Friday, April 30, 2010

Odds and Ends

On the creative front, I am machine quilting a quilt that I would like to finish in time for the Houston deadline. The baby quilt for my niece is almost ready to quilt - photos soon. My elbow also got twisted to do some applique for my guild's opportunity quilt and two blocks for the president's quilt. Lots to do.

Here are a few extra photos taken at the farm. Can you guess what this is? It's a small bee hive, made of bamboo. It was a gift to my daughter and her husband and is hanging on their barn. No bees yet. It's about 10" high.

There are a group of windmills atop a nearby hill. They supply a lot of the area's energy needs.

After we left, the nursery got painted and the new crib got put together. Name of the paint? Green Shimmer. Or is it Lime Shimmer?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

baby stuff

When we came to visit the farm, I arrived bearing gifts. Most of them were made by me. Here is the baby quilt - tada! I put eggs on it because they are a symbol of new life, plus my daughter and her husband said they would be getting chicks for eventual egg-laying. And they're here, as you can see in my previous post! I embroidered a few chicks and a chicken on it. It was fun to do, and gender neutral because the baby is still being coy.

Here's a detail of the embroidery.

Here's a peek at the back. It's actually vintage fabric, given to me by my friend Annie. She found it in a thrift shop, and since my daughter is totally into recycling, it's perfect!

I also made a diaper bag and filled it with things I had either made or embellished. The diaper bag is in the back. I just loved embroidering on the onesies and little matching caps! The dachsund is appropriate because my daughter has one, named Ginger. The cat was inspired by a calico who lives in the barn across the street from my daughter's farm. She gave her the nickname Toots, because the cat seems to have a lot of gas. ;-) This design was stenciled and then embroidered.

In this photo, there is a rolled up portable changing pad, a baby bath towel, and a onesie with cap that I dyed and then stenciled. It was a fun challenge thinking up designs that fit for either a boy or a girl. The diaper bag, changing pad and towel (plus burp cloths and wash cloths which you don't see) were all sewn according to instructions from Lotta Jansdotter's baby sewing book. I made a few changes, like ties instead of velcro, but it's a great book.

While we were at the farmhouse, I helped my daughter get the nursery ready for painting. The men moved the furniture out, and we spackled, sanded, taped edges, and applied a shellac/primer. What a busy day! Too bad I forgot to take a "before" photo of the old wallpaper. The next day, my daughter picked out a yummy pale green paint. I imagine she's painting today, because it's been raining.

Here are some of the seedlings Jack planted, mostly heirloom tomatoes seen here. They will go into the ground after threat of frost has past. They're sitting on the counter of the mud room; you can see the old water pump in back. It actually still works, although they've made it automatic, so all you have to do is turn a small handle in back. They have delicious water from their own artesian well, and of course they can get their water out of regular taps elsewhere in the house, too!

the chicks are here!

Twenty chicks arrived at the farm during our visit. They are so cute and fun to watch. I didn't know that chicks can be other colors besides yellow! There are four varieties: Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orphingtons (doesn't that sound like the name of a 50's movie star?), Silver Turandots and Dominicks. According to photos I've seen, they will grow up to be beautiful chickens.

All twenty chicks came in this small box. They were shipped at one day's old and arrived the next day.

Here they are lined up at their handy-dandy feeder.
They drink water out of a hanging water bottle dripper thingy for rabbits. There's also a hanging light to keep them warm.

They will all lay eggs in beautiful shades of brown.

There are a few really old apple trees around the farm. (from Johnny Appleseed?) This one has a very big hole in the trunk. My daughter and her husband hope they will still bear fruit. They have already planted many newer fruit trees - cherries, pears, and I forget what else.

Here is their vegetable garden. Can't see much yet! While we were there, the asparagus crowns arrived (same day as the chicks), and Jack has already planted them.

We saw daffodils everywhere we went, and there's a lovely bed of them by the farmhouse. They have tulips, too, and there will be peonies in June. I'm jealous!

Here is Martine pushing a wheelbarrow full of firewood down from the woods. Jack has been cutting down dead trees and chopping them up. You can see their house and one barn below.

This is an outdoor furnace they use to heat their house and their water. Martine's adding more firewood to the fire. They keep the firewood in the second barn, which seems more like a large shed to me. The second barn was originally used to cure hops; the hops kiln is still in there.

Here Jack is working on a pump. I think it's for the pond? It's funny because it's made by Jacuzzi. ;-)

This is the rear view of the pond. There are dried up cat tails around the sides of it, which will be removed. There are frogs in and around the pond which "sing." I think there are also little fishies. We'll have to check it out this summer.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

visit to Upstate NY

Greetings from Upstate NY! We've just spent several days visiting our daughter and her husband in North Brookfield. It's a little south of Utica, not far from Syracuse and Binghamton. We had such a good time. Now we're staying a night in Cold Spring, and I have a few minutes to download some photos into my blog. This is the back of their barn. They're thinking of new names for their farm - any ideas?

This is a view of the farmhouse from the back. The place was built in 1810, so it's 200 years old! The original owners grew hops for many years until there was a blight. Now they're planting fruit trees and many kinds of berries, plus many vegetables including asparagus and tomatoes. For part of the year cattle graze in their pasture. They plan on raising chickens for eggs - more on that later.

This is the ancient doorbell on the front door. Have you ever seen such a thing? You twist it to make it ring.

This is my beautiful daughter, and there's a good view of the back area of their farm. Right behind her is a pond, with  frogs that sing at night. Behind that is the pasture, and the woods are in back.

You might be able to see that she is 7 months pregnant.

We went hiking in the woods behind the pasture. It's beautiful and peaceful up there! We saw deer tracks. Later in the trip we also saw wild turkeys and woodchucks from a distance, but I didn't get a good photo of them.

There are many shale stones in the woods, often with fossils on them. Here's a good example.

I'll post more photos tomorrow! I have a lot more to share. Now to take a quick walk around Cold Spring.