Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

…what to do with salvage?

Do you love to take something and find a creative, fun, never-thought-of-before use for it?

I recently entered a ‘sale’ {in my neck of the woods} with a group of like-minded gals/friends who came out from the Spokane area to shop for great finds.  At one point I came upon two of my favorite junking life-friends, Celeste & Holly…they were standing there staring an item down with deep intent in their eyes. 

The definition of that look?: we making something out of nothingright here and now.

I just wanted to climb into their little heads.  I could vision an idea for that piece of junk, but what was their vision?  Certainly it was completely different than my own.

A couple of weeks ago I had a great fire going outside.  When I burn, I BURN…I start looking for anything and everything that can just….be GONE

I had two old chairs that really needed to be GONE!  Honestly, I probably could have put them in my booth at Farm Chicks and had somebody PAY me to take them off of my hands but I could see no vision for them….until I turned them over and saw the fun coils that filled the underside of them.  My first little coils.  You see them at all the sales but now I had my own.  {silly me}  I enlisted my Mr’s help {who couldn’t see my vision AT ALL…but willingly helped} and we cut all of those little coils out of the bottoms of those chairs before they hit the burn pile.

Yesterday I finally brought one inside.  If I have something sitting around that seems to have no use I can begin to envision many creative uses for it just by having it around.

It took just minutes to slip one of my green, jar flower vases {still sitting on the table from the weekend’s art retreat} into one of the coils…perfect fit!  Since my eye likes things in 3’s, I went back out and got 3 coils that were still tied together….voila!

Another one of my… sweet pleasures = simple joys

{and it was free….I know my Mr. can catch that vision…btw, he think this post should be titled, “Spring Flowers”…he’s such a clever one}

We have had our share of hard freezes so the blooms are looking quite sad but yesterday I was able to pick a lovely bouquet of parsley and included blooms of sage and oregano….beautiful and fragrant and untouched by the frost!

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, garden, just plain fun, my neck of the woods! | 2 Comments

As the seasons change….

This has been my trusty Market Shopper.  It’s accompanied me to our local farmer’s market and a variety of other happenings lately.

I think that this Friday will be the last Market of the season.

I generally have mixed emotions as each season comes to an end.  I know for some it seems like summer ended a while back but I’ve still been hanging on to remnants of it.  We did have a pretty good freeze this week {30°} so that helps me to make the official transition to fall…which makes me long for a hard, cold, snowy winter!

My own garden/orchard is winding down too but I still have [some] apples and pears and lots of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and [hopefully] some tomatillos [just waiting for them to do their thing…I’ve been told that you know they’re ready when they drop off the vine…if they don’t freeze first].

I really love pear.

I don’t find it as versatile for my family as apple but I still love it.

It’s a beautiful fruit!

I made this Pear Custard Pie this week.  Oh, so Yummy!…and it just got better on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day!  Next time I would make it a day ahead.

The goats and chickens are benefiting from the garden clean-up!

October 10, 2011 Posted by | garden, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, market shopper, my neck of the woods!, news from home | 2 Comments

…much love for ‘the apple’…

Oh, the goodness that’s wrapped up in an apple.

Such diversity, sweetness and nutrition…

When my kids were babies, homemade applesauce was there #1 staple food.  I had a sweet {older} friend who would help me can up some apple sauce each year for my sweet babies.  Since then, whenever I’ve canned sauce I think of my dear friend, with great appreciation, for helping this young mom in those early years when I didn’t live close to my own mom. 

I appreciate so much when ladies are willing to give of themselves to help younger gals learn these valuable skills.

Titus 2:4-5… These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

[picture taken by Trisha Love]

Now that this little man is 4 months old, he’s going to be loving some of Nana’s home~made apple sauce.

I wish I could decide what I want him to call me.  I know…I should just let him decide but I don’t want to be called ‘grandma’…that just doesn’t set well with me…so he might need a little encouragement….Nana…Grammy…Nona…Nanny….It’ll come…one way or another…sooner or later!  🙂

This is a favorite charm.  It’s round and chunky and reminds me of a candy drop.  Both sides have fun, vintage fabric that came from my Great Grandma’s fabric stash.

If you have some old, cherished fabric, this would be a fun way to preserve and share a snippet of it…

September 5, 2011 Posted by | family, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen | 1 Comment

The land gives so freely!

What’s on your {late} summer reading list?

I have my favorite little spot to sit in the living room and I have a stack of wonderful books and magazines piled up all around me.  Any chance I have to sit down, I grab one and start looking for the next fun thing that I want to make, can, dehydrate, freeze…

My interests seem to evolve and change but they also seem to keep moving in the same direction.

Living off the Land!

I can’t get enough…it makes me get all excited!

Yesterday I ordered #3 & #5 crocks for sauerkraut, pickles, etc…

the laundry and housework has been very patient…so has Mr. T!

Look what I drug home over the weekend {along with a whole lot of other things}.  Oh, I’m so excited…it’s just so beautiful!

really, I promise…it is! 

A number was randomly chosen and we have a winner for my birthday give-a-way….Rosie!

Rosie is a local gal so I can’t wait to have this grand excuse to get together for coffee, tea, food…good conversation!  🙂

Oh, the comments that were left on this post…all of them made me smile…most of them made me cry just a little!  Thanks for sharing from your hearts, ladies!

August 31, 2011 Posted by | garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 4 Comments

Summer Grandeur…

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
— L.M. Montgomery

This has been a favorite summer for me!

I’m going to guess that it has much to do with that ‘gentle’ process of aging that none of us can avoid.

I believe that I have learned to enjoy the simple joys and pleasures in life more than ever.  And, because we were able to move to this beautiful country setting 3½ years ago, it has allowed for a more restful, less hectic life {which I fully embrace}.

I’ve made a quiet resolve with myself to keep it that way!   […so far, so good]

Another one of life’s simple pleasures that I cannot ignore is the power within a seed.

It amazes me each and every year.

And, it causes me to be impressed with myself {that’s always fun}.

Most of my garden is the result of seeds that I put in dirt…with my own little hands.

Many of my herbs I purchased but most everything else came up from seed: corn, green beans, peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, flowers.  Plus, we have a nice variety of things that come back each year: raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, horseradish and a small orchard with apples, plums, pear…

With fresh local lamb and beef filling our freezers plus the abundance of fish that we caught in Alaskan waters…oh, ya…and that fresh goat’s milk…we have been eating so well {too well}.  Everything is fresh and yummy…not to mention, oh, so healthy!

All of this makes summer so busy and so wonderful in a very worthwhile and fulfilling sort of way.

I have a few sunflowers that are nearly twice my height…

Do you remember the chickens {Silkies} I had in my booth at the Farm Chicks sale? 

Because the little one {the black one} was so little I didn’t want to put them in with the other chickens so I just let them have free-range of my garden.  I wasn’t sure how that would work.  I told them that if they got into my strawberries then they would have to leave.   They have done great.  They just kind of hang out in the potato patch.  I brought home a rooster for them recently and they literally are all inseparable.

Poppy, Nel and Papa Jack

I still haven’t forgotten that there is a give-a-way…go over HERE and sign-up…I’ll draw a name in a couple of days.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 2 Comments

Raspberry Bliss…

Raspberries!  Raspberries!  Raspberries!

It is such a great year for berries.  I guess they liked the cool wet spring and early weeks of summer and our lower-than-average mid-summer temps have shown favor to the berries as well.

The rest of my garden?   …not so much!

Our spring/summer weather has been very hard on most of the garden but I’m still enjoying it and I think it’s beautiful.

And…it’s not over yet!

The raspberries though are certainly the gift that keep giving and giving.Truly a delight of summer!

They are also a beautiful addition to flower arrangements.

My nephew, Joel {1}, has discovered the rewards of finding the red berries.  We have a new row that his dad planted this spring and it is just the right size.  He toddles his way along ‘his row’ and finds all of the red berries.

I also love pretty jars!  ♥

I’ve come to a sad realization this year.  Making jam is horribly expensive {and involves WAY TOO MUCH sugar!!!}.  It’s a good thing that I don’t have to buy berries or containers.  I grew up with freezer jam and so have my kids but it’s slipping into more of a for-special-occasions thing around here. 

August 6, 2011 Posted by | garden, home life, in the kitchen | Leave a comment

Drink Green!

Up until now, my garden has been providing pleasure mostly just for my ‘visual’ senses. 

It also has given me an excuse to soak in a lot of Vitamin D. 

Oh, my ~ how that feels so nice. 

Although our spring was so rainy and cool, we have now had about 3 solid weeks of sunshine.  Today our early morning temperature was 52º ~ oh, how I’ve been waiting with anticipation for it move into the 50’s.

This morning I picked one of my rows of spinach so I can get another re~planted.

Have you ever added spinach to a fruit smoothie?

If you haven’t ever tried it then you would be surprised that it blends in so nice without adding much to the flavor.  I just throw in a handful and it’s always the perfect amount.  It gives an amazing healthy punch to this already nutritious drink.  I make mine with yogurt that I’ve made from my own milk, fresh fruit {preferably that I’ve frozen} and I like to add a little stinging nettle if I have it on hand.  {remember THIS POST?  I was able to dry some for tea and freeze some in ice cube trays to add to drinks….YUM!}

I know, I know….I’m used to having people think I’m crazy but I’ll say that I feel better than I think I’ve ever felt! 

{so there!!!} 


July 7, 2011 Posted by | garden, healthy living, in the kitchen, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments

A little hard work…

If hard work ‘never hurt no one’ then why does my back ache?

I love having a blog especially when I have fun things going on around here.

The past couple of weeks there has been a lot going on but not so much the blog-worthy-type of stuff…

I’ve been putting off stripping the wallpaper out of a bathroom for about 3 years because I didn’t think that it would be a very fun job.  Well, in case you’ve never personally stripped wallpaper I will indeed verify that it isn’t fun.

I try to keep my life at a ‘fun’ {there’s that word again} pace.

Sometimes that doesn’t leave an adequate amount of time for the things that some would consider ‘more important’.  🙂 {i.e. house work, yard work, stripping wallpaper, etc…}  But, I also like doing things that make me feel good…that are rewarding…and some of this does involve hard work.

So, I shall put a bit of a re-do on that bathroom {rewarding} ~ I’m washing the logs inside my house {rewarding} ~ then I’ll wash the windows {rewarding!!!}  and as I’ve been working at getting my yard raked of it’s winter debris a little bit at a time, that too, is very rewarding.

My dad came over this morning and put me to work in my garden.  He and Mr. T got the orchard all trimmed up last week and my dad got the raspberries in tip-top shape.  So today we burned all the trimmings and worked on other areas…once again, rewarding!

It was interesting to watch him graft an apple tree.  We have a favorite apple tree that does well here so hopefully with his know-how and a little bees wax we can get another one going.  Wow!  This is a very affordable way to get an apple tree.

fyi…Mr.T and I live on the place that my parent’s built 28 years ago.  We moved here 3 years ago at a time when they were ready to down-size.  My dad has babied the orchard and raspberries {as well as other things} for all these years so it’s nice to have him come and help out when he has time.  I always enjoy spending time with that guy!

April 1, 2011 Posted by | garden, home life | 13 Comments

Winter, it’s probably time….

…to say “Good~bye”!

My poor chickens have been locked up since mid-November.  Although their ‘yard’ is still covered in several inches of condensed snow and ice I decided yesterday that they had to be let out.

They stuck pretty close to their house where they could find a wee bit of bare ground but they were happy.

…see my little naked-neck, Penelope?…she’s so sweet!

This is our garden…still sleeping under the heavy blanket of winter…

…and our sweet little orchard with raspberries along the end…

There were a few rocks from our raised beds peaking out…

but, we’ll still be waiting a while for anything good to come from this ground

Now is the time to get our seeds ordered and the garden planned out…pretty soon I can even get some of those seeds started inside the house.  I won’t let myself think of spring yet though…we’ve had some fresh snow just about every day for the past couple of weeks…it’s too early to dream of spring.  {soon though…soon}

Mr. Cash still likes the snow…

March 8, 2011 Posted by | chickens, garden, my neck of the woods! | Leave a comment


It seems that it is often in the simplest of things that I smile the most…

Being with my family and watching them interact rates amongst my most favorite things…

Picking apples off of my tree and eating hot, steamy apple pie {a la mode} a couple of hours later is another.

…digging potatoes and slicing them up….Oh, My!…slicing a small, fresh potato is like slicing butter…

…sweet-talking my chickens…telling them how nice they are to give me…

…fresh eggs ~ every single day!

…gathering plums and eating them right then and there or putting them in the dehydrator and eating them like candy…YUM!

Sour Plum Jam – recipe from THIS POST

Enjoy this day to it’s fullest…some days we need to look for the tiniest, simplest things that bring joy, grab a hold of all you can

…and smile!  🙂

October 8, 2010 Posted by | garden, home life | 4 Comments