Anita Martin

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since Aug 16, 2018
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Certified translator for Spanish, former Project Manager in the software business, gardener, book-lover, mother, home-maker, hobby genealogist, crafter and much more
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Southern Germany
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Recent posts by Anita Martin

Keep in mind that borage contains certain alcaloids and should not be consumed on a regular basis. The flowers contain much less and are safer, but be careful with the leaves. I would stay clear of known liver toxins in any case.
3 weeks ago
I try to have a batch of salad dressing in my fridge, such a convenient shortcut to eating salads!

Since I bought a high-power blender, my dressings are way better.
My "recipe":
A good amount of quality olive oil
some water
an acidic component, mostly lime/lemon juice
salt, pepper
an umami component like soy sauce, miso or nutritional yeast
a small amount of a sweet component (honey, maple sirup)
fresh herbs like parsley, coriander
fresh garlic if you like
and cashew nuts (presoaked if you don't have a good blender) or cashew cream
If you like you can add a dairy component like sourcream/crème fraiche
Blend until very creamy and store in fridge.

This does not sound simple, but if you make the batch for several days in advance it is so worth it!

Here are some more inspirations:

2 months ago
Lots of valuable feedback, thanks!

Jay’s suggestion to put unsuitable fabric to good use – yes, absolutely! I prefer making fold-up bags out of those or smaller pouches. They always make a nice gift and are practical to have in your purse or car.

Change patterns that don’t suit you: Well, I have basic knowledge in pattern alteration. But I don’t have unlimited time and I do love efficiency, so I also consider the time factor and in that case very much prefer to work with an almost fitting pattern than with one that is wildly off.

Find out who you are and be realistc: I am a good way into that path but still learning. At some stage you have to accept that certain garments just do not work with your frame. But as sewists we do have the means to create garments that do flatter us anyway!

Classic style patterns: Can’t agree more. Don’t go with short-lived fads unless you have your heart set on one gorgeous extravagant pattern. Much more frugal to sew such a thing up than to buy it in a high-end boutique. Indulge yourself from time to time. Sewing as a hobby is still much more frugal overall than owning a yacht or collecting Renoirs.

Inge, I am happy to hear that Burda works for you. I will stay clear off them however.
3 months ago
Frugality in my case is sometimes achieved when I look back on my errors and try to avoid them.

In my case:
* Don't get attracted by beautiful cotton prints on sale. In real life I don't wear much flowery or graphic patterns but prefer subtle colours. Just because they look nice does not mean that you will make something wearable out of them.
* Similarly, don't get attracted by a pattern because you like the model/style but wouldn't wear that yourself (because you don't have the occasion, look, body, overall style)
* Find a pattern company that caters to your size. For me, Vogue, Burda etc. are terrible, they do not fit at all and I have miles of fabric that I have to remove later and still don't have a good fit. I stick to small independent pattern makers where the XS or sometimes S is perfect for me (German patternmakers Pattydoo, freuleins, Lillesol, international Itch to Stitch, Sew Liberated, The Assembly Line and sometimes freebooks).
* If you have found a pattern that fits, make several garments because once you get the hang of it and jotted down all necessary changes it will be quicker and more satisfying. And if you use different fabrics nobody will notice.
There are some blouses I have made more than once and a jeans pattern which I haven sewn in corduroy twice (not talking about the tons of underwear I used to make for my kids - now only the eldest will still wear handmade panties)
3 months ago

Julie Baghaoui wrote:Also have seen the climate referred to as continental Mediterranean. Inland Algeria bordering the Sahara desert

Well, given the location it is quite easy to find more info on the tortoises:
The local testudo graeca is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN.
So be happy that your land is inhabited by this fascinating endangered species!

Remember that the distinction between "useful" and "pest" is doomed to fail because the codependencies of species form a very intricate net, and with extracting one species that we consider "pest" we could endanger the balance of the whole system. Not to mention that one species may act both to our advantage and to our disadvantage depending on their lifecycle and other factors...
When a species becomes harmful it usually means that something has thrown the balance off, e.g. reduction of a predator, monoculture, introduction of non-native species etc.

I would suggest you do some reading on the habits of tortoises and maybe create a little habitat on your acreage for them? Good luck!
3 months ago
As a pruning expert told me last year, any pruning is better than no pruning, and this refers a bit to the timing as well.

Where I live every little town has its horticultural society, and each one is holding a pruning hands-on training in spring. Normally they are on weekends starting beginning of March all through March. The latest date I have seen this year is beginning of April by the beekeepers' association.

But all times from winter to early spring are ok as long as there is no frost, and before the buds start to open.
4 months ago
I like to watch a series on healing / aliviating diseases with food (it is run by our State television with real doctors specialized in nutrition, so something you can rely on).
There were a couple pieces on fibromyalgia.
What helped the patient in the documentation:
Start with fasting (tea, veggie juice broth) for six to ten days, aided with some epsom salts for cleaning the digestive system.
Then go over to a basically plant-based diet with eggs, fish, little meat, linseed and healthy oils (also algae oil, important is the Omega 6 to 3 ratio). Anti-inflammatory spices like cinnamon, curcuma, cumin. No dairy, no starch, no sugar. Drink lots of water.
Both ladies went from heavy pain back to working normally.
In addition one started tai-chi for relaxation and mobility, the other took up nordic walking. Both lost considerable weight.
4 months ago

Ellen Lewis wrote:I know you say you want a skirt, but you also say "they" would prefer a dress.
So, pardon me, but I'm encouraging you to think about a dress instead.

I agree with Ellen that you should consider a dress. A skirt and blouse combo can look a bit frumpy or dated when you don't choose an excellent style.
A dress is more forgiving. I don't need fancy or festive dressing in normal live but two years ago needed something for my eldest daughter's graduation ball. As I am not only frugal but also very small it is hard to find a ready-to-wear dress so I sewed one myself. The bodice is doubled and I copied it roughly from a top I had, then I just added a large, almost circular navy sheer fabric which I don't remember the English or German name for (chiffon?), and added a lining in a matching colour.
The waistline is very high so it would be good for changing weight, almost an empire style waist.
As the skirt is very long you don't have to bother about tights etc.
If you managed to sew the bodice (mine gaped a bit so I added a brooch), you will only need some help with marking the length of the skirt and then need some patience with hemming.

According to location/weather you can add a bolero type jacket (sewn, knitted, or sourced second hand) or simply complete with a nice shawl (one size, can be borrowed).
Anyway, I was complimented on the dress and will probably reuse for next daughter's ball.

4 months ago
Greg is right. There are approximately 24,000 cultivars of daffodils, the species is non-native to North America.
Unfortunately the filled blossoms of this cultivar do offer little or nothing with regards to pollen or nectar, but they are so abundant that they will look great in a vase in the house.
4 months ago
If you don't have an existing hedgerow to work with you can always pile up branches between stakes/poles.
Our version is quite tidy (our meaning our environmental association on one of the community-owned biotops we are managing).
The corn field in the background is not part of our biotop anymore but of the neighbouring farmer. The wood pile serves as a natural barrier to part of the outline of the area.
4 months ago