Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Decorations....

Dearest Readers,


Even though the last few days have been full of drizzle drops and gloomy clouds it was time to celebrate the beginning of Summer here at Honey Hill Farm....


I just adore decorating my charming entryway and have a pretty little sideboard that is home to all my decorating whims.  I started the theme for my decorations by using my computer to print-out the word "BEACH".  I used clip-art for the "frame" and just added the letters for each one.  A pretty variegated ribbon holds the banner in place above the seaside pretties.



The decorating fun continued with old postcards, "clip-art" postcards (printed on old looking card-stock), seashells and a very cute Salt Water Taffy box that I purchased a few years ago at Cracker Barrel.  It was full of taffy...but honestly, I would have bought it empty! (Cracker Barrel still carries this darling box in the candy section.) Of course, everything is nestled on my "standby" burgundy velvet....



A sweet pail purchased at Michael's years ago (it was my lunch pail in the School Days display!) becomes a sand bucket, spilling forth treasures of the sea...  Lastly, I always add various trims to give my decorations a Victorian feel. 


I will keep this display up until July, when my entryway will display it's Patriotic side.  I hope you are inspired to change things for the season in your own home.  I would love to hear your ideas for bringing the summer indoors!


Yours kindredly,


Shan

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Busy Season......

Dearest Readers,


With both the inside and the outside of our little Honey Hill Farm needing attention it has been a busy, but joyous season. It is such a blessing to wake up everyday and know that my hands and my heart will not remain idle.  What joy to feel a purpose to each day!


This week found Dearest and I finishing up all the planting in our garden.  It is still fairly chilly at night up here at our altitude, so we are using "walls of water" around our tomatoes this year.  We also want to enhance the yield from our garden and are planting things such as our peas, beans and squash next to climbing towers so that they can use the abundant square footage in the sky!  We installed an above-ground irrigation system 3 years ago and are just simply amazed that such an inexpensive system has held up so well.  It certainly helps us conserve water besides being so wonderfully convenient.


Next, Dearest relocated our evaporative cooler to a different window and proceeded to clean and condition it so that it is ready for the summer.  Here in the dry southwest, this is a very efficient way to keep cool during the long hot summer!  It will use 1/4th the electricity of A/C and also adds much needed humidity to our very dry air.


While Dearest tackled so many of the outside chores, I busied myself by putting up the rest of my summer curtains.  I have 5 windows in my sewing room and use fairly heavy drapery during the winter.  How exciting it is to put up my freshly ironed rose-print cotton balloon shades!  These lovely curtains faithfully keep the harsh summer sun out but let in a lovely light, that makes my sewing room a heavenly place to be! 


Yesterday, Dearest and I had a date at "Home Depot"!  We decided that a grilled bratwurst sounded awfully good for lunch since we needed to stop in town and pick-up some lumber for our dual compost box.  Our Home Depot has a picnic area, complete with delicious grilled bratwurst....yummmm.


Today, Dearest, our Darling Boy and I went to an auction.  If you have the time and are patient, this is a cost effective way to buy just about anything you need for a fraction of the cost of retail.  Today's auction consisted of many landscape materials and tools.  Our hope was to find a good quality ride-on mower.  We weren't disappointed! My Dearest patiently waited.....waited and then bid on a 13 horse power Snapper ride-on mower.....it was......only $100!  We have looked at ride-on mowers in retail stores for a number of years and always felt that it was not a prudent use of our resources.  We are just elated to have this blessing to help us keep Honey Hill Farm in tip top shape!


Tonight's dinner has just come out of the oven.....BBQ Chicken Pizza.  I made two earlier this week, knowing that we would be gone most of the day today.  I need to do this more often.....as it makes putting supper on the table very stress free during this busy season.


Yours very kindredly,


Shan


Note:  We have had a very large tornado touch down to the East of us on the Colorado Plains. It has caused massive damage and some loss of life.  Please say a prayer for all of our dear neighbors to the East, they are facing terrible devastation. 


Monday, May 19, 2008

School Days Slate.....

Dearest Readers,


I just adore changing my entryway display each month or season.  With Graduation season upon us here at Honey Hill Farm, I decorated with my "School Days" theme.  I thought I would share a simple little School Days Slate idea with you today.


Start with a slate that you purchase at the hobby store.  Stain or paint the wooden edge, let it dry. I painted the "slate" on my chalkboard with black acrylic paint because I wanted to paint the words "School Days" in white acrylic and I felt it would make for a smoother surface for the painting.  


Next use a paper punch to make a teeny, tiny stencil. I used a Martha Stewart paper punch on very heavy cardstock.  Use a Q-tip for a stencil brush and stencil around the edge.  While you are letting things dry, find a font that you like and experiment with the size on paper.  When you are satisfied, and your slate is dry you can trace the letters on with either pattern transfer paper or Chaco paper (I use this for all of my hand painting transfers. It is found at the hobby store with all of the acrylic/oil paints.)


Now just paint the letters with white acrylic paint. Tip:  water down your acrylic paint just a little, this will make it easier to paint the letters. Take a deep breath and "write" just like you would if you had a pencil.  When the paint starts to fade, just dip your brush in the paint and start where you left off.  Don't try to go over the places you have already painted.....it looks more like chalk this way.  


Let everything dry, then use a spray sealer and give it a quick coat.  Next, wipe a bit of burnt umber oil paint or antique glaze on the whole slate to make it look old, wiping away the excess.  After you let this dry, add another coat of sealer and you have a very old looking slate for very little money. 


I am going to put out my "Seaside Season" decorations this week, so I will share a photo or two! As always, I thank you for stopping by and visiting with me here at our lovely little farm!


Yours in Kindred Spirit,


Shan

Monday, May 12, 2008

Time for a Chat with Dear Friends......


Dearest Readers,


My how I have missed you!  It has been quite busy here at Honey Hill Farm, with two of our Darlings graduating within a week of one another! 


First, I must update you on our Darling Girl....She attended her Graduation in a wheelchair!  The poor thing dislocated her knee right before her Nurses' Pinning ceremony on Friday, May 2nd.  She had gone to the store to pick-up a card for a Professor she wanted to thank, and suddenly she was on the floor of the store and they were calling an ambulance!  She was taken to a nearby hospital and I met her in the emergency room.  Of course, we fully expected to be there for the better part of the evening, and had even called to let her friends know that she most likely would not be attending the ceremony.  Well, it turns out that our Dear Girl had worked as a student with some of the staff on duty that night....they told her that they would NOT let her miss such an important event!  We were only in the emergency room for 2 hours!  We went straight to the Pinning Ceremony....crutches, hospital pants, and ID bracelet! A memorable evening to be sure.


Meanwhile, the lovely staff of the University arranged everything from parking for our family and a wheelchair, to a private usher to wheel her around during the Graduation Ceremony!  Our Daughter was so blessed to have attended a wonderful Jesuit University....the Holy Spirit is truly alive there! 


Our Darling Son's Graduation was no less eventful as the winds howled and the temperatures dropped.  The bunting was ripped off of the the stage while the beautiful flower arrangements toppled to the ground below.  Large speakers fell over, narrowly missing students!  Wisely, the administration shortened the ceremony and we all went willingly to our warm homes to celebrate.


All in all, it was a fun day, with friends and family sharing good food and memories of our two Graduates.


I must close now, but I should now have time to visit with you more often.


Yours kindredly,


Shan


Photo:  Just a few "School Days" decorations put out to commemorate the event!