Welcome to My Front Porch.....

Welcome to my front porch. It is a place where I entertain friends, family, and strangers. Where I have discussions on a wide range of topics. It's where I have long talks with my husband and where I do most of my homeschooling. My porch is also a place of solitude. Where I go with a cup of coffee and my bible for quiet time in the morning and where I relax after a long day with a glass of wine and a magazine. So kick off your shoes, have a glass of sweet tea, sit-a-spell and visit.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring is Just Around the Corner

You can always tell when spring is just around the corner when the Daffodils start blooming.  They are a welcome ray of sunlight in cold March.

We like to pick several and put them all over the house.  It seems to perk things up and get every one excited for spring.

I put them in the living room.......
The kitchen, bedrooms.....pretty much everywhere.

What about you...what do you do to bring a little bit of spring into your home this time of year?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby Things

I have been making these burp clothes for a little while now. Mommies like the fact that they have something unique to their nursery theme or favorite sports team and babies like to play with the ribbons.  I've decided to offer them for sale. 

                                              They are $12.00 plus shipping and handling. 

                                         I can make them in all kinds of colors, and themes.

                 For $3.00 more I can embroidery a name, initials or short saying in a single color.
If you would like to order a one of-a-kind gift please leave a comment or email me at yagirl@safe-mail.net.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homemade Laundary Soap

As we see our food and everyday household items go up each time we go to the grocery store I feel it's time to get creative.  That sometimes means making something from scratch.  One of the ways I've found to save money is by making homemade liquid laundry soup.  It works out to less than a penny a load and it gets things clean. Here's the recipe.........


One bar of Fels-Neptha Soap.  I found this in the health and beauty aid part of the grocery store.  Not sure why they have their. It says right on the package it's for laundry.  Anyway, you're going to need to grate this and put in a pot, then cover with water.

Next on low heat continually stir the soap until it is all dissolved.  Then pour it into a 5 gallon bucket.

To the bucket add one cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and one cup of 20 Mule Team Borax.  I found both of these at my local grocery store but in the laundry soap isle.

Next fill the bucket with warm water and stir the mixture until the detergents have all dissolved.
Then let it set for 24 hours.
 It's going to look like this the next day. Kind of a white solid surrounded by a yellow liquid.  Stir it up thoroughly.  This is a concentrated soap you can either pour half in another 5 gallon bucket and add water to both buckets.  Or  what I do is use an old liquid laundry soap bottle fill it half full then add water. I shake it to mix it well.  This little bottle helps in measuring and pouring into my washing machine. 

One of the things I have started doing is adding essential oils to my laundry soap.  I love the faint smell of lavender and the tea tree oil helps as a bug repellent.

I'm very pleased with the performance and savings I get with this soap.  Try it I'm sure you will too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Winter Scenes Around the Farm

Ducks on the river.  It's really hard to get a picture of ducks. 
They are so shy they usually take off when they see me.

Missy our old, old, old, old bird dog.
She has arthritis in her legs so bird hunting is out.
But she still insist on going on walks with the family.

Sunrise from my front porch! 

The Cloud bank coming over the mountain was our next big snow storm on its way.

Cardinals are abundant around my bird feeder this time of year.
The river.................need I say more.  In the summer this is also a favorite swimming hole.
House/barn from the middle of the pasture.

This is Daisy our Norwich Terrier. She is my little shadow!
And she thinks she's a BIG DOG!!!
Gabbie our lovable energetic Chocolate Lab. 
Just look at that face
......"ooooozz a good puppy, yes oooo are"!!

Heather standing at the edge of the yard you can see the river in the
back ground is about 50' below. 
Yes, Gabbie likes to catch snowballs in her mouth.

That's all for now hope you are all enjoying your winter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Have the Eagles Flown the Coop?

After the last big snow storm I haven't seen any eagles.  They ususally don't leave until March.  Sooo that makes me wonder if we are in for an early Spring. Even though the temperatures have been mild lately March is noturious for giving us one more snow.  So I'll be putting my gardening on hold for a little while longer.  And I'll keep my eye out for those eagles....I bet they're just fishing on the lake instead of here on the river! 

 It sure would be nice to have Spring for 4 months..............awwwwhhhh those warm sunny days and cool nights! 


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Can Afford the Luxury of Cashmere Quilts

My latest projects have been inspired by a book I found called Sewing Green By Betz White.

There are 25 low cost projects using recycled and/or organic materials. Most of the projects take old things and give them a new life.  Such as the project of making aprons out of men's dress shirts or a wrap around skirt from a vintage table cloth. 

 It also includes articles about individuals and companies who are "sewing green" these days.  Such as sewing lounges set up for people who can't afford or don't have room for a sewing machine in their home. My personal favorite is the Swap-O-Rama-Rama (SORR) ....... people bring clothes they are done with to a community swap.  Everything is put together by type (i.e. shirts, skirts, etc.)  then you shop.  Sewing machines are set up in a different area along with "experts" who will help you alter or embelish the piece of clothing you just picked out for yourself.  The result is not only a fun filled day of shopping but also of creating something new for yourself with the only cost being your time!!!!  Now that is what I call a win/win situation.  Anyone up for organizing a Swap-O-Rama-Rama in your community can visit swaporamarama.org for tips and ideas.

My first project however,  was the cashemere quilt found on page 34.    I shopped for old 100% cashmere sweaters at second hand stores such as Goodwll and Salvation Army.  The cost was $1.00 to $4.00 per sweater and you need only 4-5 per quilt.  I put valour on the backs.  This was a fun and easy project and the quilts are super soft. For under $30 you have a chasmere quilt which would otherwise cost you $250 or more. 

 I made a beige and burgundy one for my dad (that's the colors in his living room)

 and a pink, black and gray one for Steve and I for Valentine's. 

That then inspired me to use some of the scraps and make a heart shaped pillow filled with lavendar from my garden for Grace.

My next project will be lounging pants made from a bed sheet I got for only $1.00.  All of my girls said they all wanted a pair made from this fun fabric.  I think I can get 4 pairs out of the sheet.  So with the cost of thread, elastic and trim they will only cost about .50 a pair.  Can't beat that value!!!

I would love to hear your "sewing green"  ideas...........please feel free to share by leaving a comment or email me at yagirl@safe-mail.net.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Pillows

Since my family home schools my kids don't have the benefit of a school Valentine's Party.  So for an alternative several years ago I made Valentine's pillows for each of us and every year I would set them out and we would all make Valentine cards for each other and for other friends and family.  Then we would put them in the pocket of each others pillow.  Also, any cards that came in the mail from Grandparents would also be put in the pocket of the pillow to be opened on Valentine's Day along with any treats.

The kids seemed to really enjoy the tradition and instead of coming up with different boxes every year we had the pillows and could put all our creativity into the cards which have turned into keepsakes for me.  Anyway, you might want to add the Valentine pillows tradition in your house or just make a few for decoration!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011


February greeted us with the most snow I've seen in this area EVER (and I've lived here over 30 years)!
Last week we got ice topped with about 8 inches of snow.  The temperatures were below freezing most of the week so when we got our 24 inches this week it feel on top of three inches of already packed snow/ice.

Most people don't like the snow.  However, one of the reasons I like living in the Ozark Mountains is because we get a taste of all of the seasons.  About the time I get tired of it being too cold or too hot or too rainy.......the weather changes into something else!!!
So for now it's time to put warm clothes on and enjoy the snow while it's here.......

Have a fun filled winter everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

December Projects

2010 was the 400 year anniversary of the Galileo telescope.  The Hobbs Conservation Center had a class where you could build one, then go outside and use it along with the local astronomy club.  We had a wonderful time and learned a lot.

Next, Grace's harp teacher invited her to play her harp at a Civil War reenactment.  So after looking around for a costume I could find none in her size soooo....I made one.  The only authentic pattern I could find was a misses size Butterick.  Which meant I had to downsize from a misses size 6 to a child size 10.  Well, after about 25 hours of work..........................

MY SOUTHERN BELLE!!  We all had a great time at the reenactment!

Oh, and she is getting plenty of wear out of that dress...........she likes to put it on and play or just sit and read....

The first part of December also brought new livestock to the farm.  A friend of ours thought we needed pigs.  Since he had a 100 piglets in the last year he gave us four. 

Next are photos of some Christmas gifts.  I enjoy giving one-of-a-kind gifts when I can
Jessica wanted pillows for the head chairs in her dinning room.  She has a very beautiful and dramatic dinning room to see photos go to stylishhousewife.blogspot.com.  She did a post last fall!!

This gift was for a women's tea we have at the church every year.  The theme for our gifts was everything red and green.  So I dug into my button collection and made a Christmas tree pillow.  Then made an apron from a red Christmas fabric.
I also made cute aprons from a vintage pattern for my girls but didn't get a picture of them.
The main gift for my grand babies was a group effort.  We bought them dolls, Steve made the doll beds, Grace made bedding for the beds and I made an extra set of clothes for each. 
It's hard to tell but the beds and clothes are in the foreground. 
It was a joy to love on these two precious girls over the holidays!!!

Grace had several harp performances during the holidays and needed a dress.  I found one that I bought for my oldest daughter when she was about Grace's age.  It has been handed down through the family until I got it back about two years ago.  Grace is the fifth girl to wear it.  It was a plain black sleeveless valour dress with a plain black valour jacket.
I added a little red velvet, black lace and trim....Tadaa....a whole new dress with no money spent because everything I used was left over from other projects.  She was happy and I thought she looked very elegant and she played beautifully!!