Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Holidays: Seats for Six

I had a few other pieces to refinish but I thought I would get a jump on refinishing these chairs before Thanksgiving. You know, on the off chance they found a home around somebody’s table for the holiday. I acquired these chairs years ago from someone who had bought them with the sole purpose of refinishing them, but she never got around to them. So, after sitting in my shop waiting for a little TLC, they finally got it!

These chairs were structurally in great condition other than a few of the seats needed the wood replaced. All of the fabric and cushions were completely replaced. One crossbar stretching is missing from one of the chairs but the chair was structurally sound. I thought leaving it the way it was would give the set more character.

Dining Room Chairs Makeover 

  • Removed seats and sanded all wood
  • All stables, cushions, and fabric removed
  • The base of wooden seats replaced where needed
  • Chairs received k walnut stain and wax finish
  • All seats received new cushions and soft turquoise fabric.

More on these chairs…

Out of the six chairs, two of them have arms leaving the remaining four as a standard chair. Total height: 36” Seat height: 19” Width: 18” Depth: 15”

These are for sale at a modest $250. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

custom, DIY, furniture

A Place to Hang Your Hat

My partner and I have consistently complained that we needed a better place to hang our new farm hats other than plopping them down on the kitchen island or the new bar cart every night after a long day of work. We couldn’t justify spending $40 on a hat rack that we weren’t in love with… ok, that I wasn’t in love with, especially when I know I  could make a better one.

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The solution seemed simple… Make one! Just last month, I refinished a lovely little bar cart for my home. I had some leftover wood from the new top that I had fitted and some remaining paint as well. I also collect knobs and hooks when I go to craft stores because I always think, “Oh! I like that! I’m sure I’ll find a project for that.” I never know when I’ll need them, so sure enough… these little wooden knobs were a good previous purchase.

My apologies, the pictures aren’t the best. Our little wood cabin is pretty dark and the wood walls don’t help. (Side note: Can I tell you how difficult it is to decorate a wood walled cabin when you have wooden furniture?! It’s a lot of wood.) I combat it with as much white as I can to brighten it up though.

I really enjoyed making this little hat rack, so if you’re in need of a quick little hat rack, I’d be more than happy to make you a custom one for cheaper and better made than the ones you’ll find at the store. Email me!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Dresser All Dressed Up

Have you ever had a project that you’ve had on your list for a little longer than you care to admit? Well, I’ve got a few of those in my shop. Things are a little slower these days as far as custom pieces so I’ve had some time to catch up. I acquired this dresser years ago and have moved it several times. I’m happy to say that she’s now received the makeover I’ve been meaning to give her!

Dresser Makeover

This dresser had some rot on the bottom but the rest of it was in incredibly sturdy condition.

  • Removed all drawers, doors, and hardware
  • Flipped several times to remove the bottom piece with rot
  • Trimmed the side pieces and rebuilt for support
  • Sanded down and filled all major blemishes
  • Painted with dark grey paint
  • Applied ebony stain to new feet and piece
  • Attached new hardware with leather accents.

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

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!

 

 

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!

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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.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes, Updates

Fermentation Friday

I think it’s been a whirlwind of a week, just the last few days even. As you may have read on my last blog post or the made by laura lee newsletter, I am suspending food production for the next few weeks.  For the time being, I will not be experimenting with fermented foods either.

It breaks my heart.  Really.  Why am I not experimenting as well as not selling?

I feel like holding off is the best-case scenario on selling jams, jellies, and sauerkrauts are the safest thing possible.  Despite being clean and sanitary beyond normal expectations, I’m a small business and I want to do what’s best for my customers, my own health, and the bigger picture. As far as playing with fermented foods, it’s too dang hard to get my hands on large amounts of produce to ferment.  The stores have been baren and farmers’ markets canceled.

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate all the beautiful and delicious veggies that I have been able to transform into probiotic filled food! Sauerkrauts, kimchis, and ginger, oh my! Below is the list with links you can revisit.  Thank you so much for your interest in this and I’m looking forward to when I can get back to it!  Until then… what should the next Friday blog be? I like this whole themed thing!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.