charley harper sewing

i am not a native ohioan.  but, i have lived here for about 20 years now! time flies. but, i digress.  after living here for that long, it is amazing how much i do NOT know about this state... and one of them was the artwork of charley harper (read about him here.)  that is until a week ago when fabric based on his artwork arrive in our shop.  i wasn't sure if i would like it or not based on pictures... but, it is lovely.  and fun!

ok, that bear just looks great with the charley harper pillow, right?

i spent the day yesterday designing a pillow covering with the bank swallow blue fabric.  i think it turned out wonderful!  i am going to work on some additional ones today also using the bank swallow fall with has beautiful red, yellow, and grays.  i used a linen background with a simple off-white/black polka-dot.  the back is envelope style using a blue crossweave fabric.  i can't wait to start on the next one!  you can see the whole line of fabrics on the birch website.

my daughter & her husband's guest room :-)

my daughter and her husband arrived last night at 2am (after driving 9 hours from south carolina!) for the holidays... i added the new pillow to their bed.  loving it!

i hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving, hanukkah, and start to the christmas season!  what a wonderful time of the year!  (our farm is covered in snow already... i am stressing because it sure feels like we should be opening christmas presents and sitting by the fire... and my presents are not even near ready! yikes!)

happy wednesday!

~ julie


back into the swing of things

after a long hiatus from my blogging, i am back!  a new format and simpler design will be following soon.  i hope all my peeps out there will continue to follow along with my adventures on 'the farm' and what creative things i am up to.  as thanksgiving is right around the corner & christmas following close behind... it is time to get busy planning, decorating, and making! seriously, i need to get busy!

here is one of the pillows i made two years ago...
i am feeling the need to make more this year as gifts! 

i have quite a few interesting facts to share with you about what has been going on around here... so, make sure to check back on monday!  

welcome back! and...

happy thursday!

~ julie


in the meantime...

i had hoped to have pictures of our bees posted by now... but they are all on my husband's iphone which he rarely leaves laying around for me to swipe them off of, so, i will try to get those on here soon.  they are busy finding the first blooms of the season though!  i am anxiously awaiting our honey this fall. 

and... in the meantime...
front of the newest handstitched quilt.  so bright and cheery!
here is my newest quilt just finished and put into my etsy shop.  i am telling you, i am soooo in love with these kantha style quilts.  i have 2 more that i am working on now, along with another quilt i started back in september (the move in the fall threw me off on completing this one).  hoping to have it done by the weekend for a friend who is getting married saturday!  wish me luck!

anyway, lots of hand quilting with lovely perle cotton and fabric from MoMo ("oh, deer" collection).

aren't these deer fun? 
spent the morning out mowing the back on our 'new' riding lawn mower.  it is fun to ride around mowing... i am sure that will wear off by the end of the summer though. *smile*

my sweet son is behind there... on my newly mowed grass.

happy monday!

~ julie


garden planning

one reason for moving out to the country and getting a larger piece of property was to have a bigger garden.  we have (over) planned our garden this year with lots of lovely vegetables and fruits!  all winter we talked about what we wanted to plant & grow in our new space. 

beans, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, brussel sprouts, blueberries, raspberries, beets, and so on and so on...

things are finally falling into place now that it has been sunny and warm for 2 whole days.  our yard and field is starting to dry out allowing us to begin the transferring and planting process.  thank goodness! (who else is sick of the rain??)

we began by starting seedlings indoors in order to bring them out once the weather was warmer.  here is a small tutorial on how i made some 'green' starter containers that can move right into the garden.

first, tear some newspaper into pieces about 10 inches x 15 inches.

now fold the in half along the long side so it is about 5 inches wide.

use a glass (or other container) to use as your form.
lay the container sideways on your paper strip
with with the paper about 1 inch
off the bottom of the container. 
then roll it up on the outside of the container.

once it is rolled up hold the end tight & put a small piece of tape to hold it.

now it should look like this...

turn the container upside down so that the extra paper is up.

fold the extra paper over in sections (whatever works for you).

then use another small piece of tape to secure the bottom.

now just pull the newpaper off the container and, voila, ready to go
seed starters.
 this worked great and i really enjoy making them.  however, i found these seed starter (below) which were just too great to pass up.  plus, i am hoping they can be re-used. 

this last week, a friend of ours who lives down the road brought his farm equipment vehicle thingy... maybe i should learn the names of these pieces of farm equipment.  anyway... he drove up and did us a huge favor by plowing our new garden!  

the beginnings of the new veggie growing garden!

almost complete.  the dirt is looking good.
AND today, we went out and bought more for the 'farm.'   we now have an apple tree, a plum tree, a cherry tree, 2 pear trees, 13 blueberry bushes, 5 raspberry bushes, 12 strawberry plants!  plus the snap peas, lettuce, and basil we started indoors.  this makes me happy in my heart.

now to just get it all in the ground!  this farming is a lot of work.  the kind of work that makes you feel really satisfied at the end of each day.

happy thursday!

~ julie


farming update, etc...

the girls enjoying more room and fresh air in their new abode!

i have missed updating my blog, but somehow day to day life and chores seem to overtake my time.  sometimes i let them... sometimes they overpower me.  either way, we are still loving life in the country.  on our little 'farm.'  we like to call it that even though we are in a subdivision with large lots.  it feels country with empty lots all around us, an old barn on one side, an average age barn on the other lot, and a pond behind us. 

so, this week, i will post updates to what has been going on in our little part of the world.

today,  i will give a follow up on our chickens (ruby, amelia, henrietta, emma, & olive oyl).  they are doing great and have now moved out of our basement into their finished coop!  thank goodness. shoo-wee.  our basement was starting to turn into a mini farm all by itself.  (since we moved in, we have had the following in our basement... 5 chickens, 20k bees, 2 pear trees, starter seedlings, and other misc stuff!)

anyway, here is the progress of the coop over the last couple months.  you can see how the ground turns from frozen tundra to green spring grass.  let me just say, building in the winter is not easy!  my fingers don't last long in freezing temps while hammering and such. nope. thank goodness my husband can withstand the cold much better than me or our girls (the hens) would probably STILL be in our basement!

here is the beginning... frame work and putting in hardware cloth (tough wire screen)
at the bottom to keep out wild animals who might like to make a meal of our chickens!
looking better... roof on, hardware cloth on some parts, coop taking shape.
homemade windows by my husband!  he did a fabulous job on the whole coop & run!
my hardworking guy after more updates!  we used reclaimed wood from the
old barn next door.  the door here was inside the barn and worked perfectly!
here is a look inside the coop.
the three areas divided are the nesting boxes where, hopefully, they will lay their eggs.
the other side inside the coop has a sliding door we can open/close from the outside
with a pulley system. 
and, ta-da!  the finished coop & run!  the chickens seem pretty happy to be there!

and on a different note, just thought i would throw this in...

cooper.  crazy-eyed, sweet cooper.  he likes the farm.

more on the bees, garden, etc in the next few days!

hope you are having a great start to spring. it has been fun to see where flowers come up in our new place... you know when you move to a new place it takes a year to really understand the land & what it has living on it.  it is an adventure.

happy monday!

~ julie


kantha quilting

i discovered a fabulous quilt while surfing on etsy one day... it was not a patchworked quilt, but a simple quilt with one fabric on the back and a different fabric on the front.  i fell in love.  i needed to make one of these!  soooo... for christmas i decided to make my daughter one.

a modern twist on a kantha quilt...

i really liked the fun colors of the fabrics i picked out.  she loves orange, so that needed to be a prominent color in the quilt... i used fabrics from the 'oh, deer' collection by momo. man, do i love this fabric collection!  (i have 2 other fabrics from this collection sitting on my table now, waiting to be made into the next kantha style quilt!) 

the bright colors just make me smile!

it did take me longer than i had planned. (doesn't everything?? always??)  she got a half done quilt for christmas.  i did however complete it in january and now she has it to snuggle with at her home.

as i was glancing at a book in the  fabric shop where i am now working part-time (sew to speak), i discovered that this type of quilt is called a kantha quilt and was orginally made in bangladesh and used light colored solid fabric with single or multiple colored thread and/or on used saris.  it was exciting to learn more about this technique and the different designs where made through the hand-stitched quilting. if you are interested, you can find many online sold through fair trade practices.

the front of anna's kantha style quilt.

my quilt is a modern version of the kantha style quilt which is beginning to be found more in 'the west'.  i truly adore the look and feel of this new (to me) technique!  find lots more info on kantha quilts here and here.

the back of anna's kantha style quilt

have you ever done this type of quilting?  did you find it worth the time invested?  have you bought an original one from bangledesh or india?  please, leave a comment below about your thoughts about these quilts.

have a great week with whatever projects you might be working on!

happy monday!

~ julie 

willow wondering when we will
go out and play...


chicks & a puppy!

wow... seems like it was not too long ago when i was posting about moving in to our new home... but, in reality it was 3 MONTHS ago.  and i can't believe it has been that long. 

it has been busy around our house.  painting, updating, thanksgiving, our son graduated & lived with us for a little over a month, christmas, a new puppy, chicks, a special quilt, pillows, and other projects... so much excitement! 

let's start with the cute animals... (more updates of the other events in future posts)

first are the chicks... they are about 1 week old in this video.  they are now 4+ weeks, so new pictures will be included in future posts. we are in the process of building their coop.  they are supposed to be put outside in their new abode at 8 weeks... so, we have to get our act together and get it built.  we did set the footers monday before the temperature dropped to 12*F!  more building will have to wait until it warms up a little more.  (let's hope that is sooner than later, too.  or these birds will be taking over the basement!)

willow is 8 months old now, so she is not so little.  she is as sweet as can be!  we... (ok, so my husband would say this was all my doings, but he agreed with it all! i love that man!)... decided that our dog needed a friend now that we moved out away from the suburbs.  and when i looked at the dog shelter pictures... this one just looked so cute!  why not add some more chaos to our lives, right?  at least it is cute chaos.

willow, our new puppy, is on the left...
cooper, our 'old' dog, is on the right
and just some photos of around our house.  some of these are actually of lots beside our house... but while no one else is living on them, we will just act as if they are ours. *smile*

a little collage of pictures around 'the farm' on a very lovely morning.

happy wednesday!  (and it is nice to be back!)

~ julie