Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY Burlap Wreath

I will start by saying that I am probably one of the last people to make a burlap wreath.  I researched how to make one, and boy there are a lot of different ways!  I like to make my DIY projects as easy as possible and because I am cheap frugal, I don't like to waste a lot of material.  With that being said, I started this project over a few times, hoping to use only one roll of burlap, but in the end I used a tad bit more than one roll to get the look that I wanted.  

After getting into the groove of this method, it is easy to make.  This tutorial is going to have a lot of pictures, which I hope makes it easy to understand.  

What you will need:

metal wreath form (I used 16 inch)
1 - 2 packages (15 yards each) of 4 inch wide burlap

Fold one end of the burlap in half.

Then fold it in half again.
(I only did this at the beginning - it makes getting started easier.)

To start, go under the outer opening, up through the middle opening, then down through the top opening.  Leave a little tail to tuck and hide at the end.

First step is from the bottom, pull up some burlap through the inner opening.

Second step is from the bottom, pull up some burlap through the middle opening.
Do this while holding the first one in place.

Third step is from the bottom, pull up more burlap through the outer opening, keeping the other loops in place.  All three loops should be about the same size (2 - 3 inches tall).

On the back of the wreath, twist the burlap.

Now do the same thing, except start pulling up some burlap through the outer opening, then middle opening, then inner opening.

Scrunch the loops by pushing them together (for a fuller look).

Twist again.

Continue along using the PULL, SCRUNCH, TWIST method, alternating where you start looping (outer or inner opening).

When you are at the end of one roll, leave a tail (will tuck and hide later).
Start a new roll just like when you began making the wreath, leaving a tail.
Continue doing the PULL, SCRUNCH, TWIST.

Cut off left over burlap when finished, leaving a tail.

At this point go back and tuck in all the tails and trim any stray burlap.

I love how this looks on its own, but have some great ideas for embellishments.  
I will share some Christmas ideas next week.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I am a contributor to Community Chickens

My first article was published today and I am egg-cited ;-)

Click here to read my article.  I tell the story of how we got our first flock of chickens.  They chirped the most beautiful music on the way home.  Nothing on the radio could compare, not even my beloved 80's music.

Click on the picture above to be directed to Community Chickens.

Community Chickens is a website that serves as a resource for poultry information.  Topics covered vary from poultry, eggs, coops, products, recipes, stories and so much more.  They also publish a FREE e-newsletter.  You can sign up on the website to have it e-mailed to you.  The concept of Community Chickens was put together by Mother Earth News and Grit magazines.

Community Chickens has some very talented bloggers and writers that offer valuable information and tips.  I am honored to be in the company of such talented people.   

Where ever you are on your chicken journey...

- you live in a neighborhood with a couple of backyard chickens
- you live on a couple acres and have a few chickens
- you live on a large farm or ranch and have lots of chickens
- you are dreaming of having chickens

...I hope you will find some egg-celent information at Community Chickens.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Homemade CHRISTMAS cards

I have a love / hate relationship with store bought cards.  One of my biggest complaints is the price of cards - they can be quite expensive!

Over the years, my girls have attended many birthday parties (especially when they were younger).  Rarely did we purchase a birthday card.  The girls would make one...some paper and stickers (from my scrapbook stash)....Bam...there you go...a homemade card!  Seriously, how many of those kids actually read the sentiment inside the card, yet alone save the card?  I just feel like it can be a waste of money.

Even a Get Well card or Thinking Of You card - many times, that's really all I want to say.  Simple and to the point.  Not the blah blah blah.

Hopefully I didn't offend anyone.  Now with that said, I must admit....sometimes store bought cards are the way to go.  Sympathy cards for example - I want to send a card, but this is a case of  'What do I say?' or  'How do I say it?'  After standing and looking at many cards (which is another part of the hate relationship I have with store bought cards - there are so many to choose from), I find the perfect poem or saying...something that I could not have came up with on my own.  

Christmas cards
There are some beautiful cards out there, some worthy of putting in a frame (which I have done).  But I can get lost in the wording.  And again, they can be expensive.  I send a lot of Christmas cards - family (I have a big one), friends and church family.   This year, I just want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The girls had a snow day off from school yesterday and we made Christmas cards!  I may have a little OCD with things being done a certain way - centered, spaced correctly, the right amount of ink, cleaning the stamps, .... you get my problem.  I have to make a conscious effort at times to keep myself in check.  Yesterday, I made that conscious effort and it was sooooo worth it!  I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to start listening to Christmas music but, hey, we were making Christmas cards!  So....we played Christmas music, had a fire, and we made cards!  

I recently purchased an embossing machine from a stamping party that I attended.  We used it for the first time to emboss some pre-folded cards that I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby.   I really like the texture and look that it gives.  

We used stamps that I have bought over time (on sale or with coupons).  We used snowflakes and Merry Christmas stamps with silver ink.  

For the i in Christmas and the center of some of the snowflakes we glued a rhinestone for a little pizazz. That's it!  Homemade...from the heart...to the point.  

It will be time to sign our names and mail them before we know it ;-)

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Monday, November 17, 2014

I Love Snow!

Snow at LL Farm this morning:

Up close of the weather vane....can't even tell that is a rooster.

Bogo is not so sure she wants to come out of the barn.
She is actually cute, but this picture makes her look at little creepy.  (I say that with love of course.)

Are they playing peek-a-boo under the pine tree?  
Please don't chew any more of that tree!!!

At first, the ladies said "Oh no!  We are going back in."

This one took advantage of the outdoor roost that I cleaned off for them.
I gave them lettuce and kale this morning with their layer pellets, 
so they all decided to come back out ;-)

Can I pleeeaaase come in?
I don't know if you can tell in this picture, but Lola's eyes are very special....
one eye is blue on top and brown on the bottom,
the other eye is brown on top and blue on the bottom.

The creek is not frozen.

I love the look of snow on the trees.  So pretty!

The secret house isn't so hidden anymore.
To read about the secret house, click here.

Back inside.....

Ginger is watching the snow come down through the window. 
She thanked me for the warm house.

Yes, I did..........
I let the 'outside' dog come in the house.  (She hasn't had a potty accident yet.)
How could I say no to those pleading eyes?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alpaca and Kitten...more love

"Hug me."

Marina, the kitten and our husky/lab dog get along great.  They play together daily, and they share breakfast most mornings.  I'm telling ya...she is going to start talking like this:  "meow (cat), woof (dog), hhmmm (alpaca), because she eats their food.

  The problem is that our dog likes to put Marina in her mouth and play with her, and Marina allows it!  We have tried to discourage it when we see it.  It went a little too far recently.  Marina was shook up and a little wobbly for a while, but she is doing much better now.  I kept her in a kennel with food, water and kitty litter in the garage for a few days.  I even cancelled the vet appointment that I had for her to be spayed. 

I worried about her being away from Cashmere (her adopted mom, the alpaca) during that time.  To read the post about Cashmere adopting Marina click here.  I considered putting Marina in the kennel in the barn stall, but I wanted her close to the house, so I could keep a watchful eye on her.

Once I let her roam freely again, I kept a careful watch on her and the dog.  I also kept watch to see how Cashmere was toward her....I didn't know if the time apart would affect the relationship.  I am happy to announce that they still get a long great!  Adopted mother and daughter bond still in tact.  In the picture above, Marina seems to be stretching out for a hug.  The two of them together just melts my heart....so sweet.

I hope you enjoy the pictures I recently took of them.

"Hey, wait for me!  I'm back, but still a little weak."

"I am so glad you're back.  How do you feel?"


"Oh I missed you."

"Hey is that water cold?"

"Let's pose for that crazy lady taking pictures."

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Friday, November 7, 2014

DIY bathroom vanity

Do you remember the old time well pumps like this?

As a child, we had one, and so did my grandparents.  They have been replaced with fancy ones...you know, where now all you need to do is pull up the lever instead of pumping, pumping, pumping until water started to flow (smile).   The look of those from yesteryear brings a feeling of heritage, simpler times, hard work, and to be honest, beauty.  I love the look of them.

I love the look of them so much that I have one!  

Well, not really...
I have a look a like...
In my bathroom..
It is a faucet!

It has been such a conversation piece.  After we completed the house, I heard my mom telling someone that it was her favorite part of the entire house.

We purchased the bathroom cabinet and also a counter top slab (both in stock at a home improvement store).  Handy Hubby custom made it by cutting a hole in the slab, inserting a sink bowl, and installing the faucet.  I know there is more technical stuff to it than that (like plumbing, adhesive, caulking, etc.), but you get the jist of it ;-)

I like having the sink off to one side of the vanity...we don't need double sinks in our bathroom.  I keep stuff that I use daily tucked away, on a tray in the corner.  Having the space (instead of another sink) allows room for 'getting ready' - hair stuff and make-up.

Handy Hubby also custom made the vanity for the girls' bathroom.  Same concept except they do have a double vanity.

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