Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of May

Iris on the side lawn
I had my daughters home tonight. Dearest went to play hockey and I had all the girls home and we played manicure and watched 'Steel Magnolios' which I got from the library. Love that movie. " Passion and blush" are my favourite colours too!

We have a social function to go to tomorrow, a fair drive away. Hence the nail job. It will shock Dearest as the only nail colour I ever put on is manure brown! He thinks such colouring is stupid. But my French nails tonight make me happy. Just hope I remember to put on my engagement and wedding rings early in the morning.

May is over. Dearest and I have spent the whole week doing farm work. Which to be honest I enjoy. He wanted to take me somewhere, but only place I wanted to be was here. Maybe in August after second hay cut we can have some us time.

The hay baler and cutter are in top notch shape. I walked the fields tonight and we are almost ready for a cut. The alfalfa has yet to go to flower, but the hay is to my waist. The last three days we concentrated on cutting, slitting and moving firewood. We did about 2 cords. He cut and split ( with a splitter) and I moved wheel burrow after wheel burrow of wood to the front porch and stacked it ,where it will dry for winter. Tonight everything we have by the house is cut/ split/ moved. Ready for the 7mm of rain we are to get the next two days.

We have gone from 36C( 96F) to 7C ( 46F)right now in the course of three days. I'll take the colder temperatures over the heat for working.

Have done nothing on my yo-yo pillow all week. Must get at it.

I did get sheets in for the bed, from Sears catalogue. It is white on white in a 1 inch stripe. I liked it. I also patched all the holes daughter made in the wall by hammering nails in it to hang pictures. That was as far as I got.

Tomorrow June is upon us and heavy farm work will be here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Setting Up Shop

I have been expressing since last fall how I wish to set up at the farmers market to sell my hand crafted items. I was originally going in with three other friends, but one had a baby in February and one moved away for work, leaving us two older birds to contend with a dream.

The one with the baby makes homemade canned goods.
The one who moved away is a horticulturalist and would sell flowers from her parents farm.
The third, still game, is older them me and makes wonderful cards.
I smock and knit.

The dream is still there but on hold.I need to make stock. In the meanwhile I have sold about a dozen bonnets, both on-line and from showmanship of my youngest.

In the meanwhile I have decided to make a pretty shop on-line to sell my goods. That way when someone sees one of my bonnets on my daughter ( last week 7 people stopped me) I can hand them a business card with my web page and they can order or get in touch with me that way.

I had a web page but I am closing it and renaming my shop after the name of our farm. That way when I do set shop at the farmers market the farm name is included.

Tonight I have spent hours setting it up. I thought I would present it tonight to you all. I still have lots to go on the page, but this is a start.

here it is: (click on Locus Lane Farm)

 Locus Lane Farm Store

Tell me what you think. Positive and negative and any other ideas that might come to minds.

Thanks a million.

When I Was 16 !

I was born domestic.  Well perhaps trained? Having all brothers made my mom put all her efforts on making sure I was domestic.

My Saturdays were spent cleaning house, cooking for two days as we did no work on Sundays and always baking, something I did because my mom, a bakers daughter burns all her baking ( to this day!). I didn't mind it too much, although I hated cleaning windows and mirrors, and folding sheets. I would looking longingly out the windows of the house watching my brothers playing soccer. I was out numbered being the only girl.

When I was 16 my mom had bought me a Hope chest. The guys called it my " hopeless chest". I remember putting in it a rug I had hooked and a luncheon cloth I had chicken scratched. The chest is large. We have used it as a coffee table for my 28 years of marriage. I tell the kids to be kind to it because when I die it will become my coffin, granted they will have to put me in the fetal position or break my legs at the knees to get me to fit in it! Then it can truly be called my 'hopeless chest"!
But in my teenage years, I was given gifts from brothers and parents  to fill that chest. My mom had me in tea cup of the month club at the local china store. So each month I got a new tea cup and saucer. When I was 18 I received my fancy good dishes, right to this day I still use it granted it is only 8 place settings and there are nine of here and added mates. I had to buy plain white or clear ones for extra added body members to this family.

By the time I was married I had all the lovely things that make a house a home. And that was before showers and wedding gifts! To this day I still use it all.

My teenager turned 16 last week. She has none of these things. I had started a chest for each girl. They all have one ,even the toddler. But with five girls I could not keep up. They all have their quilt I have made them. They all have an afghan my mom knit them. And hundreds of smocked dresses divided into five trunks. Two of my girls have tea sets. And they all have a family Bible.

But do young ones cherish this these days? Am I wasting my time worrying about this?

My eldest has her own house. She will be getting married next summer. She speaks of gift registers at these fancy stores. They want it all and perhaps get it all? So much for a casserole dish as a wedding present.( I was thrilled when I got mine as wedding presents!)

Today I was dusting the china cabinet this morning and remembered when I was given each item. I think it is the memories that are the happy event. Not the item needing cleaning.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yo-yo Pillow Top

My first project for the guest room will be to make a Yo-yo pillow top using scrap fabric I have here already. I have decided that the bedroom with be a very light sage green and the accents in pink, white and green with a floral-rose theme.
Last night I cut out these six, and sewed them up. It took me about 1/2 hour.This morning I cut out more circles,and thought I would show you how to make these.
First trace a round object ( tea plate, margarine lid) which is about 4-6 inches wide. I used my pin holder which is 4 1/4 inches wide. This makes Yo-yo's around 1 1/2 inched finished.Cut out the fabric.
Make a cardboard ( I used pantyhose packaging) to make a circle 1/4 inch smaller then your fabric.
Iron the fabric over the cardboard the 1/4 inch. then remove the cardboard. This step is not necessary but helpful. You can just go ahead, turn under 1/4 of an inch and hand stitch.
Hand stitch a running stitch with thread that has been knotted on one end, all around the circle at the 1/4 inch fold.
Pull the thread, a little at a time from each direction. Knot the thread a few times, then thread both ends through the center, out toward the side.
Attach this Yo-yo to the others with a few whip stitches, knot and cut.

Continue making Yo-yo's and attaching until desired size.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

270 cupcakes

Yesterday five of us ladies got together and one house and made 270 cupcakes, which after frosted and a letter printed on each cupcake spelled out a 'card' to a couple moving away.
my 16 year old filling tins
It was a lot of fun. Nine batches of cake recipes, all different types,four batches of icing and a lot of borrowed cupcake tins! It took us just less then four hours, each having assigned jobs. I was just glad I didn't have to do the printing. I had to put the cupcakes in the correct order of spelling with spaces. No spell check here!
my youngest with my 50 year old Andy
Our little helpers for the day were very good and well behaved.
5 month old friend
Last Wednesday my now 16 year old turned 16. Yesterday she went for her driving permit and passed. She has been driving farm machinery since she could reach the petal, and is well co-ordinated. I suspect she will be with a full license in no time.
Lilacs from around the farm.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Green Sundress

I finished oldest daughters sundress last night. It is a size 12, but looks huge on the hanger. Hopefully I can get  a photo of her wearing it for you.

Another warm one here but breezy making doing work enjoyable. Youngest and I planted cucumbers in the garden this morning. All I have left to plant is melons and pole beans. I think I might have a few more flower seeds as well. Not sure.

Dearest has begun a week holiday. This weekend is filled up as is next weekend. Wood cutting and moving tree limbs from the side of the fields are in order ready for haying in two weeks time. When he is home I get NO time for myself with the exception of his hockey games. So be patient with me and having posts. there will not be any some days I am sure.

Toddler cannot amuse herself today. Drat! We are going to a friends house this afternoon to make 270 cupcakes to which will be iced in white and a letter on each cupcake to spell out a message to an elderly couple that are moving away. Tomorrow will be the good-bye picnic for them.

Calling for a thunderstorm this afternoon. I sure hope so. Rain is a requirement right now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Ideas

I have been searching the net tonight looking for ideas on how i want the room to look. Check this out!
The quilted top I found is much like this one. Small roses. I can make pillows to go on top.
Remember I said the closet? I really like this idea. Paint it light sage green and add articles with roses on it. I shall have to see how to arrange the furniture to see if this is doable.

Working Thoughts

I seem to be living on 5 hours sleep a night. I go to bed exhausted, as I go through an 18 hour work day. But wake up full of vigour and vim.

My thought lately has been on transforming this bedroom that belonged to my 20 year old daughter into a Country Victorian room, that will be used as a guest room. I want it really Shabby Cottage looking, using many items I already have here on the farm.

Here are some photo's of the room at present ( totally uncleaned!)( table on left side folded up was used for seedlings, that are all planted in the garden now)
This is the the room looking in from the hallway. It is lilac in colour and cute but I am tired of the girlie look. The boarder are bunnies from Marjolein Bastin . My daughter loves her work.

This is looking from the window toward the hallway. The room is 11X 14. Where the curtain is there is a closet. Now in these really old houses closets are not deep things but rather for hooks to hang your daily clothes, remembering they didn't have a huge wardrobe. The hooks are still in there, ( very decorative ones)but shelves have been added for books and stuff. However with my book worm out of the house, it has nothing behind it. Thinking I might open it up, or put the wardrobe in front of it.
The bed is an old iron cast with brass on it. A 3/4 size, so hard to fit sheets on. The quilt is store bought when I was first married ( made in China) and is torn to pieces. The bed is missing on of the wooden wheels , which makes the bed creak whenever someone moves on it. This needs to be addressed.
The dresser is a cast off from the 'out-laws'. I love it, even though the top is rather rough looking, a scarf covers this. The drawers are deep and dovetailed.

So no new furnishings are needed. I am fine with everything in the room. I have found a new bedcovering and shams for $125. of roses, and I think plain bedding. I need to replace the pillows on our bed and will move the old ones to this bed. The room will need painting and I am thinking a soft pink and white trim. Nothing fancy. The accessories will bring the room to life. I also want to keep it plain and simple with little in the room.

I also have eldest daughters sundress to complete by the seocnd week in June for a bridal shower,she is maid of honour in. Most is made, but we needed a fitting which happened yesterday. It fits well, so now the zipper can go in.

I also have this:
Which I smocked for youngest this past winter to make a long sleeved dress, but summer is upon us, or so it seems and I shall make short sleeved instead. She needs it like yesterday!

Hot and humid here this morning. I cooked a ham before 8am.Hard to believe we had frost last Wednesday morning and now it is going up to 30C (88F) Hope to get the beans in the ground and the front porch posts painted ( spot painted) which should take about 2 hours and then finish the sundress in the afternoon which should take about 1 1 /2 hours. If I get this done and Dearest fish he caught while camping done, it shall be a fantastic day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mending Day

It is raining out this morning. I am thrilled that I don't need to water the garden today. I am also thrilled to get caught up on well needed housework.

After the long weekend we are back in the grove of homeschooling and as the girls work on their schoolwork I can repair the holes in the socks. I seem to have a large basket full of them, mostly mine!
My son-in-law to be ( next July, the date is set) is a drywaller. His winter coveralls, suspender clips broke. I have been all over to buy new ones, but I can't get any heavy or wide enough. I did find these.
Parachute clips, real heavy duty ones, and wide enough for his straps.I bought about 20cm of webbing to attach the one part of the strap, as he will no longer have a functional button.

Other then that I am cooking meals for this week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Victoria Day Gardening

I have been in and out my vegetable/ flower garden since 6am.
The weather is simply lovely outside.
Warm and breezy.
Great getting burn type weather.
Hard to believe we had frost just this past week!
This is my new patch of ground. I still need more top soil, but am trying to make due with what I have here in rotted manure. This plot is a quarter circle and is 18 x18 feet. It has my squash,cabbage, flowering beans and different flower seeds now planted in it. There still is room for cucumbers and melons.
My old vegetable patch is 40' x48 and growing.
Here in the foreground is spinach and then snow peas. We are in real need of rain.The ground is very dry.I still need to put the bush beans in the ground, but decided to quit for the day in high hopes off some promised rain tonight.
The rain barrels are more then half empty as I water the seeds and seedling I put in the ground.
The Bamboo up by the kitchen has shot up this warm weekend. It loves the heat and dryness. However I am not over fond of it. This evening before evening chores, I hope to cut off some of the shoots before they spread all over the lawn.

I also cut some lawn this afternoon by the barn. Just cut it a week ago. It takes 6 hours to cut it all, so I tend to rotate areas that I cut and do a little at a time. The teenager often helps me.

I am making soup broth in the slow cooker for a simple meal one night this week. It basically is just vegetable scraps, and skins with 8 cups of water in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I will drain it through a mill, feed the waste to the dogs/ chickens, and have vegetable broth for soups.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Farmgirl Finds

I hate shopping.
Okay except fabric stores when I have money and wool shops ( out of desire).
But in general I hate shopping. It is a task.
Today I was driving from point A to B and on the side of the road ( dirt farm road) was a sign.....Everything Free.
I stopped the car to take a look. And there were finds!
Rubber boots, size 7 ( my size) with the elastic and price tag still attached. never worn! I don't like the crowns all over them, but I'm sure the cows will adjust!

Wicker planter with black plastic liner. I know these are $16.99 at the grocery store, as I spied ( liked) them last week. This one is a little bent out of shape, so I shall soak it and re-shape it.

Oil lamp. Oh what is Dearest going to say........" another one!" I have a large collection of historical ones. This one is a 1928 American made base and a newer ( 1940's) metal wick threader ( Canadian). The chimney is newer from Home Hardware, but it screamed to me. Perfect for the toddlers room, for those, what if the power goes out moment. I shall dye the oil pink. There!!!

The oil painting is an original from Keirstead a Canadian painter from Kingston, Ontario. It is called Poppy Garden and I know for a fact is worth some money. However skip the value, I like it. Just haven't figured out where to put it yet.

I must admit. I like road side shopping.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homemaking Day

It is another beautiful day here, sunny bright and going to be warm. I have been at work here in the home since very early this morning. Dearest is going on his annual camping trip with 'the men' starting tomorrow evening and I have been preparing food and airing out his sleep gear and coveralls and equipment.

I have a homemaking binder I keep with menu plans and emergency lists ect. In it is a complete camping list of what he is to bring with him so he has everything when he is up in no-man-land. The list is tacked to the fridge and slowly things are mounting here in the kitchen to be loaded in the car.

Eldest daughter works at a grocery store. Half the time in the Deli and the other half ( bigger part this time of year) in the produce. I like it when she works produce because all the waste of vegetables she has to cut off to make it more presentable to the public gets in a composter and comes here for my chickens. Also anything just about to go bad she packs up and brings home. Last night a huge box with apples, clementines , grapefruit strawberries, celery, broccoli,and 20 sweet peppers. This is all free for me, and yes makes me very happy!! But none of it is local grown, which disheartens me. I know we don't grow these types of items here this time of year, but the apples above come from Chili! Oh well, enjoy....right?
So this morning I was washing and cutting the sweet peppers for the freezer, and the apples into sauce. A double batch of stew is in the slow cooker.

My seedlings need to be planted in the ground over the next few days. The remains of the lawn need its first cutting. Ironing and mending. Oh! And the car goes in for a barring repair this afternoon, third one this year!! I shall knit while waiting. I am almost done another doll.

Yesterday in the city getting food for Dearest trip I had my youngest with me wearing one of my bonnets. In Shoppers Drug Mart alone seven people stopped me to say what a sweet bonnet on my daughter. At the library a fellow with tattoos all over him chuckled and said" she was the sweetest thing he had seen in awhile" I am thinking more and more of smocking and selling via the farmers market. Just have little ones around wearing the bonnets...........that seems to sell on its own.

Off to get some housework done. Have a fantastic day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Peach Coloured Canning Apron

This is MY favourite apron. It is a typical Mennonite apron called "The Canning Apron", as it completely covers you body as you work your way around the kitchen. That said why stick to the typical blue or white when there is COLOUR?

Peach is my favourite colour. It screams at me in the fabric stores. I found this piece on the clearance rack, however it is of really good quality.

I am never traditional, why would I be with an apron? No, I always make mine reversible. When one side gets dirt, reverse and use the other side.
This piece of fabric was really pretty in the store, but when I saw these photo's I was not impressed. So I put the apron on and ,yeap this is my favorite side, even though it looks like tiles in the picture, it doesn't when put on.
I am pleased with this apron and it felt really great to be sewing again.

Black Beauty

Yesterday while the toddlers napped I got my kale put into the garden. I got the first row in no problem but by the time I had the fourth row in I had moquesto bites all over me and ran for the house. 

I stayed in the rest of the afternoon and cleaned my black beauty, the cookstove. Cleaned inside and out. The blackness was just dripping off me. All the crome was scoured and polished and the cast iron was coated in vegetable shortning. there is a little rust under the "E" which will be painted when the air is more dry.

One big job done.
And Oh! It looks lovely!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Setting Up Shop

I have spoken of doing the farmers market with farm goods and my crafts, mostly smocked bonnets and other cute items. I had some time alone the other night and made these cute, Victorian looking tags for the items.

Last night as I was sewing hair on a doll and it came to me that I had put the wrong web page address on all the cards. 
ALL the cards. 
So this morning I have been correcting the mistake, printing off new ones and attching to each item. 
What a waste of my time!

On Thursday I hope to get all the items on my web shop before I decided to sell at any market.

Last night I finished this fellow. 
I call him Joshua because he was made with my little friend (7 years old) Joshua with his curly red hair.
I think he is adorable. Just like the real Joshua. I thought the whole time I was making him he was speaking to me, keeping me company.

In other note worthy or NOT news it is my 51st birth date today.
It is raining out and I see the bugs buzzing about. I truly hope I can acheive getting my kale in the ground today. If that gets done it will be a fantastic day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Little Farmgirl

Could not help but smile at the four year old this morning with her choice of clothing!

"Its warm out today" she tells me.
It was warmer then we have been experiencing, but oh the colours!!!!

Between showers and dodging the blackflies, hence the sweater, we went out for short spells to bring things out the house or check on the animals and gardens.

She was trying to figure out all the plants growing in the garden. She did not seem disappointed at all when I told her there was nothing planted there. She thought I was nuts as she could plainly see something in the soil.

Yeap! dandelions without heads!

She was excited to see four rows of snow peas up.
My rooster has become a problem with the four year old and only her. He attacks her. Not the two year old, nor the teenager. I have yet to figure this out. But I will say that as soon as he has done his job, he is going.
I free ranged them all day today. Somewhere in the woods are the eggs, as all the chickens are in the coop at sundown and not one egg in the boxes. I have been free ranging them from 3pm till sundown. Today I was home all day and felt sorry for them being in the encloser.

We had a terrific thunderstorm around 8pm tonight.

Out My Window

Just a little scene outside my kitchen window here from the computer desk. We had a lot of rain yesterday around the supper hour and now the grass is green and wet, but it seems to be drying up. I am hoping so my laundry will dry outside on the line.

I kind of laughed at the picture because it would appear that whenever I do this " View from My  Window" with Jane. My 15 year old dog is in the same position. I am not colouring the background Jane, honestly! It is just his sleeping spot I guess.
It was about 10C when I woke this morning. Muggy and warmer. The blackflies are out this morning. I didn't get bitten, but it would appear no matter what the weather is like they are here on time.
 I was suppose to go into the city today to be with a friend but she called early this morning with an allergy cold and cancelled. This actually was okay with me. I have been on the run all week and making supper after evening chores. Feeling the panic mode all week. This gives me a day to get caught up on paperwork and cleaning and some gardening (maybe).

I was in the city yesterday and went to a few garden centers. They don't open full swing here until next week, just before Mother's Day, I believe because of frost. I was noticing geraniums are about $3.89 for a 6" pot this year. I was hoping to hang flowers on the porch this year. Geraniums always look lovely but I shall have to re-think this through. An awful cost for just looks expectually since firewood is stacked a mile high on the porch anyway.
I did buy some melon seeds. I have never grown it before  and none of my friends had seeds this year. I asked around because I just wanted a few to try. So I spent the $2. of a package and last night planted them in yogurt containers. All my seedlings are doing very well.

At my folks yesterday. Dat was in a slow mode first thing in the morning. As he ate breakfast I went upstairs to dust and vacuum the bedrooms and clean the bathroom. I noticed that he had not moved his calender to May but rather made perfect squares after April 30th to add days. I chuckled over this and moved the calender to May and crossed off the first two days. No wonder he thought it was Saturday!

Dat pays for his groceries with a credit card. The pin system at the grocery store often gives us trouble as their machine is slow, and older people can't see the tiny screen. It takes a few tries. Well if the cashier didn't bend Dats card to try and help and torn it right at the black strip in the back. The look on Dat's face like that of a 3 year old, asking "what do I do now?" I told him not to worry we would call the 1-800 number and get a new one sent. It appears the chip still works not the bar. To call these places, I have to say who I am and why we are calling and that Dat is on the other line. I get so far with these companies and then Dat can answer all the other questions. The lady was terrific.

Other then that. Spring is in the air. My allergies are bad this year. I had a freezing of the face Tuesday night as my sinuses were throbbing, but it cleared by 5am next morning. I can't take allergy medication because of my heart medication. They don't mix. I manage........somehow!