Sunday, March 19, 2017

Blogger Reflection - Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

I've been writing Dicky Bird's Nest since December 6, 2010.  It's almost painful to go back and look at my first year of posts.   However, reading them, I had some insightful ideas and advice.  Therefore, I plan to revisit, revise and repost.    

A blog is as unique as it's writer.  Some use it as a tool for families to keep in touch, a venue for a political voice, a catalog of recipe keeping and a virtual diary of all your activities.  The "blogosphere" is full of anything you would want to look up or know how to do. 

I do write this blog for me - a piece of my heart and life that I choose to share with my followers and others who "happen upon" my page. 

Over the years, I have met some wonderful people in "blogland."  Many are still writing, others on hiatus and some just vanished.  It's the later that I've noticed lately.  Some of my favorites no longer show up in my daily reading lists.  I just wonder, where have all the bloggers gone?

I do understand, blog "burn out" is real.  The pressure to come up with creative, unique posts, competing with last month/year's page views, finding new hops or linky parties to join, not to mention the reading and leaving comments on other's blogs - it can become like a "job."  

I've been reading many posts on blogging lately.  What I found is that by chance I happen to do some of the same things these bloggers do.  When I started, I had no instruction on how to do this, I just do what I do the way I do it.  I enjoy sharing and writing and so I continue.  

If you are a blogger, what tips would you be willing to share with us.  What do you enjoy about your blog?  What blogs are your favorites?  Share with us.....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Week 36 - Spiced Coconut Crinkles

I made this one up too - it's a "Dicky Bird original" 

Spiced Coconut Crinkles

1 C soft butter
2/3 C brown sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar

Cream together, add:
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
Blend together and add:
1 t allspice
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Mix well.  In separate bowl stir together:
2 C flour
2/3 C coconut
Add gradually to the wet mixture

In small bowl, mix 1/3 C granulated sugar, 1/2 t allspice and 1/2 t cinnamon - this is sugar coating

Roll dough into walnut size balls, shake in the sugar coating mixture.

Bake 325 for 15-18 min.  Makes:  4 doz. cookies

I hope you give them a try, they are tasty.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Top 3 Cheeses in United States 2017

They don't call us cheese heads for "nothin" - you might think that is for the yellow foam wedge fans at Lambeau wear during Packer games - that is true, but we also have some super talented cheese makers here, where making cheese is "in" their heads.  

The top 3 2017 cheese makers and their award winning cheeses are within an hour from our farm.  The winners are:

1.  Satori Company, Antigo, WI for Matucheski's Satori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano (99.02 score).

2.  Terry Lensmire, Agropur, Weyauwega, WI for Cheddar (98.81 score).

3.  Marieke Penterman, Holland Family Cheese, LLC, Thorp, WI for Gouda Belegen (98.59 score).  

Here is a blog post about Holland Family I did a few years back:  They now have a larger store right off the highway.  

Wisconsin,"America's Dairyland."  In my lifetime I've seen many small family farms fade away, sad but true.   What has not changed, what any multi generational dairy family here will tell you is their love of the industry and desire to keep it in the family.  Wisconsin will always be America's Dairyland based on that fact alone.  California now dominates per head and claim to have the "happy cows."  If you ask me, happy cows make happy milk and happy milk makes award winning cheeses and that make everyone happy.  

So, congratulations you wonderful "cheese heads" - keep making those award winning cheeses for all of us to enjoy!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

What I'm Working On This Week

This week I've been working on things to take to the Theme sale:

This is an occasional shop - open 3 days a month.  These are some of the items you will find from me there.  

I have had these cupboard panels - they were seconds - I bought years ago from a guy who worked for a cabinet maker.  I've painted signs and such on them over the years, but I saw something like this at the Shop Hop....this is what I made....I painted, distressed, stained the boards - added the screen, moss and flowers.

If these sell...the plan is to make more for the Urban Farm Girl and Tansy Hill Farm shows in May.

When you "buy out" an estate, you always have items that won't sell the way they, in digging last week in my boxes of inventory, I came up with several items to work on.  These wood pieces were so dated...1970 I painted them and added some spring decorations

I also found several miss matched and single pieces of glass, goblets, serving bowls - what to do?  I came up with these...

I "scored" with a huge amount of ceramic Easter eggs...I had to do something to make them sell too... I think they look nice.  

I have had some nice glass jars....I did this to them...

But, what I spent the most time on was the buffet.  It was so unusual.  When I bought it, I could see all the layers and colors I wanted to paint it.  I did pay $100 more for it than I usually want to pay for pieces I paint.  However, it was so cool and I bought it from some good customers of mine for over 15 fact they just bought that huge cupboard I worked on a few weeks back.  This piece was his grandparent's.  I think it is around 100 years old.    

I had to sand it, wash it with steel wool and mineral spirits, fix the nicks and scratches, paint two coats of base (clay color), dry brush on the gray and then the linen - stain and wax...this was a labor of love as it took all week!  I don't' want to sound prideful, but I LOVE it!  I know I have a different style in that I LOVE imperfection....layers of imperfection.....stop it!!!

Before - After

I think I just came up with a Motivational Monday post..."Layers of Imperfection" 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Motivational Monday - Oh Well

It has been 1 full week without running water in our home.  I'm thankful we have another well by the barn.  We are able to get buckets of water, so we can at least flush the toilets...(smile).

I told Al last Monday, that we could probably "make it" without water for at least a week...easy to say, harder to do.  On one of my trips to the barn with buckets in hand...I started singing..."Jacky and Al went up a hill to fetch a pail of water..." I thought it was funny.  It was a L O N G week.  

Coming out the other side of it...not knowing if we will have a new well this week...I think I can "make it" another week.  After all, I'm in a warm house, I can use paper plates, my animals have water, things could be worse and I am thankful for what I do have.  

I keep thinking about all the other women in the world who don't have water.  The ones that have to walk miles to get their daily amount.  No long warm showers for them.  So, as I sit here and write this, I don't know what this week will "throw at me," but thinking on those less fortunate than I and counting my blessings, I know, with the Lord's help,  I can handle it.  

My hope for you dear follower, is that whatever this week "throws at you" you can handle it too.  Count your many blessings, it helps!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vintage Shop Hop - What's Hot

The Vintage Shop Hop is organized by Nellie's Barn Sale - here are the links:

If you happen to miss the "hop" this past weekend, please go look at the map for the list of all these wonderful shops that are located in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Use the map so that you may still visit and find them.

I will start out this post with saying - I didn't take any pictures of items in shops - because I don't like it when people do that - I've had people take pictures of my booth and art instead of buying, I NEVER do this...good thing I have a photographic memory.  (smile)

I was lucky to be invited to go both Friday and Saturday.  On Friday we started in the Madison area and ended up in Whitewater.  On Saturday, we started in Appleton and ended up in New London.  This is the 3rd year of our going.

I was so inspired by all the vignettes, unique props, displays and creative art!  As an artist and antique dealer, I was looking for ideas and to see up and coming trends.  Here is what I saw.

One common item that was creatively displayed, uniquely used, artistically repurposed was......books!  Yes, books!  I know from watching "Fixer Upper" that Joanna Gaines loves to decorate with books.  I am sure some of this came from that as well...but, I was blown away with the other uses for books.  I hope to recreate some of these for my booths.

Barn boards...still in...and still hot!  In the rough or polly, waxed and sealed - everywhere.

Bird could be because it is Spring...but so many displays with bird cages.  

Baskets galore...I know it is close to Easter, but many, many baskets made of all types of materials.  

Painted furniture - there were so many pieces.  I saw SOLD stickers on those pieces that were uniquely painted - soft, yet colorful and pieces that were paint and original wood combined.  

Signs, I personally think some of these are on the way out, but by the look of what other ladies were buying - original sayings, hand made, unique...not the "cookie cutter" ordered ones.  

Recycled and upcycled clothes.  Tshirts with cute country sayings and shop logos.

For the most part, I noticed that the customers were being very smart with their purchases.  Standing in line behind some younger ladies, I overheard them talking about how the were going to use or display this and was interesting. 

I start a new week with projects still in my entry, paint brushes on the kitchen table, boxes of estate buy out items to mark and my head spinning with inspiration.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What I'm Working on This Week - March 1-8

Here is the before picture of some of the projects I'm working on this week.  

I LOVE the small buffet and all the details in the wood.  This piece has several condition issues and I need to work on fixing before I paint it.  I hope to do a post just about that.    I have some small shelves, benches, boxes - all from estate buyouts and thrifting - that need a little "updating" to bring them back to life.  I hate to do it, but the picture of a young Jesus has been in all of my booths, marked down to $3 and no one bought it...I have a plan to paint over it...

I finished a few of them yesterday.  I added some old hardware from another piece I repurposed to the recipe boxes - these could hold postcards, index cards or photos too.  All of these items will be available at the next Theme sale.  

I also taught our ladies bible study on "the JOY of the Lord is our strength."  I have resigned from teaching Sunday school and took up a more leadership role in the ladies ministry at our church.  I started making these color/journal sheets for each of our bible studies.  

I'm off today to take inventory to my booth at Jackie's Antique Mall and to make and stage the window display at the Theme shop.   

I have to say, that weekly, someone comes up to me and asks, "how is your shop doing?"  I have to keep saying..."I don't own a shop, Jackie's Antique Mall isn't mine and neither is Theme..."  Last week, even Jackie's aunt commented on something I did and thought I was her, even our family get us and our business confused.  It is what it is...  I was sad to find out that the historical brick and mortar building Theme rented was to be sold.  I certainly didn't have the means to purchase the property or ability to create a new LLC to start another business (I'm already in too many).  I'm happy to say, that the new owners like Theme and have agreed to keep things the same for now.  Also, Theme is official, as the one who found the location to rent, created the LLC.  So, I will be able to continue to sell there.   

I hope to pick up some more items from the farm/barn pick from last week...since I looked at the items, we have had 2 snow storms...just my luck!  

Thanks for the interest.  
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hodge Podge Wednesday - 1/1/17

From This Side of The Pond asks the questions, we answer....
Link here:


1. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 

Well, many times it has been true in my life.  However, when our daughter had cancer.  Anyone in treatment knows...slow and steady...positive attitude and lots of prayer.

2. 'As slow as molasses'...Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What's your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what's your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 

Love molasses!  Wisconsin is one of the top maple syrup producers - I love that too.  Carmel, butterscotch...I don't say no to any of it!

3. Your favorite slow song? 

Eric Clapton, You Look Wonderful Tonight (our first dance song at our wedding ...29 years ago)

4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 

I cook many things in the crock pot.  What I really like doing is a beef, venison, pork roast all together with carrots, potatoes and onions.  Left overs turned to stew or soup next day.

5. 'You may delay, but time will not.' ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?

I am a delayer (procrastinator) especially with things I dread doing...I hate it...but, it's true.  I am usually successful at whatever it was I was not trying to do once I do it...and I should have just done that right away.  Organizing and cleaning out my studio/shop.

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.

1.  Internet!
2.  People who walk slow/push cart in stores.
3.  Egg production - hens are on "winter break"

7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you'll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you'd like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 

I am crafty with my hands and wit...LOL.  Felted rabbits for Easter.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Keeping with slow theme, I don't mind waiting for things, especially when the end result is good.  Like cookies or bread in the oven...oh the smell.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Cherry Pie Bars

My "fool proof" pie crust recipe is compliments of my mother-in-law, Marlene.  I have it here: The recipe makes enough for 4 pie crusts.  Make the whole recipe and freeze the other.

Roll out your crust and fit it into a square pan.  

Spread 1 can of cherry pie filling (could be other fruit too).

Top with the following crumb mixture:

1 C oatmeal
1/4 C flour
pinch of salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg - 1 t 
1/2 stick of melted butter

Bake 400-425 for 25-30 min.  or until the cherries are bubbling and the crumb mixture is toasted.

So easy and so good!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.