Wednesday, December 13

A Simple Christmas Project

I was in a crafty mood recently, and as I often do, I took to Pinterest to find inspiration for a project.  My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I decided that as a gift to myself, I wanted to make this for my birthday:
Project by

I went to Hobby Lobby and found all of the items except the lights, which I eventually found at Menard's.  I made some changes to the snowman to fit my personal tastes, and I think he came out pretty cute!
If you want to make a snowman wreath of your own, here's what you'll need:
  • One larger and one smaller grapevine wreath
  • Spray paint of your choice (the original used white, I used an opaque, shimmery sparkle paint--see picture to the right)
  • Floral picks of your choice (you won't need many)
  • Lights--mine are battery operated, and the original was a white string that plugged in.  I didn't have an outlet nearby, so I opted for battery lights.
  • Roll of burlap for the scarf
  • Small Santa hat
  • Floral wire
  • Hot glue gun and sticks

The first thing to do is attach the smaller and larger wreath using the floral wire.  I simply wrapped it around both wreaths until it wouldn't move any more.

Next, I put some painter's plastic down and sprayed the wreaths.  It took the full can of paint to give it the shimmery white-ish look, but I liked it.  It looks like the wreath has frost on it.  You'll want to leave it to dry for a few hours.  I left it overnight.

Now it's time to assemble everything! 

The next thing I did was wrap the strand of lights around the wreaths. 
I purchased these at Menards.  They look cute, but a warning: the acrylic snowflakes kept popping off of the wire strand and I had to re-glue them back on.

I wrapped them around, trying to space the snowflakes evenly.  After I had them where I wanted them, I tied them to the wreaths on the back with more floral wire.
After that, I tied the scarf on.  I cut a long piece of burlap ribbon--probably about a 5' length-and laid it under the wreaths.  I tied it off-center and let it hang down.

Then, I added the floral picks:
I tucked them in to the wreath, weaving them through when I could.  Once I had them arranged the way I liked, I hot-glued them into place on the back. 
Lastly, I added the Santa hat and hot-glued it in place.  All that was left to do was hang it up!
With the exception of the paint drying, it really only took between one and two hours to put it all together, and I think it turned out pretty cute!  If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out! 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, May 1

Our New Family Member!

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to post on here.  We've been busy!  In the last few months, I've started a new job (more on that another time) and we've welcomed a new family member.  These are only two things, but they are BIG deals! 

Before you get too excited, no, I was not pregnant and we don't have a new baby. 

Our new family member is...a...labradoodle!  And he's a cutie!

We got him from a local breeder, and he has been growing like a weed.  We've had him for about a month now, and he's more than doubled in size since we picked him up.  He's a lot of work, but he's been so much fun to have around, aside from the occasional house training accidents.  He's doing well and I'm excited for you to meet him!  So, without further ado, meet Mr. Shiloh Barkington!

Friday, February 12

Birds of a Feather

The other day while working in the kitchen, I looked out the window to see a large white bird flying low above the field across the road. 
It swooped, flew in figure eights, dove, landed, flew again, circled the get the idea.  At first, I thought I might be seeing a snowy owl hunting in the field...

but I realized that this bird had black wing tips, which wasn't normal for a snowy owl.  It flew close to the road, then back to the back of the field; any time that it came close to the road I ran out the front door with my camera in hopes of getting a good photo. 

I got some, but no really good pics of the bird's head.  It was moving quite fast, and was hard to keep in the frame. 

But based on the photos I did get, I think I figured that this is a Northern Harrier.  I looked it up and here are some fun facts, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
  • These are the most owl-like bird of this family (so I wasn't that wrong by first thinking it was an owl of some sort).  They are considered part of the hawk family.
  • Their eye color changes from green (young males) and brown (young females) to yellow as they mature.
  • They hunt small animals and critters, including mice, voles, and birds, but have been known to attack larger prey as well like rabbits and ducks, subduing them by drowning the prey.  Kind of mean.
  • The adult males are white and black, and the adult females are brown, black, and white.
I love living out in the country.  So far, we've seen fox, deer, pheasants, hawks, and falcons, and I might be forgetting some things!  I just love seeing the wildlife.  But I'm always reminded that they are indeed wild, and it's a great reminder as I plan for future expansion, like chickens who will need protection and gardens that will need fences. 

What do you see most in your yard?

Sunday, February 7

Seed Catalogs

We have internet this weekend (long story--still don't have a provider for internet or cable), so I wanted to post about my current obsession:

Seed catalogs.  Every gardener gets them each winter.  Every photo of every vegetable, fruit, flower, and herb looks incredible, and conjures images of warm summer sunshine, eating at a picnic table, working the's like an escape from the gray, dreary landscape of winter.  At least, it is for me!

This is my first year of requesting and receiving seed catalogs on a large scale.  This is also the first
year that we are planning out our new, much larger garden and establishing perennial beds that will provide for years to come.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to really plan, not just imagine or daydream about this, and with the warm-ish winter we've had in northwest Ohio, it's even harder to wait for spring.  There have only been two snows this year to date--although I realize it's only the first part of February, so there are bound to be some more snow before all is said and done.  But I digress.

I've placed and received one order for seeds from Botanical Interests, and just placed a second order for more seeds from High Mowing Seeds.  I chose these two companies for several reasons: they offer a large selection of organic and heirloom seeds, they are both part of the safe seed pledge, they each had some really unique plants that I hadn't seen before, and very importantly, they both offered free shipping.  Plus, I absolutely love the packages of seed from Botanical Interests--an artist draws each plant for the packet, and they are just beautiful; I think I'll keep the packets to display after planting!  I still have more plants and seeds to purchase, but the rest can be found locally, so I think I'm done with mail orders.

Aren't these beautiful?  I love the illustrations!
My growing space will be in our basement, which stays relatively warm, but probably not quite warm enough for seedlings, and definitely not enough light for small plants.  Because of this, I've purchased seedling heat mats, plastic pellet greenhouses, a shoplight that will shine growing fluorescent lights, and seedling potting soil.  I also purchased a little metal greenhouse rack that was brand-new in the box from a rummage sale a few years ago, and finally have the chance to use it for my seedlings.
So, I'm ready to go!  All we need is some warmer weather.   Are you starting to plan for your garden yet?  Comment below!

Tuesday, September 1


Howdy!  It's been a while since I've been on here.  Hard to believe September has arrived!  We still don't have internet access, so this is just a quick post from my phone.  Not ideal, but it'll do right now.  We've moved into our homestead and when we do have internet, I'll post pictures.  We're really excited to have done this, and looking forward to the things we plan to do here. 

Hopefully we'll be back online soon.  Until then, I'll just have to be content with pictureless posts. :).

Thursday, June 11

Almost There

It has been a busy, trying time.  We are in the process of simultaneously selling our house and buying a house out in the country, and we've had several setbacks.  However, we continue to inch toward a closing date and, a few weeks after that, a possession date.  Excitement is creeping in...
A portion of our soon-to-be back yard.  This will eventually become gardens.  Look at all that sky!!

I am so excited to have wide open spaces!  To see the vast expanse of blue skies that stretch for miles!  To inhale the sweet smell of corn fields in the warm summer evenings!  To watch fireflies dance in the dusk!  To walk among the rows of garden plants and harvest an incredible bounty!  To hear my chickens cheer when they lay eggs!  To have two toilets!! 

(For the record, we've never had two toilets at any house we've lived in.  It'll be glorious.)

To finally see our dream realized!  To see a new chapter of our lives started!!

As our little farm grows, I'll post updates--and it will grow!  Over time, we plan to have gardens (vegetable, herb, and butterfly/bee/cut flower), a small fruit & nut orchard, maybe some grapevines, a pond, chickens, a dog, barn cats...and who knows what else!  All of it will keep us busy for sure.  I'll share victories and mistakes, and hope that others can learn from both.  This is entirely new for us, but we're both very excited about the possibilities that this home will open for us. 
Not my chickens.  I occasionally see these guys (ladies?) on the way to work in the mornings, so I took a picture one day.

Praise the Lord!  He continues to surprise us and bless us, even in times when it doesn't feel like a blessing.  And oh my gosh, what a learning experience this has been!