Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Here are some things for us to think about as we move along in our Project Home Economics Course. Choose whatever projects work for you:
1) For either your homemaking notebook or your book of days: Jot down dreams and goals for the New Year. Spend some time thinking and praying about them.
2) For your homemaking notebook: If you would like to do a garden this year -- or even just a few potted plants -- draw out your garden scheme. Make notes about what you will need to put this into practice.
3) For your book of Days: If you have any beautiful photographs of your yard or garden in different seasons, place them in your notebook along with some beautiful quotes or your own thoughts.
4) If you mail order garden plants and seeds, have a fun time with your catalogs. Sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket and dream away!
5) Do you live where it's winter in January (northern hemisphere)? Did you know that even wintry old January can be a great month for gardening? This is especially true where I live -- in the Southern U.S. -- but it applies even further north. Of course, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you're in peak garden time right now. We will try not to be jealous. :)
What can be done in January?
Plant fruit trees.
Plant flowering or shade trees.
Use branches from your Christmas trees to cover and protect tender plants.
Prune deciduous trees and plants. Prune fruit, flower, and shade trees. Do not prune spring flowering plants or plants that look as if they have begun to bud, as you will be cutting off their spring flowers.
Check beds for weeds. Yes, some may be growing still or already growing, depending on how you look at it. Weed them now, in winter, before they have a chance to spread many seeds.
Do you need to take garden equipment in for repair? Do it now before the spring rush.
Bulbs -- Yes, they should ideally already be in the ground. But, if you didn't get them all in and if you live where the ground is not frozen solid, it's not too late. I grabbed some bulbs on sale this year and am intended to get them into the ground today.
Some people spray dormant sprays on their plants to protect plants and get rid of winter diseases.
Information based on material from Ed Hume Seeds. Don't forget to check with your local county extension agent or a local nursery or a local garden club for information about what you can do in January in your specific area.
Do you live in the U.K. The BBC has a lovely article about what you can do in the garden at this time. Actually, this is worth reading even if you do not live in the Great Britain, as some of the ideas apply to any place of similar climate.
6. Remember, managing a home can be as involved as you have time and interest for, or it can be simplified to take care of a family's basic needs with excellence. It is better to do a few things well than to extend yourself so much that you can't give your best to any one activity. As you write down your new year goals and dreams, take into consideration your interests, your level of health, your season in life, whether or not you work outside the home in addition to managing your home, etc.
On the other hand, trying a new endeavor can enrich your home management experience and can add satisfaction to your endeavors in home keeping. Plan to try at least one new craft or skill this year. If you conquer it, perhaps you'll be able to move onto something else that's new.
7. Let's all plan to try twenty or more new recipes in the coming year. Please keep a running list on your blog so that we can all get ideas from each other.
8. Beginning the apron project as you have time: Step One. Cutting the sash and ties. Measure around your waist. You want the sash and ties to be long enough to circle your waist and to tie. A rule of thumb might be your waist size plus thirty inches. However, this is just a guideline.
Next: Determine whether you want to use a contrasting or coordinating fabric for your sash and ties -- that's what I'm doing -- or if you want to make your apron of all the same material.
Next: Cut the waist sash: Waist - Finished size 18" x 2" (Allow 1/4 to 1/2 inch extra material for hems) - Cut two layers:
Cut the ties: Finished size* 1" x 18" - Two layers each. Again, allow 1/4 inch for hem. You'll need four of these strips -- two for each side.
This should work for most waists. However, you should check against your waist measurements. You can always increase the length of both the sash and/or the ties if you need to.
While you're at it, it's easiest if you cut the top ties while you cut the waist ties. Again, for the top ties, cut two layers each so that the finished size will be 1 by 18 -- four strips in all.
When we get to the sewing part, we'll sew the two layers to each other, as if we were sewing a pillow. Then, we'll turn the straps inside out and top-stitch them.