Friday Farm Girls~ Dreaming of Future Sewing Projects

>> Friday, January 28, 2011

Part of being a Farm Girl @Heart is dreaming of what you want to create next. I have had a re-birth of the desire to learn to sew more and better. I have very basic skills and want to expand on them and have fun building one skill at a time with one project at a time. I have dedicated a section of my Learning Room as my sewing area. I want to have a space to be creative in this way. I love how it is also not too far from my wood stove and I will have a chance to enjoy it too. Here I have shared links to many of my dream projects and I have also invested some sewing books that I hope to share as I start using them this year. Do you have any dream projects you want to learn? What are they? Share please. [0=


( To join in on the fun go visit my friend Lori's blog by clicking on the graphic)


Simple Pleasures~ Reading That Feeds The Soul

>> Thursday, January 27, 2011

It seems I have limited reading time so I have to pick my books carefully. During last nights visit with my oldest son and his new bride...Essie gave me a new book. It was un expected but very happily received. I have been wanting to read the Pilgrims Progress original unabridged edition for a long while. (I have in the past read The Dangerous Journey) I mentioned to my new daughter-in-love a future birthday gift idea to for a copy of a the unabridged Pilgrims Progress would be wonderful. Little did I know she would give me one that night. After spending a wonderful dinner and evening visiting with them we came home and I got everyone settled down. After the evening chores were done I got to settle down with a warm drink and a new book, *grin*. What a wonderful Simple Pleasure that is. Other than the Bible this book also feeds my soul. I hadn't heard of the book till I was a young lady reading Little Women. It mentioned Pilgrim's Progress in it. I asked my parents what book that was. My dad's response was it was a book that all kids were required to read when he was in school. Hmmmm just think what the world would be like today if that was still on the required school reading list.

.....Simple Pleasures is to remind me to stop, to look, to listen, to slow down and pay closer attention to the simple things in life. And when ever I do, I am never disappointed.

To join click on the Simple Pleasures graphic and see what it is all about.

Project Simple Pleasures2


Dyeing Wool With Food Coloring or Kool Aide

>> Friday, January 21, 2011

I was going through my craft patterns last night and found my notes on how to dye wool with food coloring or Kool Aide. I sure am getting the itch to try my hand at it once again this winter.

On January 10th, 2010 I posted on my old blog of my experience dyeing wool with food coloring and had to share it with you all. I have have been enjoying my hand dyed wool Calorimetry headband this fall and winter. ( pattern HERE)

(January 2010)

I have been wanting to dye my own wool for years but never have had the courage to. But I keep hearing about those ( my older brother included) who have dyed animal fibers with Kool Aide. It is a safe and wonderful non fussy way to do it in your own kitchen. You even can use your crockpot ! My crockpot has become one of my most favorite tightwad tools.


My brother gave me some white sheeps wool last year. I have been holding onto it for awhile and decided to take the plunge and dye it. But as I was researching how to dye it I found out you can also dye it with food colouring ! This neat must see homestead video that shows how to dye wool with Kool Aide. Off there they gave a link in in their more info a very well written out instructions too and a neat link to food colour dyeing your wool.


Here I am winding my wool into a hank of yarn.


I tied my hank in several places to hold it together while I dye it. ( suggestion here: tie very loose or it will give a tie dye ring…not reccomended unless you want that look.)


Here I am soaking my wool in a vinegar and water bath over night to help it to absorb the dye better.


Here is my yarn in the crockpot after I have poured my food coloring mix into it. Please watch video and read the instructions on the side. It explains it very well. There is one other site that I recommend to read too. Go HERE.


This is what the water looks like after it has exausted all the colour from the water. It is so fun to keep peeking in and seeing it disapear. This is a GREAT science experiment with learning color therory. I had a ton of fun mixing my own colours with the food colouring.


TA DA ! Here is my first tries !



And my second tries !!


I thought I would show what my knitting basket looks like right now. The top right corner shows the two balls of yarn that I dyed the second time round. Doesn’t this make you want to try it ?!?


( To join in on the fun or check out other Friday Farm Girls @Heart posts click on the graphic and go visit my friend Lori)


Simple Pleasures~ Reading The Little House Books

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am going to start off my reflections in "Simple Pleasures" meme with something that I have enjoyed over the many years in my little homeschool. It starts when my boys have read through all the I Can Read books, Frog and Toad books, Owl books. Then, I have them read The Little House On the Prairie books with me. In the beginning (well for quite awhile) I read a paragraph and then I have them read a paragraph. Back and forth we go for the alloted time set on the kitchen timer. By the time the child gets through all the books in the series their reading is pretty smooth. I have really enjoyed this and building their reading fluency and heart ties with mom. I am getting VERY close to starting this ritual with my youngest boy. I can't wait to start. I am thinking it might be in a week or so. *grin* I can't wait to start.


.....Simple Pleasures is to remind me to stop, to look, to listen, to slow down and pay closer attention to the simple things in life. And when ever I do, I am never disappointed.

To join click on the Simple Pleasures graphic and see what it is all about.

Project Simple Pleasures2


Count It JOY

>> Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the last 1o years the Lord occasionally will give me a message through a wonderful man at church. I really do feel like I am hearing a direct audio-able message from the Lord. I am usually in tears because it pierces my heart as I hear what is being said. This dear sweet man of God has taken such physical wounds and have allowed to learn from them and praise the Lord and constantly minister to others. He shares his story and shares how God is in control and knows every last detail of what is happening in our lives. He shares how he was spared two times from near death accidents and lives to still spread the good news. He says that God must not be done with him yet here on earth or the Lord can't stand him and is not ready for him to come home yet. [0= He shared how nothing in our lives is happening outside of Gods protection. He knows everything what we need and is very involved in our lives. Nothing is too hard for God. He shared with me that after suffering for 20 years then a second near death accident that happened year ago is causing his body to heal things that he has suffered from the first accident. PTL!

For 20 years he would have to leave right after church to avoid all the noise because it would cause such pain and suffering but now he can stay and visit. He also couldn't sing because it would cause such suffering but over the last month or so he has been able to sing through a whole service. What doctors thought would never improve IS. PTL !

As my dear friend was sharing all this with my this last Sunday I felt God was speaking strait to me. I felt through my dear friends words that the Lord was saying to me that He (God) knows every last detail in my life. That He (God) is in control of it all and knows what I need. I felt the Lord was telling me through my friend that He has not forgotten me. ( sometimes lately in my frustration I felt this) I have never given up but I have felt tired and dry and I am very ready for the Lord to breath new life into me again. I prayed that this morning in my quiet time with the Lord. I am ready to trust even when times get tough.

I am going to share that things have been very tight lately. With friends who have followed my blogging over the last 4 and half years know that I am very frugal but the Lord is teaching me even more in this department. I have said over the last couple of years...." I have cut so many corners that I am down to a circle". *grin* Well every time I seem to say that.... the Lord says that there are a few more corners you can cut. I rejoice that I am learning this because I am thankful as I learn to cut another corner that I get to share with others how to save money and put it where it is more needed.

"I count JOY my brethren when I meet various trials for the testing of my faith produces steadfastness and let steadfastness take full effect so that I may be perfect and complete."
James 1:2-5


Homestead Ramblings ~The Snow Scenes Before It Rained

>> Saturday, January 15, 2011

This last week was a winter wonderland in the beginning and then it warmed up and the rains washed some of it away. I am a Pacific Northwest raised gal and the novelty of snow has never left. I much prefer snow over rain in the winter. I love how it brightens up everything and makes it all new. I can see how the analogy of when we are forgiven that our sins are washed away and it is as white as snow. No blemishes all is perfect and beautiful. It really does look like new beginnings after a good snow.

This is a picture from our front door looking up to our neighbors barn. The border of our property is just beyond the lilac bush that the two bird feeders hang on. I never get tired of looking at that barn. It was a barn that was built by the original owners of the land before it was sub divided and sold. Where our house is is where the old log cabin was. Being up here on this mountain top feels like a world removed and in itself. And sometimes it feels like times stands still. I hope you enjoy some of the fun I had with my camera and also editing them on a free photo editing site...Picnik.

Our Home Sweet Home
It is a bit misleading because it is a bit bigger than what it seems. The house is set into the hill and there is a walk in basement level.

There you have it ...a taste of winter on our Mt. *grin*


{this moment}

>> Friday, January 14, 2011

{this moment}
*** *** ***

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Shalom ( Cardigan)

>> Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picture taken by Nicolas 10 yo

I was finally able to get a sweet ds to take my picture of my new FO ( finished object) my Shalom Cardigan ( the pattern is HERE but I used THIS alterations to it.) . *GRIN* I love my new cardi so much. The wool I picked is so soft and a joy to wear. I have some green cotton yarn to make a different sweater( that is a bit complicated for my full brain) but I am now thinking maybe a Shalom II might be a choice. [o= One thing I would do different is make the sleeves a bit longer. Just long enough to go over my elbows and I want to try using the moss stitch instead of the garter stitch for the edges and cuffs. I just love the 3/4 length sleeves. I have some other FO's I want to share and I need to take some time this week or next to get some pictures of them for you.

( To join in on the fun go visit my friend Lori's blog by clicking on the graphic)


Food Storage Challenge~ In The Thinking Stage

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Click on graphic to find out more.

I am working on the first assignment of the Food Storage Challenge at my friend Lori's blog. It is going slowly for me right now being sick with a bad cold and I think we finally finished packaging the seeds up for the seed business. I have to admit I am still in the thinking stage. I am taking mental notes of what we have stored up and what holes need filling. I have had sooooooo much fun looking through all my cookbooks and making a dream menu list of what I would like to make. Then I should probably take it down a notch or two. *grin* It's got me looking at things I have always wanted to try to make and got me thinking about it again. One thing I thought looked too hard to make really didn't look that hard this time round. I want to make cottage cheese. I tried one way once and did not like it because you used vinegar and that was all I could taste when I had made it. But I have a recipe for another way that I thought was too hard but doesn't use vinegar. And I think I will try making it when I am not sick with a bad cold. In some ways it reminds me of making yogurt. If it works out for me I am happy to write a tutorial on it for Friday Farm Girls @ Heart. The only thing I need for it is buttermilk. [0= But other than that I have a bit to go in picking what I want to put on my menu plan and then I need to break it down what I still need.

The part my friend Lori talked about in the instructions really stands out to me is the part about praying. She is so right and we need to stop and pray what steps the Lord wants us to take. It may be harder for some but each small baby step will get us closer and closer to our goal. I do believe the Lord wants us to prepare. Not to leave everything to chance. It is one thing if you cannot do something on your own and you need the Lord's help but it is another thing when we can over time and once again depend on the Lord for each step and leading.

I hope to be writing out on my index cards the next few days of some plans and will post a update on it.

Here is some of what Lori had said in her post....

Always, always, always pray before undertaking any kind of project for your family! Ask God to watch over you. Ask Him to help you make wise decisions. Ask Him to lead you. And, if you are married, ask your husband if it's alright for you to do this.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. ...She looks well to the ways of her household..." (Proverbs 31:25, 27)

(1) Take a walk through the house and decide where you will keep your stored food. How much space will you need? It depends upon what foods you choose, and what form they come in (normal size packaging vs. bulk, flour vs. wheat berries that you'll grind later, boxes, cans, etc); that said, I have read that a super basic storage would fit under the average twin-size bed.

You'll need either your computer or good old-fashioned paper and pencil, and 29 file cards (or paper cut into roughly card size, I use 4x6"). We will NOT be buying anything for a while yet...we are planning, planning, planning!
  • On a piece of paper, or on your computer, make a list of 7 things your family likes to eat for breakfast, then 7 things your family likes to eat for lunch, then 7 things your family likes to eat for dinner, and finally 7 things your family likes to eat for dessert. Keep in the back of your mind that we're going for food storage, so try to list things that are easy to make and that aren't largely dependent upon fresh produce! (If you're at a loss for what kinds of things to select, or just want some ideas or new recipes, Wendy lists a number of them on her HERE to view the post, and you'll find the meal ideas almost halfway down the page.)
  • Next, you'll need 29 file cards (or file-card-size pieces of paper). Divide these into four piles of 7 cards, with one card leftover (it is your "Bread Card").
  • Take your first set of 7 cards, and at the top of each card write down the name of an *uncomplicated breakfast that you could make for your family and which you could eat once a week for 13 weeks (3 months). You should have 7 cards, each one with a different breakfast name written at the top. They can be similar, like "Oatmeal w/strawberries" and "Oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins," that's fine. If you eat Granola every single morning, then you'll have 7 cards that each have the same "title" at the top: "Granola."

    Take your 2nd set of 7 cards, and at the top of each card, write the name of an *uncomplicated lunch which you could feed your family and which you could eat once a week for 13 weeks (3 months)...7 cards, 7 different lunches.

    Take your 3rd set of 7 cards, and at the top of each card, write the name of an *uncomplicated dinner which you could feed your family and which you could eat once a week for 13 weeks (3 months)...7 cards, 7 different dinners.

    Take your 4th set of 7 cards, and at the top of each card, write the name of an *uncomplicated dessert which you could feed your family and which you could eat once a week for 13 weeks (3 months)...7 cards, 7 different desserts.

    *It is up to you if you feel you're doing this food storage for an emergency where you will assume you have no access to electricity or running water, or if you're doing it assuming an extreme economic hardship like a job-loss, but you'll still have an oven/stove/microwave, etc. You should select your meals accordingly...if you want waffles, you can store the ingredients, NO PROBLEM! But you're assuming you'll be able to plug in your waffle iron, unless you have a cast iron waffle pan and can cook them over an open fire. *grin*
  • Now, for each card you've made, on the left side, make a list of every ingredient you would need to prepare that recipe for your family. Don't leave anything out...include the water needed to boil things like pasta and rice,especially if you want to plan for a scenario where you would not have running water available to you.
  • Next, multiply each ingredient by 13 and list it on the right side of each card (there are 13 weeks in 3 months). Here, for example, is one of my breakfast cards:

You should now have 28 filled-out cards, and 1 blank card, which will be your "Bread Card." Rubber band them all together, or put them in an envelope, and set them aside somewhere safe...we'll come back to these in February!

To find out more please click on the graphic above and go visit my friend Lori.


{this moment}

>> Friday, January 7, 2011

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Mastering the Art of Yogurt Making

I wanted to share the method that helped me finally master the art of yogurt making. I have tried different ways and had always had runny yogurt. I was about to give up and then I found a way I could master the art of yogurt making.


How to Master The Art of Yogurt Making

First warm your oven to about 350* for 4 minuets and then turn off oven and leave on the oven light. While I had done this I heated up my half gallon of milk on medium heat on the stove to 180* . ( it took me about 30 minutes ) I monitored this with my candy thermometer. I turned off the burner and set the pan on the table on a hot pad to cool near me where I was knitting. I let it cool down to about 115* to 120*. I took out one cup of the warm milk and wisked 4 Tablespoons of yogurt with active bacteria ( my starter). I then poured it back into the pan and wisked it a bit more. After you have mixed it then pour into clean quart jars and place on a cookie sheet in the warm oven. Leave the oven light on and let the yogurt set between 4-8 hours till thickened. If you let it go beyond 8 hours it will be more sour.


I calculated by making your own yogurt you can spend 1/4 th the cost of what it would cost you in the store.


To Make It Even More Tightwad’ish


One way to make this even more of tightwad’ish tip is to take your store bought yogurt (…your starter) and pour and freeze in ice cube trays. After frozen transfer future yogurt cubes into a zip-lock bag and place in freezer till you need them. Two ice cubes equals 4 Tablespoons. When you need your starter defrost 2 ice cubes and bring them to room temperature and use.

. You can also piggyback starters by using some of the yogurt from your batches of yogurt up to 3 or 4 times (piggy backing). And then you need to defrost another 2 yogurt ice cubes to start over again. If you try to piggy back over 4 times you are more than likely get tarter yogurt. This makes it so it is just pennies in your cost of yogurt starter.


Extra Hints

…if your starter is tart you will probably get tart yogurt.


Only make enough yogurt that you will use up in 5 days and then make another batch.


I found if I wanted a thicker yogurt I used 2 % or whole milk. Or after you make your yogurt with 1% milk or skim you can strain on a coffee filter or cloth like a pillow case in a colander to make a more Greek style yogurt. ( save whey to use in bread or soup ).


PS: I found this neat fact( from here)...

Flu Fighter #2: Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics — good bacteria that line our intestines and defend our body against invading germs. Buy plain yogurt to get fewer calories and less added sugar than you do from fruit-flavored versions, and add your own sweetness with a teaspoon of honey (which may also be an immune booster, because it feeds good bacteria in our gut). To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look on the container for the National Yogurt Association's "Live and Active Cultures" seal, which means there are at least two types of healthy bacteria and 100 million bacteria per gram.

To see more Farm Girls @ Heart or want to join in on the fun go see my friend Lori's blog by clicking the graphic.

Or visit Trish at...


On The Home Front

>> Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter days can make you think of solitude and hibernation but sometimes here on the homestead means different type of jobs. For about a month there is seed cleaning and packaging for the small seed business. My MIL and her house hold harvest and clean the seeds then we all start packaging them. These are the times I am so very thankful I have trained(ing) the boys to wash the dishes and that has freed up Handsome and I to focus on the seeds. I am the label cutter, sticks the labels , marks the year and germination rate on and then hubby fills them with seeds. In about a week or two life will be back to normal and another year will be done. Hubby( the gardener) is already dreaming of what he wants to grow in the garden and I ( the one who would run from gardening) have caught myself doing a bit of the same. *grin*

Red Mountain Spinach and Broad Leaf Mustard Greens


2011 Food Storage Challenge with Lori

>> Tuesday, January 4, 2011


( To join in on the fun or meet others who are participating click the graphic)

I saw this neat challenge over at my friend Lori's blog. Now for years we have tried to buy in bulk and store food. But this is a bit more organised and it intrigued my hubby and I. I showed it to Handsome last night and we decided to take the challenge. I am thankful we have certain things already stored up but this will help us fill in the blanks and get organised. *grin* I forgot to ask hubby if we are going to try the 3 month or 6 month storage. I would assume for now we are going to try for 3 month storage. I will be posting the planning after I sit down with hubby.


Weekly Wrap Up~ January 1st

>> Saturday, January 1, 2011

On The Heart and Mind:

I am sitting and reflecting what a big year this has been for us. My first ds Philip graduated from our little homeschool and got married to the sweetest lady I could ever ask to be a daughter in love. Luke is growing up and is trying on different ideas of what he might want to do in his future. Plus I see him growing into a independent thinker and has good work hard ethics. Noah is getting his feet wet with starting to really learn what it means to work hard for some money. ( He is on snow shoveling duty this winter. *grin*) And then there is Nic who is changing before our eyes. One minute he is a grump a lump and then the next minute his is as sweet as honey.

On a side note....
I have to say that I have been looking at where I am at. And I have been toying with the idea of changing a bit in my blogging. I loved Weekly Wrap Up but I am feeling burnt out on hosting meme's. I think I need to step back from this roll and just enjoy blogging where the spirit leads me. I will pass the baton on if someone wants to and if not that is okay too. I have really enjoyed being here at blogspot and feel very blessed being here. Thank you so much for making me feel at home here. ((HUGS))

On The Home Front:

We have really enjoyed our winter break. Lots of sleeping in, having fun together... sleding, playing games, baking, and having friends and family over. Also, I have gotten a lot of stitching in too. *grin*

My Craft Corner:

Go HERE for my latest update. [0=

In The Kitchen:

We got the gingerbread and shortbread made. But I still want to make some after dinner mints and truffles. That may have to be a future Farm Girls @ Heart post. ((light bulb going on))

On The Healthy Side:

I got a exercise ball to strengthen the core and back muscles and I also got a beginners Pilate's video/book set at Sally Ann's. I hope to start that this coming week.

On My Night Stand:

  • " The Prayer That Changes Everything...The Hidden Power of Praising" by Stormie Ortaman
  • " Those Who Trust in the Lord Will Not Be Disappointed" by Peggy Ruth

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