Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine - Update

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Vintage Singer Sewing Machine at an estate sale.  I wrote about it here.  Over the weekend I finally took the time to test the machine.  I was a little concerned because the last machine I picked up at an estate sale was too advanced for my beginning skill level.  And... it didn't come with an instruction manual.  On the first several tests, I broke more than one needle; couldn't figure out the computer... etc. etc. etc...

I'll try to keep this brief; but I'm calling my self a beginner because it has been several years since I sewed.  I took homemaking back in junior high; but I won't say how long ago that was.  Now they call it "Skills for Living".  I admit it does sound less sexist.

Back to my test:

The best lesson I learned when testing the Singer, is "don't use cheap bobbins".  I had purchased cheap bobbins at a dollar store at some point in the past.  And that sucker just flat out didn't work.  After several attempts I finally said to myself "just use one that came with the machine".... and voila

Lower left - Singer; Upper right - cheap
 Since this was a test, I grabbed a scrap of fabric to stitch and was pleasantly surprised.  Yay!!!!  It works..  happy dance! :)  :)  :) 

Almost perfect simple straight stitch
 And the back.... same result.  Now all I have to do is find a creative project to do.  Hopefully I can share something DIY in the near future.

And the back stitch came out pretty good too
#vintage #singer #sewing #thrift
(still not sure I'm doing this hashtag thing right.)

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Green Peppers - aka Bell Peppers

Aren't these beautiful.  I finally staked them because they were leaning quite a bit.  Probably because we had such a windy Spring.  They have been producing their peppers regularly.  We've already picked and eaten several of them.

Purchased as seedlings at the Plant Haus in New Braunfels.
Planted in Ladybug Squarefoot Gardening Mix.
Water almost daily.
Fertilized weekly with "Mittleider Method" weekly feed mix until a few weeks ago.
Instructions on the weekly feed mix:  Feed until 3 weeks before harvest.  Since these are not harvested all at one time; I haven't fed them in a while.

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#sweetbellpeppers #gardening #bellpeppers #mittleidermethod

Monday, June 24, 2013

Persimmon Tomatoes are Delicious

The most delicious tomato EVER! 
Open to your own interpretation.

I never realized how many varieties of tomato there are.  This Persimmon tomato is still green; and I have a few more new ones growing on the vine.  Unfortunately, the picture I took of the ripe one was so blurry it was an embarrassment to show.  I have to tell you that these tomatoes do not turn red.  Experienced tomato growers probably already know this.  Its ripened color is orange.  The flavor is to die for.... sweet, juicy, and meaty at the same time.  I may never purchase store bought tomatoes again.  Well.... at least not during the growing season.  I will definitely plant these again next year. 

If anyone knows why they get these little dark spots; please leave me a comment.

Purchased at The Plant Haus in New Braunfels as seedlings. 
Planted in grow bags of Schulz Garden Soil for vegetables.
Water almost daily.

I was fertilizing weekly until a few weeks ago.  I wasn't sure if I was over feeding, so I have refrained from additional feeding since the garden soil already has fertilizer in it; and is supposed to last up to 6 months.

I also planted Delicious Tomatoes.... but they are just starting to bloom.  The first ones died and I had to replant (from seed).

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#tomato #gardening #persimmontomato

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spring Time in the Texas Hill Country.... from 2012

Its the first day of #Summer and I decided to show you all (no I don't write "Ya'll")
some pictures of the Texas Hill Country natural landscapes of Llano, Texas

Taken in March 2012
I hope you enjoy these.

#llanotexas #texashillcountry #bluebonnets

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Piece of History - Mary Catherine Hall and Pralines

This is another thrifting adventure inspired by Lets Go Thrifting.  Her #vintage #photograph collection and posts have inspired me to delve into the #history behind pictures. 

I went #thrifting at the New 2 You Resale Store over the weekend and picked up a framed picture for just such an adventure.  Surprisingly the picture that I zoned in on made a complete circle to one of my favorite treats.  First of all; the picture appears to be a photo copy of a drawing rather than an original photograph; but that's ok, the history behind it is very interesting.  And... there was a second picture behind it which will be much more challenging.   The purchase I made provided one meal to one senior on the Meals on Wheels of Comal County program.  I am happy and proud to give them my support.

Enter "Mary Catherine Hall" - See the caption on the picture below?

Mary Catherine Hall
Westmoorland College
The Attractive Home of One Hundred and Twenty Girls

I felt compelled to research this beautiful building.  What I read was written by Frances Donecker on The Texas State Historical Association website. 

"SAN ANTONIO FEMALE COLLEGE. On September 6, 1894, Dr. J. E. Harrison, with the aid of his wife and her sister, Miss Sara Walton, opened San Antonio Female College. Twelve students were in attendance. In 1890 the West End Town Company granted a tract of land to be used for a woman's college, and the West Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which was sponsoring the school, accepted the offer. The charter for the school was granted in 1898. The curriculum emphasized literature, and the school also offered devotional exercises and Bible study. In 1912–13 the catalog announced that the "college has the authority to confer Bachelor of Arts degrees," but in 1914 the school conferred only bachelor of literature, "mistress of literature," and bachelor of music degrees and diplomas in art, expression, physical training, Sunday school and Bible, violin, voice, and business training. In 1916 the college was recognized by the University of Texas as a junior college. The name was changed to Westmoorland College in 1918 and to the University of San Antonio in 1937. In 1942 the institution passed out of Methodist control, and the University of San Antonio was merged with Trinity University."... copied.

This is where the story gets more interesting (to me at least).  I learned that one of my favorite treats was made by the company founded by a student of this college. What is the treat? "Aunt Aggie De's" Pralines. And what's even more ironic is that I picked up one of these pralines the day before I began my research. How amazing is that?  The last amazing piece of this historical research; is that Eleanor Beauchamp Harren resided in the hall pictured above during her stay at college.  Read her story here.  I can't help but wonder if this beautiful building is still standing.  I wasn't able to find that information just yet.

Yummmm, I can't wait go wrap my tastebuds around this treat.

"Aunt Aggie De's" Pralines
#pralines #auntaggiedes
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Batch of Compost 6.16.2013

Compost from Tumbler
As you can see from this picture, the finished product wasn't really finished.  Of course I didn't use the traditional method of filling the tumbler once and then leave it until it is done cooking.  I added as time went by.  Not much green matter; but hopefully I've done an ok job on my first batch.  I'm not exactly expecting miracles...

So after I shoveled this out of the compost tumbler, then I went about sorting the undecomposed (is that a word) matter from the decomposed matter... ok the big stuff from the little stuff it that makes it easier to understand.

Compost Divided
Looking a little bit better.

Back in the Tumbler
 After sorting the #compost, I pitched the big stuff back into the tumbler for ... well.... more tumbling. Then the finished product was ready.  I didn't think it would hurt to have a few larger pieces; after all this was done by hand; not with a compost sifter.

Finished (?)

And of cource then came the question..... Where do I dump this compost?
So, with much deliberation, I decided to dump it in a bare spot in the front yard.  Hoping it will encourage healthy St. Augustine grass growth.  Not sure if it will; its usually a very bone dry spot and only produces weeds.

And so.... Ta.... da..... All finished.

Finished Compost in place.

See ya next time!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Project Inspired - Vintage Dish Turned Planter

This #vintage bowl was thrifted years ago.  I can't remember when or where I bought it; or how much I paid for it.  But I have an attraction to pretty things (especially dishes) so its part of my collection.  This has been perched on top of my kitchen cabinets with no specific use or purpose for at least 7 years.  Until..... I read a post by Jackie over at Let's Go Thrifting.  This post (along with others) have inspired me to go beyond my usual #thrifting adventures and boundries and jump into deeper waters.....  check out her inspiring post here:  Have a Green Thumb with Greenbacks to Spare

Recognition:  Linked with permission from Let's Go Thrifting.  Thank you!

So here is my little #succulent in the pretty vintage bowl I picked up years ago.   I layered sand and a sand/soil mix for this little beauty to thrive in.  I hope it does well.

Now beautifully displayed in my window with a new purpose.

I'm planning to give other thrifty finds a new purpose. 

I hope you will follow along.
  See ya next time!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

How I Got FREE Colgate Toothpaste at Dollar Tree ($.33 tax)

As the title indicates; I was able to get 8 tubes of Colgate toothpaste for only $.33 tax.  That's an average of < $.04 per tube.

Coupons Expired: 6/15/13; I had 8 of them. thanks to my good friend Nancy P.

Coupon restrictions from manufacturer... no more than 4 coupons in a single transaction.  Good on any Colgate toothpaste 4 oz or larger.

Transaction # 1(Friday)
4 tubes with $1.00 off #coupon
Total:  FREE

Transaction #2 (Saturday)
4 tubes with $1.00 off coupon
Total:  $.33 (tax)

Eight 4.0 oz tubes

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day to "ME"?

The company I work for full-time has a great group of individuals labeled as "The Events Team".  The Events Team honored all of us with a nice little surprise on our desks this morning.  This nice little treat will go nicely with the left over pizza I brought for lunch.  Isn't it wonderful to be recognized for your hard work; whether you are a DAD or not.  Oh and BTW - they also gave everyone something at Mother's Day.  They are a great group of people.  My own father passed away in July 1980.  My children are with their father and his family for most of the summer; and my honey isn't the father of my children... I guess you figured that out.  So, this is a nice little treat for me.

If you wonder why I do not have my employer listed on my profiles; it is because of the corporate Social Media Policy.  For all you Father's out there.... have a wonderful, blessed Father's Day.

Cucumbers Anyone?

Blooms are exploding!

Another angle of my two cucumber plants.

We had a nice little thunderstorm yesterday; and while I've been holding out for cucumbers, I had a nice little surprise yesterday.  To my excitement and surprise, I had one #cucumber.  Pictured below next to the 3rd zuchinni of the season.

This is a Muncher cucumber, and I'm looking forward to slicing it up and eating it this weekend. 

I've had some challenges with the cucumber plants.  I have learned its best to just plant seeds directly in the ground as opposed to transplanting seedlings.  I started with about seven seedlings and only one has survived.  Afterwhich, three more seeds were planted directly in the ground and one has survived.  So.... I have two plants that are doing well.

How are your cucumbers doing this season?

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