2 quart glass measuring cup or a 1 quart glass jar; set the glass into the gently boiling water.
  3. Place the container of mineral oil inside another medium saucepan filled with water and heat to low. The mineral oil just needs to be warmed to mix with the beeswax; no need for a rolling boil.
  4. Once all the wax has melted, turn off the stove and carefully add the warmed mineral oil to the beeswax;stirring with a spoon to combine.
  5. Using a towel around the handle of the measuring cup, carefully pour the liquid into each jar fit with the canning funnel;filling them almost to the top.
  6. Finish filling all jars and wait for to cool and firm up before using.

Store in a light tight container and in relatively cool spot.

I am planning on making a fresh batch of the spoon oil this Christmas for gifts. The recipe is super easy and lasts a good while. You can pour the mixture into any glass jars, just make sure the jar doesn’t have a small opening so you can easily reach the spoon oil.

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Happy buffing!

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Seating Situation

As the month of June wears on, I continue to think about my new apartment. And, more specifically, to seating. The challenge with my new space is going to be the lack of space. But I want to try to create a place I will want to come home to and part of that equation is creating a space that is comfortable and relaxing. In my last apartment I had a couch. I wasn’t too keen on initially having it, but I grew to love sitting there in the mornings with my cup of tea, a book, and She-beast resting on my lap. The couch was perfect because I could sit with my legs stretched out and rest my back against the side arm.

My seating situation in my last apartment (couch in the background).

My seating situation in my last apartment (couch in the background).

In my new space I will not have the room for a proper couch and my chair (both seen above) will probably take up too much room. So, I have been thinking about the possibility of building something sort of like this, a FOTM daybed (found on Design*Sponge). Wouldn’t that be a great alternative? Can I build things? Not really. But if I could have a place to read in the morning with my kitty on my lap, I would try my hand at DIY. I’ll keep you posted.

 

Shelves – I dream of Ivar

As I mentioned last week in my Ikea wish list post, I have Ivar shelving. The plan is to add to my existing system to accommodate my growing book collection (you can never have too many books, right?). When I was going through different websites I came across several great ideas but the one that stuck out to me is from the Ikea website (see below). In one section a wee desk area is set-up. I want to try this out when I set up my shelves but I worry that it may be a waste of valuable book space. In another way, though, this is a compact way of creating a desk in a small space.

Part of the appeal of this set up is separating my “eating” area from my “working” area. I am planning on having my Norbo wall-mounted drop leaf table on the opposite wall as my kitchen table, where the plan is to actually eat all my meals sitting down and not in front of my computer or standing up as I rush out the door. I have a small laptop, so incorporating a desk into the bookcase might just be the answer. I’ll keep you posted. But I am interested, what are your thoughts?

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If I go this route it will be quite a change from the desk I used to write my Ph.D. (see below). But what can you do when you have limited space? I say, get creative!

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*First image from the Ikea website

 

Things – Homemade Lemonade

While I get this blog going I want to start some regular features, including Things to be posted on Fridays. This will be an assortment of . . . well . . . things that interest me and that I want to share.

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To start it off let’s talk lemons. With their bright colour, amazing smell, and tart taste what’s not to love about lemons? To me this citrus fruit equals summer. Why, because I love to drink lemonade during those hot summer days where nothing else quite quenches my thirst. I thought I would share my recipe with you.

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I usually buy a bag of lemons and juice them all at once. I have a hand-me-down electric juicer that makes this task a bit easier. When I am done juicing, I pour the lemon juice into a mason jar and store that in the fridge where it will keep for about a week.  The only other ingredient you need is a sweetener of your choice. I tend to go with maple syrup, but you could also use honey, sugar, or a simple syrup.

Single serving (all measurements are approximate)

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Water to fill the large glass of your choice

Optional: Ice

Large pitcher (all measurements are approximate)

1 cup of lemon juice

1/3 cup of maple syrup

Water to fill the pitcher of your choice

Optional: Ice

*As you can see there are no fast rules about making lemonade. You might prefer it more tart or more sweet, just experiment and have fun with this delicious taste of summer. I have made variations of lemonade using a homemade mint simple syrup and have even added different fruit to the mix for a very tasty raspberry lemonade.