June 2012 archive

Are they Planting Corn?

Really? Are they really using a single row, horse drawn corn planter that my great, great, great grandfather used back in the day? Yes, yes they are. Pulled by a John Deere lawn tractor.

We planted our pumpkins and ended up with a little space left over. This year we are trying ornamental corn, some should even be popping corn. How exciting!!!

Ok, I know that our 1/6th of an acre worth of indian corn was hardly worth using the monster planter but really guys. Oh how I wished for a video camera. BUT in their defense this beats hand planting any day. So, thank you men for using this antique implement and saving us time and back ache.

Cornplant

 

Here is the job foreman walking along the project overseeing the corn planting.

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Taking part in:

 

5 mins for Mom

Summertime Crafts

I know I've shared that fact that I write for Think Crafts Blog, I am the Kid's Craft Contributor. Here are a couple of the crafts that have been posted lately.

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The Ombre Pillow Case was a blast to make and a better dye project than the traditional summer tie-dye t-shirt.

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Here is our Playhouse Window Box, it uses an old loaf pan. I think it really dresses up the playhouse nicely and the kid loves to take care of her plant.

The full tutorials are over at Think Crafts so check them out today!

 

Adventures in Candy Making

I am obsessed with things that are Extremely Sweet and Extremely Spicy at the same time – call me an alien. (I guess that joke is lost on just about everyone out there – there probably isn't a Roswell fan anymore…) Anyways, my goal was to make candy that was sweet and spicy.

Caramels

I got the flavor and it was great – the only thing is that the caramels are too hard for my liking. I wish they were a little softer.

I will share my beginning recipe here with everyone. It works and the caramels set up to hold their shape but I just think I should have not heated them to such a hard state but I'm no confectioner so it's just a trail and error.

I like this recipe because it doesn't use corn syrup. But maybe that's the reason the candy is a little tougher. I mean, a bite hard and pull off a piece of caramel, not a lovely soft bite into it and melts in your mouth.

Spicy Vanilla Caramels

1 1/2 C sugar
1/2    C Honey
1       Tb Vanilla extract
1       C Heavy Cream
1 Stick of Salted Butter
1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Combine the sugar, honey, vanilla and 1 tsp of Cayenne in a stainless steel pot, turn on Medium heat and let the sugar melt. It will cook until caramelized and have a dark brown color.

While that is cooking bring the cream to a simmer in another pot.

When the sugar mix is ready stir in chucks of butter, then add the warmed cream and whisk until smooth.Caramels-2

Cook until the temperature hits 260F, this is the hard ball stage, this is where I think I had my problems. It seemed for me to take a long time to get to this point. But I stirred it a lot in the beginning and that kept the temp down, so maybe it cooked too long. I'm not sure.

Right before it hit the 260F I dumped the remaining 1/2tsp of Cayenne in and stirred it gently in.

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When it hit the magic number I poured the hot caramel onto a cookie sheet that was covered with parchment paper. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then if desired sprinkle Sea Salt on top just to taste.

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Let the pan come to room temperature and then cut and wrap.

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If there is anyone out there that makes caramels, i'd love to hear from you. If you try this I'd love to hear about your results! Good luck and try something new. Life is an adventure and the only way to learn is to try!

Taking Part in

Savvy Southern Style
Someday Crafts
Ginger Snap Crafts
The NY Melrose Family
The Trendy Treehouse
Southern Lovely
Family Home and Life
Seven Clown Circus
5 Mins for Mom

It's Just Called Spicy

Thursday Favorite Things

Delightful Order

Yesterday On Tuesday
Embracing Change

Healing Chickweed Ointment

A couple of weeks ago we made Chickweed Pesto and Chickweed Oil. Now that the oil is ready we are using the bees wax from our friends hive to make a healing ointment. This ointment is great for healing cuts, scrapes and takes the itch out of bug bites.

Chickweed

The Chickweed oil is made by filling a jar 3/4 with herbs then covering it with oil. I use an olive oil. We set it in a sunny place for 2 weeks giving it a shake every day. When it's ready to use, it will need
strained.

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Once it's strained it's ready to be used in the ointment

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For the ointment, we melted the bees wax in a "double boiler"( a stainless steel pot over a pot of water).

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When the wax was melted then add the oil, mix well, add the vegetable glycerin and essential oils.

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Pour into a wide mouth jar and let cool.

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1 Cup Chickweed oil

1/4 Cup Bees Wax

1 tsp of Vegetable Glycerin

A Couple of drops of Lavender essential oil

We poured it into a recycled cocoa butter jar, it was
plastic and since we use it in the bathroom I like plastic over glass.

This mix turned out to be thin like a triple antibiotic
ointment, which works great for putting on bandages.

The Chickweed is for cuts, scrapes and reduces itchiness.
The Lavender oil is antibacterial and the vegetable glycerin is for preserving
the mix.

Within an hour of making it we were using it!

Chickweedoint1

Taking Part in:

Making the World Cuter
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

A Marvelous Mess

 

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Beyond the Picket Fence

 

Manicure update

Ok, I told you all the other day about Julep and the awesome deal I got on the Mani/Pedi kit. If you didn't read it check it out here – with awesome Nail Art ideas too.

I just wanted to share how my nails faired after my week. Usually I chip my nail within minutes of painting them. One sink of dishes and they are done. Here's my week in recap:

Nails painted on Monday

 Tuesday – Trip to the Library and Work
  Wed – Basic Work day, wash dishes
  Thurs – Work, Photo Shoot 
  Fri – Work, planted 1 acre of pumpkins
  Sat – painted the barn by hand, wash more dishes

The only nail that is chipped it the one that I broke the finger nail.

When I say I did a photo shoot I was up and down stone steps, laying on the ground and that is an open invite to chip a nail. The pumpkin planting it just that planting pumpkins – a lot of pumpkins. The barn painting was by hand with a brush, climbing up on the roof - hanging on by my finger tips. Crazy painting.

AMAZING!

The kiddo's fingers held the paint all week. That just doesn't happen. Ususally the first bath washes even the most "strong" polish right off. Julep polish held up to her crazy kid antics – pumpkin planting, chicken chasing, painting, game playing.

I just wanted to give a great shout out on this totally fantastic product.

We live hard and I was surprised to see something hold up to my life.

Manicureupdate

 

It’s Just Called Spicy B-day Giveaway!!

My Blogger Friend – Jenna over at It's Just Called Spicy is have a Birthday Bash Giveaway!!! There are lots of fun stuff to win! Check it out!!

I am part of the fun – I am giving away 3 skeins of hand spun, hand dyed yarn. So jump on over to wish Jenna a great big happy b-day and enter for a chance to win the whole kitten-caboodle!!!!

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Geekgiveaway

Look at that soft and fluffyness – you know you want it, plus earrings, gift cards, headbands and more!!!

Go Now!

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$40 Julep Mani/Pedi Kit for $0.01 plus DIY Nail Art

I just got my Julep Maven Kit for $0.01 that's right ONE PENNY! Shipped to my house! I am in love with the fact that these do not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP. Here is the kit:

Nails

Here's how to get the deal, check out Julep and take the "style quiz", then Julep with customize a mani/pedi kit to fit your style. When your ready head to the checkout and enter the coupon code COLORS4ONE. The total will drop to $1.97, then when you enter your shipping state it will drop to $0.01.

That's $40 worth of awesomeness for only $0.01.

Just note: This will enter you into Julep's monthly club which is $19.99 a month but it's easy to cancel because they will sent you a reminder email. Cancel by the 24th of the month with a simple 2 minute call. BUT you can also skip a month of shipment and the payment if you're not that into the colors. So, it's a win, win, win.

I am happy with these colors, company and program!

Now onto the Nail Art:

I am not steady with a nail brush and I'm a complete invalid when it comes to painting my left nails with my right hand. So all these wicked awesome trends I've been seeing on Pinterest are killing me. I just can't do it.

Then it comes to my tiny one, she loves having her nails painted and wants those nail decals but the ones that come with the little kid kits are too big for her nails and they just don't stay on.

I was working on another project using my outdoor vinyl and had all these little scraps left over. I ran them through the Cricut Cutter Machine and was able to make all kinds of little nail decals using the Wingding font.

Here are the results, pretty stylin' for a slop with a nail brush. The key is to make sure the nail polish is dry, then apply the vinyl, then coat with a clear top coat. These lasted for a couple weeks – much longer than my normal nail polish jobs.

Nailart-3

Nailart-6

Now if you don't have a vinyl cutting machine, I'm sure you have a place to pick up some basic Avery Hole Protector stickers. This is an easy way to get an instant french manicure look. Check it out:

Nails-3

Nails-2

Somewhat Simple

Thursday Favorite Things

The Bee Whisperer

We spent some time with our friends, Matt and Maggie, last weekend and they introduced us to their bees. We got to watch them feed them and add an addition to the hive. It was very exciting, so much so that it could be something we look into for our farm next year, we could be bee keepers!

Here are some pictures from from their hive. First we are mixing the sugar water to feed the young colony of bees.

Bees

The little one wears a netted hat while Maggie gets the smoker ready.

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Maggie smokes the hive to "calm the hive down" but really the smoke masks the alarm pheromones that the guard bees put off to alert the colony of distress. It also creates an environment that makes them want to abandon the hive for fear of fire.

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Here are the bees. This is some extra comb that the bees made because they need more space. We scraped this off and brought it home with us. We will be making something with it this week. Wait and see.

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Smoking the frames to get a better look at the progress of the construction of the honeycombs.

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Here they are checking one of the frames containing the honeycomb. This one is full of honey and some of the sections are even capped meaning that hole is full of honey and the bees feel it is perfect and they capped it for saving for winter.

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The hive with a second floor. They added an addition to the hive because the bottom frames are full with eggs and honey. This is a thriving hive and looks to be a successful season. Is there a batch of mead in the future? Could be.

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Thanks to our friends for showing us their apiary, well as least their one hive for this year. It was awesome!

But let's not forget safety as Uncle Safety shows us here – bee's will sting when threatened. It's not in their nature to attack but when they feel threatened they will defend themselves and the hive.

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Taking Part in Wordful Wednesday

5 minutes for Mom

Garden Protector

Here is one of my vintage finds. I found this little guy at a yard sale last week. He is totally cute. These gnomes were probally made sometime in the late Sixties – early Seventies but that still makes him about 40 years old. That's really hard to believe. Hopefully he will protect our garden for another 40 years.

He fits in well with the other 7 or 8 gnomes that we have. I really love the outside garden decorations. I want a set of flamingos, but Husband says no – I'm still working on that.

Do you have any garden protectors? Share them if you have them, I'd love to see.

Gnome