Sunday, January 30, 2011

An Animal Weekend

I've spent two whole days repairing and improving my little barn. I've been wanting to do this for ages and the time has come!

It was such a beautiful weekend - especially today. I put the baby dove and my daughter's parakeets outside to catch some much-needed vitamin D. Then I went straight to work on the barn.

My barn is made out of chipwood. I've painted it with oil paint 5 times in 10 years and it continues to flake. I started covering it with tar paper yesterday but had to stop when I ran out of staples. I got the right side done, and the door.

Since I was out of staples, I decided to replace the bottom board on the door. I also put new nails on the interior door braces, so now it's a little more solid. Animals are rough on things!!

Today all the little animals were excited - especially the chickens. Chickens are very curious little creatures and want to be near you, believe it or not. They were all scratching around in an area that had been blocked off to them for a while. I started rolling out the tar paper and measuring. I had lots of company.

Here is Tinkerbell just on the outside of the pen where I was working. She wanted to make sure I was doing things to her satisfaction. She stayed near me most of the day.

This was the difficult side. I had to take apart the entire pen. Removing the wood posts from the barn was hard. But what was harder was getting the little "pop" door off - and back on so the hole lined up.

Lilly and Lola are checking out my toolbox...

They are so close to me here...and decided to come in.

They insisted on being in the chicken pen once I got it reconfigured. Maybe they liked the cozy size.

Lilly got quite close to me several time.s

And don't you know she started chewing the tar paper off! Little stinker!!

The girls see Princess outside the fence. Their hackles stood straight up and Lilly kept snorting a warning to Princess. Lola was stomping. Look at their little tails straight up in the air.

Before I got the goats, this tar paper would have been all I needed to do. Now that the two little goats are here, I'll eventually put some siding over the paper. But till then, I'll need to protect the paper so will be getting some tall chicken wire tomorrow to staple on top of the paper. Ugh - my figers are so sore already.

The trees need to have their trunks wrapped in wire. Goats love to chew trees...and most everything else.
I'm going to have to wire off these big roots, or they'll get destroyed. This is one of the major shade providers and is an important tree in the pasture.

I really wanted to do a little stitching tonight but my hands are sore from working with tar paper and wire. And my fingers are a little swollen and stiff. I need to go to bed but don't feel tired or sleepy yet. I guess once I crawl into my bed with clean sheets, I'll fall asleep soon - I hope.

Poor Princess is absolutely exhausted from being outside all day. Poor old girl.

I hope you all had a good weekend and some nice weather too!

Brotherly Love

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I've Been a Baaaaaad Girl! (and updated w/question)

I need more animals like quilters need more fabric. I couldn't resist; I... am...crazy.

Meet Lilly and Lola; my two dwarf nigerian dairy goats. Lilly is the mama and has the black shoulders. Lola is her 10 month old daughter. There's a chance Lilly is pregnant; we'll see. I got them Sunday and have the barn all cozy for them. This picture was taken in their previous barn. They are slowly getting used to me and I can't wait to start working with them. I hope to teach them a few tricks.

Have you noticed I'm partial to black and white critters? Now I have three black and white dogs, two black cats, and two black and white goats.

Question: Where did this stupid photobucket thing come from on my post and how do i get rid of it!?! Thanks for your help!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter or Spring?

My decorating skills are confused. I still have winter on my mantel and am enjoying it very much. And goodness knows it's colder than a meat locker outside! My little white lights look so pretty at night.

I've jumped on the white candle bandwagon and wrapped mine in some sheet music I found at the Graphics Fairy. All I had to do to make the switch from Christmas to winter was trade out the red candles for white and add the music. I've left everything else the same.

I've been continuing to work on my kitchen re-do and it's coming along nicely. I painted my brass chandelier this week with a hammered bronze paint. What a mess that made! It needs a second coat but I doubt I'll ever get it done. Ditto for the white table.

Eventually, I'll paint my chairs and side table black and make some new chair cushions out of black and white fabric.

I have some burlap left from a project last year and I think I'm going to cover my little lamp shades with it, and maybe make a narrow table runner. I'm definitely going to cover my gold flower pot with a burlap wrap this week.

I painted my bakers rack last Sunday with the same hammered bronze paint I used on my chandelier. It was a beautiful day and the sun helped the paint dry quickly. I need to give the drawers a second coat of black, but that will wait till we have another warm day.

I put my teapots back a little differently and wanted to add some greenery, so borrowed a silk plant I used to have on top of my cabinets. That made it look a lot better. Then I made a little topiary from a tiny gold bucket I bought at Michaels last year. I sprayed it with white primer and covered a piece of foam with sheet moss. I just noticed that my marble eggs are in a straight line...will need to fix that!

But what I'm really happy with is the little mini hurricaine with moss and quail eggs! Last year I had three female quail and they layed a few eggs. The little birds died not long after they reached adulthood and I was sad about it. I'm happy that they gave me a few eggs before they passed though.

Early last week I made a couple of pretty white hearts, inspired by an issue of Somerset Home. Disregard the cat whisker on the large heart; I didn't see it till after I took the picture.

I've been helping my friend, Gail, the last three Saturdays to get an old house painted and ready to rent. Considering Sunday is the only day completely mine, I think I've accomplished a lot. I am determined to be super-productive this year and am off to a great start.

Wait till you see what I did today - you'll really like it :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm In Love

with this blog I've just discovered today.

Being a country girl at heart and loving all sorts of animals, this blog is now one of my favorites. And it's located in Huntington, WV - not far from where I was born!

Go visit Verde Farm when you get a minute. They've got the cutest animals and I am so envious!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing Again and Pet Stories

Now that all the Christmas stuff is finally put away, I've been able to sit down at my sewing machine again.

Yesterday I couldn't go to work (again) because of an ice storm. It was just too dangerous for me to try to slip and slide my way across back roads for the few dollars I would have made (they didn't open till noon). So, I stayed in my jammies all day and organized my fabrics and made the biggest mess but had so much fun!

I put away all the patterns I was trying to work on and got my bird quilt out. I've joined Dawn's Sew It's Finished challenge and this item has high priority for me. I put it across my bed to see how much quilting needed to be done and you see what happened...Wendy...!

I finally got her off the bed and worked a few hours on my quilt. My goal is to have it completed by this Sunday. I wish I could have had this quilt professionally quilted. I wanted it to be so pretty, but I am making do with what I can do myself.

And speaking of the ice storm, unbeknownst to me, Big Rooster was tangled in some deer netting that had fallen in his pen and was trapped in the ice storm all night. It's dark when I get home from work and all the chickens are already in the barn by then. I usually do a quick head count but didn't Monday evening. I didn't discover him till about 8:30 a.m. yesterday and he was on the ground, unprotected and practially frozen. I ran to the garage and got my scissors and went back to cut the netting off his legs. I felt beyond horrible! If only he had clucked or something the night before when I was only a few feet away from him.

This poor rooster has been through more than any guy should have to deal with in his life! I put him in the barn with the heat lamp and left him there all day. I made him a bunch of scrambled eggs and made sure he had plenty of water to drink. He was limping but immediately started preening himself and I could see that under his wings was dry. If he had gotten soaked to the bones, he wouldn't have made it.

I made him some oatmeal this morning and shared it with the other chickens. They love cooked oatmeal! Big Rooster seems to be fine. I'm going to have to use chicken wire as their pen roof from now on.

I wanted to share a couple of cute pictures of Pumpkin. I noticed that she was sleeping in such an odd position. These are her BACK legs her head is laying between! So funny...and cute. She's an adorable lap kitty.

How cute is she?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beautiful Words

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird’s wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life’s reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being"

- J.L. Stanley.
I saw this on Lynn's blog this morning and thought it was appropriate for my post today.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Wonderful Give Away by Gum Tree Designers

Oh gosh, I sure hope I win the wonderful pattern kit that the Gum Tree Designers are giving away! If I do, I'll have to change my project list :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kitchen Pictures

Woo hoo! I'm getting closer to a completed kitchen re-do! I still have several things to do - paint the table white, paint the bakers rack and chandelier brushed bronze, and paint the side table black. But here are some pictures of what I've done so far. Still needs tweaking but I'm loving the new, more spare look!

The wall color is called Macedamia by Sherwin Williams. It's from the paint list of the model home I "worked" at last March. That house was gorgeous and is my inspiration for this particular re-do.

My kitchen window - didn't change much except I hung a string of white lights that I plug in at night. Such a happy glow at night! I made the stained glass piece years ago while taking a class (a very expensive hobby I haven't pursued).

Above the refrigerator wall; used to have a lot more prims and will continue to edit these into a more sparse and kind of PB/country french/prim Americana look.

I gave several items to my neighbor in my quest to reduce "stuff". One item in particular was worth $100 two years ago. Maybe that will payback for them helping me last week when my car broke down (again).

For now, I've just put most of my things back where they were. The bird tray and wire cloche are newly bought with Christmas money from my Mom. Thanks, Mom!

Above my stove - took a lot of stuff down and won't put back up.

The baker's rack/wall - edited. Can't wait to paint this and rearrange what is displayed!

The biggest change - my white wall cabinet. I loved the black and white but my stuff didn't show up well and I didn't want to take the fabric down. So last night I decided to put up some of my white plates and fell in love with it. I wanted to keep my little garden angels, so just interspersed them here and there.

And I love, love, love the top of the cabinet! My little white swan just never showed where I had it before. (It's a smaller version of the large one I have in the den.)

It's time to get busy. Work is closed today so I'm home (another day w/o pay). Blair and Zoe are outside and I'll have to keep the cats confined while painting my kitchen table or I'll have hair all over it - permanently!

TTFN - have a great day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Goals

Good morning all!

I am full of energy and enthusiasm about starting this year off right. I always have a continuous list of projects going (who doesn't), but I've decided to list some of the major things I want to accomplish this year on my blog.

Living alone with more than enough animals to care for certainly takes a lot of my time. If I'm not cleaning up after, repairing from or just feeding the animals, they take up a lot of my time. I've got the usual house chores and maintenance that comes from being a home owner. Add to that, I'm an obsessed gardner living on six acres of land. While I don't mow all of it, I mow at least three acres every week when the weeds and grass are growing. So, I don't have nearly as much time as I'd like to spend on my sewing, painting and other craft endeavors. Thank goodness I'm a fairly energetic person or I'd never get half the things accomplished that I somehow manage to get done. With that said, here is my partial listof goals I want to accomplish this year - not necessarily in order of priority, however.

First, I've joined Dawn's new Sew It's Finished challenge blog and am determined to get some rather large UFO projects completed with the help of this challenge. That will keep my sewing machine busy for a while.

2. Make some of those cute mug rugs I'm seeing all over the place.
3. Complete my concrete walkway in front of the house
4. Install inexpensive solar lights along completed walkway
5. Repair the barn (cover with tar paper and siding) and chicken pens
6. Install laminate flooring in my living room (dependant on budget constraints)
7. Paint master bedroom and bath
8. Read at least three books this year
9. Be more disciplined about keeping the dishes clean and put away, not
just putting them in the dishwasher!
10. Live by my old rule of putting things away where they belong so I can find them
the next time I need them!
11. Make time to paint again. I've thoroughly enjoyed making a few small paintings
as Christmas gifts this year.
12. Finish my kitchen makeover!

I have so many other projects that pertain to the house or garden maintenance, but there's no need in listing all of them. I never get everything taken care of but do try to stay on top of the important things.

But before I can start on my project list, I must take down and put away my Christmas decorations. That will take a good portion of today. Then I'm going to paint my kitchen table white. I'm really excited about this one!!

Well friends, the chickens are waiting to be let out of the barn so I've got to get started on the daily animal chores before I can move on to anything else.

I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sew It's Finished UFO Challenge

Dawn has a great challenge for all of us with a basket (or in my case, a storage container) of unfinished projects.

I've joined Dawn with the Sew It's Finished Challenge to complete my projects this year. There will still be time to start others as well, but this fits nicely with my organizing quest! I'll post my list next time.

I feel excited already!!