Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canvas and Jute Webbing Pillow

I love the change of seasons. 
We have actually had the threat of snow! The last few days we have been frantically cleaning out the garden and rototilling, getting the animals settled for Winter, and trying to get everything "put up". 
My carrots and beets are still patiently waiting for me to come pick them, but I know they will keep. Possibly next week we will be picking apples, canning TONS of applesauce, and making cider. Yummers:).

My dear Hubby helped me finish the chicken coop and I can't wait to show you pictures. It was a project made from scrap wood and materials, but turned out better than I could have imagined. The "Cottage Coop" is a hit with the girls. 
I am even getting eggs now!

We have had lovely days spent outside in the brisk Fall air, but now it feels like Winter is coming. 
I am so ready. 
Ready for the rest. 
We had some sweet friends over today, and Beth and I talked about how anxious we are to be "done" with the garden. 
Don't get me wrong...I love it and gardening is one of my fondest hobbies, but it is nice to have everything tucked away for a season of rest. 
We all need time to pause and renew:). 



Here is a little project I worked on last week.
A new pillow for my couch...


It is actually a full body pillow for your bed, but works perfect as a lumbar pillow on our couch.
Everyone loves it...especially Darren who has lower back pain.




I like how it brightens our dark leather couch.



I used a drop cloth canvas and jute webbing for a really simple, almost grain sack look.






Hope you have a lovely week and get outside to enjoy some of the Fall weather:).


~Julia




I am sharing HERE.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Oooh...this is one of my all time favorite soups!



The delicious aroma floats on waves through the house all day making my mouth water. It is a super simple soup to make and so deliciously healthy and filling.
Here is the recipe: 


You can choose from the following for the ham:
1 ham bone or
 2 lbs. ham shanks or
  2 lbs. hocks or
2 lbs. pressed ham
***
2 1/4 c. split peas {1 lb.}
8 c. water
1 large onion, chopped
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped carrots
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt

Put everything into soup pot or crock pot. For stove top version....boil for 15 minutes, then simmer for at least 3 hours. You want the soup to thicken.


In the crock pot, just cook on high for at least 6 hours.
Shred or chop ham before serving in the soup. Mine is usually falling apart and I just use a fork to shred.


Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or crusty rolls and a garden salad. 


Enjoy!


~Julia


I am linked HERE.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Easy Fall Pennant Garland

My crafting time is limited, so I love easy projects like this one.
Simple.
Cheap.
Fast!


You will need:
newspaper
glue stick
scissors
permanent marker
ribbon or string


Just cut out desired size for the pennant...leaving the top intact, like this...




Next, use your permanent marker to write a lovely word or phrase.
I picked "Fall."




You will need to put a few sheets of newspaper in between the pennants when you are writing.
The marker will bleed through to the other side....so be careful!
Now, just run your ribbon or string through, folding each pennant down.
Glue the two sides together, leaving space at the top for it to slide. This way, you can space them to a desired width along the ribbon.


Whalaa! You are done:).
Place somewhere for everyone to enjoy!






~Julia 


I am linked HERE.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prairie Girl Coveralls

I made these coveralls for Lily this week from a vintage pattern that I modified to our liking.
I just love old patterns...the patina...the styles.


This pattern is reminiscent of a 1930's-1940's style overall.
I looked and looked for an original pattern, but had to come up with my own modifications.
We just love them.
They are super comfortable, you can use a wide variety of fabrics, and they wear really well!


I just move the buttons as she grows.
In the summer, we pair the coveralls with a short sleeve shirt, and as the cooler weather comes, we wear long sleeves or a sweater.
It is nice to have a piece of clothing that lasts through multiple seasons.


I used a simple cotton that my cousin had gifted to me.
I have also made her a pair out of denim and a thick broad cloth.


We call them "Prairie Girl Coveralls" after my darling girl...who lives on the prairie.



Have a wonderful day!

~Julia


I am linked up HERE.

Our Field Trip to the Ranch...

What a day we had visiting the incredible Whitaker Ranch on Monday! 
It was such a wonderful opportunity to see a family that works together and makes their living off of cattle.
That's something you don't hear of everyday!
Rich and LaDonna were such sweet hosts and we truly had a lovely time. 
We learned a lot about intensive grazing practices, how much land you really need to run a large herd, and how they have turned their calving season around to summer. 
The pregnant cows benefit greatly from the lush grasses and alfalfa in the last two months. 

Here are some pictures from our fantastic day...



They built this beautiful home. 
Charity and I thought it was original to the ranch it looks so authentic.




The ranch is a long standing one, and there have been very few changes in ownership.




This is the house original to the ranch.




There is land as far as the eye can see...






Here is Richard explaining to the kids how they brand their cows.
And here are some of their happy cows...




I loved talking to Rich and LaDonna about how they have raised their children in a very simple way.
 We are doing things  similarly:). 
I have a sweet spot in my heart for families that work together. The Whitakers have homeschooled their kids and provided lots of opportunity to work, learn, and play on the ranch.  
And what a place to do that!
5000 acres give you a lot of options:).
Shane, their son, gave our kids a little tour of the ridge and creek. I think my boys would be stuck fishing all day if we lived here:). 




Jack and my niece, Graysen, loved their fun dog...Jack.








Recently, they built this movable chicken coop. 
How neat!
See...you can intensive graze chickies, too!




LaDonna prepared the most delicious meal of split pea soup, homemade bread and egg salad for us to enjoy.
It was so hearty and yummy!
She also showed us this delightful quilt she made.




Thank you Richard, LaDonna, and Shane for giving us such a special day on your ranch! 
You are truly an inspiration!




If you would like to order delicious grass fed beef from the Whitakers, you can visit their website HERE.


Hope you enjoyed the tour...I know we did!
Have a lovely day!!


~Julia  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ranch Field Trip

One of the things we love most about homeschooling is the flexibility to explore avenues that we are interested in.
Tomorrow, we are going on a field trip with cousins to a 5000 acre cattle ranch.
At Whitaker Grass Fed Beef, they raise grass fed beef and sell their wonderful product at the local farmer's market, as well as online. 

I can't tell you how thrilled my kids are to actually visit tomorrow. Truthfully, I am chomping at the bit, too:). I am so very excited to meet this sweet family and learn how they run such a successful business!

My sister, Charity... OK, we call her Cheech:)... made this darling apron as a thank you. Isn't it sweet?

 

The fabrics are so complimentary and perfect for a rancher's wife. 



I think I need to borrow the pattern Cheech:).
You can see more here.

Have a lovely day!

~Julia



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fun Barn Sale Find...Antique Crib

Oh, I just HAD to share my barn sale find of the weekend! 
The kids save their money and about once a month we hit the yard sales...or barn sales...as this was the case:).

I spotted it in the corner tucked away. 
I really didn't NEED it, so it was going to have to be a couple of dollars for me to REALLY justify bringing it home.
But, it was chippy, worn, old and perfect!
Best of all, the sweet lady running the sale said she just wanted to GIVE it away!


I assured her I would give her beloved baby crib a good home.
She even painted it with lead free paint at some point. 



Don't you love the darling color and great detail?
I just love older pieces.
They are so sturdy and the little accents are always special and unique.


 Lily and I cleaned it up with soap and water when we got home. 
Being the sweet Mommy that she is to her babies, she begged to put it in her room.


We made a makeshift mattress out of blankets and a favorite sheet.I was so excited the little bed matched her antique high chair and white spindle seat. 

I found the pink Amsco high chair on Ebay a few years ago for $9.99. The little white chair was a yard sale find for $2.


She and Jack share a room...so we did OK this with him first:). 
Being only three, he was thrilled that his baby "Boom-Boom" would have his own bed, too.

I love this season of motherhood!

Eventually, my sister and I will use it as a prop for a booth we are planning on this Spring. There are a couple of amazing shows we are going to try and make it to.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

~Julia 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields

I found this song through another blog that I follow and just fell in love with its message. What a beautiful depiction of marriage and the promise that we made.
I think we have all been through trails and tribulations. 
I know I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.
I am so glad I get to dance through the minefields with you Darren...
I knew you were mine when you said you wanted to grow old with me:)


 You will need to scroll down and pause the music playing on my playlist first:).


~Julia
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