Sunday, January 31, 2010

One week to go!

The Valentine Cozy Contest ends in one week - midnight on Feb. 7th. Go to this post to read the rules (super short and easy), leave a comment, and win! All cozies are eligible, including the new Alice in Wonderland inspired cozies.

Good Luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling extra crunchy today... a granola and back-to-earther sort of way. Our home has officially become a vermicomposting site! I meant to get this whole thing going right after the holidays, but better late than never. I'd been reading (in various crunchy publications of course) about the joys and benefits of composting with red worms. They are easy to feed, eat the kitchen scraps that the frozen outside compost doesn't want anything to do with, and make super rich casting compost to use in the garden and potted plants.

Below follows a little story (perhaps tutorial... be tutored at your own risk) of my new worm farm.

Step 1: Preparing the home. An old plastic tub works great (and I even managed to find the lid!). Drill lots of holes to allow your worm tenants some fresh air. Don't worry... as long as they like their home they won't leave. Some folks say to drill holes in the bottom too to allow for drainage. I didn't do this yet, but if it gets too wet that's the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the bedding. I used shredded newspaper and leaves, but you could also use coir, shredded paper, etc. I then added a few cups of potting soil and compost. Not strictly necessary but good to get the worms going.

Step 3: Wet everything down. Go for a "wrung out sponge" feel.

Step 4: Get the worms! How cute is this parcel?! I ordered from Red Worms for a Green Earth because they are geographically close to me, which is better for the worms and the planet. There are lots of sources.

Step 5: Bury worms a little way into the bedding add a small amount of food waste (veggie, coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit) to get them started- eventually expect them to plow through 1/2 lb of waste per 1 lb of worms... Cover the worms with moistened newspaper or cardboard. If you have inquisitive dogs, cats, or children, put a lid on!

That's it! Sit back and feed your worms. Remember that meat, dairy, and very oily foods are not appreciated. I will keep everyone updated on how these little guys do!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter Treasury

In honor of the odd sideways snow today I've put together a Winter Treasury on Etsy. Visit, click, comment, enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gary the Piggy

How cute is this little guinea pig? He is super sweet, personable, and needs a home- for more info click HERE.

Ok. That's it. Just thought I'd brighten up the day with some piggy love.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Heart-Day Cozy Give Away!

Hello all! There are several events to celebrate here at the Underhill House, and what better way to do that than to host a give away! Rules and regulations are at the end of the post (but it is really easy).

Item the first: Hearts for Haiti the Etsy shop has raised an impressive $14,857 to date for the Doctors Without Borders charity. I'm glad to say that both of my donated cozies sold within hours to help this great cause. Also exciting? The second sale went to Australia, making it my first international sale :o) This is all good, but we can do more. That is why, from now until Valentine's Day, I will be donating 10% of any item bought in my shop to the same Haiti relief effort.

Item the second: Last night saw the first item of mine to hit the front page of Etsy! Because I am a super big nerd I did a screen capture to preserve the moment.
The hit counter for this little mocha cozy went crazy.... thanks Etsy!

All of this fun news brings us to our give away - I would like to celebrate by giving away one of these cute cozies - all you have to do is visit the shop at and then come back here and leave a comment telling us which is your favorite. I will continue to post new cozies during this time, including mug cozies. They would all make GREAT Heart-Day gifts!

Fine print:
  • One entry per comment, get one additional entry per each blog, facebook announcement tweet etc of the contest. Just leave another comment indicating how you spread the word.
  • Get an extra entry if you follow this page or fan our FACEBOOK page - again, just leave a comment saying you did so.
  • The contest runs from now until midnight Sunday Feb. 7th (happens to be my birthday as well- yet ANOTHER great reason to do a give away!)
  • The randomly drawn winner will be contacted through blogspot, email, or your etsy page- if they are not reachable in 24 hours we will draw again.
  • Have Fun!!!
Just a few sample pix- go to the Etsy page to see more:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hearts for Haiti

A great new shop has sprung up on Etsy in response to the overwhelming need in Haiti. Visit Hearts for Haiti, shop, and 100% of the profit (minus etsy fees) will be sent to Doctors Without Borders. Hundreds of shop are participating and I am proud to say I am part of the effort with my donation of a few travel cup cozies. Check it out- lots of cool stuff for a good cause!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Completed Pineapple Reticule

Here are a few of the promised pics. Or go HERE for the set on flickr. I have also posted this project, with links to the pattern on my Ravelry page. Just click on the previous link and my ravelry name is "knittyvet". Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

We're taking a break from our discussion of the good things of life to remember those who have lost everything. Here is a link to Doctor's Without Borders, but there are many choices of organizations. Thank you.

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pie of the Month Club

A new year, a new goal! Lets make one new kind of pie per month.... yes, one per week was considered and discarded, for several LARGE reasons.

The inspiration for this lofty (dare we say, pie in the sky?) goal is a delicious book I recently received: Ken Haedrich's aptly named "Pie".

To dispel the January gloom and cold, this month's contestant is classic Lemon Meringue, a pie I have made before with less than optimal results. Lets just say that beating egg whites into a meringue by hand is really good for the arm muscle, less good for the meringue. This time I would be armed with a stand mixer.

Some good hints and tips- Ken recommends an ingenious method of keeping pie crusts flat while baking using aluminum foil and dry beans. Worked like a charm! Real lemon juice = really good.

So the first month was a success- does anyone have any requests for a February Pie? Say so in the comments!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just a little Pineapple Love.

The pineapple is done. I need to finish the tassels and perhaps line it, but behold:
More pictures to come!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Free Pattern Up!

Here is the promised scarf pattern... you can also find a link on the left side bar. If you like the pattern and are downloading it would be great if you left a comment with your thoughts! Enjoy!
Twisted Minuet Scarf

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Holiday Round-up

Happy 2010 everyone- I hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with love, family, friends, and diet-busting meals. I have several new ideas for this blog, but for now I thought I'd post some miscellany that I couldn't post before.

Nutcracker Madness. This unique drummer boy will join a large (and growing) nutcracker collection, representing the University of WI Marching Band with pride. And grit. Go Badgers!

Cute Pooches. A few portraits a friend commissioned in exchange for professional photography. I love barter!And finally, a pineapple update. Here are a few photos of my progress over the holidays- lots of knitting accomplished during movies and especially football.I really like how it is turning out so far... looks almost antique as it comes off the needles!
That's it for now- have a great week!