21 February 2020

Thank you

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17)

Today is Monday and I'm feeling lazy and whiny about all that I have to do today. 
Monday for me means laundry, and cleaning all the mess from the weekend, plus planning the rest of the week.

Things I was thinking-->Thoughts that I should be thinking.

God in His infinite knowledge gave us all these blessings and I should choose to thank Him and praise Him for all that we have.

Piles of dirty laundry waiting to be washed--->Thank you Lord that we have clothes to clothe our bodies and to keep us warm in this season.

Stacks of dirty dishes waiting to be washed -->Thank you Lord for the food in our bellies and the food we will be able to eat again tonight because you have provided for us.

The dryer's piercing song of its people--> I don't have to salt our clothes and hang them outside in the cold to dry them or have them drip in the house making another mess to clean up.

The animals need to be fed and I don't want to go outside- -> Thank you Lord that you give us dominion over the animals that we can have fresh eggs all year long and meat for our table. By my hand I can give them the best lives I can and the quickest death so they can help me to live.

12 February 2020

Long time no see

So its been over 3 years? since Ive posted because I didntthink anyone was interested in my thoughts and ideas. I have a farm page on FB now and a lot of people are following me there. You are welcome to as well. I'd like to get back to adding to the blog again, but not on a schedule like I tried to do before. It's a lot of work. Maybe just some photos and a blurb about what's going on? I tinkered with the idea of a Vlog on youtube since a lot of what I do would be more helpful to see. But, I don't really want to edit all the videos either.

I had more going on in my life than I could deal with most days. I was president of the local bee club until December 2019. I had so many doctor's appointments and let downs. Worst of all my Mom passed away in 2019 rather suddenly. And now I'm being sued over her estate. Needless to say, its's been rough around here.

We're hoping that 2020 goes well, even though I miss my Mom. Sometimes she was the only person who even read my blog and she always supported me. She was so proud of the woman I have become. And I will love and miss her always.

12 May 2017

New Garden bed.

I decided to make this bed in response to the gopher raid of 2016.

The gophers ate EVERYTHING I planted except a few turnips, and my onions and garlic. And my strawberries. I did get a few tomatoes from my crop, but not enough to can everything I wanted.

So, I'm fighting back this year. I decided to put hardware cloth under a raised bed of bricks. There are exactly 114 bricks in this bed and next time I think I will use wood. But, I love the look of this since it's right out in the open area.

My chickens loved helping me flatten it out and look for bugs as the same time. You can see my soil quality isn't that good so a raised bed takes care of that problem as well. Although I have not had gophers in this exact spot...I don't put it past them to find my goodies after they are planted.

I used 3 of these sections of wire since I couldn't find any length of it anywhere in my area. The bed ended up being just a bit wider than 4 feet and about 13 feet long. I have pretty long arms and I will be able to reach in from either side to plant, weed, till, or harvest. 
You can also see my new cold frame in the back left of these photos. I'm excited to get moving on this in 2017!

Here is the bed almost finished. I think I had to pick up the last of the blocks, I put some old straw in the bottom to help hold in moisture and provide a bit of composting action too. 

I have been going to my neighbor's farm and picking up compost from his barn. (He gives it away, I'm not stealing it.) 

As soon as it is all filled I am going to plant a few things in there for spring. I may end up having to lay a piece of wire across the bed to keep deer from eating all my greens, but we will see. 

What are you planning to garden for 2017??

08 May 2017

My Easter Dress/New look 6224 review

This year I decided to make my Easter dress at home, since I haven't been able to find things that fit me too well in styles that I like at the stores. What's going on with fashion right now? I don't want to wear spandex or hi/low blouses/tunics. I feel like I (and people like me.) aren't being represented in the stores right now.  Off my soapbox now.

I LOVE linen so I went to the store and looked at the linen fabric. They only had a few options that were not solid colors. I saw this floral print that was mostly red and I bought a bit more than I needed so I could make something else with the "scraps" later.  Since red is a central color in my capsule wardrobe I thought this would fit right in with my Spring capsule. 

I enjoyed making this dress and I enjoy wearing it too. It is perfect for these warm spring days. 
I used New look 6224 for this dress. 

I made the muslin and after checking fit I cut out the fabric. Here it is on my cutting table. I was doing some organizing too. You can see a photo of my parents and the current quilt I'm working on as well under the dress. 
Sewed the whole thing on my featherweight 1947!

I chose New look 6224, view C, which is the blue one on the pattern envelope. I thought it would be an easy simple dress to make since I only gave myself 2 weeks to get it completed. I read the pattern instructions, happily cut out the pattern on view C, and started making a muslin. Once I got to step 5 (adding the neck band) I was stumped. I sewed it on and unstitched it no less than 20 times. I got so frustrated that I threw it down for a day and watched netflix. (Yeah it happens to all of us I'm afraid!)

Finally I tried (in desperation) to sew the facings on upside down. SERIOUSLY!?! UGH, the person who wrote this pattern should be fired. It makes absolutely NO sense. They call it a facing, but it's not sewn on like a facing at all. It's a neck band and they should simply call it that from the get go. It might make it a bit easier and not associate it with a facing in my mind.

I actually wrote on my pattern directions, something I NEVER do btw, to sew the facings upside down. Because that's the only thing that works when sewing this dress.

Now in cutting out my main fabric I realize that I would really like to have some pattern weights and a huge cutting table. But, I do not have room for a huge cutting table. Guess, I will just keep using the floor. But, a lady can dream, right?

Pattern Description: 
Close fitting bodice on dress with 3 different sleeve variations and 3 different neckline variations. Full skirt portion is cut on the bias.

Pattern Sizing:
10 - 22. I sewed a size 22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions were very easy to follow, other than said neck facing.   

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the gathers instead of bust darts, they are easier to adjust for a larger bust.I normally have to do a FBA on commercial patterns.  I love the skirt part and the larger neck line gives it an interesting look. The sleeves are cute too. Since I live in MN I need something that I can layer if it gets cooler. I love the flutter sleeves, but it just isn't practical for me. 

Fabric Used:

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a muslin to test fit and struggled with the neck. Every review or blog post I've read about this pattern either glosses over the neck part or they made the view with the smaller neck. 

I ended up raising the front V one inch because it was way too low for me and my modesty. (as suggested by another blogger)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes - it's a comfortable dress with a nice, flowing, feminine touch to it. Although, I doubt I will actually sew another one. 

Conclusion: I really like wearing this dress and it is so comfortable. I actually made it with the zipper, but with the ease in the dress I don't feel like I need it. So, I'm going to be taking it out soon. 

another blogger's dress.  She actually was the only one that I could find that did the same view. Most people do view 'C' (flutter sleeves and narrow neckline)

I did french seams on the edges because linen has a tendency to fray and I want this dress to last a long time since I love it so much!

Here is how I did the french seams. They are such an easy way to enclose seams. It's probably my favorite way to enclose seams. And since linen is one of my favorite fabrics this makes sense.

First, since the seam allowences were 3/8" I sewed a 1/4" seam with the wrong sides together.
Then I ironed it down. I flipped the fabric to right sides together and ironed the other side open. I then sewed the right sides together at a 1/4" seam. Which I know is actually 1/2" seam total, but it was easier for me to do.
Step 1
Step 3

Step 2

A few finished pictures of the dress. The linen does make the dress a bit less structured, but I like it.
I know the black belt looks odd, but I was wearing black shoes too. For whatever reason my DH did not get that in the photo.

I love this picture of us. 

If sewing is not your thing then think about 'forget the frock' instead. (for 2018 or anytime you are culturally expected to buy a new dress.) 

"Ditch the suit. Hang up the fancy dress and the desire to impress.
This Easter, you'll buy a t-shirt from a charity. Any charity.

You'll wear your t-shirt Easter Sunday.
You'll tell everyone about the charity you're supporting.

That charity you bought the shirt from?
They'll feed an orphan.
Educate a child.
Drill a clean water well.
Rescue a slave from human trafficking.
Employ a widow or single mother.
Provide medical care for the sick.
Share the good news of Christ."

03 April 2017

Farm History year by year part 1

I was sitting on my couch thinking about all I have accomplished in the (almost) 4 years we have been here. I thought I would write it up so I could remember it all when I've been here 20 years or more.

Feb 2014- We bought our place before we got married (scary!) and nothing was here except the house. Thank God for that at least. Basement was unfinished though and we had only 1 bathroom.

June 2014- I moved in after we were married. DH lived in the house alone and without any furniture.
I planted a few strawberries and a very small garden to test the soil and started with some amendments.  I got dutch rabbits(free) to test out if I wanted to do rabbits. Worked on cutting all the grass to manageable levels. A neighbor came by to tell me that it hadn't been cut in years. I believe it...

2015- I bought our first Silver Fox rabbits and slaughtered the last of the dutch rabbits. I expanded the gardens and fenced it in to keep deer out. I also planted a few apple trees. I had 1 hen gifted to me and several roosters though all the roosters were eaten.

2016- I started building a chicken coop after I ordered my Dominique chicks. We had some adolescent ducks gifted to us. I bought 3 more of the same breed and all turned out to be male except 1 and one died.(le sigh) Planted 1/3 of my large garden with strawberries the rest with annual vegetables.Always adding compost to the garden soil. Planted 2 plum(Toka and  Black ice), 2 pear(Patten and Parker) and 1 apricot tree. Cleaned up a lot more of the property, since we have been maintaining more and more each year. Started stacking wood for later use. Started a chicken run to be finished in 2017.

2017- Finished chicken run, built a duck run and new duck house, built perennial raised beds and planted my regular gardens again. Always adding compost to make the soil better. Planted more resistant apple trees(duchess of oldenburg, wolf river, haralson, and ?) because the others died last year.

And there is still so much more to be done for 2017. Some of this is just planned for 2017. I got a little overboard, but I am concentrating on finishing up things that we had started last year for 2017. Not too many new projects, other than the duck pens and house that should have been done last year.