Thursday, December 1, 2011

Handmade gifts for christmas

December 1, 2011

I'm a crafty, make it myself, kind of person and have been surfing the net for ideas for handmade Christmas gifts.  I stumbled on  Heidi's Handmade Gifts from the Heart blog hop, where she wants to share ideas for anything handmade for Christmas.  I usually make up a few gifts in a jar, so today I'm sharing with you some that i have made up thus far. 

I had some mason jars left from summer canning  I filled those with Epsom's salt and scented it with lavender or eucalyptus essential oil.  I dug through some scrap material and embellished it with bows, bulbs, and bells. 

Who wouldn't want to enjoy a nice relaxing soak, in a hot tub of water scented with lavender on a cold evening????

All made up and ready to give..................

I'm linking this up to Heidi's blog hop, so join me in admiring these handmade gifts.

                                             Live Simple....................Sheryl

Friday, November 25, 2011

Furniture re-do and vintage gift

November 25, 2011

Yesterday was a day of giving thanks for all the things we are blessed with in our lives, I'm grateful for my health, my family and friends, and this wonderful life I'm living through the blessing of god.  I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I have been meaning to post this a few weeks back and kept putting off.  My sister gave me a piece of furniture she had sitting in her barn,it was being used to store pet supplies.  I told her i was looking for a piece of furniture to store some of my craft supplies, and suggested this piece she had.       warning.....ugly, drab piece of furniture with no pizazz...

 There was no back to it, so we added that, and we had to add another top shelf.  I decided i wanted to paint it due to the fact that the oak veneer plywood was so dry and cracked and the additional shelf we added was not of the same wood. So i had to do some putty work and alot of sanding before putting two coats of primer on it.

I knew i wanted to have a painted piece and try one of the many glaze techniques out there.  I have never worked with a glaze before, so this project was a trial and error one for me.  I had some golden yellow paint and thought for my first project i would use this instead of buying both the paint and the glaze, being the glaze was not cheap. 

 I used Valspar antiquing glaze from Lowe's.  After reading the directions on the bottle of glaze and several websites, i have discovered that Less is best.... That stuff goes very far.  I started slapping that stuff on there like i was painting and it was not as easy as i had thought, i was making the biggest mess.  I understand why they say to practice on a piece of board first to get the technique you want. I had to do alot of wiping and reapplying.  Well to make a long story short.........It took me a few days at working a little section at a time to sorta get what i was looking for.  

I think painting with a light color lets the glazing show up alot, so maybe for my first attempt picking a light color like this golden yellow was not a wise choice.  For my next piece, i want a dark burnt red color with the glaze on top, i have seen several pieces done this way and turned out really nice.  I finished up this piece with a few coats of polyurethane.  Sorry but i didn't get a picture of it in my craft room yet, maybe later.  I have several pieces that i want to try this technique on, so more on this at a later date.

Now for the wonderful gift.........
Earlier this week was our anniversary, and my husband knows that i like old shabby, vintage things, well he surprised me the other day with this gift..........

An old milk can with the lid!!!!!!!  It's shabby looking, but i love it..........He knows the way to this antique loving heart.  He told me he can sand it down for me and paint it, but i love it just the way it is.  Thank you honey !!!!!!!!  you're the best.

View of the handle reads "Cream City" he found this in an old barn of a friend who was cleaning out.  "Lucky Me" .

I'm liking this post up to Farmgirl Friday for Deborah Jean's blog hop.  Lets see what other farmgirls are up to..............

                                   Live simple........................Sheryl

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies

November 15, 2011

Hi everyone, this afternoon i stumbled on a new blog hop.  Lisa over at The Way Grandmama Does It is hosting a Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange for everyone to share favorite cookie recipes.  It so happened that i had just baked a batch of my favorite cookies, Oatmeal chocolate chip.  Can't wait to see what everyone has to share, I'm linking this post to her site. 
Join me in sharing some of your favorites at the Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip  Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chip morsels
1 cup chopped walnuts ( opt.)

Cream butter and sugars together until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time, until creamy.  Stir in vanilla, mix well.  Mix together in separate bowl, flour and salt, add to butter mixture and stir well until all mixed together.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts, mix well.  Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 min before transferring to cooling rack.

I was able to get a picture of them before they all disappear.

                                             Live Simple.................Sheryl

I also linked up with My Simple Country Living for Thanksgiving Recipe Challenge

Friday, November 11, 2011

First Frost

November 11, 2011

I was hoping it would hold off just a tad bit longer.........Our first frost came last night, the coldest night we had so far this season in south Louisiana.   I still had cucumbers growing and still flowering, and so was the zucchini.  I wasn't set up to build hoop houses around what i had growing, maybe next year.

This WAS my cucumbers that were growing up a trellis. This fall crop did better than my spring crop, guess is was too hot and dry this summer.

I had two zucchini plants that did pretty well as a fall planting also.  The bees and butterflies were all over this garden site, this plant just kept flowering.  I will definitely make note of the plantings i did this fall, and be better prepared with hoops next fall. 

I'm satisfied with what we got out the garden this year, stretching out the growing season definitely payed off.  We still have swiss chard, pak choi, mustard greens, turnips, kale and shallots growing at this time.  Lots of greens to get us through the winter!!!!!!!

This morning i picked what was left of the cucumbers and decided to make a batch of Refrigerator pickles.

I found this easy refrigerator pickle recipe on  it's quick, and no need for kettle steamers, and vacuum tight lids.  It takes about 4 days to pickle and can be stored in the refrigerator for one month. 

6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
4 sm cloves garlic thinly sliced

I layered the sliced cucumbers and onions in a 2 1/2 qrt glass jar.( i repurposed an old pickle jar that i had)  Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil for 1 min. until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over cucumbers in jar.  Cover and let cool on counter.  Refrigerate after cooled and let it pickle for 4 days or so.  Will keep for about a month.   In this house those pickles won't last that long.
Don't worry about the liquid portion, it looks like it's not enough, but as it sits in the refrigerator, the vinegar pulls the water from the cucumbers and the onions, and it will eventually cover up the cucumbers as they pickle.

Can't wait to taste these............

I'm linking up to Deborah Jeans Dandelion House for Farmgirl Friday and Lil' Suburban Homestead for Ole" Saturday homesteading trading post to share some farmgirl skills  Click the farmgirl link and the trading post link and join me in reading about some amazing women.

                                   Live Simple..............................Sheryl

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trouble in blogland....

November 2, 2011

Good morning all.........
  I'm having a little trouble in blog land the past few weeks.  I have added myself to follow along with a few new bloggers, but having trouble leaving a comment.  It would leave me with a response of " my account does not have access to view this page" even though my profile picture and name shows up under following.  On a few occasions when i add as a follower to a few new blog friends, my profile picture does not show up, it shows a big fat question mark....and i can't leave a comment.  "What"s up with that........."

If anyone out there is having the same trouble or had the same trouble and found a solution please leave me a comment or you can email me at

This is so fustrating!!!!!! i have been reading some wonderful post out there and would love to leave all of you a friendly comment.  So know that if you are on my blog list that i follow that im reading your post but just having trouble commenting.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks to all of you who have recently added as a follower, i appreciate all of your friendly comments.

                                                         Live simple.........................Sheryl

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just Hanging Out

October 31, 2011

Last week my husband got the clothesline hung and i was able to hang clothes on the line.  The weather was beautiful, nice cool breeze blowing, perfect fall weather. 
I don't know why, but i enjoy hanging clothes out on the line.  Some people would say that it's a lot of work, that it's much easier and less time consuming to just throw them into the dryer. 

For me, I fine pleasure in this task.  I enjoy watching my clothes flap in the breeze from my window.  The lack of noise coming from the dryer in my utility room is an added pleasure.  I like knowing I'm saving on energy cost, which leaves more money in my pocket, hey!! now that makes me happier.

We had a visitor for a couple of days, grand baby Jessie, she just loves coming to spend time with her grandparent here on the farm.  She loves the outdoors, just like her mommy and daddy.   We just hung out and did a few chores together and enjoyed a nice Autumn weekend.

My hopes and dreams for her is that she will become a wise and wonderful homemaker someday, on top of anything else she wants to be.  Today there are not many young women who were taught the basics of being a good wife and mother. 

The basic skills and knowledge some of our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers possessed, are fading away in societyThe skills of cooking from scratch, gardening, preserving foods, sewing, cleaning, and keeping an orderly home seem foreign to alot of young women.


Growing up, watching the older women in my life, I grew to admire all their skills, and I'm so proud and honored that those skills and values were taught to me.

Our lives are so different from our grandparents, and the times of long ago.  Or are they????

It seems to me that there are alot of women turning to old traditions and skills of the past, maybe it's because of financial reasons, or a healthier way of living, or maybe it's just because they want to live a more simple sustainable lifestyle for pure pleasure.

Whatever the reason, we need to keep in mind that we are living in such an uncertain time right now in our world, and it's important to pass those skills down to our children and grandchildren. 

I'm hoping and praying that her world is a bright one, and her Meme is here to teach her everything i know.............

I'm linking up to Homestead Revival for Barn Hop #34. And also to Dandelion House for Farm Girl Friday.   Hop on over and meet some very inspiring women.

                                                                     Live simple......................Sheryl

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feels Like Fall

October 19, 2011

Well now that its getting to feel more like fall, I've done a little decorating around the house with some pine cones from last year, a few of my dried sunflowers from the summer, i even had time to be a lil crafty.  There are alot of cute little pumpkins floating around the Internet, all shapes and sizes made from all sorts of different fabrics.  I thought i would give it a try and make a few of my own.

This one is made with a piece of white burlap i had.  I decorated the top with a twig and some acorns, tiny pine cones and leaves. I think this one came out the cutest, this picture does not do it any justice.

The third one  is made from a piece of white cotton, with twine wrapped around the twig stem, as you can see in this cluster of the three.

These were so fun to make, anything goes....Don't you love that sorta craft.

This is a little vignette i put together on my patio table to give it a little fall feeling. I threw together some pine cones, dried sunflowers, potted herbs and a old tattered bird house.  The tall candle sits in a old sprocket i found in a load of horse manure that we got from a nearby stable. 

I thought it was a keeper, old, rustic and in the shape of a star.

Just a few things i put together, hope you enjoy.  I'm linking this post up to Heidi's Fall Harvest Blog Hop over at My Simple Country living.  She has just started this hop for sharing your fall recipes, decorations, or anything fall related.  Join me and hop over to see some fall harvest happenings.

                                                   Live Simple...............Sheryl

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


October 18, 2011

Last week we caught up on a few things that needed to be done.  Spending two weeks home out the month for hubby makes it challenging to get things done sometimes.  I think we did pretty good last week and got alot accomplished.
  Planting the pasture with winter grass was high on the priority list, and had to be done at the right time to be successful.  In the past we plowed then fertilized and planted, with only ten acres and few head of livestock we found we lost alot of grazing time using this method.  We looked into the No Till version of planting winter grass and decided to top seed our pasture last winter.  While the animals did have grass to continue grazing on while the winter grasses came up, the stand was not as lush as we would have liked it to be.  This year we are trying a different method of getting the seed down in the ground with a seed drill.  We found out our local USDA office rents out this implement by the acre. This method drills little holes in the soil, drops the seed and covers it back up, without the entire field being chopped up.  This saves precious topsoil from being washed away, and from loosing your stand of established grass, which takes about two years to get back each and every year you plow. 

We planted winter wheat, Elbon rye and oats for this years winter grass.  The seed cost us $150 and $50 to rent the seeder.  

To top off this project, that evening while sitting back on the porch envisioning a lush green pasture, It came a rain storm.  We got close to an inch of rain 4 hours after completing this planting.  So we are praying that our efforts were successful.  I will keep you posted.

Another project on the list was to put up my clothesline again.  These poles were pulled up a few years ago when they were sorta in the way and not being used often.  I read an article in our local electric co-op newspaper stating that by summer of 2012 we can expect an increase in our electric bill, so like everything else, we make adjustments to help us save money where we can. 
Here is a pic of my hubby being crucified, by all these projects he's trying to accomplish this week.

Thank you my sweetheart..........They are gonna look nice after i put a coat of paint on them.

After that rain the other day the soil was just right to dig up the sweet potatoes, next on the list of things to get done.  This was our first year growing some, and with the drought this year we didn't think they would make any. 

We were excited to get a few of these out the ground.

The chickens were right behind us while we were digging,  searching for some bugs to snack on.

His hands are still busy...........That evening he shelled the first picking of fall peas i picked earlier that day.  What a Man!!!!!!!!!!

I think we got alot accomplished this week and even made time for a fun day at a local event called "Old Farmers Day".  It's an annual two day event filled with demonstrations of old times on the local farms.  They had demonstrations of hog butchering, campfire cooking that cooked up some biscuits and gravy early that morning, sheep shearing, smokehouse meats being cooked,and lots of delicious foods to try. Demonstrations of horse and mule drawn plows and other implements were going on throughout the day.  On the last day the horse and mule pull contest took place.  Vendors with arts and crafts were there and lots of fun Cajun music to enjoy. 
It was a wonderful time and a beautiful day, it made me think about the hard times of our ancestors but still what a simple life they lived back thenIt also made me think about how some of us are incorporating some of those old task back into our lives today, like raising chickens and cows, making bread, even hanging our clothes out on the line .  We all do them for different reasons, some do it for healthier living, some for economical reasons, and some for the pure pleasure ..............of living a..... simple life.


I'm linking up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop

I'm also linking up to Farmgirl Friday at Dandelion House

Join me and hop on over  to meet some very inspiring people.