Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Christmas Gift ~ Hand Blown Glass Ornament

Take a look at these beautiful hand blown glass ornaments with a Seussian swirl!  Aren't they absolutely lovely?  My son purchased both of these at a craft fair last November in Elizabeth, Illinois from a local artisan.  They are marvelous. 
Here is the first ornament. It has a swirl made up of 8 different colors divided by cobalt blue glass.  It almost looks air brushed from far away...
 Upon a closer inspection, the viewer can see the different bands of color.  My son chose this ornament for himself.

Here is the second ornament.  He surprised me with an early Christmas gift of this lovely ball.  It is so cool.  The colors are mixed with the same cobalt blue glass.   It reminds me of an ornament out of one of Dr. Seuss's books!  I just love it!! 

The gentlemen that sold these told my son that if they should ever be damaged, he will gladly do repairs.  How odd is that to hear nowadays?  I try so hard not to be a part of the throw away society movement.  It warms my heart to know that my son values the work of others and purchases gifts that are true heirlooms. 

**Note**  Farmerboy also picked up a hand painted ball ornament with an old Minneapolis Moline Z painted on it.  The Artist said that she likes to pick an odd tractor here and there to grace her ornaments.  She made my son very happy. :)

It amazes me how my kid can gift me with items that I haven't even thought of, and they are so perfect for me.  This ornament is a true treasure.  I was informed that the artist also creates ornaments in different shapes.  I can see this as the beginning of an amazing collection!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to Make Rice & Wool Microwaveable Hand Warmers from an Upcycled Sweater

Here is a quick "how to" for an inexpensive Christmas gift -- wool and rice microwaveable  hand warmers.  Not only is it a present that is absolutely perfect for the chill ridden season, it is also a fun project to get you into that Christmassy mood!   If you don't have a wool sweater laying around your house, head to the local thrift store and give them a sale for the holiday season. :)   Purchase a 75% to 100% wool sweater that is dry clean only (the ingredients for a great felting sweater ;) ).   Next, wash the sweater with some detergent on hot.  Once the washing is done, you should see that the knitting stitches are almost lost in the intermeshing of fibers.  Finally, throw it in the dryer and get ready for a wintery project.
Here is an oversized vest that I felted from my local thrift store.  It came to the store with a few holes in it.  The ladies are smart enough to still put it out for sale, because us wool lovers are waiting to snatch up a deal! ;)  Just think of how many warmers a crafty seamstress could get out of one oversized vest... *sigh*

Originally, my thought was to do two different sizes of warmers.  But after getting the first set made, I decided the second size would be too big for my needs.  So, the template size for my hand warmers was 3 by 4 inches.  Four rectangles will be needed to make a pair.  Place them wrong sides together and fastened them well with pins, since wool has a tendency to shift shape while sewing.

The best thing about this project is that you simply just sew around the outside edge of the rectangle, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.   Start sewing your warmers by going forward and reverse to lock your thread and start to head around each side.  Stop within a half of an inch of the starting point, lock your thread again and cut your piece free of the machine.  Using a funnel (I bought a cheap 3 pack from the dollar store.), fill your little bag 3/4 full of rice (also purchased at the dollar store).  To finish, you can either sew the hole by hand or use your machine.

How much simpler can it be?  (This project would be great for me to  use up some of those sweater remnants that are in my stash.  Yay!)  They are perfect for holding in ones hands, placing in  pockets or sticking inside mittens.  All one has to do is pop them in the microwave for 30 to 35 seconds to warm them up.  I know it doesn't seem that long, but they can get REALLY hot... Trust me.   So, be careful handling them and make sure that they are not damp- prior to heating- in any way.  These of course are not washable but can be cleaned on the surface with a wet cloth.

This particular pair is heading to the home of my younger sister for a test run.  She works for her local school system (First through third grade... YIKES) and her normal routine has her outside with the kids for short periods of time.  Similar hand warmers have been rumored to hold heat for up to 25 minutes.    I will let her put them to the test! ;)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Children's Book Fabric ~ Seuss, Schulz & Berenstain

I hope that everyone had a Spooky and Happy Halloween.  It was dank, misty and cool here.  Thank the heavens that the misty part let up during the bewitching trick or treat hours.  I had plenty of popcorn balls and candy bars waiting for the little ghouls.  It stayed steadily busy and was a fun time getting to see the trick or treators from previous years bring their little ones.  Time marches on! :)
And what have I done on these chilly nights?  I have been catching up with the designs from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  You all know my love of children's books, and Kaufman Fabrics with their rich colors and fine details capture the spirit of some of my favorites perfectly.  I thought I would share a few of my latest purchases...
Fat quarter bundles have not been an area that I have stocked up on, but it is a nice way to get a smattering of a line to throw into a quilt.  A nice solid could be purchased at any time to get the project underway.  Here is a bundle of  "Green Eggs and Ham"  (I do... I do... Love Sam I am!) and "Oh The Places You'll Go".  "Green Eggs and Ham"  is classic Seuss, and "Oh The Places You'll Go"  was one of Seuss' later books that has always struck me as being a reflective look at life in general... an inspiring read.  These fabrics and those that follow will be used for gifts or donations and will have a book to go alongside them.  I am loving these themes! :)

EBay anyone?  This was put up for auction at 99 cents.  It was an untouched package from the Fat Quarter Shop.  It contained over 6+ yards of Berenstain Bear fabric and an additional 3+ yards of plain navy.  The auction ended with my spending  $8.99 total to get the package to my door.  Score!!

I haven't been keeping up with the designs coming onto the market and absolutely flipped over finding this postcard fabric from "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".  The black background makes the gorgeous fall colors pop off the fabric.  Plus... a scene containing my favorite line of the holiday special "P.S.  If you really are a fake, don't tell me.  I don't want to know."  *Priceless*

After finding the tip of "The Great Pumpkin" iceberg, a little more digging found a panel and individual scenes from the holiday special.  You have to see this in person.  The colors are so spectacular, and the large panel with Linus in the middle of the pumpkin patch melts my heart.

The fabric with the sprinkle of pumpkins and the title "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" will be great to mix into the fall themed quilt.  I also spotted some panels of  "A Charlie Brown Christmas" that had to come home to me.  My only regret is that they neglected to add a scene of Linus telling the Christmas Story, which I felt was the main point of the program. ** Plus a little added factoid, it was the part of the special that Charles Schulz himself insisted would stay as written, after sponsors requested that it be cut.  Bless him for staying true to his beliefs.  So... if any of my blogging friends know of this scene being produced on fabric,  would you please let me know.  I cannot ever see completing one of these quilts without it.  :( 


Just a little life note...  As of October 1st, I was moved up to full time at my job and given an extra task to take care of during the upcoming year.  The past few weeks have been a boot camp of sorts, but I am happy to report that I have survived, and the scheduler in me should have my daytime work hours running more smoothly.  Yay! 

Meanwhile back at the ranch ;)... I am back to creating in the evening hours and blogging, and it feels wonderful.  I finally have a set schedule!

To celebrate the impending holiday season, I have left the television on the Hallmark channel this weekend, as I move around the house.  They have some fun original holiday programming.  The story lines remind me of the old AMC movies but in color.  :)   A cup of tea, some wool, and a creative project on a frosty Sunday morning is just what the serene doctor ordered.

On a funny note... I took a huge amount of mugs to the thrift store at the beginning of this year but look at what I just had to have from the Dollar Store... I fell in love with it... And the spoon is ceramic, too. ;) 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Giggleswick Blog Hop Win from Charmed Confections

I entered the 13 Witches of Giggleswick Blog Hop to welcome in October, and I won a darling Spider Bite from LeeAnn Kress and her blog Charmed Confections.   LeeAnn is extremely talented at sculpting figures and has mastered many forms of clay.  I found her blog on a visit to Sweet Bear Creek Whims.  Jody had LeeAnn's polymer clay lollipops in her tutorial section.  They look so real!!  And to my surprise, they both participated in the spooky blog hop, and I was blessed to win LeeAnn's wonderful creation.
You can imagine how exciting it was to receive this package!   

My photo does not do this spooky yet sweet little girl any justice.  Can you see the little ghosts coming out of her hat?!?  It is a mark of a true artist that I stop and marvel over the details on this piece.  Look at the stripes on her lollipop limbs... hard to believe that LeeAnn rolled these out of clay!  The cupcake body is amazingly realistic, and her hand sculpted sweet face makes me forget that she could be a lethal spider! LOL ;)

If you have the time, hop on over to LeeAnn's blog and check out her Etsy store.  She is always coming up with new heirloom quality creations to captivate her readers.  And I cannot forget to mention...  She also was chosen to join the team at Creative PaperClay.   Way to Go LeeAnn!!  I look forward to reading her tips... and maybe even trying my hand at some clay creations. ;)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Autumn ~ Recycled Cutter Bar Bug

I do so love the fall season.  Doesn't the sound of Autumn conjure up a multitude of wondrous colors?  Of course, all of them are my favorites!   Plus, the chill in the air makes drinking hot chocolate an absolute pleasure. *Sigh* 
Farmerboy has harvested his Indian corn.  It is always a thrill to pull back the husks to find a colorful surprise. :)  When these mini beauties cease to be decorations, they are also able to be used for popcorn.  How's that for recycling?  ;)
As you all know, Farmerboy collects vintage farm implements.  He broke a cutter bar over the summer and decided to recycle it into some bug art! ;)  Here is his latest welded creation.  He is made from a single tooth from the bar, along with a bolt, nails and some odds & ends.   I am just captivated by this little guy.  Farmerboy hasn't noticed him missing from the table where he left him, yet!   

I stole him!  He wandered out from my studio area for these photos.  Don't tell Farmerboy that I have him... ;)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sphinx Hummingbird Moth

Look who came to visit my plants.  Although I would have swore it was a mini version of a Hummingbird, this little guy is actually a moth.  He is a Sphinx Hummingbird Moth that sports the most beautiful brown and burnt orange colors.  (My favorites! :) )  

It is so amazing to see how fast his wings flutter.  He has such an exotic "zebra-style" print on his head.  :)

His actions and movements are spot on for a Hummingbird.  I followed him around for 20 minutes and came across a second one that was photo shy.  It decided to flit across to the neighbors plants.  :(

This picture was taken by a group of plants directly under our Hummingbird feeder.  Right now, the Hummingbirds are fighting like mad!  This little guy paid no attention to the feeder, and the birds hadn't the least bit of interest in him.  :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to Tumble Rough Rocks

Intricate cut stones and high end jewelry have never been something that I cared for much; but a few years ago at a  stop on the 127 Yard Sale, a lady from Jamaica had set up a stand with her handmade creations.  A beautiful necklace caught my eye.  Its pendant was a Moonstone carefully housed in a cage of wire that was twisted in the most intricate shapes.  Mr. Hollow (who is extremely picky about jewelry)  complimented the artist on her obvious talent, and I vowed to return to purchase the necklace.  Sad to say that after a long walk around the venue, I blanked out a return to the stand and was miles down the road before remembering my mistake... Uggghhh!  I have never seen her booth on our subsequent trips. :( 
Since that first encounter with this fine wire art, Farmerboy was lucky enough to have a teacher that gave his class a glimpse and hands on experience at creating jewelry from scratch.  He had the opportunity to  twist pieces of fine metal into some amazing pieces of jewelry.  I admire his meticulous talent in this area and dreamed to one day take a try at creating some metal designs of my own.  Of course in my mind, the metal would be housing a shiny stone.  So after a little research, I decided to start from the very basics of jewelry making and tumble my own stones...
Many hours were spent researching gemstones and varying rocks for their spiritual meanings.  I love a piece of art with a hidden meaning. ;)  The first purchase (pictured below) consisted of  rough lots of Citrine, Fluorite and Labradorite and some Apache Tears (which are volcanic glass).  My second purchase was smaller samplings of Amethyst and Moonstone.  The stones were quickly followed by a package with various tumbling compounds...

Talk about putting the cart before the horse, my last purchase was a Chicago dual drum rotary rock tumbler.

** Note**  I will be honest and tell you that rock tumbling makes me feel like a fish out of water. It is frightening and exciting to venture into the unknown.  My son had a small child's tumbler years ago, but it was Mr. Hollow that helped him with it... :(

Sometimes you just have to dive in. :) 

Here is a picture of the rocks in the two drums, before the 4 T of coarse grit and water were added.   As you can see, these stones are intriguing even in their rough state.  It will be great fun to see them transform into a polished stone.  I will be honest and say that I did not check hardness of stones prior to tumbling; although in my research, these types were mentioned at being tumbled together.  The Apache Tears were left out, due to the fact that they are comprised of volcanic glass-- making them a touchier piece to tumble and remove scratches from.

The tumbler is downstairs on the basement floor tumbling away.  My endeavor is on day 4, and I will give update posts of the progress...

Monday, August 12, 2013

2013 127 Yard Sale Finds

Can you believe that another 127 Yard Sale has past?   It seems like a distant memory now.  (Partly due to the fact that upon my arrival back, I had to work a 46.5 hour work week.)  This week is being spent as a time of reflection and restocking my short term goals.  My artistic soul has been rejuvenated, and I am ready to tackle the world with a new more organized vigor. *sigh*  
Kentucky and Tennessee had cool temps for the duration of our trip with mornings being in the late 70's and highs in the mid to low 80's.  The lowest temps that we have ever had on a Yard Sale trip. :)  The amount of attendees appeared to be up tremendously... hopefully the sign of a recovering economy... and the vendors were out in full force.   We had three full days of flea marketing/garage sale fun. 
Below are a few of my finds for this year.  I always say that the treasures are a small part of the trip, compared to the time with family,  the wonderful people that we get to meet and all the wonderful vintage items that we are fortunate for the chance to see. 
Here are a few finds pulled from my sewing items.  Of course, I cannot make it a year without bobbins. ;)  I was a yearly return customer to the bobbin vendor, and he gave me a generous discount. :)  I couldn't resist the feed bag tote from a talented fellow upcycler.  It is so simplistic in design, roomy and amazingly durable.  My son is going to bring me a few of his to make some more.   I do so love recycling!!   Finally, I was lucky to find some 9 patch squares that were hand sewn.  The vendor wanted $20 but settled on $15.  She was a neat lady that had purchased an estate.  We looked over them together, and I confirmed to her that they were made from vintage feed sack.  After counting them later, I was pleased to find 113 blocks. :)

Okay,  every once in awhile my querkie artsy side comes out!   I fell for the Goebel Crayola banks in three colors.  They were dirt cheap, in like new shape and perfect for my studio. :)  And how about the Helping Hand from Hamburger Helper??   He was a giveaway in 1990.  I saw him last year from the same vendor, and this year snatched him up.  Farmerboy is a huge fan of the brand and may be lucky enough to inherit this gem someday... LOL ;)  Finally the odd purchase, there is a gentleman that sells returns and floor models from Sears.  He has a store that we frequent every trip.  I purchased a brand new Kenmore microwave for less than a 1/3 of the retail price.  Score!

Here is my small haul from the last stop on my trip.  I never thought I would be transporting  home some vintage Shiney Brites.  The yellow Santa ornament caught my eye.  He was a design that my collection did not have!  There were two in the same color with the same design, and I am the proud owner of both.  :)  The blue Santa in the upper right corner is in slightly rough shape, but I am pretty sure this is a new design also.  The remaining ornaments were purchased due to the fact that I have the designs but not in those particular colors.  It is such a joy to find new members to a collection.

I have some more photos to share in follow up posts.  If you have the opportunity and love to flea market, the 127 Corridor Yard Sale is a must!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Backyard Pond Critters

I have been spending my free time enjoying the natural wonders in our small pond.  Each year we stock the water feature with fish, but this year was different.  We decided to let the pond have a more natural overgrown appearance.  The pond lilies look wonderful, since they have kicked into high growth this year.  While the fish are still enjoying themselves in the indoor tank, the little critters in nature were allowed to take over the pond.  

There were days and nights when the visiting frogs were so loud!  It was the meet and greet spot and apparently a little bit more... Since there weren't any fish to spoil their activities, it wasn't long before the pond was filled with tadpoles.  It was so exciting to watch them get their little feet.  I haven't observed this phenomenon for years. :)

They love to munch on the algae surrounding the lily pads. 

Here is one of the little guys that already has his legs and is a fully developed frog.  He is still sporting a tail...  The last remnant of his early aquatic life. *sigh* 

While watching the bugs skate on the surface of the water, I had an unexpected visitor swim up to check out the action...  A snapping turtle who had made a very long journey to our pond.  He has been named Gary T. Snapper and is the self professed King of the pond.   It is so much fun watching him swim between the lilies and sun himself.  I've spent many a moment pondering how he made the journey to this small obscure pond.  He has definitely earned the right to claim this water as his home.  :)  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day at Gavilon

As luck would have it, Father's Day was marked by my son having to load a train at work.  His Father and I spent the morning in Jefferson, WI at a flea market.  (Let me say that the weather was perfect!)  When we got home, Mr. Hollow settled down to catch the NHRA races and lounge around for the afternoon... But that plan soon changed.  Farmerboy called and said that he was able to get permission for us to see him working at his job.  I do not know if my son realized it, but the visit was one of the best gifts that he could have given his Dad.  Mr. Hollow was thrilled to watch his son at his job.  :)
Here is Farmerboy as he loads the cars.  The big screen shows the different bins that he is pulling the wheat from (and lots of other stuff that I did not know! ;) ).  The smaller screen shows the amounts that he is dumping and different viewing angles of the cars as they pass by.  To the left of my son  is a window that looks down on the cars.   He keeps in radio contact with the driver as they carefully move the cars into the loading area.  I believe it is a team of 5 men plus 1 supervisor that loads the train.  It is a small crew that does an enormous amount of work in about 8 to 9 hours.  AMAZING!! 
** NOTE** Next to this room, there is a room where the inspectors do their job of making sure the product is of the right quality.  These gentlemen came from 3 hours away to do there job.  YIKES!

I ventured out with a hard hat on to get a picture of one of the outside workers.  You might need to click on this picture to see him walking down the cars to flip the top doors open.   There is another worker on the other end that will close them after loading.  They wear a wire and harness for safety in case they should ever lose their footing.   There is another man (not pictured)  that checks the underside of the cars, and another that drives the engine.

Mr. Hollow and I had a wonderful time visiting with some of the members of the team and watching them all at work.  They should be very proud of themselves.  For being a new facility, all of the crew (which consist of all local residents)  work like a fine tuned machine to turn these trains out and get the grain on its way.  :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Introducing The Dark Knight ~ LLama

Let me introduce you to "The Dark Knight".  This is the papered name of Farmerboy's newest addition to his flock.  He is a handsome black and white llama that has the most endearing large brown eyes that you have ever seen!  
"The Dark Knight" has been christened with the more common name Luke by Farmerboy.  Luke's long curly tresses are so soft.  They took me by surprise.  I thought they would lean more to the texture of sheep's wool.... definitely NOT the case.  :)   
As you can see, he isn't very tall but has long ears that remind me of a donkey's.   Did you know that llamas do not have teeth on the top of their mouth?  Just a hard pallet.  Their lower teeth are similar to the shape of our upper teeth.  Luke is the most fascinating animal and was as curious about me as I was of him.  He kept walking up to me and allowing me to pet and talk to him.  He is a very endearing 2 year old.  :)

I wish that this photo had sound.  Luke kept humming as he walked around.  Here he is with Farmerboy as they hummed a tune to each other.  After they were done, Luke put his nose up against my son's.  I have never seen such a gentle soul as this wondrous critter.   The little lambs were not sure what to think of him (his hair is trimmed in a show cut), but Ariel and Lego accepted him into the group.  I am sure Luke will win them all over, and they will soon be great friends.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt ~ Prim Rearranging

As I was measuring my "Sister's Choice" quilt for its border, my eyes wandered over to my wicker work basket where my very first quilt was folded and tucked away.  The "Disappearing 9 Patch"  was composed of my very favorite fall themed fabrics.  It was folded and set aside, because I couldn't make up my mind on a border.  Enough procrastinating...  The border will be black.  I unfolded the top, measured, cut, sewed, and viola. 
The finish to this quilt has been on my mind ever since the discovery of my newest obsession  The Free Motion Quilting Project blog by Leah Day.  Leah has inspired the designing artist in me to take a stab at some thread art.  Her blog is a wealth of knowledge on the "how to" of machine quilting.  Leah is such an inspirational quilter and human being.  Her blog is full of helpful videos, and she has classes available for purchase on Craftsy.   After a lot of reading, Kenna and I have decided to create some loose spider webs on the black border of this quilt.  You know, the kind that cover the garden plants in the fall. *sigh*  :)  

There's been a little delay in the practice of free motion quilting, as I awaited some supplies to get Kenna and myself prepared:   quilter gloves, a soapstone pencil, a darning foot, and a walking foot.  I am so excited to take this next step.  I have some mini projects planned for the upcoming week! :)

Here is a pic of my new work area in the front room.  Due to the addition of the kitchen island, my oak table had to move to the front of the house.  I am not a big fan of the heavy pattern to oak furniture.  The table definitely needed to be toned down, so I folded up one of my garage sale quilt scores.  (It is a hand quilted beauty that if I remember correctly was $10.00.)   It makes a nice runner and adds a very homey feel to the front room.  My wooden trencher fits in nicely after I darkened the wood with some instant coffee. ;) 

Got to get some mowing done today.  Hopefully, I will be able to get some sewing in after work tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy Enchilada ~ Recipe

Now that my kitchen is back in order, I have a new zest for cooking.  Here is an enchilada recipe with little prep time (big plus after a long work day) that is a big hit with my family.  The only change for the next batch would be to off set the filling slightly to one side to make rolling easier.
Ingredients needed: 
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 of a medium onion (chopped)
1 pkg. Old El Paso taco seasoning
 2 c. shredded taco 3 cheese mix 
2 (16 oz.) cans of Old El Paso refried beans 
 2 (10 oz.) cans of Old El Paso enchilada sauce 
1 pkg. of 8 large flour tortillas (room temp) 
1/2  can black olives (sliced)
Directions are simple.  Prepare a 13 x 9 pan with a light dusting of cooking spray, drizzle one can of enchilada sauce over the bottom, and set to the side.  Cook ground beef (consistency of tacos) with onions in a medium skillet and add taco seasoning per directions on package.  While your doing this, arrange your 8 tortillas (as below) and begin the assembling process.  First, distribute your 2 cans of refried beans to each one and smooth in a line.  Second, add a scoop of your taco meat and spread over beans.  Then, top with a sprinkling of taco cheese (reserving some for over finished enchiladas).   Now, fold over the top and the bottom of the tortilla and roll into a burrito (offsetting the filling would make this step easier).   
As you finish each one, set them in the 13 x 9 baking dish.  After they are completed, pour the second can of enchilada sauce over all of them, top with the reserved cheese, and garnish with sliced black olives.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

And here they are finished.  By using the larger tortillas, one enchilada makes a meal for me.   If you are cooking for children, smaller tortillas would be just the ticket. :)   Although my family prefers the flour tortilla, one could try the corn ones for a more authentic twist.  We didn't need to have all 8 enchiladas for our family; so, I took two from the prep stage, and before rolling them shut, drizzled a little enchilada sauce on top of the filling, wrapped them tight for storage, and froze them for a weekend lunch.  Quick and Easy... :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Primitive Island ~ Kitchen Renovation

Mr. Hollow and I decided it was time to say good-bye to the table in the kitchen.  Since I love to cook and was in desperate need of the extra counter space, we decided to go with an island.  Plus, we made an overhang to create a bar on one side to accommodate 2 people.  Just perfect for us! :)
My big purchase was two counter top height chairs in a dark oak from Overstock.com.  They are very sturdy and comfortable.  Since it is nearly impossible to match my cabinets, I went with my love for a darker oak.  ;)  I am very impressed with the quality of the chairs which was a relief, since I was buying without testing... Yikes!

I will do a post later on a new method (to me anyways) that I found for distressing wainscoting.  Believe it or not, my original plan was to leave the island a stained brown.  It was Mr. Hollow that came home and kept suggesting that a distressed look would be better to tie in with the garbage holder that my son made and makes it completely different from the cabinets.  What the man is allowing painted furniture and distressed to boot?   I wasted no time and surprised him by faux finishing it the next day while he was at work.   He said it was better than he could have imagined.  WOW... this was a great compliment coming from a terribly picky man! :) 

Mr. Hollow and Farmerboy finished the cabinet out with some vintage barn board.  Here is where my Hubby's non love of prim comes in... Flaking paint!  I had to promise to run it over lightly with a wire brush and finish with some matte sealer.   That will be easy enough! ;)

I was adamant that there wouldn't be any doors on this island with the proximity to the stove.  Farmerboy wanted to make some with chicken wire, but it would have been unappreciated in the back and a pain to open.  So, Mr. Hollow left the back open and made a short removable shelf to store lighter food items. 

I can honestly say the island was one of the best decisions that we have made for our home.  It makes our kitchen... Well... More like a kitchen! ;)  Plus,  I found out how great it is to NOT be leaning over a table all the time to prepare meals.  It is absolutely heavenly! :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twin Lambs from Ariel

Although I have never been fond of the damp chilly winds of Springtime in Northern Illinois, the rural scenery is amazing-- filled with fields dotted here and there with calves and lambs.  Every once in a while, I have spied a little newbie only a few minutes old.  *sigh*
Farmerboy's sheep Ariel gave birth two weeks ago.  She had twin lambs-- a  boy and a girl! :)  Unfortunately, the little girl ran into some problems immediately after birth.  As luck would have it, Farmergirl was there to give her some help.  Ariel only cleaned her half way and was determined to get her out of the pen and in with her father, which would NOT be a good situation.  Farmergirl finished cleaning her up and got her to nurse off of Ariel, but the little lamb had some major issues with her hind legs, and her Mom did not really want her around.  So, a bottle of colostrum milk (very important for a lambs immune system) was retrieved from Ariel, and the little one was taken home for the night.       
Ariel's little girl is named Alice.  She was returned to Mom, after a long night of special care.  So far, everything is going fine.  Alice is learning to work with the problems in her legs with extra help from Farmergirl's Grandpa who is always getting her up and moving during the day.  She had her first taste of the outdoors this weekend, and she would run a little ways then lock up and flop over exhausted.  :)  She is making great strides towards a healthy normal life.  She is a beautiful brown color and as you can tell by this photo with Farmergirl... A little love can go a long way. :)

Not forgetting the new man in the pen... Here is Ace.  I know, he looks a little tired from just entering this big world and greets you all with an enormous yawn!  If you look on top of his head, the funny little spot to the side is one of his horns.  He has such tiny little brown curls like his sister and was blessed to be born perfectly healthy.

Spring lambing season has come to a close for Lego and Ariel.  It wouldn't be right to forget to give a little recognition to our Papa in the group, Brick.  I am amazed, after looking at old photos, to see how much his horns have grown.  He has turned into a handsome little ram.  :)