October 24, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - Call Me "Greenfoot"...

Brynwood's Taggart
Hi, Everybody!

There's nothin' quite like a run through freshly mown grass. Don't you agree?
It's one of my favorite things to do, actually. I love comin' back with green feet. lol

Over the weekend, our farm neighbors brought in tractors towin' huge hoses. They started waayyy up in the southwest corner of a field that belongs to Miss Shelly and Mr. Andy, and they stretched those hoses all the way across our road, through culverts under the county road and all the way back up to a big tank in their farmyard.

It wasn't long before those hoses were puffed up and gluggin' the most odiferous potion to another big tractor. That machine had metal discs on the back that kind of plowed up the ground. Once there were trenches, they sprayed that liquid stuff into the ground. They were at it for a few hours, but it smelled "dog-heavenly" for the rest of the weekend.

Mom and Dad were like crazy people when Bella and I had to go outside. They only let us go around our yard away from the fields. Guess they really didn't want us to have any fun. Spoiled sports. 
We keep tryin' to run over to the hickory tree in front just so we can scoot over the rocks, and roll in the field. They're not havin' any of it. They whistle and call us back every time. Really? I wonder just how long this is gonna go on? A guy's gotta roll, you know?

Well, better luck next time. I know they'd better stay on the ball, 'cuz Boo and I aren't gonna give up that easy. We're nothin' if not persistent. I like green feet, but I could dig brown feet, too. Sort of like changin' socks. hee hee

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...  
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

October 23, 2017

It's Nearly That Time Again...

Holiday Fabrics
 This week is going to be hectic, but I'll tell you more about that another time. 
This week, I'll be listing up more fabric (holiday designs!), along with the Kirby Crossbody bags that I haven't sold yet. I'm shipping out the ones I did sell today, and then I have a few orders to sew.

Only one week until November, and then I'll be making my holiday sewing list. Grammie's Jammies are always on it, and I'll have some new items to add this year. We'll also be gifting tasty treats from the farm. Much of that work is already done (yay!).
When do you start your holiday sewing?


October 21, 2017

Cinnamon Scrapplesauce...

Ready To Make Applesauce

When I finished the first batch of applesauce, I estimated that I had about thirty pounds of apples left from our purchase last week. I was guessing because I hadn't weighed the first batch of apple before I cooked them down. I actually had a total of twenty eight pounds. I decided to can the balance yesterday before they got mushy in our warmer weather. I got out all my supplies and set to making applesauce.

As I cranked the apples through my peeler, corer, cutting tool, it occurred to me that I really should do something with all the apple parts I'd usually toss...especially because there was still apple in those pieces. It's sort of like deciding to make soup to use up all the goodness left on a turkey or chicken carcass.

Secret Ingredient

The first seventeen pounds of apples I cut up went into two slow cookers to cook down, while I placed all the apple scrap into another pan to cook down on the stove. After everything was soft, I put it through the food mill to remove all the seeds, skins and inedible bits. I added a cup and a half of granulated sugar, and small handful of my secret ingredient...cinnamon imperials (aka "red hots") to the milled apples and placed them back in my cooking pot. I brought the mixture back up to a boil on the stove top, and it was ready to put into the jars.

Completed Cinnamon Scrapplesauce

After I canned the first batch of what I'm calling "Cinnamon Scrapplesauce", I cut up the final eleven pounds of apples to process on the stove top. I treated those scraps the same way.

The slow cooker applesauce and the stove top applesauce were all finished by dinnertime. Handsome came in from running errands, and dug right in to help. Just in time, too. I was starting to get tired!

At the end of the day, there were eight pints, plus one quart (for the refrigerator) of slow cooker applesauce; six pints of stovetop applesauce; and five pints of Cinnamon Scrapplesauce which was a true bonus! (It tastes as fabulous as it looks, by the way!)

This weekend, I'll clean up the kitchen garden for the end of the summer. I'll cut down and cover my lavender plants, harvest the last of the sweet basic and then let the rest go to seed, and just after first frost, I'll cover the garden with marsh hay to protect my perennials for the winter.

I'm sure I'll do mini canning projects through the winter, but for now, my canning supplies will be stowed away, and I'll dream of a bigger garden next summer.


October 20, 2017

And Then There Were Ten (More)...

Brynwood Cork Kirby Crossbody Bags

They're all finished!
Ten Nine new Kirby Crossbody Bags will head to my online shop today. 
(One's already sold.)

Brynwood Cork Kirby Crossbody Bags
If you're interested in one (or more), please send me a message.
I give discounts if the sale is outside my online shop listings.
I'm going to be canning the rest of our apples today.
More goodness from the farm coming.


October 19, 2017

They're Here...

Farmhouse Labels

I ordered these a couple of weeks ago and they finally arrived on Monday.

An online company (fiverr.com) was recommended to me to design a logo for the farm, and I worked with a great woman. I sent her photos of our Compass Barn and suggested a hickory tree for the background.

In less than twenty four house, she got back to me with her first draft, and after a little tweaking, I had a finished product. I asked her to add a little information to the original basic logo (which is everything above the "Goodness from the Farm" line on our labels, which originally formed a half circle. I wanted a full circle to be able to commission a label for my canning jars. Within the hour, she emailed my label art to me.

Farmhouse Labels and Piglet

Once I had the artwork in hand, I went to Etsy and contacted a company with whom I'd previously worked (TwinCityPrintShop). They created a custom order for me, and we went to production. I love them!

A little side note about my little piggy.  I've had this piggy bank for about twenty years. It's a favorite piece, and it sat in our laundry room to collect change that usually went through the washing machine first.

I wanted her to join my cows and chickens in the kitchen, so onto the buffet cabinet she went. The neat thing is that, in conversation with Shelly, I learned that Shelly's parents used to raise pigs on our farm! There have been many instances since we moved here that some things seem more "destiny" and less "coincidence". This is just another example.

Isn't it cool how things like this happen? Not only will my little pig remain in the kitchen, but when we finally do our kitchen remodel, I'll be sure to place her in a place of prominence.
Farmhouse Labels
Most of the jams and jellies will be gifts this fall and winter. Now, each jar has a label to not only describe the contents, but also remind the recipient where it came from. I plan to use them on all goodness I package as gifts this winter, too. I can see that I'll be using them a lot!

October 18, 2017

Sew and So...

Mary Engelbreit Art

I'm almost finished with ten new Kirby Crossbody bags. I only spent yesterday working on them, along with the last batch of Lavender jelly for this year, and bringing in all the furniture from the porch for this season. 
So many things to do. It's wonderful, really. I love being busy. So, what are you doing these days?

October 17, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - I'm A Poet...

Tag Under The Hickory Tree
"Under the spreading hickory tree
The handsome corgi stands;
The corgi, a mighty dog is he
with short and stocky legs;
And the muscles of his brawny butt
are strong as iron pegs."

Handsome and Sturdy

"His hair is full, and gold, and white,
His face is like the tan;
His brow smells like he rolled in stuff,
He finds where e're he can."

Brynwood's Taggart
"Week in, week out, from morn 'til night
You can hear his..."
 "Tag! You're mangling Longfellow's poem! Stop that right now."

"I'm just gettin' started, Mom! You're no fun!"
I guess I have to stop changin' the words to the Village Smithy poem. It just seemed appropriate since she keeps draggin' Bella and me to the hickory trees twice a day to pick up nuts. Bella's enjoyin' the hunt so much that she even runs down to the tree when she's supposed to be doin' her business. She comes runnin' back with a nut to give to Mom every time! sigh
Mom's gonna be really busy crackin' nuts this winter. She's just about ready to let the squirrels have the rest. Almost, but not quite. If you're lookin' for me, I'll be under the branches of the hickory tree...with the other nuts.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...  
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

October 16, 2017


Large Enamelware Pot

On Saturday, I teased you with a photograph of enamelware pieces I purchased on Friday. I wanted to wait until daylight to get some better images to show you. Well, it rained most of the weekend, so although I'm less than thrilled with the pictures, here they are.

This first picture is a large pot I bought. It still has the original label on it. I guess that's a big deal for collectors. I'm not sure how I'll handle it, as I plan to use the pot in the future.

Covered and Larger Pieces

I went to the home of the lady who was selling these pieces, and as I was the first one there, I had my pick of her treasures. Most of the pieces I purchased have no interior chips. That's really wonderful, considering their age, and that she used them, too. Some of them look brand new!
All Shapes and Sizes

There were rectangular pieces, bowls, a colander and pie plate, and a handled saucepan. She actually had all the sizes of the saucepans, but in spite of the awesome prices, I tried to budget myself. I also considered that I need to find a place for all of them until our kitchen is finished, too.

Half Gallon Enamelware Pitcher

Another feature that really will come in handy is that many of the pieces have markings for measuring the contents. Here's a closeup of the half gallon pitcher (in excellent condition!), showing the markings.

My thinking on these new acquisitions is, 1) They're perfect for a farmhouse, and 2) many of them can be used for cooking (and canning!), so they're beautiful and useful. In fact, I've already used more than a few pieces for canning this past weekend.

Perfect For Our Chinois

One large piece was missing the bale handle, but I saw it and immediately knew how I would be using it. As soon as I got back home, I grabbed the chinois and placed it over the pot. Perfect fit! Now I have a piece that will catch everything that I mill through the strainer, and then I can easily pour from that back into a pot to finish cooking.

Slow Cooker Applesauce
Of course, I tried it out Saturday. Handsome and I had to run errands, so I cored and peeled twelve pounds of apples and popped them into two slow cookers before we left. We came home to stewed apples, which I ran through the chinois and then back into a pot to bring up the temperature.
Handsome stirred the mixture while I added the cinnamon and nutmeg, and set up the canner, jars and lids. He's actually enjoying this process as much as I am, and most days he's offering and eager to help. (Remember, he didn't like peeling pears, though.)
This applesauce is darker than the first batch. It tastes just as fresh and rich, but I'm thinking the addition of more peels is responsible for the browner color.

Our elder son and his family were here yesterday for the heartbreaking Packer game, followed by dinner and Birthday cake for same son. We sent them home with a number of jars from the pantry. Our pickles were a particular hit with our daughter-in-love, so we made sure to include those in their care package. I gave them jar of the applesauce, too, and I got a text late last night telling me that our grandson thought it was delicious, so that's all this grandma needs to know!

Needless to say, there was no sewing this weekend. Today, I shall not be dissuaded. There will be sewing...rain or shine.

October 15, 2017

Sunday Scripture...

Web Image
Thoughts and prayers for those who are suffering devastating losses in California;
and also for those (near and far) who have lost loved ones.

October 14, 2017

My Friday The 13th...

Enamelware For The Farmhouse

I had a fabulous October Friday the 13th. It began with another great FaceBook Marketplace find. I'm only sharing a sneak peek of my purchase today. I'll photograph everything in daylight, and you'll fall for these pieces as quickly as I did. I'll tell you all about them on Monday.

Grape Jam 2017 Finished
After my purchase, I met my pal, Kathy to give her a beautiful bag of fabric Shelly gave me. Shelly asked if I knew anyone who does charity sewing, and Kathy immediately came to mind. To enhance her charitable sewing, Kathy has a longarm machine so she does all the quilting for her pieces, too.
I called Kathy earlier this week, and we arranged to have lunch together. Kathy appreciated receiving the fabrics, and will make children's quilts to donate. Perfect!
When I got back home, I started cleaning the last of the grapes we picked earlier in the week. When I was ready to start making the jam, Handsome came in and dug right in to help. In the end, we canned another eleven half pints together.
So, twenty pounds of grapes on the stems cleaned up to fourteen pounds for preparing. Fourteen pounds of prepared grapes made nineteen half pint jam jars and three pint jars. I'd say that's a fine yield for a little more "summer in a jar". Don't you agree?
All in all, I'd say that I had a wonderful Friday the 13th. No superstition at the farmhouse. I wish everyone could be so blessed.

October 13, 2017

This One's Mine...

Favorite British-theme Fabric

 I knew I was going to love this one.
After all, I used my favorite fabrics for the outside (black cork and British-theme fabrics).

Favorite Acorn Lining

 ...and my favorite acorn and oak leaf fabric for the lining.

Brynwood Zipper Tag
 Top it off with one of my oak leaf zipper tags, and
Newest Favorite Kirby Crossbody
 I've finished my latest Kirby Crossbody!

This one is available as a custom order (I have a little of the fabrics left to make a few more),
so if you're interested in having one of your own, send me an email and we can talk.

October 12, 2017

Farmhouse Grape Jam...

Grapes. Cleaned And Awaiting Processing

The rain held off this morning, so Handsome and I drove over to a local farm that was offering Concord grapes. Together we picked twenty pounds of the ripe fruit, cleaning out the rest of their stock in this variety.

Grapes - Fresh Off The Vines

We had two garbage bag-lined, large, shopping bags with us, and Handsome and I filled them up as we talked about grapes...and dodged silly kittens playing in the arbor. They were really sweet (grapes and kittens,)

Ready For Processing

My recipe calls for four pounds of grapes (prior to cleaning). We have twenty pounds, so I just started cleaning until the bowl was full. I set the scale to compensate for the weight of the bowl I was using (a big Tupperware one - not the big pottery one!) and ended up with enough for a double batch.

Our "Now Vintage" Scale

That means I still have about twelve pounds of grapes to clean and process. I'm going to definitely take a day off to sew before I tackle those. Oh, and we stopped at the orchard and picked up a bushel (53 pounds) of McIntosh apples for more applesauce, too. I'll do those this weekend.

Finished The First Batch Of Jam
Eight pounds of Concord grapes equals three pints and eight half pints of yummy jam. Won't that be tasty this winter? I think I may plant a few vines next spring so we can grow our own right here on the farm. Can you believe I'm already planning what's going to go into our garden next year!

Today will be a sewing day, and there will be more canning on Friday and Saturday. I'm having labels made for our canned goods, too! I'll share those as soon as they arrive. I have lots to do before then.

See you tomorrow!


October 11, 2017

A "Go Away" Day...

Weather Clouds
 It's always good to be flexible.

I'd originally planned to be sewing all day yesterday. It was mostly overcast outside, which always makes for a good day to be inside (unless I'm out in the garden, weeding, which I didn't feel like doing).

Farm Range

Instead, Handsome and I answered an ad selling a gas range, which is what I've wanted for our kitchen. This was being sold locally by a young couple who just installed all stainless steel in their place. I don't know whether or not I've mentioned it before, but I want white appliances in our kitchen, not stainless. Been there, done that. I think it looks too modern for our hundred year old lady.

I also thought I'd just go with a cooktop and add a wall oven, but this was too good to pass on. We'll still do the wall oven when we install the kitchen, but this range has exactly the cooktop configuration I'd hoped for, with a bonus oven to boot! Because of the full grate, I won't have to worry about my canning pots being too large for the burners. (On our current range, the pots kind of "hug" the burners. ugh)

She needs a little interior TLC, but I'll tackle that in the next week or so, and schedule our HVAC guy to bring a gas line up from the basement to where the range will go. We already have the line coming in to our steam boiler, so we'll just have to divert a line into the wall above the boiler. I'll be cookin' with gas in a few weeks!
One More For Me

When I first started making my wallets, I did one I called "Rule Brittania" in this fabric combination for myself. (You do see the acorns, don't you?) I showed it to a friend who insisted I empty it and sell it to her on the spot (which I did). Well, now I'm going to make a Kirby Crossbody in the same fabrics, and will follow up with another wallet after I make up all the Kirbys I have cut and ready to sew. I'll be making those tomorrow.

In case you're wondering why I'm not sewing today...I got a lead on Concord grapes. I want to make jam, so I'm planning to head to the place that's selling the pick-your-own grapes this morning. I'll be making jam this afternoon, and I expect the whole house will smell like the Welch's factory by dinner time. 

If the weather falls in the proverbial "toilet" (rain is in the forecast), I'll sew today and can tomorrow. See what I mean? It pays to be flexible!! Either way, check back tomorrow and you'll see what I ended up doing.



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