Friday, September 18, 2015

Chicken Feeder turned Fall Table Centerpiece...

 I have always wanted a chicken feeder like this but had never been fortunate enough to come up on one...but luckily...

 ...the other day at our local antique mall - I SCORED!  I didn't even look at the price before I picked it up and decided it had to go home with me.  It wasn't over the top expensive BUT it was little more than I expected.  Plus it still contained a left over feather or two and some nice dried up chicken droppings.  Oh well, nothing a good scrubbing couldn't fix.

It was super long - like 4 feet plus.  It had this neat bar across the top but I had to remove that in order to fix it like I wanted.

I had some gourds and three little ornamental cabbage I had intended on using.   I had to scratch the cabbage because I wanted to use it on my table and I knew it wouldn't fair that well inside plus all that dirt on my kitchen table - not the best idea!

So I began by folding up some old material I had so that all my fixin's didn't sink down to the bottom.  I simply rolled up about three big pieces and laid it in there.

 Next I topped it off with a layer of burlap because I knew some of it would be showing.

I began by simply layering in the gourds...

 ...Then I added in a little shredded grass for texture, a few walnuts and pine cones for some interest.

...took it inside and put it right down the middle of the table.  It is narrow and doesn't get in the way and I love it - just something a bit different.

I'm already thinking about what I'm going to put in it for Christmas.  I'm thinking candles and fresh greenery...but till then...I think we will enjoy it like it is.

Happy Fall Decorating!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sunpatiens and Strawberry Bread in September...

 O.k. friends....I have a new favorite flower!  It has only been around a few years but it is just about the easiest flower I've ever grown and I. LOVE. IT!

Meet Electric Orange Sunpatiens....

It is mid-September and my window  boxes still look like this...I have to admit, I'm impressed with myself - just kidding...I'm really impressed with this flower.  These window boxes don't look a bit tired from the summer heat and stress of long hot days.

Things that you need to know in selecting this easy plant for your garden next year...
1) They don't like to be fertilized a lot - I've only fertilized them three times since the end of April!
2) They do like a lot of water - especially when it is really hot!
3) They love the sun and/or shade...
4) Well...that is about it! They are practically maintenance free!

I mean....How Easy is That????

No deadheading needed...they just bloom like crazy people...crazy..blooming... flowers!

Of course you learn by doing and I did make a mistake when I fixed my window boxes this year.  I had this flag that was my color was orange and pink.  So I decided to pair pink ivy geraniums with my sunpatiens...big mistake.  Why? you ask.  Well geraniums LOVE fertilizer and not much water...right the opposite of the sunpatiens.  I knew better. Oh well, I won't do that again.

And honestly...the sunpatiens get so large...there really is no need for other flowers because they pretty much outgrow all the competition! 

And the orange is so pretty, I think I'm going to leave them through fall - I don't have the heart to pull them up yet!

Window Boxes for Spring 2016 - I'm not sure the color - but they will definitely be filled with SUNPATIENS!

Now for the Strawberry Bread recipe I promised I'd share with you.  This is my mother-n-law's specialty so we are going to call it:

Sara's Strawberry Bread

2 c. or 2 pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed (Oh do try and use fresh berries, it makes all the difference)
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c. oil
1 1/4 c. chopped pecans (optional)

3 c. Self Rising Flour (sifted)
       (or you may use 3 c. AP flour, 1 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. salt)
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. sugar

Sift flour and mix in other dry ingredients, then make a well in center...

 Mix wet ingredients in bowl.
Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir to dampen (do not over mix)
Lastly add delicious strawberries which have been cut up.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.  Makes two loaves (one large, one small)

Extremely easy - incredibly delicious!  You are going to love this!

 The countdown to the fall season is on.  It is only going to be 70 degrees here in KY this weekend!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend wherever you are!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Please...Let's Catch Up...

 ...O.K. No excuses really - just a bit of a break from blogging.  But Honestly and Truthfully - I, like the rest of you...have had a really busy spring.

As you all know by now - I have been in the greenhouse business for nearly 20 years. Every year I try to mentally prepare myself for the rush that is to come but for some reason...I never quite prepare my mind or my body enough.  And the older I get - my, oh my, well, let's just say it gets a little harder with each passing year. 

But thankfully, we probably had the quickest greenhouse season ever.  It was so cold for so long and once it warmed up - it only took about a month and the greenhouse was completely empty.  Remember though, we start getting ready for greenhouse season at the end of January.  So it is a longer season than most realize...

...Each year I am amazed at the people who are so gracious and kind to support our local growers including those of us at Central Farmers.  We truly couldn't be more thankful for the support!

I've taught a couple of classes this spring also...I'm always happy to help out our amazing local library with their adult programs.

 ...Plus I was honored to teach a class for the wives of the KY Farm Bureau Board of Directors...we had a great day!

Oh, and I also had a wedding to work on too - I'm not sure when or how I squeezed that in working 6 days a week plus time on Sundays!

BUT...the most wonderful part about spring is watching my little boy who is turning into a young man play the game that he loves!  I'm so proud of him and it is just hard to believe that this is his last year for little league.  Oh how I will miss summers at the ball park!

But we have a few more weeks of All-Stars and I'm gonna enjoy them and treasure those times together with him!

 I hope everyone is doing well out there and I thank you for continuing to stop by.  I've got a wonderful recipe for Strawberry Bread to share with won't want to miss it!

Happy Summer Friends!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Meet Socks...

 ...This is the newest addition to the Murray Farms Herd - isn't he just a cutie?  Of course, what else could we have named him with white socks on his feet like this.

When I went for my walk this afternoon - I spotted them in the distance.  As I got closer, momma cow...well, she spotted me and she didn't really know what to think of me - so they hid.  I couldn't believe I got this picture - both of them taking a peek around the tree.

Socks was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful sunshine that we had today - just prancing around.

This was her first calf and just like with many heifers - she had trouble.  Fortunately, my farmer guy, keeps a very close eye on them. At his last check around midnight - he knew she was in need of some help - so thankfully, he was able to help deliver Socks safely.   I'm grateful he cares for his animals like he does. 

You can see this momma didn't let Socks get to far away from her - I think she is going to be a great momma for years to come.  

He's definitely a keeper! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow = furniture "switch-a-roo"...

 O.K. friends...for those of you that live north of KY - over a foot of snow is no biggie - but for those of us in the great bluegrass state - a foot of snow shuts down the town!  I would have to think back to my childhood (30+ years ago) to remember a snowfall like this!  I'd say we have about 15 inches and that just doesn't happen here- well, except once every few decades ;-)

 But...I'm not complaining - I LOVE snow - always have...always will!

This is a picture of the cabin outside my bedroom window early this morning.  The snow ended up covering the bottom railing of the fence.

 A peaceful look off the front porch...

My young man had to get out in it - unfortunately, the snow was so light and fluffy - you couldn't even make a snowball - bummer!

But when you are stuck inside - you get to do things you've been thinking about but hadn't made the time.  So I'm talking about this lil' corner in my kitchen.  Talk about just looked pitiful - I mean I even had a cardboard box of mail under the table - sad.

So I cleaned off the table and was going do something different to the top but...
 I realized I've got to many shelves all lined up - it was looking way to busy so I figured I'd just shuffle the furniture...
 So a simple "switch-a-roo" did the trick BUT...that table was just out of scale there so I shopped the house and found one in the landing that fit much better...
 I love the legs on this table - it is simply made of tree limbs with a distressed top.

 I added a chalkboard, a letter and a few of my favorite kitchen things...including....
 a scale that was a gift from my mom -filled with Halos - goodness, I love these things...
 ...a little spring green in the form of fake bulbs in a old wire basket...

 I decorated the hutch with some simple yard sale wicker plates and some of my white pitchers and platters.

 ...And there you have it - my lazy snow day rearrange.

I even managed to hang my "FARM" letters today - which I've had since Christmas.

Simply being home - the main reason I LOVE SNOW DAYS!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

My First Project of the New Year...

 Yes, I know - I haven't been very productive...but I've been enjoying the quite of winter with my family.  It won't be long and things will be in overdrive!  I start seeding in the greenhouse in just a couple of weeks and baseball is just around the corner.  Hope your time spent indoors this winter is restful!

So even though I haven't been very productive with big projects - I have accomplished a few small ones,  one of which being this small filing cabinet.  My craft closet was getting kind of out of control - especially with all the "little" stuff - like stamps and ink, and glue and tags, and scissors and wood burners...well, and...and...and....- you get the picture.

So a while back I had spotted this lil' filing cabinet at our local antique mall.  I just love all those drawers!  I could see the potential but it was just a bit more than I wanted to spend.  I pondered it for several weeks and finally I just treated myself!  After all, it would make for some great organization PLUS - I knew it would be to cute all painted up!

It had a few places where the paint was peeling and it was a tad rusty...

Nothing that a lil' sandpaper couldn't fix...

Be sure to always sand until you get a smooth edge.

Next I cleaned the cabinet well - and let me just say there were some interesting things on this cabinet - dirty is an understatement! I then sprayed the entire cabinet with gray primer for metal surfaces...

Seems like no matter how hard I try to get away from green - I keep going back to it.  I love this color... "Leafy Green" from Rust-oleum - reminds me of spring!

Snowball kept his distance yet he kept an eye on what I was doing.  He wasn't for sure what to think of me when I was shaking those spray paint cans -all the while channeling Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off".  I'm glad no one else was watching! ;-)

This cabinet has 30 drawers - yep... took a while to paint all those little drawers.

This paint has great coverage - two coats and I was ready to take it inside - with Shaun's help of course.  It may be small but it is heavy!

I simply cut some kraft paper to size and used some of my small stamps to label the drawers.  

You can see - all of those drawers are already being put to great use.  I love it - feeling all organized.  Now, only if the rest of my house was like this.

It fit perfectly at the base of our steps - right outside my craft closet.  I'm glad I decided to treat myself  with this cabinet.  It's nothing fancy - but I'm sure it will be a piece that will be serviceable for years to come.

Happy Winter Friends!