Saturday, January 3, 2015

Nest box warmer

Well snow is headed our way and this week, I had my first frozen egg of the season.  If the membrane is intact, you can save them but I don't really like taking the chance of any bacteria getting inside.  I decided to try making a warmer that I can microwave and also wipe off to keep clean.  Sitting in my sewing room looking through fabric, I had yards of yellow from a Wizard of Oz Halloween day at work :) Absolutely loved that costume.

 This yellow brick road was washed up, cut into squares 10x10 and ready to go. If you want to make a warmer yourself, cut the inside fabric the size of your nest boxes and stitch all the way around leaving a little opening at the top and fill with rice, corn or beans.  Up to you if you want to sew right sides together and turn it, I did, but it's going in a coop, so don't stress.  Stitch the opening closed and then your bag to heat is ready.
Your oilcloth pouch should be cut with some extra allowance for the seam and a couple inches on top for a flap to close.  I purchased this oilcloth from Oilcloth by the Yard and there are so many fun patterns.  After the sides are stitched, I just added a couple circles of Velcro on the flap.

There!  Ok, now microwave the cotton pouch ONLY for about a minute, then place inside the oilcloth and put in your nest box. Do not microwave the oilcloth.   I'll add a thick layer of shavings on top of this to hopefully keep the eggs from cooking and the pouch to get soiled.  I'll add it in the morning and see how the chickies like it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Pop-Up Shop

The time has come to begin thinking about Christmas, gathering with family and friends and maybe braving the shopping malls for gifts to buy.  If you're like me, you enjoy this time of year and thinking of that perfect gift for someone.  I also really like handmade gifts, whether I'm making something up for someone else or I'm buying something handmade.  It may be more expensive and yes, you can just run to your local big box store, but making or receiving a gift made with love, is just better. At least in my opinion.  Lately I've been working on some quilts, stockings and some other orders that have come in.  But I also was accepted to the Handmade Promenade Pop Up Shop in Indianapolis.  I'll get to sell my items this holiday season at a shop on Mass. Ave with many other local artists.  Here is the flyer to check out!

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I've got to get busy making some more items to drop off there next week.  Should be fun!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

New chick in town

I got new baby chicks a couple weeks ago at Agrarian.  Love this store so much! They were getting ready for their Tour De Coops event and had three little Barred Rocks left so... home they went. I have named them Pepper, Sage and Nutmeg but cannot tell them apart.  Anyone know where you can buy safe little colored bands for their legs? Don't mind the water, they constantly kick shavings up, so I finally raised it up on a paver until they go outside soon. Got that vintage waterer at an antique store!
 I haven't visited that store in awhile since it's not too close to me, but I saw something new this time - a chicken buffet bar.  Perfect!  Whenever I go to PetCo, I always go to the treat bar for Mollie so this is great.  I got a large mixture of flax seed, barley, oats, cracked corn and rye.  And I have the perfect little metal pail and tin cup to hold it- another antique find.
I also thought I needed something for me from Agrarian and saw that they now carry Beeswrap! It's a fabric covered in beeswax and it softens with the warmth of your hand to replace plastic wrap. After you've molded it around the food, it then hardens again.  I've seen this stuff on other blogs, so I got the assorted sizes pack and it really does work well.  I made a BLT the other day and just wrapped up a tomato and was able to put it in the fridge.  You just wash the wrap off when done and reuse again! I think I want to buy more and eventually only use this and foil since I can reuse foil several times, too. 

Here's the backyard farm in full swing!  This weather has been great and I'm loving the fall nights and summer days. :) 
Luffa gourd growing like crazy in the raised bed and my Meyer lemons are finally turning yellow!

Some of my canning this year- sauces, pickles, jams and relish. 

Now, back to sewing for the busy Christmas season....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer pasta recipe

This time of year, I'm up to my ears in tomatoes and zucchini so I like to make a summer pasta.  Pretty much any veggies I have growing, can be sauteed and thrown in here. You can customize the dish with flavored salts, herbs, different vegetables, whatever you like! It's simple, just saute some chopped onion and garlic in a little oil in your skillet.  After the onion is translucent, I added some chopped yellow bell pepper and herb butter.  Make it, so easy and great for cooking.  Take a stick of softened butter, put in food processor and with chopped up herbs from your garden.  I think my combo this time was basil, thyme and parsley.  Then scoop the butter out onto some waxed paper and roll up and twist the ends.  Store in the fridge and it's ready whenever you need to slice some off!
 Back to recipe- Ok, I sliced up some grape tomatoes and zucchini from my garden and added that to the skillet, too.
 Meanwhile, I was boiling water and added a couple cups of some pasta I had.  This one is some whole wheat penne from Trader Joes.  Salt the water and once it's to a rolling boil, add pasta and let cook until al dente or just a little chewy, about 7-9 minutes.
 Then drain pasta, reserve a little pasta water if you like.  I pour the cooked penne in the skillet and stir everything around, add plenty of salt and pepper to taste and some grated cheese.  I had some Asiago and it added a great flavor.  Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Craft show season

Started the craft show season this past Saturday at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg, IN.  Had a great show, met lots of interesting people and saw some good talented items and artists.  My booth looked good using my new EZ up tent.  Turned out to be a hot, sunny day so was nice to have a good covering.  My family also showed up, which always helps the day go by better instead of sitting there all alone. Plus, it was my dad's first outing since his surgery so that was also great! :) 

What shows have you crafters been to?  I'm going to set up a booth in Lebanon at the Back to the 50's Festival, but want to check out some more, either to sell or buy from!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th!

The Fourth of July is definitely one of my favorite holidays.  I spruced up the coop and added a homemade bandanna bunting, planted some marigolds to keep the pests away and added a little picket fence.  I think the girls loved it.  My mammoth sunflowers in the back have really grown!

We had the Symphony at Sunset, checked out the new park pool, parade, cookout, water balloon fight, went to the carnival and watched fireworks that night.  Perfect!

I was off work that week and really caught up on sewing for my next craft fair - July 19th in Brownsburg, IN if you're nearby ! Sounds like there will be a lot to see and do!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Birds of a Feather...

Here is my garden in progress now!  Just had to be patient but finally with the warm weather and rains, everything is blooming and doing great.  I'll have some great veggies to put up soon this summer and have already been eating lots of salads with radishes and carrots.

While I was watering and weeding the other day, I kept hearing a bunch of  peeping.  I was gathering some good garden peas and look over to see this.  See it?  A cute chicken clucking away and looking inside the dog house?
No, look closer...
How about now? 
Yep, a baby robin perched away on my beagle's doggy bed.  Probably the same baby bird that my boyfriend recently rescued after he fell out of the nest and was hopping around to follow one of my Bantam chickens.  I was worried he would get pecked to death, so he put him back in the nest while I flapped around the yard to keep Momma Robin away.  

So, cute and all but the chickens all kept trying to find the baby birds and Momma again was squawking and trying to peck my eyes out when I would go anywhere.  I was able for the most part to keep them away and I think he learned how to fly later and took off.  Good thing, because I've read that wild birds carry some bad diseases like Newcastle disease that can wipe out my whole egg laying flock! Anyone else have good ways to keep wild birds out of your yard?  I usually knock down their nests in the beginning and have all the birdfeeders in the front yard to discourage them from finding the back yard.