A Blog For The Farm Happenings And Whatever Else Strikes My Fancy.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Painted Cigar Box

I had this Cigar box for a number of years and was recently going to pass it along to the thrift store but decided I'd give it a face lift instead. I think I'll hang onto it for a little while longer. Here is basic directions on how I did it if you want to try something similar. 

You will need
  • A wooden box
  • Thick cardboard
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (3 colors)
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors 
  • Glue
  • Decorative paper

Start by cleaning the box and sanding the entire surface. My box had a metal plate on the lid, which I removed. The plate popped off easily but I did have to scrape the top of the box with a knife where there was a thick layer of dried glue.  

Cut your cardboard into whatever shape you like. I printed gear clip art off the web to use as a template. Glue them on using a strong glue. I used Tacky Glue because it's what I had handy, a wood glue would probably work well too though. 

Paint the gears. I chose a metallic brown, but you can paint them whatever color you'd like. Just keep in mind that you will be painting over this and the color will only show through in the end. 

Once your cut outs are dry, paint the entire box with your main color. As you can see, mine is an off white. Paint right over your pretty cut outs. Just be cautious that you don't paint the box closed, or perhaps paint with the box open. 
Let dry and apply a second coat. 

With your third color ( mine was black) add design. You can use stencils (as I did) with a foam paint brush, stamps, or you could free hand it. The color should be much darker than the main color. 

Once the black is completely dry, paint over the entire surface with your final coat of your main color. Go lightly over the black design as you want it to show through. 

Let the paint dry entirely. With a small piece of sandpaper, sand over the gears very gently. You want to sand it enough that the metallic paint shows through, but not so much that you start to see cardboard. 

Now can move to the inside of your box. 
You could choose to leave it plain if you'd like. If not: read on. 

Decide what you would like to cover the inside with. I had a lot of papers to choose from. I almost went with pages from an old music book (I love music!) but in the end I decided upon pages from an old Tabacco ledger that my mom had found in an antique store. I though it was appropriate for a cigar box. 

Measure all the places that need covering and cut the paper likewise. Paste the pages in place. Elmer's Glue seemed plenty strong for this.

 And that's it. If there is anything else you'd like to add, you should certainly do so. Make your box uniquely fabulous.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Last Kidding for the Year

Pippi kidded today, putting a close to kidding season at Still Waters Farm. They were 7 days over due!
She had triplets: two girls and a boy (Belinda, Cassie, and Clark)
It was a very difficult birth for Pippi, thankfully the babies are all active and healthy. Clark was born last and is about half the size of his sisters. The girls (being 7 days over due) are already acting as if they were born a few days ago, the little boy, however, behaves like a premature kid. He will be a healthy strong boy, but right now just needs a little extra attention.
It's a cold a rainy day, so I have all three of them in the house. Lexie (who whelped a week ago) thinks they are just a couple extra puppies! It's really quite adorable. All three kids will be for sale... although this teeny, little boy sure is going to be a hard one to part with.

Lexie and Clark



Lexie and Belinda


Monday, 11 May 2015

Kid Update

Here's just an update on the kids I've had. Sometimes I feel like I post these more so I can keep track of all the kids rather than for any followers! The boys were born 5/2/15 Laura's first freshening. The girls are 5/4/15 and Faye's, oh..... I'm gonna say 3rd freshening? Yep that sounds about right :) Boys are for sale, I'll be keeping on of the does (Not yet sure which one) and will be selling the other at a later time. 
Peewee from Tiny Hill Farm is their father.
 I do name all the kids I have born. Anyone who buys a goat from me is more than welcome to call it whatever they want. I just name them because it's easier for me to keep track of everyone from year to year than, say... calling them 10, 11, and 12.


Mr. I'm-too-cool-for-picture-day Aaron wouldn't stand still, so this is the best picture I could get of him. I will try to get another at bottle time! 

Missie (She seemed to like the camera and posed for it!)


I have at least one more doe bred and due by the end of this month.\

I will be adding some of these kids to the For Sale page as soon as I have more information and am certain of which ones will still need homes. In the meantime feel free to contact me (See Contact Page) with any questions.

I got a better picture of Aaron as well as a great picture of Arnie, who is a little more photogenic than his brother!



Weimaraner Pregnancy Announcement

Martin and Alexis

I'm very excited to announce that my Lexie will be having puppies by the end of this month! 
 If you're interested in a Weimaraner pup be sure to keep following. Puppy photos should be posted in a few weeks!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Simple Dress Alteration

I got this dress at a thrift shop for a $1! I really liked the material, but it was too loose at my sides and too long (reached the floor!) I figured for a dollar I'd take it home and see what I could do. My first thought was that I would cut apart the material and make something entirely new, but instead I made some really basic alterations to make it just the way I wanted it. I'm super happy with the outcome and for anyone trying out something similar, this didn't require any special sewing gadgets or extra parts (I only used what came with the dress.) These alterations are so easy for anyone just getting into sewing... so don't be intimidated to chop up your clothes and alter them :) Just go for it.

My before picture is dark and not very clear, but I did remember to take one this time for a change.
My dress had a zipper down the back, which helped so I didn't have to worry about making it too tight, or taking out any of the stretch.

My first step was to take in the sides. I turned it inside out and pinned just over an inch on each side, using the location of the seam that was already there. This measurement will vary depending on how loose the garment is. You can either pin it and try it on (Inside out) too see if you pinned enough/too much or you can put it on (Inside out) and pin it while you're wearing it. Having an assistant or a dress form could prove helpful for this step. If you're taking the dress in a lot I would cut off the extra material after you've sewn it. I didn't, just in case I ever want to let it back out. Though, honestly, I don't really foresee that happening. 
Pinned sides. 
Decide how long you want the skirt. You can measure the length, or put it on and make a mark, whatever is easiest for you. I cut my skirt approximately four inches higher than I wanted it, (You'll see why in a moment.)
 I cut the length using a rotary cutter, but scissors would do the job.
Cut the length

After it was cut I then cut a strip (Fourish inches) of the hem off and sewed it onto the bottom of the dress. The bottom of the skirt was wider than the top so I did have to make the strip just a hair smaller. Sewing on the hem like this adds to the style of the dress and makes it so you don't have to sew your own hem. It let's it keep that 'store bought' appearance, if you're not terribly good at hemming.

You can iron the knew seam flat, and you are good to go.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Goat Hoof Trimming (it's easier than it looks)

Trimming the hooves is very important for your goat's health. This is not an article on the reasons why (Though perhaps one will be coming in the future) but rather a tutorial on how. 

 Hoof trimming can be tricky or intimidating for new goat owners. Here is a basic tutorial I put together for any of you who are unsure, or just would like some ideas and pointers.

Some goat's hooves grow faster than others and will need to be trimmed more frequently. The terrain your goats live on will also effect the frequency the hooves will need to be trimmed, if they have rocks and logs they can jump on it will keep them warn down fairly well.
 I let mine go to a little long between trims this time so they are rather overgrown - sorry Girls!

The density of the hoof will also vary among goats. some will have thick hoof walls that are difficult to cut through, while others can be very soft. The quick (where the nerves and blood is) can also be different, especially among goats of varying ages. My young does' quick was closer to the surface than my older does and I, twice, accidentally cut too far. 

Don't worry if you do cut down to the quick. While it does hurt them a little, the pain is minimal and the bleeding will stop quickly. The blood can be a little messy, however, and if you do want to get the bleeding to stop quickly, so you can finish the job, you can apply a livestock blood stop powder. I have also used corn starch, which words fairly well. If you're worried about the cut getting dirty you can spray fightback or iodine onto it after you've finished. 

The easiest way to keep the goats still while trimming is to have a milk stand with grain - a dog grooming stand works well too - but if you're goats are not dairy goats then you may not have a milking stand. You can also try tying them to something. Or, if your goats are small enough, you can have someone stand over them, holding their neck between their legs. I've done this a number of times and it works well. 

Some goats will kick around a lot, refuse to stand still and will need multiple people to hold them still. (I have also heard holding them upside down helps, I have not personally tried this and would look further into it before doing so.) 
For me, personally, I have found ways of holding the legs that seems to work well. For the back legs, I stand with my shoulder to the goats belly, facing the back of the stand. I tuck the hock (The back joint) under my armpit holding the hoof with that same arm and trimming with the other. For the front legs I turn around to face the front of the goat and rest my elbow against the doe's girth (Behind the front legs) and bend the leg at the knee, supporting the lowest part of the leg in the same hand and trimming with the opposite hand. In the pictures I am not doing what I have just suggested as I had to be out of the way for my brother to take pictures.

I use clippers and a horse's hoof pick (as pictured) 


Before trimming
Step 1: Clean the hoof with the hoof pick, using the brush to clean off any extra dirt. 

Step 2, First cut

Step 2: Your first cut will be across the toe. Don't cut too far, as it can be difficult to tell where the heel meets the wall. You can trim it to be level after. For now you just want to clear an easy way for you to cut down the walls. 

Step 3: Cutting the wall. Use the opening you made (by cutting the toe) to get at the walls of the hoof. Cut them down to the heel, making the edges level with the sole. Start with cutting short pieces, you can always cut more if it's not short enough.
Step 3: Cutting the walls

Step 3: Cutting the walls
Step 3: Cutting the walls
Step 4: You'll then want to cut the heel. Don't cut the heel as far down as the sole, you want a little of a bump.
Cutting the heel
Right heel cut
Now the other side

 Step 5: To finish it off, just trim any unevenness on the edges and round off the toe, trimming away any excess you may have missed in the initial cut. You want the walls and the toe to be level and even with the sole.
Cleaning the edges. 
Rounding the toe. 
 The finished product: There, now only three more to go! My finished hoof doesn't look very clean, but it'll do. If you're unhappy with the roughness, or unevenness, you can take a small file to clean it up. 

I hope this is helpful and as clear as it can be. If you have any questions please contact me and I'll help you best as I can.
The finished hoof
Thank you Gus, my photographer!  And thank you Pippi, my beautiful, patent model!