Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Ok, Michelle, here are the promised photos of the jewelry I've been making lately. This jewelry making technique is called bead weaving. I know they are not high quality pictures, but I didn't want to procrastinate it anymore, plus, let's face it, I'm not a professional photographer. :D I can't find my regular camera so I just used my iPhone. I'm curious to know what you think about me possibly selling my jewelry on Etsy and, if so, what you think I should charge. I haven't moved forward with it because I've been a little unsure. I've found a lot of patterns online and I've watched hours of tutorials on YouTube. I've given a lot of my jewelry away so I don't have pictures of everything I've done, but this gives you a pretty good idea. :) Anyway, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wood burned wood eggs

So I have had a little bee in my bonnet for a few weeks now to use my wood burner on wood eggs to put in my Esty shop for spring/Easter time.
 I had a fantastic Christmas Holiday season at my Etsy shop selling my  Nativity puzzles.  My first puzzle sale for the season was November 4th and between then and now I have made and sold about 70 puzzles!  How did I do this you ask?  My family lost their wife and mother for a couple of months that's how :-/  It was crazy!  By far the version that sold the most was my wood burned water colored dark stained puzzle pictured below. 
My personal favorite is the wood burned two tone stained version.

Anyway needless to say I am Nativity puzzled out for now and need a break from it!
So I was super excited yesterday to get my wood eggs finally in the mail from Casey's wood!  I have been dreaming in my head of what I would do with them once I got them.  So yesterday was one of those days.  You know those days when you are in a funk?  Well I was having one of those days until my wood eggs came and then it was like I was the energizer bunny!  I immediately got to work on them!  Here is what I have come up with so far.  I will be posting them soon on my Etsy store as soon as I have them painted and stained :-)

I also tried my hand at wood burning one of my little Peggie's :-)  I am curious how she will look once she  has been painted. Wood burning things this size takes a lot more time and concentration I can tell you that!

Happy crafting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hoosier Redo

One of the hobbies I love is redoing old furniture and making it look new or totally different. One of the latest redos I've done is this Hoosier. My dad grew up with one is his home - his mom used it daily in their kitchen. He saw one many years ago somewhere and bought it with the idea of fixing it up but it sat for years and years with no luck. I was lucky enough to have it come to me when my dad decided to clean some things out. I immediately went to work on it, not wanting it to sit forever in my garage. I love how it turned out!! It's become a great storage area. I wish I had room for it in my kitchen so I could use the counter top, which pulls out to make a larger space. The other cool thing about it is that it has a flour sifter in it, which I don't use, but it's still cool :) The top cabinet on the left is where my grandmother would have put her flour, and the bottom cabinet on the left is where she would have put her bread bowl to catch the sifted flour.

When redoing furniture, the key to making a painted peice come out really nice and smooth is too sand or strip or prime it evenly, then paint and then sand it again. Lightly sanding between each coat of paint keeps the peice nice and smooth. I sand it heavier if I want an older look, like on this Hoosier. To seal the paint, I use Minwax Finishing Paste, which is a kind of wax. They use it on wood floors and stuff. I apply a light layer of that and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes, then I buff it with steel wool. This way of finishing the peice of furniture gives a really smooth, professional look. I like to call it the Amish finish, like finished furniture would have looked back in the old days. I happen to really like that look. To finish this peice off, I sprayed all of the original hardware with an oil rubbed bronze spray paint, which really makes a nice contrast to the white paint on the Hoosier. I also painted the inside of the cabinets, drawers, and shelves a light sagey green, which was the original color I found while I was sanding it down. Someone else over the years had painted a bright red over the green, but I loved the subtleness of the green, so I went back to the original.

I'll try to post some of the other redos I've done soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back Yard Chickens in the Winter

I love having Back Yard Chickens!  It is one of the best choices I have ever made :-)  We are going into our second winter with our Chickens and if you have taken the plunge at getting  your own back yard chickens and are unsure about how take care of them in the winter,  I thought I would let you know what I have learned over the last two years. 

#1 Chickens are very hardy and do fine in the winter if you follow certain guidelines.

#2 If you want your chickens to continue to lay eggs during the winter you need a light in their coop to simulate the sun.  Naturally chickens want to stop laying eggs in the winter and their bodies tell them to stop when the days get shorter.  I gave my chickens about a month off from laying because it is not good for them to lay constantly, but it was hard on us because there is a huge difference between the taste of the eggs you get at the store and the eggs you get from your own chickens! (the store bought eggs have a sulfur taste) after going off our chicken eggs for a month my 15 year old daughter said she is never eating store bought eggs again!.  If you have a small coop make sure the light is not directly on them because they will get too hot.  I use a infrared light so that it is not so bright on them while they are roosting/sleeping.

#3 Make sure you get Chicken food with a higher protein content in the winter.  In the summer they get plenty of protein from the bugs and things they eat while they are free ranging, but in the winter they don't have that luxury.  I also throw a handful of dog food in with my chickens food each day and they love it!  I like to get the lay mesh Chicken feed from the IFA store.

#4 It might be wise to get a water warmer bowl for the winter so that their water does not freeze.  I have yet to get one because I am too cheap!  So everyday I knock out the frozen left over water and pour in hot water that cools off quickly in the winter air.  Chickens need plenty of water to drink  to lay well.

#5  Keep their coop clean they like to lay eggs in nice fresh straw.  I know it is cold and it is tempting to put it off so you don't freeze your hiny off, but it is worth it for you and for them.

#6 Keep your chickens moving.  It helps them stay warmer.  I like to sprinkle feed outside there coop so that it gets them out and moving on those colder days. 

#7 Keep a heat/light lamp in their coop to keep them warm especially during the really cold winter months.  Like I said Chickens are pretty hardy, but can't handle freezing temperatures without some help.  My neighbor last year had her light go out on her with out her knowing and two of her hens froze to death when tempts went below freezing one night. 

So that is my winter advice for chickens :-)  Let me know if you have any questions.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Orange Cream soda Ice cream!

Saw this on pinterest and had to try it :-) 
The pictures below I took when it was at a sorbet stage, but if you want it like ice cream you need to run your ice cream machine longer until it is thicker. 
Orange soda

                                                                         Root Beer

2 liters of  orange soda (if you want root beer float ice cream you can use root beer)
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
throw it in your ice cream maker and you get a yummy treat!

It turned out really good, but I am curious how it would taste if I did real juice?  I am going to try that next time and and come up with something that tastes more like an orange Julius  :-)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Make your own vintage calendar!

I found this adorable website "The blue door"  she has Betsy McCall paper doll issues from the 1950's -1990's. 
Starting in 1961 every January issue they would have seasonal calendar pictures that you could cut out and past onto blank calendars that you could find at drugstores back then. Here is an example below.
 I thought it would be fun to make My own cute vintage calendar with the modern tools we have now using these cute pictures :-)  Go to The blue door to get the PDF form.  I then used my "My Memories" digital scrap booking program to crop out each seasonal picture and then I found that Vista Print has a 50% off sale on all their custom printed wall calendars making it $7.99 (the cheapest price I found on wall calendars, but you can uses whichever photo center you would like) I sent all the pics over to Vista print and I dragged them into the blank calendar spaces for each month. Once you drag into the spot vista print lets you edit/ crop the photo so it is a perfect fit.   Yay! It turned out so cute! I can't wait to get it! 

 This would make a great gift for family and relatives for Christmas! Or a fun January gift :-) That way they are ready for the new year with their new calendar with customized important dates :-)