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DIY, Food, Homesteading

Coming Right Up: Sprouts

IMG_3236Before I moved out to the country, my ability to grow my own food was fairly limited. I had potted herbs galore, but past that, veggies weren’t really an option. One food I learned to grow at home was alfalfa sprouts. In fact, now that we’re starting our little farm, we have these on hand all the time!  It only takes a matter of days, it’s simple and incredibly delicious. All you need is a mason jar, sprout seeds, and a piece of cloth, fine mesh, or one of the fancy lids that I used. (I got my lid at Natural Gardener in Austin, TX).

A couple notes before getting started: I highly recommend you purchase USDA Certified Organic Seeds. A lot of seeds are treated with chemicals and you do not want to ingest them. Also, if you’re a sprout fanatic, maybe get two jars going and stagger them so you have fresh sprouts every couple of days.

IMG_3234Sprouting Sprouts

    1. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of seeds into the jar
    2. Fill the jar with water until the seeds are suspended and covered an inch or two
    3. Let them soak 8-10 hours
    4. Drain/strain the water out of the jar
    5. Rinse the seeds and give them a swirl then drain again
    6. Leave the jar tilted upside down so that the water can drain out the jar (Leave a paper towel underneath or, what I do, is leave it on my dish mat to drain)
    7. Rinse and drain twice a day (AM and PM) for roughly 3 days or until sprouts are full-grown
    8. When the sprouts are ready, remove from container and rinse thoroughly to remove seed hulls
    9. Store in a closed container in the fridge for several days.

These are great in salads, sandwiches, and tacos! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let me know how it goes… or in this case, grows!

 

 

Embroidery, Updates

Bluebonnets in Texas Towel

I feel like it’s been a minute since I last posted about what has been going on in the embroidery department. Needless to say, despite starting up a farm, canning, and refinishing furniture, I’m still stitching away. I’m upping the inventory in the Texas Towel Collection.

Texas Towel Collection

I’ve been slowly adding to the Texas Towel Collection. A couple of years ago, I designed these Bluebonnet in Texas towels and tested them out at the La Vallita Starving Artist Show. They flew out of my booth! I was completely sold out on the first day of the two-day event.

I’m looking forward to having the listed in the shop soon. You know, after I do a complete revamp that I’ve started this past weekend. If you cannot wait until the shop is up and running again, go ahead and contact me. I can get one shipped out to you!

Canning, DIY, Recipes

Turn Up The Heat

IMG_4267My favorite jelly that my grandmother used to make was jalapeno jelly. She would dollop it on top of cream cheese and crackers. To this day, I remember it being her go-to appetizer for family gatherings and our little afternoon treat on hot summer days. I think it was then that my love of the sweet and spicy combo began. I thought I’d share with you the recipe that she used to use. Admittedly, I may have wanted to share it with you just so I could whip up some crackers with cream cheese. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Jalapeno Jelly

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 14 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of liquid pectin
  • 3-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  1. Coarse chop bell peppers and 14 jalapenos in a blender, pulse smooth
  2. Pour in a saucepan with the vinegar and bring to a boil for 20 minutes
  3.  Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or fine sieve
  4. Return pepper juice back to the saucepan and combine with salt and sugar
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and stir in pectin
  6. Then add minced jalapenos and ladle the mixture into jars.

 

 

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Step Into Some Turquoise

Years ago, someone gifted me with this little table. I’ve been holding onto it because I just couldn’t find the right idea that matched its personality. I thought I wanted to do multi-colored striping on the top section. Admittedly, I wasn’t in love with that, but with a little patience, the right one finally came along.

Step End Table Makeover

This little guy was structurally sound but just needed some cosmetic repairs.

  • Remove all peeling wood and sand down
  • Fill various holes and cracks
  • Glue some of the laminate
  • Redefine crevices with Dremel tool
  • Paint teal, gold, and black
  • Coat with a polyurethane

This piece is for sale. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Before & After, DIY, Homesteading, Updates

July Homestead Update

Can you believe we’re already through the first week of July?! With all the craziness in the world, it seems the days are flying by. To be honest, we are certainly keeping ourselves busy here at the Homestead. I wanted to give a quick update as many of you have expressed interest!

IMG_4208

Gardens

Our first bed is finally bearing fruit and veggies. We’ve enjoyed bell peppers, serranos, yellow tomatoes, and sweet potato greens. The rescue tomatoes we saved from Lowe’s are finally established and are now growing. We’ve built a third bed and have planted kale, cucumbers, acorn squash, radishes, and red onion. Our hanging garden is making huge progress, the sprouts are inching higher!

ChickensIMG_4298

Our five girls have been introduced to their lay boxes and we are hoping for farm fresh eggs next month! Earlier this week, we placed an order from a local hatchery for ten more baby chicks. We spent days researching and picked ten that are unique, beautiful, and will give us eggs just as diverse as their feathers. Stay tuned for cream-colored eggs, blue, green, and even red!

Aquaponics

Last week, we stumbled across a 250-gallon water tank which we will be setting up for an aquaponics system. We are looking forward to having fresh fish and healthy greens.

IMG_4300Worm Farm

One of the key ingredients to a functioning farm is healthy dirt. We’ve been trucking in dirt and compost to build our beds, but after a while it won’t be sustainable. Our compost bins are collecting kitchen scraps, chicken droppings, and mixed with worms, we’ll be making our own dirt in no time… ok, six months or so.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support and excitement during this process. All I can say right now in regards to all of this is, “Dreams really do come true.”

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.)