Friday, September 30, 2005

Second Time's the Charm

Canning apples the second time was much quicker and easier. I was able to can 14 quarts of applesauce yesterday, which is double what I barely got done the day before. I'm feeling pretty good about it. Although we still have a big laundry basket full of apples, I don't think I'll be doing any canning today. We're heading up to the Adirondacks tonight for the Townwide Garage Sale in Warrensburg and a little winterizing. I need to switch frugal gears.

My focus today will be on finishing the curtain project I was working on for the tv room. It's part of our "seal the house up tight for winter" project. I'm chief in charge of putting plastic on windows and heavy window coverings to seal out drafts, while Jim is head of crawling around in the attic and laying down insulation over our freezing cold bedroom. Clearly I have the better position, I can do half of my job while sitting on my tush watching old movies and I won't get itchy! ;)

Actually, making curtains has been a real learning experience for me. If you've been around for a while, you'll remember the curtain project started with my sons' room. (If you're new check out the archives, Saturday, August 13th My Curtain Project for the background on the story.) Since the boys get up at the first glimmer of daylight, I used dark fleece as the backing and beige fabric for the front. This works great for keeping the room dark but during the day but, even with the curtains open, it makes the room seem darker and smaller.

When I was thinking about a heavy curtain for the tv room, I knew I didn't want to block out light, I just wanted something to insulate the room a bit. My fabric of choice is uncoventional to say the least. I had aquired an old cotton knit bedspread from freecycle a while back, it reminds me of the ones my grandmother used. It was oddly sized and had a fringe that went around two sides but the other two were plain. Interestingly enough it was the perfect size for the window in question and it was nice and heavy.

We hung it over a window here just to see how much light it blocked but since it was white and woven, it really didn't block much at all. So with heavy duty thread in hand, I'm in the process of making a rod pocket and a little ruffle for the top. I'm also making a tie back to pull the curtain open. (I'm hoping to have some pictures to share over the next few weeks.) The only expense will be the rod and hardware which will have to be heavy duty to hold this up. An added bonus is this material washes like a dream, no need for expensive or chemically scary dry cleaning.

I have one more set of curtains to make and I'm toying with making the fleece lining detachable so the curtains would be useable in summer. I'm not sure how practical it would be but I'll be doing some measuring this weekend to try to figure it all out.

A close family member comments constantly on how hard we make our lives, especially me, with canning and sewing etc. I don't feel that way at all. Yes there are times when I am busier than she, but then I reap the rewards at a later date, as I eat my wholesome preserved foods or enjoy a lower heating bill. I also enjoy the challenge and the creative experience that my lifestyle allows.


Judy386 said...

I'm hoping you do post some pictures soon so I can see if my mental pictures of your family and homes match the actual pictures! I don't think your life sounds "hard" as much as it does busy and fulfilling. I always look forward to reading you next adventure in food and decorating.

Barbara said...

I think you're busy, but like you said, you reap the rewards. A lot of people today don't realize that even the amount of work you do is not close to what our ancestors had to do, just to live.

I have been reading the Tightwad Gazette and decided to buy a copy for myself, so I can mark it up and so on.

On my blog, I wrote about reusing something. I was so proud of myself!


Sunflower said...


Do you have any book suggestions for beginning sewing/curtain making? My babies (one in particular who enjoys chasing flies) are destroying the cheap miniblinds the apartment complex provided and I'm thinking of replacing them with something cloth, light, and sheer. The apartment is super tiny and dark and we don't have much need for insulation here. We didn't even run our heater last year!! But our a/c bill is always incredibly high. As hard as we try we can't avoid turning it on once the ambiant temperature inside goes above 90. We don't think the meow-meows enjoy it.

I was thinking perhaps unbleached cotton muslin. It's super cheap and goes along with our nature-theme.

Peace! Ruthie

Katie said...

I started learning to make curtains by looking at other peoples' curtains. Noticing things like the size of the ruffle on the top and how far below the window they hung. I can't think of any book in particular that I used.

I'm notorious for pinning the curtain together and then hanging it on the rod inside out just to double check my figures. Once I get the first curtain the way I want it, I use it as a template for the others.

As far as fabric goes, unbleached cotton muslin would probably be fine. I aim for fabric that is easy to wash most of the time. Just watch for textured fabric that might snag on the kitties claws.

I like the way you're thinking! I'm proud of you too.

Thanks, it feels busy but definitely fulfilling.