Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Comments missing?

I have been blogging here for a number of years, and sometimes I wonder if I am just talking to myself.  My Dad mentioned this last weekend that he wasn't able to comment on my posts (he is a loyal reader:))) and then Carrie at http://farmingonfaith.blogspot.com/ mentioned she had the same issues.  She also posted on how to fix the problem!  Thank you Carrie!  Comment away!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade Rabbit Cage

Trying to squeeze in as much as we can on our small farm and do it on the cheap side can sometime be challenging.  Raising angora rabbits for fiber has been the biggest challenge we have faced.  I want to have enough to get fiber to spin and that means having at least 20 or more here most of the time.  My father-in-law created really cool rabbit "tractors" for me and we have 6 of those.  I like those because the rabbits are able to free range on the grass and get fresh air.  But, having 20 of those scattered through our yard (which by the way is about an acre) wouldn't work.
Cages can be expensive so I have tried several different designs in trying to make them ourselves.  This way by far has been the best.  It does take some time, but the cost difference is worth it for me.  I have found a couple different things I want to try also using pallets to make outside cages and pvc pipes for making frames for our indoor cages, but it is too cold to spend too much time creating outside right now so that is a blog post for spring!
Here is a tutorial for making the one I finished this week.


What you need:

Roll of cage wire for bottom this one is 30" which is the size of the cage I made

Cable ties (what a great invention!) a tape measure, wire cutters and grid shelves set, I buy mine in a box at most big box stores.

Measure the bottom wire, adding a couple of inches for making it big enough to slid the bottom under (you will need a purchased bottom also)

Using the cable ties start by attaching the side to the bottom I  "raised" mine to slid the bottom under.

close up of the bottom

Don't forget a door, which I have before;)  keep one side open, I latch  with a metal clip

finished cage after trimming all the ends

Notice I left a few inches above also, which makes it possible to put another cage on top with space for a drop pan

To add another cage, I just need to start over with the bottom wire and create a second cage and attach with the cable ties.
Use the heavier cable ties, and use a lot of them, better for it to be too strong than not enough!





Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday on the Farm

With the sub-zero temperatures here in Michigan this week, I feel like my brain is in hibernation mode!  We have been spending a lot of time inside doing school and working on projects that we can be indoors with.  We continue to have these cold temperatures with very little snow in mid-Michigan. I think right now our total for the whole winter is less than 8 inches!  Every time I look at a weather map there seems to be a "hole" right over our town and everyone else is getting blasted with snow all around.  I admit, I do love a snowing winter, but beyond that we are really lacking in total rain/snowfall and could mean another rough year for crops and gardens.  Even the Great Lakes are starting to show sign of issues, some of them are low by many feet of water.

Two weeks ago today we got an email in the morning that our foster care license had been approved.  A little more than an hour later I received a call to take a 7 week old little boy.  Wow, talk about panic attack. Our license is for 0-5 years old, but we never imagined we would get such a wee little one.  He was here with us for 4 days and then was ordered back home.  As hard as it was to return him, I know this is exactly where God wants us right now.  We truly enjoyed every minute, even the every 3 hour feedings.  We are now patiently waiting for our next adventure.

Blacky Chan

Artist hard at work

scoring the game, I love this app on my phone

Quirkle on of my favorite games

Baby "R" getting a whole lotta lovin!

Beautiful sunrises

Daughters gift from a friend a "cowgirl fringe leather coat"...now she just needs that horse!
 
Bobbins full

Our "baby" yes that is the couch and yes she is spoiled
 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday on the Farm

Getting more serious about farming;)

A project daughter and I am working on...very exciting!

Soap making supplies!!

My studio...um I mean corner.

oldest daughters stuff in corners

younger daughters stuff in corners

My Christmas gift from family, very exciting!

Books I am reading today

Making homemade mayo.  You will never buy store bought again! YUM!

What is happening in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creativity

There is a lot of creating that goes on in our house on a daily basis. I find with homeschooling our kiddos we all are able to dive into our artistic abilities every day, whether it is drawing, music, writing, spinning or knitting everyone has their hands on something. Even being as busy as I am, I still have to be doing something with my hands most days to be happy. That is how God created me. I am really excited because some of these talents may become income opportunities for our kids. Eldest is already teaching piano lessons with his gifts. One of the "words of wisdom" I hope to leave my kids is this, find something you love to do and find a way to make money from it.

Some of the creating I am doing this week is re-doing our island stools. When we remodeled our kitchen a year and a half ago I held off on purchasing any stools. First, I wanted just the right ones and second, I didn't want to have to spend a fortune on them. Most I looked at did not fit with the new space and on average they cost anywhere between $100-$200 dollars... EACH! Our island was built for 5 spots and there was no way I wanted to spend that kind of money. My patience paid off and I was able to find the perfect stools on reduced for $20 each. I was one happy woman. What I didn't take into account was how much they would be used. Sometimes for three meals a day. Our island became exactly what we wanted it to become a "hangout". Some of the stools have started to show this and I decided it was time to recover them.

 I purchased several yards of burlap a couple of weeks ago. Don't ask me what it is about burlap right now, but I just adore the look of it. I started with one stool this morning and ripped off all of the covering (some type of woven bamboo fiber?) and then with my trusty staple gun I recovered the seat. I am only doing one right now, because as much as I love the look of burlap, I am not sure how well it will take the daily wear and tear we put on them (I hope!). Time will tell.


Tools I used
What some of the stools started to look like

The island as the kitchen was getting done
Taking off the old

Before the new
Getting ready to recover

Done!








Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On My Hooks and Needles

I had hoped to attack blogging head on this year and get some traffic coming here to the blog, but the flu season had other plans and we have been battling something for about 2 weeks now.  I am feeling better but not up to par yet.  Here are some fun projects I have been working on the last month though!
Knitted and crocheted mug covers for Christmas gifts

This is pygora fiber from my goat Claire who died last year
"Claire" scarf just for me!!!
Crochet slippers

Youngest daughter is starting to spin
More of daughters work



Crocheted boot cuffs

A prayer shawl for a dear friend struggling through a loss