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...

Apr 27, 2014

Fun Art, Sneak Peek Bathroom Remodel!, Prepping At The Grocery Outlet, New Mower

Great art from Shop Dazey Chic 

Fun Art-
I really liked the variety of the art above, cute and really nice themes...

From Hobby Lobby, 1/2 price

Sneak Peek Bathroom Remodel!!!
Here's a sneak peek of a couple of spots in our new bathroom. The flooring will FINALLY go in this coming Thursday! Woo hoo. We're also having our 2 bedroom carpets re-stretched, all for much less than the original deal thru the big box store! Dave also pulled all the bathroom oak threshold yesterday, sanded and sealed it. The he did the rest of them. When we installed all of them then we forgot to seal them, so they got kinda dirty. Now they all look new! A quick, easy fix. It will look good with the new flooring.

Little bathroom shelf

I had Dave cut down an old bathroom drawer, it's now my potting soil box on my garden work bench! It will get a fresh coat of green paint to match the bench.

Prepping At The Grocery Outlet-
I'm very lucky to have a Grocery Outlet nearby. I found the juices above for .99 cents a box. They're pretty tasty, not too sweet. For .25 cents per can, in 4 packs, it's a nice things to stock up on. All juice, and sparkling water. I try to buy really diversified foods and drinks to food storage. It's never to late to find something new. Always keeping an eye open for new things is a good idea.

New Mower-
We finally pretty much wore out our old push mower, so we bought an electric one yesterday, with a cord. Someday I'd love to get a solar powered one. For now this works, oh yeah baby! We always have a lot of debris in our yard, mostly from wind storms coming thru. Manual mowers just don't pick it all up. The electric one did, and mulched it all into the bag. We could then recycle it into the veggie garden. The hens loved it! While we're reducing our turf we still need to mow. No fumes from gas, and just plug in. If the zombies come no worries, we'll have bigger things to fry :)

Old food production poster, era 1930's

Apr 23, 2014

California's Drought= Food Shortage

Folsom Lake, California

California's Drought= Food Shortage-
I was listening to this on NPR radio today- California's Drought Ripples Through Businesses & Schools  I don't know of the mainstream news is playing this down or I'm just not seeing this on the national news? Anyway, this is going to really affect the amount of food grown in the area so heavily relied on by many Americans. Crops are shipped all over the country traditionally. If you read up on this and see how bad this is getting, you might want to stock up on some things, or grow your own. When farmers are letting land go fallow for lack of water, then things will get pretty bad, pretty fast. Stop and think about this-

Nearly HALF this country's fruits, nuts and vegetables come from California

That should be a sobering thought. If you much more self sufficient and grow most of your own food, it probably won't matter. If not, you'd better start planning...

Apr 20, 2014

Low Cost Chair Re-Do, Recycled Coop Upgrade, Easy Global Veggie Wraps, My 400th Post Giveaway Coming Soon!!!

Low Cost Chair Re-Do-
I finished both chairs today, with my new slipcovers, Sure Fit Grain Sack Stripe Slip Cover  For a total of about $90.00 I did both chairs. I had thought about making my own but was afraid I'd make a mess of it. I started with these items- 2 slipcovers (sale), 2 bags of batting and 2 pre-cut cushions (all 1/2 price) from JoAnn's Fabrics. I only wound up needing 1 bag of batting!

Chair has batting in the top cushion, which unzipped easily. All filled out again, no more sagging on top.

Green cushion under chair cushion. I rotated the cushion backwards since it won't show. Stiffer that way.

I spent quite a while ironing both, as they arrived very wrinkled in the package. Draped and tied, pretty easy! Anya approved :)

I adjusted the back after this, and made it a bit longer. I like the color, and they're washable! This will work until we can get some new chairs farther down the line.

Recycled Coop Upgrade-
We cleaned the coop yesterday, and since we have some shower sheet rock leftover, and insulation, Dave and I decided to insulate the coop roof. I thought it would keep it cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. It's not pretty, but it works. I helped hold the batting in place while Dave stapled it, then he screwed in the screws for the sheet rock. It's water proof so it'll work.

The "before", no insulation.

Before shot, dirty litter

Coop emptied of the deep litter, we took a bit more out after this shot
                                     Fresh pine shavings, and D.E.! 

Litter added to the garden area

Talk about a skinny egg!!!

Mine look something like this.. photos next time I make them 

Easy Global Veggie Wraps-
I copied this from years ago when Macheesmo Mouse was in business in Portland, Oregon. They're back in business there now! They had the first Mexican, healthy fast food place there, back in the 80's! When feeding 5 I would often make these easy "global wraps" for our family. Just cook brown rice, and while that's cooking grate a bunch of veggies- carrot, purple and green cabbage, red onion, set aside, toss with a little red wine vinegar, dried herbs like oregano, thyme. Then I'd add kalamata olives, then put that in BIG heated tortillas, top with crumbled feta and top with the hot rice, and roll them up. Quick, easy and healthy. My kids all loved them! Sorry no photos! I'll take some next time I make them...

My 400th Post Giveaway Coming!!!
I can't believe I'm almost to 400 posts! Where did the time go??? Well, I'll give away something to celebrate. Keep checking back...

                                           HAPPY EASTER!!!

Apr 16, 2014

Fowl Play For Chickens

Fowl Play For Chickens-
I thought I'd seen it all, until I saw this ad in Grit magazine-

The store is here- Fowl Play Products  I may build one of these, great for the winter!!!

Apr 15, 2014

The Long, Strange Saga of Our New Bathroom Flooring...

The Long, Strange Saga of Our Flooring...
Well, I never liked the flooring we ordered from Home Depot much anyway. We ordered some flooring one month ago today. The first batch arrived totally mangled, so they re-ordered. THEN we got a phone call a couple of days ago. The new batch was in a truck in Utah that fell off a bridge! NOW HD is totally out of stock with our flooring. So.... we went to a flooring place here in town, AND FOUND THE EXACT FLOORING I HAD WANTED, AND IT WAS CHEAPER!!! It's the Tarkett "Fresh Start in Capetown" above. A nice, light gray. HD agreed to let us cancel our order, which is nice. Considering... So hopefully we'll have our new flooring in the next week or so. Unless something else goes wrong :)

Apr 12, 2014

Sneak Peek- Bathroom! Low Cost Chair Re-Dos

New shower walls installed

Sneak Peek- Bathroom Mostly Installed, Oh My..
Well, we're getting there. The shower walls were harder than we thought to install. The wall is bowed and a bit uneven. Common in an older house. But leak free, pretty and durable. Works for me. We opted for these as the glass window above was an odd size. I wish we'd been able to do fiberglass, but I actually like a real tub. I'll be caulking tomorrow (wedding, so bad timing). The toilet and sink/cabinet are temporarily installed for the pre-wedding dress up. I love the new Ikea cabinet/sink and medicine cabinet. Dave found the hardware on the cabinet to be really heavy duty, and a really nice finish. I found the cabinet finish to be much better quality than the stuff you usually get at the home improvement stores, sold as "thermo foil" over MDF. This is more like a really heavy paint. Nice! The china sink/counter is heavy and gorgeous, with a built in back splash on all 3 sides. When the flooring guy comes next week, we'll just remove the toilet and cabinet for that, then re-install. Here's a sneak peak (minus the flooring)-

New knobs soon, tons of storage!

Sconces installed too

Floor's ready for vinyl next week 

Low Cost Chair Re-Dos-
I have 2 pretty worn out overstuffed living room chairs. New ones aren't in the budget right now. I was going to try and make slip covers, but don't think I could do it without tearing all my hair out. The there's the cost of fabric. So... I bought the above listed chair covers. I'm going to add cut thick foam pieces under the cushions, and batting to the backs. Luckily they zip open at the base. Then add the new covers, and all done! The covers were $35.00 each and I like the folk art/homesteady fabric. The color is called linen. It should go well with the rest of the living room. And they're washable! Should last for a few years til we can buy new ones...

Sad girl ready for a makeover!

Apr 10, 2014

eBay Find- Enameled Swedish Coffee Pot, Bathroom Is Painted! The New Renter

eBay Find- Vintage Enameled Swedish Coffee Pot-
While I was looking for a little something Scandinavian for the bathroom on eBay I found this little lady. She's petite, only about 5" high, but I fell in love! I'm not sure if it's a "tourist" gift from Sweden, but I hey, I love it. It's enameled and says Coffee is the best of all drinks on earth translated to English from Swedish. I paid $15.00. What's amazing is that it comes with everything-

It looks like it's been used very little

The basket is perfect, and I've never seen one before with the basket

She will live in my kitchen, and may become my tea pot!!!

Bathroom Is Painted! 
Other than a little touch up area we're fixing right now, the bathroom is painted! I used Glidden's latex semi-gloss enamel in Behr's color "Irish Mist". I taped up paint sample for a few days to see it in different light. It's basically very white with a little gray thrown in. Since all the fixtures are white I wanted a little contrast, but not too dark. If you look on the right edge of the shower wall, there's red, then white, then the Irish Mist. It's very clean and calming. While I'm not a gray paint fan (trendy right now) I HATE beige, so I used this. I just wanted something off white. I think with some splashes of emerald green accessories it will pop!

The New Renter- 
I noticed today 2 new renters outside my kitchen window. I grabbed my telephoto and shot at an angle thru the window. Nest building and very busy! I need to paint my bird houses this summer, or build some new ones when they're empty. Cute little guys-

What's down there?

I gotta scratch!!!

Bathroom Progress- It's Painting Time! Medicine Cabinet Lesson Learned

Bathroom Progress- It's Painting Time!
It's finally painting time! Dave has been working every night after work sanding, and texturing. When you move things around, and run into various things you have to re-create a clean surface so to speak. He did a great job on the texturing. He bought some spray texture to fill in the patched areas. A pal at work gave him a great tip- warm the can up in hot water, or in a heating vent FIRST. The spray comes out much better, it worked! I will wash the old paint areas today with TSP to clean them, then paint and a little minor spackling. Once the painting is done we'll get the modular tiled shower walls installed. We had to find a work-around due to our glass block window (love it). No grout, and easy care. Then it will be the flooring, then sink cabinet, toilet, etc. Then I can decorate, the fun part! Good thing we have a 1/2 bath available and the shower worked! We'll be donating our old sink, medicine cabinet, lighting, etc. to the Habitat store, since they're newer and in good shape.

Ikea cabinet

Medicine Cabinet Lesson Learned-
Well, ya know how you run into things in the middle of a project? Yeah, we did too. We realized how TALL our new medicine cabinet is. We forgot to take that into account, instead of just the width. DUH. Anyway, our old light fixture won't fit, so Dave bought some sconces (we'd thought about that anyway) to install. He had to install new power to that area last night, but got it done. The hole near the top of the ceiling will be unused and capped. Sometimes you have to be flexible!

Apr 6, 2014

Bathroom Progress, Thrifting Score! Finnish Artist Sanna Annukka

Happy Spring!!!

Bathroom Progress, Week 2-
Dave has been working really hard all week, after work and this weekend! He's patched the sheet rock, mudded, fill holes, prepped the floor, and coated the shower walls. It's got a waterproof paint on the durock (?) that makes it really waterproof, a suggestion by the plumber. Tub's great! Our vinyl got damaged in transit so it's another 5 days out. Going well, all in all. Shower walls will go up next I think, then texture the patches, then painting. I'm going to see if I can get Thurs./Friday off work for that. My daughter is getting married next weekend (sigh, not real happy) so it's bad timing. Oh well! Dave just mowed for the first time yesterday, it's getting green! Supposed to be 70 in 2 days! WOW. Weeds are everywhere, so we'll do what we can til the bathroom is done. Hopefully in the next 10 days, or less. Flooring guy will do that, then we'll do the cabinets.

Rained last night

Thrifting Score!
Yesterday I hot a thrift store outside my usual area. Maybe because it was closer to the higher end neighborhoods I did better. I have to go back there again! I was looking for some bathroom decor, with a Scandinavian twist- think natural and whitewashed. I found these-

A Swedish heart basket, $3.00! I couldn't believe it! 

I had looked on eBay for these, and they were much higher. The tag will go and I may whitewash it, or just give it a good cleaning, and new raffia. WOW!!! Love it.

Basket and a pot $3.00, plant will go in the pot, soaps in the basket

Basket, I threw away the blue fabric liner, for towels, etc.

Anya had to test drive it, with the liner
Frames, I'll paint the dark one

I also found 2 brand new items- a cardigan, and blouse. The whole bath was $24.00, a pretty good score!

Print by Finnish artist/illustrator Sanna Annukka

Finnish Artist Sanna Annukka-
I just discovered her and I love her folk-type art, and wooden items. I'd love to buy a "soul bird", but they're all pretty spendy. I absolutely love this green bird!

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