Posts Tagged ‘House and Farm’

Picnic Table Stencil

August 7th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Getting a little carried way with the spray paint lately. The old picnic table out in the yard really was in need of a fresh coat of paint though. After painting it white I thought a shot of color might be nice. The boys were “reading” books to each other and I scurried around hoping it all might dry before they discovered what I was up to!

I pulled an image from the web, cropped and blew it up as big as I could. I printed two copies on thick cardstock. Next I used an exacto knife to cut just the leaves out of stencil sheet one, and just the flowers out of sheet two.

I used some spray adhesive on the back of the leaf stencil and let it tack up for 2 minutes, placed it on the table and smoothed it flat. I sprayed the leaves with the left over paint from my desk project. Being a bit lazy I didn’t mask the surrounding area off with newspaper on the first stencil but it’s a good idea to use some masking tape and newspaper to make sure spray paint doesn’t get EVERYWHERE.

After the leaves dried I placed the flower stencil on top and sprayed some red flowers.

I think I might do a few more near the center of the table. I have this huge desire to cover the WHOLE table but I am not quite sure if it would be too much. At any rate it’s a great improvement from before and I managed to get it all done before the little dudes showed up and started dancing on the table! YES!


Make Kids Berry Baskets

August 6th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

As a child I always loved the story Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I fancied myself as Sal.

Out past the blue gate we have quite a large patch of wild blueberries, high bush and low bush berries grow all over the hillside. Some years the harvest is large and we can freeze enough to eat our very own berries through the winter. This year has been slim but the boys love to take a break from playing and pick a snack right out of the yard.

Yesterday as we headed out to the pasture I was looking for containers for my little guys to collect berries in and I got this quick idea.

It a hands free berry basket made from an orange juice container with a belt made from some braided strips of old t-shirts. Off we went berry picking. Kerplink, kerplunk, kerplop went the berries into their little baskets. Gobble gobble went those berries into their little mouths. And sure enough they clambered up to my basket and tried to scoop them all up. In fact every time I looked over at Oliver he was shoving piles into him mouth – yum!

Pretty simple, we cut the containers with a high back and used a hole punch to make holes to thread our braided rope through. We punched some holes and added a rubber band so we could fold the top over and secure it shut. The boys were pretty happy to be able to use both hands to pick and we spent A LOT more time out in the field because they were tickled by their “berry belts”. Luckily there were no bears to get all mixed up with!

Asking a 1,800 Pound Bull Pretty Please

August 2nd, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

This is Thor. He weighs about 1,800 pounds, loves grass and flowers.  He comes to visit sometimes and hangs outs out with the girls, eating, pooping and procreating.

When his Dad comes to get him, he just doesn’t want to go home, he is still having fun playing with his friends. He stomps his feet a bit, then he gets distracted by the tall grass, flowers and toys in the yard. He thinks he would rather go back and play with his friends, he doesn’t want to listen to Dad.

His Dad knows, you just cant push him around, you gotta get him to think getting in the car was HIS idea. Maybe you let him play a little longer, pay him no mind. Next you bribe him with a tasty treat. “Come on Thor it’s time to go home – if you get into the car, all by yourself, I will give you a gobble of grain”.  Then as a last resort you invite his friends to have the tasty treat in the trailer instead  — because if his friends want it, that will REALLY make HIM want it.

If you are an 1,800 pound bull you certainly DON’T share your treats!

These are the girls – they love grain too.

Watching the big bull dilly dally and protest I started thinking -

getting an 1,800 pound bull into the trailer is kind of like herding children into the car!

Agentinian Asado & Summer Yellow

July 30th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

We had family and friends visiting during a monster heat wave – the whole mob of us lay on the sand at the town beach most of the weekend. We feasted, we swam, we feasted and we swam.  With guests from Buenos Aries we of course had an asado, which is the social event of having an open fire barbecue in Argentina. The meat sizzled,  the fresh-baked baguette was grilled on the open fire and the chorizo was so, so good. To say nothing of the empanadas and tiramisu would be criminal – fabulous! The big old table out in the lawn was set with a spot for each and every diner. Perfect for everyone to gather round for a toast with a lovely Argentinian Malbec carried half way round the globe for this special meal.

Looking at these pictures I realized the big old table needs a paint job, & maybe …. a bright and chipper new table-cloth!!

A stained hand-me-down from an old friend got a new life with some yellow dye.

Dyeing fabric with stains doesn’t always work – it’s best to choose a color close to the stain. I use Procion dyes which can be found at  Dharma Trading Co., they are a great resource for all kinds of fiber arts supplies. Makes me think of all kinds of things around the house that we could dye & revive, inspiring stuff!

Sweet Sesame Tofu Marinade

July 28th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

My boys have loved this simple and quick tofu recipe since they were little ( I am sure it has nothing to do with that fact that it has SUGAR in it). They have always called it Special Tofu.

It’s great for a super quick meal or when its so darn hot you can’t possibly turn on the stove! The marinade keeps well but only “sauce toss” the amount of tofu you can eat, it doesn’t hold it’s texture too well overnight.

If you aren’t all that familiar with tofu this might be a good first recipe to try – the tangy sweetness really packs a big flavor into the otherwise bland soy curd.  Tofu keeps for quite a long time if left in its packaging, is high in protein, low in fat and an excellent source of calcium.

Sweet Sesame Tofu Marinade

2 Tablespoon Sweet White Miso

4 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil

2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar

16 oz. Package of Extra Firm Tofu

Drain and cut tofu into 1” cubes and set aside.

Mix remaining ingredients together, add tofu and lightly toss.

Ready to eat immediately, serve cold.

Prep to table in less than 5 minutes!


Make an Egg Basket from Newspaper

July 25th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We love cooking up our homegrown fresh eggs in morning. The children head out to the hen-house with a basket and collect them, most of them even make it back into the house without getting broken. During the Spring and Summer months our lady’s lay more than we can eat. It’s great fun to be able to share fresh eggs with our friends. Often times it’s hard to find a good container to put them into – it takes dedication to always have traditional egg cartons on hand & I rarely do!

The eggs are so perfect with their smooth shells and oblong shape,beautiful even, somehow piling them into a plastic shopping bag always seems wrong.

I got fascinated my the idea that I would be able to make an origami bundle for them out of newspaper. I spent a good chunk of last night practicing different origami patterns to find a few that would work – here is what I came up with.

The most glamorous is the most difficult (there’s a joke in there somewhere).

This is called a “Fishing Basket”, I made it with three sheets of newspaper.

You can find the video tutorial I used to make it here. It’s a bit advanced, but if your like the challenge of origami I would totally recommend it, super cute for eggs.

Traditionally origami never uses tape but there are 12 eggs in there – the handle needed some tape!

The next one I made is more realistic for whipping up – kind of an egg bowl with an envelope style top

It’s super simple and holds a dozen eggs quite well. This is the most wonderful tutorial done by a 6-year-old

here! Adorable, right?

I did mine just a bit different and used three sheets of paper.

We used masking tape to seal the flaps closed and wrote messages on the tape.

It also helps to pinch the bottom down just bit to make the bowl more stable on the bottom.

Click the instructions and print to make your very own newspaper origami egg basket!