Sunday, January 26, 2014

Another beaded butterfly

I started another beaded butterfly. When I first got this bead book, it said to use Japanese beads, that they were the best as far as quality and uniformity. I thought this was just a gimmick to get you to buy more expensive beads. So the wife and I went Joann Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby and I bought some beads, I couldn't find the correct colors so I just winged it.
Boy was I wrong, sure Joann's had the beads 50% off, but they are not uniform in size, you might get a tiny bead next to a large bead, or you might get one where the center hole is not all the way through, or the bead maybe lop sided, you get the picture.
So I got on line and ordered the Japanese beads in the right colors. And you know they were not that much more than the before sale price at the craft store.
They came in the mail the other day, I dumped a few out and right away I could tell, these are a lot better product. Now I restarted my butterfly, and you can see the difference, not to mention I am using the correct colors this time,


These are yesterdays chicken photos that I thought I would share. Yesterday morning we only had about 4" of snow, so instead of getting the tractor out, I thought I would shovel, and maybe burn off some winter pudge. It wasn't that bad. And then begin the ritual of feeding and carrying water buckets began. But I got a nice reward in the end.
The reward 16 eggs! Thank you girls!

The dreaded water buckets, I really need to figure out how to install a water line so it wont freeze in Ohio's winters.

The girls got some black oil sunflower seeds to help with the cold. When all of them are eating it sounds like pop corn popping, its too funny. They have been holding out for the sun flower seeds, or maybe they are filling up on the seeds, it doesn't seem like they have been eating their feed as much. They haven't gone outside in about week also, even though I have shoveled a path and put down straw for them to walk on. This is just a couple of the girls the rest are being camera shy.

Blah!!! Im tired of winter

Over the last couple days we got 10" inches of snow, its 8° with the wind chill it -9! And the worst is coming this Tuesday, with another polar vortex that could reach -40 with the wind chill. Oh ya its still snowing! I think I am going to become nomadic. And just pick up and move when ever the weather doesn't suit me. Lol.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Misc Stuff

Sorry for not posting lately, after my 2week vacation over the holidays, I went back to work, and it has been a nut house ever since. It is all I can do to go to work, come home do what chores need done and go to bed.

I have managed to quit smoking! Yay me! Ok its only been a week, but for someone who smokes a pack and a half a day, I think that is a huge accomplishment!

To help with the no smoking I have been working on my beading of the insects. To keep my mind off of smoking, and it has helped plus I got one of the butterflies done.
I have also been making more candles, hoping to stock pile them, to sell at the farmers market this spring.
It seems the animals have made it through the polar vortex a couple weeks ago. Peacomb the rooster has some frost bite on the top of his comb.
And I also found a local farm that is selling organic chicken feed. It is a little more in price than the commercial feed at TSC or the feed store, but it is ground right on the farm, and has all the essential minerals and everything and its local. I don't have to pay for shipping. I bought it from Breakneck acre Farm, I dumped in a bag with their commercial feed last week to get them transitioned over to the good stuff. I am hoping to have them completely on the organic stuff by next week.
The new organic food is in mash form, and their old food is in the crumble form, so there is some adjusting on their part. But if they are hungry they will eat it. And actually they are holding out for sun flower seeds. With the polar vortex I upped their rations of sun flowers and now they are spoiled they are not eating that much feed because they want the sun flower seeds. So I lowered their sunflower seed intake, and they are not happy about it.
My wife has been making soap,
the big waffle looking one is shea butter soap,

this one still stuck in mold, is tea tree and bentonite soap, both need cut into bars, then cure for a couple more weeks and it will be ready to use.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The girls all ready for the cold

The girls got extra straw, fresh water, black oil sunflower seeds, and extra treats in prep for the lower temps that are coming.

Beaded Butterfly

I got another wing done for the butterfly.

Tea light candles

My tea light candle mold came yesterday. Woohoo!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Another Hobby

I think I need help. Why I need another hobby I really don't know. I got this cool book on how to make insects using beads. Yes beads. So on top of hobby farming, gardening, bee keeping, candle making, collecting coins, collecting stamps I now am beading. Some one help me. What this has to do with a farm blog I don't know, I was just sharing, so you all can laugh at a guy beading.

Can you tell its the top right wing? The colors aren't the same, I couldn't find them in the store, so I am just winging it. (ha ha) I don't think all the spaces are suppose to be in there, maybe it is not pulled tight enough I don't know. Still not bad for my first time. Isn't beading something that girls do? My wife says maybe I will become a famous jewelry maker.(By the way I have done cross stitching before too!)

Snug as a bug

I got the straw, the farmer was nice to give me some cheaper stuff since I told him it was for the hives. So I was able to get it for 4.00 a pale instead of 5.00. Just FYI, the feed store and TSC wanted around 8.00 a pale. Holy Cow!
So I stacked around the three stronger hives, the hives that I thought were dead, I went and peaked inside and to my surprise two out of three have live bees in them. Woohoo!!!! So now the dilemma is I don't have enough straw. I had some old nasty pales laying out year, so I used the tractor and freed them from the frozen ground. All I needed to do was build a wind break. So they will have to do for now. Here are some pics of hives, snug as bug in straw. (And a picture of the cool tractor, I just love my Botar!)
The danger ranger needs to be bigger, so I can haul more!

Snug has a bug in a rug. These are the hives that overwintered last year, using the same technique.

The two small hives are swarms I caught last year, the middle one is dead, the one on the right was a package that I purchased. Both the end hives the bees were at the top, I thought the were all dead. I didn't keep them open to inspect, I just peeked under the outer cover and saw them threw the hole on the inner cover and closed them up real quick. So I don't know how strong they are. I need to purchase some fondant so next time its a little warmer I can put some on the frames. I need a few more bales of straw for them also. Now I need more straw for coops too.

Todays projects

Before the severe cold water gets here, go get straw and stack around all the hives, which should have been done months ago. Fluff all the litter in the coops and add more straw. Fix the chicken door on the little coop that fell off. Use the chicken feed bags I have been saving and cover up all the draft spots in the big coop. I will post some pictures later. Off to get some straw.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Homemade Chicken Broth

I took some older hens to freezer heaven about a month ago. My awesome wife has been putting them in the crock pot over night, and cooking them down to make broth for the freezer. When I get up in the morning the house smells so awesome. Then when she makes soup, oh it is so good. All the left over scraps, bones and miscellaneous inedible pieces go back to the chickens, and they just love it as much as I love the soup. I never seen them eat something so fast.

For the birds

I always thought it would be cool to be a bird. Soaring in the sky, they make it look so easy and effortlessly. Then I see yesterdays weather, I think that truly is for the birds. They don't seem to mind one bit. I have two feeders set up right outside the patio door, so I can sit and watch the bird channel.I swear they burn more energy than they consume, all that jumping and flitting around. The wind was blowing really hard and they just sit there all puffed up. You think they would go hunker down in the pines. I tried taking some pictures, but only Mr. Cardinal would sit long enough. They rest of the pictures all came out blurry.

Yesterdays snow storm

We got about 8" inches of snow yesterday. I plowed a path to the coops, today you can not tell that I did.