Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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Aug 12, 2015

It's Apple Harvest Time!!! Upcycled Flour Sifter Topiary, Organizing Craft Supplies

It's Apple Harvest Time!!!
We have a wonderful organic Pippin apple tree. Last spring, 2014, we had it professionally pruned, and had zero apples. Not a surprise. This year we have a BUMPER crop!

Branches bending low with fruit

It's also an early harvest, with the mild wet spring/early summer. Good for me as I go back to work next week! It's been really hot the last few days, and really windy. Apples are on the ground but I can fix that :) Dave will be picking the next few evenings on the orchard ladder, a gift from his previous boss. He was going to throw it away!!! Anyway, since we don't spray the apples have worms holes, but I cut around those and the chickens get the rest. They love the fruit! This week I'll be....

Canning apple slices in a light syrup, faster than sauce! Good for winter dishes like pork chops, cobblers.
Making chunky apple sauce, plain and spiced (think apple pie filling), great with anything!
Making apple butter, make it from the apple sauce in a crock pot. Great on toast, and you name it.
Making my first Apple Cider Vinegar, fermented with good probiotics, yummy! One or 2 gallons. Recipe here- Talesofakitchen
LOTS of apple cobblers!!!

Sifter "before"
Upcycled Flour Sifter Topiary-
I sold some vintage kitchen things on eBay recently and my vintage flour sifter was left over. What to do? I had been thinking about making a living room topiary and then had a "Eureka" moment! Why not a flour sifter topiary? I had some left over dry floral foam, moss and a hot glue gun. I bought a round foam sphere, more moss and one wood dowel, all about $12.00. I added some rocks in the bottom of the sifter for stability, the foam next, then topped with moss. I hot glued on the moss to the ball, let cool.

My funky vintage pan is now my hot glue tray :)

I pressed the ball onto the dowel and glued some twigs from the yard on top of the dowel.

Now it's done! I like it :)

"Before" Picture Crafts, misc. decorative things 

Organizing Craft Supplies- 
I tackled all my various craft supply things, eBay/Craigslist/donation items this summer, since they were scattered around the house. Some people have entire crafting rooms, and put $1,000s of dollars into that. Not me. I gathered everything into my spare bedroom, where the extra storage and sewing machine is. "Before" picture above, but that wasn't all of it :) When I was re-doing my kitchen I pulled out my rolling organizer, fits perfect in the closet, all filled.

Craft paints, brushes, silk flowers, raffia, misc. stuff

Fabrics, patterns, beading supplies organized too

Everything else was either sold, donated or gifted to my kids. It's great to be able to find everything easily, have more room and pull out the cart. It was easy and didn't cost anything!


Kristina said...

Have you ever canned with homemade apple cider vinegar? I read that the acidity levels can be so tricky with homemade. Those apples look great. I was going to ask if you spray, but you answered that. We had worms this year, but no apples.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

I wouldn't can with it just other stuff....

Mama Pea said...

Just want you to know I have serious apple envy. Our (full-sized) apples (the very few of them we have on our seven trees this year) are only the size of crab apples right now. No chance even those few will grow big make it to maturity before Jack Frost wipes them out. Sigh.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

Bummer Mama! We've NEVER had this big of crop since we planted the tree!!!

Susan said...

Those apples are beautiful! I am the recipient of my neighbor's bumper crop - just found out they have crab apple trees, too! That topiary is very clever and what a nice feeling, getting everything organized. You are an inspiration!

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

Gee thanks Susan! Crab apples are fun too :)

Kathleen RosePrairieQuilts said...

I hope you have better luck with you vinegar than I did. It made vinegar just fine but I had a bad issue with gnats even thou I covered like it said. Ill be curious what you'll you and how well that works. I want to try again.
Like your planter. Very clever of you.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

I've covered it tightly with coffee filters. We'll see if it works!

Jennifer Prior said...

Oh, how I wish we could grow apples here! Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop (


Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...


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