Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bluebird Houses Made of Antique Rustic Barn Wood

We've enjoyed such success in attracting bluebirds with our own bluebird houses that we decided to offer them for sale as well.

Yet these lovely bird houses are not only useful, they are also beautiful being made from antique barn wood from our own farm. The wood has been weathered and grooved over many many decades. The old farm house on our property was built in 1910 so we suspect that the old barns are atleast as old, making this wood nearly 100 years old!

The pattern for making them came from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The houses can be directly screwed onto a post outdoors or a picture hanger can be attached for hanging in your home as decoration.

If you prefer to have the bottom protuding wood pieces cut so that the bird house can sit flat on a mantle or shelf, please let us know and we will be happy to cut that for you. These houses are available for purchase in my etsy shop at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Children's Crocheted Necklaces ~ Custom Order

This group of crocheted necklaces was a special order for 4 girls. What a fun project it was too. Each of the girls had their favorite colors and the rest of it was up to me for stones, colors of wire and glass seed beads.

One chose turquoise and so I put three different types of turquoise beads on silver. Finished with sterling silver findings of course, Classic!

Another chose purple so I went with purple wire and amethyst beads. Some were chips, some were smooth rounds and some were faceted rondelles. With all the purple going on I decided to add in some multi peacock colored seed beads that were lined with gold. The gemstone chips give it a youthful funky feel while the entire combination is overall stunning. Can I say that about my own work? Well I can't help myself. They are so pretty and each unique! I finished this in copper findings.

The third necklace was requested in blue. We already did turquiose so this one got dark blue, with semi-transluscent iolite in both faceted barrels and smooth discs as well as smooth rondelles of lapis. Gorgeous on copper wire. Wow. This was also finished in copper findings.

And the last but not least is pink for the youngest who is 4 years old. I used rose quartz diagonal cubes, pink cat's eye, faceted coral, light rose swarovski crystals and some multi colored seed beads which added a lot of dimension to this dainty piece. Wire color of choice was gold. So findings are gold filled. It's so soft and sweet in those pinks on gold. I call it cotton candy, which is what the rose quartz looks like to me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pony Riders at the party.

All the kids that wanted pony rides got to ride Grady the pony the day of Joey's graduation party. Joey graduated this summer, but we were so busy with the farm and other resposibilities it took until Nov.1 before we had time to celebrate. There were so many riders, but I have to pick the best 5 pics. It's too bad I didn't get any group pictures, because it's so hard to show everyone that was there.

Jacob was really good to help by walking Grady with a lead rope so everyone could ride.

We have several ponies for sale. Please contact me if you are interested. Tina @ belleadorn . com (remove spaces).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joey's Graduation Party

It turned out to be such a nice day for this party. In the morning there was a terribly thick fog, but it finally burned off and warmed up. Lots of family and friends came. Besides food and visiting we had hay rides and pony rides for the smaller kids as well as a small bon fire for smores later in the day. Joey's friend Troy helped to finish it off right by spending the night and playing video games with the guys! Altogether we had so much fun. It was well deserved for all the hard work it took to finish up high school. Above is Joey with his special cake my sister Jamie made for him and his cousin Lauren. Above here is Joey's Grandma Doris, his uncle Wally and his uncle August. Below he's with his Grandma and Grandpa, Carolyn and Jim.

The hay riders.
The gamers, lol. Joseph, Jacob and Troy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heirloom Tomatoes & Squeezo Machine

My Favorite tomatoes for slicing and eating plain are the heirloom varieties. They are flavorful and come in so many unusual colors. Aren't these green ones gorgeous? They are fully ripe and this beautiful bright green color. The best tasting though, this year, was the dark ones that had a purple/black skin with a reddish pink flesh called Pierce's Pride. It's pictured here on the plate with the green variety and a delicious yellow tomato.

We also like the big tomato varieties for sandwiches, such as Big Boy or Beefsteak.

And the best for cooking into a sauce are the Roma varieties. This year I found an Amish tomato that was like the Roma only much bigger. The reason the Roma tomato is good for making sauce is because it is a fleshier tomato with less juice and so it thickens beautifully. With the amount of tomatoes we grow though almost every variety ends up in my tomato sauce.

I use this squeezo strainer to remove skins and seeds from the pulp. Mine is very old (at least 50 years). One can buy them new for over $200 new, but I did see quite a few up for auction today on ebay starting for a lot less money. It's a very handy machine for making tomato sauces as well as apple sauce. There is a crank on one side. Out the other side of the squeezo comes the skins and seeds, which we toss into the compost. The large funnel at the top is where the blanched product goes in, and then there is a spout out the front where the pulp comes out. We attach it to our picnic table because it can be quite a juicy mess.

Nothing can be simpler than cooking down this sauce and processing it up for winter storage. Every modern canning book will have picture instuctions for how to can or process tomato sauce. These books can be purchased any place where canning jars and other canning products sold.

Here the the girls and Noah are helping to make applesauce last fall. We get our apples from one of the many orchards just south of the Missouri River. We usually combine a juicy sweet Gala or similar type apple with some tart Jonathon's for our applesauce, which I also process for winter use. Look here to see my canning recipes for the best salsa and old fashioned cucumber relish.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Latest Critter Catches ~ Bunny, Bull frog, Praying Mantis

My husband, Jim, caught all these critters over the last couple of weeks. He's so great about showing new things to the kids. Of course, Noah (being 3 years old), is enthralled with new things and especially new animals.
Keera is holding the wild bunny she named Fluffy. Fluffy scattered with her siblings as their nest was being mowed over. None were caught by the blades thankfully. She was big enough that we hope she was able to make or find a new nest.

This beautiful bright green praying mantis was surprisingly slow when we let him out of the mason jar. They are wonderful for eating undesirable pests in the garden, so all are welcome here. :)

Noah was very sad when his large bull frog hopped away with huge leaps. Isn't it gorgeous with it's beautiful spots underneath it's body and it's webbed hands and feet?! We suspect it was a female as we now have many little frogs all over the garden. Too bad the gardening season is pretty much over. Regardless, we always have frogs in our small ponds, evident by their loud croaking in the evenings. It's a welcome sound heralding the spring after a quiet long winter.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormy Larvakite Dragonfly Necklace with Aquamarine & Onyx

I was looking over my bead stash three days ago, searching for a good combination for some gorgeous citrine nuggets I have. Nothing seemed right or good enough for them though, and so I may make them up into something all on their own.

Then I came across these beautiful Larvakite smooth rounds. They are dark gray, black and white with some chatoyancy of blue and white flashes. My first thought was keep it simple, make it a knock out classic like a Jackie O. strand of big fat pearls. So I tried putting them with only onyx, then added some black horn rondelles. The plain black did not do them justice though.
Finally I put them with some aquamarine and that was the perfect union. I still kept the design simple, but simple doesn't mean that it comes out fast or easily! It usually takes a lot of trial and error even to get a simple piece right. The aquamarine chips give it an edgey chic look. I kept the small onyx rounds for a nice contrast, added in bali silver daisies and finished it with a sterling silver bali dragonfly toggle. The overall effect is very appealing. It is 17 inches in length.

With all the grays and blues coming out in fashion this season, it should work very easily into a basic wardrobe that needs some good jewelry. This item can be viewed in my etsy shop here: Stormy Larvakite Dragonfly Necklace