Toadstools are Small.

November 2, 2009

And they grow in my courtyard. Take a look:

It turns out that these are fly Amanitae, which = psychoactive and potentially poisonous. So, probably won’t be eating those. However, my Sweetie and I noticed a load of other mushrooms a-sprouting around the yard, not all of them spotty. What’s more, last weekend, I saw our neighbor and his main squeeze trolling the grass like truffle pigs and snapping up toadies left and right.

If that’s not living Small, I don’t know what is. Foraging in the backyard for foodstuffs? Totally fly! Any recommendations for ID’ing these funky fungi?

Yarn. Moth. Bad.

October 19, 2009

This is disgusting.

My yarn stash. Infested. Moths, little larval wormy white things. Barf city.

Serves me right, I guess, for overstashing — even in Le Petit Maison. Just desserts, I suppose, for storing my piles of chunky Manos del Uruguay wool and the last of the Rowan Tweed Mouse lot saved for my mister’s Mister Rogers cardi and the bunny-soft worsted alpaca hand-spun and hand-dyed from the hair of this. very. beasty:

out in the open, where the burrowing parasites could spin their vile tents and lay their maggoty eggs. (This is disgusting.)

The point: I want to be Small; I want to keep my yarn, not toss and replace because of some bugs. But can I?

Any advice from the other knitters out there? Can I keep? Must I chuck?

Line Dry

September 20, 2009

Hands up for all who line dry their laundry. Hands up for those whose homeowner association forbids clotheslines. (That’s us.) For those of you whose lines are verboten, what do you do? Drying racks? Lines in the house? Commercial dryers?

Our little one-unit wonder-dryer is fantastic, but I’d love to cut our energy consumption. Suggestions?

(Pictured above is my in-laws’ clothesline. Vintage cool, and so energy-conscious. xoxo, rusty clothesline crank.)

BellToy and Bear

September 18, 2009

A snap of my latest craft. Two softies for a friend’s twinset, due in December.

Simple to stitch, stuffed with bamboo fiber (antimicrobial!), and with sound built in: the eensie pillow, the one with the grosgrain pully-things, has a bell buried inside for some special jingle-jangle. Hint: The bell is housed inside a soft plastic cage (yes, it’s supposed to be a cat toy, but whatevs) so the stuffing won’t muffle the ring.

Care to share your own sews?

Mint smites mites

September 13, 2009

News to me: According to Dr. Murray Isman and his team of crack ag researchers, (organic) garden-variety pests may have stolen their last strawberries, thanks to his “killer spices.” Isman & Co. found that certain herbs — among them thyme, rosemary, clove and mint — harbor oils that are repugnant, and in some cases fatal, to invasive insects. Reports the BBC:

Some spice-based commercial products now being used by farmers have already shown success in protecting organic strawberry, spinach, and tomato crops against destructive aphids and mites. … An additional advantage is that insects are less likely to evolve resistance. … They’re also safer for farm workers, who are at high risk for pesticide exposure.

Of course, these essential oil–based pesticides aren’t as potent as their engineered brethren; they evaporate quickly, meaning farmers have to re-treat crops often; and they aren’t effective against biggie-bugs, like caterpillars and beetles.

So, while larger farms may be a few years away from minty fresh pest control, Small-time gardeners (like us!) could take a tip from Isman and protect our tomatoes with thyme.

Via AT.