Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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.























It's really quite easy, once you know the trick. Someone told my husband this tip, and I would give them credit, if only I remembered who it was. Whoever you are - thank you!!!

Bring your water to a boil BEFORE putting the eggs in. Once the pan of water is boiling, gently lower the eggs into it one at a time, using a slotted spoon. Once all the eggs are in the water, put the lid back on, then bring the water back to a boil if it has stopped. Turn off the heat, and let them sit on the warm burner for 15 minutes or so. Pour off the water, replace it with cold, and let sit for a few minutes until the eggs are cool enough to handle.

That's it! The key is having the water boiling first. 

No idea why it works, but I'm so glad it does!

A couple days ago, I boiled 14 eggs. 12 peeled perfectly, 2 stuck just a little. These were fresh eggs. REALLY FRESH. From the hen to the water within a few hours. Yep. FARM FRESH! 

I know there are other tips out there that may work just as well. But I have no desire to add salt, or vinegar, or anything else to the water when all I need to do is bring it to a boil first. 

We sell our eggs in our shop, so if you are local, keep us in mind when you go egg shopping.

Our girls eat grass, and bugs, and worms, as nature intended.
Their grain is non GMO. 

And their eggs? They are delicious!!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Country Life = Easter Blessings


I do believe Spring is finally here to stay! 
Our favorite little guy is excited to be outside again.
He loves to "Hap."

You know...... Help. Said in a sweet little 2 year old voice.


He thought he was pretty big stuff calling in the cows.


And gettting the flower gardens ready.
I tried giving him a child sized hoe.
No dice.
He wants to use what we use.
"Tool." he says. Our big ones, not his little ones.

I've had a very productive Easter weekend. The flower beds are now mostly clean, and I've been helping George get poles set for a new barn we are building. We had great weather for most of it, though Easter Sunday did end with storms. 

We were blessed to spend Sunday morning with our church family, hearing a powerful lesson about the risen Christ, and the hope that gives us.


One of my favorite signs I've made for the shop lately is this yellow one that says hope and is finished off with a flower cut from an old beat up quilt.

After church services, we had lunch with friends. An Easter buffet, chock full of delicious food. 
Our friends said they were going to go home and take a nap.

What did George and I do? We went home and chased cows. 
Three of the new calves decided the grass was greener on the other side of the fence while we were gone. We pulled onto our lane, and saw them, happily grazing in the hayfield.

Fortunately, it wasn't too much trouble getting them back where they belonged.

It's become a joke around here. When our son and daughter-in-law are away, one or another of the livestock will get out. Happens every time. 

Life on the farm.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tricycles for the Garden



Last summer, George went to an estate auction, and brought back a couple old rusty tricycles. I was excited about that, because tricycles (and bicycles) have always sold pretty quickly for us. Usually as a garden touch.

Although one time, a young man bought one of our old school bicycles and added some sort of motor. When he told me his plans for it I thought he was dreaming. But he brought me a picture of it a couple weeks later, and it was really cool.

I digress.
Back to the tricycles.



One went on a table top. Why a table top? Because if I put it on the floor, it's too tempting for little ones who want to ride it. We have no room for that unfortunately.


The other went in the display window. I really need to take the time to refinish the floor in there. A couple years ago, we had some pine trees cut from sawmill slabs on display. They drew moisture, and left the whitish spots you can see under the bike. I suppose fixing it is going to mean sanding the floor down completely, then putting new varnish on. 

That's going to be number 4,624 on my project list.

Again, I digress.
Back to the tricycles.

I figured they would sell quickly, but for whatever reason, they didn't.

Time went on.


I worked one into a gingerbread display.

More time went on.


Christmas display.

Really?

They drew lots of interest, but it was usually along this line:
"So and so would love this, I'll tell them to come look at them."

But apparently "so and so" never came.

Just about everyone who looked at them remarked at the reasonable price.
But they still remained.

In late winter, I put them in the clearance corner. STILL no takers.

I was beginning to wonder if they had a hex on them.

I was about to just take them off the floor for a few months when Pinterest gave me an idea.


Photo via Pinterest, and a blog you can see by clicking here. The blog post has several beautiful photos.

That hot pink is a little too hot for my taste, but I loved the concept. I have seen several 
bicycles painted in this manner, but it hadn't occured to me to give the tricycles the same treatment.

So, I looked through my spray paint stash, and settled on white and a more muted pink.


I love how the white one turned out. As for the pink, maybe it's a little TOO muted. 
Hmmm...


Once I got them back to the shop, I added a little red basket to the white one. I have a little sage green basket in the same style that could be added to the pink one. 

So...... we'll see if they sell now. Here's hoping!

By the way, this seems a good time to tell one of my favorite stories:

Several years ago, we were at an outdoor auction, full of antiques. The crowd was large with lots of buyers. But there was one guy there who was trying his best to sweep the auction. It became increasingly difficult to buy anything, because he was running the bids up so high. 

Two tricycles came up for bid. The guy was eying them eagerly. But so was a little boy, up on his daddy's shoulders. 

The bidding for choice on the 2 tricycles started. The little boy had his daddy's bid card, and was holding it up high. The guy bid against the boy a couple times, but finally stopped. Maybe he felt the pressure from the crowd who was watching, waiting, silently rooting for the boy to get the winning bid. He put down his card, and the little boy kept his high up in the air. 

Going once, going twice, SOLD! 

Daddy set the little boy down on the ground, and he ran to the tricycle of his choice with a big grin on his face. The crowd parted, and he rode off down the driveway on his new bike. I don't think George and I were the only two in the crowd with happy tears in our eyes. 

Sweet, sweet memory. 



Friday, April 7, 2017

A Tisket, A Tasket

Baskets are great in and of themselves.
But sometimes its fun to take them up a notch.


A touch of ribbon and a flower or two give them a whole new look.


The red and white shaker style box also got an upgrade, with a quilted flower and tag.

I just glued the flower to the top, then tied the tag to the button in the middle of the flower. A box as sweet for looking at as it is for storage. 


The heart in the basket is made from an old chenille bedspread, and is also wearing a tag.


Lousy picture I know. Why? It's in the display window, and I was taking the photo through the glass. I should have taken them out of the window for the picture, but my energy level and my thought process level the day I took the photos were not in sync.

The basket on the left is embellished with a burlap ribbon and flower. The one on the right is sporting a burlap ribbon and heart cut from an old quilt.


The wine bottle basket also got dressed up with a burlap ribbon and flower. Burlap dresses up anything these days. There's a certain irony to humble burlap dressing something up, isn't there? 


This is a BIG basket. Close to laundry basket size. 
Pretty cool.

A tisket, a tasket, a dressed up wicker basket! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tutorial - Upcycling a Mirror

My first attempt at a tutorial.
I kept forgetting to take pictures.
Ahem....

Well, let's begin.

I had an oval mirror with a missing piece of frame.

























Did I think to take a picture of the whole mirror?
No, I was doing good to remember to take one of the missing piece.

























I decided to try hiding the broken frame with some flowers.
Hot glue sticks amazingly well to a mirror.

I glued some leaves down first, then added a piece of ribbon.
And then a flower. But I forgot to take a picture.



Then I stood back and looked at it. 
And decided it needed flowers in the opposite corner to make it looked balanced.
So, I repeated what I had already done on the opposite corner.
And after I did that, I discovered the mirror was showing a bit between the backing and frame right where I had added the flowers. 
That's ok, the leaves hide it.
For the most part.... if you don't look too closely.



The finished mirror!
And everything in it's reflection.

The missing frame piece is hidden behind the flower on the bottom.

I could see this hanging in a girly girls room, or a cottage themed or Victorian home. 

Next time I do a tutorial, I'll try to remember to take more pics.
But look what I did remember to do.....


Take a selfie!
Ha! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Man Cave... Stage One

We have a new display in the shop. It has several pieces perfect for the man cave, or a home decorated with the rustic/woodsy/lodge theme.




















Can you guess what the Old Treasures and Man Cave signs are painted on?




















Concrete trowels!

























Speaking of tools, how about a couple shovels?
Note the all wood handles.
And check out that cool old wooden clamp.

























Around here, many guys (and gals) are into fishing & hunting.




















So that seemed an appropriate beginning for adding more guy stuff.




















This plywood cabinet came straight out of a guys woodshop. It had been in my dads workshop, holding a variety of wood making tools.

The green metal box underneath is an old ammo box. I tried selling it plain for a while, and since it hadn't sold yet, I dressed it up a bit with some burlap ribbon and rusty stars.




I dressed up a couple metal skillets too.



























They made for some fun Fish Fry signage.

























All together now.... "Awwww".




















I will be adding more stuff for the guys, this is just the beginning.

But don't worry girls, I certainly haven't forgotten about you!

























I'm also adding lots of wedding/love decor.
But that's a post for another day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Embellished Signs

Sure, you can make a sign with a paint brush and paint.
But why stop there?




Lately, I've been adding some embellishments.
Rusty stars are a good place to start.
And even a rusty chicken.




 I like to tie on a scrap of fabric, then add a rusty star on top.




















Burlap flowers are always a good choice.
But why stop there?
Lace and barbwire?
Sure!




















I painted Antiques & Old Stuff on a saw blade, then nailed it to a piece of barnwood.
The old friend sign is a piece of baseboard, perhaps from an old farmhouse.
It already had the white chippy paint on it when I bought it.
A couple scraps of fabric gave it the finishing touch.

























Or, how about a flower made from a cutter quilt?
There's no end to the ideas of what can be added to a sign.

Time for a treasure hunt through the junk craft stash!

By the way - I'm having problems writing posts and adding pictures. When I add photos, it messes up the spacing. Sometimes it throws the written part all out of whack, adding large spaces to the post at times. Eventually, I can get it to look right on my laptop, but it ends up creating large spaces when I look at it on my phone. Hmmm.......







Friday, March 17, 2017

The Elusive 4 Leaf Clover


As far as I know, I'm don't have any Irish in me.
But I'm wearin' my green today anyway, in honor of the day, and of our Irish son-in-law.

And of our son Kevin, who has the uncanny ability to find 4 leaf clovers.

It's unreal. He will be walking through the yard, or a pasture field, and will look down, pause, and say, "there's one". And there is.

When he was a boy, he would pick them, and dry them in a book. It reached the point he didn't even bother anymore. After all, he can spot them and pick them just about anytime he's outside if he takes the time to look down.



Me? I can remember sitting in clover patches like this one as a kid, scouring the ground for a 4 leaf one. With absolutely no luck.

I finally found one a couple years ago, and the funny thing was, George found one at the same time, and just like me, it was his first one. We were pretty excited until Kevin walked over, and pointed out a couple more, just by glancing at the patch.

Some people have all the luck.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bread Stuff

This is not my mom's hands, but oh, how this picture makes me think of her.


She made the best bread, and made it every week. Our daughter associates the smell of baking bread with Grandma's house. I do too, but even more, it's the color of bread. Mom's bread had the most beautiful dark brown crust. I rarely see it in homemade breads, it must have been particular to mom's oven.

And the taste! Warm from the oven with butter or jelly. Oh my.

Sadly, I never learned to bake it. I tried a few times, but it just didn't come close. Maybe I don't have the patience to knead it correctly. One of my strongest memories of mom is of her kneading that dough. She often had fun with it - she would put on a couple 50's records, and dance while she kneaded.





Then, in a few hours, we would get to eat slices of heaven.
Oh, the memories.

By the way, the 2 bread photos above are from the free photo site, Pixabay. Love them!

I have my mom's bread boards, and they are some of my most treasured possessions. 

Speaking of bread boards, I picked up several pig shaped ones at an auction.
Some sold as they were, but I a few lingered around the shop.
One day, I decided to get creative with them.


What is it with the bacon craze these days? 
I like bacon, but have no desire to eat bacon flavored everything. 
Bacon flavored ice cream? Really? 
No thank you.

But, bacon decor? I can do that.
Of course, they can no longer be used as cutting boards, but that's ok.


They already lived that life. 
Now they can rest and just hang around the kitchen.
Literally.


It appears this old bread box is ready to rest too.
I have no idea what caused the lid to break.
But, it's still a cool box. I painted it green, then added a burlap ribbon and a "Stuff" tag.
Who says a bread box can only be used for bread? 


This canvas painting was an experiment. 
I had picked it up an an auction, or flea market, or some such place.
It wasn't framed, and had a couple slight stains.

Around that same time, I saw a woman on some TV decorating show write on a painting with a Sharpie.
What? 

Hers turned out so well, I decided to try it on the bread painting.
Hmmm. Mine didn't turn out nearly as well as hers did.

I put the painting aside, and you know what happened next.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Recently, I discovered the painting again, and while I still don't like it as well as the ladies on TV, I decided it wasn't THAT bad.

I brought it into the shop, and put it out for sale.
It sold a few days ago, and the lady who bought it was quite happy with it.

All's well that ends well!





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...