Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our inspiration for 1/4 acre farm

Last fall April and I wanted to start getting our hands dirty, mud caked fingernails, sweaty foreheads, outdoor punishment. We have always been a little green around the thumb with planting our flower gardens, but we wanted more. First step for me is always research.... Learn something everyday is my motto. I went to my most favorite location to start my research.

What would the world do without this place? Every time April and I are like, "So...what do you want to do tonight?" It will inevitably lead us to the front doors of B&N.

Now that my research can begin I make my way to the gardening section, it takes a real man to sit down next to six women and look at garden books. Two of these women glanced over at me with a half snicker in the corner of their lips. On with the research... I found the most amazing book called "The Backyard Homestead" which could potentially lead April and I down the path of being farm folk. 

Below is the idea that we are after for our layout.
The house even kind of looks like our house and yard layout. Basically this would be our goal for the next 1-3 years of getting it ready. Because we live within city limits though we would need to nix the pigs :-( The next thing on my list is the removal of a couple of trees in the back yard and starting the construction of the raised beds.

Today though I am going to be working on a project for a friend of mine. I am turning an old piano from 1930ish into a TV stand. I will post pictures as the project comes along.

Happy research to everyone and keep learning something.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our future House/Barn on what we hope will be our little veggie patch one day

Since April and I have started looking for property we have also been looking into different housing options. Keep in mind that most of this is a thought to our future - an end goal some would say. 

Just to give some background, April and I hope to begin fostering this year. After getting some experience under our belt we hope to foster two to four kids in the 16 -18 year age group.  Our hope is that we could share working experience, structured responsibilities, etc. and in return we would be keeping them in a Christian atmosphere and give them the option to stay even after they leave the foster care system. 

I have to admit, we've been getting really excited about the possibilities and have found ourselves going loony over land.  We've also been toying with the idea of a house/barn. April had the idea before she realized they actually had such things.  So far we've sort of fallen for this model from Sand Creek Post & Beam. 

There's an open floor plan in the living area with a barn below. You can view more details of this barn at under combination barns.

Now we just need some land to set it on. Oh wait - we found that would just take us about an hour and a half away from our home. That just didn't seem right when we've felt such peace about where God has brought us thus far. But the was great!

The house needed a lot of work but there were some exciting possibilities!

As usual, April wasn't far away with her camera. I'm laughing at her because she's scared that I'm walking around the property in the middle of nowhere opening barn doors and peeping in windows - it freaks her out a little. 

Maybe this will be a picture she's taking one day of us on our own little chunk of land. We'll see.

All in due time...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This is what I do...

I thought it only proper to inform those who view my blog or follow it of what it is I spend most of my time doing apart from building things, painting things, etc..

I knew from the time I had my first full-time
job that working under the mandates of a time
punch machine and my first oh so lovely boss that it was not for me...

UrbaNature started around 2004 as a way for me to get away from it all. A time that I could control how my creativity would be used, not how an institution feels it should be used. I had pushed art almost out of my life because the way it is pinned down by what an education system thinks art should be. You all know what I am talking about if you have ever taken an art class ( color wheels, history & theory, color blocks, etc...) When does this classify for creative art?

I had being going to school for Automotive Engineering when the opportunity presented itself for designing some tattoo designs for some friends. I had my hands back on a pencil, using it for a creative outlet ( It felt nice to have it back ). From that point I was looking for a new job, something in the art field. I was later hired as a graphics designer for a shirt company that soon after was laid off ( Thank you economy ). Seriously though, this presented me with the option of doing this for me. With the help from an amazing Savior - Jesus Christ - he has allowed me to now pursue a new venture for my life.

The old workshop, you will be missed.

The new work space, view out to back yard, playing music off of AOL radio, petting the dogs, yeah it's rough.

April bought me this really cool green file holder for my jobs, including "Big Red" the clip. To the right is my library of graphic books.

Thought my job sheet would make a cool close-up. This is one for Austin Station ( If you need garments for a college sports store, he is your man. )

This is just a small insight into my work side of life. Today I should be able to finish up with the leaves.... getting tired of the leaves .... and move on to the next project that is in my queue.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Parting ways with a lens.

I was looking through my bag of goodies for my camera and thought about selling some items I do not use a lot anymore. The bad part is when you make a living taking pictures you can never be certain what you might need one day. After much deliberation I am making my peace with one of my lenses, Tamron 20-40mm portrait lens. The lens is in great condition and takes great pictures, I just have another lens that makes up for not having this one. They still sell for $600-700 new and $300-500 used so I thought my price was pretty good.

The cool part is the lens has distortion control ( basically it takes the bulge out of the middle of the picture ) Nice for buildings and closer portrait work.

Let the warm weather begin...

After drinking my morning cup of joe and pondering of what my day was to hold I happened to check the forecast.

I could not have asked for anything better. The Lord truly does know my heart, the cold nasty stuff was starting to get me down. With weather this nice you must work outside, paint something, play with the dogs, etc...

First outdoor project of the day, finish my compost area. Pics to come..

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Best cookbook EVER!!!

April and I have found a new love for food after getting this book. The Pioneer Woman does it right, southern hardy food for that hard working cowboy ( I am not there yet, but working on it ).

We made the "Perfect Pot Roast" on page 120 and WOW!! Finger licking good.. Most of the stuff is so easy to cook that no prior cooking experience is needed. The roast is all of 4-6 ingredients and it tastes world famous.

This would be recommended to everyone, trust me women when I say the way to a mans heart is through his belly " but only when it is good food ", this is GOOD food.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Leaf pickup ends! Wood mulching begins..

The leaf carpet has been removed to display the true beauty underneath, dead grass... crap. All I can hope for is that when spring sets in that the green stuff will come back, it's pretty hardy stuff. Now that my canvas is blank I could see the next project " Sticks"

The sticker on the machine does not accurately describe how easy it would be to get a hand caught in there. I lost no limbs but there was a casualty of sorts.

The sticker should include the statement- Will suck limbs into machine without warning!

The only casualty of the day.

Maggie was sniffing the dead.

Maggie and Baxter soon followed my lead and starting breaking up the sticks for me.

Maggie showing her good side, Baxter likes the smaller ones. Somehow he can strip the bark off of the smallest little stick without breaking it.

About 5 hours of cutting up limbs and removal of three layers of clothing I was finished. The wood chips made a really nice path along the back of our barn and added some to the mulch as well.

One more thing down for winter and the next is about to start, building indoor/outdoor seedling greenhouses.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

February leaf pick-up ?? I was lazy over the fall.

Yes, the title says all you need to know. I do not have a lot of room to talk because we have less trees in our yard than most, but it does not mean that they are any easier to rake up.

The mistake I made was waiting until now (Feb) to do so... Why?
1. After it snows leaves become a solid carpet like structure on your grass.
2.When it is under freezing for two weeks they do not like to dry out.
3. Wet leaves weigh about ten times there normal weight.
4. I tell myself every year since we have moved here, "I am not going to wait until Feb to do this"

It does make for some enjoyment though...

Baxter was picking up his toys for me.

Maggie was inspecting my work, waiting for a grassy spot to snooze on.

Grassy spot found! Two hours into operation "Pick-Up"

Soon after there is something in the air, adventure to be found.

Chester holds her interest for about 10sec before being lazy can continue.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trojan Win32 Error...? Yay for viruses

Someone needs to explain to me why people get some kind of kick out of making viruses for computers..?
I returned from a great trip to Ohio for Christmas to starting up my work computer only to soon discover the work of a very not nice individual. I spent the next 2 hours trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer, nothing opens, buttons don't work, things are acting all funny.
This would be a great way to fix the problem, huh.. Love the truck

Well it has been three days in the shop and the demon has been exorcised.  But i have had to spend most of my day today updating info and fixing most of my programs I use for work. Did I mention how much I hate people who create this crap.. 

Work calls me back but I look forward to getting back on the ball with creating some content and working outside some more.

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