Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This week has been one full of last minute sewing gifts and whipping up yummy treats in the kitchen.

Today Devin is finally off from work and so we plan to sit around and watch movies. That's all. Of course we will have to milk the cow and do those pesky farm chores first. I say pesky because it is all of a sudden winter here in Georgia. It's a very chilly 26 degrees out this morning.

If you are up north reading this you can stop laughing now:-) 26 is very cold for a southern girl:-)

I told myself that I would try a recipe or two from my Pinterest page. I pin a ton of stuff and never attempt to make them. Well, yesterday I made Santa Mix.

Mine doesn't look as yummy as the original blogger , but it's pretty good and the little boys love those hats! Here is the recipe!


I bought a new quilt pattern a couple of weeks ago because it was on sale and I really loved the snowman quilt. Actually it's 12 quilts...small ones you can hang up.

Talk about a great stash buster! My plan is to make one each month. I started with January and I have set out my fabrics for February. Here is the Happy Snowman for January.

He's hanging up and making the kitchen a litter brighter. I can't wait to start the next one. It's nice to have a short and quick project. I have several quilts that I am a few years into making and at times I am not sure they will ever get finished. That's the life of a quilter though. Too many fabrics and not enough time.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Eat lots of goodies and enjoy the season and your families!
I couldn't send out a card to everyone, so here is our family picture.....complete with Yoda. He brought some fabulous light sabers for us to use. We had  a great time.
Merry Christmas from My Barefoot Farm


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Denial or Distraction

Today I had a ton of things to do. Tomorrow the weather  is turning more winter like with a cold rain moving in, and so we needed to get the coops padded down with extra straw and all of the outside chores completed.
I made candy boards for the bees and needed to get those placed on hives as well.
So I woke up feeling rather overwhelmed and did what I thought would be the best thing to do.

I spent the morning making candles.

I figure I was either in denial of all that I needed to accomplish or I was simply too distracted with more fun projects.
I bought some soy wax flakes and decided to melt them to make these simply wonderful jar candles. I plan to store a small book of matches under the lids and have a nice set of emergency candles ready to go in the event of a power outage. These will burn about 40 hours each.
Since I was in full candle making mode I pulled out my bees wax too and made even more candles.


I make candy boards for the hives each year and get them on the hives by Dec. 22nd.  Today I am happy to say all of the boards are in place and my hives all looked great...I even got a couple of stings through my bee suit:-)

Candy boards are simply a piece of wood similar to the hive inner cover that I cover with a sugar syrup that is boiled to the hard crack stage. I place them candy side down on the hives so the bees have a little extra food to see them through Jan and Feb.

I usually spend about 6 hours in the kitchen boiling syrup to make the boards but this year I tried a no cook method.
I mixed together granulated sugar, honey (I had some goldenrod honey here that came from my father in law. You can use water if you do not have honey.) and some Honey Bee Healthy stimulant. I mixed it until it looked like wet sand.

I placed a pollen patty in the center of the board and then placed the sugar on there. I pressed it down so that it was more compact.

Once the board was covered I placed it in the oven at 200 degrees and let it bake for about 20 minutes. My goal was to just liquefy it a tiny bit. Once it was done, I carefully set it out to cool.

I stacked the boards with some wood shims between them and allowed them to harden. It took about 24 hours and they were ready to be placed on hives.
This will be much needed food for the bees. The winter has been mild so far and so the bees are more active and eating lots more of their food reserves.


I did get all of my chores completed so I will spend tomorrow wrapping up a few errands then I plan to be home, home, home. The cold weather and the holidays really should be spent watching movies and relaxing. I plan to do as much of both as I am able.

What are your plans this week? Are you ready for Christmas or are you a last minute planner?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tree, Pigs and Crafts?

The tree went up a couple of nights ago, and you know what that means?
It means that I have less than two weeks to craft, sew, and relax to enjoy the season.

I remember a time, many years ago, when we did not have enough ornaments to cover the tree. Now we have too many!

Of course a tree with a toddler is always fun, right? You get to pick up ornaments off the floor all day and redecorate the tree all day too. Fletcher found himself a branch to call his own and has about 10 shiny balls hanging there.. Thank goodness they now make the shiny ball ornaments from plastic.


I wanted to update on the pigerators. They have done a remarkable job tilling the garden area.
They are still quite active at digging the ground but in the mornings they can be found stretched out and soaking up the warm sun. They have doubled their size since we got them in late October.


Kid craft day.
Every year near Christmas we have friends over to play, relax and make an ornament.
This year we had some friends over that we just don't get to hang out with often enough.
We popped popcorn for a snack and had a great time crafting a tissue paper ornament. This craft can be completed with some help by even your smaller ones.

This craft was inspired by Wee Folk Art. They posted a beautiful winter scene craft using tissue paper.

Seriously, this was a fabulous craft and everyone enjoyed it so much.

I cut up tissue paper (some I saved from the last birthday here) into squares and placed the pieces in a bowl for easy access.
Essentially the kids glued the paper pieces to a piece of cardstock using a simple glue stick.

After the card was covered with tissue paper, the kids drew a design on the back, such as a tree shape, and then cut the design out.

Add a hole at top and a piece of ribbon and you have a hand made ornament your kids can hang on the tree. Don't forget to write their name and the year on back!

These would also make great Valentines and all sorts of ideas can be thought up with this simple idea.

Here's to a busy week . We are celebrating Devin's birthday this weekend and then school will be set to the side until after the new year! I think some baking and crafting will be in the forecast next week.

Kid Craft Day was a success and it is a tradition that we always love. What fun traditions have you added to your school year?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Yoda

Usually I am that person who can't quite get it together enough to send out Christmas cards. I try.

I like to send out New Year cards complete with a family picture. A goofy picture usually.

I want to capture the real us. We are not the dress up and stand in front of a perfectly decorated tree kind of family. Our tree is decorated only on the top half and we just do not dress up. We don't buy Christmas pajamas or fancy dresses. Heck, we don't even have a single decoration up yet.

This year my big brother gave us a really cool family gift. He gave us a life sized Yoda.

Yeah it's really, really cool. Thanks, David!
Anyway, we decided that (because we are nerds awesome) we would make our family pictures with Yoda....from here on out.
A new family tradition was born this afternoon. Now, we have about 50 pictures to comb through and Quinn is going to tinker with them a bit on photoshop. I will post our official family photo once we have it completed.


Arwen update!

The girl doggie is doing really well. Last week I took her to the vet because she just wasn't quite herself. She was running a fever and needed a new antibiotic. I am happy to say she is doing great now and finishing up her meds.

Sunday we had beautiful and warm weather so I took her outside for a long walk. Here she is chewing on a black walnut. You can see how great her back looks.
The only issue I have now is that she wants outside constantly to roam and I am too apprehensive to let her out alone. I don't trust her or whatever it was that injured her.


I checked on my bee hives over the weekend and darn it two have died. One was actually weak to start with so I wasn't shocked.

The other hives looked great and the bees were bringing in pollen. I have no clue where they are getting the pollen but the weather has been so nice that my grass is greening up again.


My new plan for the new year is to learn to spin wool. I have a friend who spins and she graciously offered to teach me. I am very excited and started reading a book about spinning.

Do any of you guys spin wool or own sheep? I'd love any advice or suggestions!
Shoot me an email!

I hope you all have a great week!!!!!
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