Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Can Only Imagine Crocheting Things This Great

British artist Shauna Richardson crochets life-size models of rabbits, deer, foxes, bears, lions and primates, then, borrowing heavily from taxidermy, expertly stuffs and outfits them with claws, jaws and glass eyes. She has named her technique CROCHETDERMY™. Her animals are life-like appearance and she states in an article for DazedDigital that “In an attempt to remove the pieces from the realms of soft and cuddly, I use coarse wool such as mohair mixes, reproduction claws, jaws and glass eyes. My crochet technique is freestyle, one colour, one stitch – the direction of the stitches highlighting anatomical features. All of the animals I make are life-size."
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Springtime Workings

I love working outside, no matter if I'm in the garden or working on the chicken coop Chili's always looking over my shoulder just waiting with an offer to help. We've been busy With my Aunts old playhouse and a chicken run my son got from a friend we're slowly getting the Girls coop done. They are beginning to get their wing feathers.

Got most of the seeds done that need to be started inside the house. I turned my buffet into a greenhouse. My poor dining room with chickens and a greenhouse, good thing no one wants to come near us since we're still getting over the flu, they can't see my mess. That's the green house on the left. I have 4 grow lights all plugged into a timer so they get the correct amount of light. and since our house can get chilly I put in a radiator to keep the temp. at a constant temperature. This year I'm using 2 liter soda bottles to start the seeds in.
Got the paths done in the garden. I'm cutting seed potatoes tonight and will plant those soon as I get the final tilling done.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Am I The Only Buffoon With 62+ lbs Of Baking Soda?

If I ever have a grease or electrical fire I'm covered, because I really do have 62+ lbs of baking soda. Heck I'm a fireman's dream come true. I can justify this, I really use a lot of baking soda. I really thought I hit pay dirt when I bought the 12lb bag for half price in the clearance isle at Walmart when they put their pool supplies on sale during the winter. Then I was reading my Dollar Stretcher Tips Newsletter and a women wrote in that she always buys her baking soda in 50 lb bags at her farm store. Like a flash I called our farm stores and sure enough one of them said they would order a bag for me. So here I am the proud owned of a heck of a lot of baking soda.

And just to prove that I'm not so crazy, here's a list of 60 uses for baking soda
note: these two bags of baking soda are not food grade. I only use these for the for the hints that are not being ingested into our bodies.
1. To make your own baking powder, stir and sift together 2 parts of Cream of Tartar to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch.
2. Be sure to keep an extra box of baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out.
3. Keep a container of baking soda in your garage as well as in your car to put out a fire. It won't damage anything it touches.
4. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.
5. Clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda. Sprinkle in water, soak and rise the produce.
6. Wash garbage cans with baking soda.
7. Soak and wash diapers with baking soda.
8. Oil and grease - stained clothing washes out better with soda added to the washing water.
9. Clean your fridge and freezer with dry soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. rinse with clear water.
10. Deodorize your fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. Stir and turn over the soda from time to time. Replace every 2 months.
11. Soda absorbs kitty litter odors. Cover the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part soda; then add a layer of 3 parts kitty litter on top.
12. Always add 1/2 cup soda to your washing machine load.
13. Clean combs and brushes in a soda solution.
14. Wash food and drink containers with soda and water.
15. Wash marble-topped furniture with a solution of 3 tablespoons of soda in 1 quart of warm water. Let stand awhile, then rinse.
16. Clean Formica counter tops with baking soda on a damp sponge.
17. Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with soda and water to get rid of stale smells.
18. To remove stubborn stains from marble, Formica or plastic surfaces, scour with a paste of soda and water.
19. Wash glass or stainless steel coffee pots (but not aluminum) in a soda solution ( 3 tbsp. soda to 1 quart water).
20. Run you coffee maker through its cycle with a soda solution. Rinse.
21. Give baby bottles a good cleaning with soda and hot water.
22. Sprinkle soda on barbecue grills, let soak, then rinse off.
23. Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.
24. Polish silverware with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse and dry.
25. For silver pieces without raised patterns or cemented-on handles: place the silver on aluminum foil in an enamel pot. Add boiling water and 4 tbsp. baking soda. Let stand, rinse and dry.
26. Reduce odor build-up in your dishwasher by sprinkling some soda on the bottom.
27. Run your dishwasher through its cycle with soda in it instead of soap to give it a good cleaning.
28. To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad.
29. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day.
30. Rub stainless steel and chrome with a moist cloth and dry baking soda to shine it up. Rinse and dry. On stainless steel, scrub in the direction of the grain.
31. Clean plastic, porcelain and glass with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rinse and dry.
32. Remove that bad smell from ashtrays with soda and water.
33. Sprinkle a bit of dry soda in your ashtrays to prevent smoldering and reduce odor.
34. Clean your bathroom with dry soda on a moist sponge - sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc.
35. Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.
36. Soak your shower curtains in water and soda to clean them.
37. To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with soda, then rinse.
38. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.
39. Sprinkle soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.
40. Add 1/2 cups or more of baking soda to your bath water to soften your skin.
41. Putting 2 tbsp. of baking soda in your baby's bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations.
42. Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.
43. Take a soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.
44. Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.
45. Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.
46. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.
47. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.
48. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.
49. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.
50. Windburns: moisten some baking soda and apply directly.
51. Making Play Clay with baking soda: combine 1 1/4 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.
52. Use soda as an underarm deodorant.
53. If your baby spits up on his shirt after feeding, moisten a cloth, dip it in baking soda and dab at the dribbled shirt. The odor will go away.
54. When scalding a chicken, add 1 tsp. of soda to the boiling water. The feathers will come off easier and flesh will be clean and white.
55. Repel rain from windshield. Put gobs of baking soda on a dampened cloth and wipe windows inside and out.
56. Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.
57. Add to water to remove the "gamy" taste from wild game.
58. Use to sweeten sour dishcloths.
59. Use dry with a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.
60. Use to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from toaster. Dampen cloth and make a mild abrasive with baking soda.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, TV Show and Petition

Jamie has made a new series for the ABC American TV network about food – how families eat, what kids get at school and why, like the UK, the diet of processed food and snacks is causing so many health and obesity problems. The series is set in Huntington, West Virginia. Jamie's challenge is to see if he can get a whole community cooking again. He works with the school lunch ladies and local families to get everyone back in the kitchen and making tasty meals with fresh ingredients – no packets, no cheating. He's started a Food Revolution: to get people all over America to reconnect with their food and change the way they eat.
Don't miss Jamie Oliver on the ABC network:
  • Episode 1 Friday 26th March – 8pm EST
  • Episode 2 Friday 26th March– 9pm EST
  • Episode 3 Friday 2nd April – 9pm EST
  • Episode 4 Friday 9th April – 9 pm EST
  • Episode 5 Friday 16th April – 9 pm EST
  • Season finale Friday 23rd April – 9 pm EST
Message from Jamie

The American Food Revolution needs to start now! If you care about your country and the health of its children please help us make a difference. We need your support to get people back in touch with food and keep cooking skills alive before it's too late. We want to make sure every kid gets good, fresh food at school. It's proven that real food promotes more effective learning. If you want better health for your kids the junk food must go. I need to be able to show The President and industry how many of you out there really care about this issue so please don't wait, sign up today. It will only take 30 seconds.
America's health needs you!
Thank you. Please forward this to your friends, family, classmates, teachers, colleagues and anyone else who you think cares as time is short.

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Get Together in the Dark, 2010 Earth Hour

Earth Hour is here again and time to show our efforts in helping planet Earth save on energy!

On Saturday, March 27, 2010, at 8:30 p.m. local time, I am taking part in Earth Hour—an event led by World Wildlife Fund in which millions of people around the world will unite by turning out their lights for one hour to make a bold statement of concern about our planet and climate change.
Here is a link to the Earth Hour Website
Earth Hour started three years ago in Sydney, Australia and is now the largest event of its kind in the world. Nearly one billion people from 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents participated last year and, with your help, Earth Hour 2010 can be even bigger.
During Earth Hour, international landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower and Great Pyramids have gone dark alongside the city skylines of Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and more. To see it for yourself, check out this video: www.myearthhour. org/earth- hour-video.
But Earth Hour isn't just for national landmarks and big cities—anyone can participate, whether it be individuals like you and me or schools, businesses, organizations, and our state and local governments. I hope you will join me for this amazing event and help send a message that the time for action on climate change is now. To sign up and start spreading the word, visit www.

Please help me spread the word. Let's switch off our lights and send a powerful message: by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make Your Own Checkerboard Buttons

I get a newsletter from knitting Even though I don't knit I find lots of usefull things to use with my crochet. I think this tutorial for homemade Checkerboard Buttons that was in todays newsletter is just darling.

Cut four 1 1/2" (3.8-cm) and six 1⁄2" (1.3-cm) circles out of cardboard. Cut a 6-yard (5.5-m) length of yarn and thread it on a tapestry needle. Beginning at center of wrong side of form, wrap yarn around cardboard circle from top to bottom two times, then again from side to side two times (Step 1).

Turn form over and rotate it 45 degrees so that previous wraps form an X. Working from top to bottom, wrap yarn around form from side to side 10 times for large buttons (Step 2) and 8 times for small buttons, covering the cardboard between diagonal lines of X.

Working right to left, wrap yarn 10 times for large buttons and 8 times for small buttons around form from top to bottom, using needle to weave yarn over upper half of horizontal threads and under remaining threads a total of 5 times for large buttons and 4 times for small buttons, then under top group of threads and over bottom group an equal number of times (Step 3).

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


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A Mailbox for the Garden

Last year I read in a gardening magazine about installing a mailbox in your garden for tool storage. It sounded like a great idea, I have a 10 gallon bucket that I've sewed a pocket apron for and I keep all my garden tools in it. But I can't count how many times last year that I would walk into the garden for say a green pepper and find a dozen things to do that I could of used a hand trowel for but didn't want to walk back into the house to get. OK, so now you know I'm the queen of Lazy :) But having my gloves, nippers, a spade or two, stored in a mailbox right in my garden, now that's my idea of lazy heaven. Well I found a mailbox with the pole at a thrift shop for $5.00. Add some craft paint and my Granddaughter and it's all ready for the garden.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happenings and the Flu

Sorry not a lot of posts lately, We're getting over the flu. The Chicks got here today and every bodies interested in them, even the cats.
My Son got the garden tilled and as soon as I can walk a straight line it's out side I go to the garden.

My Aunt had a playhouse she gave me for the chicken coop, so we'll start on that soon.

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Why we're storing billions of seeds

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Saga of Mice and Chipmunks Continues

OK give me a M16 or a needle and catgut for sutures and I am one brave women but I don't do snakes in my kitchen, Cat and Mouse play in my dining room or Chipmunks in my ceilings. At least the snake in the kitchen part has been about 15 years ago, and I still state that I did not call 911 I called the non emergency number to the City hall and asked for the Animal Control Officer to come and get the snake, I can't help it if he was sick that day and they sent 2 cops instead, Hey at least I drove that brave officer to the drug bust after his partner had left with his police cruiser and he had bravely captured the Cobra black snake in my kitchen and released it into the back field. Hey I would of drove him to St. Louis if he needed to go there, he did get the snake out of my house. Bummer note thou, when your driving an officer of the law to a drug bust in your Volkswagen Rabbit he did inform me that I could not speed. I had to stick to the 25 mile an hour speed limit, what can I say this was a little exciting kinda a Hawaii 5 0 moment :)
But I am digressing, back to the Cat and Mouse play last night in the dining room. Did you know that a mouse will play possum when a cat is batting it around the dining room. Last night I was reading in the living room when in walked my son's cat with a mouse in his mouth. I promptly let him know in a firm voice that I did not deem it necessary for him to share his gift with me. He then politely took it into the connected dining room and began cat and mouse Olympics under my dining room table. Honestly I had to turn the TV on with the volume up a little to drown out any potential sound effects that I was afraid to hear. Finely Puss deposited the dead mouse at the divider line to my living room. As you might remember from my post last fall, I woke my husband up in the middle of the night to get a mouse out of the bathtub. Even thou his is my Hero, I didn't want to wake him up again with another mouse dilemma. Instead I was very smart, as you can see in the picture, I put a mixing bowl upside down over the dead mouse and left him a nice note on top of the bowl stating what was underneath. Come morning I found out that the mouse was in fact not dead and the cats knew this. They slid the bowl all over the living room floor all night but could not get to the mouse so they went to sleep on the dead mouse sign and left the bowl with the very alive mouse in the middle of the floor in front of my husbands chair. Now my husband knows why I always recommend one turn on the light when he walks into a dark room. Less chance of spilled coffee and surprises. But hey, he did end up putting the undead mouse outside so he's my Hero still.
Oh, and a last note, Chipmunks like moth balls, apparently they can play kick ball with them in ceilings. On to another plan, this war is not over, but now at least I won't have a moth problem.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Five Lesser Known Tools Every Gardener Should Have

Nejiri Gama Hoe Found this at the Farmers Almanac Website“The right tool for the right job” is a good quote for anyone who knows what it is to labor at a task with the very wrong tool. This is certainly true for the seasoned gardener with a shed full of assorted hoes, rakes, hand trowels, and spades for every gardening occasion. And there are few things more exciting for a gardener than coming across a tool that just may make cultivating, weeding, or harvesting easier and more enjoyable. While the following five tools may not have a coveted place in your shed just yet, by the time you are through with the following list you may find yourself making room next to some of your old standbys for these lesser known, but must-have, tools.

Easy-Pouring Watering Can

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Plans for the Chicken Coop

When you have been out of the raising chickens lifestyle for about 20 years changes happen. Like a Tornado hitting and taking out the old chicken coop. Darling son and I have been hashing over new coop plans. I've come to the conclusion that he has a lot of his grandpa in him. He doesn't mind spending lots of money for a project, especially if it's his parents money. I on the other hand do not want to end up eating eggs that cost me $33.oo's each :( I think I found my new coop design. Here's a picture of it that was posted at BackYardChickens.Com I love the touch of whimsy, plus the fact that I found 3 of the playhouse's listed on craiglist for $30.00. Yep I think this is going to be my new coop.

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