Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trend Alert! Equestrian Jodhpur Inspired Leggings, with some Jackie style.

I am absolutely in love with the Equestrian Trend, always have been! (Probably because, well I am an Equestrian!) So to say that I'm over the moon excited to see it at the top of mainstream fashion trends is understatement!! I have been wanting to make my daughter some equestrian  "jodhpur" inspired leggings, but have had such a hard time finding the perfect fabric. So one day while carousing the Spoonflower site I found some really great fabric! I chose the white, organic cotton, knit in a "Dee-Ring" Snaffle Bit print. And sewed them up. I did this while she was at school and hoped it worked out! I am pleased to say that I am in love and they turned out just as I had hoped! Easy too!! When thinking about how to style these darling britches (or should I say breeches?!) I got swept away in a Camelot sort of vision. I have always loved Jacqueline Kennedy's style and I know she was a true equestrian, so I went with a styling that I think screams Jackie! I love the navy, red, denim colors with the snaffle bit print. And plaids are another trend of noteworthy mention this season so I had to throw some plaid and print mixing in too! I thought a silk scarf worn retro over the head and a big pair of sunglasses was the stuff! Then for the first thought was paddock boots, then I thought we needed a little cowgirl flare. So we styled with red cowgirl boots. Hope you like it! From "Patch-A-Heaven" here is our take on the following trends: Equestrian, leggings, plaid, navy and print mixing done "Littles" style!

This is a "Mom, not cool!" face.
Inspiration for this look from the pages of Vanity Fair. The Kennedy Special Edition.
More from Vanity Fair!

Can you say attitude?!

Here we have styled the bit leggings with a more traditional pair of English Paddock Boots.

And then look what I found! A total throw back!! This is me and my pretty mare Shorty. RIP my good friend!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom, Raising Bummer Lambs, End of Season

It's been a while since I posted anything about my little crop of lambs. And tomorrow is auction day so I will be bidding farewell to my 2013 bummers. It's always a bitter-sweet experience for me! I spend so much time on/with them that when they are gone it feels like something is missing, yet I don't have to chase them anymore! I was beginning to refer to myself as "Little Bo Peep" this summer because it always seemed like I was loosing my sheep! My gracious neighbor lets me feed off his 4th crop of hay and that really helps me get my lambs up to goal weight without buying expensive feed. But the fences are not great for sheep so it seems I am always chasing them back where they are supposed to be! You've heard "the grass is always greener on the other side?!" Well that is certainly true for a sheep! Even when their pasture is greener and has more feed, if they can...they will! Let's just say I have gotten my exercise this summer herding them back in. There is a reason big herds have a full time sheep herder. Otherwise they would disappear!!

I have a few reasons for raising these lambs, first is that it gives my children good agricultural experiences. The next is that it makes this stay at home mommy some money. Tomorrow is my long awaited pay day! I may not have put a lot of money into this investment, but I've sure put my time, energy and sacrifice. And the last is I'm just crazy and I guess that it's in my blood! I love sheep and the ag heritage which is mine.

Here is a re-cap of this year's orphan lamb raising experience:

A ride home from the ranch in the "lambulance" (otherwise known as the "nice truck")

This is the most crucial and time consuming period, getting them all to drink from the bottle and want to live. Yes..this is also my garage! I set up temporary pallet cubies in here so they stay warm and are close for those late night feedings.

My kiddos love to help with the bottle feedings. And it's so good for them to learn responsibility because if you miss or forget just one feeding on these babies, they will not survive!

Nice Nipples!! Me just being silly!

Come on baby you can do it! Take a drink!

Oh happy day! First day out in the pasture!

Good thing I'm not claustrophobic! Oh wait...I am! AHHH!! You guys are freaking me out man!!

Come follow me. It's getting chilly outside. Going back into their barn (aka my garage) for the night.

Time to put weight on in the alfalfa pasture.

Little Stinkers, escaped again! But it gives the kids good herding experience and gives them some more responsibility. There were days I needed to do something else, but I could give my 8 year old the charge of keeping track of the sheep. Many times she got them back in without my help.

And they are back where they started! Off to the auction tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We Are Learning To Smile Through The Tears, Life Lessons Learned on a Sheep Ranch

I mentioned in a previous post a while back that I felt lucky to have made it through our
County Fair this year. Truth be told there were some hard and disappointing moments. Today I thought I'd share this experience with you. I strongly believe that one of the best ways to teach my children the lessons of life and the character traits needed, is through farming and ranching experiences and participation in the 4-H program. I like to give my children as many of these experiences as I can to help them become the people I know they can be. Our family has been in the sheep industry for decades. My dad still operates a large sheep operation in Sanpete County which my Grandpa operated before him. So sheep have been in our lives forever. I decided to give my girls a more individual experience with sheep this year. Since their birth they have been involved with helping me feed and care for our bummer (orphaned) lambs every year, but they have never experienced the show before. I asked them if they wanted to show some lambs this summer. They said "yes, we do!" So Grandpa Joe bought some fancy show lambs in the Spring and we got started feeding and leading!
We practiced leading, setting up, showing almost every day this summer. It took a lot of our time and energy. There were many times when the girls complained and asked "are we done yet?" There were tears shed at first especially from my youngest, who by nature is very timid, shy, doesn't like attention, and is not by nature "tough." Which is one of the reasons I wanted her to have this experience. I was extremely understanding at first of her fear. The lamb was wild. He was bigger than her. And I was kind and patient in my ways of helping her to overcome her fears. It was inevitable that she would cry at some point in our practice every time. And that was okay. Our goal was to make these crying sessions and dramatic moments happen less often. My oldest just went about her work without the tears and drama of the younger. Which is just the way they are, very opposite of each other and that's great! We practiced, practiced and practiced. The show was upon us. As my littlest girl weighing 38 pounds led her 155 pound lamb to the show tent she was ready! That is, until she saw all the people sitting in the stands!! When she entered the ring she was paralyzed with fear. She can be so shy at times and this was one of those times. I told her it would be okay and that I would be there. I stood in the corner of the ring where she could see me and an older more experienced girl walked with her as she showed her lamb in the Market Class. I was able to snap a picture of her as she entered the ring that day. It is priceless to me. She has tears in her eyes, but she manages a smile and continued on with what she started. When she exited the ring with her blue ribbon there was a bigger smile on her face! She had been rewarded for her hard work. That was the last class for her that day. But I wanted to get one more practice session in, in the show ring before the Showmanship Class that was to be the next day, thinking that it would give her more confidence if she was more comfortable working in the ring. Both girls performed perfectly. Even the littlest was able to do everything all by herself without tears and I felt confident in her abilities to compete the next day. In the morning we practiced one more time. This practice session went quite different than the night before to my dismay! The tears and "I can't do it's" came back and I was wishing I hadn't suggested another practice at all! Grandpa walked up and asked me if I was being a little hard on her. I would have agreed with him if this was her first experience, but I have seen her do it and knew she could do it. Yes, I was not as patient as I was in our first encounters.  Yes, I was "pushing" her a little. Not to be perfect, not to do that which she was unable, but to help her understand that she knows what to do and to help her to find the confidence that she could do it! I'm happy to announce that after the breakdown in the parking lot, she went in there and showed her lamb to the best of her ability and without any tears. I was super proud of her because I know it was hard for her. Another blue ribbon was won and she was pleased. When it was all over she asked me "Mom, why did you want me to do this?" Very profound question and I'm glad that she asked me. I explained to her that I want to give her experiences in her life that will help to build her up. I wanted her to see that she could do hard things. I wanted to give her opportunities to be in front of people and help overcome her shyness. I wanted to give her an experience that would teach her that she can be tougher than she thinks she can. I think she understood. I asked her if she thought she wanted to do it again next year. She said, "I'm not sure yet." That's fair, I can go with that. I like to give my kids experiences and opportunities, but would never make them do things they didn't enjoy. But I will however help and encourage them to finish what they start as we did with our show lambs this year. I have a deep respect for the farmers and ranchers of our country. They sacrifice much to bring good, safe food to the tables of America. And I will continue to use the farm and ranch opportunities and experiences to teach my kids about hard work, sacrifice, determination, perseverance, animal husbandry, self confidence, grit, respect, delayed gratification and many other qualities that I feel are important. Even though I know it was hard and she had to stretch and grow a lot, I am so proud of her and what she was able to do. I hope that she always remembers the day she overcame her fears and emerged triumphant!

We will keep building character, doing our best here on "Patch-A-Heaven" and we hope you have a great day!! And don't forget to thank a farmer/rancher!!

Here are a few pics from our sheep show:

Pretty proud of herself! Makes my heart smile!

The blue ribbon cuties!

Waiting to go in the ring.

What do I do for exercise you ask? Well there's this new craze in workouts, it's called lamb walking!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Project Denim, Diminishing the Jean Pile, Episode: 7

If you have been following for a while you have seen lots of denim projects. Hopefully you are not sick of them! I believe that making old clothes that don't work the way they used to, but aren't garbage, still have a place in this world. My "Handy Hubby" is really good at wearing out Wrangler Jeans, but there is still a lot of good, useable denim there and I just can't get myself to throw them out! So today I bring you  another denim makeover project.

Have you fallen for the fold-over clutch yet? They are all over the place lately! Fashionistas are toting these stylish bags of all prints, kinds and colors. I just love the challenge of trying to create something from meager means and with current trends. Today's trend inspiration is both the fold-over clutch and fringe! Say hello my little friend!!

Putting Together a Mulan Costume for Halloween

Here's a pic of what we did:
I'm back to finish up the Mulan costume idea. My daughter already has a Kimono, we bought it at Craft Lake City this year. It's called a "Koolmono." Here is the link to their Etsy shop if you need to buy one:
I can vouch for the quality of the sewing and workmanship, very well made! (They are not paying me, I just think they have a great product and like to support handmade mom and pop shops!) This is the base of our Mulan costume. It came with the belt. Then we added a cricket cage and cricket, (see my tutorial on this blog to make one of these here)

Mulan Cricket Cage Tutorial

Then we made a flower for her hair and a red ribbon. We did a high bun for the hair do and spray painted it black using the Halloween hair spray. (Yes, it did wash out! My daughter has blonde hair.) To see the flower tutorial on this blog click here: Mulan Hair Flower Tutorial

I made a simple elastic waist skirt to go under the Kimono (that's the green/white polka dot part), I used an old, white, long sleeve T-shirt to go under the Kimono and just cut along the sleeve seam all the way from the wrist to the under arm area to make a flowy white sleeves. Then we used flip flops with socks for shoes. We used white face make up for face, then purple eye shadow and red lipstick for makeup. Because Mulan wears gold earrings we wanted to also, however I didn't want to weigh down her ears with heavy earrings so I made some earrings out of shiny gold fabric instead. To do this just find a shiny gold fabric cut out the shape you want, singe the edges with a flame to keep from fraying, then use small pearl earrings to poke through the fabric to hold the fabric in place and you have an easy, cheap, light weight, gold earring! Hope these few hints help you make an awesome Mulan costume this year! Happy Halloween from "Patch-A-Heaven!!"
The cute "Koolmono"

Hair Flower.

Cricket Cage.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Recipe Share: Peaches N Cream Syrup

Welcome to my little "Patch-A-Heaven!" Since we have an abundance of peaches around right now, I thought I would share one of my family's favorite recipes. I call it Peaches N Cream Syrup . You could use this syrup recipe on any of your favorite pancakes. My family loves German Pancakes so that's how we do it! The original syrup recipe was not my creation, it's been used by my mom since I was a child. The fruit flavored modifications to original recipe are my own. To view the "Original Special Syrup" Recipe, please click here:
Special Syrup Recipe

I have also modified this original recipe with a Blackberry Twist, to view this recipe click here:
Blackberry Version of Special Syrup

Today's version like I said is Peaches N Cream. My favorite peaches are called O'Henry. They are sweet, great flavored and bottle well. I'm done with my canning and have a few fresh ones left. My kiddos wanted their favorite breakfast this morning so I tried a peach version. I think this one is my favorite!

What you will need:
Peaches, 3 fresh, ripe, one chopped and 2 pureed, the puree should make 1 cup
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Stick Butter, salted
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup White Granulated Sugar

Wash, peel off skins from peaches, and remove pits, puree 2 of those peaches in a food processor (make smooth), then chop other peach into 1" pieces. Then in a saucepan, heat cream, butter, sugar and vanilla until boiling. Then add peach puree and peach pieces. Heat and stir for about 2 min. then serve over warm pancakes. Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How to Make a Mulan Hair Flower, a tutorial.

I'm back to help you with those accessories for your Mulan costume. Halloween is close and I'm trying to get our costumes ready. I love to share my ideas in hopes that I can help someone else make something! Today we are doing the Mulan hair flower. I just bought a plastic flower bunch at Wal-Mart. ($3) I only needed one flower, but I got several! So if you live close and need one, I have a bunch. The flowers are a big, white Day Lilly looking flower with a yellow pollen center.

What you will need:
Flower of your choice, plastic
Hot Glue/Gun
Hair Clip, I used an alligator clip

What I did:
I cut a flower off the bunch as close to the flower as possible so there is not a stem to deal with when gluing. Then I cut off 2 of the green leaves from the bunch. I then glued the leaves onto the clip first, one stem ends facing inward. The leaves overlap a bit. Then I glued the flower onto the leaves. And ta-da! One Mulan Flower ready to go!!

Happy Halloween!!

To see the Cricket Cage I made click here: Mulan Cricket Cage Tutorial

Stuff you need.

The leaves glued to the clip.

The finished product!

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Make a Mulan Cricket Cage, a tutorial.

Halloween is creeping closer and closer! Do you know what your littles are going to be this year? My kids have finally decided and so now the work begins!! Sure I could just run down to Wal-Mart and buy a $20 throw on costume, but where's the fun in that?! Halloween is always a test of my creativity and I love a good challenge! So this year one of my daughters wants to be Mulan and she chose the look where Mulan is going to meet the Matchmaker, with the fancy garb, makeup and the like. I was actually thrilled when she said she wanted to be Mulan, because this summer while we were at Craft Lake City, we bought her a Kimono, so we already had a big part of the costume covered!! I love when that happens too!! So then we thought of all the accessories that she had in that scene. Today I bring you a tutorial on how I made the cricket cage, you know the one her Grandma gives her for good luck?!

Things you will need:
2 Wide Mouth Bottling Jar Lids/Rings
Thin cardboard, I used a cereal box, manila folder
Hot Glue/Gun
Water Bottle Cap
Ring, I think mine was once on a roll of first aid tape!
Gold Spray Paint, I had lots left over from my pumpkin painting and muckboot makeover!
Picture cut out of the blue cricket, I just googled Mulan and there was a photo there.

Now to get started cut a rectangle out of the cereal box, cut it a size so that it will wrap around to make a cylinder shape and fit inside the rings. Then cut rectangular holes out of the cereal box to make the bars of the cage. Then glue the ends together (the size of the rings). Now glue the lids inside the rings, both. Then glue the cylinder cage inside the rings, one on top and one on bottom. Then cut out a half circle I made mine out of an old Manila Folder. Then wrap the half circle around itself until it fits on top of the top ring, and then glue in place. Now glue the cap on top of the half circle that now resembles a teepee. and then glue the ring on top of the cap. When glued well, spray paint to cover evenly, let dry. Then cut out and glue in the cricket.

Here's the finished product.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Pick The Next Trend on My "Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher Series"

Hi! I hope by now we are friends, because today I would love some friendly feedback. I want you to pick the next trend you want to see me put my cowgirl spin on! What fall runway fashion trend are you loving? If you leave a trend suggestion in the comment section of this post (and your the first one to suggest the trend) and I pick your trend for the next "Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher" Episode, I will send you your favorite item from my shop!! Yep, you got it totally free! I wanna know what you guys wanna see! I want this blog to be a fun place where we can share our ideas. I have lots of ideas swimming around in this brain, but I want to hear your ideas too. So get those comments coming! Remember first one to suggest the trend that I pick is a winner, winner...chicken dinner!! I will close this offer at 10:00PM (MST) tomorrow. I can't wait to see what you suggest!! Have a fancy day!!