Adventures at Backwoods Academy and Collyott Farms

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 10 things to love about Winter - - - -

Well I've been reading all these Facebook posts lately regarding the "Winter Blues", how cold it is, how everyone cannot wait until spring. Well I've decided we all need a more optomistic outlook for Winter and enjoy this wonderful season. Here is my Top 10 List in regards to Winter (and yes it is 12 degrees here today)

#10 Wood Fires!! Nothing says cozy like a fire in the woodstove or fireplace. I love the smell, the feel and the warmth. So grab your favorite book and take a timeout in front of the fireplace

#9 Rejuvenation & Relaxation!! We all complain about how busy we are and there isn't enough time - Winter is a great time to rejuvenate - it's dark by 5:00, it's cold outside - so take time to get those extra jobs done inside, to make lists (I LOVE LISTS), to read that book thats been collecting dust, and PLAN for spring!!

#8 Winter's Beauty - If you've been complaining about the snow and cold. Take a moment to stop and look around you at the bare trees dressed in white, the snowy beauty that surrounds you - stop and smell the roses (well maybe not there's nothing to smell) but put out a birdfeeder and enjoy winter wildlife while helping feed them!!

#7 Be a KID again - quit complaining about the cold and take a cue from your children - dress warm and go lob a snowball at someone - play til you can't feel your toes and your face is red!!! You'll love it and get some great exercise.

#6 Cuddle Time - lacking a little cuddle time - winter is perfect for snuggling up to that special someone - no better excuse to get close (just watch out for cold feet under the covers - hubby just doesn't understand why I have to warm mine on him!!)

#5 To Do or Honey Do Lists - What a great time get those "to do lists" done (as long as they don't require warm tempatures). You'll feel great if you enter spring with chores, deep cleaning, painting, building or whatever may be on your list finished.

#4 Watch Wildlife - Winter is the perfect time to put out corn ears for the squirrels, make pinecone feeders with the kids or add a nice feeder to your yard. You can even feed the deer - then sit inside near that warm fire and watch God's wonderful creatures scurry and flutter here and there or fight over a piece of corn. They will delight you for hours!!

#3 Game Season - and no I'm not talking about the Super Bowl (though I enjoy the Super Bowl as well) I'm talking about sitting down and blowing the dust off that board game and playing it - pop some popcorn and then may the best man or woman win!!!

#2 Soul Food - yes tis the season for foods that warm the soul and the belly - who doesn't love Chili, Potato Soup, Beef Stew, Casseroles and Homemade bread - -hmmm I'm having some yummy warm chili with cheese and sour cream as I type with beer bread (the food helps me think better!!) The options are endless and we have time to cook and enjoy with family - then comes spring and summer and we get to work off all these delightful dishes!!

#1 And reason #1 - if your from the south than you are totally missing out on the feeling of having snow dropped down the front of your shirt - the sensation of something in the 20 degree range melting against your warm skin -

BUT ahhhhhhhhhhh I wouldn't trade these winter delights or memories for 365 days of spring - we all need a little winter!!!

Winter Wonderland

I love the trees in their Winter Splendor - covered in frost and snow!!! What a delight for my eyes to behold!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Shelf Sitters

BAH HUMBUG to you - - I love the Christmas Carol and this is such a FUN shelf sitter - not that I'm a scrooge but I think this sign brings a smile. Available in either Burgandy (shown) or Hunter Green with Cream letters.

COMFORT and JOY - - A great Christmas Carol and a great shelf sitter!!!! Wishing everyone a little Comfort and Joy this holiday season. This shelf is also available in Hunter Green (shown) and Burgandy.

You can find them to order on our website along with other great Holiday decor!!!

Happy Holidays

The Holiday Season is upon us - Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I go all out decorating, baking and just enjoying the time with my family. Once a week I am going to post various Christmas JOYS - things you can do to make the season a little brighter for yourself or someone else - I hope you enjoy.!!

Christmas Joys 1 - Fun Things to Do with KIDS!!!!

1. Make paper snowflakes with your children and hang from their ceilings.

2. Take wrapping paper and transform their bedroom door into one big package (my son LOVES to do this)
3. Have a Christmas Movie Night - Enjoy a marathon of everyone's favorite Christmas movie while snacking on yummy homemade goodies!!
4. The LOLLIPOP TREE - these are fun to do with younger kids who always want to know "How Many more Days til Christmas" - - Cut a white piece of posterboard or piece of cardboard into a large Christmas Tree and mount on their bedroom door or someplace in their room decorate the cardboard tree- colored tape makes a great border - buy lollipops for ease in making rows( will look like ornaments) Cut a paper cup in have and decorate with tin foil and attach to the base of the tree for the bottom. Then make lollipop rows across your tree like garland - take one lollipop off each day until Christmas. - Yummy and FUN!!!
5. Having a baking day - let the kids help. They can even package some to take to nursing homes or hospitals - a great lesson in giving for children.
**Spend some time with your children this Christmas season doing these and other fun activities periodically and watch their faces light up brighter than the lights on the tree - the best part will be the memories of a lifetime you make!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vinegar Barrel

We have just added this Antique Vinegar Barrel to our shop & website. Is this not a cool piece or what??!!!! I think it is such FUN to decorate and a real conversation piece. Wood barrel with metal rings in a rustic red. Check it out at in our Antique section.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

YUMMY Pear Muffins

Do you have a Pear Tree?? Here is a YUMMY recipe to use up some of the surplus - use ripe pears. I tried this recipe yesterday to make use of our many pears - very yummy the kids enjoyed them for breakfast this morning. It makes almost 2 dozen - part of the reason for a smaller yield could be that I found the batter VERY YUMMY!!!! I did use 1/2 wheat flour in place of all-purpose and next time I might play with applesauce in place of the oil to make it a bit healthier - but yummy all the same!!

Pecan Pear Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups chopped peeled ripe pears (about 6 medium pears)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the pears and pecans. Fill paper muffin cups 2/3rds full.

Bake at 350 degres for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FALL - - Everything is on SALE!!!

Check out our website all of our FALL DECOR is on sale thru October 8, 2010!! Don't miss out!! Shown here is Mulled Cider Sign, Pumpkin Mat and Candy Corn Fixins - much more online !!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall = Pumpkin which = Yummy Pumpkin Dip!!!

Enter Fall my very favorite season. There is something about the crisp fall air that makes me want to cook. I love fall flavors and one of my favorite is pumpkin - pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie I love them all!!! Here we share with you a Yummy Pumpkin Flavored Dip. Perfect for Fall get togethers or later in the season take to family holiday gatherings.

Pumpkin Dip

2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese

4 cups of Powdered Sugar

1/2 cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon and ginger to taste - I prefer lots of cinnamon and remember it will be a lot stronger once the spices cure/sit when you are chilling in the fridge so don't over do it.

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin

Cream Powdered Sugar, Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese together. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin. Beat well. Chill 30 minutes. Then serve with gingersnaps, graham crackers, apple or my favorite - eat it by the SPOONFULS!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chicken n Broccoli Casserole

This is one of my all time favorite casseroles and the kids love it. Great for Fall weather!! I serve with butter noodles and garlic bread - YUMMY!!! ENJOY - (I should have taken a picture pronto - but I enjoyed first so no picture!!)

2 Whole Chickens (boil and taken off the bone - shredded)
2 Bundles of Broccoli
1 Can of Mushrooms
2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 - 1/2 cup May0
2 TB of Lemon Juice
1 Block of Cheddar Cheese

Boil your chicken - let cool then take off the bone. Put it in a large bowl. Cut the heads of the broccoli - boil til tender- drain then add to bowl of chicken. Add can of mushrooms to chicken mixture. In a seperate bowl mix together your soup, mayo and lemon juice, then add the soup mixture to the chicken bowl and stir. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Shred your block of Cheddar Cheese and top the casserole with it. Place in oven @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, take out before cheese turns brown. Serve with butter noodles and garlic bread - ENJOY and let me know what you think!!

Falling of the Band Wagon

Yes I admit it I fell off the BLOG band wagon. I am back on though!!!

Update:::: there will be a NEW addition to the Collyott Farms Family coming January 2011 - IT'S A GIRL!!!! Charleigh Aspen and we can't wait - another creative mind I'm sure of it!!

We have also having many NEW wood decor patterns in the works as well as NEW Fall Signs - shown is "GONE BATTY" can you relate I sure can I feel like that often.

We are working to get our website back up and going keep those eyes peeled for news on when as lots of new fall and holiday decor will be up for your viewing!!!

Just a short update - all our great DIY projects, recipes, and just for fun posts will be coming your way - join us for some FALL FUN!!!!
The Olde Farmhouse

Friday, July 16, 2010

Coyote Hill Bizaar Benefit

Join us Saturday, July 17 at Liberty Baptist Church for a Bizaar to Benefit Coyote Hill Children's Home. You can look them up at
There will be craft booths, Home Show booths, jewelry, handmade bows, baby items and inspirational poetry. Booth fees, concession fees and silent auction money all goes to benefit the Children's Home
We will be there with our Country Gift Shop items (wood benches, wood signs, swags, wall words, charms, apple butter and more) My 14 yr. old neice designs jewelry and I will also be representing Tastefully Simple.

Join us - Runs from 8 am - 4 pm

OK it would not let me post all signs in one post - I don't know why but here are the others

New Signs - -

Here are a few new signs we've been working on -

Live Simply = 12" L x 5.5" H

Babies - - Babies - Babies - Chicks that is!!!

I just LOVE new baby chicks - they are all so cute, soft and just too sweet for words. We received 40 new baby chicks this past Monday here at Collyott Farms n Country Gifts. My 7 yr old son can be found sitting on the back porch singing to them - I'm sure this will help them lay better eggs in the months to come!! lol

Enjoy these pictures of our new babies - a combination of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and White Rocks - great eggs and fried chicken in the days to come.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Primtives from the Attic - - -

EVERY MONDAY we will introduce a great primitive or other artisan to you. Today I bring you Wendy of Primitives from the Attic. I just recently stumbled across Wendy and her totally AWESOME primitive dolls. I soooooooo am going to have to adopt one of her babies, I have loved them all. They are full of character, there is never one the same and they are oh sooo beautifully prim. We have posted pictures of some of her creations for you to ohhhhh and ahhh over!!!

In asking Wendy to tell us a bit about herself, here is what she has to say:

Hello! My name is Wendy Turner and I am a self-representing folk artist who loves to re-create antique dolls, Raggedies and pieces of the past. I have been creating ever since I could hold a crayon and work with all mediums. I am the owner of PRIMITIVES FROM THE ATTIC and you can find my work on eBay! Most of my auctions start at .99¢! I also run a group page on Facebook.. please come and join us! Search: PRIMITIVES FROM THE ATTIC

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chicken Poop !! LOL

OK - since we're on chickens today I just had to share this find - CHICKEN POOP LIP BALM - what a FUN gift - or even get one for yourself - there are sure to be comments!!

It's a CHICKEN world...

OK I will admit it I LOVE chickens. I love their funny antics, the roosters crow and strut (he is the MAN!) and that little cackle they do when they've laid an egg (job well done!). My family tries to steer me clear of farm and home stores during "chick days" because I always have to adopt something - I'm a sucker!!

Besides the fun chickens can be there is nothing quite like fresh chicken (fried, boiled, baked) that you know you raised yourself free range and nothing beats a farm fresh egg - even the color of the yolk is vibrant and bright like the sun - it just looks healthy!!

I invite you to consider raising a few chickens - - a lot of urban cities are now allowing people to raise their own chickens. There is usually a limit (around 6) and you cannot have a rooster. FYI - you do not need a rooster for chickens to lay eggs. Go Green - Go Healthy - Get Chickens!!!

Above is a picture of my youngest "Colten" he is the CHICKEN MAN. I get into a lot of trouble if I have collected eggs - when he gets off the school bus the first place he heads is the chicken coop - then he finds a spot and sits to sing and/or talk to them awhile.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken n Asparagus

Nothing quite says SPRING like fresh asparagus. This is one of my favorite recipes to use in the spring when you can pick it fresh (or find it in the farmers market).

Chicken n Asparagus

4 Chicken Breast (or more if needed)
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup mayonnaise
block of chedder cheese
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cook chicken breast until almost completely done in skillet - season if you like. Boil the asparagus in water until desired tenderness - I like mine really tender but if you like crisy don't boil very long. In a seperate bowl mix together mayonnaise, curry powder, and lemon juice. Shred cheese. In a 9x13 Baking Dish layer - Asparagus, Chicken, Sauce then top with cheese - Bake in the oven at 350 for approximately 30 minutes. I serve with noodles and warm bread - ENJOY!!!! (Note if you add more chicken because you need to serve more just add more asparagus as well - I usually use 6 chicken breast and 2 bunches of asparagus - play with it!)

Bathroom Shelf - Our first Custom Creation

Well this shelf takes us back to the beginning (2005). This was the first ever custom piece we did for a client wanting a shelf that was primitive that she could hang her bathroom towels on. Well we thank Krisal because this is still our most popular shelf still today!!! GoosieMoosie 2005 Copyright.

The Gangs all here . . .

Well most of them anyway. Thought I would introduce you to my partners in crime. My husband and children, they are the reason I do what I do? Jeremy is our woodworker and great at HONEY DO lists. I could not do what I do or have the animals I have if it wasn't for him. I always tell customers who want something custom made - sure no problem - then it's HONEY do you think you can do this!! LOL He is great. My children help out or kick over the paint and the cat walks through it - waaalaaa modern art!!! It's all good - -

Then there is Sadie our yellow lab she is just 1 and we're trying to get it through her head you DON'T chase the chickens even though it's FUN!!!