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Archives for November 2011

Down on the Farm: Thanksgiving Edition

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Happy Thanksgiving All!

This is my beautiful boy, Gobbles. He is a 1 1/2 year old Royal Palm turkey. We currently have 13 RPs. We started out June 2010 with 22 turkey poults. 11 RP and 11 Bourbon Red. In the end we lost one poult, 2 went to friends of mine, 14 went…. in the freezer and 5 stayed with us.

A younger Gobbles and his four ladies.

I’ve been through a lot with these critters. They started out as day old poults in my mom’s garage. They moved with Mike and I to the small house we rented. Then finally with us to our new home. They predate the cows, chickens, ducks and alpacas.

Checking out the chickens. We keep the chickens separate for health reasons. It’s also the reason we may be discontinuing our turkey raising. He was really interested in the white ones.

Mean looking hen sitting on some eggs

We had some hens pretty serious about brooding but they never hatched anything.

We did a bit better with the incubator. These are freshly hatched. Turkeys are notoriously hard to breed, low fertility and hatch rate makes this a pretty good turn out for first timers. We hatched 15 but lost a bunch to unknown causes. We ended up with 8 to raise for… the freezer.

Another picture of my pretty man. Ignore his broken tail, it’s grown back now but I can’t find a better picture.

Award Winning!

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Aside from a talent show in high school, I’ve never won anything. Not contests or giveaways or lottery tickets. Today thanks to Space 46 my luck is changing! Please, please check out Space 46, she has some fantastic projects and the best inspiration pics ever. I’m in love with her Jewelry Hooks. I’m so happy and flattered and excited to say that she passed the Versatile Blogger award on to me! This must be how it feels to win an Academy Award! ok, maybe not quite, but I am soooo excited!

 
There are only three rules for this award. If you accept you must
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to the blog in your post
  • Share seven things about yourself
  • Pass the award into 10 recently discovered blog
Seven things about me:
        1. I have my BS in Wildlife Science
        2.  I have one sister, possibly the least creative person ever
        3. I started belly dancing when I was 14
        4. Chickens make me happy
        5. I have a really good memory
        6. My dad died when I was 16, 7 years ago today
        7. I love the smell of a horse barn

Now it’s my turn to pass it on!

Gift Tag Ornaments

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This is another super easy ornament. I feel like I say that a lot. There are actually 2 layers of easy to this. Super-easy and just easy. 
Super easy version: buy some fancy gift tags. Take them out of the package. Hang on the tree. 
I didn’t do this so I don’t have any pics for you.
front
Less easy version: Make fancy hanging tags. Hang on tree. 
I used my Slice cutter to make these. I chose 3 different shapes and cut them out of 3 different card stocks. Then I cut the same shapes out of 7 coordinating Christmas papers. I glued the card stock to the paper with some elmers. 
Then using the Slice I cut a bunch of Christmas shapes and words out of solid card stock and metallic vinyl. Those got glued to the front. Finally I edged the tags with a metallic gold ink pad and added a twine loop.
We’ve got an ‘A’ for Alecia, a ‘M’ for Mike, a ‘R’ for Rita the kitty and another ‘A’ for…
True story: This might not be him. They all look like bundles of cute right now
Alfred! Our new puppy! We don’t even have him yet but he will be home by Christmas. He is a full blood golden retriever. He is from the first litter of the 3rd generation of Mike’s family’s goldens. Several of his aunts and uncles are currently in training for seeing eye dogs.
Let me just say, I fully support rescue animals. Rita is a rescue from CNY Cat Coalition. We knew we wanted a dog and did consider a rescue. Due to several factors we decided it was best for us to get a puppy from Mikes mother. 
A. We know Alfie’s mother, grandmother and several aunts and uncles. They all have the personalitly we wanted.
B. We have a lot of ‘prey’ type animals running around. We need a dog that won’t kill or torment the chickens, ducks, alpacas and cows. I’d hate to bring home a rescue, lose some of our animals and then have to take it back. 
C. Rita hates other animals that are bigger than her. She likes our bunny and chinchillas. She has even chilled with turkey poults. We really hope that if we bring Alfie home when he is still shorter (he already weighs more) she won’t notice when he out grows her. And yes, my cat is that dumb. 

Encourage your Creativity in 3 Steps

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Taking a break from the Christmas posts for a day I thought I’d share some of my ideas on how to foster your creativity. These tips may not apply to you, and you may think I’m nuts. But on the off chance I can help you here we go:
3. Tag it.
Buy some sticky flags, everytime you read a magazine flag anything that catches your eye. Most of my magazines look like they got caught in a confetti cannon. Look back over your magazines. I have a ton. I’ve looked through last years and it’s amazing how tastes change. Some pages still make me giddy for glue guns and some make me wonder what the heck I was flagging.
See the tabs?
2. Step outside your comfort zone
  If you’re a painter, try sewing. If you loooooooove neutral colors, try something in chartreuse. If you like to go completely nuts adding seven patterns, fifteen layers and glitter! glitter! glitter! try making something monochromatic. Even if you hate whatever you create you still stepped out of your comfort zone. You might even suprise yourself and find a new love. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT stop half way through because you don’t like it. Just Keep Going. Set a goal and stick to it! Challenge yourself.
See this pillow? This is not a *me* pillow. It’s got a whole lot going on. Embroidery, ribbon, ruffles, yoyos, rosettes and buttons. I spend all day running giant sewing machines at work so when I get home I love to do small hand work. But I tend to keep my everyday accessories more simple. I save the fancies for the holidays.
My pillows usually look like this or these:
Just embroidery and some basic piecing. 
To be honest I hated the apple pillow. Right up until the moment I forced the pillow form in I hated it. I kinda like it now. Stockholm syndrome maybe? It was a good exercise for me, I didn’t buy anything for it. All the supplies were dwelling in the craft room and I needed a pillow case any way… 
1. Carry a notebook at all times 
HIGHLY recommend getting one with a spiral or composition style. The tear-off notebooks are a pain, they fall apart really easily. 
Write down any ideas you have, this is the real life version of pinterest. Partial ideas, inspiration, blog posts, the price of whole corn at all the local feed stores, where progresso soup is on sale… maybe not all relevant to your life but you get the idea.
Before I started doing this I had too much in my head all the time, I even had trouble falling asleep at night because my brain wouldn’t STOP. It also helps because I can move on to the next idea. Get the stuff out of your head and onto the paper. Before I’d get stuck on one thing, worrying about forgetting. Now the time I waste spend not crafting can be used more effectively thinking about crafting. This is the best tip I can give you, ever!

Twisted Felt Wreath

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If you have a computer you know that yarn wreaths are EVERYWHERE. But because I’m stubborn like that I refuse to make one. Actually, it’s probably because I’m lazy. I hear they take forever and a day to wrap the yarn. Felt wreaths on the other hand, not quite so overexposed, and faster. Faster is key. The twisting pattern is based on these garlands from purlbee.
Supplies:
  • Straw Wreath form (mine was 14 inches)
  • Red, Green and White Felt
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Thread (or glue gun, if you happen to know where yours is)
Steps:
1. Wrap white felt around wreath form.
2. Cut felt strips from the red and green. You need wide (~2 inches) and narrow (~1 inch) strips of both colors.
3. Place narrow strip on top in wide strip. Fold in half and cut a 1 inch slit.
4. Pull one end of the felt through the slit you made
5. Start attatching the twisted strips to the wreath. It can be a bit fiddly but just keep going. You will have overlap in the center and just ‘kissing’ on the outside.
To make yours look like mine, alternate using red and green for the bottom strip and make sure the V’s all point to the center. The thread wasn’t too bad but a glue gun would have made it faster. On the plus side, I didn’t burn my self.
Obviously this is on a chair, not its Christmas home. T-day dinner is at my house this year so all the Christmas decorations are hiding in closets and the craft room looks like the North Pole exploded. I’ll be spending Black Friday putting up decorations and I’ll have better pictures then.
Find more holiday projects on my Christmas page