Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Felting Hearts

My favorite holiday is right around the corner and this year I decided to start enjoying it early. I was totally inspired by Lisa at lil fish studios with all her amazing felting projects, so I decided to get back to felting because I really did enjoy my simple project of making felted dryer balls to break myself from using dryer sheets. Anyhow, this is what worked for me. 

First I used my wool yarn to make a heart shaped armature or something like that because I only have a little bit of the wool roving. 

Then I used my felting needle and added the blue wool roving, and just started wrapping it around and attaching it using the special needle. 

 As the process continues I always find myself wondering if I have totally ruined any chance of this becoming a heart...

But in the end I am always pleased with the final shape. 
I read a tutorial on making these that used just the wool roving and she said it took her about 10 min. to complete... mine take much longer than that, but I have been having a ton of fun with it. 

There really are not many winter projects that are complete without a good cup of tea, in my opinion. So I decided I needed ginger tea for sure. Anytime I get ginger I just process it all at once. 
Peel it. 

Grate it.

Drop about a Tbs. onto silicone or wax paper, and freeze.

Once it's frozen, put it in a ziplock.

For this tea I used some rosehip, ginseng and ginger.

Toss it in your pot of water and bring to a boil for a few min.
 Love having a woodstove to keep my tea hot all day long. I don't measure anything except for the ginger that I know is about a tablespoon. 

I continue to add more water all throughout the day until the color fades to almost clear. This is the color of tea I get before I add the honey. It is very gingery! 

Sad day

We lost two chickens this month. One of our cinnamon queens got killed by a fox or something. I noticed she wasn't with the other girls right before dusk, but I figured she had just gone in the coop early because sometimes they do that. Then shortly after I went out to the coop to do the count and hollered at Glenn as soon as I noticed she was missing. He came outside with Mojo and we found her not far from the cabin, but it was too late.

Our silver laced wyandotte got sick and died, and I still don't know why, she was the runt of the flock (she earned the name Little Bit) but seemed to be doing really well until the morning I found her in the coop not wanting to even get up, I brought her inside and drip fed her some water and then she started to eat on her own. I figured she may have just gotten too cold with the temp going back and forth from a few warm days then back to pretty cold days, and the rain and such too. But she was dead by the next morning. I felt like I should have done more to help her, but I just assumed that she would be fine since she was inside and eating and drinking on her own. Lots of reading and research since then and if I get another sick chick, I will be probing and troubleshooting to figure out what the problem is, and I finally found a vet in the area that does care for chickens, so that is a new resource I will hopefully not have to use, but it's nice to know it's there.
They are buried together and I hope I won't be burrying any more this year.

Mother Earth still thriving in January!

After a pretty dark and dreary December, January was nice and warm (for January at least). It was 50 degrees today, sunny and wonderful. We had some nice cold days too, but it just made for some nice icy pics. 

I never thought I would find mushrooms in January... but I did! 

This is what the lion mane looks like now, it has seen some better days, but its been there since the fall and I didn't think I would still see it in Jan. 

We have lots of pretty clumps of moss too. 

Glenn tested out his trusty rain boots and made some rock towers in our wet weather creek.

 Then the creek froze and was so beautiful! 

This picture doesn't even look like it's frozen to me, but it was. 

Crazy thing is all the water was gone, so it was just an ice shell. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

You Go Girls!

I tell our chickens all the time that if they would rather spend their energy on staying warm, instead of making eggs, they can, I don't get many taker's though. At least they don't feel pressured. :)

Even our sweet lil' crossed beak girly started laying! 
She is an Americana and is laying one of the first 2 on the left. 

I have no idea who is laying this one... maybe one of my Wyandotts? 

One of our girls took my offer and ran with it and decided to go broody. I have read that it is common for silkies to go broody often, but I didn't think that she would try to hatch an egg in the winter! I have also read all kinds of things to help our girl "break her broodiness" but it requires her to be in a cage without any nesting materials, in a cool place. Well we don't have a cool place, it's either inside the cabin... (we keep it nice and toasty in there)  or outside, where she would freeze to death if she didn't have nesting materials to keep her warm. 

So my solution is to get her out of the nesting box a few times a day and cuddle her in my coat until she warms up a bit, normally she will snuggle about 15 min. or so. 

Then Powder Puff/Butter Ball (we can't agree on her name, so she has 2) decides she is sick of me and  ready to go hang out with the girls and Mr. Roo. She will just jump out and then I will feed them all a healthy little snack and make sure she eats and drinks before she remembers that she wants to go back to the nesting box. By that time I have already collected all the eggs, so she just sits on an empty nest... the determination, and stubbornness.

Time Flies When Your Having Fun!

2015... Wow, looking forward to another great year!

One of the things I am really looking forward to this year is our garden! This will be the first year that we will not be going back and forth from the city to the county, so I can focus all my attention into the garden out here from start to finish. Yeahh!
  Now I have no green thumb at all... but if trying counted for anything, I would be set. I was pleasantly surprised when I moved all the plants I wanted to "save" from the harsh winter and some are actually still alive!
This is my stevia plant that my sister got for me when we went to the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Festival over the summer. Thank big sis!

This is our aloe plant that big sis gave to me from hers that was outgrowing it's container. 
Still alive too!

Our banana tree that Glenn has had for years and years, when winter rolls around, 
we cut it off and bring it in, and she just starts growing again.

Gynostemma Pentaphyllum that I cut and got it to grow in a bit of water.

I just transplanted it to some soil, keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to thrive.

I have some ginger, turmeric and moringa that may or may not come back... we shall see.

I have had some bug issues that Glenn warned me about from the get-go. I tried really hard not to bring in any bugs with the plants by transplanting them to brand new potting soil and washing off their roots and everything. But we have quite a few gnats hanging out around our plants.

This simple little project is helping to control the bug issue pretty well. All I needed was castor oil, petroleum jelly and a yellow piece of poster board. I had everything on hand.

I didn't measure but I would say I used approximately equal parts
 and mixed to a consistency like this. 

Then I smeared it around on my poster board. 

It worked immediately. 

I have made a few more and now the bugs are just about gone.

Does anybody know what kind of bugs these are? They are not white fly's, right? Is it just a gnat? If you know what I can do to prevent this issue all together, please let me know.