It’s A Very Mooey Mooey Christmas

Let’s take a break from the house renovations, a break from the holidays, and a break from everything that’s going on in our lives we’re working on and smile at the photos of these cows up at the farm, from this past spring. The farm hasn’t had enough love here on the blog in the last few months, and these cows deserve some face time.

Why?

Cause they’re awesome.

Oh, and while we’re at it – if you click on any of these photos they will be full size so you can print them out and frame them, you know, if you want a giant cow snout somewhere in your house.

Merry Christmas and you’re welcome. Cow snouts are perfect.

xo,

Heather

 

Friday Freebie: Good Food Kitchen Art

Having a hearty meal with family and friends, filled with laughter, is something I equate with love. Some of my favorite memories in my life have been with family or friends surrounding a table, in someones kitchen. There is truly not much more in life one needs than good food, laughter, and love—at least in my book.

I also love designing digital art. I don’t have money for custom art, and I want pieces that mean something to me. What this means is I typically need to do it myself. I’m not an artist, and I’m certainly not a graphic designer, just like I’m not a photographer. That said, I love creating whether it’s with my hands making homemade pasta, through a computer or with my camera.

With the renovations underway, the “design and decor” section of this blog has all but been ignored. No more though! Over the next few months, until I have time to regularly add to it, I’m going to be putting up some free digital art for you guys.

Today’s free digital art is kitchen art, and it was inspired by what I want people to know about my home when they enter. To me the kitchen is the heart of the home, and from my own experience good people and good food build bonds. I hope you love this as much as I do.

To download the art, click on the link below. It’s an 8.5×11 (regular paper size) PDF, so it may take a moment to open for you. You can either print right from the PDF, or save the PDF to your desktop to print at a later time.

In This Kitchen There Shall Be Good Food – Download

If you want a different color head on over to Etsy where I have an option to customize these. I have a variety of colors you can choose from for the background, and you’ll also get a much higher-res file meaning you can print larger than 8.5×11 without distortion.

Here’s to good food, love, and laughter.

xo,

Heather

DIY Simple Garden Trellises

Every year when we stake up our beans and tomatoes we use a simple piece of scrap wood and tie it on with cotton twine. This year I decided to shuck tradition and go for the all natural approach using sticks and fallen branches in the woods mixed with some twine. I decided I wanted to try two different types of trellises, a simple three leg one and a stand up one. I’m curious to see which one holds up better over time, and which one the peas prefer to crawl up. Eventually I would like to make a sapwood arbor which my peas can grow over, while my lettuce and basil grows under so they can have some relief from scorching sun and perhaps last longer. The only tools I needed were a small handsaw, large branch pruners (but I think the saw alone would be fine) and some scissors to cut your string/twine.

For all the wood below, give it a once over so you don’t bring diseased wood into your garden. Also, enjoy watching haying, but don’t get too close lest you get recruited to drive the tractor. Normally you wouldn’t care but you’re dying to try and make these trellises and nothing is going to stop you. Except the farmer, because you already feel like you’re shucking a neighborly responsibility. Sorry Steve.

People I know tend to refer to me as a little crunchy, which makes me laugh because I consider myself a homesteader but not particularly some super earthy hippie throwback. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t see myself that way. While doing this project I looked down and realized I had just traipsed through the woods, picked up (or sawed off) branches and was sitting in the grass in a long maxi dress with a woven basket filled with twine. Then I remembered I make soap and a host of other cleaning products, I like showering every other day unless it’s really hot out or I have to, I prefer to be barefoot, I rarely if ever wear makeup and my favorite clothes in the world are either maxi dresses or chunky sweaters. Maybe I am a little crunchy. Country girl with a soft spot for a good pair of heels and a large makeup case she rarely uses but knows how to. I think that sounds good.

On this particular day though there was really no second guessing my crunch-level, and I was pretty much okay with it. Nothing wrong with a little creativity, work and savings. Oh, and did I mention I didn’t have to use the power tools at all to split the scrap wood into stakes? Yeah, I think that had a lot to do with it too.

Stand Up “Fence” Trellis

This was similar to fence building, in the sense you’ll need to do it in sections. Also, you may need to add some support to the lower legs because it ends up a little unsturdy. We’ll see how it holds up as the peas crawl but for now it’s good and hasn’t fallen down.

  1. Find two lengths of branch, rather straight but they don’t need to be perfect, which will act as your sides to the trellis.
  2. Figure out how much width you need and get smaller branches that will act as the climbing pieces for your beans. Mine were a little small but just remember they need to support the weight of the plant so nothing flimsy. Strip them of their branches and cut to width. You’ll want between 1-2″ at a minimum of overhang on either side so you can tie them up. 
  3. Once you have everything lined up, cut a very long piece of twine and slowly start wrapping it. You may need to sturdy the first piece between your legs. Make sure your outer piece on the first side doesn’t get twisted so it won’t stand up straight, especially if your side pieces were slightly curved like mine. My in-between branches would only fit if I had them turned inward, so I had to make sure to keep them that way. To tie them on you’ll want to wrap once and do a tight knot while leaving a 3-4 inch tail on the starting side. Wrap again the opposite direction like an “X” and knot again. Now keep wrapping over, around, under, side to side until it feels tight. It might not look pretty, but it should be rather secure. Make sure to keep your twine very tight while wrapping.
  4. Continue this method for all of your branches until they are secure.
  5. To place in the garden, firmly press where you would like it to go and then remove and pre-dig the holes for the posts to go in. Put the trellis posts in place and firmly pack the soil in around the posts. Jiggle the posts a little and then pack the dirt in again. You want this tight. If it’s still too wiggly, you can tie two sticks onto the bottom to make a brace. Just tie them on like the other pieces.

When you’re done, the trellis will look something like this.

Tripod Trellis

This trellis is significantly easier to do, so I won’t even break out the numbered bullet points. Go find three sizeable branches. Cut them to similar lengths. Place them where you want them in the garden and lean the tops together until it feels steady, tie them together with twine. Make sure to weave in and out of each branch instead of just around all three. This will increase the strength of it and keep it from falling apart. For me, this version was extremely steady and I could easily pick it up to move it without any digging. I just placed it over my peas, helped them get started up it and moved on.

 

The winner as of today: The tripod trellis. Much sturdier, no holes, easily moveable, and easier to assemble. I think the other one will be easier to harvest from though, but that still doesn’t negate how good I think the tripod trellis will turn out. If my decision changes I’ll let you know.

As a side project, I used some left over cuts I had to stake up my tomatoes. Nothing fancy, just pounded the stakes into the ground and then used some pieces of scrap fabric I had laying around to tie them up. Easy Peasey. Just a few more weeks and those green tomatoes will be big enough to pick. Mmm.

I really like the rustic and utilitarian nature of the trellises. I also love that they were free, very simple to pretty simple in difficulty, and involved no power tools. Plus, they make my garden look a little nicer. Win, win and win.

xo,

Heather

P.S. There’s another photo from this day, of a sneaky little bugger with yellow fur, over on my Instagram page. You can follow me at username: likeacupoftea or like the Like A Cup of Tea facebook page and click on the “Instagram” tab.

Mason Jar Wedding Invitation Set – DIY Template

Update: January 29, 2015

Unfortunately someone peed in the pool, in fact, multiple people have peed in the pool and so the pool party is over. It will never cease to amaze me how one person believes it’s okay to steal another persons design and then portray them as their own, and profit off of them. It’s straight up unethical.

Thank you to everyone who has used my design responsibility for their events. I truly appreciate it. However, the only place you may now find this design for download is through The Wedding Chicks.  I have given them exclusive permission to offer the designs for free. Unfortunately this means the file is no longer editable to use for any other purpose than a wedding.

I’m sorry everyone to shut the pool down. It just hurts my heart too much to see other people ripping my designs off for a profit, when I, as the creator, don’t even sell them for a profit. So, with that said, I have removed all downloadable files below, information on what fonts were used, and how to edit these. I have also watermarked the images so they cannot be lifted and manipulated easily within a program.

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PLEASE NOTE PRIOR TO USE: This design is for personal use only and may not be downloaded, used, or altered in anyway for commercial use. This design is Creative Commons protected – as noted at the end of this post. Wedding Chicks is the only vendor with an agreement to use this design commercially. Wedding Chicks will be notified of listings found to be using any part of this design for profit. All blogs who wish to offer this template, or a version of it, for free are welcome to do so with clear and proper acknowledgement and a link back to this blog.

Unauthorized replications of designs, for profit or for free without acknowledgement, is disheartening and disrespectful to the intent of this design and to all designers who work hard to produce original content. For those that have used this template personally and have loved it, thank you so much for your support. I choose to believe the majority of people who use this are doing so personally and the notes I’ve received of gratefulness are the reasons I’m still keeping this download up for now. Thank you again.

Lesson: Don’t pee in the pool, it ruins the fun for everyone.

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I have a confession.

I bought our wedding invitations before we were even engaged. I guess I should back it up and say that we would have been engaged by then had I not lost my job. We just couldn’t merit that kind of money at that point. A couple months later once I got a new job, we got engaged.

So really, while unemployed with lack of cash flow, what inspired me to get invitations suddenly? The price.

You might want to sit down.

Sitting?

Good.

The story goes as follows: Go to staples for soap business supplies, take a look at clearance table to see if there is anything on it I can use, see wedding invitations. Marked down from $40 a box to $7.50 for 50 invites – I can deal with not loving the design (plain with a tiny bouquet of flowers on top). I scoop up a few more boxes than I expect to use,  just incase.

I get to the cash register and I nearly fall over giggling with pure joy and shock. Then I do some sort of Top Gun high-five with the guy behind me in line (okay, I didn’t but it crossed my mind). Why all the celebration? They rang up as .50 cents a box. I confirm the price and gleefully skip out of the store with all wedding invitations for $2.50 cents and a savings of $197.50.

When Mr. A walks in the door I bubble over about my find.  Through the look of utter confusion and gears turning in his head, I get approval. We’ve been together for almost 6 years at this point, he’s really not too baffled by my antics, and was impressed by the savings.

I spent all of yesterday designing and figuring out the wedding and rsvp design since they do need to go out this month. We have a mason jar theme (much like my life). I designed the outline of the jar, in my vector editor, after a picture I found because mason jar pictures so hard to come across. Okay, that was slightly sarcastic.

So without further ado, the invitation set. Cost?  $0.01 cent each (not including labor or ink).

The invitation was printed and cut around to leave a small border. The invitation paper was off-white with tiny flowers on top. I lined these up to print below the flower design and chopped it right off.

The RSVP’s took a while to figure out how I wanted them worded. When it came down to it, I wanted a cute front that incorporated the jars and went for an nontraditional approach to the wording on the back.

So how did I format the wording for these? Mad-Lib style!

I am excited about these and can’t wait to get them all printed and sent out in the mail. I have to confirm the time with the church first but once that’s done my printer won’t know what hit it.

Oh, and if you did the math ($2.50/.50 cents a box = 5 boxes*50 per box = 250) we don’t have nearly 250  people as it turns out. We went with about 100 less than that. Thank God.

Happy Wedding Crafting!

Heather

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DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:

Due to stealing of this design for profit, all downloads and download instructions have been removed. The Creative Commons license for this design remains in effect. This design is for personal use only. No commercial uses or for clients. Reproductions must be attributed back to Like A Cup of Tea. Please see Creative Commons License below.

Creative Commons License
Mason Jar Invitations by Like A Cup Of Tea is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.