Friday, June 17, 2016

Tadpoles

The best entertainment I can provide for our daughter while we run is critter collecting. Just recently we were able to gather up a salamander and a few tadpoles (and salamander babies... not sure what they are called?).  I love how excited she gets with these living treasures.

The wet, swampy, area in our field dried up this spring from lack of rain and although we were able to enjoy frogs peeping away I am pretty sure their efforts of attracting mates did not go very far without water for their offspring. Turns out that about a mile down the road the conditions remain perfect for frog development and we stumbled upon a small pool teeming with pollywog life. 

We now have 2 jars of tadpoles sitting on the kitchen counter. We feed them boiled lettuce and everyone seems to be doing well. I would like to find a small fishbowl for them since we'd love to see these turn into frogs. We'll see. We may just release them back into the wild and let nature do it's thing.


Have a great Friday!

shelby g

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pom-Poms


So I added pom poms to our bedroom curtains.  Yes, it seems like a silly idea but I was sucked into a pinterest vortex the other day and came across this. And then I went to look for pom pom curtains to purchase and thought that the price was a wee bit high for something I could do myself.  Although there are plenty of tutorials on pinterest I figured it out on my own (just sew the pom pom trim on one edge of the curtain. Hang curtain. Done.)  I really wish I had gone for bigger pom poms... I stink at online measuring.

Overall I love it!  Go! Add pom poms to your curtains! It's a MUST!

have a great day! I finished planting the garden just before it rained this weekend but now I have to sew up customs. I need to get them done!

shelby g

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Around the Farm




So much happening on the Farm this time of year. First off, inside the home, I am ORGANIZING! And it is going well. I feel like having children and their junk has helped me kick my hoarding tendencies (well, not with fabric or other sewing supplies... that's still in full swing!) but I have been cleaning out our closets, moving the kids clothes around and into their own rooms, and taking items to Good Will.  And I have also made more of an effort to clean on a schedule. It is not easy and I often slack off but overall I am falling into more of a cleaning routine so that we have a better balance in the home.

We've been enjoying the light that this time of year brings along with the fantastic smell of cut grass and lilacs.  These are the last lilacs of this season; it's hard to believe that the time has passed already. But lupines are starting to bloom and we have a ton on our hill so we'll fit a little lupine walk into our busy day today and bring more color into the house. 

The garden is almost planted, huzzah! Unfortunately the small tiller I borrowed didn't work so I have been hand digging the rows (as I had planned originally) and thus far have planted onions, lettuces, swiss chard, some herbs, potatoes, spinach, and gladiolas.  I still have about 3 rows left to plant and will get those completed by the weekend. And then it'll be time to go back through and weed! But the kids love being outside and the bugs haven't been too bad. On the list today is chicken coop cleaning, some gardening, lawn mowing and a little organization of the barn.  

Children's developmental milestones abound! Johnny can sit himself up almost completely and planks like a champ. He's almost figured out crawling too and can get around by scooting... so there is another reason to organize... keep small objects out of his grasp.

And Audrey is self-potty training. I knew she could do it on her own and have been frustrated by folks suggesting that I potty train her before she was developmentally ready. I am not really that kind of mom and would prefer it to be on her own terms. No more diapers for her in this household since she has long ago night trained herself. I never knew how freeing it would be for both of us... and she is very happy with her accomplishment.

Well I am off. I need to finish up a few customs and then begin the rest of my day! Enjoy the sun!

shelby g

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Chicken Shuffle



The Chicken Shuffle is the name to the new dance we invented here on the farm. Shuffle baby chicks from the post office to brooders in the basement. Feed and love for a few weeks and shuffle the meatbirds fatties to the smaller red coop outside. Continue to feed and love the laying hen chicks in the basement brooders until the outdoor meatbirds outgrow the red coop (about 2 weeks). Shuffle meat birds to chicken tractor and clean red coop. Shuffle laying hen chicks out to brooders and clean brooders in the basement. In the meantime attempt to move chicken tractor by yourself and then call in reinforcements...move every few days. Then in 2 weeks we'll shuffle new chicks and duckling into the basement brooders for round #3!

So far everyone is happy and healthy.  We still haven't decided exactly how we are going to butcher the meatbirds (29 of them... we had a recent loss) and had hoped to have them processed at a USDA approved facility about an hour away. I do need to call them, though.... That should really be more of a priority! 

Today for more gardening! So far the potatoes, lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach have been planted. It's slow going over here but we'll get it all in by this weekend!

shelby g 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mommy & Me

 
We are heading out for errands in a few and I figured we needed new skirts. This leopard print/floral lightweight swim fabric sat in my sewing room for about a month. I purchased it on sale, naturally, but didn't realize I purchased 2 yards. Yikes!  Johnny went down for a nap and instead of pulling together the diaper orders I have to get into the mail today I decided to spend a little time on these skirts. They are really simple circle skirts so only took 30 minutes to cut and sew. Not bad!


Have a great day! Now I actually have to do real work.

shelby g

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Weekend

What a fantastic long weekend!   We had a busy  few days here and there around Maine. On Saturday I dropped the kids off at my sisters and spent a couple hours yardsaling with my Grandmother. It was very, very hot out but we managed to get to a least 5 sales (along with lunch out!).  We had a great time and, of course, it was fun for me to be children-free for those hours.

I made myself a yardsaling pencil skirt using this pattern. A fast sew and very comfy! I am going to size the next skirt down, this one was a little too baggy to be high-waisted like originally intended but fit fine with the waistband around my hips.   And I bought the fabric from Girl Charlee. I love the plaid and will probably make Audrey another Me Hearties from it. And my sister has requested a pencil skirt from this fabric too.


For yardsaling I am trying to buy responsibly. We don't want too much junk in the house which means I really have to think about the purchases I make.  I could easily go overboard with plastic kids toys, which we don't want, so I found only a few items this weekend that I thought would go well with our lives. It was hard not to buy plastic toys... so a few found there way into my car. Oops.


From left to right:

::This large Parisian tote caught my eye for $6! And Audrey can fit in it.  I am planning on using it either for the beach/lake or to store kids toys or books.

::And a $2 crocheted afghan! I love finding these at yardsales. I am not focused enough to make one myself but so far have purchased two at yardsales... Probably no one wants them because they are generally made out of acrylic yarn which is pretty scratchy. I appreciate the time and thought that went into this, though, so I am willing to put up with scratchy texture.

::A few weeks ago the kids and I practically drove to Canada to pick up some used furniture for the kid's rooms (2 bureaus and a book shelf).  The folks were moving so they also had a yardsale set up that I was able to go through the sale before it became open to the public. There I found a bunch of fun things including 4 fold up wooden chairs. These will be great for Barn Thanksgiving and also when I set up my booth at craft fairs this summer.

::A set of four reproduction metal plates for Audrey. They all have fun vintage circus motifs on them.

::Found this fantastic storage step which is now residing in our upstairs bathroom. Right now we are using it to step into the large bathtub but overall I am not exactly sure where this will go.

::A "Ralph" shirt which will become a T-Shirt Dress for Audrey this week. I can't wait... sometimes I feel like Audrey shares some Ralph qualities.

::Felt barn animal mobile for the playroom.

::Toy storage shelf that I purchased at a local yardsale a few weekends ago. Not my favorite form of organizing toys but it makes them very accessible to Audrey and the toys are easy to clean up and sort.

::And lastly, an adorable doll house with accessories.  It is plastic but it is also vintage (1980) and Audrey LOVES playing with it. So adorable.  There hasn't been a day over the last 2 weeks (as I bought it a few weeks ago at a yardsale) that she hasn't played with it. Plastic or not, a good toy!


Upon arriving back at my sister's farm I found my daughter covered head to toe in dirt and having the best time. She didn't even run up to me screaming "Mommy!" like she usually does...  she loves her big cousins so much and they are both very good with her.  And Johnny had a great time with his uncle... i guess they did "man" things together.

Well, we packed up everyone and I brought Audrey, Johnny, and the cousins back Downeast for an overnight.  Since it was still hot out, even here on the coast, we dug out large metal water containers and set up the sprinkler so the kids could cool off.


 Of course, good things don't last. While we made plans to visit the ocean the next day it turned out to be in the 50s and rainy and we hunkered down inside and did arts & crafts and cupcake decorating. The kids also entertained Audrey so I could continue working on my Superhero/Villain stocking which opened in my store last night.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend.  Looking forward to the week ahead... we have a lot to do on the farm. I need to get the garden planted and we also have to prepare ourselves for a batch of new chickies and ducks that come in next week. Can't wait!

shelby g

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playgroup Ice Dyed Clothing


A while back we played around with ice-dyeing in Audrey's playgroup.  I really love this technique for dyeing fabrics and usually do it in the wintertime with snow.  It's a great project for pre-schoolers.  We soaked the fabric in soda ash and warm water, like I usually do, and set the fabric in totes lined with wire racks.  Then we filled a bunch of paper cups with ice and we had the kids take turns dumping the ice on the fabric. Then we filled paper cups with the powder procion dyes and the kids took turns dumping the dyes on the ice.  I waited 24 hours for the ice to melt and the dye to set and then I rinsed the dyes out and washed the fabric a few times.  The fabric came out great! And, of course, it has been sitting in my sewing studio for 2 months waiting to become something.


Yesterday marked the last day of the playgroup before we break for the summer.  Which meant I finally had a deadline to finish up the one-of-a-kind clothing for the children. I worked at breakneck speed to get them all done in time, making dresses for the girls with the Me Hearties Dress pattern and Treasure Pocket Tees for the boys (which ended up taking more time than the girl's dresses!). I purchased the blue/green striped fabric at Mardens and it is so silky (and was very cheap to purchase!) and the boy's truck fabric is Lillestoff.  Matched up with the beautiful ice dyed fabric this project turned out perfectly. Audrey handed all the presents to her friends and they immediately put them on, which was adorable. We'll miss the playgroup this summer but are looking forward to seeing them all soon.  


Have  a wonderful Thursday!

shelby g