Friday, December 26, 2014

Rogue Robin Hood

Here's our mean guy. Living life outside the coop. I can't feel sorry for him, as he attacks me on sight. Proof that raising a person or critter in a loving atmosphere doesn't guarantee a loving relationship.

A Belated Merry Christmas!

I'm posting these pictures especially for my sister Barbara LaValley. She's always supported my ventures, no matter how crazy they may seem. I love her dearly. This would have been a neat little house for us to play in as kids. I think sister Linda Nestor will have to agree with me on that! Love you ladies to pieces!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A House Guest

The latest news from Sure Would Run!

Little John and Robin Hood had quite the battle this afternoon. Unfortunately we weren't there to see it. It must have happened just before I went to close them in for the night. Little John's head was covered with blood, so we brought him into the house and cleaned his wounds and his feathers. Not knowing what else to do with him, he's spending the night with me in the sewing room. He's settled down and is watching TV. Robin Hood, on the other hand is going to find himself outside the coop free range, if he keeps this up. He's been very aggressive the past week and has been attacking both me and hubby, not just Little John and the hens. 

I'm happy to report that Little John and the 6 dogs and 2 cats got along quite well this evening. The cats were funny. They haven't seen the chickens since they were chicks, so they were curious and intimidated by the HUGE bird in the kitchen. It didn't take Little John very long to adjust to his surroundings. Before we knew it, he was walking around the house. We now have a House Alpha Rooster!
Little Bear, Little John and Lily

Little John

Little John and Scamp

Yummy! Dog Food!!
Little John received preferential treatment. Not everyone is allowed in Mom's sewing room. Especially over night. Little John found the perfect perch with all of the advantages. Computer access, front row TV and a cushy nest. I'm sure he thought he died and went to heaven.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

He was quite mesmerized by the computer. In this picture he is watching my every move. He finally did settle down, but I had to turn off the TV because that was keeping him awake. He was the perfect gentleman throughout the night. Didn't snore. Stayed in his comfy nest, and woke me this morning with a hearty ER ER ERRRRRRRR! 

He's back in the coop now with the others and Robin Hood was given a lesson as to who is boss. Dad and Mom, not Robin Hood! We collected 7 eggs. All is good for the moment at Sure Would Run!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A very snowy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day brought us a foot of snow and 28 hours without power. Thanksgiving lunch was a tuna sandwich and dinner was hot dogs and beans cooked on our wood stove. I wouldn't have had it any other way... It was a day filled with thanks and counting our blessings. The hot dogs and beans were hot, and we have a roof over our heads. We were surrounded by our critter kids and spent a quiet day enjoying each others company.

Today the sun is shining, power is restored, and our turkey is cooked. Life is good.
I also have some beautiful pictures to share.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful November!

One of the many conveniences in life I am thankful for!

I had one similar to this years ago. It was a straight hose, not coiled. I loved it! I never replaced it when it became old and worn. 20 years later I found a similar one on line and purchased it last year. I can't tell you how many steps and walks through the house with a pitcher of water this little baby has saved me over the last year. It makes watering my plants so much easier! If I run warm water through it, my birds love an occasional shower when it's set at fine mist. I love the fact that this hose is coiled. I've stretched it to it's full 40' length hundreds of times and it still goes back to it's original size.

They aren't expensive. This is where I found my Mini Coil Indoor Hose just in case you have a mind to purchase one.

Do you have a gadget you are thankful for? How about sharing it!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pfaltzgraff is #1 in my book!

My order arrived last week minus the 4 platters and 1 salad dish. I advised Pfaltzgraff of the missing salad dish and they said to wait until the 2nd shipment came in. The missing dish might be in that. The 2nd shipment arrived today and no salad dish. During the course of the week, I noticed that the 4 dinner plates were smudged in areas and had glazing bubbles. I figured they were 2nds. Although I was disappointed, I took into consideration that I only paid 1/2 price for them with my additional 20% discount added to the original discontinued price. When I talked to Pfaltzgraff today I asked the representative if they sell seconds. Her response was "No Way. The pattern you bought is discontinued. We do not sell 2nds." She asked if there was a problem. I told her that all 4 of the dinner dishes I received had smudged paint and/or glazing blemishes. She is replacing all 4 dishes and also a mug that arrived damaged. I found another salad dish Napoli Rooster that compliments my set. They are sending me 1 free and I purchased the other 3. 

They also have a Napoli Rooster Pitcher that I have put on my wish list. It is 
1-1/4 qt capacity. I can't say I'll be all roostered out... but it will be close. LOL

I guess that's all for today. Are you a collector of "stuff"? I'd love to hear about your collection.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Crafty Homey Side....

From this point on I shall be known as....

                 The Crafty Country Chicken Lady....

                            a/k/a   CTCraftylady

I don't know if this "chicken" thing is rubbing off on me, but I've got this outlandish need to start "nesting".

I feel like Suzie Homemaker today. Why do you ask???

We spent the entire summer building and decorating our coop and the house sat in the background waiting for me to take a few stolen minutes to dust away the cobwebs, change around a few seasonal decorations, and keep up the comfy, homey feeling. All I really wanted to do at the end of a day outdoors was take a nice warm bath and go to bed. So, our little home in our tiny piece of heaven needed some love and attention.

I woke up this morning and recalled the memory of a former co-worker. She had one of those "camera ready" houses. It was just her, hubby, 2 dogs and a couple of birds. Kids were all grown up. Her dining room table was set for 4. (2 places for guests should they drop in during the course of the day.) On the table was a piece of every item one would need throughout the day, from morning coffee to midnight snack. All impeccably laid out and ready for use. Juice and beverage glasses, coffee cup and mug. Dinner, luncheon and salad plate and bowl. Salad fork, dinner fork, dessert fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, dessert plate, soup bowl. Butter knife and steak knife. Silverware was all neatly wrapped in a season/theme related cloth napkin.

So, I went into action!

Here's my table set for dinner, which is ready and waiting to be eaten. (Baked catfish with Dorito crumb coating, mashed potato and buttered, steamed zucchini; cucumber, scallion and tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing).


Now, my co-worker used to put the dishes in the dishwasher which was run at the end of the day. The clean dishes were then placed back on the table in their perfect little settings for use the next day.

  1. I'm the dishwasher.
  2. We have 6 dogs, 2 cats, 6 birds and a wood stove burning now.

Hubby said no way in hell are our dishes going to lay out on the table over night and through the next day.

Crafty Country Chicken Lady puts on her "Thinking Cap"........
While she's thinking she washes the dishes....
And today, she towel dries them rather than letting them sit in draining rack to dry.

*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Whistle while you work.... ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♥And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥♥ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♪ So hum a merry tune ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ It won't take long when there's a song to help you set the pace ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪...!

She has a plan! She can have a "camera ready" table too!

Here's the solution!

Note to self: Make theme oriented napkins!

All we have to do is lift off the "dust covers" and our table is ready for picture taking or serving!

Here's our "Breakfast Nook" all set and ready for a breakfast of hot oatmeal with banana slices, pancakes and coffee.

After the picture was taken, I turned the plates, bowls and cups over til morning.
Hubby came in while I was prepping dinner and decided that he liked the "preset" breakfast and dinner table idea. He said that it was "comforting" to see the table set as that is sure evidence that I am planning on cooking a meal worth sitting down for. I guess he's tired of the sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper that I served him most days this summer because all my time was being spent outdoors with paint brush and hammer, instead of indoors with a sauce pan and roaster.
I guess that's all for now. I'm loving this "new me".  Oh! I forgot to mention that I ordered myself service for 4.

I've been watching this set for a few weeks now. Today was the last day I could purchase it with an additional 20% discount and reduced shipping. Taking into consideration that the pattern is discontinued, I opted to bite the bullet and buy it. Looks like pbj's until payday.

Another afterthought. I have hutches filled with "special dishes and glasses" that I've only used on "special occasions". Today I decided that every day is special and I should enjoy my treasures while I am able to. They brighten my table and brighten my spirit. Even hubby enjoyed the "restaurant affect". He's always said that his favorite restaurant is "Joanie's Kitchen".

So.... what have you done to brighten your home or your spirits before the doldrums of winter set in? Leave me a note in comments! I'd love to hear!

Have a wonderful, enchanting day!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scroll Saw ~ The Spiral Blade Challange

I took a break from working on the coop and made some more cut-outs for the porch railing. Over the past couple of weeks I have done a bit of reading up on scroll saw blades and decided to try the spiral blade out. The author of the article warned that it would take a bit of getting used to the spiral blade, but in the end people rarely switch back.

Well, I can see why! I had no problem getting used to the blade. It actually worked better for me than the straight blade. I love the fact that it gives a tight cut. I think that would be an advantage when cutting puzzles. The cut pieces don't move very freely before sanding.
My cut is on the beak.

Here the cut piece is pushed out a bit so you can see the closeness of the cut.

Here the cut piece is removed.

Here's another cut piece ready for removal. You can barely see the cut line. If you look closely you can see where I overshot my mark.

This is the blade that I used. It's suggested use is on 3/4" wood. I was cutting 1"  rough cut pine, which is a healthy 1 inch and had no problem with the blade.

That's all for now. I hope you've found this helpful. It's always fun to try something new!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY ~ Thin Sliced Chicken Breast

I love thin sliced chicken breast. I never gave the price much thought other than a package of 3 thin sliced chicken breasts is cheaper than a Big Mac meal and presumably a lot healthier.Today I took a few seconds to check out the price for a package of 3 half breasts and realized that if I cut them myself I could get three times the meat for half the money. Here's how I did it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

In Memory of my Dad and all WWII Veterans

Hubby mentioned the other day that his favorite meal is beef with gravy on rice. He complained that I never make it. I was baffled because to me it's a boring meal and I said as much. But, being the good little wife that I am, I purchased steak tips when we went shopping this week.

Here's a picture of what I served hubby tonight. (His 2nd serving so the beef isn't as plentiful.) Easy recipe, slow cooked beef, beef gravy and rice. Salad on the side. I spiced it up a bit with some garlic and chopped onion.

I thought it tasted good. Hubby said it was "delicious" which is 5 stars in his language. It was a pleasant dish for a change, but all I could think of was my Dad and how every time my mother made this dish he commented that it reminded him of the "best meal" he ever got at the mess hall during WWII.

With all that said.

On this Memorial Day weekend I want to thank all Veterans for their service, with a special Thank You to my Dad in Heaven and all WWII Veterans, Thank you for your service. It's your efforts that give me the freedom to make this post. God Bless!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

There's a bear outside my door!

Or is there???

Little by little I'm pulling our living room/computer room together.  The living room and hallway has been going through a make-over for the past 2 years. Plain walls bore me, and this closet door was no exception. There are 5 doors in this little area of the house. 2 closet doors, 2 bedroom doors and the bathroom door. They were all stained dark cherry and badly in need of refinishing. Yesterday I decided to paint 4 of them to match the walls.

We live in the woods because we enjoy the seclusion and communing with nature. On Father's Day 2012, our dog Shadow chased this bear up a tree in our front yard, about 30 feet away from our front door. I was able to capture it on camera. Ever since, it's been a favorite picture of mine. I was standing about 12 feet away from him when I snapped the shot. This door was crying out for something, and this picture seemed perfect since we have birch trees painted on the walls across from it, and a bear theme ceiling lamp. I'm quite pleased with the end product. Now that I've brought a bit of the outdoors into our living room, I have to remember that it's only a picture and not a bear staring in at us.

A quick explanation on how the door panel was done.

Using my photo program, I set the print size to be the size of the door panel and inserted it into an excel spread sheet. I had to make the width a bit wider than the panel in order to keep the same proportion and obtain the proper length. The next step was to print the sheet out landscape style on 5 pieces of 8.5" x 11" fabric printing stock with 1/4" margin all around. I trimmed the pieces and glued them to the door with a spray adhesive. I then used black grosgrain ribbon as a mat border and painted the edge molding metallic gold to appear like a frame. 

I use the excel program for this type of application because the worksheets automatically generate pages. By establishing a 1/4 inch margin on all 4 sides, I'm ensured that the pieces will match perfectly once they are trimmed, and there's no guesswork involved. I always print on paper first to make sure that my finished product will be the proper size. Once satisfied, I print each sheet individually. 1 sheet at a time rather than set it to print all 5 sheets. I do this just in case I run into a printer problem. I hate to waste the fabric stock if I don't have to.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my little project. I managed to get all of the doors inside and out, and molding painted in one day, and finished this door on the 2nd. Not bad for two days work.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope this has inspired you to do something different with your doors.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Victrola to Serving Station

Hubby was tired of storing this old Victrola. It was in good working order, but no one wanted it. Couldn't even give it away. He was going to put it by the side of the road to see if there were any takers, or eventually donate it to our fire pit. Always ready to save a piece of old furniture I told him I wanted to keep it and make it over as a storage/serving station. Initially he wasn't that thrilled with the idea, but he let me bring it into the studio for it's remake.                                                        

Not thinking of the future, I didn't take a "before" picture. This picture was taken after I repaired the broken/missing applique pieces on the left side.

Because this piece is going to be used as a buffet, server and warming area, I wanted a top that would withstand heat, and I wanted it flush with the wood, so that meant routing out the area where the slate tiles would be placed.

Here I am clearing out the small pieces with a hammer and chisel. What fun! Really! I had a good time doing it, but I'll admit that the arthritis in my fingers acted up for a couple of days.

Here is the finished piece. I love the way it came out, and hubby is thankful that he let me talk him into keeping it. He thinks it's awesome! I found the print for the fabric inlays on the internet and printed it on fusible fabric which I attached to a backing material. The panels are larger than the 8.5 x 11 printer sheets, so it had to be printed on several sheets and pieced together. I took two focal points from the original print that I liked and made them for the side panels. To bring a bit of the kitchen into the piece, I carried over my grape theme and painted the grape clusters on the side panels using water colors so that they would be the same texture as that produced by the inkjet printer. 

The original purpose for this cabinet is to house my deep fryer. I wanted to be able to use it, but also to not have the oil splatter on the wall. No matter how careful one is, it always splatters. The recessed shelf and the raised top solve that problem. It's easily cleanable too!

Here's our storage area. The dividers for the 33 rpm records were removed on either side to make room for hopefully my Ninja blender. (No.. I haven't measured it for fit.) The front panel that was originally a snap in place fascia to hide the mechanics of the Victrola was removed. Spring hinges were added, allowing the door to drop down and expose the storage area for the deep fryer. Yes, the deep fryer will fit in there nicely. :)
Well, that's all for today! Thanks for stopping in. I hope you've enjoyed my latest DIY project.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A touch of green on a snowy white day

Yesterday, 40°F and sunny. Hubby and I spent the day shopping and celebrating his 67th birthday. 
Today, 32°F and snowing. Prediction was 1-2" by 7 PM. I think the hyphen was added in error, because it is 4 PM and we have 12" of snow already on the ground and it's still coming down at a good rate.

I must have had an inkling of snowy days ahead as hubby and I spent a good deal of time at the Lowes garden center picking up several small house plants of. We also rescued a couple of bromeliad from the discount table which have gone by but have new growth, so there is promise.

I've been fascinated with fairies since being a youngster and including them on my mirror wall art has rekindled that fascination over the last several months. Every where I go I look for fairies. The other day while browsing the net I ran across pictures of fairy gardens and decided I had to have one.

We have a plant that I call a variegated tree because I haven't been able to figure out what kind of plant it is. There are 2 more smaller ones in the dining room. The pot containing the larger plant was the perfect spot to plant my fairy garden. 

Most people lose plants due to over watering or under watering. We lose plants because of indoor cats that have found it is fun to dig in dirt, and over sized dogs who think plants are there to sweeten their breath. It took a bit of shopping around, but I was able to find a length of wire fencing that could be cut down and placed around the rim of the pot. Hopefully this will discourage an attack by furkids.

Here's my project. It is my understanding that fairy gardens are forever undergoing changes as fairies are busy little creatures and there's much to do in fairy land. I'm sure we'll see many changes and additions over the coming months.

If you've any idea what type of plant the larger one is, I'd enjoy hearing from you. I bet my friend Jim knows! :)

Thanks for stopping by on this snowy New England day.