About Me

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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bits & Pieces Part 6 , some of my creative moments AKA bordom sets in

Good Evening everyone!  Yes even with all the work I was doing or should have been doing there were times I needed to just create something.  My mind & hands needed a release that did not involve heavy mental or physical work.  Plus as an artist, its hard for me to go very long without doing something that is just fun for me.
So when I built the new shed/coop, I had to add a bit of myself & personally to it, therefore a chicken I normally draw on the envelopes of letters I mail out, came to be on the front of the new building.  I had pieces of the red barn siding, that had been cut out to add a bigger doorway for the cows & was just put aside to decay.  I liked the fact it was weathered, so it would work well on the shed/coop & only need a few details added.  I used the flat electrical fence netting to create the wing & comb to give it a bit of dimension & a rusty nail for the eye, which you of course can't see.  I used my reciprocating saw to cut it all out since I really didn't want to try to do it with a hand saw......ok to be honest I didn't want to take the time to cut it out that way & wanted it done & up so I could enjoy it.
new shed/coop I built
Fancy little hen in barn wood siding
I also got so much mail from the Maryjane hens I wanted a way to see all the cards they sent to me, so I found in a barn, a rotting screen door that had the top half still in good shape so I cut the bottom half off & replaced the screen with some old good window screen.  I added 2 very thick nails to the top & curved them over so they would hold some rope as a way to hang it on the wall.  Once up you can see that I pinned or stapled the cards & decorations on to it.
This way I was able to see this every day I was at the farm & think of all the great hens who wrote to  me.
By the time I left the whole thing was covered with wonderful cards & pictures.This came home with me, so I can hang it in my art shop & put things up on it.
Another thing I did since I really didn't want to add lots of nail holes to the trailer, was take a piece of 2 feet wide by 8 feet tall piece of thin laminate wood & covered it with foam core so I could tack cards on to it.  I did nail it to the wall but only a few small nails so it would stay up.  This too, was completely covered with cards, notes & pictures by the time I left.
Sorry the picture is bad, but I had a really cheap camera & it didn't always take good pictures, but I think you get the idea of what I did.
Ok one of the really fun things I did was with the huge mess of electrical fencing webbing I found on the farm.  I had just been looking at a book dealing with origami & thought since the webbing was like stiff wide ribbon it might be able to be bent & twisted like origami.  So one very nasty cold day I grabbed some, brought it in & started playing with it. 
The more I messed with it the more excited I got about what it was doing for me.  Each had to be done in sections then hand sewn with thread to hold it together but this 'snowflake wreath' is the 1st of 5 that I was able to do during the winter.

I took the tiny little candles that come in a little metal dish out & cut the metal to look like a little flower & added sequins to it & around the snowflake to give it a bit of color.  since this was the first one I didn't do a lot of bending since I was just figuring it out, but as I get use to it I was able to create more curves & designs as you can see from the pictures below.



I was able to bring enough of the webbing home to hopefully do at least 5 more of these this winter when I start getting cabin fever.
Since I had access to so much milk, I wanted to make butter on a larger scale than just in a quart jar when I could get 3-5 gallons at a time, so I wanted a butter churn but had no way to go buy one, so I got to thinkin' about just making my own.  I had all these wonderful 5 gallon buckets with twist on lids so why not put a hole in one of the lids so a wooden pole could fit through it.  Now since all the wooden part of the churns I had seen had a wooden disc I was able to find some 10 inch across lumber that just needed to be cut into a circle, sanded & attached to the pole.
Screw on lid with hole cut through it
the wooden disc has a hole drilled through it so the pole can go through it & be nailed securely.

Small holes drilled through for a pressure release for the cream

disc & pole put through the lid before getting screwed onto 5 gallon bucket
Now I could add 3-5 gallons of cream to the bucket, screw on the lid with the wooden churn part, add a small towel around where the hole was on the lid so I didn't have cream shooting all over the room & then push it up & down.  Ever so often I would unscrew the lid to see how the cream was doing.  Now to be very honest.....I had built up my arms to do lots of different motions, but the constant movement of up & down really got to me so I was able to only get the cream to a heavy whipped stage, then I would have to take the cream out & put it into quart jars to shake until it finally turned to butter.  Usually took only about 5 more minutes to do in the jar.  Now I am hoping to eventually be able to build up my arm muscles to do the whole process without having to remove it into small jars to be shaken.  But at least I know it works, so its waiting for me to get some more raw milk & collect the cream so I can get those muscles going.
My one & only holiday ornament I made for the trailer.  I made a small wreath out of grapevines then cut some of the evergreen from a tree over near the main house, added a ribbon & called it done!.
Poor thing got beat to death by the strong winds all winter but was still sorta there by the spring but missing quite a lot of needles & I have no idea where the ribbon ended up.  Maybe a cow found it blowing in the pasture & wore it to impress one of the bulls.
No great works of art while I was there, but I did enjoy having a bit of time to create a few things & wanted you to see what could be done with some unusual stuff.
until next time have a great chicken day (or night),

1 comment:

  1. Michele' your wreaths are just beautiful. I am amazed at how creative you are. The things you have done remind me of my mom and her mom, though grandmom is gone we still have many of the things she made in our memories. She remodeled her whole kitchen alone. She laid the flooring, built the cabinets and countertops. All of it. She was so talented and you are too! I love reading about your adventures on the farm.