Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thrifty Tuesday - Mason Jar Soap Dispensers

Anyone who knows me knows that I love mason jars!  Antiques, new, unique, I love them all.  I love using mason jars in unexpected ways.  They hold pencils and pens on my desk, toothbrushes and toothpaste on the bathroom counter, drinks at the dinner table, etc.  I have been eyeing the mason-jar-turned-soap dispensers for a while.  Etsy has premade ones if you can afford them.  Pinterest has plenty of diy versions.  I hadn't got around to making one or buying one yet.  Imagine my surprise while at Walmart the other day.  They had these soap dispensers on the clearance rack.  The jars were plastic and mason jar wannabes.  It was the lid and pump that really caught my eye.  It looked about the right size for a mason jar.  I figured I would buy the soap dispenser for less than $3.50.  Ideally it would fit on a mason jar and I could toss out the plasticy jar.  If not, I would use it up and then toss the whole thing.  I brought it home and it fit!  Perfectly on a regular mouth mason jar.  Yay!  I immediately poured the yummy smelling soap into my glass jar, screwed on the lid and voila, I have an inexpensive mason jar soap dispenser.
  I love finding something I have been wanting on clearance.  It makes my little frugal heart happy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Ya'll

Merry Christmas Ya'll!  I can get away with saying that now that we are back in Texas.  I hope you have a very blessed day regardless of where you are.  We are away from family this year but enjoying our own little family.  Last night we had a low key Christmas Eve.  We ordered pizza, uncorked a bottle of cowboy wine and watched a dvd on the couch.  We lit a fire in the woodstove and just enjoyed the season.  I hope you are able to pause a minute and remember what Christmas is all about.  Its not about whats under the tree (although I do love watching Hubby open his gifts- its so fun to give!).  Its not about who spent more or got more.  We need to remember that we are celebrating Jesus's birthday.  God sent His one and only son and I can't even fathom a sacrifice like that.  I am going to cherish all He has given me and be thankful that I am so blessed.  I hope you know that you are blessed too.  Merry Christmas!





Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thrifty Tuesday- Frugal TV

My first thought when thinking about living in town, was getting to catch up on tv shows.  Living out in the country, we werent able to get cable without paying an arm and a leg.  So within the first week of moving in to our new rental house, I called the cable company and ordered internet and cable.  $140 per month?  ok sure!  Thankfully they couldn't schedule a hook up until the first of the year.  The day after calling the cable company Hubby and I sat down for a chat.  When we really started thinking about the price of cable, neither of us was comfortable about paying that much.  Not when we are clipping coupons and trying to save money.  I immediately called and canceled our order.  Later that afternoon Hubby remembered we had an antennae box (like the modern version of bunny ears for your tv).  He brought it out, hooked it up and guess what?  We get about 10 channels!  Among them are the big networks like ABC, NBC and CBS.  We also get pbs and a bunch of Spanish stations.  Now we might not be able to record our favorite shows, but free tv?  Ill take it!  We decided we would put $140 a month into a special savings account so we can see how much tv would have cost.  I felt like we were being rewarded for canceling cable.  Now if we had been really smart from the get go we would have tried the antennae before calling the cable company. 
  Do you have cable?  Bunny ears?  Any funny stories like this? I would love to hear what other people do for tv.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Meals

I used to know all the good spots to get grocery deals.  I had a routine and I liked it.  Now I am trying to set up a new routine and discover new grocery stores.  In our little town we have a HEB (a grocery store of course).  While its not bad, I am not excited about it.  Yesterday while in the next town over, I stopped at their HEB and was pleasantly surprised.  I went in for some Parmesan cheese so I could make a homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce.  I was only missing the parm cheese, and its a main ingredient.  Wanting to save time and gas, I wanted to get enough food for the week.  We had a pack of 6 chicken breasts for this week that I wanted to base our meals off.  Other than the pasta I had no plans for the rest of the week.  I ended up buying
-3 red onions
-2 avocados
-2 green peppers
-2 jars pizza sauce
-2 big bags of cheese
-2 jars of pickles
-2 packages of pizza mix
-2 jars bread crumbs
-1 jar parm cheese
-1 jar maple syrup
-1 jar salsa
-1 bottle italian dressing
-3 bags of Texas shaped chips
-1 box pancake mix
-2 packages bake at home Ciabatta rolls
all for $45

We cooked up the chicken and shredded it all.  This coming week we will have taco salad with chicken.  Ill make a bbq chicken pizza or two.  We made fettuccine alfredo last night and yum oh yum!  Hubby said the only thing he didn't like was the gritty texture of the Parmesan cheese.  Next time I might try flakes instead of grated but they were way more expensive.  We have plenty left over for lunch and maybe a 3rd meal. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lofty Knitting Goals

I mistakenly thought that in Texas I would have less of a reason to knit.  Once again I was proven wrong.  I went to the local knit group (by local I mean 20 miles away) and to my surprise everyone was wearing short sleeve sweaters.  Short sleeve sweaters!  I am an all or nothing girl, and I thought that since Texas is hot, there is no need for sweaters.  Oh, silly me.  I didn't even consider short sleeves.  Or non-wool sweaters.  One lady was wearing a gorgeous pink silk sweater.  Instead of thinking that I will be knitting less in Texas, I just have to shift my thinking.  I will be knitting differently.  Not so many wool mittens, but instead shawls and cowls.  The first week I got here Austin got an ice storm.  The highs didn't make it above freezing. Too bad all my knitted items were packed with the movers.  I am looking forward to knitting this year.  I still have a huge amount of yarn in my "stash" as knitters call their hoards of yarn.  I picked out some yarn for upcoming projects.  From now until the end of January I will be working on these projects. 
The green yarn and white yarn will be for two different sweaters.  The orange multi colored yarn will be for a hat for Hubby.  The red will be for some lace project.  The yellowish grey will be for socks.  That ought to keep me busy for a while, don't ya think?


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Update on Life

Wow guys!  Its been a while.  I am sure you all thought I quit blogging, with good reason too.  I didn't!  I only just now got my computer set back up and have access to the internet.  In the past month, hubby and I have moved to Texas.  Why? you ask?  Well Hubby is getting out of the military in Feb. He had enough leave saved up that he could be done working mid Dec and on vacation until the end of Feb.  We debated for a long time if we wanted to stay in Maryland, or move elsewhere.  We realized that without the military pay, we wouldn't be able to keep our mortgage even with both of us working.  And if we couldn't stay on the farm, we knew we didn't want to rent an apartment in town.  While we love Maryland, what was keeping us there other than the military, was the freedom to have the farm. Take that away and we didn't want to stay.  It was incredibly hard saying goodbye to all our friends and "adopted" family there.  Moving to Texas allows us to be a short drive to Hubby's family.  I have extended family in Texas and close relatives in Arkansas.  Its also a shorter plane ride to California! 
  Once we decided to move and told the Army, we figured we would have a month before they came to pack.  Since Hubby is getting out, they will move us to our final destination (as long as its not farther than Houston where he enlisted).  Apparently December is not a popular moving month, so the packers were completely open.  They came less than a week after we got our official orders.  For two weeks after the movers came we were still staying in the house with only an air mattress and our clothes.  I don't recommend that as a long term solution.  Since Hubby and I have two cars, we had to drive separately.  I left early so I could spend some time with my family in Arkansas.  Once in Texas, we found the cutest rental (Ill post pictures once all our boxes are unpacked).  The house was built in 1929 and has been lovingly restored.  Swoon!
  So now I am in the midst of unpacking, decorating, cooking (so thankful to have our pots and pans back!) and taking lots of knitting breaks.  I am not sure of the direction this blog will take.  Since we are renting, we can't tear up the yard to plant a big garden.  We will still be living much the same as before (just with no farm animals for now).  The kitchen is so tiny in this new house that there is no room for a microwave.  So we will be learning to live without one.  One of the biggest money eaters in our budget is going out to eat.  I have barely any willpower and am the first to suggest grabbing a pizza.  This year one of my goals is to cook from scratch at least 5 nights a week.  Ill write a post on my reasoning's for that later.  All that is to say that the blog will be featuring more cooking, frugal living, knitting, living simply and whatever else might come up.  For the time being you wont be seeing chickens or goats although chickens are allowed in our town (just need to work on our landlord...).  I appreciate any one who is still reading.  Thank you for understanding that life happens and not always (or most times) how we plan it!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The post where Jessica learns a lesson

Apparently I needed to learn a hard lesson today.  You see, hubby and I have been working our butts off to save up some money.  We paid off the car, and paid off the credit card and for once had an emergency fund in place.  Maybe I was getting too confident?  Maybe I was counting my chicks before they hatched?  In any case, I was taken down a notch or two today by a stupid mistake.  I was driving downtown Frederick, which has extremely narrow lanes.  There happened to be a parked (nobody in it thankfully) towtruck that was waaay out of the parking spot.
(SEE? I told you he was waaay over the line)

 I misjudged how far out he was when I went to make a right hand turn.  All the sudden I felt my truck stop (thankfully also that I was only going maybe 5mph) as it was stuck on something.  My first thought was "What the *&^%?"  I tried backing up and heard (and felt) a loud grinding noise.  Once free, I pulled up in the loading zone on the corner and got out of my truck.  My hands were shaking and I was trying to hold back tears!  I went to the passenger side of the truck and almost did cry.  My tire had a huge gash in it and the wheel well (maybe thats what it's called?  you know the part above the wheel that kinda sticks out?  yeah that) was completely dented and blue.  I went to look at the tow truck (mind you he just had a little scratch since its mostly metal and super heavy duty).  My second thought was to call Hubby because he would know what to do.  Until now I had never hit anything.  Ever.  I waited for the tow truck driver to come from wherever he was.  Thankfully (thankfulness is definitely a theme here!) he was totally understanding and knew what to do.  A nice police woman came by but said there was nothing to do except for us to exchange info, which we had already done.  Hubby came to my rescue and the tow truck driver left.  We were hopeful that we would be able to put the spare tire on but there was no getting the broken tire off.  So our insurance sent a tow truck and off we went to the shop.  Now my truck is in the shop for who knows how long and Hubby and I will have to figure out a way to share a car (we dont have rental coverage).  Oh, and we have a $1000 deductible that we will have to pay in order to get the truck back from the shop when its done.
(did I mention it was freezing out?  and while waiting for the insurance tow he went and got us starbucks to warm up? He is awesome!)
  So what did I learn from all this?  Lesson one- the tow truck will always win so try to give it a large berth and go around.  Lesson two-  as soon as you have an emergency fund, something will happen.  That said, Hubby and I were just commenting on how non stressful this financial setback is.  A month ago we had no emergency fund (and the credit card was maxed out).  If this would have happened then, I have NO idea how we would have paid for it.  No idea whatsoever.  Maybe call my parents and beg to borrow money.  Somehow God knew that and spared me from hitting any tow trucks then.  Today, even though a thousand freaking dollars is a lot of money, we will be okay.  We can take the money to the shop, pay them what we owe and get right back to refunding the emergency fund.  This is a setback not a catastrophe.  I can't explain how good it feels to know that we are not going to be crippled by this.  I am also confident that something else will happen, and I just hope when it does we have our emergency fund in place.  So thank you God for good timing.  Thank you tow truck driver for understanding and not yelling at me.  Thank you Hubby for coming to my rescue and understanding that I needed you there.  And finally thank you Dave Ramsey for helping us have an emergency fund at all.  I am truly blessed!
(Bye truck... )

Monday, September 16, 2013

Deer Beware

Its hunting season again and Hubby couldn't be more thrilled.  On the weekends he is up at 5 and sitting in his tree stand.  The season opened last weekend and he has seen a couple deer but hasn't had the chance to shoot them.  I understand that people are on the fence about hunting.  But out here there are so many deer.  Daily I will pass at least one dead on the side of the road.  Deer can and do damage tons of crops.  Lots of farmers bring in hunters to help take care of the deer overpopulation.  Hubby hunts for the meat.  Its his way of providing for our family.   He doesn't take joy in killing but he does it because some animal will die for our food.  It might as well be a happy deer.  Since our budget is tight, it helps tremendously if Hubby gets a deer or two.  I personally have no desire to go hunting (although hunting is just as popular with the girls as the guys out here) but I am completely supportive of him doing it.  I can't understand why anyone would want to get up so early to go sit in a tree.  I guess I could if someone told me I would get free yarn out of the deal... Knowing me I would probably fall asleep in the tree because it was dark, cold and way too early...



I do think Hubby is a pretty cute hunter...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chiken Gangs

Farm animals are incredibly entertaining and funny.  I swear I can watch them for hours and not get bored.  A lot of people think that poultry are not very smart.  I beg to differ.  Last week I was milking the goats in the barn.  The geese share the pen with the goats and during milking time they come running in hopes of the goats spilling their feed.  This particular day a turkey had flown out of the chicken coop and meandered into the barn.  The barn is fenced in half.  The back half is for the goats/geese and has access to their outdoor pen.  The front half is storage and the milking station.  This turkey had the same hopes as the geese, but had an advantage as he was not penned in.  Right as he went to grab a bite of spilled food the goose craned its neck and gave him a warning nip. As if the goose was saying "thats my food!".  The turkey, obviously not getting the message creeped up again towards the goats feed and again got a nip from the goose.  Apparently the turkey finally got the message and ran out of the barn.  Only to return a couple minutes later.  With the chicken gang.  See the turkey ran to the coop, told all the roosters about the mean old goose in the goat pen and brought the two biggest roosters and a hen back with him.  As if he was saying "goose, you may be twice my size but I have the biggest and baddest roosters on my side.  Don't mess with me".  I am not sure who won the battle in the end as the roosters got distracted once they were in the barn and in turn the turkey did too.  I think they found some spilled cat food far away from the goose's reach.  Ill leave you to ponder and decide for yourself if poultry really are dumb...  For generations people have been talking about how turkeys are so dumb that they will drown in a rainstorm from looking up at the rain.  I highly doubt the validity of the story. I think turkeys are just curious.  And as long as they have the roosters on their side they will be just fine...

Saving Money on Animal Feed

The biggest expense in raising livestock is the feed.  This is true whether you are raising chickens, horses, goats, pigs or any other livestock.  We have been looking into options to reduce our feed bill.  And no, feeding the animals less is not an option...haha.  We have been trying to let the chickens out of their yard to free range when we are home (if we aren't home they wander over to the neighbor who doesnt share our love of chickens- so we are trying to be respectful).  They are so much happier when they are hunting for bugs.  We keep the feeders full in the coop so they still have access to their feed but they would much rather play in the hay in the barn or dig for bugs in the yard.

   We also let the goats (girls only, sorry boys) out to eat the brush if we are out in the yard.  The goats are super easy to catch if we need to put them away.  Goat herds always have a self appointed herd queen (the queen can change if they decide to challenge each other).  They will always be near the queen.  Our queen is Chai.  She ousted Latte for the position when we brought her home.  As long as we have Chai, Latte and Mocha will follow.  Chai is super easy to walk and its fun to see Latte and Mocha running to catch up with her.  By allowing them to eat the brush, they eat less hay (don't worry we still give them hay too but just less).  They always get grain at milking.  With milking goats you have to be careful that they get enough since they are putting so much energy into producing milk.  They love going out to explore and eat the brush. 

  The pigs already eat (drink?) the goats milk and sometimes hardboiled eggs.  They can't only have milk, so we started looking into other options.  I contacted a local restaurant to see if they would give me their food scraps.  Actually I contacted a bunch of restaurants and this one agreed, thankfully.  I believe technically restaurants and grocery stores are not supposed to give away their scraps or leftovers due to liability reasons and all that.  So I won't be saying where we are getting the scraps.  This restaurant does a lot of down home cooking.  So the scraps I get are the apple and potato peelings, cabbage, etc.  Not the leftovers from customers plates or anything like that.  I go to pick up the scraps in 5 gallon buckets and return the previous bucket (rinsed out and clean).  Today I got a call that they had 2 buckets!  That's 10 gallons of food I get for the pigs for free.  And 10 gallons of waste that is kept out of the landfills.  A win all around!  Family Z has also started saving their scraps for me too.  5 gallons will last the pigs a couple days.  Combined with the goats milk they are going to be some happy hogs!


  If you have animals, do you try to cut feed costs?  If so, what do you do? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meet the Bacon(s)


After having a huge surplus of milk and wondering what to do with it, we started asking around what other people do.  It seems most people either 1. give it away or 2. raise hogs.  We opted for number 2.  Since we are already paying for the goat feed and hay, it would be a waste of money to just give the milk away.  We opted to get two American Guinea Hogs.  We got a female and a castrated male (don't want to have to worry about additional piglets).
   We spent Labor Day weekend getting their electric fence set up.  Until now they had been in their pen, but not with electric fencing.  This will not allow them to dig under the fence when they are rooting.  We made them a house out of straw bales and some free corrugated roofing we got from where else but craigslist.

  These hogs will eat just about anything.  To raise them healthy and frugally we are trying to feed them as much veggie scraps (I am even soliciting scraps from Family Z), cooked eggs (raw eggs are bad for hogs) and goats milk.  We did buy a bag of hog feed just in case one day we are running low on natural food.
  We have yet to name them... any thoughts?  I think it should be a food related name like Bacon or Backstrap... or something random like Petunia...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baking Bread with Kids

Last week I discovered a bread recipe that claimed to be super easy- Amish White Bread.  I happened to have all the ingredients and set out to make a loaf.  I took all the ingredients to work with me.  While the baby took his morning nap, and the oldest was away at school, the three year old and I got our hands dirty.  J loves to "help".  Sometimes I will fill the sink up with soapy water and give him some plastic dishes to "wash".  I love watching him as he feels so accomplished when he is finished helping.  High fives are dished out all around.  Needless to say, he is an awesome bread making helper.  I would measure the ingredients and he would dump them in the bowl.  Yes, flour ends up on the counter and the floor too but it is worth the extra clean up.  J loved kneading the bread with me.  He helped oil the bread pans too.  This is not something we could have done if the baby wasn't sleeping.  I loved watching the dough rise and eventually turn into bread. We immediately sliced the loaf up and tasted it.  Yum!  The recipe made two loaves so I took one home for Hubby and I and left one for Family Z to enjoy.  I will definitely be repeating this recipe as it was easy and delicious. 
  This morning I sliced off a piece and had toast with jam that my mom and grandma made.  Love!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Welcome September

How did it get to be September already?  I know its not a surprise really.  September follows August every year.  I just can't believe that August is done and September is here.  I love beginnings.  The beginning of the week, the beginning of a book, and especially the beginning of a new month.  September is a good month in my book.  It is leading up to October (one of my favorite months).  September brings the promise of Fall.
  So in the spirit of it being a new month and all, Hubby and I decided to start a challenge.  For the whole month we are giving up the tv.  To you it might not seem like a big move considering how we get zero channels.  zilch.  not a one.  That said, we do watch a lot of movies and tv series from the library.  Hubby loves playing his video games so this is a huge thing for him.  I want to take this month and see what happens when we are not zoned out watching something on the tv.
  How did the first day go you might ask?  Better than expected!  I took a nice hot bath and started a new book (Start, by Jon Acuff).  I was worried that Hubby would be resentful so imagine my surprise when I got out of the tub and found him diligently working.  My grandpa had given Hubby a 1943 bayonet on one of our visits home.  Hubby is determined to restore it and had everything sprawled out on the table.  He didn't complain at all.
  Its amazing how when tv is not an option you can find other things to do.  We have a million and one unread books in the house.  I rarely start a new one because I don't have the "time".  Hubby usually watches tv to relax, but this evening found an alternative source of relaxation.  I will keep you updated on how our challenge is going.  But for now, goodbye tv!
  PS I forgot to mention that since I removed the tv, the living room also got a revamp.  The couch no longer needs to face the tv stand.  The room feels so much larger and more relaxing already!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Im Seeing Red

Mostly in our garden we grow weeds.  I am an incredibly good weed grower.  It just comes naturally.  There happen to be some plants that are coexisting with the weeds- we have tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers to name a few.  In one garden bed last year we added in a bunch of rabbit poop to compost. This year we planted a tomato plant and pumpkin plant in it.  We lovingly refer to the tomato plant as our tomato on crack.  I am not sure if this plant just got lucky, or if the poop really helped but this sucker is huge!  For the longest time we had huge green tomatoes and now they are ripening to red.  I am freezing what we dont eat fresh to be used in sauce later when I have enough. 
 This one tomato weight 1 pound 1 ounce!
One day's garden haul.  Eggs, Goat milk, tomatoes and peppers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pickled Eggs

Has anyone ever tried pickled eggs?  I for one have not.  Maybe because I grew up in California and not the south, pickled food was not a big staple in our diet.  That said, it is one of the most basic ways of preserving food so I am trying new experiments.  Last week we had a surplus of eggs (before we knew we were getting pigs). I turned to the internet (man, what would I do without the internet?) to get ideas on how to use the eggs.  I love the idea that pickled eggs will still be there in the winter when the hens slow down, or stop laying all together.  Not knowing if I like pickled eggs I only made two quarts.  I am thinking I will slice some to top off a salad?  If you like pickled eggs, how do you eat them? At least they look pretty in the jars for now!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Apple Cider Press

We found this apple cider press on craigslist and snatched it up!  It needed a mesh bag and everywhere I looked online was sold out.  I ended up buying a mesh laundry bag from Target and it worked perfectly.  And it was only $3.  So hubby and I bought some 2nd grade apples from the orchard nearby to test out the press.

We ended up getting carried away and pressed 1.5 bushels of apples.  That turned into 11 quarts of canned apple juice. 

Now that we know the press works we will try and make cider this fall when there is more of a variety of apples available.  I am not sure if our trees will produce this year but if so we will definitely be pressing or canning them!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bunnies

During my no-blogging-because-i-chopped-off-my-finger (not really) break, we did manage to bring home 3 bunnies.  Two are American Blue and one is a Silver Fox New Zealand cross.  We will be breeding them come November.  I am trying to play with them on a daily basis so that they will be used to being handled and have a better temperament.   J (the 3 year old I nanny) really wants to play with them but I want to ensure they will be friendly with him before he is allowed to do so. 
 Beans (the cat) is checking out the new rabbit in the carrier
 This is our Silver Fox cross doe
Our American blue buns.  The boy is on the right and the girl on the top left

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sister Sister

One of my beautiful sisters is visiting this weekend.  She is on the East Coast for a business trip and I am so glad she was able to fit time in to visit us.  She will be here for a few days so I will not be blogging until she leaves.  I am sure you can understand. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Its a Duck Egg

We got our first duck egg this week.  Unlike the chickens who lay in the nest boxes, the duck just lays where ever she feels like it on the ground.  Every day is like an Easter egg hunt trying to find where she laid an egg.  Her eggs are typically smaller than the jumbo chicken eggs.  Yesterday however, hubby found the mother egg.  This sucker is huge!  My suspicions were confirmed when I cracked it open.  Its a double yoke!  Double yokes are a not so unusual occurrence in both duck and chicken eggs.  This is the first that we have personally found.
Can you see how HUGE the double yoke egg is compared to the first?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Farm Additions

Meet Buddie the Buck

On Sunday I drove down to a farm to pick up a new LaMancha buck (Mocha is a LaMancha and Latte is 50% LaMancha).  I ended up coming home with the buck as well as two piglets!  We have been wanting to get pigs, American Guinea Hogs to be precise, to help with our surplus of milk.  In doing research a lot of people have recommended growing pigs on milk (and feed). You can also feed pig eggs as long as they are cooked.  We are now up to 5-6 eggs a day.  Whatever eggs we don't sell we will boil and give to the pigs.  I am hoping to raise them extremely frugally since we are already paying for chicken and goat feed. They are already gobbling up the milk from this mornings milking!
They need names...One castrated boy and one girl

Monday, August 19, 2013

I have a good excuse...

Sorry I have been MIA for so long.  I had a small accident while slicing squash which involved also slicing my finger and taking a trip to the ER.  I have learned now to be extremely careful in the kitchen...The finger is healing quite well and I am back to being super busy. 
Thanks for sticking with me even though I haven't been on much.  Stay tuned this week to see our new additions and kitchen creations.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dyed Yellow Curtains

Now that Hubby and I are lightening up the living room, we decided that our original curtains were too dark for the space.  We bought inexpensive curtains from Ikea (can't beat $10 for the pair!) and dyed them ourselves.  We figured if we hated it, we didn't have a huge investment put into the curtains.  I bought a bottle of rit dye from Joanns.  I filled a plastic tub with warm water, and the yellow dye.  I then dyed the curtains by immersing the bottom half of the curtain into the dye bath.  Every 15 minutes I would raise a little more out of the dye bath.  When all was said and done, this procedure gave the curtains an ombre look.  I love how they turned out!
The ends are in the bucket of dye.
Drying on the clothesline
 See how dark these are?  And this is during daylight!

And these are so light even when its dark outside!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yellow Doors

I thought I would show you some of the yellow doors around here. 
 The door to the knitting room
 The interior of the front door (the exterior is the same color but in special exterior paint)
Looking down at the front door

The pantry door in the kitchen (you might remember that Hubby and I built this door completely from scratch!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Very Yellow TV Stand

Until recently our living room was a bit underwhelming.  We had a sofa set that we bought to fit in our previous place, that didn't really match our house style.  Our tv was set on top of an ikea bookshelf and looked very cluttered.  I was originally looking for a large dresser on craigslist, but found this cutie for $60.  I wasn't sure if it would stay wood or be painted so for a while it just sat there the same as when we bought it.  I finally decided the dresser was meant to be yellow (and this is what started the whole entire yellow escapade).  So off to Home Depot I went and returned with a gallon of yellow paint.  Now a gallon is a heck of a lot of paint when you are just painting one dresser... A quart would have given me leftovers!  Once I painted the dresser, since I had extra paint and might as well use it, I painted the front door, the knitting room door, the pantry door, stool legs, dog food chairs and I still have a ton left!   But back to the dresser- I sanded it using Hubby's mouse sander, then rubbed candle wax where I wanted to distress it (the candle wax helps the paint NOT to stick in certain places).  I gave it quite a few coats of yellow, waited for it to dry and distressed it.  I covered the whole dresser in a wood coating to help it shine.  I love having a bright and fun entertainment stand now.  All our accessories are tucked away in the drawers and cabinet.  It looks so much cleaner now!  I am still trying to figure out what else I can paint yellow...

The original piece



In between coats


The stand before... pretty cluttered looking