Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Scenes with Boz


" Weathered " 

A Saturday Scene for your enjoyment~ 
Boz blog ( part 3 ) continued next week...

Thanks for looking and have a wonderful week friends!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Farmgirl Friday # 51

Welcome to week 51of the Farmgirl/boy Friday Blog Hop!
Your favorite place to learn, grow and share with like-minded folks who don't mind a little dirt under their nails, a little chicken poo on their shoes, and bugs in their home grown salad greens! If you've got a hankerin' to brag some about a project or recipe well, you can do that here too!
Life with busy teens ( along with much cooler and wet weather ) has kept me out of the garden this week, but progress IS being made! It's been wonderful seeing all the new baby chicks  " peeping " up in blog posts everywhere! A true sign that spring is here to stay!

~ stay tuned ~
The second annual Hen House Hop is coming soon! That's where you get to link up and fluff your chicken keepin' feathers about your flocks and coops! 

Come visit me on the shorelines this weekend! I'm having a FLING with SPRING on the MJF BEACH FARMGIRL BLOG and you're invited!
I'm also featuring FARMGIRL Brenda's  ( Ladybug Dreams ) Gun Case Up-Do there too! 

I hope you're all having fun this week playing in the dirt! My girls sure are!

 Whats new in your farmgirl/boy world this week?  Tell us on the hop! 

1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!

2). Leave your entry in the Mr. Linky space to your Farmgirl Friday post.

3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!

Have a great week and don't forget to leave a note on the Hen House door today!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NEW Blog Banner !

Spring Pickets
 Now I've gone and done it. I just couldn't help myself! It was last spring around this time that Karen Valentine created my beautiful blog design for me but I was itchin'  for something different and I wanted to make it myself! Don't get me wrong, I love my "old " banner but, sometimes a girl needs a change! I used Picasa ( an online photo storage and editing website ) for creating the collage and adding the frames and text. It was pretty simple and fun!

Did you know if you are a member of the MaryJane's Farmgirl sisterhood you can earn three merit badges ( beginner, intermediate and expert ) for blogging? One of the requirements at the beginner level is to read Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey. I just finished it and I felt so inspired all over again about the creative joys of  blogging!

How often do you change your blog banner? Once a month, a quarter, with the seasons, annually or never?

Monday, March 26, 2012


 Happy Monday friends! I hope this post finds you feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead! This is such and exciting time of year isn't it? Spring is a time of renewal for our gardens and our spirits! This spring is especially exciting because I can already see beginnings of one of my garden dreams taking shape. 
Things in my BACKYARD FLOWER FARM are coming along! 
Here's what we've been working on  so far. Progress is being made on the raised beds. Originally I thought I wanted 16 4x6x8 raised beds ( with the idea in mind that I would plant different varieties of cut flowers in each bed) but after Boz came out and looked at the space, he suggested we build 8 beds 4 x 12. His thinking was it would be less work construction wise and I will still have the exact same amount of planting space which adds up to 384 square feet of planting space.  He also had different ideas on how to build them. Isn't that always how it goes? Well, with us it does. :) I'm visualizing one thing, he another. We both usually have the same goal in mind, just different ways of getting there. Before I show you any photos, I want you to hear how our " discussion " went on construction day!
Me: Oh great! you're back! I'm so excited you got the wood today so we can get started!
Me ( a confused me ) after looking at the wood: Um mm honey, what are all these 2x4's for? I'm pretty sure I said RAISED BEDS didn't I? Remember? I wanted the wood to be eight inches high?  I mean, how am I supposed to grow flowers in a 4 inch high bed? 
Him:  I thought you wanted to use some of our scrap stone tiles as walls for the beds?
Me: Nooooo, I changed my mind and decided to just go with wood all around. Remember, we talked about it yesterday when we were outside cleaning the shed? Why didn't you call me from Home Depot? 
Him:  I thought we had everything figured out. Well, before you panic, ( any more ) hear me out!
Me: It's too late, I think you're going to have to return this wood! REALLY HONEY, I just want all wood, not stone. I really think that will take way to long and I'm anxious to get started! 
Him: Deep breaths, more deep breaths...SILENCE, calm but silent.
Me: I started to turn around and ( MARCH OFF IN A HUFF ) walk away with my sour puss and steam pouring out my ears and something stopped me in my tracks. I walked over to the stone tiles that were leaning against the shed and NICELY asked him to show me what me was envisioning. 

I'm not going to get too far with my flower farm if I'm throwing a tizzy now am I? 

Him: He arranges some tiles against the wood to show me what he means and I begin to SEE ( through my veil of stubbornness ) what he's talking about.
Me: OOOHHHH... so this is what you meant when you wanted to use the tiles as walls for the beds? OOOHHHH!!!. I see! Hey, if we use the stone tiles, then the beds will be 12 inches deep? Even deeper than the 8 inches I wanted  to begin with? 
Him: Uh huh ... ( can you see him grinning at me now ?) 
Me: OH!!! What a great idea... I love it!  It will cost less, and utilize a lot of the 
misc stone tiles too plus the beds will be easier to reach and I'll have deeper soil to plant in! 
 ( can you see me doing the happy dance ? ) 
Him: So, you want me to go ahead and build the frames then? ( still grinning and calm )
Me: YES! Please! Honey, I LOVE YOU! XOXOXOXO
 I really do love that man! 
So, there you have it: Now you know how we have stayed married for 20 years! I have a very, very patient ( but persistent ) husband!

Okay, now that  you've had your Lessons on Marriage from the Garden here are a few photos!

I love my guy's! Here they are screwing the 2x4x12's together! 

I actually had to return these... We are using 2x2s' not 1x2's which are screwed into the corner of each frame.

This image shows the first four beds in various stages of development. The front two are staked into the ground with 2x2 garden stakes from Home Depot and one bed has the stone tiles leaning up against the 2x4x12 frame for support. You can see the bed that is higher just hasn't been pounded into the ground yet. We are beginning to cover the ground with cardboard which will decompose naturally and keep grass out of the beds in the future. 

 Each bed will be filled with a bottom layer of organic matter, a middle layer of cock a doodle do compost from our chicken run, and the top 2-3 inches will be chipped wood from our trees and branches. The chipped wood covering will help the beds hold moisture, add vital nutrients to the soil as it DE-composes and will keep weeds at bay too! The entire raised bed area will eventually be surrounded by a four foot high garden fence ( what kind is still up for debate ). The fence will hide all those mismatched tiles and protect the fragile flowers from strong gusty winds that we sometimes get here in the south coast of New England.

Oh, how I can't wait to be showing you pictures of beautiful blooms,but every garden dream has a beginning and that's what spring is all about!  

How about you? What are you UP-CYCLING to make your garden dreams a reality this year?

I'm taking this post over to the Homestead Barn Hop! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

SPECIAL Saturday Scenes with Boz continued...


A Saturday Scene for your enjoyment~ with Boz 

If you missed last weeks Special Saturday Scene go here for part 1 of  Boz's story about his introduction into photography and how he was hooked from the first shot!
Part 2~
I took pictures with my Kodak 124 sporadically throughout childhood but was not inspired beyond the simple record-keeping aspect of the craft. The day before entering the Air Force I borrowed my brother-in-law’s Canon SLR and shot a full roll of film at the beach. This was the first 35mm camera that I had held and I knew that I would have to own one. It was one of those spectacular mid-September days without a breath of wind. The cloudless sky and still ocean were matching shades of blue and the morning sun cast a warm light from just the right angle. My father was anxious to re-shingle one side of our cottage but I made him wait while I climbed to the top of the lighthouse and took pictures from the outside railing. Years later I enlarged and mounted three shots from that morning in a panorama that now adorns my office wall. The blue sea and sky, the red roof shingles, the autumn gold creeping into the green marsh grass, the white beach sand… I am instantly transported back in time 33 years to that morning. The photography bug bit me that day and I have been infected ever since.
To be continued...

As always, thanks for looking and have a great weekend! Get out with your camera if you can and capture a scene of your own!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Farmgirl Friday # 50 and Farmgirl Days

WOW! Welcome to week 50 of The Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop !

Can I just say, how much I look forward to this time we have together each week?
  If I were Carol Burnett I'd be pulling on my ear right now!  ( Don't tell me I'm the only one old enough to remember her pulling on her ear at the end of each show )  

It's such a joy to visit your blogs each week. Even if I don't always comment, rest assured I am reading! I love seeing the supportive, encouraging and talented forum we have built together. Thanks  to all of you who " link up " each week rain or shine! We are blessed to have each-other to learn and grow with!

 If this is your first time here, I know I speak for all of us when I say WELCOME! 

Forsythia buds ready to burst
 Spring has sprung here along the south coast of New England. Things are budding and blooming in the gardens already! 

 The record highs we've had for the last two days ( today is 77 ) are more than a little intoxicating to this farmgirl at heart! We've worked halfway through our April Garden Chores list already! As I type, Boz is out purchasing the wood for the raised-beds in the Backyard Flower Farm ( wait till you see his idea for incorporating  " scrap stone tiles " into the design)  mulch is ordered, shed has been cleared and cleaned and tools are at the ready!

 The Little Red Hen House is spic and span, the run has been turned over and more "black gold " has been set aside for the new garden beds.

 I crawled inside the coop after I swept out all of the shavings and cleaned the windows for the girls! 
Chestnut told me she looks forward to this all winter!
 I love the smell of fresh pine shavings floating in the air as I lift the lid on the nesting boxes to collect fresh eggs on a warm spring day.

Liza Jane is always first in line for a peak at the outside world. She's such a nosy girl!  

 The Cottage Hens are in full swing in the egg laying department!

 I love the variety of colors our Easter Egg'r chickens lay! 

I couldn't help but think of Tasha Tudor surrounded by her many beloved Corgis today as I raked the last of the fall leaves out of the largest gardens.

 Put down that rake and let's play ball mom !
Max doesn't like me to work when I'm outside. He only has one thing on his mind. I wonder if Tasha's' Corgis followed her around with balls too?

Lady Banks climbing rose
 We've got to grab this glorious weather it while its' here. It's supposed to be cooler with possible rain this weekend. That's okay. It'll be great for the new sprouts that are peaking out of the ground. 

Whats new in your farmgirl/boy world this week? Tell us on the hop! 

 1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!

2). Leave your entry in the Mr. Linky space to your Farmgirl Friday post.

 3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busy Bee

Crocus from my kitchen door garden
Welcome friends and HAPPY SPRING! Spring seems to have arrived early this year in many parts of the US. I know many of you are getting an early start with seed planting and garden prep too! It's so refreshing to be able to smell the earth warming and see all the plants and shrubs starting to bud already. I think last year around this time we still had frozen snow on the ground.

 It's bright, sunny and warm today. I hardly know what to do first! The Robins are calling me outside, the dryer is whirling with clothes that need folding, my floor needs mopping and my head is full of ideas for my backyard flower farm. What's a girl to do? Make a list or wing it? I think a list is in order!

Here's my April chores list for our backyard farmyard.
  1. Clean Hen House ~ add new shavings and clean the window so the girls can see out! 
  2. Buy lumber for 16 4x6x8 inch raised beds and build! I've decided to go with treated lumber for the flower garden. Herbs and veggies will go in the ground or into Cedar raised beds.
  3. Order soil for raised beds
  4. Chip wood and tree trimmings
  5. Order mulch for established gardens
  6. Start seeds 
  7. Order Dahlia's and other spring flowering bulbs
  8. Clean and organize shed  
  9. Get proper garden shoes
  10. Dust off my garden hat 
     Spring brings more than just good weather... It brings feelings of hope and a sense of renewal!
    I'm ready to dive into Spring (head first)  just like that bee! How about you?

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    UP-Cycled FARM Pantry Reveal

    Me and my new Farm Pantry! I even bought a new apron to celebrate!
     It's finally here! The day we've all been waiting for! Okay, maybe not all of us. Waiting for what you ask? My Pantry makeover is finished! Well, finished enough to be functional until I decide on a few more possible decorative touches.I can't wait to share all of the nitty-gritty details of this transformation with you. Here are a couple of before pics to refresh your memory!

    The wall where the pantry is now with buffet.

    I promise this is the last time we have to look at it! 

    My inspiration photo.

    Now, on with the reveal!

    I've been homemaking full time for over 13 years and a wife for 20. How is it that I've just now caught on to this old/new idea for storing kitchen goods? Why have I been satisfied with cabinets that overflow and things falling out on my head whenever I moved something out of the way to get to what I needed? 

    My food storage area before Pantry!
     Until I began cooking more wholesome meals and the kids grew into constantly hungry teens the old system worked alright even if I did have to ice my head sometimes.

     With so much inspiration in magazines, blogs, pinterest and the homesteading movement I was on my way! Once I  RE-claimed " the monster cabinet " from the living room as my new FARM PANTRY  I painted it my favorite shade of  FARMGIRL RED. I don't think there really is such a color out there, but, if there was this would be it! Then it was time to gather glass jars for storage.

    Vintage Ball Storage Jars from my mother in laws farmhouse.
    Large Anchor Hocking glass jars.

     I'm able to store 3 deep with the large jars and  4 deep with the medium sized ones.
    Medium size Anchor Hocking glass jars.
    The chalkboard labels are Martha Stewart and can be purchased at Staples

     I love Maratha's chalk board labels. They peel off with out leaving any reside and can be re applied after washing. A damp cloth wipes them clean so you can change the name of the contents if needed.

    Tags from Martha Stewart also!
    Black wire Milk Crates from Target with liners.

    Now, instead of bending over for chips and crackers preciously stored in my lower kitchen cabinet, we can reach in at hip level any time the munchies hit!

    The lower storage space in my pantry is large. I'm researching pullout drawers or another type of pantry organization for inside to utilize all of that precious space!

    Here's a list of items I have stored in the Pantry:
    Flour, brown sugar, sugar, corn meal, pasta, orzo, powdered sugar, rice, quinoa, peas, coconut, mulling spices, chocolate chips and pecans. There's even room for table cloths and napkins.

     Plus, my favorite baking dishes and glass bowls are within easy reach on the top shelf. 

    There you have it friends. This project is a combination of UP-cycling, RE- cycling and new items.

    I'm still toying with ideas for the inside. Here's what I'm thinking... a soft Easter Egg Green paint color or maybe vintage french flour sacks or wallpaper. What do you think?
     Oh, and the faux brick wall is going too. It'll be Benjamin Moores Standish White like the rest of the kitchen and dining room. I want my pantry to Pop!

    I'm off to play in the pantry! Have a wonderful day!

    I'm showing off my new pantry at the Barn Hop the Country Homemaker Hop and Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday!

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    A SPECIAL Saturday Scenes with Boz

      Welcome to a SPECIAL Saturday Scenes~with Boz

    A while back I asked my dearly beloved if he would share his story about how he came to love photography. I'm pleased to say he has agreed! While it's true that I look at his work through the lens of love, I'm not the only one who appreciates his art. He has a way of capturing the essence of the landscape or an image through his great eye for composition and the way he " lights " his images with the natural rays of the sun. Not only is his work beautiful, it's inspiring and heartfelt too. It gives me great pleasure to give you a more " in depth " look at him today!
    Without further adieu, here's Boz! 

    It was my Grandmother who introduced me to the world of photography since my parents did not own a “still” camera. My Grandmother lived with us off-and-on for much of my childhood and It was not her photography but, rather, the camera itself that first drew my attention. She had a simple Brownie of no great quality but there was something about the texture of the smooth, bakelite body and the magic of looking through the viewfinder of the camera that intrigued me.  My older brother eventually inherited the Brownie and naturally I had to have a camera too. My parents presented me with a Kodak 124 Instamatic camera (which I still own) on my 11th birthday but I was not “instantly” hooked.  Although it offered greater convenience than the Brownie, the Instamatic did not have the same eye appeal and the pictures that it took were of moderate quality. It used Kodak 126 film cartridges and a flash cube that rotated each time the camera was wound to allow four flashes per cube. The flash worked intermittently at best and there was no budget for flash cubes so most of my photographs were shot in the natural light of the outdoors. For that matter, there was a limited budget for film and developing as well (a common theme until the advent of digital cameras).
    To be continued...Boz

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Farmgirl Friday # 49

     Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday blog hop friends! Here we are, just one away from 50 weeks of sharing great garden tips, recipes, home projects, simple living ideas, home organization, flops and successes in homesteading, how to milk goats, make soap, homemade laundry soaps, lotions, honey, make-up, quilts, high and low tunnels, raised beds, raised barns, off- grid living tips and so much more! What if we could bottle up all of these great ideas into one book? Something to think about isn't it? Dandelion House and Friends..... tag line anyone? 
    I've been busy this week working on my FARM PANTRY! So busy in fact that I missed my weekly cut flower post. It's really coming together though and we are getting close, very close to the reveal! Here's a little teaser pic!

      I'm also celebrating my one year Blogiversery as MJF BEACH farmgirl blogger in a special post here.

     I also want to share with you Mary Jane's new Rural Made Farm Project.It's her place to promote rural crafters and artisans who make things by hand. Like everything Mary Jane does, this is just brilliant!
    Click here to find out  if you qualify as a First- Class American Rural Made applicant!


    Now it's your turn to link up for your weekly dose of farmgirl/urban farmboy soul food!
    Here are the rules for the Farmgirl Friday blog hop! 

     1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!

    2). Leave your entry in the Mr. Linky space to your Farmgirl Friday post.

     3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!

    Have a great week everyone and I'll see you on the hop! As always, you inspire and amaze me with all you do! 

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