Monday, December 31, 2012

Country life = a new family "member"

We heard a knock on our door last evening, and when we opened it, we found our VERY EXCITED daughter-in-law Katie, son Kevin, and......... a baby goat.

 
The baby goat had been born at our neighbor's goat farm just a few short hours earlier, and the mama was unable to feed him. Normally, on our neighbor's goat farm, the girl goats get names, but the boy goats don't, because they all get sold.
 
But that's not stopping Katie, who promptly named this particular boy goat Teddy.
 
 
George got down on the floor to play with the goat, and they ended up head-butting. Must be a guy thing.
 
Teddy had eaten just a little from his mama, but it didn't appear he would get any more, so once they showed him off, they took him home to feed. Or try to feed. When we went to their house a little later, they had Teddy in their kitchen, trying to bottle feed him, with no luck.


 
Teddy was crying, but was refusing the bottle. George and I found the situation very amusing. We told the newlyweds this is nothing - just wait til that baby is their own human newborn! Anyone who has had the blessing of caring for a newborn knows the helplessness of a screaming baby!
 
George (who grew up raising sheep) jumped in to help. But Teddy still wanted nothing to do with that bottle. (though he did think our daughter Jessica's fingers looked promising)
 
 
Finally, both Kevin and Teddy fell asleep. And George told Katie that Teddy would eat when he got hungry enough. Which would more than likely be in the middle of the night.
 
Sure enough, at 12:24 AM, Kevin sent this text to his sister:

He woke us up crying,
drank almost 8 oz milk and wanted more,
peed twice soaking up 10 paper towels,
 pooped once,
and now won't quit crying because he wants to play.
 
Hee, hee. Welcome to "parenthood".
 
And this may be just the beginning. Kevin and Katie own a VERY PREGNANT goat name Faith who should be delivering any day now. And by the looks of her, she at least has twins, probably triplets. Maybe even quadruplets.
 
Keep that milk bottle coming!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 
 
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Luke 2:14

From our house to yours, we wish you a Christmas full of joy and peace.
George & Barb

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter hours announced

What a busy time of the year!

As you can imagine, the Christmas season is the busiest time for my shop as customers are caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping for just the right gift for their loved ones.

In between customers, I've been going through inventory. I created a clearance corner, and have been keeping it filled. As fast as something sells off it, I add something else. There's been some great buys there!

I'm moving anything that's been on the floor longer than a few months back there. And some things that had been moved to clearance, and didn't get any attention there got moved out permanently yesterday - to Goodwill!

Why am I doing this? Because like last year, we're closing for the winter.

Closed for the season. Reason? Freezin'.

Really.

That old building is so cold. No matter how much I turn up the heat, no matter how much money I spend to turn up the heat, I still freeze in there.

And, when it's cold and snowy, not that many customers venture out anyway. Which means I spend more money heating the building, while making less sales. The math tells the tale.

So, we experimented last year with closing for the winter. It worked great. I get lots of time to be in my workshop creating new inventory.

Which is why I'm putting so much on clearance. I need room for all the new treasures that will be coming in!

There will be days here and there that I will open if weather permits. I'll need to keep taking things in so my workshop doesn't get overwhelmed. Last year, I was open 6 or 7 days. I would announce on facebook that I would be open, and the end result was that I sold almost as much in those few days as I had the previous winter when I was open every day. Again, the math tells the tale. I'll be doing the same this winter. Watch facebook for days I will open.

That explains the why I've been so busy in the shop. As for home, it's been just as busy as we've been doing our own Christmas hustle and bustle. I'm happy to say that I'm done shopping, and everything is wrapped.

That also makes Billy happy. As far as sleeping quarters, Christmas is his favorite time of the year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snowmen Insulators

I saw some old glass insulators somewhere online that had been painted into snowmen.
 
For once, it wasn't on Pinterest!
But...I don't know now where it was.
 
They were pretty fancy, full of detail.
 
I decided to experiment with some too, but keeping it simpler. 


The ones I had seen online had the eyes up in the recessed area
where I have a fabric scarf.
 
My hands are steady with a paint brush,
 but I don't know if they are THAT steady!
 
When my sister saw the above photo on my facebook page,
 she commented that I should paint some with black hats.

 
So I did.
 
The second one from the left in the front row reminds me of something,
and at first, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
 
Then it hit me........
Keystone Cops!
 
Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees it!
 
 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shipping box snowman surprise

Look what I found when I started cutting open a box on a recent order:


Someone (probably in the shipping department) had drawn a snowman on the outside of the box with a sharpie.

It made me smile to think of someone anonymously spreading their Christmas cheer, one shipping box at a time.

It truly is the little things in life!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sawmill slab pine trees

When we bought a sawmill a couple years ago, we planned on using it to cut lumber. Kinda obvious, don't ya think?


That's our son Kevin, the first time he used the mill. Timber is in his blood. His Grandpa owned and operated a business that included selling and repairing chainsaws, and he also heated his home most of his life with the firewood he cut each year. Kevin's PapPap had his own sawmill, selling lumber as a side business. Kevin's love of the woods and timber runs deep in his veins.

Anyway, as I was saying, we bought a sawmill to cut lumber. And lumber it does indeed cut. But we're finding some other uses, besides strictly 2x4's, or 1x8's.

 
If you picture a log, it's round. Those rounded edges have to be cut off to square up the log.
 


Some of the slabs are just right for cutting pine trees! It's hard to see in the photos, but each tree is somewhat rounded on the front, making each tree very unique.

The 2 trees in the above photo are very thick. So thick we couldn't cut them with our band saw, or even a saber saw. George ended up cutting them with a chain saw!

 
 We let the slabs dry out for over a year, and the bark dried out and fell off most of them, but we had a few pieces with the bark intact. It may fall off eventually, but that will just reveal the smooth wood underneath.
 
 
The scraps were big enough to make some small trees. No two are alike, it just depends on the curve of the wood.
 

 
This grouping of trees is in the display window, and shows the size variation. These range from 3 or 4 inches to a couple feet in height.
 
                           

As they are using the mill, George keeps an eye out for slabs with "tree potential". Surely there will be a few that work in this pile!
 



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Railroad spike stocking holders


I just finished painting 33 railroad spikes, a sampling of which is shown here. I've sold lots of these as stocking holders. They work great for an empty stocking. Just let Santa know that it's best to put the stocking on the floor after he fills it, so the railroad spike won't tip over.

Some folks have also bought them as door stops or shelf sitters.

Word of warning - I believe it's illegal to pick these up along the track if there's any laying around. And it's definitely illegal to pull them up! No train derailments please!!!

Fortunately, we have another source for them. Yay!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Scraps and more scraps

What do you do with some scraps of wood, and some scraps of an old cutter quilt?

 
Well....... I made a snowman family.
 
And what do you do with scraps from an old chenille bedspread?
 

 
Well......... I made them into trees.
 
So many scraps.
So little time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The start of December

In honor of December 1st, and all the holiday parties this time of year, I give you this...........

Friday, November 30, 2012

More snowman silverware

You may remember this picture I posted a couple weeks ago:


A little paint, wire and fabric gave this old silverware new life! This was just a few of the ones I had painted, and many of them have sold.

So........

I rounded up some more old silverware:

 
I think I like this second batch better than the first one.
 
What do you think?
 
Gotta love trash to treasure projects!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scrooge

Do you find the Christmas season to be a bit overwhelming?
Too much pressure?
Too commercial?
 
Or maybe you're just not feelin' it?
 
Then these signs are just for you,
complete with barbwire hangers....
 
 
Ha!
 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Country Life = Random Thanks

It goes without saying that what I'm most thankful for is God and my family. Actually, it shouldn't go without saying, it should be said every day, and I do make a conscience effort to do just that.

But what else am I thankful for? Well let's see. (in no particular order)

Indoor plumbing. Especially an indoor toilet. And we have more than one! Not that many years ago, that would have been the ultimate luxury!

Electricity.

Random acts of kindness.

Orange juice.

Friends that have become family.

Family that have become friends.

Heat from a wood stove.

Fall leaves.

Cable TV, so I have choices beyond the sex/violence/vulgarity that is network TV these days.

Laughter and a good sense of humor.

A church with strong spiritual leaders who aren't afraid to reach out and tackle today's problems. (National Road Church of Christ in Wheeling, WV - if you're ever in the area, we'd love to have you join us!)

The election is over, and the rhetoric has died down a bit....temporarily.

That we live in a country where we can have an election, even with the rhetoric.

Good music.

A warm bed that's inside four walls with a roof over the top.

The power of prayer.

The seemingly endless overtime George is working. Because we lived through the days when there was no work, and we are well aware that it could happen again anytime.

The great people who support my store by shopping there and spreading the word about it. Small business owners see their customers as much more than a number. We get to know you, and we care about you.

A son-in-law who makes our daughter smile.

A daughter-in-law who does the same for our son.

Cell phones. Especially when we have to call our daughter and son-in-law when we're traveling to their place. It seems every time, something goes wrong, and we're making the "Um, Brian, we seem to be lost" call. And every time he helps us. We're very thankful that he likes us well enough that he doesn't let us just wander around Washington DC all night.

Daughter Jessica's sweet voice when she calls from so far away. (Ok, it's only 5 hours or so, but when she's there instead of here, it seems she's a million miles away).

Pumpkin pie.

Good memories. And the ability our mind has to let the bad memories dim while the good ones get better and better.

The farm animals that son Kevin keeps collecting. He's starting to live his dream, and in the process, George is getting to play too.

Kevin's bride who shares his love of farming. He didn't think he would ever find her, but like magic, Katie appeared in his life. 

Cooper's Rock State Forest in WV. My favorite place in the world.

Eyeglasses.

Kitty cats and puppy dogs.

My parents. George's parents. We miss them so....

George's love. God blessed me much more than I deserved when He gave me such a good man to share my life with.

And the children we raised together, who grew into fine adults we love more than life itself.

Well......how about you? Do you have a list?

Know what's great? If we take the time, every day, the list can change as we think of the many blessings we have. Even in the rough times, there's so many little things to be thankful for, and those little things add up into big things.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh! That reminds me! I'm thankful for pop-up timers on turkeys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There's a snowman in that window

I've got a pile of old windows begging to be upcycled. I pulled out 3 and painted snowmen on them:

 
 
 
 
 
I like how these turned out, so I think I'll pull some more out of the pile and paint more snowmen.

Stay tuned for more trash to treasure!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Alien or Snowman?

Ghost?
Alien?
Spirit of Christmas Past?

 
Nah.
Just a snowman.
 
 
He sure looks better with eyes and a........
Uh oh! I forgot his nose!
 
 
There we go.
Now he's complete.
 
Oh, by the way...
The corn sheller behind him is not for sale.
I took the photo in my kitchen before taking him to my shop.
 
Yes, that's right.
We have a corn sheller in our kitchen.
Can you say "country kitchen"?
 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wood boxes, snowman style

I thought it would be fun to paint some old wood boxes,
and this time of year, snowmen come to mind.


On this box, I painted the "think snow" design on one side.

 
And an Americana design on the other.
Suitable for all seasons!
 
 
On this one, I painted snowflakes on one side.
 
 
And stuck with the snowman theme on the other side as well.
 
 
This one is frosty friends on one side.
You can use it with your holiday decor by turning it this direction,
then after the holidays, just turn it around to the unpainted side.
 
I'm going to have to scrounge up some more old boxes!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blanket box

This old box had a purpose in it's day...........


It's a blanket box, the lid lifts off.
All the blanket boxes we've had have been covered in wallpaper.
I'm assuming that served two purposes:
1.Keep bugs out.
 2. Look pretty.
 
I'm sure at one time, that paper was pretty, but now....... not so much.
If you prefer the REALLY primitive look, you could leave it as is.
For me personally, I'd scrape it off.
 
And usually, I'd scrape the inside paper off too, but in this case,
I'd consider leaving it there. Why? Check this out......

 
It's lined with a local newspaper.
The Wheeling (WV) News-Register.
  
 

From Sunday, April 4, 1948!
 

On the opposite side of the box, you can see the date again,
along with a list of the movies playing at one of the local theaters.
(The photo makes it look like there's mold in the top right corner, but it's not mold. It's just a place where the paper is torn) 
 
 
And check out these prices!
A full bedroom set for the grand total of $249.
A baby carriage for $34.99.
 
This box may be an ugly duckling on the outside,
but the inside is a fun glimpse into our past!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Most popular guy in town

 
 
This guy is the most popular guy in town!
So to speak.
 
I put this picture on my facebook page this morning,
and I do believe he has garnered more "likes"
than any other picture I have ever posted there.
 
He's so touched, he's blushing!
 
Oh, by the way...
I painted him on a piece of metal that was cut from an old headboard.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Old lids reborn

Over the last couple of years, I've accumulated several old lids, who somewhere along the way, lost their pot.

I started playing with them, and came up with these:


These are not attached, I just scrunched them together for the picture.

Some more:

 
I also had some cake and pie pans lying (laying?) around, just waiting to become gingerbread men:
 
 
I'm off now. More to paint, plus I really should take time to look into that pesky "lying", "laying" issue. I can never remember which one is right in what situation.

Who am I kidding? I'm not going to look it up. It's not like I'd remember by the next time I use it anyway! lol

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's a nail's life

For all you do-it-yourselfer's out there:


HA!

I saw this on facebook and got a good laugh over it, so I thought I'd share.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fonts

I just ran across this site:

www.fontspace.com

Tons of free fonts. Yours for the downloading!

I've always been nervous about downloading fonts. I was afraid that might equate with downloading a free virus. Not a desirable freebie.

But I cautiously downloaded one, then walked away. When I came back, the computer hadn't turned green, so I downloaded another one. And another one. And another one.

Oh, this is fun.

I went so far as to create an account with them.

Turns out it's an app associated with facebook. Who knew?
Well, probably everyone but paranoid me.

But oh, this is fun.

This could get as addicting as pinterest!
Which is also fun!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween


Happy Halloween!

With all the destruction from Hurricane Sandy in the news, it doesn't feel much like a holiday. Our hearts go out to all those who lost family and friends, who lost their homes, and livelihoods.

Here in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, we've had several days of rain, and a fair amount of wind. But overall, we were spared. 

But for much of West Virginia, and some surrounding states, this hurricane brought huge amounts of snow. SNOW? From a hurricane? Incredible!

Every time our area gets hit from a hurricane, it amazes me. We're so far inland. There are lots of mountains between us and the sea, either from the east or the south. 

But we do often get hit, sometimes severely as was the case just a few years ago from Hurricane Ivan. We had major, major flooding all around us, and I doubt there's anyone here who doesn't have a story to tell from that day, and the days that followed.

We feel blessed that we were spared this time around. Our hearts go out to those folks in New York and New Jersey, and to the many other areas who were hit so hard. We are praying for you.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

And now it's a snowman


It's that time of year again............
Snowmen.
 
And as proof that just about anything can be turned into a snowman,
I present to you Exhibit A:

 
Snowmen silverware.
 
And Exhibit B:
 
 
Snowman sunglasses.
 
Hmmmm....
What else can I transform?
 
Gotta go.
There's a paint brush and some white paint waiting.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Country Life = The beauty of Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year.
I wait patiently, and each year I'm rewarded with it's beauty.
This year, God has granted us an especially colorful season.

 
It seems everywhere I look, the colors are incredibly vivid.
This is the view from our kitchen....I drink it in every chance I get.
 
I decided to take the camera, and get a closer view.......


The chickens thought I was coming for them.

 
So did the goats.
 
Sorry girls, I'm on a mission.
 
 
The woods await.
 
I headed in, but not alone.......
 
 
Billy never misses a chance for a walk.
(He thinks he's a dog. Don't tell him any different.)
 
 
The leaves were absolutely gorgeous. 
While I took their beauty in, Billy stood guard.......
 
 
While I looked for nature's hidden treasures.....
   
 
 Billy watched for nature's foes.
 

 While I admired our cows through nature's perfect frames..........
  
 
Billy decided to pose so I didn't forget who was most deserving of admiration.
 
 
Ahhh, yes....
Around here, Billy is King.
 
 
Lest we forget.
 
After properly admiring his regal beauty,
I went back to the autumn beauty.
 
 
 
 
And that's when it happened.
A snort.
 
 
 "WHAT WAS THAT?"
 
Don't worry Billy.
It's just a deer.
We couldn't see it, but it could see us.
And it didn't appreciate our presence.
 
Oh well, that's ok.
I don't appreciate the deer's presence in our yard either.
More specifically, the garden.
 
 
 I went back to admiring the cows.
 
 
And the trees.
 
And I could have stayed there for hours.
But, darkness was starting to creep in.
 
And while by day I feel no fear in our woods,
night is a different story.
 
When the coyotes start howling,
I want to be safely tucked inside the 4 walls of our house.
 
 
So we headed back, and watched the rest of the daylight fall
from the comforts of the front porch.
 
Ahhh, fall.
 

How to Peel Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs

I just posted a tip for peeling our farm fresh eggs when you hardboil them on our  Facebook page , and thought I'd share it here as well...