Category Archives: Crafting

Winter Vacations

Do you remember when you were in school when you had winter vacations? Well, those of us who have farms that work regular jobs too usually use our “days” off from the real world to get things done around the farm.

Here on Barrows Farm, Mr. Farmer actually gets a winter vacation from Christmas Eve until after the first of the year. To bad there is typically a lot of button down work that needs to get finished up that he really doesn’t get a vacation. There are a couple of days in there that we try to do some fun things too. Unfortunately, the farm has demands of it’s own that still need to be done.

This last week was a very productive one. The barns all got a good cleaning. The water lines are now wrapped in heat tape and insulation, so hopefully no more frozen water lines. New hay feeders for inside the barn were built. Grain bins were relocated and filled. The plow was put on the four wheeler. The antifreeze in the tractor was checked and topped off. The lawn mowers were put away. Hay bales were moved from one from to the other. My milker pump managed to get fixed (no more borrowing!).

Some where in there we even managed to fit in the process of making about 15 pounds of various cheeses, two shopping trips, family Christmas and a little end of the year accounting stuff.

Like I said, those 10 days were very productive!

I even managed to get some craft things done too. Two crocheted bags, about 5 or 6 pairs of earrings, one necklace and about 1/2 a baby blanket! Phew, my hands and wrists hurt just thinking about it all!

Hand twisted wire and cracked glass

One thing is certain, I am glad that things are returning back to the normal scheduled program.

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People Ask…

People ask me questions sometimes that make me really sit back and ponder life in general.

Most Common Question:
“Why do you farm?”

My answer is simple, yet complicated.
I love cows! I love chickens! I love animals…period!

Calves holding a "discussion"
Bubba J and Rosie playing in the snow on a warm winter day.

Then of course, there is the food stuff! From canned, stewed tomatoes to home grown sweet corn, making cheese to eggs for breakfast…without the farm, I wouldn’t have those things like I do.

Right to Left: Canned Beef, Sweet Corn and Stewed Tomatoes

Question: “What is it about your farm that keeps you where you are?”

There are a ton of reasons on this one. One of them isn’t the taxes, I do need to specify that!
There is an easy answer to this one! It’s the sunrises/sunsets. It’s the views. It’s the private pond….and so much more!

The morning sunrise
Sunsets as seen from Barrows Pond

There are many more questions and a whole lot more answers…..But I think this will give anyone a good idea on why I love farming. I think it will also give you a fair idea on why I love being here!

Of course, Mr. Farmer has one very big reason……this land has been in his family for 6 generations! The deed reads out like a genealogy report!

Planning Day

Well, today turned into a HUGE planning day! After my morning chores, I decided to try my hand a couple of different craft things that I have been thinking about for a couple of years.

Oh wait, I almost forgot….I am obsessed with Christmas decorations! Handmade, custom decorations…not those store bought glass blown jobs but, homemade straight from nature. Or maybe some things made out of recycled Christmas cards from last year or from old clothes.

I really only have three small boxes of things that I keep around every year. Some of the ornaments tucked within were my Grandma’s. Then of course I have the lights. Which are a complete tangled mess! And my angels for the top of each tree….yup, I do two separate ones! Crazy I know. One is artificial and the other we always get real from our Christmas patch that is just off from the Sugar Bush. Another annual tradition.

Here’s my list of things to go out wandering for:

Pine, Pine and more pine – One large 7′ tree, four at 3-4′, 10-12 of them that range from 6″-2′

Pine Cones – I need lots of them this year in all different sizes and shapes, thinking somewhere around 100-125

Red Berries – We have some wild roses that have perfect berries on them this time of year and lets not forget the spearamint berries either! We have about an acre of those growing around here and there.

Leaves – All different kinds, if I can find some that are in relatively decent shape.

Dead branches – Since we have broken apple limbs out in the orchard, I will start there.

Wood “plates” – Oh goodie…chain saw time! I need a “slice” off the end of one of the logs we use for firewood! Maybe two.

Grape Vines – I need to pull some of them back and out of the trees in the lawn anyway. Might better put them to good use.

Burdock and Thistle heads – AS MANY AS I CAN FIND! Wait til you see what I do with these!

Moss – Not much of this, about a milk pail full.

Stones – White and Peach colored Shimmery Quartz stones in all different sizes. Need to start with around 15.

Chicken feathers – Specifically from the Rhode Islands.

Turkey feathers – preferably the fluffy ones.

Dead grasses – the tall stalky kind with bigger leaves.

And of course, firewood chunks for in front of the fireplace.

Since I like to be organized for this BIG project, I draw everything out and make notes!

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There will be tutorial photos coming up as I go through some of these projects!

Happy Holidays!

Custom Designed Jewelry

I guess you could call me a crafty, artistic kind of person. I like to make hand crafted items to give to people for holidays, special occasions and so on.

It is rather daunting sometimes because it is an annual tradition now and many of my gift receivers expect to get something homemade or handmade. It is easier on my wallet but it still does take time.

Pink Jewelry Set

I love to share jewelry with the girls. I never wear much myself…because you know I really don’t think the cows care for the “bling”

 

This set is made from elastic cording, seed beads, charms and glass beads.

 

 

Blue Jewelry Set

This set, I actually made for myself for an annual work Christmas party that Mr. Farmer’s day job had a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

 

Finger Doilies

I made these last week and have had so many people want to purchase them it’s actually scary!

 

 

 

 

 

I like to play around with different ideas for things. I think I might actually try my hand at crocheting wire into a fancy filigree necklace, bracelet and ring set next……

In the meantime, if any of you are interested in purchasing a set or just a ring…please send a message or make a comment (include your email addy) and I can let you know how much and when I could have them done by….

 

 

 

Illness and Projects

I haven’t posted in a few days because I have been fairly confined to the couch. Last week Sunday, I started feeling sick with a scratchy throat and a headache….By Wednesday evening, I was coughing so bad that my stomach muscles were constantly sore. By Saturday, I was at the doctor’s office to get checked out.

I have actually coughed so hard that I have sprained the muscles in my belly, right below my ribs. I have two bulged areas within those muscles. One directly in the center, just below my sternum and the other on my left side just below my ribs. The doc prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers AND even sent me home with a script to take it easy and get lots of rest. No lifting, no twisting, no turning. “THAT MEANS NO FARM WORK” Direct quote from my rather obstinate doctor and much to the dislike of Mr. Farmer.

I have spent most of my time curled up under a blanket on the couch, watching movies, crocheting and trying to catch the holiday spirit. I am just not feeling it right now. I did manage to get a few gifts finished and actually developed a couple of new patterns for little things.

Crochet Rings

I am trying to create a whole “line” of crochet jewelry. I have had requests already after sharing the photos on Facebook for a few rings. Amazingly, they take about a half hour to completely finish. So, they are fairly quick to finish and look amazing. I have only been doing them in white because I wanted to experiment with a big spool first and white was the cheapest way for me to go.

I am working on developing matching earrings and also recreating the patterned rings with  beads. After that I will start working on a simple long choker style necklace with a jeweled pendant. I thought that these would make great gifts for young and old alike.