Betsy Farmer Designs

Hand Stamped Jewelry - Simple and Minimal - Enjoy Every Day

Farmer Life

Winter Garden

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

The sun finally came out today, after being foggy all morning. I knew it was hiding up there and waiting for the perfect time to shine. Once it did, the chickens were scratching to get out of their coop and join me in some weeding fun.


There is something magical about digging in the garden during the off season. The girls get to scratch, peck, and dig to their hearts content without me worrying about tender sprouts being ruined. They collect fresh worms and get their beaks dirty in the cool soil.


Pretty soon I’ll get my little garden journal out and plan what to plant in these beds, the anticipation of what to grow bringing a sense of giddiness. Every year, we have potatoes sprout from areas where we always seem to miss a few baby ones the year before. Always fun to have them grow and even more fun to dig them up.


These sunny days are few and far between here in the Pacific Northwest, so the plan is to take advantage of them as much as possible. Kids will be running around outside all weekend, we have dinner plans with friends we haven’t seen in way too long, and maybe these garden beds will all get weeded so they’re ready for early spring veggies.


Enjoy your weekend friends!



p.s. Huge thanks to my mom for sewing me a pair of Burnside Bibs last year!! They’re the perfect addition to my gardening wardrobe! ;)

Trip Around My Garden

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Spring time is one of my favorite times of year in my little garden.  Going out there in the early mornings and after the sun goes behind the hillside is so lovely.  The birds are chirping, the toads are croaking, the bees are humming and my chickens are clucking.  Every sound, every smell brings a sense of peace that is hard to find elsewhere.  


The bumblebees and mason bees have been loving our lavender and raspberry flowers right now. 


The beginning of broccoli.  Crossing my fingers it doesn't bolt before the heat sets in.  


My metal hen...constantly watching over the garden.  ;)


And our blueberries. Oh our blueberries.   We love them! 


Oxbow Farm

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Oxbow Farm field trip for my youngest son's 3rd grade class was today.  This farm girl really wanted to visit the farm and learn as much as she could about their farming practices.  It was a beautiful day to visit such a lovely farm.  Hope you enjoy these photos.  


My son loved eating the kale blossoms.  They encouraged them to eat as much as they he did.  That's Farmer Shey back there..."HI!".


We learned about mason bees, saving seeds, pest control, and much much more.  Loved going to the farm and seeing the kids try all the yummy veggies.  


Chicken Fun Run

Farmer Life, KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

My husband rocks. Seriously, he's the best.  Just sayin'.  

He puts up with my crazy ideas, my nightly knitting, and the little projects I'll throw his way from time to time.  Like this one...a chicken fun run!


Isn't it great?!?   My idea was something extremely simple.  Something to keep them contained so they wouldn't go running off or sneak under the deck or roost on the BBQ (yes, I know the irony there.  Believe me, I find it hard to roast a chicken on the grill while my girls are 2 feet away).  


I showed him some ideas that I liked and we tweeked a couple things.  I wanted it to be light weight, portable, and simply keep them contained and deter predators a little bit.  Yes, I know this is not predator proof, but it's not intended for that.  This is just for while I'm out there with them or have to run in the house for a little bit.  Plus, it will fit in my raised beds, which is perfect for when I'm not growing anything in them and they can aerate, poop, and dig for worms as much as they want.  


Here are some details, in case you're dying to build one too.  We used 8' 1x2s for the long horizontal bars and then 4' boards for the others.  Kreg-jigged the corners, stapled heavy duty plastic netting (to keep the weight down instead of using metal wire) around the frames, and secured the corners with metal corner things - yes, I don't know what they're called.  LOL!  4 hinges on top allow for easy folding and storage.  Plus, he stained it for me because well, it looks better that way.  HA!  


As for getting them in here, we simply lifted it up on one end, threw down some meal worms and in they went.  Easy peasy....except the one who wouldn't come out of the regular coop.   There's one in every crowd, right?  

And that my friends, is our chicken fun run! 


Fall is on the way

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Fall is definitely in the air.  There's a cold bite to the morning and evening air that has been missing the past few months and it's something to be truly grateful for.  Everyone is posting pumpkin this and pumpkin that and all I can post is a pumpkin colored hat and a little garden space.


This garden has been one of my most productive years, literally made me giddy every time I went to harvest.  It produced over 23 pounds of potatoes, 25 pounds of green beans, 20 pounds of zucchini (and uhm...more that literally just went to the chickens because how can one family possible eat that much zucchini?!?!), couple pounds of onions, just a handful of raspberries, 12 pounds of blueberries, and a nice assortment of kale, cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  


Now it's time to clean up.  Time to put the girls to work alongside me while we put the beds to rest for the winter.  Weekly goals include finishing tilling up the garden, laying down some mulch, letting the girls tackle the weeds and aerate the space for me. I think I see a cup of coffee and some knitting taking place while I watch them work.


Happy Fall Y'all!




Proud Moments

Farmer LifeBetsy Farmer1 Comment

You know those moments as a parent when you are so proud of your children?  Their first steps, when they learn to ride a bike, when they catch a ball during baseball with a look of shock on everyones face because they actually caught it?  We had a very similar proud moments tonight.  

I was sitting on the porch steps playing with my phone (I mean working on my phone.  No way was I on Pinterest), the boys were riding their bikes in the cul da sac, and out of the blue, I hear my youngest sing, 'I like big butts and I can not lie'.  My head snapped up and I payed attention.  I was thinking to myself, 'Did he really just sing what I think he sang?'  Sure enough...he did it again and again...only not quite right. 

As any good mom would do, she'd ask him where he heard it first and then correct his lyrics.  Because by all means, if you're going to sing that song while riding your bike, please sing it correctly!  Your mama is a child of the 90's and all.  Well, and the 80's.  And before anyone freaks out, he heard it from the preview for The Chipmunks new movie and only sings the first 3 lines.  But oh my is honestly the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.    

So baby, you keep singing those three lines and making your mama laugh over and over again. 

The Wood Block

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Most have noticed or seen the wood block that I use in so many of my jewelry photos.  Ever wondered why?  I'll tell you. 


Today would have been my dad's 60th birthday.  He passed away just a couple weeks before his 43rd birthday and the wood block you see in my photos belonged to him.

When I first started my business, my brother gave me this wood box with a number stamp set in it.  He said it was our dads, who used it to stamp numbers on engine parts.  This old, greasy, wood box full of number stamps was something I would treasure forever and knew I wanted to incorporate it in my work. 


So, from that day on, I started taking photos of my hand stamped jewelry on the lid of the box.  I've had customers ask me where I got it and one even put in their order notes "please include the wood box with my order".  Oh boy.  

Every day, that little wood box sits by me as I work and in a way, my dad sits with me every day too.  Knowing he used metal stamps years before I even knew what one was brings me a sense of peace and more love for what I do every day.  I get to create pieces of jewelry that bring a smile, tear, or memory to someone's face.   

For those who knew my dad, he was one of he hardest workers out there.  He was also a goof ball to those who knew him best.  And for those who know me best, I tend to carry on that goof ball trait quite well...and strive to be as hard working too.  

So, today, in all the craziness of the Holiday rush orders,  I'm taking a moment to say 'Happy 60th Birthday Dad.   Miss you and love you!  Know that you're always here by my side, in a old wood block.  

Clutter and Facebook

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

The decision to quit Facebook wasn't a decision I made quickly or on a whim.  I guess you could say I've been thinking and talking about it for months.  Maybe even years.  Anyone else ever feel like so much of our time, energy, and thoughts are taken up by Facebook?  I sure was. 

About a year ago I took Facebook off my phone.  After finding myself checking it before sleeping, checking it first thing in the morning, and checking it when I should have been watching my kids play...I took it off my phone.  I never regretted that decision and I don't think I'll regret deactivating my official Facebook either.  

Last year, my friend and I made a pact to not check Facebook for a month.  We did it.  We went a month and then challenged each other to another month.  So we spent a full day on Facebook (in between the two months) and successfully 'logged off' for 2 months.  It felt great.  

So, after months of being logged back on, the same feelings and thoughts kept creeping up on me.   Thoughts about people that honestly, I don't really know.  But I was thinking about them because they came up on my Facebook feed.  Negative thoughts, annoyed thoughts, you name it...kept coming into my life.  And you know what?  I didn't like it.  I didn't like feeling or thinking about all these things that I really didn't need to be feeling or thinking about.  It was time to focus on my own life.  My own personal goals and what it meant to me to be more present in my every day life.  

My business account was one of the reasons that kept me saying to myself, 'You can't go off Facebook! How will customers find you?  What if they have questions?'.  Well, guess what? I realized that the customers and people who want to find me will.  I'm not offline at all.  I'm still very present here.  I have an Etsy shop, with contact buttons.  I have a Twitter account (Betsy_Farmer) that I barely use, but that will send me a message if I have one.  I have an Instagram account (well, two for business, one for personal) that I LOVE.  And I'm on Pinterest.  Oh, and I do have an email account...two of those too.  So, I'm still around.  I'm here with multiple ways to contact me.  

A few months back, I began reading "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying UP" and started you know, 'tidying up'.  Then we went on vacation. Then summer started. Then school started.  And the list goes on, right?  The excuses go on.  But the clutter remains.  I thought that decluttering my home and space would help with the overwhelming feelings of always things to do and get done.  But then I realized it's not just those things that needed cleaning up.  My mind needed clearing.  The little things needed to be cut out.  The mind clutter.  And sorry, but Facebook contributed to that mind clutter.  

As a working mom, I have enough to focus on.  Not only my business but all the other things that go along with being who I am.  A wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend....those things need my attention.   I do hope that no one takes me leaving Facebook personally.  It's not personal to anyone but myself.  Time is needed to focus on what's really important to me right now.  Some may say that Facebook doesn't have to take up too much time.  But if I added up all the times I would sit at my computer and check it because I had a spare 5 minutes...those 5 minutes really add up.  Adds up to time I could be doing something much more productive, whether physically or mentally.   

Maybe some day I'll activate my account again.  If I do, all my photos will still be there and so will my friends.  Or at least the friends who matter.  The ones who don't mind that I'm not on Facebook.  But for right now, at this time in my life, I'm good with this decision.   

I'm looking forward to freeing my mind up.  Freeing my time and being intentional about how I spend it.  Freeing it from the clutter and focusing on what matters most.  Like pumpkin spice lattes, a good book, and sweater weather.  


New York City

Business Trip, Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

I am so late with this post.  Our family took a trip to NYC in June, which if you follow me on Instagram, you already know about it.  I wanted to share some of my favorite non-family pictures from the week we were there.  We had such an amazing time together as a family.  Our children are finally old enough to handle a big city vacation and we are so happy we chose NYC this year!

I'm really wanting to blow up a few of them and hang them in our house...just have to decide on which ones.  


Farmer Life

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Technically, I'm not a farm girl.  I don't live on acres and acres of land.  I don't own a barn or a cow to put in the barn. last name does qualify me to call myself a Farmer.  Yee Haw!  

This whole comeback of urban farming that you've been seeing all over Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc...has been the greatest thing for this farm girl.  Urban farming, chicken raising, organic gardening...these are all subjects of my current reading selections.  I have books scattered all over the living room, kitchen counters, nightstand...pretty much anywhere I may sit down for 5 minutes.  Shoot, I even have an orcharding magazine on my front porch.  

Though I'm very new to everything pertaining to the urban farm, I'm dreaming of it.  We have 6 chickens, 2 ducklings, 6 fruit trees, 8 blueberry bushes and far too many slugs.  I've found I can grow green beans but not zucchini.  Who can't grow zucchini you ask?  This farm girl can't.  Seriously, I've tried for 3 years now and got nothing.  Some day.  

Here are some photos taken around the "farm" this week.  Enjoy!

Butt....I do get to have these girls to look at every day. 

Butt....I do get to have these girls to look at every day. 

I love how a couple of these pea blooms are dark purple.  

I love how a couple of these pea blooms are dark purple.  

Grow corn...grow!!  

Grow corn...grow!!  

Attempting to grow potatoes in a wire cage with straw and dirt...we shall see. 

Attempting to grow potatoes in a wire cage with straw and dirt...we shall see. 

Green beans are so exciting to watch change every day! 

Green beans are so exciting to watch change every day! 

Oh, and I guess I can grow blueberries.  I bought this plant last year and it was so fun to watch it change through the seasons.

Oh, and I guess I can grow blueberries.  I bought this plant last year and it was so fun to watch it change through the seasons.

And there ya have it.  Enjoy your weekend!