Unique Creations by Shari Denise

From Writing to Chickens with lots in-between, Creativity Abounds!

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Stained Glass Vette

I had a really fun time creating a Stained Glass Painting of a friend’s favorite corvette recently.
Using two panes of glass, I was able to create a depth to the painting that I found rather cool.

Stained Glass Corvette. sharidenise.com

For more details and photos about this project click HERE .

For more inspiration check out my Stained Glass Pinterest Board.

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Barn Quilts for Christmas!

Barn Quilts are large wooden squares painted as a Quilt Block. Most of the time the painted block is hung on vintage or family barns. Some can be seen on houses and business buildings.

I’ve been fascinated with Barn Quilts for a while now but only recently had the opportunity to dive into such a project.

I created a 4 foot square for my parents for Christmas. Gave their gift to them last night so I’m excited to share it with you here. 🙂

Since Dresden is their hometown, The Vintage “Dresden Plate” was the only Block to make for them.

barnquilt dresden plate sharidenise

My sister and her husband are big UT VOL fans. So, for Christmas I created a Barn Quilt just for them.

barnquilt ut square sharidenise

If you want more details about these Barn Quilts I’m posting more about the construction on my Barn Quilt Page.

Need inspiration for your own Barn Quilt? Check out my Barn Quilt board on Pinterest!

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Gonna Be A Hot Winter!

20140914_152449Today wrapped up the harvest of my Jalapeño peppers. Spent a while this afternoon slicing the hot little things and placing them on the trays of my dehydrator. Whew!

I love adding Jalapeño peppers to my recipes. Dehydrating them is a new thing for me but is looking pretty dang awesome so far!

After slicing and placing in a single layer on each tray, I had a dehydrator full!

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and then I added more….

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Then it was off to harvest some more herbs. Cinnamon Basil, Greek Oregano and Parsley were the main ones for today. Our house smells delightful!!

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I always like to let the freshly picked herbs “wilt” a bit before putting them in the dehydrator. Oh MY! My nose is HaPpY!!!

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Lemon Balm, Oh MY!

LemonBalm.08.02.2014Loving the herb Lemon Balm today. Just learned it has so many benefits, not to mention its crisp, clean scent. Some call it the “Elixir of Life” due to its

  • incredible anti-viral,
  • anti-bacterial,
  • digestive, and
  • sedative properties.
  • high levels of antioxidants which substantially increases its ability to heal and work effectively.

Lemon Balm contains a compound called terpene which has the ability to help relieve

  •  anxiety,
  • stress,
  • hypertension,
  • depression,
  • high blood pressure,
  • muscle spasms,
  • heart palpitations,
  • tension headaches,
  • circulatory issues, and
  • cognitive disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Lemon Balm also benefits

  • chronic gastrointestinal disorders including
    • indigestion,
    • IBS,
    • colitis, and
    • acid reflux.

Lemon Balm has the ability to promote a healthy, balanced immune system and endocrine system, which is highly beneficial for autoimmune disorders such as

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
  • Adrenal Fatigue,
  • Multiple Sclerosis, and
  • Vertigo.

It is also useful in treating

  • insomnia,
  • sleep disturbances, and
  • jittery nerves, allowing for a more relaxed body and better quality sleep.

The polyphenol tannins contained in Lemon Balm give it its anti-viral properties making it particularly helpful in healing

  • colds,
  • flu,
  • bronchitis and
  • any viral infections.

Topically, Lemon Balm can be applied as a cream to help heal and provide relief for

  • cold sores
  • shingles as well as
  • cuts and wounds.

Essentially, Lemon Balm is a heal-all herb and has rightfully earned its reputation as the “Elixir of Life”. As a delicious and refreshing drink, Lemon Balm tea can be added to your weekly health regime for a wide range of healing benefits. Fresh or dried herb can be steeped in hot water for a minimum of ten minutes and sweetened with raw honey, if desired.”

To learn more about this wonderful herb and find more uses for it, check out my Lemon Balm Pinterest Board where I collect lots of fascinating data about Lemon Balm.

 

 

Sources: Medical Medium

 

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Herbal Harvest

It’s been a day of harvesting a few herbs. Below is a photo of a few that are in the process. I usually let them wilt before putting them in the dehydrator (works better for me that way). So, while the Oregano has already wilted and ready for stem removal and placed in glass jars. I finally got my lavender de-stemed and now have 2 quarts! I really do wish you could smell my home right now!

Herbal Harvest 001

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We’ve been Invaded!!

20140629_181002_FotorOh MY! A couple of weeks ago, I began noticing some things were showing up around in our yard and gardens. A door here, a swing there…

 

 

 

 

Mint pot swing

Mint pot swing

As more and more things began to appear, I realized we had been invaded!! an entire tribe of Fairies (and Gnomes) have made our yard and gardens their home!

Ok, well, I’m good with that. 😉

 

 

 

click on photo for more detailed photos

 

 

While my grandson came to visit for a week, we’ve been busy making our new little friends feel more at home.

 

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We’ve had so much fun, especially around the Lilac bush where an entire village has erupted!

 

So excited to share that we are entering our fairy gardens and sightings in The Magic Onions 2014 Fairy Garden Contest! Might I suggest that you create a fairy garden and enter yours as well!

 

We’ve got all kinds of Fairy Dwellings and more to show in the future! COME LOOK!!! Magical Fairy Gardens

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Herb Harvest

Fotor_14047670133421I sure wish you could smell my dining room right now. I just harvested some fresh lavender. Some Cinnamon Basil is ready to be de-stemed, and I’ve got several trays of oregano drying in the dehydrator. I like to let my freshly cut herbs wilt a bit before putting them in the dehydrator. They fit better. 🙂 So, by the time the oregano is dry, the lavender will be wilted enough to lie flatter.

Oh, and this Cinnamon Basil? Yes, it DOES smell like Cinnamon & Basil!!

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Gardening, Tis The Season…

IMG_5149Busy Days have filled my world lately. The sunshine is beautiful and the temperatures near perfect. It’s May and the season for gardening is here. From enjoying perennial flowers that make their way into a fabulous array of beauty, to planting the annuals that we must work harder to enjoy each year.  It’s been a busy month already! Roxi & Ivy are always curious to find out what is going to be the activity for the day. When I’m in the yard, they are content as long as they see me. Once I slip out of their view, EVERYBODY knows I’ve left their eyesight for their cries for me to come back are constant until I return.

IMG_5146After the long, cold winter we just had it is so refreshing that Spring is finally here and in full swing. Grass is growing, as well as WEEDS!! Since Roxi & Ivy love weeds better than grass, I want to stick them here and there and everywhere I see a little patch of weeds!

RoxiIvyMorningAs you may have seen in prior posts, I have different pens for different needs concerning my two little pygmy goats. Their “bedroom” (of which they are standing in the doorway of in the above photo) is their main stay. It is their safe place, located in the back of the Cackleberry Inn chicken house. A hanging dining table that holds a bale of hay keeps constant food available, especially when a couple of rainy, stormy days keeps them there more than out in one of their other pens.

IMG_5174Roxi & Ivy love to romp and play. so, they have their own play pen. I constructed it out of PVC pipe and wire. Their “mobile home” as well as their toys of barrels and crates keep them entertained. You will find my snapshots with this “corral” in several locations around the yard. I usually move it a few inches at a time, maneuvering it along easily. Roxi & Ivy have come to be very content in the corral and feel that is “their’ space. They LOVE to observe activity on the farm from their blue barrels!

IMG_4622With weeds popping up here and there and everywhere, and with Roxi & Ivy loving them so much, I wanted a way to move them around to little patches of weeds easier than in the corral. I mean let’s face it, the corral is for the large parts of the yard. So, the Weedeater’s Cube was created. Yes, they enjoy having free reign within the little cube and the bonnet gives them brief relief from the sun or a mid-day shower.

IMG_4886Our wood pile is always full of grass and weeds. They tend to find an easy place to grow around and through the chunks of wood. I built a temporary fence around the pile and let the girls have it. Their delight! Also, since they, as goats, are a cousin to deer, they need nutrition that they find in twigs, bark, and wooded leaves. The wood pile is one of their fun places since they can jump and climb all over the logs.

IMG_5148Lately I’ve been enjoying some time in the yard, cleaning out flower beds and pulling weeds. Sometimes, I’ll tie the girls to the area I’m working in and let them help me clean out the weeds. As I pull weeds and they pull weeds, I wondered if they think I, too eat the green leafy plants, or if they wonder why I DON’T eat such luscious greens. 🙂

IMG_4699Incorporating herbs into the lives of my goats and poultry has become rather important to me. I want to take as any measures for their health as I can. The more I read, the more I learn and become more fascinated in the benefits of herbs. Poultry and Goats both really benefit from adding fresh herbs like garlic and oregano into their diet. So, I planted lavender, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage and lemon balm around the Cackleberry Inn. I also created the Climb & Dine which puts a vertical twist to offering herbs to my little flocks day.

We love home grown tomatoes. a few years ago I began canning tomatoes and it’s a sad day when I go to my pantry and there’s no canned tomatoes to cook with. We also like a jalapeño relish I began making and canning a while back. The pantry bounty has about run out so, growing tomatoes and peppers are a priority for us this year. Then I learned about companion planting. How one plant assists another if planted near each other. Well, how cool!! Roses love garlic (who knew?!)

As I continued nestling plants and seedlings into soil, I came across a great idea on Pinterest. I now call it my Italian basket. An upside down tomato in the bottom with Italian herbs on top. italian.herb.baskets

Rest assured the tomato plants look tiny and weird hanging upside down, but let’s give the little things a chance in their new environment.  Now, the rest of my “Crop” is strategically placed within our old Mercury garden. It is surrounded by old tires which are awesome “homes” for plants since the tires hold water like a well during dry times. Originally, this area was the chicken lot to the old chicken house. Then it became the Mercury garden. As my love of chickens was renewed, I fenced it in again for chickens, using the old Mercury as a shelter. Later, I used this area as a place to keep Roxi & Ivy. Now, the fencing has come down, Roxi & Ivy helped me remove the weeds, and now tomatoes, peppers and herbs adorned this little garden.

My Blackberry bushes are planted just to the side of this vintage garden. My blackberry bushes, *sigh… well, I got a little too excited about pruning a while back and I think I may have pruned too much. This did not kill my blackberries, however, we may not have much of a berry harvest this year. See, i’ve learned that Blackberries grow “canes” one year and then berries grow on those canes the next year. When pruning, one should only cut off old canes, and leave the new canes since they are the ones that will bare the fruit. Lesson learned a  bit to late for this season. However, in preparing for said new canes to grow (for possibly next year’s berries) I have started a wooden fence that would provide a strong resting place for the upcoming cane filled bushes. With the help of my fella and his grandsons posts were set properly with the intention of wooden rails to follow in the future. Well, this weekend the future became present. It was time to install the rails. Always eager to use my handy, dandy screw gun, I jumped to the challenge. In my excitement of getting the board positioned at the height I wanted it, and then assuring it was level, I incorporated the assistance of some old saw horses. As I stood back for a view of my handiwork, I suddenly realized, something was wrong. IMG_5203

Before panicking, I sighed and put my screw gun in reverse mode, removed the screws on one end of the board and released the saw horse from it’s captivity.  IMG_5204

As you can see in these photos, the reclaimed, rustic garden in the background is ready for sunshine and rain as it prepares to produce wonderful veggies and herbs to delight our taste buds.

Meanwhile, the Coffee Cats hang out with the chickens as they enjoy a perfect evening of free range pecking and scratching before it’s time to turn in to the roost for the evening. IMG_5171

No, not all mulching is done, not all garden grooming is complete, Roxi found a way out of the corral so it now must be reinforced, and we won’t even think of the chores that await inside the Cackleberry Inn, much less inside our own home. But today, all is calm and I love Spring.

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Climb & Dine Phase 2; SUCCESS!!

Climb & Dine Gutter Garden

Climb & Dine Gutter Garden

You may have read my earlier posts about the idea I had to incorporate Herbs and more activity options to the Cackleberry Inn Patio. With such wonderful, sturdy rafters I wanted to make use of the “dead space” above my little chickens heads. So, let’s go vertical! And we did. 🙂 Designing and then constructing a collection of wire shelves into stairs (phase 1), I gave more space and activity to my little flock of chickens and guineas. Next (phase 2) was to construct a salad bar for them to munch from. Hanging a Gutter Garden was the perfect solution.

Morning sunlight glistens on tender herbs growing in the Gutter Garden.

Morning sunlight glistens on tender herbs in the Gutter Garden.

Seedlings were started inside, then transplanted to the PVC gutter pipes, still remaining inside while threats of frost continued outdoors. Now it’s time to bring the Gutter Garden PVC pipes out for REAL Sunshine. My little herb seedlings are still small and tender but big enough to grow outside. It was exciting to actually hang the plant filled pipes from the sturdy rafter. Currently the plants are out of reach of the Cackleberry Flock, however, as the herbs grow and overflow, I will adjust the hanging chains for easier access from the “stairs” of the Climb & Dine.  I truly had the attention of all the birds as I hung the Gutter Garden. They observed with fascination.

IMG_4881Oh, and see that lemon balm in the flower bed below it? That’s there for a reason. Read more on why I planted lemon balm around the Cackleberry Inn.

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Cackleberry Herbs

I have been reading up on herbs and poultry well-being. I learned that some herbs actually deter rodents and some deter insects (Yay!!!).

IMG_4702So, this weekend I set out to add these types of herbs to the landscaping around the Cackleberry Inn. Saturday was spent prepping the sight, purchasing and positioning the scolloped edgers. Will paint them white as I have done previously purchased edgers but that will be a task for another weekend.

Sunday I transplanted some Lemon Balm to a long plant bed against the East Wall of the Cackleberry Inn. I had a nice thick, healthy patch of Lemon balm in another flower garden that needed to be moved and this was just the place to move it! 🙂 Digging up the Lemon balm was a pleasant task because I love the lemony scent of the leaves. Rodents however do not appreciate this plant and so, hopefully this will help repel their visits.

IMG_4699And on the other side of the Cackleberry Inn I planted Lavender, oregano, sage and rosemary. According to Fresh Eggs Daily, Lavender, Rosemary and Sage are great insecticides as well as Lemon Balm. Insecticides that are also pleasant smelling, and add such healthy treats for my chickens, guineas and goats.

Can’t wait for these plants to grow enough that I can share with the critters!!