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Friday Favorite: #LotR

January 30th, 2015

This week my friday favorite is for Mr Chiots who is a big Lord of the Rings fan. He’s read the books, including all of the books associated with Lord of the Rings like The Silmarillion and others. In fact we have a section on a bookshelf dedicated to these books. Mr Chiots celebrated his birthday last weekend, as my gift, I put together a piece of art for him featuring 12 travel postcards made by this Esty artist.
Lord of the Rings art 2
Lord of the Rings art 3
I had a local friend make the frame from cherry wood he milled himself. By doing this it ended up being much cheaper than buying a frame this large. The finished produce is amazing, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect!
LotR travel postcard art 1
Lord of the Rings art 4
After mulling over mounting options, I finally decided to buy walnut luan to do double duty as the backing for the postcards and the back of the picture frame. It added a nice warm look and extra detail. The 2×4 foot piece was only $12 and after cutting this piece I have enough left to use for another frame.
Lord of the Rings map
Needless to say Mr Chiots loved the gift. Now I’m going to have to have my friend make a frame for the ink map of Middle Earth I drew for his birthday many years ago. They will look nice hanging together in the office.

Do you have a favorite book/movie series?

Finally Finished

January 29th, 2015

I finally finished what we’re jokingly calling “the world’s most expensive afghan”. The yarn is beautiful, hand made locally by ontheround. I actually met up with Rachel once to pick up a little extra yarn, we chatted for quite a while.  The yarn isn’t cheap, but then it’s completely worth it to use such a wonderful product. The final afghan is really a work of art, the yarn helps make it perfect!
afghan  1
I blocked it last week and called it officially finished! In case you’re interested in a tutorial on the pattern I used, head on over to Soulstrikke.
afghan  2
afghan  4
afghan  5
I wasn’t a big fan of the edging she used, so I invented my own, essentially continuing the pattern from the squares.
afghan  3
afghan  6
Overall I love the afghan, it’s warm and cozy and oh so bright. I just ordered new furniture for the living room and two of the chairs are upholstered in indigo denim, this afghan will be PERFECT on them. As you can see Dexter has claimed it as his own, perhaps I’ll start calling it “The world’s most expensive cat bed”. I’ve moved on to finished up a cowl, starting a lacy alpaca scarf, and there’s a new afghan in the works. These cold winter evenings have me realizing that I need a stack of afghans in the living room to snuggle under. Of course there are thousands of other projects I’d love to make, head on over to my crochet pinboard to see what I’ve collected.

Have you finished up any projects recently?

Freezing Avocados

January 28th, 2015

A few weeks ago I ordered another box of avocados from Freckleman Farm. It’s a small farm, they only have 16 avocado trees. The variety is ‘Fuerte’ and they’re FANTASTIC!!!!!
Freezing Avocados 1
I was really amazed at the quality of fruit. They were perfectly ripe and flavorful about 5 days after I received my box. They stayed fresh in my cool pantry for a week and a half. After eating them fresh on salads for the past 10 days, I decided it was time to freeze the rest of them so they wouldn’t go bad.
Freezing Avocados 2
So I whipped them up with lime zest and juice (1/2 lime per avocado). Into small jars they went and I’ll enjoy the guacamole when I during the seasons when I can’t get fresh avocados.
Freezing Avocados 3
I’m ordering another big box of these avocados because they’re so good. It’s difficult to find good avocados at the local stores around here, it seems they’re always bruised up and they go bad so quickly. It’s so nice to live in a time when you can order directly from small farms and get great produce!

Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Here it Comes….

January 27th, 2015

No doubt you’ve heard on the news about the impending blizzard. One of the great things about living simply and maintaining a pantry is that you are always prepared for big weather events like this one. I keep a stockpile of grain for the birds, freezers full of meat for us along with the dogs and cats. There’s also a pantry full of dry goods to keep us fed.
I spent the day yesterday battening down the hatches around here. A large load of grain was purchased and moved to the back porch, shavings for coop bedding is also stockpiled in case the birds have to stay cooped up for a while. Water jugs are filled in preparation for possibly losing power. Here’s hoping we are prepared and don’t need it – keep your fingers crossed with us! Stay tuned for photos, or if you don’t hear from me, we’re out of power and/or internet.

Are you forecasted to get any crazy weather from this big storm?

Some Like it HOT

January 26th, 2015

My dad was recently in Thailand for two weeks and when he asked me if I’d like him to bring something back for me I immediately said “RED CURRY”! I red curry, it’s one of my favorite flavors.
Red Curry
He got me tons of it in a few different flavors. As you can imagine, I’m ridiculously excited to try it. In fact I may to drive to the lobster pound to get a few pounds of clams just to try it. Clams with red curry is one of my favorites! Here is a great recipe if you’re interested. I’m interested to see how this curry is different from the curry I’m used to buying here in the US, no doubt it’s going to be AMAZING, and hopefully a lot hotter than the curry I get here.

What’s your favorite ethnic spice?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.