Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thanks, Chickens.

There is a lot of good that comes with having chickens.

I get gorgeous, high-quality eggs every single day in a rainbow of colors.  I know my chickens roam around, peck the ground and eat all kinds of creepy crawlies that strengthen the healthful qualities of their eggs.  I get the pleasure of watching them wander around, pecking and babbling to each other.  Watch them as they race across the yard at full speed, wings splayed, to chest butt anyone in their way.

Buuuttttt....there are some drawbacks.

If you have chickens, they will dig and scratch and make a complete disaster of your yard.  This is just part of the mess they have made.  Rocks and ground cover all over the lawn instead of where they should be, in the flower beds and borders. Thanks, chickens.

Side rant.  Do you see all the raspberries that are deciding my grass is the perfect place to spread? Yeah....not awesome.  Couldn't they spread in the flower beds where I would appreciate them?  Guess once we put all the rocks and bark back, we'll mow them down and see what happens.  Thanks, raspberries.

Back to original rant...


My gooseberry bush.  Pecked to bare branches.  Only bits of green left. If you'll notice I am trying (unsuccessfully, I might add) to keep the chickens away.  The tomato cage, T-Ball stand and one of Ginger's bowls haven't exactly turned out to be the super good gooseberry bush protectors I was hoping for.  At least they've stopped them from digging and exposing the roots.  Thanks, Chickens.

This is my hope of harvest, this bit of green.  Think I'll get a handful of berries?  Luckily the thorns are growing and maybe that will deter them.

To try and change their taste buds, I ripped off a handful of tarragon and tossed it in.  

Yay!  Snacks!!  

Wait....what the hell is this?

Come on chickens, eat the tarragon!!  You can eat all of it!  I grow it for you.

Whatever, we're totes out of here!  Come back when you've brought us some bits of ham and cucumber shavings.

Thanks, Heather!

Oh yeah, well, right back at you, thanks, Chickens!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deers are Very Versatile

My house is being over-run by deers.  And yes, I know deer is the plural, but I like calling them deers.  More fun.

Pretty pillow.

On my Deer Quilt I used multiple strips of fabric for the deer head.  I love the look.

But, sometimes simple is preferred.  I can get this pillow sewn up in an hour, lickity split, using just one fabric for the deer.  Perfect to give as a gift.

I love deer for two reasons...at least.  I am sure I love them for more, but here's two reasons why I love them.

1.  My sister and I have a game called the Dead Deer Game...Don't judge.  I am from the foothills in deer country and if you don't hit a deer in the twilight, sometime in your life, you can't call yourself a Utahn.  So the game is this:  You watch for any sign of a dead deer on the side of the road or in the brush.  You call it by hollering: "Dead Deer!!!"  And you keep track of how many dead deer you see in a season.  Dead deer season goes from about November to March.

The kicker is, if you call, oh, let's say a piece of carpet, then you have to deduct two dead deer points from your tally.  You've got to keep an eagle eye.  It's tricky because you'd be surprised how many bushes look like dead deer.   How many discarded chairs look like dead deer.  How many mounds of just dirt look like dead deer.  And if, say, you accidentally call a dead coyote thinking it's a dead deer....minus two points. And, you can only call a deer once.  So, you have to keep careful track of which dead deer you have called and make sure to inform your sister that she CANNOT call the dead deer on the off ramp to Mom's house because, well, you already did. 

Oh yes, one more thing....stray dogs count as a dead deer.  But it has to be an actual stray dog and not a dog simply walking a few steps in front of its owner.  Again, if you call a stray dog and isn't a stray....minus two...well I think you get the idea.

2.  I grew up in deer country.   It is not unusual for a gazillion deer to be where you are.  I can remember one frosty, moon-lit night I was driving home at an unmentionably late hour and there was a herd of at least a couple hundred deer on the road and in the fields I was driving through.  It was so magical, I stopped and simply enjoyed the beauty of nature...until some jack-A honked at me to move.  

My children will have memories of being at Grandma's house, somebody shouting DEER, running to the windows and watching several deer, including fawns, wander through the yard on their way to greener pastures.  Oh and of having to watch where you step because of the pellets they leave behind.  Thanks, deer.

3.  I figured out a third reason why I like deer...sort of.  In the town I grew up in, they actually made it legal to hunt deer inside the city limits with bow and arrow.  Oh yeah!!  I can just envision the hunters now, tracking bucks between the picket fences and swing sets all decked out in their camo.  Good times.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Promises, Promises....The Deer Quilt

I might just post pictures as this is my favorite quilt to date.  HA!  As if I wouldn't have words.

Each quilt I make is always my favorite as soon as I've made them, but this one....well, be still, my heart.

It is a Beating Hearth, original design and I couldn't be happier.  The bold colors and pattern really grab your attention.  I also like that I made it asymmetrical, but it certainly could be personalized any other way just by changing around the blocks to your liking.  I made a queen, but any quilt size can be made, including wall hangings of just the deer head.

This quilt is a mixture of piecing and machine applique and because the blocks are all 24.5 x 24.5 inches it is a fairly quick quilt to make, but still has serious impact!

The fabric I used is the gorgeous Innocent Crust by Anna Maria Horner.  I am so happy I saved myself...errr...this fabric for this quilt.  The Mister has declared it the first Man Quilt I have ever made. Shhhh....don't tell him I used such girly fabric.  The deer have obviously tricked him into thinking it's macho.

On my half square triangles, I wanted the pattern to be random...to a point.  If you'll notice I've got Innocent Crush fabric on the top triangles and a coordinating solid on the bottom triangles.  I also have them all pointing the same direction.  Random is good, but too random is bad as it confuses the eyes.  Having the pieces arranged precisely keeps the eyes moving, but not freaking out.

If you have never machine appliqued, this is a fun way to learn.  If you have never pieced a quilt, this is a fun way to learn.  The techniques are simple, but wow!

I am guessing by Monday I'll have this pattern up on Etsy.  So if you're interested, stop back and I'll have all the info you need so you can make this yourself.  I can just imagine it super manly with deep colors, all in solids or even girlier than this in pretty pastels. 

Thanks for stopping by deer readers!

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See what else you can do with this pattern...

Deer Head Pillow

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