Monday, August 25, 2008

Pictures around from the farm...

Just have to show off my little slice of heaven. I'm so proud and humbled to call this place, simply: home.

Sunflowers at dusk:

Red sky at night: Sunflowers sigh in contented delight.

Here it is, our little abode (complete with messy farm-like stuff laying around, buckets, bikes, chickens etc):

Back pasture, animals grazing, winter's firewood, our two gardens (center round and upper right square):

Here's a bit of a zoom on the top of the last one:

And here's where you find us every evening... Who would have thought that a cheap volleyball net would have bought Mom and Dad so many hours of quiet evening? We sure give it a lot of heavy use!

Photo curtsy of Stephen Lund (15), who will go to any heights (literally) to get a good picture for me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Been Crafty...

Some recent projects I've been working on...

A hanging kitchen towel dispenser:

I got the idea from a picture of a cloth diaper dispenser that I found online. I made it out of an old jumper of Mom's.

One of my favorite things to do is to make quilt blocks for that 'someday quilt.'

Weee! Ice skating Sunbonnet Sue block. (Looks much better when ironed .)

When I'm not doing anything else, I try to occupy my fingers with knitting. These are winter farm chore socks for Michael. They're very soft and extremely warm! I finished these yesterday and Andrew's the week before. The newly spun yarn for Stephen's pair is currently getting its twist set. I should be able to get my fingers busy on it soon!

I made this awhile ago and have plans to turn it into a couch pillow. I still need to do the moon and embroider stars.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We have sunflowers popping up all over the homestead! They're so cute and add such a country-ish flare to the farm. They also provide a good model for the kids to practice their photography on...

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wilderness Survival Pottery Firing Method

Last week's project was pottery! Mom found a site on wilderness survival, where one article described fire pit pottery firing. We went for it!

We started by sculpting some rough things out of clay (abundant around here) and water to experiment firing. Here's what we came up with: A plate and cup, a pot/cup, some rosary beads and some 'Johnny creations'.

We dug a pit about a foot deep and a foot and half wide square. We lit a hot fire and let it die out. When the embers had cooled, we scooped them out and tossed them in the burn barrel. Then we laid about 2-3in. of fine sawdust in the bottom of the pit. On top of that we placed our pottery and filled the pit the rest of the way up with sawdust. Then we lit a large hot fire over it for three hours. (Yes, the pottery turns an unchangeable black, it's expected.)

At the sight of the fire, the kids immediately gathered some green apples and cooked them in the flames. There were varied opinions on the outcome of those.

We did have some burn...

When it got late, Mom went into the garden and gathered a basket of veggies. She brought them in the house and prepared them (somehow)... then came out and handed me a pot, called it dinner, and told me to cook it.
I told Stephen I needed a cook rack over my fire pit. Within minutes, he'd rigged one that worked perfectly. Four cement bricks on end, one in every corner. Two metal T-posts laying on those with a oven rack across them. It was very sturdy, just the right hight and worked great! I was so proud of him. He's starting to take after his dad with his quick thinking and confident problem-solving tendencies. 

Dinner was great!

We left the pottery buried in the ash overnight to let it cool. In the morning everyone was excited to see what we had.

It was immediately evident that the coals were still too hot, so uncovering was a slow process that went all day. We wanted everything to cool down at a slow rate so we had to leave them in the ash to cool.
I spy a plate and a cup.

We did have some cracking on the very top of this pot because it was too close to the fire.

It took the girls quite a while to locate all their beads in the sawdust/ash. They used a slotted spoon and shifted through the ash until they'd found all 61 of them.

Over 24 hours after they were fired, my plate broke as I was washing the soot off of it. Bummer! I think it was still too hot on the inside (though cool to the touch) so it broke when the cold hose water touched it. The other things look good. They still smell 'ashy'. I haven't washed them real well yet, however, and they are supposed to wash clean. We haven't created the rosary out of the beads yet either. I'll let you all know how that turns out.

So, it was a very interesting process and we learned a lot. Even though we didn't come away with stunning results, it was usable results so I'm happy! All in all, it was a very fun family experience.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank You All!!

A large thanks to all  who participated in voting on the kids' best picture! They had a blast adding up their votes at the end of every day. The results are:

Michael's very best picture ever is: #3 with 5 votes:

Theresa's very best picture ever is #1 with 6 votes:

Stephen's 2 very best pictures ever at 4 votes each are:


This was really fun, thanks so much for adding to it!

Now, as a closing, some pictures that were considered for the contest:

Stephen's other sunset (was deleted at the last second, in preference of his current #5 sunset):

More from Stephen.

Another Stephen (he had a lot!). This is looking at our home from outside at night and over my flower pot.
From Theresa: the Great Blue Heron that chooses our creek bed to make his summer home!
An un-photogenic cat.

A photogenic goat.

A flying dog.

Cows that  each other.

A mystery photographer out capturing bits of  our homestead, in order to bring it into your home through the computer screen and this blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!