Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transformation

Back in 2011, I had gotten a rocking chair at an antique store . . . it was missing its seat, but I made a temporary one that would work for the time being. I wasn't for sure if I wanted to refinish the chair or not, so I just continued to use it as it was. Then for my birthday this past year, my parents gave me a leather seat to replace the missing one . . . at that time, though, I was still vacillating . . . should I refinish? Or not? 

Well, spring and summer were too busy to work on refinishing projects so I put off making a decision. :) Then fall arrived, and I finally decided to strip off the old finish! It started out looking like this . . .


And after being stripped and sanded it looked like this . . .


A close-up of some of the designs

Sanding prior to doing the next step (photo courtesy of Leah . . . she was out photographing a pair of baby boots for her Etsy store and snapped this one of me, too. :)

And now after being stained, it looks like this . . .


Though when it is inside out of the sunlight it looks darker and not quite as red.



I am so happy with how it is looking! Last night I fixed part of the seat that needed to be repaired, and now all that is left is to put the finish on, put in the new leather seat, and then . . . use it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Biscuits

With an excess of milk in our fridge (again! :) and no time to make cheese on Saturday, Leah and I opted for making biscuits and sausage gravy for dinner, and used our all time favorite biscuit recipe. It's one of the few things that we make with all-purpose flour, but it makes the best biscuits. Light, flacky, buttery, and oh, so good! And I thought you all might like the recipe as well . . . enjoy!



Good Plain Biscuits

--2 cups all-purpose flour
--1 Tbsp. baking powder
--1/4 tsp. salt
--6 Tbsp. butter
--2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the milk to the flour mixture; mix lightly with a fork until the mixture clings together and forms a ball of soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently, turning 5 or 6 times.

With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. With a floured 2-inch cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Place the biscuits 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Pat the dough scraps together, reroll, and cut out more biscuits.

Bake the biscuits 10 to 12 minutes or until they are light brown. Yields around 10 biscuits. (As we generally need more biscuits than this, I always make two batches [the biscuits don't seem to turn out as well if the recipe is doubled.] They are so good with gravy or simply with honey or jelly on them!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Soap Making

The first batch of soap that Ashley and I had made has now cured long enough so we've begun using it! I am so pleased with how it came out! It has a lovely scent and a nice lather, too.
 
 

Since making the first batch, I have made soap a couple more times and have used goat's milk in those ones. It is so fun making soap, and I have many ideas of different types I would like to try.



So far I have made  . . .

~ Lavender ~
(Pictured above)

~ Tea Tree and Peppermint Wake Up Bar ~
(This is a facial bar, and we're looking forward to trying it once it finishes curing . . . only about two more weeks to go.)



. . . and the newest one . . .

~ Lavender and Orange ~


I really like the scent of this one! Plus the orange essential oil adds a pretty yellow color to the soap. The bars were just cut this morning and are curing in our room which makes it smell rather good in there. :) Next to try is cinnamon and oatmeal!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Celebrating Ryan's Birthday

The coming of the end of October always means a birthday celebration for our family, and this time, we had been planning for months what we were going to give Ryan! They had invited us over for the day so we loaded up the back of the truck with the 'surprise' and headed to their place for what was a special, enjoyable and fun day. I'll let the photos tell some of the story :) . . . .

This little munchkin kept us all entertained until she went down for her nap

 In the middle of showing us all of the sign language that she knows . . . she even has a sign for please and thank you! And as of right now, is speaking some words, too. This is such a fun age!

Going out to see the birthday gift which was still in the back of our truck. After getting down the steps, Ryan closed his eyes, and Ashley led him the rest of the way.

 And there it was! He was so surprised!

Rabbits! Two bred does that were due to kindle in a couple of weeks. Plus cages, feeders, waterers, nestboxes and the supplies to build a stand/shelter for them.

One of Adelyn's pictures. :) She was watching me take photos and walked over with such an inquisitive look on her face. I bent down and helped her push the button down to take a photo and she kept wanting to do it over and over! And then of course, to see the photo she had just taken. :)


Ryan and Leah working on setting up the rabbit cage hanging system . . . Dad had already put so much work into getting things ready such as cutting and fitting the PVC, making the plates to go inside of them, and cutting the metal pipe and boring holes in them, so that on Ryan's actual birthday, all that needed to be done was to put it all together!

Dad putting wires into the already drilled holes in the metal pipe

Meanwhile, Mom, Ashley and I went inside . . . it was time for Adelyn to go down for her nap and Gracen was ready to get up. She enjoyed storytime with her Grandma!

Then came time to put the rabbits in their new home!

Sweet little Gracen in her Mama's arms watching the proceedings

Almost done! It still needs some greenboard put on the back and sides for protection from wind and rain.

Ryan, Ashley and Gracen

 Gracen and her Daddy :)

We went for a walk around their place and all took turns holding Gracen . . . here she is enjoying being in Aunt Leah's arms while watching the sheep.


Gracen and I

Ryan and Ashley

And to end the day . . . storytime with Grandpa. :)