Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Jul 27, 2011

Sewing Cabinet Re-Do and "Finds"

Re-Do-Sewing Cabinet- All done!
I wound up doing the "creame antique" satin color, with the chalkboard paint in the center. Added a knob and wheels (free!), which we found had been taken off, go figure! A little shoutout to Dave, my hubby, for all his help!

All set and ready to sew!

I have found so much cool stuff over the summer (I have more time to go and look), I wanted to share! Most of mine were from thrift stores, or a local thrift store warehouse. I don't care for them as it takes WAY too long to find something, BUT on occasion I do- like this burlap bag full of beans! I thought I could make the bag into a pillow. Will see if the beans are any good! $6.00, because it was sold by weight.

My foley food mill, $3.00 and french bistro pitcher, 1 qt. size, $1.50 (half price). I always keep water on the dining table...
Breadbasket $1.50, just dusty and touched up with "old english"

Bread slicer, was missing the end, we cut some scrap plexiglass, works great! Since I'm making my own bread now, especially handy!

Foley 5 cup sifter, $4.00 vintage store, works!

Pocketwatch clock from the local Habitat Re-Store, $1.50, broken clock part, swapped from an old one I didn't want anymore. Cute! I saw something very close in the Pottery Barn catalog yesterday, was much smaller and over $60.00, wow! It's about 14" across...

Jul 24, 2011

Great Video! "Courage" by Orianthi w/Lacey

Take all my vicious words
And turn them into something good
Take all my preconceptions
And let the truth be understood
Take all my prized possessions
Leave only what I need
Take all my pieces of doubt
And let me be what's underneath

Courage is when you're afraid,
But you keep on moving anyway
Courage is when you're in pain,
But you keep on living anyway

We all have excuses why
Living in fear something in us dies
Like a bird with broken wings
It's not how high he flies,
But the song he sings

Courage is when you're afraid,
But you keep on moving anyway
Courage is when you're in pain,
But you keep on living anyway

It's not how many times you've been
knocked down
It's how many times you get back up
Courage is when you've lost your way,
But you find your strength anyway

Courage is when you're afraid
Courage is when it all seems grey
Courage is when you make a change,
And you keep on living anyway
You keep on moving anyway
You keep on giving anyway
You keep on loving anyway

Jul 21, 2011

New Cold Cereal Recipe

I saw this on a website I'm exploring. I'll make a batch, as I'm trying to get off store bought cold cereals, and I'm not into making granola. I'll let you know what I think!!!

Easy Friendly Cold Cereal/Instant Oatmeal Recipe

4 cups of steel cut oats
1 quart of yogurt
1 cup of dried fruit (I use raisins)
1 cup of unsweetened coconut slivers
1 cup of seeds or nuts (I use raw sunflower seeds)
Mix the oats and yogurt in a large bowl, cover, and let sit overnight. In the morning, mix in the other ingredients. Keep stored in your refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 weeks.
TO SERVE COLD: Scoop into bowl, drizzle with raw honey, pour in milk. Enjoy!
TO SERVE HOT: Mix equal amounts of cereal and water in a bowl.
Microwave on High for 3-6 minutes, depending on your microwave and desired consistency. Or, cook on a stove until boiling or desired consistency is reached. Add a pat of butter, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup. Stir and enjoy!

The Foodrenegade Website

Jul 19, 2011

What Cute Ideas!

Go here- Cute ideas!
And  go here- Another great website with fun, creative, low cost goodies to make

Fun Chalkboard Paint Ideas & Recipe

I will try some "chalkboard" paint on my sewing cabinet project soon. I found this video today with some REALLY cute ideas and a cheap way to make your own paint!

Babies and Projects

The "babies" are getting bigger every day! Ellie has figured out she can fly, and perch on, the top of the big feeder in the coop (where Rosie can't bug her). She fell asleep on my shoulder this afternoon, poor kid was tired! I put them both in the coop for "naptime". They're using the perch more-

Here's Ellie hanging out on my shoulder, she's a snuggler! I look like a hunchback, as I had to level her out!

Now they're starting to rest/nap in the doorway of the coop-

New Project- transformation of old sewing cabinet I bought, has tons of storage! "Before" shot-

I'll be painting to jazz it up and get rid of the old, dark finish. Then I can start sewing!!!

Jul 15, 2011

Great Article- Link

Why Use Buttermilk???

I have started using buttermilk more the last few years. Great for soaking chicken in before frying, as a salad dressing base, etc. My Grandma used to drink a cold glass, with salt & pepper in the summer! I’d love to hear how to soak the flour!!!

Busy Summer

It's been busy the last couple of weeks- gardening, deep cleaning house and garage, playing with bread recipes, and learning the various rising magic of "dough enhancer", "vital gluten", etc. The last batch came out pretty well! The 2nd version I made 2 days ago was better, I made it 2/3 W.W....

Garden- With the reasonably mild weather (no steady 90's or 100's yet) the garden is growing fast! Spreading last of the manure today. Starting to pick raspberries, the tomatoes are LOADED! Can't wait for them to ripen. We'll have another huge crop of blackberries too this year. Biggest challenge is the huge maple tree and all the shade. Hoping next spring to get an arborist in and do some damaged branch pruning, and open up the area over the garden. The tree is huge, and we've done what we can, safely. We need some sun!!!  I finally gave up on growing lemon cukes (my fave!) on the ground, not much harvest, so I put them in a hanging basket. They're growing great! We had an old garden "Shepard's hook", worked perfect! 

Food- For breakfast- home grown eggs and homemade bread! Now if I only had an orange tree... Ready to start canning soon!

Baby Chicks- The 2 "babies"- Ellie (black) and Buffy (buff) have transitioned out into the coop full time. Rosie, our hen, has been a bit twitchy about it, but is finally calming down. The babies are pretty funny, and entertaining! Ellie (named for Ellie in "Contact") seems to find worms fast, then Buffy (named for the "vampire slayer", & she's a Buff Orpington) who's MUCH bigger, chases her around to take them. More later!                                                                                                   


Jul 12, 2011

Bread and Biscuit Success!

I made this bread last week, glad I  used a thermometer (looking for 190 degrees internal temp), as I forgot to cover w/foil. I usually cover w/foil as it works better in my electric oven. Great taste, will let rise a little longer next time. Good basic recipe I can play with. My husband said best sandwich bread so far!

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

1/4 cup honey or sugar (1/8 if you want less sweet taste)
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg white
3 1/2 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm milk or 3/4 cup warm water and 1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
3 – 3 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp dough enhancer
 Will post my pics here shortly! Basic recipe w/pics from here-

Homemade Biscuit Recipe

The best biscuits I ever had, hands down!!! I think the buttermilk really does it!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup cold milk or cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Cut butter into the dry mixture until is resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cold milk with a fork until dough forms a ball. 

Rub olive oil into your hands, and then knead the dough 5-6 times on a floured surface, or pastry cloth.

Roll dough into about a 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a 3 inch biscuit cutter.  Place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes at 450°F. or until golden brown.
recipe from-

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