Friday, September 26, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 172 and GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Welcome back for another great week of blog hoppin' farmgirls! Today's the day we announce the winner of the very talented Sarah Hudock's Lighthearted Chicken Art Tin Sign, pictured below! I also wanted you to see some of her other adorable chicken art designs pictured above! Way too cute and I just love the bold color pallet she uses, with her whimsical patterns and heartfelt sayings.

We had thirty entries total but, only one lucky winner takes this fabulous sign.
Who's the lucky farmgirl?

CONGRATULATIONS TO June McConkey of the adorable blog The Heart of Junebug!
 Thank you to everyone who entered!

 Visit Sarah here to see all of the Lighthearted Chicken Art products she creates. Just in time for sprucing up your kitchen, coop or both!

Time to link up for your weekly dose of farmgirl soul food! You're sure to get your fill this week.  Lots of our farmgirls have been busy in the kitchen canning, preserving, roasting, and filling their pantries with farm fresh goodness.

Be sure to stop by Big Sky Acres to catch up with my co-hostess and "farmgirl in crime", Debbie too! ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)! She's knee-deep in tomatoes and has a great tutorial for Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJane Butters

As always, we thank you for all you share at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 

Put Down Some Roots And BLOOM!

PS. Sorry about the missing linky window this week! I was so excited to get the post up that I skipped over checking the thumbnail box and ended up with the basic format. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 171 and Sarah Hudock's Lighthearted Chicken Art GIVEAWAY

Sarah Hudock Art
 Dear Friends,
Welcome, welcome and a big farmgirl howdy! It's been eons since we've hosted a give away on our little ole weekly hop but we're fixin to change that right here and now! Debbie and I are so excited to introduce you to farmgirl extraordinaire, artist, chicken keeper, gardener and digital design diva, Sarah Hudock of Lighthearted Art.

Sarah, ( 52) is in the juicy peach ( more about juicy peaches later ) stage of life ( we are the same age) and she's ripening to perfection on her small homestead in Vermont. Sarah is a self-taught artist, an animal lover, a keeper of chickens and cats, and a lazy gardener on the small homestead she shares with her husband and her critters. She's the mother of one 29 year old daughter who has flown the coop. But Sarah isn't letting any grass grow under her feet. She keeps her days filled with creating lighthearted art inspired by country life.

 Her artwork is hand-painted in watercolor, gouache, and sometimes acrylic paint, and she loves to digitally play with her work as well. Her paintings are sometimes wholly hand-painted, and sometimes done with a combination of digital effects and scans of odd materials she finds visually interesting. She's a girl living her dream, sharing her HEART and her ART with the world and us!
 " I am the luckiest person in the world ", says Sarah.

This week,Sarah is generously giving away one of her darling tin signs, titled:  Blessings ( see top photo ) This sign is beautiful enough to hang inside your home and yet durable enough to weather the elements and hang outdoors on your chicken coop or next to your front door.
 Sign measures 11.25" x 11.25". The corners are rounded and holes are already drilled for easy hanging.

Sarah didn't tell me all of her creative secrets! Keep your eyes peeled for a future article in MaryJanesFarm Magazine we're sure she'll let her feathers down and share more juicy details about her amazing journey into chicken art!

To Enter:
1 ) Simply leave a comment here or at Farmgirl Unleashed!
2) Pop over to Sarah's Facebook page and give her a " new like"

To see more of Sarah's whimsical chicken art visit her store website.

Now, I know you're excited but don't forget to enter this weeks Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop on your way out the barn door! Oh! Entering the hop is not a requirement to enter to win the sign, it's just our regular hop so if you've got a post you wish to share, please do!

 Be sure to stop by Big Sky Acres to catch up with my co-hostess and "farmgirl in crime", Debbie too! ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)! She's knee-deep in harvest season and cooking up a storm! YUM!

As always, we thank you for all you share at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 

Put Down Some Roots And BLOOM!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Color Me In Flowers

Dear friends, 
Late yesterday afternoon the skies clouded over and a panic ran through me because I knew if I didn't run out and cut some flowers, they'd turn to mush in the rain like this poor drowned dahlia below.

You know I love my dahlias so I ran ( yes, ran ) out into the sprinkles and cut two buckets of flowers  as quick as I could. I set them aside while I made dinner. Once our tummies were full, I played with the flowers in a tarnished pitcher until I was happy with the results. Then I tucked them in for the night with a cool drink. This morning we went outside for a photo shoot!

This particular grouping of colors jumbled together just made my flower lovin heart go pitter -patter!

The mix of bright orange, deep plum, burgundy, purple, magenta and pale pink feels like a chintz covered sofa in an English cottage sitting room. Rich, warm and cozy! I used to have a pair of pants that looked like something similar! Hm... a tell tell sign of where my future was headed perhaps?

Something tells me I'm not gonna get anything else done today... I'll be too busy staring at these beauties!!! Honestly, they take my breath away!Which is why I just had to share them with you!

Dahlias, nine bark, hydrangea, native aster, Autumn sedum joy, and variegated tall phlox.
 Enjoy friends!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Life Off The Grid : No Electricity, no landlines, no problem

 No, we haven't pulled up stakes here at Dandelion House and headed for parts unknown. Not yet! But, we do runaway to our 3 season off-grid summer cottage every chance we get! By today's cottage standards, it's small. Under 2000 square feet is small in " house terms"  if you go by builders standards. I happen to love smaller homes. They have a certain charm and intimacy that larger homes sometimes lack. But, as I said, this isn't a beach house, or even a house. It's a COTTAGE. Topping out an just under 400 square feet it boasts one bath, one bedroom, one sleeping porch, one tiny kitchen and eating area and one outdoor solar shower! That's it! And, we love it! It's simple!

 One of the highlights of this summer was having our cottage and our unique off-grid beach community featured in a local magazine. The purpose of the feature was to share the charm and history of our area. There are many larger, more beautiful homes there that would certainly be worthy of a glossy magazine feature, however, the editors were more interested in the history of our neighborhood and our tiny cottage, the Sea Horse.

The top photo shows part of the 6 mile long dirt road we take to get to our cottage but don't try and sneak out to visit. Only residents and guests are able to drive through! 

On the left, our sleeping porch and the right is our cheery tiny kitchen.
As a blogger and writer I'm used to being behind the scenes when it comes to creating magazine features, so it was quite a treat to experience what it's like to be the one on the inside of the pages!  We met with the writer  ( Jane Spitz) one rainy day in April. A 4 wheel drive is necessary to get to our cottage so we picked her up at a nearby parking lot and drove her out the long stretch of beach road pointing out some areas of interest along the way. Although she lived nearby, she had never visited our area! A city girl at heart; it's not soft sand and waves that tug at her heart strings, but we did our best to make her a fan by the end of our visit. The cottage wasn't officially open for the season and we had to fire up our portable heater to keep our tootsies warm! As we sat in our little kitchen and watched the rain fall outside we shared our story over cheese and crackers.

 When photographer ( Rosemary Tufankjian ) came a month later ( with hubby and kids in tow ) it was the end of May and time to open the cottage for the season. I had already been planning for her visit so I did some sprucing up in the cottage to get things ready! They were such a nice family and quite taken with our area. While she snapped lots and lots of photos, her family built sand castles on the quiet beach in the late afternoon.

Would you believe both of our  kids had obligations that day they couldn't get out of? So, just my sweet hubby and I and our third child, Max posed for pics!

South Shore Living

What magazine you ask? South Shore Living! It's one of our favorite magazines for featuring local areas of interest, businesses, restaurants, and events!

 I wish I could link to the actual article for you, but I can't find it online anywhere! Below are a couple of links for you to visit if you wish to learn more about how we landed off grid on the shorelines. 

 Visit the Beach Farmgirl Blog for my introductory post titled Sagebrush to Shorelines! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 170 and The Birthday Boy

Pembroke Welsh Corgi ( Max)
Dear friends, Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Our 170th round up of fabulous farmgirl soul food! Life has been a little nutty here ( in a good way )  hence the absence of last weeks hop, but we're on this week and Debbie and I are looking forward to catching up with all y'all!

 As for the latest at Dandelion House, we celebrated an important birthday this week! Our little boy ( Maxi-doo ) turned 6! We didn't embarrass him with a party hat or hang a pinata' stuffed with cookies  for him chew open, but, we DID take him to the beach so he could roll in some smelly things and eat seagull poop. Do we know our boy, or what? Can't imagine what we did without him all these years. Here's a peek at how he celebrated!

Deciding where to roll is serious business...One must tune his nose to the prevailing wind to find just the right spot, then once it's located the rolling can begin.

This must be what heaven is like for dogs.

Rolling in sand appears to bring on some sort of doggy delirium...

Followed by a state of utopia which unfortunately, only lasts until the next roll... But hey, he takes what he can get!

As for us, one look from these adoring eyes and we're mush.

Do you celebrate your 4-legged luv-bugs birthdays too?  Do tell!

Now it's your turn to link up and share some of that good old fashioned farmgirl soul-food.
 Are you harvesting, cookin' cannin' and cleanin' in preparation for the change of seasons?  
Share the harvest here!

Be sure to stop by Big Sky Acres to catch up with my co-hostess and "farmgirl in crime", Debbie too! ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)! She's knee-deep in harvest season and cooking up a storm! YUM!
As always, we thank you for all you share at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 

Put Down Some Roots And BLOOM!

Love, Deb

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zinnias~ Brash or Beautiful?

 The zinnia is by far one of the boldest and brightest flowers you can grow in a cutting garden. 
These brazen-faced, hotheaded, self assertive and if I may, uppity flowers bring the heat and spice to a fading flowerbed quicker than many deep- rooted perennials and they last longer too, blooming right up until the first frost.
I'll admit, I'm a fan of their brightly lit petals and brash undertones.
What's not to love about the nervy and vivacious zinnia? 

They adore showing off in the garden and in the vase. And, the magnetic attraction between them and the local bees is something to behold.

They can't keep their fuzzy little bums away from them!

I planted several packets of Botanical Interest Cut and Come Again seeds in late spring in  our deep raised beds of 12 inches and we've had blooms since mid-July. We always get a very high germination rate with Botanical Interest seeds ( even the Heirloom varieties)! Love them!

 Zinnias give so much for the little care that they require. All they need to start a fiesta in your flower garden is good draining soil, ( rich in organic matter ) plenty of sunshine ( 6- 8 hours per day)  and steady doses of watering during germination. Once they've got their leaves give them a good drink every few days ( more water during severely hot weather) but don't over water. These cheeky blooms, like it HOT! 
Every garden needs a PARTY GIRL!
What do YOU think about this popular heirloom bloom? Brash or Beautiful?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Happy September! The absolute best month of the year in my book! 
 The last days of summer seem to be marching on to a steady beat and I'm doing all I can to slow it down a notch here at Dandelion House. Our girl has returned to High School for her junior year and the sounds of empty nest syndrome are banging loudly in my ears. In other words, it's darned quiet around here all of a sudden! I bet some of your homes have quieted as well. Truth be told, I don't mind the quiet. I actually prefer it. It gives me the time I need to dance to my own rhythms ( in between gigs of elder care, house cleaning, hubby time, and Max time). Yes, the order is somewhat jumbled, but that's the way things roll around here! I'm no hermit, but if I had to choose between a day at home, ( empty or not ) or a trip to the nearest two story mall for back to school shopping ( eh hem ) you can guess which one I'd pick! Besides, it's hard to stay out of the garden right now! There's still so much in bloom and more flower arrangements to be made before gardens are put to bed. Right now, my sunflowers are showing their cheery, yellow faces of happiness and glee and I can't get enough of them! 
Heirloom Lemon Queen Sunflowers are a delight for your garden, growing at a whopping 7 feet tall. The birds and bees love em and they add a splash of happiness to any kind of summer bouquet. Lemon Queen in front of even taller volunteer sunflowers next to the greenhouse.
 I decided to make a bouquet of all the different sunflowers I have in bloom at the moment with some ornamental grass plumes tucked in for added looseness and texture! Sunflowers tend to be a little floppy in the vase because their flower heads are so large, even the ones specifically for cutting but I like the way they kind of just hang there in their unpretentious beauty facing this -a- way and that- a- way. There's a confidence in sunflowers other flowers don't have!

They know they're perfect just like they are! So, if you're feeling a little droopy, because your house is suddenly empty and quiet, like mine let these sunflowers be a reminder to you that you're perfect just the way you are too! And, you're never alone when you grown in your own garden!

Keep bloomin'!
Love ya lots!

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