Pages

August 14, 2014

Jamming

I spent this morning in my plot at the Abbot Phillips Community Garden. With the end of summer near, I a decided to plant a few rows each of beets, turnips, and kale.  I felt sore about evicting a few bees from what was left of my zucchini crop.  Luckily, they have plenty of other plants in which to play and pollinate.
 Waiting for a taste
New crop: beets, turnips, and dwarf blue kale.

One of my goals this summer was to learn how to make jam— check. 
A bee visiting my berries!

I gathered enough blueberries for a batch and picked up a box of Pomona's Universal Pectin at Whole Foods; I was ready to rock and roll.

 Yum! cannot wait to try some!!
 A straight forward and clear video on making Low-Sugar Blueberry Jam by The Crafty Gemini can be found at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7ryFVCNhc) and below. 

Note: I was short on jam mixture for a full four (half-pint) jars, as the recipe estimates; I had enough for 3.5, 8 oz/half-pint jars. Having a sterilized 4 oz jar ready is a good idea. Also, I sterilized my jars and lids for longer than the video recommended (30 minutes at a simmer).


August 05, 2014

New Kayak Seat Cover from Scratch

I recently bought a used 14' Corona Perception kayak from a friend (Thanks Bob!)  It's a nice rig but needed a seat-cover upgrade, especially as I plan on enjoying some longer paddling excursions this month!



Today I mined my bins of Malden Mills Polartec fabrics for some Neoprene. Unfortunately, all I found was small swatch of hot pink. Ordinarily I would be thrilled with this color but the reds, oranges and yellows in the kayak would clash with it too dramatically —even for me. 

Instead, I settled on some black technical, Neoprene-like, fleece and added an internal layer of  300-weight fleece for cushioning on the side against my back. Working off the original seat cover as a pattern —*before it disintigrates further— I fashioned a new cover, and used my cover-stitch machine and serger to reinforce seams.
(*photo is of the original seat cover, turned inside out)

The fit is nice and snug.  After creating tiny holes for the internal seat gadgets and hooks to pop through, I installed it back into the kayak and adjusted the cords.
The cover fits well in the front but pulls a back a bit (see photo) where the clips latch down. Still, it doesn't effect the performance. In fact the back attaches so securely to the seat, I had trouble unhooking it!

I vacuumed all the internal spaces of sand, cobwebs and possible spiders !
Now the cockpit cover is in place along with the hatches to make sure no creepy crawlies get in!

Online I found some 3mm leopard print Neoprene, which could work if I get frisky for an alternative cover choice....that isn't hot pink.