Sunday, June 29, 2014

Baby Bird and June Blooms

 Howdy friends, 
I love this time of year in the garden. Things are looking lush and green and the overall gardening season looks promising here at Dandelion House. I've been wanting to make some garden markers for my raised beds, but just haven't had the time to do it. Maybe now that everything is planted, I can plant myself long enough to make some! In the meantime, I picked up a cute garden marker for my herb section. I just love the little crow perched on top.

 The dahlias are really thriving in this dry weather. They don't like it too wet out and we are having a particularly dry June this year. So much so, I'm having to water everything else by hand every couple of days. On the upside, I haven't spotted one slug in the garden so I haven't had to treat for pests, yet.

 This yellow loos strife is in glorious golden bloom right now... I love the burst of sunshine it brings to the early summer garden.

 The Knock Out Roses are in full bloom and will stay that way until frost... I'm addicted to them and would love to add several more to my largest boarder... Maybe I'll look for some on sale in September... That's a great time to shop for shrubs at a discount and  an ideal time to plant them. As the days get shorter and cooler it's less stress on the plant, but they still have plenty of time to " settle in" to their new digs before winter comes. 

A small sampling of the petite wave petunias growing in the window box on our shed.

 And last, but not least in the wonders of gardening. We had a nest in our clematis trellis this spring with three or four baby birds in it. I captured this sweet baby bird only a day before he/she flew the nest!

I'm ready for mid-summer blooms, fresh cut flowers, and some fun vintage garden projects!
How about you? How's your garden shaping up this year?
Wishing you a yard full of your favorite bloomers! 
Love, Deb

Friday, June 27, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 163 and Homestead Cookbook Survey!

Happy Farmgirl Friday! What a week it's been here in New England. We've had picture perfect weather ( minus one afternoon rain shower) pleasant temps in the high 70's, no humidity and just the right amount of a sea breeze blowing to make it feel like summer. Kind of unusual for these parts, so we are relishing in our good weather fortune while it lasts. Speaking of relish,what better time to kick off a new Homestead Cookbook than in the growing season? After three plus years of everyone gathering here each Friday, sharing all things farmgirl AND delicious homestead recipes I've been inspired to put together a cookbook featuring YOUR homestead stories and recipes. To gauge interest in this little ole project of mine, I've created a survey which is linked to the button above in my sidebar.
 I hope you'll take the time to take the survey, share a recipe, your  homestead story and be a part of The Homestead Cookbook anthology. It's sure to inspire homesteaders old and new alike! Oh, and please feel free to share the  button and link to the survey too!

Now it's time to get your farmgirl on! Link up and strut your gardening, cooking, crafting, farming, DIY, up cycling, STUFF!!!

Debbie at Farmgirl Unleashed  and my Co-hostess in Farmgirl Friday crime became a first time Grammie last week. She's home and ready to unleash her inner farmgirl ( and probably get her very leggy tomatoes planted) ...! 

It's the season of plenty and there is so much to celebrate!

As always, we thank you for your participation in the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 
 You don't have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Homestead Cookbook Survey

Dear friends,
Have you ever had a creative idea that just won't let go of ya?
The kind that wakes you up at night, in the wee hours of the morning and pokes and prods at you throughout the day too? Me too!

I've been thinking for a while now that I'd love to write a cookbook featuring homesteaders ( and their recipes) inspired by the farmgirl and homesteading lifestyle and I need your help!

To gauge interest in the book I've created a survey where you can share a little about your homesteads and a favorite recipe! Yes! You will have a chance to be featured in the book!
My goal is to get to 100 recipes!
I hope you'll join in and share a special dish from your homestead!

                                                                        Here's the survey!

         Thanks so much! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 162 and SUMMER HAPPENINGS

Happy Farmgirl Friday friends! You may be wondering, what do Summer Seas have to do with farmgirlin'? Well, we all need a break from our homesteading and backyard gardening chores and time to reflect on all we have accomplished this spring. I'm welcoming in summer on the shorelines over on my MaryJanesFarm Beach Farmgirl Blog with a visit to The Cape Cod National Sea Shore. It's a lovely time to visit before the summer visitors descend on Cape Cod. 

But wait, before you grab your flip flops and summer hats and head for the beach, stop by The Survival Mom's Radio Network and listen to my podcast interview with our farmgirl friend Karen Lynn from Lil' suburban Homestead. I was so honored to be her guest this week and it was fun to learn a little about podcasting too! If you have some time this weekend listen in on some of Karen's past shows where she shares why she cans, and how she and her husband made a recycled greenhouse for under $ 400 dollars! 
 I had the pleasure of having Karen over to Dandelion House for an in depth interview about her family homestead too. More here

Debbie at Farmgirl Unleashed  and my Co-hostess in Farmgirl Friday crime became a first time Grammie this week. She's on duty this week helping her daughter and family settle and and will join us next week. Congratulations to all!

Now, let's get hop'n! Whatcha been up to this week? 

Link up and share your crafts, gardens, home remedies, recipes, and homesteading wisdom with your favorite farmgirls! It's the season of plenty and there is so much to celebrate!

As always, we thank you for your participation in the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 
 You don't have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Thursday, June 19, 2014

" GIRL TALK " with Karen Lynn of Lil' Suburban Homestead


Dear friends, 
I'm so excited to welcome Karen Lynn of Lil' Suburban Homestead to Dandelion House today for a some good old fashioned homestead " girl talk". Many of you already know Karen through her well known blog, Lil' Suburban Homestead and her weekly blog hops, but did you know she is also a member of the Homestead bloggers Network and a podcast hostess with the mostess with The Survival Mom Radio Network? There's just so much to learn from Karen and her homesteading journey so let's just dig in.  For those of you who haven't met Karen yet, I know you'll love her cuz she's just friendly and welcoming as she looks and she's got some great homesteading tips no matter what size your homestead is! Karen's motto is,
 " If you've got a home, you're a homesteader "

Deb~  Hi Karen, I’m so happy you agreed to let me have you over to Dandelion House for some good old fashioned homestead “ girl talk “. I’ve been a fan and follower of your very informative and inviting blog for several years. I think we started blogging about the same time and I have to tell you, it’s been a joy to watch your homestead and your homesteading skills blossom. We both love to re purpose, cook, keep chickens, and garden. Tell us, what inspired you to start blogging about your Lil Suburban Homestead? 

Karen~ Deb I am so grateful that you invited me to come by and visit Dandelion House and flattered.  Your blog is so inspiring and I  have visited  years and you know I think it is so beautiful and welcoming.The impetus for my blog was that I had battled thyroid cancer and won and had dealt with some other MAJOR medical issues in our family and I realized that I needed to share with others that we can take matters into our own hands and work on our health and one quick way we can all do that is to start growing our own food,  another issue was sharing with folks that no matter the financial adversity they faced or where they are located that they can start taking baby steps right now to improve their quality of life, and lastly there is nothing like facing death straight in the eyes to aid you in finding your voice and that is just what happened.  I decided to open up my life and that of my family to share this knowledge and sometimes our failure and successes with the world to encourage and to also show that at our Lil’ Suburban Homestead we say “Where Innovation & Homesteading Meet” because we had to be innovative at first to thrive and now we love innovating and we as a result thrive……I hope that makes sense ;)

Deb~ What was your vision in the beginning and how has it changed and surprised you over the years?

Karen~ My vision was simple…teach others what we know and learn from others along the way…if you have ever read my blog a constant theme is that I say “Come Join Us On The Journey”…the homesteading  journey is not for the faint of heart.  Raising chickens and beekeeping which came a  little after the blog all of the requires boldness and courage and truthfully I was afraid of keeping bees at first because I lacked a little thing called knowledge and that is the beauty of homesteading blogs you don’t just visit them to read a funny story although that is great.  You visit them to learn and to share or at least that is what I do.  I always tell people if I can do it they can do it!  I didn’t just wake up one morning and become a homesteader and I had no natural talent for it just a love for it and that was evident when I got married and started canning right away and wanting to grow food and at first it might have seemed out of left field but once you research my family history I have a lot of farm girl in my DNA.  I had two women in my family that were turnkey chicken farmers….I come by it naturally and my Mom always encouraged me to read and correspond growing up and  blogging is a lot like corresponding only I am writing to my readers! 

 Deb~  What has been the most rewarding and challenging thing about keeping up your blog?

Karen~Hands Down the people I have been able to meet and the lifelong friends I have made along the way.  The most challenging is the administrative portion such as making sure all my links and pictures showing up.  I love writing, I love taking pictures and I love chatting with folks…it’s a dream hobby and a reflection of our life!

Deb~  I know you are a beach Farmgirl just like me where you live in North Carolina. How far from the beach are you? 

Karen~  We are 2.9 miles as the crow flies but it takes about 10 minutes to drive there traffic and all you know…but we have lots of sandy soil which has really influenced our raised beds and container gardening.

 Deb~ I recently had the great pleasure of being your guest on your new Podcasting radio program for Survival Mom Radio and it was so much fun! How did you get started in podcasting and what do you enjoy most about it? 

Karen~It all really happened so fast I applied to The Survival Mom Radio Network and the rest is history.  I love it, I love being on such a wonderful team of all female radio hosts! The best in the business as far as I’m concerned but then again I might be biased. ;). I so enjoyed our interview after years of us being fellow bloggers and it further validated how much we have in common and I love that we are both “Beach Farm Girls” pretty cool!   

Deb~ It’s easy to see that your blog is a family affair. How do your husband “the Viking” and your children contribute to your homestead and your blog?   

Karen~Well our daughter is on her own now and our son is now a senior and is working and juggling Football and School.  I think now it’s more how I see their attitudes about healthy living manifest through their own lives.  A lot of folks don’t know that I home schooled my children for part of their childhood and we even studied the Laura Ingalls Wilder Curriculum which advocated self reliance at one point.  My children were very involved with the garden, raising chickens, and rabbits when they were younger and they would help us go pear picking, berry picking you name it they were involved.  Now my daughter is very selective about what she eats and avoids chemicals, my son prefers healthy snacks and home-cooked food and I am proud they picked up so much along the way and hopefully will carry on and advocate the homesteading lifestyle with their own families one day.

Deb~ What is your favorite thing about living the homesteading lifestyle? It’s different for all of us and I love knowing which aspect people get especially passionate about.
Karen~ Even though I guess No one is really ever completely self reliant…..I like the fact that my husband and I have joined together with other like minded folks and we look for solutions and ways to improve our quality of life!  I could never pick one thing, the bees, the herbs, the home-made cooking, our chickens, canning, it’s all so much fun!    I do love that it always challenges me and that there is always something new to learn!  

Deb~  What do you find the easiest to grow and the most challenging?

Karen~ Jerusalem Artichokes are definitely the easiest I think they have plans to take over my yard LOL!    Green beans are also very easy but we have a horrible time with any squash because of the infamous squash borer Ugh!  

 Deb~ What changes or improvements do you dream of making on your homestead?

Karen~ We have plans to add a sun porch and a patio and around the patio and sun porch we plan to add more raised beds with edibles.  I am excited about the sun porch because our mosquitoes are horrible in North Carolina but this will enable me to feel like I am in the garden and with my chickens longer every day!  We are definitely expanding our beekeeping operation and we added 4 new “Teen” chickens this year!

 Deb~ Have you ever hosted a Homestead Tour or Workshop at your home?

We have been on the local greenhouse tour twice…..we have been asked to be on the local chicken coop tour and we have had either a family emergency or college visits both times so we have decided to hold off until probably once my son goes to college.  We have been asked by several people and I do believe we are planning on possibly having a chicken and beekeeping open house this fall! 

Deb~  What is your favorite re-purposed project on your homestead? 

Karen~ Deborah Jean, this is such a tough question but hands down it would have to be our “Mostly Recycled Greenhouse” which I have a podcast and a blog post about that one!  My second one is a tie between our DIY Rotating Strawberry Planter and our Upcyled Chicken Coop.  I just want folks to know they don’t have to spend a fortune and they can raise chickens, grow food, and even during the winter!

Deb~  Did I hear that you have collaborated on a homesteading cookbook? Would love to know more about that and where it’s available! 

Karen~ Yes I was so excited!  I am also a member of the Homestead Bloggers Network and we put together a cookbook as a group for the holidays and I submitted my Granola recipe and I believe it’s the last recipe in the cookbook it’s awesome!  You can get a copy of the book on

 Deb~  How long is your growing season? What are some of your favorite things to can and why.

  Karen~ We can grow from about March until October. Spring and Fall the greens such as Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, and mustard greens grow amazingly well here as does spinach! Surprising beets and radishes do great too! 

Tomatoes are my favorite veggie to can and while I do can my own tomatoes to keep us in the volume of tomatoes we need we buy them from a local farm too and eat tomatoes all year long!  I think tomatoes are my favorite because I love to make bunches of salsa!  Plan to make a boatload this year there is nothing like homemade salsa.  My second favorite item to can would be applesauce and our pantry is stocked with both all year long!  I make our homemade applesauce with just apples and honeys from our bees….Isn’t that what food should be?  Food that nourishes us and makes us healthy.

Thank you so much for inviting me over to Dandelion House you know I could go on and on but I have so enjoyed the podcast interview and getting to be a guest at your place as well!  Hope we get together again soon!
Karen Lynn
Writer/Suburban Homesteader
 Click on the links below to visit Karen on her homestead and on The Survival Mom Radio Network! She's a busy, busy bee!

 Welcome To Our Lil' Suburban Homestead

Friday, June 13, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 161 & My Tiny Harvest

 Welcome back farmgirl friends and happy Farmgirl Friday. I'm so glad you are here to share what's doin' on your family farms and homesteads. June is an exciting time for us farmgirls isn't it?
Things are finally starting to bloom and most of our seeds and seedlings are in! This week one of my peonies came into bloom and the fragrance is just intoxicating. I've got three bouquet's in my kitchen/dining room area and I'm in heaven with the shear beauty and scent of these lovely old fashioned blooms. As I cut a bucket full to make bouquets I couldn't help but feel over joyed at the beauty of these blooms. After all, they are only here for such a short time!

Just like the ripe strawberries I picked from the garden too! Heck, I didn't even plant these little puppies. I'm pretty the previous owners planted them in a little bed at one time. When we expanded that same garden area I just left them there to see what would happen. They continue to spread and thrive. I wish I knew what variety they are.

Last year we got one tiny bowl of berries and the birds got the rest. This year the bounty was a little bigger and I think we'll get one more bowl full before our strawberry harvest season is over.

These didn't last long. I washed them and we at them as soon as I brought them in. No cooking, canning, or storing with such a tiny harvest. Just mouthwatering pleasure and instant farmgirl gratification! It's not the size of your plot or pot that makes your homestead " successful". When you appreciate every little growing thing you plant and care for you'll be blessed with bountiful rewards with the tiniest of harvests. 

Lastly, I got my herbs and veggies planted in my raised beds yesterday under a very cloudy sky. Today, it's raining down on them! 

It's hard to believe in a few short weeks it will look like this again! 

What are you feeling especially happy about on your homesteads this June? Are you having success and trying new things? How about any challenges?
Link up and share your gardens, home remedies, recipes, and homesteading wisdom with your favorite farmgirls! And be sure to stop by and see my co-hostess Debbie at Farmgirl Unleashed .
She's Busy as a Bee with her new bee hives! 
 Let's hope she's been able to get back to work on her Indiana farm, Big Sky Acres!

As always, we thank you for your participation in the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 
 You don't have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Friday, June 6, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 160 and Hollyhocks!

Hollyhock 2012 Garden

Happy Farmgirl Friday everyone and welcome! As you can see in the photo above, the chicken garden is growing. I'm over the moon to see that my beloved hollyhock has returned to grace the corner of the hen-house once again. They are bi -annuals and I missed it so last year.

They add just the right touch of cottage-farm romance to the garden don't they? 

How is your garden/homestead/farming year going so far?  Great? Good? Bad? Somewhere in between? Tell us about it!

Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed  ( my co- hostess and farmgirl in crime ) and I are anxious to see what you've all been up to this week! 

 Brag a little ( or a lot ) about your farmgirl talents! Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea! Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends! 

As always, we thank you for your participation in the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 
 You don't have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Thursday, June 5, 2014

BEACH Cottage Reveal!!!

Before I get going on my cottage tour I want to thank everyone who linked up and shared their fabulous sewing projects during the month of May! You kept me inspired to finish up some sewing of my own so we would be ready for a photo shoot for our upcoming feature in South Shore Living Magazine. Nothing like having a professional photographer come to your house to get you on your decorating toes! So, without further adieu, come on in! The Sea Horse is open!

 The top photo ( inside that cute new frame ) was taken a decade ago. It's so hard to believe our little beach bums are young adults now. I'm here to tell you that you don't need a lot of square footage, the latest in coastal trend decor, or even an indoor shower to enjoy family time at the beach. In fact, we prefer the rustic conditions of our solar powered beach cottage.


This view is from our bedroom looking out into the sunny kitchen. The cottage is small and scarcely decorated to keep things light and airy! It's anything but when you add 4 grown people and one hairy Corgi! Many of our items we have crafted or painted ourselves over the years. I painted the kitchen table, the dresser and the top of that little blue table my hubby made from an oar. I also made the curtains with a sailing them in mind.

I made the valances so they would hang flat, rather than bunched and inserted grommet in the top corner of each panel. Then with a twist of a large sized cup hook they were hung in an instant. 

To make a valance like this one. Measure the width of your window and add enough to make a half inch hem on both sides. To figure out how tall to make your valance, measure the drop from the top of where your valance will hang and add enough on the top and bottom for a half inch hem. You don't even need to sew a pocket in the top since you aren't using a rod for hanging.

I made a similar valance for our bathroom window but this one has a 2 inch rod pocket at the top. 

 Most of the pillows are new ( great bargains at Home Goods) but one is handmade and special...

Can you tell which one it is? You guessed it! The floral pillow was a vintage table cloth. I loved the colors and with all these stripes, I just had to have some flowers somewhere!

We have two futons on our 9 x 16 sleeping porch. I opted out of the matchy-matchy look and went with different pillows and a bright coral herringbone throw for this one. My mom painted the pretty yellow cottage painting and my hubby took the other photograph.

We have one wall shingled inside the porch so it feels as if it's part of an outdoor room. 
I found the mirror with hooks at Walmart several years ago and I love the double duty it provides in our small space.

This little cabinet was a road side find. I paid $5.00 for it and it fits in this space perfectly.

Isn't this a great pic of our daughter? What can I say? Moving right along...

Our small vintage dresser sits at the foot of our bed and serves as dresser and sideboard for books, candles, sunglasses, phones and what ever else may get dropped there during the day. In this picture it's nice and neat for you!

Our room is so small book shelves take the place of traditional nightstands. Which at the beach, is perfect!

 I made the ticking curtains too! Same principle as the valances but if you want them to bunch up then double the width. At 423 square feet you might say our little beach cottage qualifies as a tiny home. It was originally built in the 1950's then survived a decorating attack in the 1970's and over the last twenty years we ( along with our family ) have brought back some of it's original charm and kept its retro spirit with out getting too theme specific.

Now, who's ready for a little sumthin', sumthin' to eat and drink?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...