I finally finished compressing the earth plaster wall in the spare bedroom while my family went and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.


Compressing a wall that has been earthen plastered means that it will not dust.  The way I am doing it here is with a sponge and water.  You use pressure, water, and the sponge to smooth out the surface and compact it.  You can also use a trowel to do the same thing but it takes MUCH longer but the surface can be as smooth as glass.  This is just wall is unique and lovely.  Now to finish the rest of the room for whenever Nilgun chooses to come home.


all the testers agree: this is it!

I tweaked my chocolate peanut butter brownie again.  Something that Russell thought was perfect.  He thinks this is better.  Actually, everyone who tried it agreed with him.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

1/3 cup olive oil

3 ounces semi-sweet choclate

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup peanut butter  (I used Laura Scudder's smooth this time)

1/3 cup plain hempmilk

1 tablespoon tapioca starch

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahenheit.  Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.


In a pan over medium heat, place the oil and chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.  Turn off the heat. Add everything in order down the list, stirring as you go.

Pour into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it out.  It will be thick.  Bake 22 minutes.  You want a little bit of crumb on a knife if you stick it in the middle of the brownie.  

Try to wait until it has cooled before cutting.


These are very rich.  Be warned but to die for!

But to my family:  Notice no pinch, dab, handful.  Everything is measured.  So you just miss the lady touch if it does not turn out like mine!


a new dress

I have been working on new dresses.  I have an old Simplicity pattern that I dearly love.  My family calls it my frontier dress.  The ones I have had though are starting to fall apart and shrink in length, which is a sure sign that the fabric is going.  I have been putting more together.

I have been changing the top and changing the skirt.  I have taken five patterns and put them together the way I wanted to.  The first time I did it in front of Russell he was confused and curious.  His mother sews straight from the packaged pattern and does not deviate.  I always deviate except maybe the first time.  It is the way I cook as well.


The changes on this one is that the bodice is fitted and so is the waist.  It has a mandarin collar and sleeves that end at the elbows.  It goes down to my ankles as well.  I really like it and find this shape very comfortable.  But I do sometimes get taken for Mennonite or Amish, especially when I add an apron!


it is an addiction


They cover all of me and help me keep my clothes clean.  I have pockets!  I made this one in muslin because I wanted a very plain one.  I keep thinking a should double layer the bottom and I might.  It would wear longer that way.  I did not really plan for that on this one.  Maybe I will for the next one.  Of course there will be a next one silly!  It is an addiction (and I wear them at home every day!).


a red shawl

I have been wanting a red shawl since the first time I saw Secret of Roan Innish.  One of the characters had a lovely one.  A while back I had made myself a red sweater and it really was not me.  So, I took it apart, rolled up the yarn, made myself mittens and hat, still had many yards left.  Probably over 1500 yards.

So I crocheted myself a shawl.  It is a rather simple pattern.  Start with chaining four, turn and it second chain, single crochet.   Single crochet in the next two chains (should be the end).  Chain one.  Single crochet in the first single crochet, two single crochets in the middle, one single crochet at the end.  Chain one.  Turn and single crochet in the first single crochet, two single crochets in the next, one single crochet, two single crochet, one single crochet, chain one.  This is the way the pattern grows.  So basically, the second single crochet in the row at either end gets two.  It makes a triangle.  I just keep going until I run out of yarn or it is as big as I want it.


I decided to put some lace on the edges of this one just too make it feel more lovely.  Danica and Russell said it was HUGE!  But I thought it was just right, especially when I got a bit chilled one morning.  I now have a red shawl!