Friday, January 30, 2015

Buttoned Up...

Buttoned Up Valentine
Recently, the Mister's mother gifted me with about 5000 buttons she has saved over the past 60 years.

She had sorted them by color and size. 
They were stored in a screw / nail box. 

Looking at all these buttons, I was overwhelmed with what to do with them. After all, how many generations do you think these buttons would serve. Then, I remembered seeing something similar on Pinterest.

I pulled out my cross stitch fabric scraps and found a lovely piece of linen that was perfect. I drew a freehand heart and then started selecting buttons, previewing them as I went. Several hours and many miles of white thread later, I had this dear little guy. Click on the picture to embiggen the picture and see all the buttons. They are mah vo lous!

Just look at all the colors!
Aren't they terrific? 

Now, all I need to do is give it a little press, stretch it in the frame, viola! Custom Valentine's Day art!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Banks Away!

I love big trucks! 

Here on the farm we have been involved in a very interesting project -- stream bank remediation. Our creek flows into the New River (which has been designated a historical river) and has been designated as a priority stream for restoration. The project is quite involved.

First, we had to make application to the Soil and Water Conservation office to have our stream studied to determine if the project would be useful. The goal is to keep farm animals out and off the stream banks to reduce pollution and to retain them to prevent erosion, thus protecting the New. Our project is quite unique in that we find artifacts frequently on our farm -- mostly Native arrowheads and tools. So, we had to have not only the Army Corp of Engineers study the potential wetlands and indigenous plants, but also the State Archeologist had to sign off that we did not have any Native burial mounds in our bottom pasture where the creek runs through. If we had, the Nations would have been notified and made the final determination about the project. The mound could be relocated or the project could have been stopped.

These rocks are the size of motorcycles!

After all that was approved, an engineer created a multi-step plan, we approved it, signed the contracts, and the project was underway. As I write this, it sounds so easy. Actually, it was more than a year in the works... and there were times we really thought nothing was going to happen.

But, the big day came and huge equipment arrived; rocks were rolled in; loads of gravel were dumped; and all kinds of interesting landscape material arrived! How exciting!

I am standing in the bucket!

And, eight weeks later... we have gone from this... 

Wild, beautiful and floods every single rain storm.
Check out the debris!

To this... 

Flood-free, easy to mow along, fenced to keep the cows out --
heaven to walk every night! 
There are still a few things to complete: more fencing, a well for the animals to drink from, and more native plantings. But, isn't it a lovely thing? And, YOU helped to do this! Won't you come for a walk sometime soon, say, around twilight?