Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Etsy, or How I've Not Been Very Productive At All

More pre-mommy time at home has resulted more time spent (not "wasted"!) on artsy social networking sites.

If you want to keep up with my virtual inspiration boards, you can find me on Pinterest. Lately, I've used it to bookmark ideas for upcoming house projects, garden ideas... and gift ideas -- so don't go digging too deep! There's also cute stuff to be found on Baby Barton's Etsy Wishlist and my ever-evolving Etsy favorites list, Etsy Items I Adore. I'm slowly getting sucked in to what some people might define as "crunchy" mommy stuff, like Waldorf toys and simple living blogs. If you think that's neat, you might like this list of beautiful blogs I'm compiling.

My own Etsy shop, Hobgoblins, has been on the backburner these last two weeks. When I'm not scrambling to complete commissioned pieces, I'm deliberating over what social networking sites might be worth the investment of time, when it comes to marketing my shop and art online. Is Pinterest a good platform? What about Instagram? Should I become more involved in the Etsy community? Or, should I focus my time and energy locally, promote more in the local shops I have a relationship with, and work on a collection for a gallery show? (Yes, I probably should!)

Instead of being productive, I sit and THINK about being productive. Or, I look at other people being productive and pretend that it counts as personal productivity. All the while, my to-do list grows as quickly as the pile of neat things to add to my Etsy shop. Just when I think I should get back to work on a project, I remember that CHRISTMAS IS COMING. I should work on gifts. I should write. I should read that review book that arrived last week. I should write the review for the LAST review book. I should learn to knit. I should learn to make picture frames. Oh, and the baby will be here any day, now... at which point I just might lose all time and motivation.

And so I do nothing Etsy-related, and instead I go outside and work in the garden.

At least it's nice outside!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Update: Basil Pesto, Parades and Turkey-Leg Babies

Finally, finally, I'm through the cherry tomatoes.

Though our crop of heirloom tomatoes (slicers, beefsteaks, pastes and more) was a crushing blow, the remaining three cherry tomato plants were pleasantly prolific. I picked one last small handful, yesterday, and in the last month I've made enough sun-dried (well, dehydrator-dried) tomatoes to last a year or two. So, that's nice.

Herbs! That's what's on today's docket.
I clipped copious amounts of Rosemary, yesterday, and set it to dry.
It's my very favorite herb, and I know I'll have run out by February.
It's nice to have a stock of home-grown stuff to enjoy, for a while.

Oregano, thyme and bushes of basil demand attention.
I'm making as much Basil Pesto as possible, and will freeze the leftover leaves in oil cubes.

Garden-Fresh Basil Pesto with Sunflower Seeds
5-6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
2 1/2 cups basil leaves, blanched and dried (So tedious, I know!)
3/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Using a food processor, roughly chop the garlic cloves.
Add the sunflower seeds, pulse a few times to chop and mix.
Add cheese, keep on pulsing!
Add basil, mix until well processed.
SLOWLY Add olive oil while mixing, until pesto is well-blended.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 cups of pesto - a meal requires about 1/2 cup, so freeze the rest!

With the promise of beautiful fall weather, the fall garden is taking off! I'm harvesting broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, swiss chard, peppers, more swiss chard, romaine and red lettuces, green beans (which I'm letting dry), and the aforementioned herbs. A little crop of carrots is growing well, along with more lettuce, kale, spinach, radishes, ... and parsnips, if I ever get the seeds in the ground.

I've had a lot of trouble growing spinach, in the past month. It seems I got a bum packet of Winter Giant Spinach from Annie's Heirloom Seeds. After waiting for it to germinate for weeks, I contacted the company. Great customer service! They quickly sent me a new package, and I'm pleased to announce that I have spinach seedlings popping up through the soil. Success!

Outside of the garden, life is good. MSU Football is back, and the husband scored a sweet gig that gets him into the games for free, so he's happy. And, he's busy! This Friday is the MSU Homecoming Parade. He was invited to once again LEAD THE PARADE -- so that's neat! I'll share some photos of his alter-ego, Spartan Recycling Man, as he rides in the bucket of the MSU Recycling Center's biggest (and noisiest) truck.

Spartan Recycling Man!

We're in the final stretch of pregnancy, and I wish I could write a delivery date on the calendar. I'm a planner, to say the least. All our ducks are in a row, though. The official due-date for Little Miss Barton is September 29th, but with my luck, I'm guessing she'll be an October baby.

The waiting has resulted in numerous Etsy purchases.
Here's the latest acquisition:
From PoshPipsqueak

So. Cute.
Adorable baby clothes have affected me is ways I never expected.
Suddenly, doing laundry is more enjoyable. We'll see how long THAT lasts, though.
Etsy is a hell of a drug. So many lovely toys, cute little baby things, and wonderful gifts. I can only imagine what desperate measures I'll resort to in the coming weeks...