Blog

Canning, DIY, Recipes

Things Are Just Peachy

IMG_4183I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Here at the homestead, we had a quiet and relaxing day. No farm work, picking out new chickens to add to our flock, feet up, delicious summer mocktails, and, ok, finally at 2 pm I had to do something and made some peach jam!

Texas peaches are here. They are big, juicy, and absolutely perfect. We snacked on them, grilled them (served with ice cream), and still had plenty to whip up some jam. We even fed a few to the chickens! I don’t share jam recipes as often as I should, but here is a great recipe for peach jam!

Peach Jam

  • 4 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  1. Place chopped peaches into a pot and bring to a boil
  2. Use a potato masher periodicaly to mash peaches into smaller pieces
  3. Stir often so that the peaches do not burn on the bottom of the pot
  4. After 30 minutes or so add the sugar and lemon juice
  5. Return to a boil for about ten minutes or until the jam begins to gel
  6. Remove from heat and transfer the jam to jars

If you do not want to cook the jam for what seems like forever, you can add pectin to speed up the gel process. You can store this jam in the fridge in Tupperware, or use the traditional water bath canning method and store it in the cupboard up to a year. IMG_4261

 

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Bar Cart Makeover

Back in August, someone had gifted me a few pieces of furniture during their downsize/move. This bar cart was one of the few and for the first time ever I thought, “I’m doing this one for me.”

The thing about moving into a new cabin in the Texas Hill Country is that believe it or not, I didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of furniture. I had done a huge downsizing myself just a year and a half before. I mean, I had all the furnture in my shop but… the bar cart is the only thing I saw coming into my home. The funny part of this is I don’t drink anymore, but I sure need the extra storage!

The Bar Cart Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of what TLC this bar cart received:

  • Removed warped top and all hardware
  • A quick sand and a coat of white paint
  • Cut a new top down to size
  • Stained entire piece with walnut tinted wax
  • Replaced all hardware including door latches and stops

Here she sits in our front entrance way under the shelf I made with the same stain and all my house plants.

Before & After, custom, furniture, Updates

The Workshop is Open!

I have yet another exciting announcement to make: The workshop is now open! I know I’ve posted a few chairs here and a bench there, but the workshop is now fully operational and ready to take on larger pieces for custom refinishing work.

What does that mean?

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you have a dresser, a desk, perhaps a dining room table set that is in need of some TLC and elbow grease, it means that I now have the space to be able to refinish these pieces. It’s very exciting!

The Perks

My previous shop was a great place to get started and I rented it for years. I had great company, views, and space. While the new shop is just a little bit smaller, I have to say the perks are worth it. It is bright, has windows, airflow, cabinets, and most importantly, it’s sealed off from the elements. And… I’m rigging it up for AIR CONDITIONING! I cannot tell you the number of times I have dripped sweat into a finish and had to start over. This is so exciting. The best part? It’s right outside my front door. I can have coffee and stroll just a few feet to the shop and go back and refill on coffee in seconds. (Clearly, the coffee is important.)

All this being said, bring your rundown furniture to me for a furniture makeover. C’mon! Keep me in the shop as much as possible!

12 Day of Crafting, Embroidery, Updates

The Lone Star Towel

A couple months ago I had posted a blog about all the things I was going to do during the Covid-19 lockdown, well… I’m on my way to completing that list and then some. Between moving, starting a farm, refinishing furniture, and thoroughly enjoying my life, I am still managing to get in some embroidery time.

IMG_3241Texas Towels

The most popular towel that I make is the Texas Towel. You know, the one with the outline of Texas with a heart where Austin is… yea, that one! Well, I have never experienced as much state pride anywhere as I have in Texas. I thought it would only be appropriate to continue to feed the beast so to speak. I’ve stitched up “The Lone Star State” Towel. It’s already in the shop ready to make it’s way to your kitchen.

Stay tuned because I have more Texas-themed towels in the works with bluebonnets, flowers, and more.

 

Before & After, furniture

Pride Bench Transformation

I’m continuing with the PRIDE theme over here, as it is PRIDE MONTH! Plus I still had some of this fabulous fabric left. So far, I’ve created a PRIDE Embroidery piece, plus a pair of chairs, but what I’m most excited about is this bench. It’s definitely a huge transformation for this piece.

PRIDE Bench IMG_3872

Several years ago, the owner of the bar I managed gave me this little bench. It’s been sitting in my studio for quite some time. I thought about redoing the original seat, but I decided to really give it a big makeover using the rainbow fabric. I’ve never really done a lot of reupholstery other than the occasional seat cover. Let’s just say I have a whole new appreciation for those that reupholster furniture. Between the corners and covering some of the structural work… I learned a lot.

The Process

  • Removed the original seagrass seating and swept up piles of dust
  • Sanded down the bench and filled in holes
  • Put in seat support framing and fitted a new seat top out of wood
  • Painted the bench a mustard yellow
  • Installed 3″ foam cushion and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

This bench is for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! It needs a good home! (Let me know if you need a pillow to match… I think I have enough fabric left.)

Embroidery

Black Lives Matter

IMG_3932As a small business, I’ve been hesitant to post anything, but I realize that my silence would be misconstrued as acceptance when really my silence has just been a delay in finding the right words of support to express my sheer anger, frustration, and disappointment in the world today.

Amidst a pandemic, emotions are high, but it should not take away from the need to address the racism that still runs wild through our culture today.  My Grandfather and Father taught me at a young age to watch history, learn from it, and to make sure to never repeat it’s downfalls. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many parallels in the last three years that quite frankly are terrifying to me. While I’d love to delve deeper into my thoughts and feelings, I’m not sure that it’s necessary. In this time, I believe that actions speak louder than words.

As a human being, an artist, a small business owner, I stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement. I’ve created these embroidery hoops in support because during this time, that’s what I can personally do to take action. In fact, for every hoop sold I will be donating $10 to the Black Lives Matter Organization. (The remainder is literally to cover the cost of supplies and shipping, I will not be making a profit on these.)

It is important that we be an ally where and how we can.

Love and equality for all. 

 

Before & After, furniture

The Prideful Pair (of Chairs)

I posted just the other day about PRIDE in my “Embroidery with Pride” post. Well, I didn’t think of any reason to stop there. I wanted to keep the theme going for the entirety of June as it is PRIDE Month. That being said, I’d like to show off this fabulous set of chairs I recently refinished.

IMG_3912

The Prideful Pair

FullSizeRender

Several years ago, I refinished a rocking chair right after David Bowie’s passing. I reupholstered it with this loud rainbow fabric. I’ve been holding onto the remainder of it waiting for the perfect time and pieces to use it. PRIDE seemed like the only appropriate time to me. In my mind, these chairs were the perfect choice. Their simple build allows a lot of room for loud paint and the rainbow fabric.

The Process

  • Removed the seat, sanded, filled in holes and dents, then continued with structural repairs
  • Applied sky blue base, then an overcoat of purple and sanded down to achieve the distressed look
  • Continued with a polyurethane topcoat for maximum durability
  • For the seat, I removed two layers of upholstery, including countless staples and upholstery nails
  • Put in new seat padding and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

These chairs are for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! They need a good home!

Food, Recipes

Let Them Eat Cake…. and Fruit

I’ve never been much of a baker. I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants, a little of this, a little of that… little more this kind of gal. This makes baking more of an experiment most of the time. Well, during my time at home the last few months I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting and picking up a cardio routine.

I’ve created this dense, spongey cake that is a delightful dessert or afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. I’ve made it with various different fruit: peaches, blueberries, strawberries, mango… you name it, they all work.

Tooty Fruity CakeIMG_3576

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk (regular or non-dairy)
  • 1 to 2 cups of fruit
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease pie pan (or baking pan) with butter
  3. Line fruit at the bottom of the baking dish
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, flour, baking powder, and milk then add to the baking dish
  5. If using brown sugar, sprinkle on top. It caramelizes and makes a nice crust
  6. Bake for one hour, rotating halfway through.
  7. Remove, let cool… if you can, slice and enjoy!
Embroidery, Story

King of the Grill

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Due to 2,000 miles between us and Covid-19, hopping on a plane to see my Dad isn’t quite an option this year. So I’ve started putting together a package to ship to him next week. It will include Zero bars, Texas-style hot sauces, and a new spice rub!

Story of the Spice Rub

Just about two years ago I met my partner who is born and raised in Texas. He certainly knows his way around the grill and smoker. The first time he cooked for me he busted out his smoker and made me some smoked pork. I remember the seasoning was out of this world, smokey, flavorful with a little bit of spice. Over the past two years, we’ve talked about building a homestead and made a laundry list of things we could start making together. This all-purpose spice rub is the first on the list. It’s simple with big flavor because everything is bigger in Texas.

Recommended Pairings

The all-purpose rub can be used for, well, all purposes from chicken to pork to beef. I’ve even used it on portabello mushrooms and it certainly holds up. What I will recommend pairing our Texas Style Spice Rub with is either a pig or cow towel. (Chicken will be coming soon!)

If you’re interested in a spice rub and towel pairing, head on over to the shop and get your order in!

Embroidery, Mixed Media, Uncategorized

Embroidery with PRIDE

It’s JUNE! HAPPY PRIDE! I just wanted to give a big shout out to all of my amazing LBGQT friends. I will be celebrating and posting in support this month with several handmade and refinished pieces of furniture. Y’all be prepared for an explosion of color and inclusion!

I admit I’m kicking off my creative Pride designs with an item that I made a couple of years ago. I had stitched this PRIDE embroidered wall art for a friend and never shared it with y’all. So here it is, my embroidery for pride. Simple and understated, but I am still pretty excited about the ombre colored thread in rainbow order! 

A Little History

I always like knowing the actual history behind comparative months and days. While I’ve always celebrated my amazing friends during this time, I admittedly never knew the month’s history. Per the Library of Congress: 

“…Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.”

This is just a little snippet, but I’m glad I am able to support and celebrate my LBGQT friends. Although, it’s heartbreaking that these riots were going on in 1969 and LBGQT people are still struggling for equality today. I highly recommend doing some more reading on the history of Pride Month and all of the other things Pride Month stands for. Raise up your rainbows in solidarity and do your part to support the LBGQT community. 

HAPPY PRIDE, YALL!