Monday, December 15, 2014

Simple, Inexpensive Neighbor Christmas Gift: Light of Christ Lanterns

I guess it's a good thing for social media, or you guys might think I dropped off a cliff or something!
But, I'm still here. Just super busy!! Tiz the Season for crazy, or so it seems,  I'm really trying to keep things simple and remember the reason for this Christmas Season (celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). So today I bring you a simple neighbor/friend gift that helps keep the "reason" in the season. Every year I try to come up with a new gift that is simple, inexpensive, that isn't treats (we get so many!) and that helps keep our thoughts on the Savior. This year I got a great deal on those Olde Brooklyn Lanterns on-line, they were only $4.95 and I got free shipping too! You could easily do the same thing using a flash light or candle, anything that gives off light! (But I really like these lanterns they last a long time.) And add this simple card, some festive ribbon, wrapping, and BAM! Neighbors check!! And since I'm trying to keep things simple and not over do...I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! I hope you know that I appreciate all of you!!

Here is a lantern out of the box.

The words I chose for the simple card constructed from copy paper, using Word Program, outlined material is wrapping paper, and curling ribbon. 

A lantern packaged in it's box.



Monday, October 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of, Episode 1: Family History Activity

Dear Granny Elda, we love and honor you!! (my kids Great-Great Grandma)
Welcome back to our little "Patch-A-Heaven!" I have been contemplating family history a lot lately. Most of you probably already know, but if not...I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We believe in learning about our ancestors and that families can be together forever, this includes our ancestors who came before us. To learn more about our faith or about this topic please click here to visit
I have always felt a strong sense of family and love for those who came before me. However, I have been pondering how to get my kids to share the same sense of love for people they have never met. There are so many great, fun, and faith building experiences that these family members/ancestors have had, that have been recorded by other family members, that should be shared with the younger generation. I have decided that we (as a family) will research our family members and then "live out" some of their experiences. I am hoping that by doing this, it will draw my family/children closer to those family members who have passed on and create a love and desire for them to do family history "work" in the future.

For the first experience in this series, I chose my Great Grandmother Elda Christensen Frischknecht. I chose her, because she had a confidence building experience in her youth that I thought would be good for my girls who are around the same age she was when she did this. I learned of this part of her life from a video that some of my other family members created and they had her recorded telling this story of her youth. It's really awesome to hear her tell the story in her own voice! (Even though it's hard to understand at times.)

In her story, her parents go on a trip away from home, she is left in the care of her Grandmother. They go to church that day and subsequently Elda invites guests to their house for dinner. These guests had heard of a delicious chicken dinner that Elda's mom prepared. Elda didn't want to disappoint the guests by telling them her mom was away so she invited them to dinner anyway. When the Grandmother was told by Elda that they had company coming for dinner, the Grandma said "we can't do it!" "we don't have time and we can't do it!!" But Elda, in her 12 years experience and determined mind, she said "We CAN do it!" And she went straight to work. She went out to the chicken coop and picked a chicken that looked young and plump. She caught the hen, swung it over her head several times, laid it out on a chopping block and with one swing, chopped the chicken's head off. She hung the chicken upside down on the clothes line to drain the blood out, plucked out all the feathers and prepared the bird for dinner. She prepared some string beans, peaches and cake to serve with the chicken. The guests declared "This is the best chicken we've ever had!"

That day, Elda demonstrated strength, determination, and confidence in herself, as well as a "can do" attitude. All traits I want my girls to foster. She was a great example to our family and we have enjoyed learning about her.

For our "Day in the Life" experience we donned home made aprons (I know where you can buy some really cute ones, wink, wink!) because Grandma Elda always wore one when she was cooking! We headed out to the chicken coop (because we have one) and my oldest daughter (she's 10) selected a hen she thought looked good. My youngest kids (7 and 3) watched from the garden. (They aren't quite ready for this crazy chicken thing!) Even though I think killing, plucking the chicken would have shown my kids how life really was back then, we didn't kill our chicken. For a couple of being, we already had chicken in the fridge so it wasn't necessary. Just catching the hen proved to be a challenge! And quite entertaining!! She chased the chicken (they live in a free range pasture with access to their coop) until she was out of breath. So I stepped in to help give her some pointers on chicken chasing!! We herded the hen into the coop gently, closed the door, and slowly cornered, and caught her. Then we let her loose.

She learned that this is NOT the way to catch a hen!

Slowing things down and choosing her hen.
And she got her! Of course I had to wear my "Black Sheep Apron" because Elda and Wilford were Sheep Ranchers.

Then we dug up potatoes and carrots from our garden to add to our chicken dinner. The girls wanted to make chicken soup and so that's what we did. I taught them how to peel and chop carrots and potatoes. They made home made noodles (recipe from their other grandma) and served the rest of our family. They really enjoyed helping with the cooking and being trusted with sharp things!! Of course I supervised the cutting and peeling at all times. But, they really love being able to do "Big people" things! It takes restraint, but I really think it's best to give proper instructions and training and then allow them to do hard things. They made a delicious pot of soup and had a lot of fun doing it. After we enjoyed their delicious dinner, we sat down as a family to watch the DVD of our Frischknecht family history which included the story of Grandma Elda. (And of course we had ice cream because a "milk nickel" was her favorite!)  They were glued to the movie and I think it helped for them to have a personal experience to tie them closer to their ancestors.
Digging up taters!

The Carrot Crew!
She dug up some nice ones.
He was the tater carrier.
And sometimes we wear dance leos with cowboy boots and an apron, just for kicks!!
Learning to peel.
And she says "now I know how Princess Tiana feels!"
She's good at making noodles too!

This happened yesterday, as of today they are still talking about Grandma Elda and I love that!

I believe that even though these ancestors have long since passed on, that the veil between heaven and earth is thin and they know what is going on here. I feel the ties of my family strengthen when we learn of those from the past. I am indeed grateful for those in my family that came before, who worked hard and sacrificed much to provide the legacy we have today. I'm also grateful for those family members who had the foresight and took the time to research and record this history on a DVD for us to enjoy. My hope is to instill a love and loyalty to family through learning of those from long ago.

My other hope is that this experience/blog post will ignite a desire in you to learn of your  own ancestors.

Until next time, much love from "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher, Episode 10, Art Inspired Cowgirl

Hi friends! Welcome back to my little "Patch-A-Heaven!" Maybe you thought I had given up on my series
Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher...well no, I haven't given up! (That's just not in my nature!) Just been too busy being momma to snap any pics of myself. But, the girls and I had a really fun weekend at the sheep ranch with Grandpa and it was the perfect setting for this post!
My littlest girl getting her herd on!
My oldest daughter has been begging me to go herding sheep with Grandpa, but she insisted on bringing her horse! And I don't blame her, it's much more fun to herd sheep with a good equine partner than on your own feet! So we packed up the sheep camp with supplies and clothes, loaded our ponies, and headed for the ranch! We had a great, relaxing and working weekend along with some spiritual therapy as well. (We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And twice a year we get to experience General Conference, where we get to hear from our inspired church leaders, this is broadcast over television, Internet, satellite and radio.) We relaxed in the camp during the broadcast times, listening to conference, drinking cocoa and playing cards, enjoying the fire in the stove. And when conference was over we rode our horses and herded sheep. The sheep had just come off the summer mountain range and we needed to get them into some Fall pasture. The girls and I, along with my Dad and my little Sister moved the sheep down the highway to another pasture just off the highway. This doesn't sound very difficult, until you add the element of terrible or non-existent fences all the way along! And green alfalfa in every field. This makes it difficult because the sheep want to duck into every field along the way for a quick snack.
Here's my oldest, getting her wish! To herd sheep on her horse with her Grandpa!!
Everything was going smoothly as dad was in front keeping them out of where they weren't supposed to be, my girls and I were behind the herd, keeping them moving, but then my sister's horse got her foot caught in some wire from one of those non-existent fences and dad had to stop to get her out. (She and the horse are just fine) Then things got a little Western! As he herded the sheep back out of the field they were not supposed to be in, they hit the fence all at once, that was half up/half down, and the fence came ALIVE! It shot up out of the ground with the weight of the sheep and they were headed our way! This of course, spooked some of the horses, but only momentarily and we got them all calmed down. And we were back on down the road. The rest of the trip was calm and uneventful. We got the sheep into the intended field and rode back to the farm. My oldest daughter is riding the horse we call "Tank", he's as big as a tank, but is one of our trustiest mounts. He is always calm, level headed and not scared of anything. I know I can trust him to take special care if that little girl!

This was my littlest girls first experience riding another horse. Her tried and true, gentle, nothing phases her little, Palomino mare is 31 years old. But, she has become too old to haul in the trailer safely. So on this excursion she rode another horse, good arena kids horse, but hasn't had experience on the sheep ranch. So she had some great trail rides and confidence building experiences and then her new mount got a little freaked out by all the sheep coming at her. So when you see me "ponying" a horse, that's because it got a little too Western for my little one and I took her off, she rode in the truck with Daddy. I pulled (ponied) her horse along behind the sheep without her being on to get the horse used to the situation. She calmed down and we went on another trail ride without sheep after to get her back on and comfortable again.

The girls had a great time riding and herding sheep with Grandpa!

Someone should have told my mare "Maggie" to open her eyes. (She didn't know she was getting her picture taken, truth be told, neither did I!) 
So to the "Fashion" part of it!! One of my favorite trends this season is the Art Inspired Look. Wearable Art!! So for this post I am wearing our newly designed, made and printed in the U.S.A Fancy Ewe "Cowgirl" Shirt. It was inspired by my love for cowgirls and art! The shirt is comfortable, breathable and washes well. Perfect for chilly, yet warm Fall days with it's 3/4 length sleeves. For more info on how to order this shirt click here: The Fancy Ewe Website
I went with my well worn Cruel Girl riding jeans, Ariat Leopard Boots and to bring another art element to the DIY Sharpie Cowboy Hat. To see the post where I embellished the hat click here   :Sharpie Hat
To complete the look I chose a red/white polka dot Wild Rag and MAC Russian Red Lipstick!

This is probably my favorite pic from our adventure! This is my littlest and I smiling and riding around a sprinkler line that the sheep went under. She's happy and so am I!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to make an easy, inexpensive floral centerpiece.

On the right is the centerpiece my daughter and I made together, the one in the middle is the one she made that inspired this project, and the one on the left is the one she made on her own with flowers and she liked the jar closed.

Ya know, being a MOM is just the most amazing thing ever! My kids are forever inspiring me in all sorts of ways. Today I want to share with you a project that was inspired by something my oldest daughter made on her own. I happened to pass by a small table in our garage and noticed something sitting on it that wasn't there caught my eye! It was simple, yet elegant. Muted, yet beautiful. And it inspired me to make my own!! So I asked my daughter to help me, of course she loves creative projects, and she also loved that this was her idea, and I was using it!! So together we created what you will see today. This is a very simple, inexpensive, fast and fun way to use the beauty around us that nature creates to add beauty to a space. Flowers are beautiful coming out of jars in a more traditional sense, but I love how they are inside the jar in this case, it gives it a different feel!

All you need to complete this project is some wildflowers or other leaves and pretty things from your yard and a glass canning jar. Pluck the heads off the flowers and start adding them to the jar. We tried to keep the fronts of the flowers facing out, but they naturally slump over time which adds a different dimensional element that I think makes them even better!

If nothing else, I hope these pretty flowers add a brightness and beauty to your day!!

Our completed project tied with a little spike leaf from our planters.
This is she, who inspired this project and inspires me everyday to be a better person! She is the perfect example of happiness and light. I am grateful everyday I was blessed to be her mother!!

And after 3 days, it still brings beauty to lives and memories of time spent together. The flowers scrunch down over time, but are still pretty.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Creative Cowgirl, Episode 2: Do It Yourself, Art Inspired, Sharpie Cowboy Hat

The Before
Welcome to our little "Patch-A-Heaven!" We love creating and living our cowgirl lifestyle!! (I have 2 little cowgirls and we love to share our creative cowgirl projects with you.) There is a strong art vibe in fashion these days. You can see it everywhere, and why not?! Art is all around us and is very inspiring! I have loved the "Pop Art" fashion trend since Spring and will reveal my entire art inspired cowgirl look in another "Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher" post. For today, I want to share how we added some art to our cowgirl style by decorating a plain straw cowboy hat.
I was walking down the isle at Walmart the other day, when I spotted them...the 80's Glam Limited Edition of Sharpies, 24 bold colors to choose from,and if that didn't get you, the names like "banana clip yellow" and "valley girl violet" would have (if you grew up in the 80's, you like totally know what I mean, it made me want to find some leg warmers)...oh, and it sparked an idea! Why not draw some art on a plain, old straw cowboy hat?! And that's just what I did. Not using any templates or shapes, just some artful fashion inspo from Vogue and InStyle Mags and started doodling. Now I am in no way an experienced artist, I really don't draw that well at all...but this was really fun! And I love the way it turned out. And I think I need another cowboy hat because being creative always sparks more ideas and I have another...we'll save that for another day..Until then, hope you enjoy our totally awesome Sharpie Hat!

For today's project you just need some Sharpies, a hat and your creative imagination! And let it go wild!!

Here is mine:

Goes perfect with our amazing Western Skies!

You will see why I chose the colors I did in my next fashion post...I'm matching something new!

Some scrolls and dots around the edge.

The 80's Glam Collection in all it's glory!

I have never met a boring cowgirl, I mean for heaven sake we live to be different. So here's a way to stand out in your own artful way!! Never be afraid to be yourself and let the world see who you really are!

Hope you have a "Fancy" Day, with much love from "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crafty Cowgirl Series, Episode 1, Tie Dyed Reins

Hi there! It's been such a fun and busy summer here on our little "Patch-A-Heaven!" We have been riding
horses a lot!! And as far as I'm concerned...that's perfect. I have loved and ridden horses since I was a small child. And that love has never left me. We currently have 6 horses here on our little farm, yes...I am in fact what you might call "horse poor!" (If you are not familiar with this term, basically it means you make plenty of money, but you have so many horses that you spend it all feeding, vaccinating, shoeing, medicating and taking care of them so it seems that you are in fact...poor.) Well, money or not, horses bring a certain joy into my life that isn't present when they aren't! So they are totally worth it. (And they must be, because I spent all day yesterday and into the night caring for one with colic and I'm still happy about it, but that's a story for another day.)

Today I realized that in all my "horsing around" that I haven't given this blog the attention and love it deserves. So I thought it would be fun to combine my love of horses and being a cowgirl with my love of being creative and crafty. My girls have always loved to tie dye shirts every summer which is a tradition for us, but I saw some plain white riding reins in my local IFA store and it sparked some creativity! I thought of how fun it would be to have some tie dyed reins. And that's just what we created.

My first thought was to do it like we do T-shirts by rolling them up around themselves to create a circle, then using elastics to section off areas for separate colors. I tried this, put it in a plastic bag all day, took them out, rinsed and they didn't hold the color like I had hoped. So if at first you don't succeed, try try again as they say! So this time, I clothes pinned them to my hog panel fence (getting really cowgirl now!) and individually dabbed on the colors where I wanted them up and down the reins using the bottle full of dye. I left white space in between the colors to allow for bleeding so the colors didn't bleed into each other. The reins are white cotton braids so if yours are like that just take it slow, if you squirt a lot of colored liquid on at once, it will just run off. So go slow and dab it on, while gently squeezing the bottle until you have achieved the desired color.  Then I allowed the reins to fully dry. I didn't rinse them this time so the colors are bolder!

I like how they turned out. This is a fun, easy project that would be fun to add some color and individual style to your horses life. Way more fun than plain white reins right?!!

Here are some pics from our tie dye rein project:

These are the reins before I started and the color kit I used for today's project.

If you use this method, I would highly suggest stopping way before the elastics (leaving some white) to allow for bleeding.

As you can see on the below pic there is quite a bit of bleeding into the yellow by the purple and pink so make sure to leave some bleeding space if you use this method.

The other method, which I used the second time is to hang by clothespins on a fence and apply the color wherever you want (again, leaving bleeding space.)

Here is our handsome equine model, "Tank" (we love him!) He's wearing what all the cool horses will be wearing this Fall!!

We love how our reins turned out! Hope you loved the first of our "Crafty Cowgirl" Series. Watch for more Creative Cowgirl Inspired Projects coming to the blog soon!!

Until then, have a Fancy Day!! And much love from our little "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Project Denim, Diminishing the Jean Pile, Episode 11, How to Make an Asymmetrical Jean Skirt!

Welcome back! Today I'm sharing the other project I made using my favorite, old jeans. I hated to let them go, but they were so worn that I decided to make something new out of them! Distressed denim pencil skirts are all over lately and I have wanted one. So I made one! Here is how it turned out and I love it!!

To make one you will need:
Denim Jeans that fit you
Sewing Machine, thread

Begin by cutting the skirt off about the knee or however long you want, keeping in mind to cut one leg a little longer if you want to do the asymmetrical look. Then unpick both the inner leg seams all the way up. And a little further in the front (like to the zipper seam) so you can over lap it later. Now sew the legs together in the front over lapping the original crotch seam so it shows in the front. Sew a new seam all the way down the front of the skirt to make the front of the skirt intact. Then for the back I cut one of the legs (that I cut from the original pair of jeans) in half the long way and made a rectangle that fit the hole in the back and sewed it to the skirt, I just placed the square on top of the skirt, pinned it and sewed, so there are frayed edges showing all the way around the skirt. The bottom of the square had the original pants hem on it and I liked the look. Then I cut the front of the skirt so it looked asymmetrical. Then I frayed all edges for a more distressed look. I left all holes and fraying.
My inspiration for the look was a Metallic Skirt from Top Shop that I saw in a fashion magazine.
My fav jeans before I started my skirt project today.
Here they are cut off at and below the knee and inside leg seams unpicked and opened up.
Here the skirt is pinned together and ready to sew. With my inspo, the silver, leather, metallic skirt.
The whole look!

And when I got this all typed up and pics loaded...I realized...I somehow missed taking shots of the back! Well another day I'll show you the back. I'm such a goof ball!!

Hope you love denim projects as much as I do and hope you have a great day!
Much love from my little "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project Denim, Diminishing the Jean Pile, Episode 10, Moccasin Inspired Summer Sandal Make Over!

Maybe you have been wondering where I've been...maybe you thought I ran out of ideas...well I'm back! It's been a super busy summer around here with kids, lambs, horses, garden and potty training, ugh!! And I'm not out of ideas, I just need more time in the day, the week, the year, know what I mean?!

I have a favorite pair of denim jeans and I've had them for eons!! Seriously they are so worn!! And I have decided that they need to be turned into something else so I can continue to enjoy them. Distressed denim is so in right now, but mine were getting ridiculously distressed!! So I made them into 2 different things (and had some denim left over for another project later!)
The first thing I want to share with you is a Moccasin inspired sandal look! Moccasins are a hot trend these days too, and I secretly wish Freshly Picked would make adult sizes, but until then I will settle for these!!
They turned out super cute and easy. And I think they add a little extra fun and sassy fringe to my sandals.

The finished project!

To make these you will need:
Needle and Thread
Hook and Eye closures (Joann fabric store) 2
Glue Gun or E600
Your favorite sandals to wear them with

To make them:
To begin start with two equal strips of denim about 10.5" long and 2.5" wide, (length may vary depending on size of ankles you are trying to fit so make sure to check that they fit around with room to over lap a bit for the hook and eye closures)
Now that you have 2 strips of denim I would fray the bottom and sides by pulling the thread closest to the cut and pulling it all the way out and repeat until you have a nice fray. Then fold the top edge over and glue down to itself using the glue gun, you would also sew this down if you want or leave it frayed, whichever look you like. Then working from the bottom, make cuts about 3/4 of the way up the strips, (stopping at the exact same place each time) about 1/4-1/2" wide, repeat all the way down the strip. and then I cut off the last strip to make a space so the strip could wrap on top of itself where the hook and eye are. Now attach the hook and eye by sewing in place. (Check the fit on your ankle before sewing so they fit perfectly)
Here is my strip I started with.
A closer look at the cuts along the strip to make the fringe.
Here I have cut just above the seam at the top, cut the original strip into 2 strips and trimmed the last fringe off one side on each strip.
Here I have finished the strips by hand sewing on the hook/eye closures and glued on some rhinestones so they match my sandals. I also hot glued the top of the strips down to the back of the strip, by folding it over and gluing.

To embellish and make these match my sandals I added some Rhinestones by gluing them on!

Here's my look!! And tune in tomorrow for the "big" project I made with my old jeans! Just in time for the rodeo!!

My finished project!