How about putting a little "more" country on the country cottage house! I used the Sizzix Biz XL Country Cottage 3-D die to create a little chicken barn, complete with grain silo! I had the best time making this project!
I used some corn button embellishments to decorate the ends of the coop. I placed little brown brads on the door of the coop and the silo for door knobs. Using one of the shutter dies, I created a little sign to hang above the door... "The Coop".
I even used chickens from a couple of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets to create some stand-up chickens for the yard! They were stamped on watercolor paper, colored, fussy cut, and a little tab at the bottom of each was slipped into a slit I made in the base of the cottage to allow them to stand upright.
When I adhered the coop onto the base, I placed it at a slight angle, allowing me a bit more room at the front of the cottage for the chickens.
I created the grain silo by wrapping The Paper Loft's designer woodgrain paper around a standard cardboard tissue roll. For the top of the silo, I die cut a scalloped circle and using scissors, snipped to the center of the scalloped circle so that I could form the circle into a cone shape by overlapping some of the scallops. A healthy addition of dry Distress Glitter to everything really sparkled up the place!
I hope this little coop provides you with a bit of inspiration! I know I can't WAIT to make more fun themed cottages! I've got quite a little collection started!
Happy Friday!! There's a new Mix-Ability challenge posted today in the challenge forum at SplitCoastStampers, and I couldn't resist playing along! The challenge is called Flock of Feathers (MIX43), and you are to use at least two feathers of different mediums (eg stamped, die cut, real...) on your project, or use the photo that was also shared on the challenge for color inspiration. I chose to use a die cut feather (2 actually), a real feather from one of my Cuckoo Marans hens, and even various colors found in the inspiration photo.
I have been itchin' to get out the watercoloring supplies again. It's been a while since I've used them, and I actually had to dust off the top of my palette! Boy, did it feel good to use them again!
To make my card, I first die cut the larger feather out of watercolor paper. Then I die cut the smaller feather out of another piece of watercolor paper that was the actual sheet I wanted to use on the front of my card. I had to place the small feather die in the exact spot I wanted it to be placed on my final project, because I would later pop the die cut feather back into it's original spot.
Once die cut, I popped out the feather from the background and applied various shades of red and purple to the feather. I painted the background paper as well, with vibrant shades of orange and yellow. I also painted the larger feather with beautiful shades of blue and green. Once the pieces were dry, I added a few detail lines to the feathers with my tracing wheel, just to give them a bit of visual texture. I placed the red/purple feather back into the background paper, making it perfectly flush with the background. Because of the precision cut of the metal die, the feather fit back into place perfectly.
I then adhered the real feather into place, and adhered the blue/green feather over top. The little turquoise button is dressed up with a hemp twine bow, and the sentiment is stamped in black StazOn ink. The painted panel is adhered to a heavy-weight white card base with foam adhesive.
The idea behind the Mix-Ability Challenge is to make mixed media simple and approachable, and to let you experiment using things you already have. Each Friday a new challenge is hosted, but there is no time limit, so you can participate whenever you'd like on each challenge. Join us, won't you!?
Stamps: A Muse
Ink: Black StazOn, SU Dye Based Re-Inkers
Paper: Fabriano 100% Cotton Cold Press Watercolor paper, Neenah
Other: SU Button, hemp twine, foam adhesive, hot glue, tracing wheel
The carton is an extra-jumbo sized carton (notice, only 10 spots) I use for eggs that are too large to fit in regular egg cartons. Some of our Golden Comet and Black Star hens, as well as a couple of the ducks, lay MASSIVE eggs that don't fit in regular egg cartons. So, I buy these extra-jumbo sized cartons for them. That's a duck egg in the back right corner.
Today there was a surprise in one of the nest boxes .... a GIANT goose egg! Thelma has been protecting that particular nest box for a few days, and now I know why! She wanted it to be ready when she was!
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamps: Lg Sunnie Face and Henrietta's Front from High Hopes Stamps; Sentiment from the Blooms & Sentiment cling set from Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft
ShinHan Touch Twin markers
Other: glue dots, tracing wheel, Spellbinders large and pinked circle dies, October Afternoon button, kelp green Prismacolor pencil
Earlier this week I was checking on things out at the hen house. We have a duck that has a bum foot so I like to let her sit when she wants to so she's not being pestered by the boy ducks. Seems she sat long enough to brew up a baby! I'm just glad I was out at the hen house when I was, and saw the baby when I did! It would have surely been killed by the chickens when they came into the hen house for the night. I brought it in the house until Alan and I could try to reunite it with it's mother that night.
Later that night, Alan and I tried placing the baby back with its mother but she didn't want anything to do with it. And since we've been having trouble with rat snakes in the hen house, we decided to keep it as a house baby until its large enough to be outside. Quack!
She kept me company today while I hung out on the couch with my foot up. Soo cute and such a snuggler!
Remember our grasshopper infestation? Sooo not fun. Disgusting, actually. We are doing what we can to keep the numbers down to something a little less horrific. We have free-ranging chickens, ducks, and guinea, and lots of wild birds coming in to eat. We have most of the area around the house and yard mowed to discourage the grasshoppers from moving between pastures and the yard/garden area. But it wasn't knocking down the population like we needed.
I'm still using organic methods in the garden -- even relocating wheelie bugs and ladybugs to the garden when I find them other places on the farm. But when the numbers of grasshoppers creep up in the tall grass and trees in and around the yard, we spray those areas with a Malathion/water mixture. It's a little more serious than we normally use on the farm, but is still a garden-safe method of control.
During the day, grasshoppers are very active and hard to control. But at night grasshoppers stop feeding and climb up out of the grass and perch themselves along the edges of the pastures on the tall grass stems, along the fence wires, on trees, and weeds. And there they sit, waiting for us to make our way around the yard wearing our headlamps, armed with a sprayer. And yes, I still have grasshoppers in the garden. But not nearly as many as I would have if we weren't able to control the population in the areas around the yard.
So how about a small garden tour!
This yellow pear tomato plant is also amazing -- it's HUGE, and has officially reached the top of the 4' cage around it. The plant next to it (can't remember what it is!) is doing really well too, but there just aren't a lot of flowers on either of these plants. Some flowers, but not a lot. Maybe I need to supplement with some phosphorus to encourage flowers. I use bone meal when I prep the beds for planting, but maybe adding some worm casting tea might be beneficial. Hopefully I can encourage these two to put on more flowers!
I have cucumbers growing in several areas, but this is the largest area. A full 4'x8' bed of them, and they are quickly vining out of the bed's edges. Under those leaves are a bazillion flowers! And we've even picked a couple cucumbers! I think they are enjoying not being trellised this year.
The pumpkin is doing well (for just being old seeds tossed at the edge of a zucchini bed), and the zucchini and other squash plants are looking healthy. In the blue tub at the left are some mini white cucumbers, a great little variety that is really fun to grow!
Here's some organic bug control in the garden ... ducks! Chickens can be really hard on a garden since they're really drawn to eating leaves and small tender fruits, and like to take dust baths in the soft soil -- which isn't so great for plants. But ducks and guinea are great in a garden! They are more focused on bugs! They pull them right off the stems and leaves, and the ducks also root around the edges of the garden beds where other insects like to hide during the day.
This chick was also a temporary house guest. At a fairly young age she seemed to develop a palsy which made life in the coop with the other chickens very difficult. She had a hard time keeping up with the other babies, had a hard time keeping herself on her feet, and had a tendency to get stuck places she couldn't get herself out of. So while I was out west visiting friends, Alan brought her inside for extra TLC. I love coming home to house chickens! *grin*
Anyway, I thought you might like a little update on this little cutie!
Turns out, she wasn't a she after all, but a HE! After a few weeks of in-house TLC, he showed great improvement. While he still gets the shakes and sometimes completely topples over, it's not as frequent as before. He now has much better control over his muscles. He returned to the coop with the others, but has his own 3'x4' brooder to hang out in when he has difficult days. I call it his bachelor pad. He's face to face with all the other chickens, and sings to all the ladies.
I used one of my very favorite Whipper Snapper sets, called Sunnyside Up, to make this card.
Stamps: Sunnyside Up Cling Set
Ink: Memento Black, Antique Linen Distress Ink
Paper: October Afternoon
Other: Buttons, string, various Copic and Touch Twin markers, tracing wheel, SU punch
I am really enjoying them. I haven't NAMED them yet, though.... *ugh!* I just can't decide! It would really help if I knew their genders, but I don't want to insult them by attempting to check. This is the older of the two, and I have a feeling it's a male. Their personalities are quite different. This one LOVES me. Love to be held, climbs up on my lap if I'm sitting in the grass, follows me anywhere.
This is the younger of the two, and I have a feeling this one is a girl. This one is not as attached to me as the other. It does NOT like to be caught, but once I've got her, she enjoys being held. She is much more independent than the older one.
Want to take the baby geese for a walk? I thought you might... *grin*
As always, if you're having trouble viewing the video here on my blog, you'll find it on my YouTube channel.
Care to see the card? I used the ladybugs2love from The Stamps of Life set to create this card. The "path" of the ladybug was created using twine. I used a small glue pen to tack the twine down in a couple of spots.
Stamps: ladybugs2love by The Stamps of Life
Paper: Neenah, Bazzil, October Afternoon, Stampin' Up!
Dies: Words & Tags and Majestic Labels, by Sizzix
Ink: Licorice, Guava, Strawberry, and Bubblegum by Stephanie Barnard ColorBox
Other: bakers twine, twine, tracing wheel
So, I mentioned last week that we welcomed a new little gosling to the farm. Well, we couldn't have just ONE, so late last week we also welcomed a second little one to the farm! (I already mentioned this on FaceBook, but haven't mentioned it here yet...) I thought I'd share some photos of them, enjoying some time on my crafting table. Isn't that what everyone has on their crafting table?! *grin* The youngest one, on the left, is the second one we brought home. The oldest one, on the right, is the first one we brought home.
We haven't settled on names yet. But we do have some considerations... Loosie, Raspberry, Zerbert, Doodles ... do you have a suggestion?
This is the younger of the two. She (we're going with that until we know for sure) was about 3 days old when I took these photos. She's more like 8 days old now, and I'm pretty sure she has doubled in size. Ha!
Want to see more!? How about in video form!?
And, as always, if you're having trouble viewing these videos here on my blog, you can find them here on my YouTube channel.
Cute, cute, CUTE!!!
The sentiment on the card is from one of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets called Friendly Expressions.
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamp: "Gardening Gertie" by High Hopes Rubber Stamps, "Friendly Expressions" cling set by Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft, Bo Bunny, Paper Accents
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: YR132, YR133, YR25, YR32, YR21, BR97, BR107, BR102, BR92, Y36, WG5, GY175, Y42, WG3, PB144, PB185, B182, R136, B68, R3, R2, B64, B66, Y34, Y36, YR33, CG1, CG3, CG5
Other: Prima flowers, SEI brad, Tracing Wheel, Spellbinders label die, MFT label die, May Arts ribbon
Hope you're having a great day!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter, Eggs2Hunt, and Pattern2Love by The Stamps of Life
Dies: Eggs by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Sand Memento, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, B143, PB144
Paper: Neenah, October Afternoon, Bazzil, Bo Bunny
Other: button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
For two months in 2010 I kept track of the number of eggs gathered daily from the ladies. I've been asked if I'd do it again -- seems it was enjoyed -- so, I thought, why not!? Let the counting begin!
I will continue to update this post. You can find it in the Categories list on the right side of my blog under Egg Count.
Hen Count: pending count
Rooster Count: pending count
Ducks: 6 hens, 2 drake
Egg Totals per Day
April 12: 42
April 11: 48
April 10: 50
April 9: 51
April 8: 49
April 7: 56
April 6: 52
April 5: 48
April 4: 47
April 3: 51
April 2: 47
April 1: 53
March 2013: 1477
March 31: 44
March 30: 41
March 29: 47
March 28: 50
March 27: 55
March 26: 36
March 25: 65
March 24: 46
March 23: 51
March 22: 55
March 21: 55
March 20: 58
March 19: 51
March 18: 58
March 17: 47
March 16: 54
March 15: 57
March 14: 31
March 13: 42
March 12: 49
March 11: 52
March 10: 45
March 9: 39
March 8: 42
March 7: 47
March 6: 48
March 5: 49
March 4: 45
March 3: 45
March 2: 38
March 1: 35
It's official.... the first chicks of the year have arrived. I stopped in at the farm supply store yesterday for a few things, and would you just look who followed me home! In this photo are 6 chicks: four bantam cochin, and 2 Golden Comets (Golden Sexlink) pullets. I brought the bantam babies home because, well, I just cannot resist a bantam cochin baby. They may well be my favorite breed, which makes it near impossible for me when I see their wee little feathered feet! That little one on the right is quite the eater, wouldn't you say!? And the Golden Comets came home with me because they are GREAT egg layers, and very sweet hens. You really can't go wrong with a Golden Comet.
So while there are only 6 babies in the photo, I actually brought home 7 chicks. The 7th chick was just outside the frame of the photo. I noticed while I was at the store that there was a little red chick that wasn't doing so well. She never got up to eat, had no fight in her when I picked her up, and didn't move away from the others if they walked over the top of her. So I brought her home too, knowing that she wouldn't survive the day if left at the store. In fact, I didn't even think she'd survive the day even at the farm. But at least if she did pass away I could enjoy knowing that she lived a portion of her life on a farm, and didn't die unloved and have her lifeless body tossed into a dumpster. She actually did end up passing about two hours after I got home. But she died a farm chick, and I'm good with that!
The little cheep cheep cheep of baby chicks is hard not to love. Spring has sprung!
A quick and cheerful spring card to share with you today! I made this card using the little fuzzy chick image from The Stamps of Life Eggs4Easter stamp set. The chick in the middle is the "true" shape of the stamp. Because the belly of the chick stamp is open (the stamp's clear polymer doesn't completely fill the center of the stamp), the stamp can be shaped a bit, allowing for the chick to become taller, shorter, thinner, fatter! To create this grouping, I stamped the original chick once, put a post-it note mask over it, reshaped the chick stamp, and stamped the chick a couple more times. Such a fun and easy way to create a group!
It was so fun being able to give a bit of shape to these chicks! Once I had them stamped, I colored them with Touch Twin markers and added a bit of grass around their feet with a Prismacolor colored pencil. The little fatty in the front was stamped on a separate piece of paper, then cut out and adhered to the card using foam adhesive. This makes him pop out a bit from the others, and really say hello!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Antique Linen Distress Ink by Ranger, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, R3, R2, GY175, 0, CG.5
Paper: Neenah, Bo Bunny
Other: Prismacolor Pencil (Kelp Green), button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
There's still time to enter the December 2012 sketch challenge being hosted by The Paper Loft. And, there's a BIG prize for one lucky winner! Find all the details on The Paper Loft blog!
The challenge runs until December 31st, so get crackin'! *grin*
Main Stamp: "Not Exactly Monday" by me, available at Whipper Snapper Designs
Sentiment Stamp: by A Muse (an oldie!)
Paper: The Paper Loft "Huckleberry Pond", Neenah, Paper Accents
Ink: Memento Black, Ranger Antique Linen
Shinhan Touch Twin markers
Other: Button, twine, small self-adhesive pearls
A blog post I wrote about one of our egg-eating snake incidents was re-published on Community Chickens, a website published by Ogden Publications, who bring us great magazines such as Mother Earth News, Grit, Utne Reader, etc.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for us to have a temporary house chicken. Thankfully they're small and don't take up much room. They are cheerful and most grateful for the attention. Most of them get to rejoin the flock after a day or two of housebound TLC.
But this little gal might need a bit more care. She doesn't get around too well on her own in big places. She gets the shakes and has a tendency to get herself in places she can't easily get out of.
She was having a real hard time of it while I was in Oregon so Alan moved her into a small pet carrier and set her up in my office with a safe place to rest. She enjoyed warmth from a lamp and safety in her smaller "home".
She enjoys being held, is curious about things on my desk, and seems quite content in her new environment. Since she doesn't have to go far for food, water, and safety, she is doing much better about keeping calm and relaxed.
I think she is pretty cute.... and best of all, she is actually the baby of the late Tiny Tim and Cricket, who was a long time house chick until she was big enough to join her flock outside.
Now we probably need to settle on a name...
I thought I would pop on out to the garden this evening and see what the chickens were up to. Some of them were hunting for bugs in the grass. Good chickens! (Rosie in the front, Goldilocks, Poof, and Rosie in the distance). Yes, I have several Rosie's. You try telling several Golden Comet chickens apart on a regular basis! *grin*
Some of them were enjoying the sunshine. By the way, this is Dolly... my, how he has changed!
Lola is a Bearded Buff Laced Polish. Isn't she a beauty! Check out her blue legs! I love raising Polish hens. They have the sweetest personalities, although sometimes they can be a bit punchy (probably because they can't see all that well with their big headdresses!)
Tiny Tim had fans world wide. It is no doubt you will be missed, little friend.
Enjoy Tiny Tim's antics, fashion, and videos in the "Tiny Tim the Frizzled Roo" category.
It has rained all day. In fact, it's 11:30pm and it's STILL raining! We LOVE it!! We sooooo needed this rain. But that just means that it's time for me to knock the dust off, and dead bugs out of my muck boots and prepare for a muddy week of farm chores. Seriously, it gets mega-slick here after a rain. It's disgusting, actually.
So, what did I do on this delightful rainy Saturday?
And I stamped! Yay! The image and sentiment are from my Whipper Snapper cling set called Beautiful Day.
I think Alan and I are going to a gun show tomorrow ... and who knows, maybe we'll come home with a new pistol.... *grin*
Hope you are having a super weekend!
Cricket has been sitting on eggs hoping to hatch them. And hatch them she did! This little one was the last to hatch and with all the other babies to attend to, Cricket left the nest, leaving this one still in her egg, and getting chilled.
So this morning I brought the egg in the house and set it up on my desk in a small box lined with tissues and set it under a lamp. And what do ya know, midway through my day, this little one appeared! (Photos taken with my iPhone)
Tonight after Cricket and her babies settle in, I will tuck this little one under Cricket's wing. And come morning, she will be happy as can be with her family.
A little TLC was all it took. Happy day!
That lump you see behind it's head... that is it's most recent snack -- one of my large sized chicken eggs! It hadn't swallowed it yet when I saw it for the first time, and by the time Alan and I got back out to the hen house with the snake catchers, there was no getting that egg back. I'm guessing it ate at least 3 or 4 other small bantam eggs from the nest box, too.
This rat snake is over 4' long ... and while they are good snakes, I really don't want them in the hen house eating the eggs. Alan caught it and we relocated it to a remote wooded area about 4 miles from the farm. Not far enough away, if you ask me!
How about a little beachy fun!? I'd sure like to be at a beach today... an Oregon one, preferably! I used my Beach Bum cling mount set to create this bright, cheerful card.
Hope you have a great day!
It's time for another Color Throwdown Challenge! This is my fourth and final week as a guest designer. I've enjoyed participating in the CTD challenges greatly! Each week, a new color challenge is posted on the Color Throwdown blog. Stampers are encouraged to participate, and the designers who contribute weekly provide wonderful samples to inspire.
I enjoyed this week's color challenge. The fresh pop of coral and tangerine along with the pool party blue are very "summer" colors. I was inspired by all of the colors of the umbrella, not just the four posted for the challenge.
Since we're having triple digit temps this week, I think going beachside would be the way to go! I picked up this stamp at the stamp/scrap convention in Arlington last month. The stamp is K1-10880-H by Inky Antics. She's charming, and doing her best to get sun on those under-wings. *grin*
Pop over to the Color Throwdown blog and participate in this week's color challenge. I'd be delighted, if you did!
The existing yard was 30'x40'. To add to the length of the yard, we took the kennel panels we used to use to keep the goats in at night (when they were little) over to the chicken yard. In the photo above, we were in the process of adding the panels to the end of the existing chicken yard. After we had two additional panels added to each side of the yard, we moved the three end panels out to the 'new' end of the yard. Alan set a t-post at each joining section of fence, to keep things nice and stable.
By adding four more panels we were able to make the yard 30'x60'! I will need to fasten some wires across the yard at various locations to deter predatory birds from dropping into the yard. At night, all the chickens and ducks get locked up in the covered yard/coop area, safe from night time predators.
I had a request to post some "chick" photos. We don't have any chicks right now, so how about some of the Turken girls, instead!? Photos taken yesterday evening...
Olive Oyle, lays the prettiest olive green eggs that are covered with brown speckles.
Fancy, so big and fluffy, I just love holding her!
Cashew, a young pullet (less than 1 year), daughter of Olive Oyle and Admiral.
And not a "girl" or Turken, but I can't resist sharing this photo of Admiral. Such a handsome fella, and just as sweet as can be. I love his polka dot beard and chest.
Have a great weekend!
Took the camera out yesterday evening just before sunset to see what I could see. Not much was happening and it was getting dark quickly so I didn't have a lot of time to take photos. I was able to get a photo of Albert, though! He's the young calf that was born just before Christmas. He is Princess' calf, and we're excited that not only is he dun (brown), but he's also polled (hornless)! Way to go, Princess!
As usual, Baaaaad Boxcar Betty wanted to know "When'z dinner?"
Callio-Pea wanted to know "Got any goat cookies in your pocket? I'm the good goat, you know!"
Walnut, quite possibly the sweetest hen to ever live, would also have liked some snacks.
Sorry girls, I'm fresh out!
I've been busy busy BUSY, crafting up some Claudine shelf sitters! Claudine is my own design, and I do love her so ... so much so that I made a flock!
I've posted these clucky friends in the shop.
UPDATE: All the Claudine's have flown the coop!
It's about time I got her finished, isn't it! *grin* Find yours here.
Saturday I made a trip up to the city to run some errands. There was a train passing through town keeping me from getting to all of my errand locations so while I waited for the train to pass I decided to see if there were any new goods at the local antique shops. In one of the shops I found this sweet little hand crafted chicken potholder, and I'm pretty sure she told me that she needed to go home with me. She looks cute propped up on the back of the kitchen stove!
Welcome to the farm, little lady!
I'm finding it difficult to move into Valentine and spring themed projects for some reason, wanting to hold onto snowmen and snowflakes and cocoa and woolies. I don't want spring to come just yet, even though I think it is the best season in Texas. We haven't had enough winter, and we desperately need more rain before the onset of summer 2012. Lately the weather has been very spring-like, minus all the lovely wildflowers that bloom in Texas. Hopefully the weather gets a bit colder, and we get some of the rain that the weather-people say is coming our way tomorrow.
If I MUST think about spring, let it be of baby chickens. That I can handle.
Several years ago at a local auction house, I bought several photo albums (5 to be exact), each one of them FULL of vintage postcards - someone's collection. One of the folders is all Easter cards, and soooo many of them feature chickens or chicks. The above image is from one of the postcards I bought that day. Maybe flipping through those old cute postcards will put me into the mood to work on spring projects...?
I'll sip hot cocoa while I do. *grin*
Here is a quick video of Dad feeding one of the flocks of wild turkeys in the front yard, Christmas morning.
If you have trouble viewing the video on the blog, you will find it here on YouTube.
Hope you're enjoying your day!
I'm catching a flight up to Washington in the morning (I'd better start packing!), and thought I would leave you for the day with this card I made using my Sledding Chicken stamp, from Whipper Snapper.
Doesn't she look like she's having FUN!
Image stamped in black Memento ink, colored with a combination of Touch Twin and Copic markers.