Spring Projects – Wagons and a Stanchion

Spring Projects – Wagons and a Stanchion

Spring is always full of projects, and I basically keep a running project list. This past weekend was the weekend for small refresh projects. I went around the farm and analyzed what was in good shape, could be refreshed, and what needed to be flagged for a dump run. I love the idea of donating, but apart from baby gear, most things around here surpass donate quality or else we wouldn’t get rid of it.

Saturday morning, I ran to the city for basic supplies, I didn’t plan far enough in advance and everything here was closed. I try to buy local when reasonable, but lately I suck at planning. I had a turkey in my fridge all week because I couldn’t seem to plan enough to get the dang thing to thaw! It made a great Mother’s Day dinner though.

My favorite thing about buying supplies at a farm supply store is that the labels speak my language. For example, I was looking for paint, wasn’t real sure what I wanted, but it would be used for a picnic table and whatever else needed paint. The perfect gallon stood out to me “Siding, barn, fence, and general outdoor paint”. Yup, that covers the jobs I have – SOLD. Next came spray paint, I wanted a good red for the wagon and maybe toys. What did I find? Farm and implement paint in Massey Ferguson Red. Yes, tractor red was perfect & it sounded like it should hold up to kids.

We did some divide and concur for farm projects, and I must admit, they all benefit me, so what could be better for a Mom’s weekend? I took care of painting the picnic tables, the wagon, and Tonka trucks, and Hubby built a stanchion for shearing goats and trimming the hooves for goats and sheep.

The Tonka trucks were probably my most work, I had to tape off the plastic the best I could after washing them, and to be honest, these things ae super ugly, so I couldn’t get real into protecting the super faded black. I chose orange in hopes it would do a better job covering the parts starting to rust. They turned out pretty good, though they kind of look a bit like a Cheeto truck fleet. Overall, they look a heck of a lot better than they did before.

This guy above didn’t get a lot of attention for detail.

The wagon is probably my favorite fix up just because it’s such an emblem of American youth, and it turned out pretty good.

Hubby built the stanchion out of scrap lumber we had saved from other projects and things that have been taken apart or repaired. He built it out of his head, so I don’t have any plans share. It’s a basic frame with deck, and then there are two 2×4’s pinned in place using 6in 5/8th bolts with lock nuts and washers. That allows the arms to open and close to hold the goat in place, he also placed a couple wood blocks to prevent the arms from moving too much. He set it up so we could chain at two different points so that it didn’t matter if we used it for lambs, sheep, goats, or kids (hahahaha – goat kids not mine – no worries).

I’m most excited for the stanchion, the shears should arrive Thursday so the ladies will be getting a trim next weekend. Stay tuned for that, it should be entertaining. I also have fabric for making goat sheets, so we will see how that project turns out. I used to sew blankets for Breyers all the time as a kid, had a little mini business for it, so it shouldn’t be too hard right? HAHA

Advertisements
Goal Setting

Goal Setting

I don’t do resolutions, revolutions, or revelations. Well, maybe someday #2 or 3, but not today my friends, not today. – My life is just not that interesting.

However, I have an overall “bucket list” we’ll say, and each year I try to make sure I get a few checked off, and a few new added. Keep life interesting and such. Now I will admit, on my grand list I have a few odd things, the things I have no real purpose for doing or knowing, I’ve just always thought it would be cool to know I could.

One is spinning yarn. Now, no real purpose for this, but it seems like a really cool old world skill to have and maybe pass down generations. Here’s hoping for a granddaughter in future years – pretty sure my boys will skip out on this skill learning session. I’ve found a place with a few goats for sale, and hubby wants goats anyway. They have 3, and at first I thought, lets get one and try it out, but if you get one it needs a friend right? And for the cost of the two, I can get the  third for not much more….. I think we may be getting three harry goats – Angora Goats! But look at these guys, how cool and they should fit in great with sheep.

Sounds like I’ll have to learn to use a drop spindle, because after looking at prices for spinning wheels, I’ll hold off until I know I wont resell the goats for being too much to handle.

Another is making my goal list this year. How to hot wire a car. Now I feel a little late to the party, I’m well past the point of even using this for a good prank, but hey, it’s on my list – and I feel like I need to do this at least once before cars really get driving themselves and you can’t find anything to hot wire. On my larger list I also have “become proficient at lock picking”, again, no real use, and I probably watched too much MacGyver as a kid, but knowing I have these odd ball skills in my back pocket make me feel a little bad A.

canstockphoto16608058

FYI click the picture to read a short blog that’s pretty dang funny. 

Maybe one day my kid will lock something and I’ll be able to show off my super talent and leave him thinking I used to be a secret spy or something haha, I don’t know. Ooooo maybe for April Fools day I’ll pick a door lock hot wire a car and have my kid freaking out that I went crazy! Hahaha – maybe not, I don’t have being arrested or CPS on my list and I don’t want them added ahahaha. Welcome to my brain friends.

On my short list for this year I also have my boring stuff. Here is my short list:

  1. Yarn Spinning
  2. Learn to hot wire a car
  3. Make it through some Spanish levels for Rosetta Stone
  4. Try new veggies so I can decide on adding them to the garden – How the heck do you say kohlrabi – I’ll have to ask Google
  5. Take the kids to the pool once a week while its open – pray the oldest learns to swim
  6. Go camping 3 times – NOT for a hunting season reason
  7. Become proficient at lock picking – just talked myself into adding for this year – super secret non-spy mom – Watch out! (do you hear the James Bond music?)

spy mom

Super spy mom signing off. HAHAHAHAHA

PS – I’ll keep you posted on the hot wiring – I may be borrowing a dump truck from my hubby to try it out on.

 

 

Getting Organized

Getting Organized

Living in a log house, we have minimal storage space. Some log homes have a fairly “normal” interior, with sheet rock or dry wall interior walls, closets, the standard home features. Our home does not. We have log walls throughout, I can count the number of walls that are not log on 1 hand – it’s 5 between upstairs and down. As such, we have to do the best we can to utilize space. We have some great built in cabinets in the bathroom and hall, but that is it. Everything for our home needs to have purpose.

Our pantry area is one of the only places we have intentionally purchased new items for to make it functional, everything else has been carry over from our last home while we decide what would work best. We have 1 shelf in our hall area designated as pantry, and then we have cupboards in the kitchen.

20171231_132725.jpg

According to Google maps we live 39 minutes (31 miles) from Albertson’s, and 62 miles from Costco.   We have a mercantile in town for “get you by” supplies, and Blue Mountain Station is an artisan food mart / coop that we belong to. I love Blue Mountain station for fresh veggies, honey, and odd and end items, but we still need a stock of staples. On top of zero storage space, I have zero time not accounted for, so I  have to be organized. Once a month we try to do a bulk shopping trip and hit up Costco and Winco for the month’s needs. When we can’t do that, I order supplies and groceries from Costco, 2 day shipping on most grocery items, and free shipping after a certain price point is reached.

20171014_141532.jpg

Being a Tupperware consultant really helped with the pantry organization because I didn’t really know where to start until I saw the system they have. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I may sound bias, but I am in love with the modular mates.

If you have a local consultant they generally will come in for free and help you plan ( I do anyway). If you are more of a DIY person, it’s really quite easy: 1. Measure the depth and height of your space, 2. determine what you would store and how much, 3. match it to the appropriate container.

how naming works

I go through a lot of flour, so for me I wanted the largest container possible. My storage area is mainly baking supplies and pasta. I also buy a fair amount of blueberry muffin mix bulk from costco, so I wanted a large container for that, from there, I matched what I had in stock with the containers of similar size.  I have a lazy sussan cupboard that we keep snacks in and  is next on my list for attacking with modular mates.

what fits 2

Actually, I’m working on it this month as there is a huge sale (30-40% off) on the modular mates!! Check it out HERE  sales flyer is good till Jan 26th.

flyer cover

I use these great labels I found for mine, some I don’t label because I change the contents periodically.

labels

Do you have tips or tricks for saving space? I would love to hear your ideas, I can use all the help I can get! Two boys, two dogs, and a husband, we have a lot of “stuff” inside the home to keep tucked away.

Shop: kelleywolther.my.tupperware.com

Prayer Wall Project

Prayer Wall Project

When we first moved into our mini farm home, hubby brought me home an old large picture window frame. He thought it would be great for one of my photography or craft projects. I loved it! However, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it. This window has leaned against the wall in our home oddly fitting in with the décor it was hiding behind. There it sat for going on 3 years.

Last week an idea popped into my head and I decided we needed a prayer wall in our home. Somewhere to post pictures of those we pray for, inspiration, big goals that seem unattainable, whatever fits. I wasn’t sure what this was going to look like, then one night a picture floated into my thoughts and it was the frame. And so, my prayer wall has taken shape.

farm-land-love-prayer-journ

While cleaning the frame I became distracted by spider webs/nests. Took a few minutes to come back from my mobster mentality of killing anything spider related.  But I digress.

After cleaning the window (both sides), I hot glued mini clothes pins randomly across the glass. Next I printed some pictures I had that symbolized my prayers, and I printed them onto regular printer paper.

farm-land-love-prayer-wall2

Using some tags I picked up at a craft store at some point, I glued the pictures to the tags.

farm-land-love-prayer-wall3

I took some extra tags and wrote a few favorite scriptures. On the back of a couple of the pictures I jotted down my prayer.  Earlier a speaker at the bible study I attend gave us moms scripture cards.

bible-verse-cards-for-moms1-1024x872 (1).jpg

You can find those here. Those fit in perfectly.

farm-land-love-prayer-wall4

I’m kinda in love with this little project. Not too over the top, and fitting for my family.

farm-land-love-prayer-wall-

By the way, when I told hubby my window idea, he thought I was talking about the giant picture window that is the front of our house. I believe its 12 ft by 8 ft. the mental image makes me smile.

Building a Baby Swing

Building a Baby Swing

So I’ve had a unique set of obstacles with this new baby that I didn’t have with the first. Now, with my eldest, I thought he grew so fast. He was always around the 90+ percentile for his checkups, but his weight stayed around the 60% mark. Mostly, he was tall. Now as a new/1st time mom, I thought he was a bit of a handful, but I also knew he was pretty easy, and I was lucky. I’d seen enough of other babies to know I had it easy.

Baby number two, now he’s still pretty easy, but takes a bit more entertaining. And this baby, really is a fast grower. He started wearing 18 month clothes at about 8 months. Luckily, he’s still in 18 month clothes, but the shirts can be a bit tight depending on the brand.

Initially I planned to buy him a Johnny Jumper to hang in our dining room area, but I was afraid he would jump right into a sharp corner. Instead I decided that a new swing would be good, plus this summer I will be able to move the swing and use it outside too. Baby had gotten to the point he had exceeded the weight limit on his normal swing! I thought the motor had gone out as every time I put him in I would look over a minute later & it wouldn’t be swinging. Nope, after closer exam, it just wasn’t strong enough to move him anymore.

I searched Pinterest, because odds are someone else had already had the idea. I found a couple good options. I ransacked my fabric collection. Canvas had been suggested, but I didn’t have a color I would want hanging in my house. I did however have some black fabric I previously used to reupholster my chairs, and leftover fleece from his baby blanket. Hubby had the clip I would want to use to hang up and take down the swing. All I needed was the dowels & rope. I followed this basic process/pattern.

Hubby brought in clamps and the saw, and then shortly after, he checked back in to see if I needed anything else, I got the “look”. You know the “see your projects always become my projects” look. Now I highly doubt the ¼ in I was off on cutting would really have made that big of a difference, but the part where I never considered marking the dowels to make sure the holes I would drill would line up definitely would have.

swing2

Given I didn’t want to go back to the store; I was okay handing over the reins. I’ve come to accept that my projects become his projects, and I try to keep them small. But I am also developing a list of things I actually want to learn. I feel like I’ve learned some basics that may lead to not needing so much help someday. I may be old and retired, but someday I may finish a project start to finish all on my own.

Here is the final thing I learned in this project: Don’t wrap the rope decoratively on the swing. Baby will not leave it alone, and it won’t be cute, just chop the ends off & burn the tips to avoid fraying.

swing

Plank Photo Project

Plank Photo Project

Over this last year my sister has been slowly updating her home. As the sister, I get the privilege of being the main artist on her walls, and I try to make sure that whatever I give her won’t be something that is hung up out of pity. I prefer not to be the creator of the “look at that” art. The new look of her home is what I would consider rustic / country charm. She was interested in a print I did a couple winters ago, but I wanted to give her something more unique and fitting than a basic poster type print.

I saw an art print at Ranch and Home and really liked the reclaimed/rustic look of it. It seemed simple enough and of course I instantly thought “I can do that”. Sometimes I seem to have an inflated view of my abilities. But either way, I searched the internet (okay, let’s be honest, I searched Pinterest), and found a few posts on how to transfer pictures to wood. Again I thought, “see, can’t be that hard”.  So I make my list, take tips and tricks from a variety of “how to” blog posts, and set off to Lowes.

I wanted to make a plank board wall hanging, and I couldn’t find anything on how to do what I had in mind. I picked up a pack of wood planks, & some finishing nails (apparently my box of nails & screws is hiding somewhere with my hammer, and mutli-tool screw driver). I had some scrap wood I planned to use for backing, and hubby has clamps I could klepto (one of his auction finds – you can read about that here). I had the photo printed by Staples, I opted for the blue print option for printing. The best paper choice is as close to inkjet printer you can get.

As I start building the wall hanging for my project, hubby starts giving me the “you’re going to regret doing it that way” look and grunts. So of course, I respond with the standard “what?” To which he replies “where’s the wood glue?” You are using wood glue right?”

“Um, I wasn’t planning on it. Can’t I just push these together, and nail them to some boards so they stay together?”

“You can, but I wouldn’t. It’s not going to work like you think it is”.

This is where I remember his “your projects always become my projects” line, which in fairness, they do, but it’s because he is better at this stuff, and I tend to learn as I go.  But either way, I wound up going to Lowes for wood glue.

In the end, here was my process:

1. Line up planks as desired (here is what I bought). Then put a bead of glue in the grooves between each plank, and put them back as desired. Then clamp to hold in place for drying.

For diagram / printable directions click: how to – Wood Plank Photo Print 

2. Once glue is dry (the bottle will tell you how long it takes to set”, flip so the back side is up (choose which side will give the best result for your picture – try to choose the side with the cleanest surface- see step 3). Nail each precut support board approximately 3 inches in from the edges. The length will depend on the size of the board you choose to create.

3. Flip the board so it is face up. If there is any glue spots, try to sand them off, the ink doesn’t transfer well to dried glue.

boards-1

4. Coat with “Gel Medium”, it’s really called exactly that. I went into Joanne’s looking for this and really wasn’t sure what to expect. Here is a picture of what I used. Put a good coat on, think of paper mache, too much and the paper will get all nasty and tear, not enough, and the ink won’t transfer.

5. Put the print ink side down onto the boards, and smooth out wrinkles.

boards-2

6. Let dry overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can wait just as long as it takes for the paper to be completely dry, but it’s similar to putting on a temporary tattoo, so if it’s not dry it will peal up.

7. Using a wet wash rag, scrub the paper off. I suggest getting a bowl, or small bucket of warm water, and have it sitting there to rinse the rag as you work. Another trick is to get the paper a bit extra wet like you would when putting on a temporary tattoo, and then try scrubbing. It seems to help pull the paper off better.

8. Once you believe you have all the paper off, let it dry, and re-evaluate. I had to go back a few times as paper would become noticeable again once it dried. The sky and light areas were the hardest for me.

plank-board-2

9. Optional: Once you are sure you have all the paper wiped off, coat with modge podge/ decoupage glue.

plank-board-1

Lesson’s learned:

  1. Ink won’t transfer onto wood glue
  2. Pencil will be seen through the picture – not sure how I didn’t notice it before moving forward and putting the gel on
  3. If you don’t get all the paper off, and then you coat it with modge podge, it will seal the picture, make the white paper EXTREMELY obvious, and you won’t even be able to sand that crap off. – start over
  4. If you want an exact image as you see when you took it, don’t forget to flip the image, otherwise it will be a mirror image
  5. When using the planks, keep in mind that there will be lines / gaps in your picture – placement may look funny depending on the print. You may not want lines / gaps through your loved ones face.

Print directions here: how to – Wood Plank Photo Print

Funny Farm & Auctions

Funny Farm & Auctions

Not too far away is an auction house, or at least that’s what I’m going to call it. It’s really a big chunk of property where a business is located that hosts several outdoor auctions year round. So my “house” comment may be misleading. Should you attend, and manage to stay for the entire auction, you will leave with either heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Usually the crowd is filled with farmers, ranchers, retired farmers/ranchers, hired hands, and the odd and end person that just enjoys auctions. You can buy anything from a combine to a pogo stick. The items always surprise me. We went as a family one day and my son wanted to bring home an old race car trailer. His logic was that there was also a bed it in, ummmmmm, no thank you.  It was probably a 1980s model, converted goose neck, with what would be considered by some to be converted living quarters. It was more junky mobile mechanics trailer than camp trailer. I wish I would have taken a picture. I can only imagine my son was picturing being a human version of Lightning McQueen. In fairness, the trailer was red.

lightning mcqueen

For obvious reasons, the trailer was not purchased that day. However, my son had caught the bidding fever. We told him that if he was good, then when it got to the toy part of the auction, we would see if we could get him a toy combine. Turns out there is a high demand for said toys. We stopped bidding at about $75 which was well past my comfort zone already. The bidding goes up, and my son who sees that I’m no longer throwing my hand up, starts to throw his up in an attempt to bid! Thankfully the auctioneer laughed, and I was able to hold his arms down, but we owed him a toy after we left. They ended up selling for $150 apiece. The catch was that you got your choice of tractor, and some were collectors.

tractor toy

This story was really not my point, but I got caught up. You’re used to that in me by now. Ha-ha.

My actual point is, that this auction also created an auction monster in my husband. He goes with his dad, and you never know what they will come back with. One auction trip they came back with a truck and trailer load. Of course when I looked at it I was mainly confused as to what the stuff would be used for. I was given explanations like, “well I really just wanted this, but it was on a pallet with all that, and it was too cheap to pass up.” Haha. Well then!

However, this last auction turned out great. I must admit, I was a bit concerned when hubby asked how much $$ was in the checking account. Now, kudos to him for remembering that I transfer any extra money into saving almost as soon as checks hit so that the money doesn’t get absorbed. I’m not sure how, but if I don’t move money to savings right off, it seems to just disappear. The comment/question still made me nervous. However, I should give him more credit. He bought fence posts (much needed), and a 20×30 shop-ish. We have plans to build a shop, but in the meantime he has stuff out in the weather (lawn mower, trailer he’s putting a new deck on, ect.). So this temporary shop he bought is actually quite perfect.

It will look something like this:

shop

With getting this, the shed he previously used is now getting moved and converted into a new chicken coop / feed storage building. We will be building a wall to split the shed in half so one side will be for chickens, and the other will have the feed stored (stay tuned). Plus there will be a trap door to reach through for egg collection from the feed room side! That is the part I’m excited about. Everything is getting re-vamped to be more user friendly. I’ve always been more partial to the hooved farm animals, so anything to limit my interaction with the feathered, peck at you farm variety, I love.

So far, we’re (like how I keep saying “we” – ya that may not be accurate) still in the early stages, but the shop has started going up!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I took baby out of a field trip to watch daddy work. It was quite entertaining. He couldn’t bend at the waist well, so needless to say, he laid down for the sled trip. At 8 months, baby is wearing 18 month old clothes, so the baby carrier I would have used was too small when I got him bundled up.