Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

It's the Middle of April!

It's the Middle of April!

And now, a collection of updates:

I used the Ultimate Travel Bag on my trip this past weekend instead of a suitcase. It worked really well. I still need to make up some smaller bags for inside. It wouldn’t fit more than two days’ worth of clothes, but for short trips, it’s perfect.

I stopped at the liquor store to buy some beer for the husband on my way out of Spokane. For some reason, all the beer drinkers here in the Flathead Valley prefer IPAs and other light beers—especially ones with weird flavors—so finding good dark beers has been an exercise in frustration. The store in Spokane wasn’t much better, but they did have a few. When I got to the register to pay, the clerk said to me, “I love your purse!” (The Fremont Tote). I responded with, “Thanks, I made it!” and she said, “Oh, I would so buy one like that from you.” I was in a bit of a rush (and there were people behind me in line), but when I go back in a few weeks, perhaps I’ll stop in and chat with her about it. It was nice to have the validation.

The husband hired a couple more laborers while I was gone. He has more work than he and our current two employees can handle, so on Thursday, before I left for Spokane, I put an ad on Craigslist. He got three calls and hired two of the applicants. They start today. Neither of them appears to be afraid of hard work based on their work histories. I hope they turn out to be good employees.

I’ll be planting potatoes this week. The husband took all the plastic and landscape fabric off the garden for me and got all the garden tools out. (That’s was a help, because he put them all away last fall and I didn’t want to have to hunt for things.) He was going to plant the potatoes, too, but I said I would do that so he could work on other projects. I am trying to avoid tilling this year. It just seems to me that we have fewer weeds when we don’t till. The snow has finally melted off the herb bed, too. I can get in there and start moving some lavenders over to the big garden for another hedge.

The rhubarb is up:


I am giving my rhubarb one more year before I pull it out and replace it. I had one very vigorous plant but about five years ago, it got some kind of fungus or something and turned black and withered. It hasn’t ever recovered. My other two rhubarb plants do okay, but they certainly don’t produce at the level one would expect of rhubarb, even with generous applications of chicken manure.

This is the old vegetable garden by the house:


It’s in pretty sorry shape, as you can see. My plan for this space is to just knock down all those beds, spread the dirt around, and make new beds (not raised) similar to the ones in the herb garden. The herb garden is adjacent to this garden toward the right. There is currently fencing between them but the husband tells me it will be easy to cut that down to make one big herb garden.

My zipper order from Zipit arrived while I was gone:


I ordered a selection of five each of 6” zippers and 12” zippers in bright colors. I don’t plan on making five Redwood Totes, but you never know. Somebody may see me using mine and want to buy one.

My friend Susan and I have a sewing day planned for this Saturday. She is retiring from her job at one of the elementary schools and her other job as director of our church’s after-school child care program (which is closing in June). A few months ago, she asked me to check out her beloved Bernina Record 830. She bought this machine many, many years ago and made clothes for her kids on it. Now that she’s retiring, she wants to do more sewing. I determined that the problem was the foot pedal, which is a fairly common issue with that model. Unfortunately, Bernina is one of those brands that has proprietary everything, and a new, genuine Bernina foot pedal retails at about $250. I was able to find her a generic foot pedal for less than half that. It works fine. She is sewing on the machine again and thrilled about it.

The Accuquilt Block of the Month Club

The Accuquilt Block of the Month Club

Mastering the Meander with Angela Walters

Mastering the Meander with Angela Walters