Boxers Or Briefs? And, Where O Where Did My Sew Mojo Go?!

Oh, where, O’ where can it beeeeeeeee?

Yes, that age-old question: Boxers or briefs? πŸ™‚

For me, it’s always been boxers. Can’t tell ya why. “They say” it’s a father thang; could be. I’ll buy that. It could also be that the memory of diaper doolittle dan panties are fossilized in the memory πŸ˜‰ Ahh, yes, Hot Wheels :Shudder:

Classic, vintage Boxers: These were a #%/4/1*!)!!Β  to make, I’ll tell ya; but, like anything, the effortΒ  you put in will yield whatΒ  you get out. This pattern worked me, that’s for sure.

Five-panel construction means loads of seams — one my favorite things πŸ˜‰

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I just love seams. Here, I did flat felled:

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Yes, I like the fussy. I like the detail, and mostly, I adore the results and satisfaction. I expect to get out what I put in, and I rarely disappoint myself πŸ™‚

I also practice. IΒ  need to practice to learn it. That takes time, that takes DOING IT, and it takes doing it right. Sound like one of my familiar rants? πŸ˜‰ Yes, nutritional excellence requires it!

“Follow directions, Strix…”

In fact, one of my greatest life lessons –I guess, it is — was what one fabulous teacher used to say: “When all else fails, follow directions” πŸ˜€ Ridiculously simple, right?

Hm… Ms. Willard:Β  Algebra; Funny lady; brainy, eccentric, uber-sarcastic, and witty as heck. Loved her…But, not being a numbers person, I had no choice but to “follow directions.” Mm. Served me well, I must say. If I got nothing else from mathematics, I got that; and that’s BIG. It affects so many aspects of life, really.

Okay, back to boxers :^) These are vintage boxers. Old school! You don’t see these in stores much (if at all). Do you remember them? The five-panel construction is classic. The open placket too.

And by the second pair, I was HOOKED. I love making these now, but, geesh, I’ve run out of men in my life who need boxers!!

I made several of these for gifts (men seem to love getting these), here are some pictures.

*These are the first ones I made, LOADED with mistakes! Still came out pretty good, though. Made from scrap flannel fabric (I’m smart enough to do muslins and practice runs!)

The following two were NOT given as gifts! They were my practice shorts — and I sure needed it.


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The back view. Not too shabby πŸ™‚

…and, actually wearable …

These butterfly boxers, flannel also, were much better, but still had mistakes.

*Back view:

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*By t he third go, I had it down! Even personalized with initials tag πŸ˜€

*worked out all the kinks

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Back side:

*This 100% cotton is perfect for comfy cool boxers. And these were prime for gifting πŸ™‚

*Inside πŸ˜€

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Oh, and,Β  yes, that is nursery rhyme toile πŸ˜‰

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*One of my favorite nursery rhymes

*Too fab;I just had to make myself some jammies…check out my drawstrings! (By the way, anyone notice the error on these? πŸ˜‰ )

*By far, the most difficult part of the boxers was the placket. After doing as directed, I concluded it had to be and fooled with slightly; I think itΒ  needs it.

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*You can see here how potentially weak that join section can be!


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Actually, maybe it was the crotch section. Yep, I’m a pinster. It really needs it, though. Tough area!

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That really needed altering. Done to pattern, it’s a weak construction, in my opinion, in an area which needs reinforcement. So, I did so, and these are sure to last a long time.

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Quite fussy, but worth it, right? πŸ˜‰

Back view:

The pattern was not so easy to figure out, but once I “got it,” it was smooth sailing — but still a ton of work.

Maybe the hardest part was pressing the finished product! IΒ  never underestimate the power of pressing, by the way: it is essential to the actual process of sewing (not just the pressing when it’s done). It *will* affect the quality of the finished project.

Lucky for me I love pressing. Hard to believe, I know, but I enjoy all the steps involved leading up to actually sitting down at my machine! That’s the pay off; but the joy is in the creating.

I actually took LOADS of photos of the process so I could refer back to themΒ  when making these again. These were made last summer around this time, actually.Β  I just want to have it documented just in case I can’t recall a procedureΒ  when I come back to this pattern, which I’ll be doing soon.

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And, of course, I had to make some for me πŸ˜‰

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Yes, lacy trim and all πŸ˜€

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I had to hand-sew this on

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I used a lingerie elastic…

which I think came out great for these — super comfy


Ah, pins again…

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And, I love hook-and-eye closures…

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*I decided I didn’t need a functional placket πŸ˜‰ But I did aΒ  faux one for looks.

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almost fini πŸ™‚

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I don’t have a picture of these completely finishedΒ  and I did make more boxers than pictured here! πŸ˜‰ These came out nice and comfy — on the loose and airy side, but who wants tight boxers??!

My sew mojo took a backseat to knitting this past winter…

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*Oh, lots o’stuff!

More on knitting projects (and some hand-sewing) soon!

Sew, while my so’ing has been on hold, for the most part, it’s on it’s way back ;D

OKAY, Sooooooooo…what say you?

Boxers? or briefs?! πŸ˜‰

Strix

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BeStitched!

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Okay, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve sewn 😦 😦 😦 Way too manyΒ  months since this stitch witch has sewn a darned thing! 😦 Since I moved, nada — unless you count hand sewing one of Noodles’ suits that he chewed up. And, of course, me being me, I’ve got a backup of “must makes,” complete with patterns galore awaiting me!

For summer, of course, I want simple, quick stuff, though πŸ™‚ I’m very into summer dresses, but have a hard time finding patterns I like, much less the proper sizes — double UGH!…AND, finding perfect fits in stores is really, really hard for me…I seriously need a class on pattern adjustment! Or better — pattern making. Hmmm…maybe I should do that this summer. Time, time…

Funny thing is, I have no “expertise” altering patterns — honestly, I’d be afraid to say that I know how! It’s so tricky — and yet, I adjust stuff I make all the time…haha. Not that it’s done “properly”… Oh, to be a pro! πŸ˜€

Anywho, so many styles, so little time! Here are a few I’m liking this year; you’ll see a definite theme…

First, this one isn’t a favorite dress, really; what I like is the sleeves and bodice…okay, I know…let’s see…okay, what I don’t like is — something about the collar…not sure! But there’s something I love about this dress; yet something that bothers me. Maybe it’s the cross over??? Probably a “No” after all πŸ˜‰

Botanique Dress

Botanique Dress

Cute shoes, though!

Okay, next…

I LOVE this dressΒ  AND I love the fabric! Love that blue — more at indigo; reminds me of the blue and white porcelain, famously attributed to the Ming Dynasty. Interestingly, it actually originates from the Middle East.

Personally, I prefer this gorgeous Japanese porcelain. That little hibachi costs over $400. Ha! Okay, off track again πŸ˜€

Back to the dresses:

Three In One Dress

Three In One Dress

It’s called 3-In-1, though it’s only 2. I think it’s adorable, but elegant. Could I wear it? I think so. I do like the length. I think it could go with some (nice) sandals or heels. Would love to find a pattern! This one doesn’t look difficult to make, actually…it’s the friggin fabric that would send me high-tailing it on my broom! That fabric is tough to work, lemme tell ya. Anything slippery is gonna work yaΒ  — ya las’ nerve, that is!

Speaking of fabric, lol,

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this is one I’ve had for a while, just sittin’! It looks quite a bit like the pattern on the dress! The fabric, however, is thick, too heavy, and not conducive to such a dress.Β  I love it, though, but still haven’t come up with the perfect use for it…I don’t want to “waste” it (roll eyes). Initially, I liked it for an apron; but then when I realized I need(ed) a new sewing machine cover, I thought that would be nice…Hmmm….what do you think? Apron vs machine cover? Help me out, Folks!

Next one, I LOVE. I am thinking this will take me through Autumn! Top it with a nice sweater or jacket, and appropriate footwear…yeah…

Beaute Du Jour

Beaute Du Jour

Since my favorite colors are Autumnal, I just love this fabric print too. Really like this type of sleeve. Interestingly, normally, I despise ties/bows or scarf-like, around-the-neck-area stuff; but it works for me here. This one, though — speaking of work — will totally work me! That piping…eeGADS…and the flimsy-ish fabric…uhhhhm…I dunno, Folks. Can I do it?!!??! I’d love to make it! Maybe I should just buy it, haha. Def, my favorite.

This is called a jeans dress, but it’s a soft denim…

Tencel Blue Jeans Dress

Tencel Blue Jeans Dress

Not really a fave; but I love the simplicity and comfy-ness of this type of dress. This is the kind you literally throw on with some sandals and go. No adornments, no belts, accessories, etc. Good for lounging on the patio or just puttering πŸ™‚ Easy to make too! Varying the length would be nice.

Lastly, I like this as well. The colors are great; but not my favorite print…

 	 Marrakesh Cotton Dress

Marrakesh Cotton Dress

I like that it’s cotton; but other fabrics could work very nicely. (Cute sandals!) Another one not so easy…for moi. Would be a lot of work for me…I think. I could use the practice on the skirt, though! I do buy patterns for that reason, actually — simply for practice!

Okay, next, I am going to attempt — ATTEMPT, mind you πŸ˜€ — to make a swim suit…yes, it must be emphasized. I don’t imagine I’ll be wearing it! I’ve never made a swimsuit, and working with spandex doesn’t inspire confidence! But, how else to learn? πŸ˜€

Here are some suits I like, for various reasons:

Charlotte, by Shan, 2008 Collection

Charlotte, by Shan, 2008 Collection

Like the coverage! Haha. I’m not big on my butt hanging out — in fact, I prefer nothing “hang” at all! I like full coverage; I like to be comfortable, and not constantly worrying about how “stuff” looks or how, with each step, each movement, I’ve got to adjust, pull, or fixΒ  something. You know the deal. I don’t wanna think about it, you know?

Next –no, I do not like a bikini for me πŸ™‚ What I do like is the top….

Papillon, by Tissage 2009

Papillon, by Tissage 2009

It looks secure and has good coverage; so comfy. I also happen to really like straps that tie around the neck; they seem to look best on me, I think; I like them for dresses too. A pattern for this type shouldn’t be hard to find.

Now this is totally cute!

Euphoria Martini by Tara Grinna 2009

Euphoria Martini by Tara Grinna 2009

I’d love this: I would, however, prefer a small boy short :).

And speaking of shorts…

Blue Skipping Stones by Swim Systems 2009

Blue Skipping Stones by Swim Systems 2009

I’d wear this in a heartbeat! No altering needed…well, maybe a little nip-tuck on the V-neck area πŸ˜‰ Or rather, maybe a little stretch-widen…yeah. Lol. Love the shorter top to show off the cutie shorts. I’ve seen similar patterns for blouses like this. Would be cute as a non-swimsuit: just pick some nice easy-breezy cool fabric. Nice!

I like this one, buuuuuut…

Jet Set by Asha DeMarco

Jet Set by Asha DeMarco

Something about it is a turn-off…Certainly, I do not like the colors…but there’s something else…Okay, I do like the top/straps; like the one-piece; the bottom’s not bad…I think it’s the cut of the center/sides ?? No, I like that…I think. Hmmm…maybe it’s the pattern, too? Or and/or colors. I’d like to see this suit in a different color, same pattern; a different pattern; and in a solid as well.

This one is also nice…

Sea Club by Lidea 2009

Sea Club by Lidea 2009

…but I have to admit the color is a big influence :D. I love oranges and orange hues. I prefer the shorts style of the Blue Skipping Stones suit above; though, this would be okay. The little tie works here.

And then of course a good cover! I really like this tunic:

Good Karma by OndadeMar 2009

Good Karma by OndadeMar 2009

VERY cute! There are so many nice tunics. I like long ones, too. The one above is nice with the embroidery embellished fabric. Very cute and probably not too diffucult. This would be a fun one to make. Lots of fabrics to go crazy and make a ton! Would be cute as gifts, too. I could (and have) wear this with some boy-style shorts and be good πŸ™‚ Definitely comfortable and no need to feel self-conscious in tunics.

Of course, a cool top and good pair ‘o’ shorts is always reliable! Slap on some sandals and I’m good to go.

Okay, so now I have to get to the fabric store and start lookin’! I hate purchasing patterns online. I’m sure I could find something in-store. Then it’s on to finding vegan, and as-earth-friendly fabric as possible that I like…daunting, but doable: there are actually more and more earth-friendly and organic fabrics coming to market — yay! Gotta dig, though.

Oh, did I mention I still haven’t gotten my sewing room completely unpacked and organized? whistle
ACKkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Time, time….

Okay, so what are you wearing this season, with your new ETL-Nutritarian bod? πŸ˜‰ Please share!

Ahh…eating well has so many benefits! Eat your heart out Valerie Bertinelli! WhoΒ  needs Jenny Craig frankenfoods??!!

Strix

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Random Sewing and Embroidery Projects…

I’ve discovered that storing sprouts (and produce in general) in my hempbags works great.

Sprout_hempbag_storage

Yes, that’s a (quasi)French Seam on a sprout bag!lol What can I say? Haha, I love me, my Frenchies. They won’t be breaking out of that bag anytime soon!

These are really good for keeping the sprouts from both drying out and getting wet and moldy. Is there anything hemp can’t do?!

Anyway, my Ooh-la-la sprout bag is full of sprouts πŸ˜€

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I do a little embroidery on my hempbags, haha. Of course a little birdie is my favorite:

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Closer look at the little chirpie:

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Another hempbag for storing sprouts

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This is embroidery I did on another hempbag for storing my sprouty-sprouts πŸ˜€

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Yes, it’s missing something, ha!

Ah, here we go :D:

hempbag_embroidery_sprouts

Fini!
hempbag_embroidery_sprouts

Just simple stuff. I’m nowhere near an expert on embroidery — obviously! There are some beautiful stitches, most of which I’ve not learned, lol. Some day, some day…

Here is a simple tote bag I made for shopping (it’s unlined), out of some lovely plain hemp fabric:

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This is a dress I made for this past hot summer. I love this Japanese fabric! I screwed up on the straps, which you can’t see in this photo ;).Β  But it’s comfy and cool. I need to fix it, though (!)

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Herr are some closeups of this fabric:

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Ah, l love it:

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Last year, I needed some new pin cushions, so I made this mega-mama globe one and two mediums out of scrap fabric:
pincushions

I had leftover fabric so made some summer hair bands (NOT head bands!lol)

Front/Top of head
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Back/at the nape

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Scrap fabric is great, by the way. When I go to a fabric shop, IΒ  head toward the scrap bin and can find very good-quality expensive pieces marked down to 90%!Β  Of course, the pieces are cut and you need to consider that; but they are great for small projects. If lucky, you can find large pieces and make someΒ  great things out of fabric you’d never pay for at regular price! Bargain bins are awesome πŸ™‚

Pj shorts for hot summer nights. Kinda sloppy sewing job…but these are one of my favorites and most comfy
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And speaking of scrap fabric…I got both these pink fabrics from the scrap bin. The lining was a real bargain. This bag holds some of my crocheting and embroidery tools and yarns, etc. I made this tote, lined with solid pink fabric; and a nice large pocket; a little embroidery; and used easy-peasy sew-on velcro for the closure… in retrospect, not the best choice! Ummm, yarns and embroidery floss sticks to it? HellO?!Β  lol. Oh, well, it works just great anyway πŸ˜‰

One side:

crochet_bag_pink_embroidery

The 0ther

crochet_bag_pink_embroidery

My artistic genius! …NOT


Speaking of not the best choice, Lol. I made this muslin (thank Goodness!) of a Simplicity pattern. Simplicity is anything but! I redeemed myself by being smart enough to make a muslin first and not waste good fabric. I liked the pattern, but Simplicity sizes really suck…for me, anyway. They don’t fit right. This dress design also didn’t look right on me. Perhaps, if I were a REAL seamstress, I could have fixed it; but I really didn’t like the empire band — or, I did like the band, just not the way it is sewn on to the dress. Hard to explain, but it just didn’t look right, once worn. It should be form-fitting in that area; but the band sort of hangs and is loose…

Anyway, I always make a muslin first! That’s the best lesson I ever learned about sewing, lol.

simplicity_3745_muslin

Oh, more jammies…one of my Halloween drawstring pants! Haha. Yes, I wore these around the house and to bed, of course. My kinda lingerie!

pumpkin-pjs
I love these comfy ones. They are thin flannel, which is perfect for California “winters.” It has just has a comfy simple elastic band — oh,and great color! πŸ˜€

pjs_green-flannel

One thing that is difficult to find is organic, environmentally friendly embroidery floss! It’s just not available, actually. I did a lot of research and contacted many manufacturers and there is no demand at this time — sadly 😦 There are, however LOTS of organic yarns! So for crocheting and knitting projects, it’s great (but expensive, of course).

What I did find which was AWESOME-awesome-awesome (!) was that NearSea Naturals sells a line of very thin “fingerling” hemp yarn.Β  They are all really gorgeous. I thought (hoped) that just maybe they’d be thin enough to use as embroidery…So, I ordered some samples of various vegan yarns…

samples of the hemp yarn:
hemp-yarn

Handspun Sari recycled yarns:
sari

This is banana “silk,” which is also vegan:
Banana-Silk

Unfortunately the banana and sari don’t work well for embroidery! lol. But the fingerling hemp yarns were a score! They are, of course, a bit rougher; but that rustic feel and look is just fine, and not really noticeable unless you’re really looking close. They lack the shine of regular floss, but that’s not a big deal to me. I think my embroidery above looks just great and doesn’t need to be flossy πŸ™‚

I’ve not worked with the Sari or banana “silk,” but would like to get to it someday. All of them are just beautiful.

NearSea also has beautiful organic cotton yarns. I got the golden to crochet a throw blanket. It’s gorgeous yarn:

golden_yarn_closeup

Much thicker than I anticipated:

golden-yarn

Unfortunately, lots of unevenness:
golden-yarn_uneven

and knots, Ugh!

golden_yarn_knots

Still, I’m planning on ordering more in the other colors :). I believe I may have found them at a lower price; I’m sure I bookmarked it somewhere. The colors are stunning. Nothing beats the beauty of natural and organic wares πŸ™‚

Strix

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Back to posting, Cultured Veggies…and Sewing Porn!

So, it’s been so long that I cannot even begin to find the right place to pick up where I left off ; and I have loads (LOADS, I tell you) of pictures and subject matters that should have been posted since — what? July!???? So, instead of the overwhelming-ness of it all, I’m simply going to start somewhere…any ‘ol where!

So let me just apologize for the jumbled nature of this post (okay, nonsensical rambling-ness), the non-thorough-ness, and the general poor structure and grammar to boot!

Sewing

Aprons I made from some awesome retro-looking rooster fabric:

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Had enough fabric to make another one (another plus to being an ETLer πŸ˜‰ ) — this one is reversible:

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Autumn is my favorite time of year; I just LOVE it. Photobucket It also brings more sewing projects :^). I did some easy-breezy summer sewing — dresses, cool cotton drawstring pants, lotsa shorts, etc. I made a few aprons, too;The above apron(s) is my favorite because of that fabulous fabric print.

I‘ll try to post here-and-there some projects I’m currently working and some I did earlier this year. I’ve got LOTS of things I photographed… i just gotta get it all sorted!

But, seriously, just the sorting and choosing of the photos is labor intensive,Β  haha.

I’ve read several interesting sewing blogs and some of these major-major sewists are incredible. They often have these fun projects going where whoever wishes can join in making a project for that month — aprons, purses, skirts, etc. Some beautiful, beautiful work being done out there. And then there are times when people just post what they’re working on or their latest discovery — notion, technique, pattern, etc.
I’ve been thinking…there should be “Sewing Porn Day” and a “Fabric-Porn Day”Β  Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Perhaps, in this day of “promises” — ya think I can convince the next President to advocate for such a day? πŸ˜‰ Ooooh, don’t get me started on poli-tick-nitpicking! (say that fast 3 times…)

Serious!Β  Set me loose in a fabric mart and I’m comin’ home with a motherload. I love children’s fabric…I know, I know! I love the cutsie patterns (not pacifiers and rattles, though!!) of little animals, etc. Oh, that reminds me I should post some of my jammies, lol. I’ll post some of my porn-worthy fabric cache at some point πŸ˜€

Now, as far as adult-print fabric, well, I just adore Japanese imports. Gorgeous. I’m not too fond of loud, bold colors. I like old-fashioned colors and patterns. Oh, give me some vintage fabric and I’m in sewing heaven!

Okay, here is an example of drool-worthy Japanese fabric I purchased:

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Ooh, La, La, a French seam…(I’m a serious French-seam Queen!) Just love ’em. Yummmm…

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OMGosh I really AM an edge-sewist! (a friend dubbed me so. Or was that “on-the-edge” sewist…

HA!)
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Okay, okay…whew.
So any hard-core sewists out there want a Sewing/Fabric-Porn Day, too?

Oh, Come, now, you KNOW you want it Photobucket
Link me summa yer “stuff,”Β  Y’All
Okay, ‘nuf-a dat! (I’m so easily distracted, no? ) πŸ˜€

Speaking of vintage…a little sneak peak: I’ll be working on this (soon!). I’m hoping to wear it ’round Thanksgiving:

I love it! I like the third view (far right) best. The middle is very vintage looking, however, I’m not too sure how I’d look in that style…I may be too short πŸ™‚
Anyway, I am thinking maybe linen…I don’t wear animal products, so no wool; but there are fab alternatives out there. I bought some hemp “suede” earlier this year (yet another fabric run I didn’t post!) and that just might be perfect…anyway, I’d better hurry-the-heck up!

I have the pattern already; I just have to get started on a muslin. It looks easy, actually; however, from experience, I know I’m going to need a muslin. I read a few reviews to see how others got along with it and all seem to be favorable. The issues were about the armholes being a bit too small (to accomodate a shirt underneath) and the bodice being a bit too short, making the empire waist slightly too high…this is common stuff, though. Everyone is shaped differently. If only the pictures were how the dresses looked on us all! I love the fabric this blogger, Frosty772, used. Came out really nice.

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This weekend I didn’t work on any garments, but felt like something simple…so I made a few (very easy-peasy) booties πŸ˜€ . Most you find are for babies! I decided I needed some. It’s one thing to make things it’s an entirely different thing to make a tutorial — and a decent one, at that! and, as for these it was the same: I just sort of worked out a pattern and way to go about it from various techniques I’ve learned (very much like I make my “recipes”! I rarely write them down….Photobucket!)
I’ve got some other booties/slippers versions in the works, but these I can bust out in about 15 minutes:

These are snuggly fleece!

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And they are very sturdy :).

I added batting (stuffing) to some to make them warmer.

These are felt, I think (faux, of course)…


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Well, Halloween IS upon us… πŸ˜›


Here is the bottom:

Speaking of witch… πŸ˜‰ A reversible one I’m working on:

Boo!-ties


Here is one with a different bottom; this one is just a proto — Pattern just needs to be altered to accomodate the extra bulk, really. Easy enough. But, right now, warped and messy —Β  not quite ready to wear πŸ™‚


These are one of the first ones I made, and they came out a bit too round-ish — I call them my “duck-feet booties πŸ˜€ These are made of (vegan) flannel:
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Made several others…

Sewing is definitely work; However, have fun, I say…sewing IS fun
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… any way you look at it, no? πŸ˜€ :
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Okay, next…

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Cultured Vegetables

And, my continuing love affair with nutrient-rich food and optimal health through Eat To Live continues, unabated πŸ˜‰

Here are some cultured veggies I threw together recently:

Ingredients: Yep, I added my beloved Sprouts!!

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Result:

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In fact, the ones I’ve made with sprouts taste best.

This one I added Arame, a black (when dried) Japanese seaweed you can see:
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Ultimate survival food! Cultured veggies are super nutritious, GREAT for the digestive system, and not the least — yummy πŸ™‚Β  I made my own since purchasing it premade is EXPENSIVE, IF you want organic, raw, and salt-free!Β  Pasteurized would defeat the purpose anyway; so buying it raw is a no-brainer; however, it’s difficult to find salt free and organic.

In my previous post about digestion , I mentioned Rejuvenative brand of raw cultured veggies. Very good and definitely my go-to source now. However, making this myself is SO easy peasy, it’s downright foolish to purchase it regularly, anyway, especially in this economy.

I most often add it to my dressing and it acts as, say, a vinegar might; however, it’s not “vinegary” or sour at all. Much better than any ol’ vin πŸ™‚

I also add a few huge spoonsful to mix into my salad sometimes. It’s a good way to stretch a dressing!

Apparently, the juice is traditionally a prized food. I have found it excellent as a pre-meal digestive aid (similar to why one would take a probiotic supplement or digestive enzymes, etc.) or in-between meals — “digestive conditioner, I guess, ha!

This juice is also a fabulous “vinegar.” The difference is this is MUCH better. MUCH less harsh from even the mildest vinegars. With small amounts of fruit added, it becomes a delicious flavored vinegar. πŸ™‚ I LOVE IT!!!

I’m a big believer in the pivital role of digestion to optimal health.

Cooking season too

Haven’t cooked in ages — since last time this year, I think! But I will do a bit, I’m sure, soon. I have something in the works right now that I actually started earlier this year, made a draft post, and never got around to posting it! Good stuff, hopefully, coming soon!Β  So, like the 10 others I have unfinished (and the who-knows-how-many-more-waiting to be born) I have to go back and refresh it, add this-and-that, and, of course finish it. I sometimes forget much of the info so I have to redo whatever it was … Sooo much to post!

Okay, I gotta stop now…Yikes. Posting takes up so much time…Photobucket

But, here I am, a small step back into the posting game πŸ™‚Β  Hopefully, I can tackle some of my older non-posted ones this season as my indoors status resumes for the season ahead πŸ˜‰ So much to post so little time…Sigh.

Oh, did Post this one already?


πŸ™‚ Tis okay; it deserves another gander πŸ˜‰

_Strix
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Clover Sprouts in the Hemp Bag and Noodles’ Eco-Suits …

Of course came out fabu-loso πŸ˜‰

Here are the Red Clover seeds soaking (yes, those are shoelaces for string! It is hemp, though πŸ˜› ):

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Okay, so after a good 8- to 12-hour soak, it’s now it’s hang time.

Then…Day 1:

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This is how I rinse: I add the bag to a bowl of water and swoosh and shake and submerge so ALL the sprouts get a nice soaking. I do this instead of running tons of water over them — WASTING!! This works fantastic and saves me some angst! I really, really, really — did I mention, “really”? — despise wasting water.

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Day 2 — Gorgeous! I think Red Clover seeds are the most beautiful, don’t you?

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Ahhhh, Day 3:

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Mmmmm…Day 5. And, wow…greening, once again before even “greening”!!:

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Here is the bag of sprouts, done, on Day 6 (Now I know I can use a bit more seeds next time since this is not too full): Note how dry the bag is…

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Okay, now let us peak inside…

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Eureka!

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Once again, niiiiiiiiice πŸ˜€

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Obviously this type of sprout also excels in hemp bags!

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Now, I read that some seeds, like red clover sprouts release quite a bit of their pigment on to their host. So I expected my bag to stain, and it didn’t disappoint :). I think it looks nice, actually; I love antiques and antiquey things, especially fabrics! So this looks like a “well-seasoned” sprout bag ;^).

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000000000000000000

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This is just another small-ish hemp sprout bag I made; I want a separate one for alfalfa sprouts:

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I also made some re-usable tea bags like I had purchased previously (some are really cheapy; some are good-quality) with the scraps of fabric leftover from making the hemp sprouter bags πŸ˜€ :

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And this is a large-ish filter made from the hemp jersey for volume tasks, such as for seed mylks or juices, etc.

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This particular fabric is so gorgeous I almost hate to use it! The picture at Near Sea Naturals and these photos, too, don’t do it justice; if I didn’t know better, I would say it was a blend with silk! It has that type of drape, feel, and look.

I got the ring from the large re-usable cotton tea nets I bought which wore out; no use throwing away those good rings! They fit nicely. πŸ˜€

********

Now for another Noodles layout ;^)

Here he is in the bird suit made from the cool, cotton-like fabric, “Natural Hemp-Organic Cotton Muslin” that I used to make the sprout bags:
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And here is a suit in the drapey, very light — I hate to even use the word, “jersey”! — Hemp-Organic Cotton jersey fabric:

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Here is a nicer closeup of the fabric:

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But, of course, nudie is always better ;^)

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I still have to make him one in the other gorgeous jersey, the FeatherweighNatural Hemp-Organic Cotton Jersey.

I just love the naturalness of these fabrics! Knowing there is nothing synthetic or poisonous is a very good thing, indeed. :^)

Strix
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Homemade Hemp Sprout Bags and More

Broccoli Sprouts:

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Homemade Hemp Sprout Bag:

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Ha! So here is the result of my attempt at making my own hemp sprout bag. After reading how great they are for sprouting from SproutPeople, I just had to try it: They claimed hemp bag sprouting is best for air circulation, drainage — *the* major components to success — travel, ease.
I didn’t want to buy one — why when they are so simple to make? I can use my own materials, and, most important: I want a big one! I made mine 16″ X 14.”

As it is, even though easy, sprouting in mason jars is more work if you have to have multiple jars going at once – they’re not very big…AND,Β  if you’re a sprout fiend like I’ve become …Β  No lie – I’m putting about 1/4 lb in my ETL Saladsblue_shock_yikes_eyes) — then it’s not going to be something you’re going to really stick with for long if it becomes a hassle and you have to tend to so many jars. Sprouts last a long time in refrigeration — and, in fact, being that they are living, they will continue to grow VERY slowly in the ol’ fridge. Anyway, I don’t intend for them to store for weeks;) ).

Oh, speaking of living food, I don’t know if that’s the reason, but my digestion has been incredible with sprouts. It’s almost as if I’m adding digestive enzymes to my dinner!Β  SOME thin’… I don’t know, but something’s goin’ on with it. Who needs probiotics, flora, or enzymes, blah-blah, Etc?!?!Β  I prefer vegan kefir and kombucha, anyway (post on that coming soon πŸ˜‰ ) Anyway, things just keep getting better and better.Β  I stick to ETL 100%Β  (over 4 years!) — I do my own high-raw version — and continue to strive for the optimal way to eat or as Dr. Fuhrman puts it, “Nutritional Excellence” πŸ˜€ As the ETL journey progresses, it seems, “It can’t possibly get better!” But it DOES. It so does…on so many levels! And no matter what anyone claims, there’s nothing like a 100% ETL diet. Still hard-core after all these yearsblue_lol_rolling…Always.Β  Okay, I could ramble, but, back to the bag! hold tongue

To start, I had no clue as to what type of fabric to choose with so many available and blends — tried asking some sites which sell sproutbags, and got Zero repliesPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting. I did some shopping around online and remembered NearSea Naturals, which I forgot I had bookmarked ages ago.

So, which to get??! Well, I hoped for the best and I decided on and used the hemp-organic cotton muslin and made this drawstring bag. This material is VERY easy to work with; (I made Noodles some more eco-suits out of this; it’s perfect and light! I’ll post those soon πŸ˜€ )I made sure to reinforce the seams since, one, this is going to last forever; and, two, it’s going to be getting lots of use! All that water, hanging, etc., would take its toll pretty quickly on a cheapy bag. Loved the cotton-hemp blend, by the way — PERFECT! I’m going to get 100% hemp next time and see how I like that; but this is just perfection. I also want to try a hemp-flax blend…Β  Soon, soon :D. I also need to order some proper string! I used food-grade, unbleached cotton string I had, but it’s not ideal. I also need to make the band wider; it’s a bit too skinny, even though the string fit perfectly.

I noted that SproutPeople mentioned hemp bags have “exceptional” and “Superior” air circulation and drainage of the sprouters. I have to agree! I also have to agree, that it is THE EASIEST so far; but, as noted it may require an extra rinse or two. So far it *the* best. I’ll have to wait to see how it goes for the winter; but for summertime — yep, I’ve been rinsing at least 3 times on regular days; but usually 4-times a day and sometimes one more (no air-con on) with this 100-degree+ weather here!

Generally, sprouts also grow faster in warm environments; so it makes sense that, that contributes as well.

But, WOW, the results are fabulous. The sprouts grow FASTer — I’m getting ready-to-eat broccoli sprouts in 3 days*; whereas, it’s 4 or 5 in a jar.

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Here is a broccoli seed’s journey with its hempbag, from seed to sprout ;^):

Wet the bag thoroughly, by dipping in a bowl filled with fresh water:
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Add the Seeds:

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Close the bag and leave to soak as required per seed:

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That 1/2 C of broccoli seeds doesn’t look like much in that big bag!
After an 8- to 12-hour soak hang it! That’s it. Hanging it over your sink is easiest — anywhere — and it will be done dripping very quickly too; it’s perfect for on the road, camping, and travel — any-the-heck-where you’re tootin’ off to. The drainage is superb (which is also why it dries quickly and needs TO BE WATERED MORE OFTEN), and the water runs straight through the bag; so give them a good rinse every 8 hours or as needed.
I don’t like to waste water; so I don’t open the bag and then run the faucet over the seeds like SproutPeople recommends — I simply fill a large bowl with fresh water and take them for a thorough dip πŸ˜‰ — just like the above soaking method. (As the seeds grow, obviously, the will need more water to rinse thoroughly each day)

I give it a good swishing and light massage to make sure all the seeds are submerged and nice and rinsed, dip it a few times (like a teabag), and, done! Entire thing takes a minute or less. You don’t need any direct contact with the sprouts at all through the whole process.

Hang it, Baby.

Okay, after only 24 hours…already some sprouts can be seen! Day 1:

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Continue the rinse and draining.

Lookin’ large! Day 2:

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Wow, Day 3* and these can be eaten already!! Or set them out a couple hours to green first :D:

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But I wanted to let them go wuuuuuuuuuuun more day…

EEk!Β yikes big eyes look up EXPLOSION!!Jour Quatre:

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W_O_W ….

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Major Sproutage! And these have NOT even been officially greened — they’re still in the bag!

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Gorgeous. These were much bigger than just the days’ before; they were also crunchy and crispy!

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The most delicious sprouts EVER. This yielded….

A whopping 1.2 lbs of Sprouts!

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The volume is so HUGE, that, honestly, 1.2 1/4 lbs doesn’t sound right. (These were weighed after spinning dry and the hulls removed)

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Sprouts growing in this bag also smell very fresh and clean; you will not smell harsh “broccoli.” Even when I’ve fed the sprouts with the kelp, they never had an odor.

*****
To dehull, Sprout People site has great instructions with photos, plus a method if you don’t have a salad spinner. Be aware you will lose a small amount of sprouts in the final rinse-dehulling; hopefully, less each time!

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To green, after the final rinse, drain them into a colander (or use the spinner insert), fluff them, and set them in a sunny location, out of direct sunshine, for a couple of hours. I will fluff them up every-so-often to mix, aerate, and loosen those pesky hulls (if any remain from de-hulling OR if you’ve chosen to green before the final de-hulling/rinse); in order that they all get some sun. But that’s not necessary; I just like to do it. I like the window sill, earlyΒ  morning. Many times, they won’t green to the degree as other times; however, this does not automatically mean they are less nutritious; they may just have less chlorophyll. Greening, really, is not necessary for obtaining benefits from eating sprouts; so don’t sweat it if you don’t or can’t. It’s more important that you rinse, drain, and dry properly for storage. Additionally, as in the photos above in the hemp bag, and jar photos, they green anyway! Sometimes, just natural light in your home or electric light, indirectly, is enough. The sprouts “follow the light” :D.

~ In that vein, I wonder if sprouts absorb Vitamin D or if the amounts are higher in sproutsPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting? ~

Here are few ways I’ve greened: I put them in a colander and give them some light lots of air to dry. Then I gave them a final spin, just to insure all the water was evaporated.

You can simply use the salad spinner insert to green:

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This is a fine-mesh, which is not ideal, but okay for smaller amounts:

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Here is the ubiquitous steamer insert, which acts as a nice colander; I prefer this to the fine-mesh because of more surface space and bigger holes for air circulation. This or the spinner insert is a better receptacle for greening:

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But the reality is a plain ol’ large bowl will do!

I do make sure they are very dry after the spin/greening.Β  Then I line a container with a paper towel (or other light cloth or tea towel) to soak up any respiratory moisture the living sprouts will exude — I prefer glass to any other form of storage; and Anchor Hocking my favorite — it’s thick, sturdy with a heavy lid. Then place the sprouts in without squishing them:

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and lay another towel on top (Yes, I just like Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting ):

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Cover and store your three — err — my three or four days’ worth of sprouts (Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting):

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Storing my leafies this way (and in the green bags lined with towels and sometimes in between if a ton of greens) keeps them fresher even longer because they stay drier. The towels soak up all the moisture.

I’ll be putting together — sorta like quilting πŸ™‚ — some towels made from the scraps of leftover hemp fabric to use for layering and storage; the paper towels, even though I do reuse them till they tear, I want to cut down, if not eliminate using them: Paper Towels are HUGEΒ  landfillers 😦

Another VERY convenient benefit of the hempbags is its quick-drying properties: in one way, you have to give the sprouts an extra rinse or two per day, BUT when it comes to harvesting, you don’t have to go through a long waiting period or drying period (8-12 hours!) before you can store them. My sprouts dried out fast IN the bag.

I’ve also found, that because the bag gets them nice and dry (but NOT “dried out,” by the way) it help loosen the hulls! So they tend to fall to the bottom of the bag, which makes your rinsing and de-hulling much easier, faster, and much better for conserving water. Remove the sprouts in bunches, give your handful a shake to loosen the hulls so they fall into the bag, instead of dumping them and that will help.
The roomy bag also allows for that great air circulation and it also contributes to giving the sprouts space; so they don’t form those webby, tangle-y, blobby-bunches of hair-like masses! They are loose and this contributes tremendously to ease of removing all those hulls.

One could easily just store them straight out of the sprout bag when dry.
However, if you want to do a final-final rinse, then rinse and use that salad spinner; that’s the way I’ve always washed mine, even the store-bought. It gets them very dry; just give it a few spins till dry to the touch. You can store in those green bags (I always wrap my veggies loosely in paper towels first, or line the bag with them) or in glass, as I prefer. If they are still a bit damp andΒ  you’re not sure, SproutPeople advises to not seal them tight; but, instead, leave it aerated in the fridge or poke holes in the bag they are stored, etc. Then seal when dry. Too much work for me πŸ˜€ I just spin and store!

**

So my large hemp bag, using 1/2 C of Seeds makes at least a 4-day supply; so I don’t need quite that much of additional sprouts I may be adding to my diet, such as the microgreens, clover, buckwheat lettuce, and others. So a smaller bag is order, methinks…

Small Hempbag, 13″ X 9″:

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I’ve got some Red Clover Sprouts in this bag right now (they are especially renowned for benefiting womyn); will update it soon, along with a review of the Biosta Sprouter and its results! Yikes, I’m sooo behind!

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Now washing and caring for the hemp bag: I rinsed it well, inside out to make sure no seedlings were hiding in the corners, then swooshed it in a bowl of water with a little hydrogen peroxide. Then, (without rinsing it again in water without hydrogen peroxide), let it hang dry. I have to wet the bag next use, anyway, as in step 1; so whatever little hydrogen peroxide that remains on the bag will not be an issue and, in fact, may help: It’s often recommended to clean-rinse the seeds with a hydrogen peroxide solution before even soaking to avoid contamination

This is a MUST if using non-organic seeds…

which no one should be using anyway( tongue_tease).

It’s better than the bleach the industry uses! OR, I should say used to use…but, frankly, why would I even wonder… This was just another reason to avoid buying even organic from stores: They were/are? compelled — The HACCP Plan (FDA) requires soaking seed in a bleach solution so strong it needed EPA approval — to de-contaminate (and pollute) with bleach! fiery_angry_mad No thanks…I think that is — at least partly why, even of the most delicious store-bought sprouts I’ve eaten, MINE ARE SUPERIOR … AND veganically grown! green cutie cheeks. I honestly don’t know if bleacing is still the standard or if it has changed (if anyone reading knows, please comment and inform me!) I’ll take the safest route, myself!

I’ll probably do a soap wash and hydrogen peroxide + vinegar rinse every few uses, with the hydrogen-peroxide rinses in between. I use the vinegar+hydrogen peroxide to disinfect all my produce instead of purchasing unnecessary and expensive veggie washes; and it’s great for disinfecting any thing or place – cutting boards! counters, knobs, etc – around the house. Just make sure to do as the link instructs and don’t mix the two!

Here’s the clean bag, hanging dry over my paper towel rack lol green letters:

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Dries ridiculously fast.

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If you are concerned with sprouts and seed contamination and bacteria, etc. — firstly, you should buy your seeds from a reputable merchant or from a place/farmer you trust; and you should be buying only organically grown seeds (OH, if only I could get my hands on veganically grown!). Back to contamination — some people worry about it, molding, bacteria, etc. Take basic precautionary measures such as having clean hands; clean tools; avoid touching the sprouts (with the bag, I don’t even open it the entire process!); and use fresh, good-quality water, each soak and rinse; and make sure to rinse well and drain well and often!

You may also like to add some 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse water a couple times or at the start and the final rinse for assurance.

I’ve used the following seeds so far, and they’ve all sprouted well in the hemp bag, jars, and cheesecloth method:

Handy Pantry Organic Seeds

Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Sprouting Seeds

*****

Just a word about automatic sprouters — having researched all types and brands, I think the best would be the Easy Green It would cost me $179 + $29.95 shipping. Don’t want or need one at this time (the hempbag is soooo easy). I think, if for some reason it becomes impossible, time-wise, for me to rinse and drain properly, I’ll go with that one. I have actually ordered the FreshLife Sprouter (and returned it!) when if first came out, years ago, and NEVER again… Bad — I mean, bad — service, number one; and too many drawbacks from what I’ve inferred about its mechanics and from the reviews I’ve read.

Now, I still have yet to try chia and flax microgreens in the hemp bag! My first time was good, but not necessarily the easiest!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting One of preferred ways is to grow mucilaginous seeds, such as flax and chia, is in or on terra cotta/clay pots (like chia pets!) More on clay later.Β  Too badΒ the buckwheat sprouts I grew (SO incredibly delicious! Gotta have ’em — Gotta.) in soil can’t be grown in a sprout bag; it needs a medium in which to dig its roots. However, I started them (pre-sprouted them) on cheesecloth that time; now I can use the sprout bag for that :D! Much easier, a time saver, and a big space saver! Will be trying the baby blanket and vermiculite, though…I just “have to.” πŸ˜‰

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I adore the hemp bag method!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting It is _hands down_ the cleanest, best-producing — everythingy — way to sprout.
Obviously, not everyone eats as many green leafies and now sprouts as moi and so don’t need a huge sprout bagPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting; but, if you can sew a semi-straight line, it’s SO doably easy-peasy to make your own! Or, you can always buy the standard hemp sprout bags available all over the web.

*Studies show that 3-day broccoli sprouts are the most powerful for certain circumstances — more than plants sprouted longer.

 

Mmmmmmmmmm...

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Sprouts!
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_Pox

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New Fabric…

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I recieved my order of hemp-cotton fabrics and cotton threads from NearSea Naturals on Friday. They are just beautiful! I am very grateful they allowed me to order such small amounts — 1 yard each of three fabrics and some organic cotton thread.

The feel is soft and appears to be very strong. I love them!
Here is a closeup of the fabrics: Featherweight Natural Hemp-Cotton Jersey, Natural Hemp-Organic Cotton Muslin, and Lighter Natural Hemp-Cotton Jersey.

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My only problem is that I wanted everything organic :(. This, of course, was MY mistake! Oh, well, next time I’ll be more careful. I thought I was ordering organic, but it appears only the middle fabric was.

Closeup of the organic cotton threads:

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I am anxious to work with these! Such beautiful fabric makes me wish I was better at sewing :^).

I’ve been going over NearSea’s offerings and I am getting sucked in! They have so many nice-looking/soundiing fabrics…I’m SO-oooooo tempted! Maybe next time ;^O

Okay, I just HAD to add these cutie-pie pics: Presenting, Noodles, in Spring-pink linen ;^)

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Strix_

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