Friday, September 27

Beautiful Sunrise and Foggy Morning

Awake, my glory!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.--Psalm 58:8-9

With fall comes all sorts of dramatic weather changes.  The temperatures fluctuate frequently as cold fronts try to bring in the eventual winter chill.  Because of the changing seasons, we've had some wonderful morning sunrises--the kind that make you smile and thank the Lord for His creation.  Allow me to share with you just a few pictures from my back door of an absolutely beautiful sunrise and a very foggy morning!  Just for the record, I did not Photoshop any of these pictures (other than to add the copyright). 
This was a stunning just got brighter and more vibrant as the sun got higher.  I didn't want to stop watching!

I love foggy mornings...they just feel so tranquil and peaceful, like I'm the only person in the world.
I couldn't even see our neighbors' houses.  Very thick!

Sunday, September 22

A Fun Ornament Project

Last weekend I was in a crafty mood.  I've actually been working on some of the projects in my craft room, and am happy to say that I'll be crossing three off of the list.  Three off of the list means that there's room for three new projects, right?

So, of course, I started something new.

I went to Michael's in search of wooden laser-cut ornaments and glitter.  I have lots of glitter, but I really love the Recollections brand of glitter that I can only find at Michael's, which is located about forty minutes away (they have some of the most vibrant colors in glitter that I have ever found).  But it was okay, because I was itching to go for a ride.
We had a fun time in the big city, going to Michael's, Bass Pro (for my hubby to regain his manliness after wandering around with me in a craft store), Chick-Fil-A, and Chili's (Chili's has a delicious new margherita flatbread dish, which I recommend, but I don't recommend the pesto ranch sauce that comes with it).  I came home with exactly what I had been looking for: eight laser-cut unfinished wood Christmas ornaments and MORE GLITTER! 

**Just an FYI--you should be able to get the die cut ornaments at most local chain craft stores: JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc. for around $2 each.**

It's a really simple project--just paint on the glue with a paintbrush and apply the colors one at a time.  The different colors of glitter won't stick to each other unless the glue is still wet.  Spray them with clear sealer once they're done, and you have a simple project with a huge WOW factor!  String jute rope or pretty ribbon through the top to create a hanging ornament.

Here's what I have so far:

I used two shades of blue on these trees.

These are going to look GREAT on the Christmas tree in a few months.  It might take me that long to get the rest of the die cuts glittered.  I hope I've inspired you!

Saturday, September 14

Historic Barns of Northwest Ohio

Owning a farm is hard work.  There is always something to be done: animals to tend, crops to fertilize and harvest, buildings to repair, machinery to keep running, stalls to clean, et cetera, but at the end of the day, the farmer probably feels a sense of pride and accomplishment.  I don't speak from experience, sadly, but I hope that someday I will.  Here in Northwest Ohio, there are miles and miles of farmland when you drive in any direction out of town.  I love it.  It's my dream to move out to the rural areas and create a hobby farm.  But for now, we live in a little neighborhood in a small town.  It'll have to do.  However, when I found out that the Historical Museum was offering historic barn tours throughout the county, I was interested.

The Historical Museum had arranged to have six farms open to the public, with tour guides available at each stop to talk about the barns and answer questions.  We set out on the self-guided tour on a gorgeous early-fall day, with bright blue skies and crisp, fresh, cool air.  Just a great day to be out and enjoying the day.  The six barns on the tour ranged in date from 1850 to 1905, and each one had a unique in style and setting.  Here they are!
First barn on the tour--built in the 1880s.  They are still restoring this one.
I liked this composition.  I also liked that the box is for Fels-Naptha soap, a product still available today--I use it to make my laundry detergent.
Several seed bags were hanging on the walls.
This goat lived in a little barn next to the big barn.
The next barn, built in the 1850s.  This barn is also on the Quilt Block Tour that spans several states.
The interior.  All beams are hand-hewn, with the exception of the two by four rafter beams, which had been replaced due to a windstorm last summer.
Close-up of the hand-hewn support post.  See the chisel marks?
Two baby pigs--the farm is still a working pig producer.
This praying mantis was on a door frame.  It was huge--about the size of my hand!
The next barn, built in 1872.  The earthen ramp in this photo was moved a long time ago from the back of the barn.
Inside of the upper level of the barn, with the original siding and louvers showing.
Lower level--notice the chisel marks in the stone.
A neat old roller hinge.
The next barn, built in 1870.
The farmhouse, built in 1902.  What a great porch!
I loved the composition of this setting.  Someone has a great green thumb!
View from a door inside of the barn.  An antique plow is on the left.
This was my favorite farm to visit.  The barn was built in 1877.  Note the gingerbread scrolls along the top edge of the gable, and the decorative louver at the top--unusual for a barn to have so much decoration.
A unique feature of this barn: a forty-foot long continuous beam in the lower level.  Only one other barn on the tour had a longer beam.

Another unique feature--a self-filling watering trough for the animals from a natural spring on the property.  How nice is that?
The house was built almost twenty years before the current barn.  Now do you see why I love this farm so much?
Date of the house.  I love the gingerbread and details on this two-story porch.  The current owners spent 22 months restoring the house and barns, and they did a wonderful job.
The last barn on the tour, also the newest.  This one was built in 1905.
This barn has the longest one-piece beam at seventy feet long.
This sweet little kitten was curled up on a hay bale just inside the barn.  He didn't seem to mind all of the visitors.
Goliath the ram--he was huge, and he DID seem to mind all of the visitors.  We heard that he's not much of a people-ram.
A well-preserved two-person sleigh in the front yard.
A portable saw mill demonstration.  They had sheared off the first side, and were squaring up the rest of the sides.  It looked like the saw was cutting through butter, it was so smooth and quick.
We had a great time, not only because we were out exploring the countryside together, but also because we were learning new things about old barns.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday with the husband I love so much!