Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Where oh where does the time go?!

I just can’t believe it has been so long since I posted something here!  I have been busy – but not that busy. 

Lots has happened (and is always happening), but I really, really want to be better at blogging.  So a mini-update:  Last spring we got 9 chickens; two were lunch for a snake, one was a rooster so we found a new home for him and the other six (Daisy, Sweet Pea, Violet, Petunia, Thelma and Louise) became excellent layers.  We got six eggs a day, two of which were colored (blue and pinkish tan).  All was well and we were one big happy family until the ladies decided to roam!  They went to the neighbor’s yard and dug up her flower beds and the solar lights on the driveway.  I refused to have chickens cooped up all the time and wanted them to be as free as possible, so my only option was to move them.  My stepson lives on eight acres so he took them and they seem happy with lots of wide open spaces.  Right now I am raising six more little chicks until they are big enough for him to take over.  Fingers crossed that we don’t have another snake incident!!!

My stepdaughter and I now have a booth in an antique mall.  I did this many years ago and after quitting I never really got over the buying part.  This is only our first month, but we are doing well and really enjoying the hunt!  Of course, some things never will make it to the booth. ;-)  We are looking forward to our trip to the annual Round Top Antiques Fair in a couple of weeks.  If you live in Texas and have never been, it’s a “must”.

One of the projects that I have accomplished lately is a makeover of our kitchen table and chairs.  I bought this in the fall from a local online sale and redid the chairs fairly quickly.  It took me a little longer to get around to the top because I knew it was going to be a little more difficult.  Finally finished it this week.

Before . . .

table before

After . . .


I have never had so much trouble stripping a table!  I stripped it, stained it and when I put the polyurethane on, it dissolved the stain.  I had waited the hour as directed.   Okay, stripped it again, really getting all of the old stain off.  Waited 3 hours; same thing happened.  This time I only tested a small spot.  So I called it a night and tried again around noon the next day and, thankfully, it was okay.  So, I guess I will never trust directions again.  The label said that it dried 75% quicker than other stains.  

I wanted to strip it because it had this finish and a few bad places:

table top

Got rid of those little specks and it looks like this:

table top after

Hope you are having the beautiful weather that we are having right now.  I know it might change any day, so I’m trying to make the best of it. 

Happy First Day of Spring tomorrow!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eggs . . . finally!


My six hens have started laying!!!  We are getting two a day – they are not very big, but I am still proud of them.  We have two hens that are supposed to lay colored eggs so I know they haven’t started laying yet.  Can’t wait for that day.

We started out with 9 chicks.  Two were eaten by a snake and out of the 7 left, one turned out to be a rooster and he just had to go – he was just too mean for me!!  Six is what I thought I wanted anyway so it all worked out okay.

I’ll have to post the “chicken tractor” that my husband built for them soon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bluebird Eggs

We have several bluebird nesting boxes and every season we have at least a couple of families.  I don’t know why, but last month the bluebirds abandoned the eggs in one nest.   We kept watching and they weren’t coming back.  They are so beautiful – I just had to keep them.

I collect bird nests (for no real reason other than I think they are works of art) so I put a feather in one, along with the three eggs.   I would have preferred that the eggs hatched, but since they didn’t, I will enjoy them!

blue bird eggs

I also save wasp nests, butterflies, etc.

What is wrong with me!!!

bluebird eggs 2

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My new favorite

hanging basket.

black-eyed susan vine

Black-eyed Susan Vine.

Don’t you just love it?!  I just read online how to save the seeds and I’d love to do that and next year have it growing all over my herb garden fence.

I sure have been “missing in action lately”, but I’m back on track now.  Lots of projects waiting in the wings and I hope to post about them!

See you later . . .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Birdie Sling Pattern – modified

I absolutely love this Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern, but it seemed a little too big for every day for me.  So I reduced it on a copy machine to 80% and I think it is just about perfect.

I had some drop cloth fabric on hand so decided to try the pattern out before I used my “real” fabric.  Actually, I really like it with the black bands and handle.  I added some drop cloth rosettes for a little embellishment.


Because I made the bag smaller, I thought a thinner strap looked better.  I also added a magnetic snap which was not called for in the pattern.

Here’s the inside (for a little “excitement”).

inside bag

Now that I have tried the pattern, I will definitely make it again in some fun spring-like fabric and might even go a little bit larger.  I would never overlook a pattern that I like because it is too big or too small.  You can always adjust the size on a copier.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I just love Mother Nature . . .

For about a month we have been “babysitting” for Mother Nature.  I discovered this horrible looking caterpillar on my Meyer Lemon tree one day and, after, researching it on the internet, learned that it is called “bird dropping caterpillar” (and I’m sure you can see why).


I became so fascinated that I put it in a jar with some lemon leaves and watched it grow.  After about a week and a half I found two more of these creatures and added them to the jar with a stick.

About 2 weeks later they started going into the next stage and eventually looked like this:
(this picture is taken up against my husband’s t-shirt)


Can you see them?  The two things that look like little branches on the left side.  There were actually three of them on the stick.

Finally, last Saturday night, we came home to find that the first one had emerged and was trying to fly around in the jar – stick and all.


I didn’t want him/her to die so I put it outside on a table on the porch and it remained there, without moving for several days.  I kept checking on it because it wasn’t moving.  The weather was changing so I brought it in and put it in the guest bathroom (which is hardly used) and closed the door.  (I put water and some hummingbird nectar in there, but it never ate.)  Well, here it is a week later and he/she has become a pet. 


I have been reading up on these Black Swallowtail butterflies and learned that they don’t migrate and if they reach adulthood when the weather is turning cold, they will hibernate.   So, as much as I hated to do it, I put him/her outside today on the lemon tree where I discovered it.  Even going outside in the wind, it stayed on my finger and I had to pry it off to put it on the lemon leaf.


I miss him/her already!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Count your blessings . . .


Enjoy your food, family and football today and please don’t forget to give thanks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where does the time go?

So much to do . . . too little time!

And here I am playing with old broken jewelry.
I decided to make some jewelry out of vintage and other pieces of jewelry and parts.  There is actually quite a bit of this out there on ebay.

Today I listed two pieces.

A necklace with an owl, a locket, button cover, flower, heart and broken and random earrings


and a bracelet that has a pendant that says “pretty is as pretty does”, earrings, locket, button cover, key and beads.


You have to like “junky” to like these, but they are right up my alley!  Hope they sell because I have lots more parts where these came from!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A transformation . . .

This . . .



Used to be this . . .









(Sorry I couldn’t get it in the house and dress it up, but just couldn’t do it.  :-(

I bought this old stereo cabinet for $10 at a garage sale. 
It is very heavy – solid wood.  The “guts” and back had been removed.   My husband put a new floor in it and a back on it.  I replaced the shredded fabric with wire.   The top was stained darker and the rest was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Country Grey with a waxed finish.

I think now it is a perfect storage piece or even could be used for the DVR/speakers for a TV.   It is going in the parking lot sale this weekend.  What do you think – how much should I ask for it?

Friday, September 30, 2011

My first chalk paint project

I finally got around to buying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to redo some furniture that I am going to sell in a “parking lot sale” next week. 

Here is the first table I did.


Table 1


Table 3

Table 2

I painted it with Chateau Grey on the top and legs and Country Grey on the front and sides.   I have got to say that this is the easiest painting I have done (and I’ve done a lot).  I love the fact that I didn’t have a lot of preliminary work to do.   I finished the piece with dark wax – probably the hardest part of the project!  

I have four more pieces I am working on for the sale which I’ll share later.  One of them is turning out really cool – it’s was an old stereo cabinet in its former life and now it will be a great storage/console table.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In rememberance . . .


Ten years . . . we are older, but are we wiser?  

All of our lives were changed in some way by this terribly tragic event.   We must remember those who were lost and their loved ones and those that survived and have been changed forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I made yet another bag . . .

Okay, I like to sew and I have a thing about the “specifications” of my purse. 
It can only have one handle, must have several inside and at least one outside pocket, can’t be too big – you get the picture.  So I am always on the hunt for a new purse pattern.

I came across one and thought it looked interesting.  I made one out of some (boring) fabric I had just to see what modifications I should make.  I added some inches to the bag and the handle and I liked it.

I found some fabric that I knew would make it a lot cuter and here it is.  First of all I’ll show you how simple the pattern is.   This is the whole bag (well, at least one side).


Here it is with an outside pocket that I added (pattern didn’t call for one).  I really wanted to match the design on this side, but didn’t have enough fabric.  I figured it is so busy anyway, who would notice.  ;=)

It has inside pockets that go all the way around.


So, to close the bag, you slip the long handle through the short side.  I added about 6” to the pattern so I could carry it on my shoulder.


Here is a link to the pattern:


Monday, August 29, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhhh . . .

It may not be much, but it is RAIN!!!   Yes rain, splashing down the tulip downspout off the porch.  I swear I can almost hear a sigh of relief from the grass and shrubs.  Just look at the color of the grass on the other side of the deck.  Will we ever recover from this drought and heat?! 

If only we could relieve some of those folks in the northeast of their flood water, we could all be happier.

The 100+ degree weather is supposed be come to an end this week.  Thank you Lord . . . and we’ll take all the rain we can get!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I can only imagine . . .

what this would feel like again.


I promise to never, ever say I am tired of the snow (if we ever get it again). 

Last night when my husband came home at 9:00 p.m., it was still 100 degrees!   Will someone please close the oven door?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I wish I could share . . .


I have given away bags and bags of tomatoes.

I have
frozen them;
made fried green tomatoes;
pickled green tomatoes;
tomatoes and okra;
cucumber and tomato salads
and lots of tomato sandwiches.

And now I have a tree full of figs and don’t really know what to do with them --  I can’t even find anyone who really likes them.  Last night I made a small batch of fig preserves to see if we would like that and that recipe may be a winner.  If so, I’ll probably be giving jars of fig preserves to everyone I know.

In spite of the horrible heat wave, the garden has been good to us this year.
Wish I could share some of our bounty with you!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Button Heaven . . .

Have you ever had a day when you just couldn’t get up enough energy to do anything constructive?  I actually hate those days because I feel worthless.  Well, that’s me today.  My husband left early to do some work at church and I just went from watching TV to watering some plants to laying down . . . well, you get the picture. 

Then, he came home!!!   He had stopped at an estate sale and brought me a “present”.    A big vase full of buttons.   I LOVE buttons . . . any buttons. . . but especially old buttons like these.  Instant energy.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  ;-)

Gotta go – I have buttons to sort!!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our garden overfloweth . . .


I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. . .

My husband loves to plant a garden and I do love the vegetables, but  why, oh why, do they all have to come at the same time!   I have made 10 loaves of zucchini bread, 5 casseroles (in the freezer), sliced zucchini for soup later and froze bags of shredded zucchini for more bread. 

Now, here come the cucumbers!  I really must find an easy pickle recipe before they take over my kitchen. 

I am about to start frying green tomatoes because there are so many on the vine that if they all start ripening at the same time I will have to give them away.  (I don’t mind sharing our bounty, but I LOVE tomatoes.)

And figs – I don’t even want to go there.  Our tree is heavy with half-ripe figs and we don’t even like them.  Now those, I would happily give to a new home.

We do love this zucchini bread recipe though so I thought I’d share it.  It makes 2 loves and freezes well.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp. each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt
3 cups flour
3 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.   Spray two 5 x 8 loaf pans with cooking spray.  Beat together eggs, sugar and oil.   Sift together baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour.  Mix flour mixture together with egg mixture and add zucchini, vanilla, coconut (and nuts).  Mix well.   Bake for 1 hour. 
(I mix all of this by hand.)


Monday, May 2, 2011

A new life for an old piece . . .

Several years ago I bought this chest of drawers at an auction. 
It had been in a fire, but only had smoke damage.  I’m in the mood to change things up a bit at home and get rid of things, but I needed more storage in our little TV room so I decided to tackle this chest.

Evidently the two bottom drawers had been somewhere else at the time of the fire and the chest had already been painted white.

before 2

Buttons and a plate had been on the furniture at the time of the fire.

before 1 before 4

So, I cleaned it well (but it was still dark gray) and painted it with Valspar “oops” paint that had a primer in it and was just a neutral color.  Happily, it only took one coat to cover.

A la Miss Mustard Seed, I had hoped to distress it and use a brown finishing wax.  I am definitely not in her league so I couldn’t bring myself to pay the price for the waxes I found (almost $20).  (Some day I will because I really like a waxed finish on furniture.)

Many years ago I did a similar treatment with brown shoe polish so I decided to go the frugal route and use that again.  I used a neutral wax on top for more protection.  I didn’t get the great look that she does and I wasn’t able to distress it because the black was showing through when I sanded, but I am satisfied with the result.   I might add a little more of the brown after I paint and decorate this room.  Right now, the wall and chest are very similar in color.  I’ll update this after I check a few other projects off my list!!


A close up . . .


Sunday, April 24, 2011

A wonderful Easter celebration . . .


Praise the Lord!

Today we had Easter services at the land where our new church is being built.  We had hoped to be in the new building for today’s services, but it wasn’t complete enough to meet inside.  So the plans were to all bring chairs and worship outside.  We held our breaths, prayed and took a leap of faith that the weather would hold out.   Our weather has been terribly windy lately and there were storms last night, but this morning it was just a little overcast with a nice breeze. 

We started going to this church two years ago when the average attendance was 50.  When we began the building process a few months ago there were usually a little over 100 every Sunday.  Today, believe it or not, there were 400 celebrating this wonderful Easter!!! 

The sun came out during the service and it was a truly glorious day, in every respect.

As I said – Praise the Lord!
I hope you, too, had a wonderful day with your family.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here comes Peter Cottontail . . .

A few weeks ago we had a new family of cottontail rabbits born in our pasture under a garden cart.  I have lots of families born in my herb garden every year, but we have never found a nest in the pasture.

Those mama rabbits really know how to build a “nursery” – she digs out a little hole, lines it with her fur and covers it with grass.  My husband discovered the nest by accident and covered it back up with the cart.  After checking on it every few days, he saw that they had all left.   All except one who keeps hanging around the barn. 

The baby is not afraid of my husband and will let him get right up to it and pick it up.  He wears a glove in the hopes that the mama rabbit won’t abandon it (if she is even still around).

So here is a quick picture I took of the little guy/girl – only about 3” long.  I almost think it wants to be a pet rather than a wild rabbit.