New Year New Projects!

Now that the holidays are finally winding down, I can finally share some of my works in progress. Many of these are presents from Christmas or projects I’ve had around and haven’t been able to do much about completing it.

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First up is my current list of  plants for my upcoming gardening bonanza. I was inspired a bit by the arrival of Jung Seeds & Plants book. I love flipping through the pages and seeing new and interesting seeds for sale. I am also a little bit more excited to start planning now because my boyfriend has agreed to build me a fancy raised garden bed this year. He also has given me run of the whole yard so I will be planting a lot. This also does not account for what I may also be able to plant at my Grandparent’s house this year, but I suspect it will be similar to last year’s arrangement, as well as the regular tending to the other plants already in their yard.

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I also have this adorable Woodland Creatures knitting kit! I actually got it a while ago but because I have never knitted before I’m a little nervous about starting it. The kit comes with a booklet of 12 patterns and vague-ish instructions for each creature. The kit only contains enough yarn for the fox and the doe. So I’ve been studying up on the language and techniques needed to get my cute little buddies assembled.

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This is my new diamond puzzle that my boyfriend got to me for Christmas. I haven’t had an oppertunity to work on it as I need to first flatten out the canvas. It should be flat enough in another few days to start working on it. I’m really excited because I’ve seen pictures of this particular puzzle in its completion and its really pretty.

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This is the pattern for my new cross stitch pattern. 2 years ago I had a really elaborate peacock cross stitch that I was diligently working on it for a year and a half before I realized I made a major error. As in the only way to fix it would be to undo almost half of the piece. Its been sitting in a box since then. So I recently got the urge to cross stitch again but I needed something new. The yellow in the pattern are the stitches I’ve already added to the cloth.

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Its looking pretty good so far. Its a lot slower progress than I’d like but I’m definitely not in a rush to finish this. I just get extra excited when it starts to look like something. lol

I have been researching for my next mythical creature, the manticore. I have several ideas but none have really been to my liking yet. I immediately think about one in an attack posebut I feel like its too ordinary. I’ve also thought about drawing one in a more restful/sleeping pose.  I’ll keep playing around with it more and we’ll see what turns out to be the best one. Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated!

I have also started to brain storm some ideas for a new banner and thumbnail icon for Katagi’s Kreations. I love my little dragon but I need something a little different. I really want soemthing that better portrays my blog’s theme.

 

Tomato Jam

Probably my last ripe tomato harvest for the season. I decided to go with a long term use of turning these tomatoes into a delicious tomato jam.

These guys are pretty big and at various stages or ripe. I somewhat followed a pintrest recipe because time and ingredients were an issue.

General basis of this recipe is chop up the tomatoes, throw the other ingredients into the pot and let it simmer. The original recipe said to simmer for 4-5 hours. I really dont have that kind of time to hover over a pot waiting for liquid to evaporate so I used a higher heat for a longer period of time before switching to a simmer.

This process help evaporate a lot of the liquid quickly in under 30 minutes and without compromising texture too much. In the end I was able to get it done in about 2.5 hours and boy is it tastey!

Its Pickling Time!

I finally had an opportunity to make some bread and butter pickles out of my Mexican Sour Gerhkin harvest.

I used a recipe that I found on pintrest and made a few alterations. For starters, I had to double the recipe for the amount of cucumbers I harvested. Due to availability, I could not get ahold of mustard seeds so I used ground mustard instead. I also did not submerge the jars into water to seal them.

The brine itself smelled so very yummy while it was simmering. Very aromatic! Since I did not want to locate, unbury, and clean the large canning pot I had to go with a refrigerator pickling method. After the brine was ready to come off the heat, I allowed it to cool.

After the brine was cooled it was time to fill and close the jars. 3 jars in total for this harvest and more are still growing.