Thursday, December 27, 2012

Finally...The Christmastide Home Tour 2012

Dearest Readers,

Without further adieu, I present the Honey Hill Farm Christmastide Home Tour of 2012...

Yours kindredly,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

With a Broken Heart.....

Dearest Readers,

My heart is so heavy today...I have shed so many tears....

Out of respect and sorrow, I will post my Christmastide Home Tour next week.

May the hand of the Lord rest upon the hearts of all those who have been devastated by this horrific tragedy...
With love,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Interruptt this Blog......

Dearest Readers

An inadvertent break from blogging due to a gushing leaking upstairs water heater that made a rather peculiar "fountain" effect in the back parlour, has lead to a much needed blogging break while I decorate for Christmastide. (It is worth mentioning that the "fountain" effect has been eschewed from my decor).

I will be back after Thanksgiving with a Christmastide Tour of my Victorian cottage....I hope you will join me!

Rather soggy, but ever so kindredly yours,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesdays with Tasha......

from The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown and Tasha Tudor
Dearest Readers,
I have been feeling just like Tasha's kitty in the photograph...a wee bit tired....hoping to find a warm and cozy spot to curl up and take a nap.....
Instead, I put my bookkeeping in good order and made bread while the sun warmed the autumn day and sent shafts of light through the lovely!
Had to laugh...I just noticed there is a bottle of Gorilla Glue on the table next to the sugar bowl. Dearest brought it in to warm it up before using it on a broken fan switch (we always try and repair things instead of replacing them). I think Tasha would approve...
I have a fire going in the back parlour stove as the sun is behind our little mountain...the chill comes on so quickly in the late afternoon. 
All in all, a very Tasha day....very Tasha indeed.
Yours so kindredly,
P.S. I have received permission from Tasha Tudor's family to use the above photograph.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesdays with Tasha....postponed for prayer

Dearest Readers,
My heart is just not leading me to post about sweet Tasha, instead, I would like to take the time to remember all of those who carry a heavy heart in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.....
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me...
I called for help, and you listened to my cry.
Jonah 2:2
May peace fill the days ahead...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesdays with Tasha...On Wednesday

Tasha's stove..bliss
from Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts by Tovah Martin
Photograph by Harry Davis
Dearest Readers,
I come to you a day apologies.  We are expecting snow here in the foothills and Dearest and I spent the entire day yesterday, working outside winterizing our little homestead.  By the time I stopped for the evening, it was too late and I was bone tired...I think Tasha would understand my late posting.
So I will make today my "Tasha Day"......
As I mentioned, we are expecting snow and it has become very blustery, with the wind blowing and dark clouds gathering.  A perfect day to spend indoors making things cozy and warm and gathering provisions to store in the fruit cellar. 
Just like Tasha, I love to have something simmering on the stove and jars upon jars of goodness ready and waiting to delight my family at mealtime...
Tasha's canning jars
from Tasha's Heirloom Crafts by Tovah Martin
Photography by Harry Davis

Dearest will be happy to return to our humble home after a long day traveling out of state.  I have a wonderful green chili stew (a southwestern favorite) and a blazing fire in the woodstove. The house glows with the soft light of kerosene lamps....

A quiet, peaceful, joyous day in pure Tasha style...
Yours kindredly,
Please note that I have received written permission from the Tudor family to post pictues and quotes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Homesteading Store....

Dearest Readers,
I wanted to share about a wonderful store in the Colorado Springs area....Buckley's Homestead Supply.  Dearest and I drove about 1 1/2 hours south of our little place, just to see it for ourselves...
As you walk into the charming building you can't help but smile...
Canning supplies, including Weck jars (the best), aprons, and embroidered linens......
Grinders, dehydrators, grain mills, spices, cheesemaking supplies along with butter making necessities......
Soapmaking supplies, including lye, soap molds, laundry soap ingredients, washboards and homemade soaps that smell almost good enough to eat!
A very diversified book selection that has a good variety of homesteading and self-reliant living titles, and there are homesteading magazines at the register...
You can also buy chicken feed and chicken supplies in the back of the store.
This store has only been open a short while and the owners are planning to keep adding to their inventory...I can't is so nice to be able to see and touch items before making a purchase.
We didn't leave the store empty handed, I bought 2 soap will mold the soap with a beautiful rooster on the top and one that makes up 8 bars with the word "handmade".  I also bought a top that goes onto a canning jar and makes it a travel mug (you just add jar and ring)!Lastly, I purchased a Christmas present for our Darling Girl (since she reads this blog, I will keep that to myself).
We also were able to get a good look at a Wondermill Jr Hand Mill....taking some measurements so that we can decide if that is indeed the mill that will entice us to open up our pocketbook.
How exciting to see homesteading becoming a way of life for so many!
Yours kindredly,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Windowsill Tea.......

Dearest Readers,
Some while back, Dearest built a darling little shelf that extends from the narrow sill of our only kitchen window.  It dawned upon me today, as I was puttering about, that I could just fit a chair next to it and enjoy a cup of tea whilst gazing outside......
Lovely, just lovely.....
I do hope that you will find a quiet spot (even a narrow windowsill) and make a yourself a retreat from all the busyness of the day...just a cup of tea and the late afternoon sunshine...pure bliss.
Yours kindredly,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesdays with Tasha....

From "Tasha Tudor's Garden" photo by Richard Brown
Dearest Readers,
Today, I thought I would share my Tasha inspiration for the day....potatoes! As you can see from the photo above, Tasha was a true potato lover.  In the book "Tasha Tudor's Garden", she shares with her readers, "I'm crazy about potatoes - it must be my Irish ancestry"!  Isn't she adorable in her cloak digging her potatoes?
Being not only a kindred spirit, but an Irish lass myself, I have to admit that I am quite partial to the potato and have been much occupied with my late season harvest. We grew our spuds in large tubs (with drainage holes) and we were rewarded with quite a few. Of course, we had to find a warm, dark place to let our treasures cure for a short while before we store them in our fruit cellar.  Normally we would allow them to dry in our old coal shed, but the temperatures have been quite chilly overnight and that did not seem to be a very wise choice...hmmmm...where to stash those potatoes?
Why the middle bedroom, naturally!  After much laughter from our children, this room shall hence be known as the "potato room"....I think that Tasha would approve.  After closing the curtains and shutting the door, this room is just the right temperature, albeit a little bit fancy.
Yours so kindredly,
Please note that written permission was granted for the use of the pictures and quotes appearing on my blog from the Tudor family.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesdays with Tasha....and a Giveaway!

Illustration by Tasha Tudor
Dearest Readers,
Like so many of you, I have a sincere fondness for Tasha Tudor, not only for her lovely artwork, but for her lifestyle...she was not afraid to live her life on her own terms.  I often think of her when I am wearing my old-fashioned skirts and brooches, or when I am snuggled inside my cozy kitchen baking something scrumptious, and of course, when I am tending my of her favorite pastimes.
With that said, I am going to start a weekly series....Tuesdays with Tasha 
I thought I would start the series with inspiration from the above illustration of a Harvest Pantry found in "Forever Christmas" by Harry Davis.  Now, my pantry is not nearly as wonderful as this one, but it is now almost full-to-over-flowing with the bounty of the garden and orchard. 
I am happy to share the back parlour with a few spaghetti squash curing near the woodstove....

I was gifted with yet another bushel of apples from a dear friend...soon to be 'put-up' into apple pie filling....

And of course, the biscuit jar must never be empty, so baking a batch of cookies will part of my day.

from "Forever Christmas" by Harry Davis 

All in all, a very Tasha Day!
If you have a Tasha inspired day to share, please leave a comment with a link to your blog...I would love to visit. And I am sure that some of my readers would like to pay a house call.
Yours so kindredly,
If you would like to learn more about Tasha Tudor, please visit the Tasha Tudor and Family website
UPDATED:  There is still time to enter a lovely giveaway over at Rookery Ramblings...hurry it ends at midnight on October 10th!
I have received written permission from the Tudor family to include pictures from Tasha's books (just so long as they are photographs of the pages and not scanned images) along with quips and quotes. Thank you Natalie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Days

Dearest Readers,
It is a beautiful, almost Fall, day here in the foothills of the Rockies...such a Colorado-blue sky! What a perfect day for "puttin' up" some delicious applesauce!
 My dear neighbor and friend, Lonnie, gave me a large box brimming with at least three varieties of heirloom apples from his parents old homestead.  No pesticides used and lovingly picked by hand....then delivered with love.
I am tucked away in my kitchen whilst my DVD "Take Peace, A Corgi Cottage Christmas" plays nearby.  I can almost feel the temperature dropping....and the snow beginning to swirl outside.  A gal can dream, can't she?
Well, I must put the chicken into the crockpot so that I can have the BBQ chicken ready for Dearest this evening.  The poor man will be worn to a fiddle-string by the time he returns home (he is returning from a trip to Wyoming and then straight on to referee a soccer game) and I know that a piping hot dinner will be just the thing to revive him.
Yours so kindredly,
P.S. Many splendid Tasha items are available at the Tasha Tudor and Family website.  Whilst I do not see Take Peace on their website, you might be able to find a copy at your local library or order it through Amazon here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homestead Ramblings.....

Dearest Readers,

A lovely fall day is here, teasing us with its cooler temperatures and delightful rain!  I donned my favorite checked jumper, navy blue 3/4 sleeve Henley and even navy leggings, before I slipped on my (very Tasha-like) wellies and went outside this morning for chores.

My jumper was wet at least 6 inches up the hem before I came back inside....
The day has been chipmunk cozy, tucked inside my lamp lit home.....

It did not take much coaxing to spend time sipping tea and making a crockpot supper in my wee little kitchen....
I do so love the warmth of the pink walls on such a cloudy day....

A few fall leaves have been added my everyday decorations to bring in the colors of Fall....
Even though summer is expected to make its return later this week, I will pretend that Fall has arrived and savor the day.
Yours so kindredly,

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Old Ice Box.....

Dearest Readers,

The long hot days of summer are upon us, beckoning us to all things cool and delightful.  Of course, if you live in a Victorian farmhouse you might be able to imagine yourself keeping your summer perishables chilled in an old fashioned icebox.....

And while I am no longer able to order ice from the iceman and have it delivered by horse and cart, I can try and capture that long ago feeling whilst I rummage inside my newly fashioned ice box!

Dearest affixed the beautifully handmade (by him, of course) faux panels to our french-door styled fridge (we had an "interesting" time trying to glue the panels in place...I'll say no more about it...ahem). He made them out of thin oak veneer. After the addition of ice box hardware and staining the wood a pretty honey oak, we now have a refrigerator, um, ice box that any Victorian housewife would be pleased to call her own.

Now my kitchen is finally complete in all its Victorian splendor...thank you my sweet husband, you always help me to realize my dreams...

Yours so kindredly,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pray for Colorado......

Dearest Readers,

We have had a terrible shooting here in a movie theater much loss and so much sorrow.  Please pray for all the families that are suffering on this sad, sad day.

Yours kindredly,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Greenhouse...a Tour

The entrance to the garden along with the garden shed and greenhouse 2012
Dearest Readers,

It wasn't until I received a sweet comment from a reader asking "Where are has been two months since you last posted", that I realized how long I had been away!  Time flies when you are busy and we have been busy as bees here on Honey Hill Farm....

I have so much to share with you and I thought I would start with some pictures of the greenhouse. 
Here is the entrance! 
 We used a recycled door, recycled leaded sidelight and a pretty piece of stained glass for the transom. The door opens outward (for space considerations inside) and I have a hanging screen in the doorway to keep pests outside.
 Dearest also added pavers in the front to keep the mud at bay...
Looking in through the door...not much going on at this time of year, just a few little plants making themselves at home.
All of the windows are recycled.
The wood you see is for the little black woodstove that sits directly across the room.
The white barrels are for water storage during the winter...

A solar fan keeps the heat at a consistent temperature, while the paper lanterns are just for pretty!
We have solar lanterns (on the right) for light during cloudy days and starry nights...
Instead of curtains I used a variety of linens that I bought at an auction (a very large box of linens for only $ was an incredible buy!)

The business end of the you can wash your hands in water warmed by the sun (I just used a hanging solar shower and covered it in pretty fabric...the water doesn't get hot but instead it is pleasantly warm.)

My "sink" is an old pail that has been set into the potting bench....
Underneath the removable sink is a large barrel full of potting soil. You just pot-up your flowers or veggies and scoop the extra back into the barrel...easy peasy!

Looking from the potting bench can see the pretty glass above and alongside the door!
The fabric skirts hide all the various gardening paraphernalia and make the greenhouse a pleasant place to spend time....

My veggie certainly keeps the dirt out of my kitchen....
The red back wall is part of the passive solar system...the blocks are filled from top to bottom with cement, so that they retain heat from the sun shining on them.  Then, in the evening, they release the heat back into the greenhouse...the same goes for the gravel floor...a simple system that works quite wonderfully!

(If you have any questions about how the greenhouse works or the construction, please leave them in the comment section and I will answer them there. Although, I may have to enlist Dearest's help to answer anything technical.)

Glad to be back!

Yours kindredly,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Views from the Homestead.....

Dearest Readers,

What a busy time of much to do both inside and outside our little homes!  Gardens to tend, laundry to hang in the sunshine, bread to bake and, of course, taking the time to smell the roses....

Even in the midst of this busy time, my craft room beckons me to create little lovelies to decorate my home...

I have long wanted to adorn the top of my window coverings...they were a little too plain for the front parlour...even for a humble farmhouse Victorian!

A stiff lambrequin would be period perfect, but I wanted something a little more unusual.....

I was inspired by an article in one of my ancient Victorian Homes magazines and a very old, very Victorian picture frame that belongs to my Darling Girl...

And voila!

A bit of old toile fabric (washed but not ironed, to give it a more aged appearance), a frame from Hobby Lobby, glass knobs in a lovely plum-ruby (the light looks so lovely when it shines through), and a wee bit of fringe....a bit of Victorian whimsy on a shoestring budget!

Speaking of Victorian are my treasures from my day of antiquing at the Strawberry Antique Festival....

An old kerosene lamp bracket, yo-yo runner, strawberry plate for my kitchen, old wooden darts with real feathers (something masculine for the library), lovely amethyst colored hat pin, and a pretty hankie (in the perfect colors) to make a hankie brooch to match a summer blouse! 

Now, brace yourselves, my dearest, gentlest readers......for I have sad news about our beloved Miss Caul E. Flower...she has been stricken with Bird Flu.....

Yes, tis true....Dearest and I were only gone from the homestead for a short while...tragic! 

Push that worry from your mind dear this is a very particular "Flamingo" strain and seems to be only "contagious" here on our seems to appear from time to never know when it might strike!

Why just this past Christmas, our Bother-in-Love's Christmas decorations were affected and last summer we were shocked to find that there was an outbreak at the very tip-top of our VERY TALL strange!

Hopefully, there will be a full recovery and all will be well on our little homestead...

Yours very kindredly,

Monday, May 7, 2012

On This Rainy Day.....

Looking out my entryway window.....

Dearest Readers,

We are blessed with a rainy day needed here in the arid won't hear a true Coloradan complain about moisture, no matter when or how it arrives.  So I am spending a quiet day snuggled inside my sweet Victorian home....

My mudroom....painted dark blue to hide....well, mud!

I am going to work on my long-neglected blog, some simple sewing for the greenhouse (curtains to skirt the potting benches), and a bit of reading....

and of course, a cup of tea to while away the drizzly afternoon.....

From the back porch looking towards the garden....(should you be curious, those white lines are my clothesline)

I hope to be back in the garden by midweek, although I will wait until closer to the end of the month to plant my tomatoes and peppers....we have had snow as late as June here in the foothills!

I am working on adding a few new blogs to my sidebar, hoping that these fine ladies will inspire you in your homekeeping pursuits.

Next week we are planning two outings...

First, we will be attending the Self-Reliance Expo in Colo. Springs.  Never having attended such an event, we are sure to come away with bundles of information about living the self-reliant lifestyle. I will take my camera (if pictures are allowed) and report back to you, my dear readers.

Second, we are going to one of our favorite events...The Strawberry Festival Antique Show at the Boulder County fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado. Lots of wonderful booths...I am looking for a hand cranked grain mill, doilies, tablecloths and kerosene lamps (and a fitter shade for one of my lamp rings).  I don't think pictures are allowed, but I can share my treasures with you in an upcoming post.

Tonight, we will be feasting on Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (on homemade wheat bread...yum) along with piping hot Tomato Soup....this is always our "go to" meal when we are blessed with a rainy, drizzly evening.  It truly is the simplest of things that bring us joy!

Yours so very kindredly,