Saturday, April 30, 2011



It was a perfect day to sit outside and do some much needed re-potting of my tomato plants :)


I can't believe how fast they have grown! This will be the last time I re-pot them until they make their final trip out to the greenhouse which I hope is very soon. I'm so excited because hubby and I found some great big pieces of glass for the new greenhouse he is building me and I'm hoping that when he comes home he will be here long enough to maybe nearly finish it *grin*.

Pinching Leaves

So with all of my tomato babies packed outside I got busy pinching off all of the leaves that were going to be buried underneath the soil in the larger one gallon pots...

Transplanting Tomatoes

and then filled each pot up with potting soil and a really healthy dose of cow manure. I think I must have filled each pot more than half full with manure *grin*. Mama wants some BIG tomatoes LOL.

Tomato Plants

When I started packing them all back inside I had just enough room on the bay windowsill to fit all of the pots. I guess it's the next best thing to having a finished greenhouse :) Maybe it will be good incentive for hubby as he really doesn't like it when I turn the dining room into an indoor jungle *grin*.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Painting with Wool ~ Wet Felting

Painting with Wool

My little girl and I had fun today playing with some of our felt rovings and creating felt scenes :)

Wet Felting

I know that many of you felt quite regularly but I thought I would take some photos of our progress today and share them just in case some of you are unfamiliar with how to wet felt wool :)

It's a really fun craft and you only need a few different colors of wool rovings to get started. We used corriedale rovings that I purchased here and you want to start by taking small chunks of your roving and pulling it apart evenly so that it is all fluffy and lay them down on a sushi mat or sheet of bubble wrap. Lay down one complete layer going horizontally and then repeat the process laying down your wool vertically and again the opposite way so you have three layers of wool.

You are my sunshine

Now you can get really creative and start adding the details to your picture :)

Painting with Wool

It's like painting with wool *grin*.

L wanted lots of flowers so we tried something new and cut out flower shapes from a sheet of the pre-felted craft felt and then placed a few loose strands from our wool rovings over them to hold them down as I wasn't quite sure how they would felt :)

Wet Felting

When she had all of the final touches added we placed the wool covered mat on a cookie sheet, covered her picture with a piece of mesh and started to slowly dribble water all over it until all of the wool was wet. The cookie sheet will keep all of the water nicely confined so that you don't end up with a giant water puddle on your table :)

Wet Felting

Drizzle a little bit of liquid dish soap over the top of your mesh and start to slowly and gently rub the surface of your mesh. You will start to notice that the wool begins to work together and doesn't move around as much under the netting. Make sure you lift the netting off of the wool every couple of minutes though as the wool fibers will start to work their way through the holes in the mesh and you don't want your picture to get stuck to the netting :) Keep doing this until all of your wool looks like it has bonded together well enough that you can lift it gently and it won't all fall apart.

Wet Felting

Now that you have one solid sheet of felt, albeit a delicate one, you can roll your mat or sheet of bubble wrap up tightly with your felt and netting inside and roll it back and forth. This will squeeze out some of the excess water and continue to agitate your wool and help it work together even tighter.

Continue rolling for a couple of minutes, then stop and unroll it, pull up the netting to keep it from sticking to your felt and then turn the entire piece of felt 90 degrees so that when you roll it up again it will agitate the wool in a different direction from the last time. We kept rolling and unrolling for about 10 minutes and then I took the whole thing over to the sink and plunged it into hot water and then cold water a few times to really shock the wool so it tightened right up.

Now that you are all finished with the water you can unroll it, remove the netting and roll it up in a tea towel to suck out the excess water :)

Painting with Wool

And here is her finished picture. I think she must have had an Easter theme in mind with the little bunny in the flowers :) I just love how it turned out for her and tomorrow when it is completely dry we're going to hang it up on the wall.

Have fun felting!


PS. Looking for more crafty ideas or inspiration? Pop over to Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday and see what others are up to :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chick Love ~ Fuzzy Baby Overload

So cute!!!

We brought in some of the babies so that we could cuddle and love them and somehow it turned into a bit of a photo shoot. I just couldn't help myself!

In my defense though I did warn you that I might go a little chick crazy... but could you resist such an adorable little ball of fluff?!

I thought not *grin*.

Chick Legs


Easter Chick


Fuzzy Baby

Fuzzy Baby




Such sweet little girls :) They were so content to just hang out in the little dishes we put them in so we could ooh and ahh over them *grin*. After a while they got a little more adventurous and started hopping in and out and checking out the flowers. They didn't stray far though and they are so incredibly docile to. We can pick them up and cuddle them and they don't squirm or try to fly out like past chicks we've had.

Of course it was inevitable that there would be a little 'incident'. At least they kept it on the paper that I had put down for just that exact reason *grin*.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Egg Carton Chick

Wow, it has been one crazy weekend and then some! Today is the first day since last Wednesday that I have been home all day and haven't had to travel into the city and it feels SO GOOD. Between swimming lessons, science group, picking up chicks, easter celebrations and an impromptu trip to Costco it's been go go go here :)

We had a lovely Easter though. On Saturday we had dinner with my sister and her husband and then my mom and I had a sleep over at their house so that we could go to the movies and catch a little retail therapy *grin* and today the kids and I went to my parent's house for an Easter lunch.

Cake Pops

After the great success I had making ice cream cone cake pops last summer I thought I'd try making some Easter themed ones so last night I whipped up a cake for making the balls. Hubby thought I was nuts *grin*. Out came the fresh cake from the oven and I proceeded to smash it up making a gooey mess with icing LOL.

Cake Pops

I love playing with these although rolling the balls in the chocolate was a little trickier as they had a habit of spinning on the sticks. Nothing a little stint in the freezer couldn't cure though and they were good to go *grin*.

Easter Party

We had all sorts of yummy finger sandwiches, vegetables and desserts...

Easter Pez

my mom had plenty of treats for the kids...

Egg Carton Chicky

and I think they ate enough cake pops and pez to induce a sugar overdose LOL. Thank goodness it's all over and tomorrow it's back to normal we go :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter to!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Babies

Easter Babies

Our little chicky babies arrived today and just in time for Easter :) It couldn't have been better timing!

Baby Chicks


Everyone was so excited to peek into the box we brought them home in and help move them under the heat lamp :) Of course we had to have the 'you have to be really gentle' talk with the little man but he truly wanted to be as careful as possible with them and he is going to love them so much *grin*.

Easter Babies

They are so stinkin' cute!!! I'm going to apologize now because I think there might be quite a few baby chick pictures in the coming days LOL.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

White Washing

Gloved Up

I think I speak for both my oldest son and myself when I say we are getting really excited that our chicken coop remodel is nearly finished *grin*. It was great when Hubby was home and he put in a brand new door so that we could get in and out of the house easily but since then it's just been me and the kids :)

The last couple of days we've been cutting, hammering, sweeping and scraping the walls using a wire brush to get any old paint and muck off of the walls in preparation for white washing the walls. With all of the dust and dirt that was flying around I thought it wouldn't hurt to wear some masks so that we didn't breathe to much of it in :)

Getting Ready to Paint

There haven't been any chickens in this old house for quite a few years and we found numerous holes in the floor that needed to be covered to stop any mice or rats from coming in and then there were a few larger ones leading in from the old nesting area that required some larger boards to seal off the main room to keep any other animals out that might find their way in. We do have a really big problem with raccoons and mink so I want to make sure that our new little babies are going to be safe. Plus we don't have any need for nesting boxes until later this fall when the chicks mature enough to start laying some eggs :)

Thankfully I know my way around a skill saw *grin*. K and I scavenged through the old lumber pile by the wood shed looking for boards that didn't look to rotten and then dragged them up to the house where we could measure them and cut them to the right length for the wall we needed to cover. From there we took them back to the chicken house and started to close in the wall.

Oh boy did we have some good laughs!! K was having some trouble getting the nails started while holding the chicken wire tight behind the boards that we were nailing up so I held the wire all the while cringing as I hoped he wouldn't hammer my fingers LOL. He thought it was hilarious that I was so worried yet only minutes before he was eyeing me up skeptically as I balanced boards on the saw horses and he was worried that I wouldn't know how to use the saw :) Yup, we are quite the handyman duo *grin*.

White Washing

So with all the wood work done it was time to give the insides a nice clean coat of paint with a lime white wash. It's good and cheap to make, brightens up dark and dingy barn rooms and as an added bonus it helps stop any bacteria from growing.

Just in case you're interested here's how I made it :) You will need a bag of Hydrated Lime. Make sure you get hydrated lime and NOT dolomite or garden lime. Dolomite is the greyer colored lime that you can find at grocery stores and garden centers and it is okay if you put your hands in it but Hydrated lime is a purer white and usually can be found at any building supply or farm and feed store and it has a big warning on the front of the bag that it is corrosive so when you handle it you want to make sure you wear gloves and preferably a mask when mixing because you don't want to breathe in the powder as it flies in the air.

Using a large plastic pail to hold the lime and a large coffee tin as my make do measuring cup I scooped out five full coffee tins of lime and put them into my plastic pail and then I added just under two gallons of water and stirred it well to combine the water and lime. Protective eye wear is a good idea at this point to keep it from accidentally splashing in your eyes. You want it to be a nice thick paste so don't add your water all at one time or you will have to add more lime :) Now you can tuck it away for the night. This makes what they call slaked lime and is actually the base of house plaster if I'm correct.

The next morning or whenever you get back to it, take your pail and pour off any excess water that is sitting on top of the lime paste. This is water that the lime couldn't absorb. The paste as it stands now is much to thick to paint with so you will want to thin it with some salt water. I used 2.5 pounds of pickling salt to one gallon of water mixed well together and then poured a little at a time into the lime paste. You want it to be like the consistency of pancake batter but make sure you don't add to much water! You can't add more lime anymore at this point. Once you have thinned your white wash to a spreadable consistency you are ready to paint :)

White Washing

Wearing our rubber gloves and eye protection we got to work painting on the white wash. Oh my goodness this stuff is AMAZING!! It spreads on nice and thick so you get good coverage and even though it looks a little grey while it's wet it dries bright white! Our chicken coop has never ever looked so clean and good :)

Only a few more days and our babies arrives... just in time for Easter!!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Deliciously Green

Green Smoothie

I generally try not to make new year's resolutions as I have a terrible time keeping them but this time I made a promise to myself to live this year intentionally. I want to grab the year by its horns and live it to the fullest, taking control of my days and getting the most out of them for both myself and my family :)

There are so many facets of our life that that encompasses. Such as my desire to slow down the rhythm of our days in order to make even more time to cherish my family, enjoy the simple things life brings no matter how small, increasing our self sufficiency by growing more vegetables and raising more livestock, and fine tuning our diet to try and make sure the foods I prepare for my family are as wholesome as possible to name just a few.

That last one is a tough one though but I'm working on it :) Which is actually where I'm heading with this little ramble that I've taken you on *grin*.


For the last couple of months I have made it a morning habit to blend up a surprisingly yummy spinach smoothie for myself and the children :) When I first thought about making a green smoothie I was a little worried that I was going to hate it despite my want to love it but I think the whole scary thing was in my head because I do really like it *grin*.

Green Smoothie

I pack my blender right to the top with fresh spinach leaves along with a little bit of fruit, a splash of maple syrup and ice cold herbal tea. Usually I put in an apple or a pear but blueberries are delicious and soon there will be fresh strawberries from the garden to add :)

When I first started making it I was using plain water as my liquid to help puree everything in the blender but I love the extra flavor that herbal tea provides. Our latest favorite is raspberry and each morning after I've used up what was in the fridge I replenish my mason jar with hot tea and pop it into the fridge for the following morning :)

Mmm, mmm good!

I think I'm going to have to start making two blenders full though as it seems the kids want to drink more and more of it every morning *grin*. I'm not complaining though but tomorrow I'm heading out to weed out a patch in the garden so that I can plant a whole lot of spinach :)


PS. Looking for more yummy recipes?? Check out this week's Hearth and Soul blog hop :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fluffy Tissue Easter Chicks ~ Kids Craft

Easter Chicks

Easter time's a coming, Easter time's a coming.... *grin*.

I loved making these fluffy tissue chicks when I was a little girl, twisting little bits of tissue paper on the end of my pencil and sticking them onto paper in the shapes of hearts, chicks and other animals. I'm seriously just like a little kid when it comes the crafting! I can't wait to get in there and cut and paste along with the kids no matter what the occasion LOL.

Tissue Easter Chick

Since Easter is actually just about here I thought we'd better get going on some special crafts! Out came the construction paper, odds and ends bits of tissue paper, pencils and glue and we got cutting :) This is such an easy craft with such cute end results that you've got to try it if you haven't before!

Cut any color of tissue paper into a whole lot of little 1.5 - 2 inch squares and then cut an egg shape out of construction paper or cardboard for each child plus yourself :) Next take one square of your tissue paper, place the eraser end of your pencil in the center of the square and pull up the sides of the paper and scrunch it all up around the end of your pencil.


Dip the end of your pencil into the glue...

Tissue feathers

then press your pencil end with the gluey paper down onto your egg cutout and repeat :)

Easter Chick

You just keep squishing and sticking your scrunched up tissue paper to your cutout until you've filled the whole thing up and made yourself a fluffy little chicky :) We made ours look like our chicks were popping out of their shells on the bottom but you could even decorate them like easter eggs with different colored polka dots or waves and so on all over them. They make fantastic fronts for Easter cards to. So fun!! I just love the great 3D texture you get from all that tissue paper :)

I had a bit of yellow ribbon in the cupboard so I punched a hole in the top of each of them and threaded the ribbon through to hang them up in our family room window :) It was a good thing I wanted to hang them as it gave me incentive to finally take down the cinnamon stars that were hanging there from Christmas! I know I'm terrible aren't I *grin*.

Have fun making some :)


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taking In The Beauty Surrounding Us

Snow... again
Talk about disbelief this morning! This was the scenery that greeted me when I looked out the kitchen window as I made breakfast. It didn't last long but it has brought below zero temperatures again despite the gorgeous sunshine that graced us today :)

Johnstone Strait
I wanted to treat the kids today so we went down to the little corner store and they got to pick out a little candy and we drove the end of the road where it narrows and stops abruptly...

The Point
where the wooden planks and rocky edges join as one with the Johnstone Strait :)

Johnstone Strait
The hues of blue welcomed us and the icy wind whipped around the car but the view was divine. We are so blessed to live only minutes from the ocean. It has to be my favorite place on earth to be :)

Weekend Reading
So while the kids munched on their treats I enjoyed the weekend edition of the paper...

Scanning the Horizon
and they all took turns using the binoculars to look for ships and signs of whales and seals. We had an amazing experience of seeing one of the young bald eagles testing out its hunting skills as it swooped down and attempted to snatch a fish from the ocean's surface! It missed but still very cool :)

Crew boats heading out to the nearby camps had a bit of a bumpy and lumpy trip today as they crashed their way across the strait through the white caps and I was just happy. Oh so happy taking the beauty in around me and listening to the giggles in the backseat :)