Capper’s Farmer DIY Garden Sign

Capper's Farmer Spring Magazine 2018

The Spring issue of Capper’s Farmer Magazine has arrived in stores; on page 33 you’ll find an easy to make DIY Garden Sign.  I was using up scrap wood, this was in the early fall shortly after we moved to Quail Grove.

My creative brain was on overload from the move and I was scrambling for ideas.  But after a walk outdoors inspiration struck like lightening.

DIY Garden Sign

I recently gave this project away at my last Make and Take Workshop in Cooper because I’ve been trying to scale back on outdoor objects. I’m not really sure they believed me when I said this piece was going to be in a magazine, but here it is and the giveaway winner appeared pleased.

This article includes step by step instruction and the stencils mentioned in the article came from the following companies.

Tasty Grilled Chicken Wrap

This magazine is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s seasonal so I don’t feel rushed to read through it all at once, which means I read it from cover to cover.

They share a little history which I really love and include helpful articles that are perfect for those living a more natural country lifestyle. They’ve been around since 1893 and I love that, here we are in 2018 and their articles are informative, entertaining and helpful.

The recipes this time around look really tasty.  There’s an entire section on sandwiches which is something I enjoy this time of year. It was the grilled chicken salad pita pocket on page 22 that really got my attention.

DIY Garden Sign Instructions

There’s an entire section on spring cleaning the easy way with homemade cleaning supplies and another one on natural insect repellents I know my Texas readers will love.  For me I soak up a couple drops of peppermint oil and I’m out the door.

What I’m trying to say is this magazine is loaded with lots of good articles that complement the beautiful season of Spring.  Check it out and if you feel the desire to get a little crafty checkout my project on page 33.

Purchase this magazine at most major grocery stores, Barnes and Noble or Subscribe here.  For my local Cooper readers, they carry it at Dollar General.

DIY Garden Sign in Capper's Farmer Magazine Spring 2018



The Love of Growing Herbs

First introduced to herbs in grandma's garden

I love growing herbs, they’ve been a part of my life since way back, beginning in Grandma’s garden.  She grew a hardy variety like rosemary, parsley, dill, and bay leaf.  There may have been others but these are the ones I remember the most.

She was always cooking with fresh herbs; they made everything taste amazing.  Her cooking style was a little bit of this and that, simmer on low heat and enjoy.  She was Italian so everything was served with a side of homemade bread and salad…  Oh, how I miss her cooking…

oregano a Favorite in the Garden

She set a great example of how to eat and enjoy real food; over the years I began to expand my appetite for herbs by experimenting with a variety.  I discovered cooking was more fun when herbs were on the menu and I couldn’t live without them.

My favorites include basil, thyme, oregano, parsley and cilantro.  I grow additional herbs but these five are essential for quick seasonal cooking during the spring- fall.

They’re also easy to dry so you can enjoy year-round.  Get details here…

Peppermint Herb a Favorite

At our farm I decided to branch out by adding peppermint, tarragon, sage and lemon balm then fell in love with their flavor and health benefits.  Sometimes I just pick bundles of each variety and make fun things like this fresh herb wreath.  View here…

I could be a very content gardener growing only herbs.  The variety of texture, taste and nutrition they offer inspire ongoing learning that occupies my time.

Getting started with herbs at Quail Grove was the first set of raised beds we implemented.  I propagated from the farm and everything survived but my lemon balm.  Learn more about propagating here.

Through my journey it dawned on me that others would enjoy growing herbs and learning more so I recently wrote two new printables to help others get started.  They include Annual herbs and Perennial herbs and can be found here.

These printables help you understand how to grow herbs without getting overwhelmed.

Herbs are not difficult plants; they love the sun and require little attention.  Maintaining each plant is a peaceful process that new, beginner and seasoned gardeners will enjoy.

To find more about growing herbs on the blog just use the search bar, type in herbs and enjoy!

It’s my hope y’all learn to love growing herbs as much as I have…

For the Love of Growing Herbs, Discover why you should too.

Farmhouse and Market Kitchen Signs

DIY Farmhouse sign

This post contains affiliate links for Dixie Belle Paint + their Farmhouse and Market stencil, Click here to read site terms.


There are a few things I miss since we moved and that’s having a place to display handmade signs.  Most of my projects are for outside but sometimes I like to create things for the home.   You know, if I had one…

Our home is in the process and I’m happy to report Robert has finished the electrical, installed lights and a ceiling in our Tiny House.  So eventually we will have a home that I can decorate with a few projects.

I love making farmhouse and market style signs because their perfect for the kitchen.

Adding Raffia

Making the Sign

To make these signs I used the following materials and techniques to pull everything together.  Both signs were easy to create and I used a chop saw to cut the boards.

  • Cut Cedar Fence boards or reclaimed wood as your sign base and connect the boards from the backside with screws or finishing nails.
  • Paint Colors came from Dixie Belle, Color Fluff was applied using the dry brush technique here
  • A wall hanger was added to the backside after stenciling was dry.

Farmhouse Stencil from Dixie Belle Paint

Dixie Belle Farm Stencils

Both Stencils came from Dixie Belle Paint – they include the Large Farmhouse and Market signs.  These are neat because you can take the word Farm and match it with Market if you don’t like using the word house.   Shop Stencils here.

These stencils are so easy to use and they arrive in a neat sealed plastic bag for storing between use.

Applying Farmhouse Stencil

Stenciling the boards

Since I used fence boards the stencil was attached between both, allowing a nice farm style crease right down the middle.  Apply the stencil with painters tape and use my stencils application tips here.

Paint color was Midnight sky for the stencil transfer.

Making A SIGN

Adding Raffia for Details

Adding raffia for details was a personal choice and one that could be skipped if you want a plain sign.  To add this element drill holes at either end and thread several strands through and tie off in a knot.

  • With the farmhouse sign I drilled 4 holes at the bottom.
  • The Market sign had two at each corner.

Once this was completed the signs were ready to hang and enjoy, which takes us to a sneak peek inside our Tiny House.

Farmhouse and Market signs made for the kitchen

This area is currently my work station and we’ve decided to go with light gray walls.

We chose wood panel walls, which I wasn’t too sure about at first.  I do like the lines and once we added a little color I warmed up to the idea. We may go with another shade lighter because there is a part of me that’s thinking this gray is still too dark.  What do you think?

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy that Farmhouse sign with Grandma’s shovel to remind me this tiny house is coming together.

To make your own farm style signs stay tuned because they’re coming to workshops soon or you can purchase paint and stencils here.

Frame Install for New Quail Sanctuary

Quail Sanctuary at Quail Grove

To say this quail project has been slow going would be an understatement.  There have been delays, first it was weather, not really sure what came second and third it was lack of time.  Other things have been taking priority and it’s possible I’ve been lacking motivation, it happens…

Then came Wednesday, the sun was shining, I had burn piles outside to keep an eye on, the wood for the sanctuary was already here so I decided to take another step forward.  I’m glad too because this project is finally taking shape.

Adding Cross Bars

Framing the Sanctuary

The posts were installed back in January when everything was doormat, that project can be found here. 

Because I decided on a natural look this project so far has included the following materials.

  • Tree Trunks – Installed with auger, shovel and Thor hammer.
  • Three raised beds -built from scratch, installed and filled with soil.
  • Eight ft. 2 x 4’s – also cut four pieces at 2 ft. for connecting.
  • Eight ft. pine fence boards, cut two at 1 ft. for connecting.
  • Cordless drill and deckmate screws to install.

The next step was to connect the top and bottom boards to those posts. So, with Robert’s help we did this by connecting three 2 x 4’s overlapping with 2 ft. 2 x 4’s, lifted, screwed in place and repeat to the opposite side.  This was definitely a two-person job!

We’ll be using 10 ft. 2 x 4’s for the ends so I can hang planters from the overhang.

Closing in the Quail Frame Base

Closing in the Bottom Frame

Closing in the bottom of the frame was about half completed thanks to the raised beds.  These have already been filled, stain and now ready for planting.

Just like previous quail projects I used pine fence boards to close in the bottom but decided with two high instead of one.  This will keep little baby quail from escaping because I did run into an issue with a few slipping away when the bobwhites hatched their own eggs at the farm.  Read More here...

These boards filled in the wall gaps and the front was left open because I still need to do frame work for the door entrance.

Significant Gaps to Fill in

Filling in Significant Gaps

I knew after all the rain in February this space would need more soil to raise the ground and leveling, I just didn’t realize there would be a significant gap.  This can be normal and shouldn’t be overlooked if you have dogs, predators and additional concerns when it comes to protecting quail.

I started filling in the sanctuary at the opposite end last month after the raised beds were installed.  Somewhere my efforts were derailed; this is heavy duty work and hard on the arms but wow am I ever building up the arm muscles.

The next step is to fill in the ground so no gaps appear and replant new grass seed.  Excited because even with all that needs to be done things are coming together as envisioned.

Remember this, never install a ground level quail sanctuary and leave gaps, it’s like welcoming future problems and always establish a quail sanctuary in a fenced area.  Predators are ruthless and stray dogs love quail…

New Quail Sanctuary

Finishing Up for the Day

After finishing for the day, I started taking an inventory for what needed to be done next. That list looks like a lot and honestly it is.

  1. Raise the ground and plant grass.
  2. Plant Raised Beds – This will be Fun!
  3. Remove more surround trees and Robert needs to cut top posts to match frame height.
  4. Frame in for the door and build door.
  5. Stain the wood.
  6. Install chicken wire for roof and walls.
  7. Add Quail.

My goal now is to focus on the end result and perhaps this weekend I can check off the first two items on that list, it’s looking good because the garden is getting planted Saturday.

We have a lot going on right now and I’m reminded sometimes less is more, which means I decided one Quail Sanctuary will be sufficient.

Cooper Review Gardener’s Corner

Cooper Review - The Garden Corner

The Cooper Review is the local paper for Delta County and they recently featured my Direct Composting article in their Gardener’s Corner. This column is a neat addition and it’s my hope the locals enjoyed the read.

This piece began by going down memory lane because as many of you know gardening began at Grandma’s house.

The Gardener's Corner

Direct composting is one of my favorite gardening tips grandma shared and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I reference it often.

I’ve been using it here at Quail Grove in new raised beds and I’ve already seen a huge difference in the soil.  Every time I dig, I’m almost always greeted by worms.  I LOVE that!

This article goes into detail about how Direct Composting works with little effort. It’s a matter of simplifying without sacrificing natural results; this is a neat way to keep your garden healthy.

For backyard gardens you can manage soil with less difficulty by implementing raised beds, mine are doing fantastic. I’ve gardened in clay soil before but not like the black clay we have here; I was a little intimidated at first and now I’m excited because between direct composting and natural elements they’re producing positive results…. To read more about amending clay read here.

Direct Composting by Carole West

If you didn’t get a chance to read this article then browse the blog, you’ll find lots of goodness or come and see me at the next Make & Take Workshop in Cooper – We’re having fun by doing more and sometimes we even chat about gardening.  Workshop Sign Up is here.

A huge thank you to the Cooper Review for giving me the opportunity to share with their readers.

Upcoming Spring Workshops

Upcoming Spring Workshops

The Make & Take Workshops have been a lot of fun and it’s definitely time to share additional details and get some feedback from y’all.

This brings us to spring, I love this time of year. Don’t you?  Everything is waking up and my mind is bursting with ideas.

Before I get into asking questions I wanted to review a little what happens at a workshop and see if my readers from far away might be interested in something like this too?

Workshop Kits

We Begin with a Custom Kit

Every workshop begins with a kit; these are created, cut and designed by myself and sometimes Robert will cut when I’m busy with other deadlines.

Robert and I do these workshops together; we enjoy this and I’m grateful because realistically I can’t get to everybody at the same time so his presence is helpful.  He tells everyone, “He’s my people.”

If you’ve attended a workshop you know each step is explained through the entire building process making these projects easy to build.  Seriously you don’t have to be an expert builder or even have the skills because we teach everything.

So, for my readers far away, would you be interested in having access to these kits?  I ask because I’ve been thinking about adding them to the shop.  I’m just figuring out the shipping to see if would even be worth the effort.

Please chime in!

Backdrop Planter Box

Backdrop Planter in Cooper, May 7

Every month I create new projects; for May we’ve got the Backdrop Planter kit.  This will be held in Cooper, May 7th.  Sign up here. 

There are several things going on with this piece and you can stencil any message.  I’ll have individual letters, flower pattern and design stencils available.

There will also be lots of paint color choices, normally I keep my pieces pretty natural but for some reason this time around I wanted to add color inspired by my beautiful sage plant.

Make this planter for yourself, mom or better yet come and do the workshop together.

Fun Supplies

Creative Workshop Supplies

What good is a workshop without creative supplies?  We always use Dixie Belle Paint, Cutting Edge Stencil Brushes and a variety of stencils from both of these companies and Old Sign Stencils.

I’ve shopped around a lot over the years and everything we use has been chosen to help our creators finish a project they can be proud of.

I walk each and every one through these finishing techniques and I love seeing what y’all create.

The purpose of Make and Take workshops is to learn, create and have fun!

Gift Boxes for Mother's Day

Gift Boxes – April 21, Hobby Lobby in Greenville

As much as I enjoy doing workshops in Cooper we’ve decided to add them at Hobby Lobby in Greenville beginning this month.  I’m really excited and looking forward to reaching out so others can create with us.

The gift boxes are a fun build and these are perfect for all types of goodies or you could even turn it into a planter box.  Years ago, I made one for those around the house tools.  Sign up Details here!

Serving Tray Perfect for Mother's Day

Serving Tray – April 21, Hobby Lobby in Greenville

The serving tray is another favorite and for everybody who has made one they love the outcome.  This project is focused on using Old Sign Stencils and there will be letter stencils for those wanting to create their own message.  Sign Up is here.

I’ll be at Hobby Lobby all afternoon on the 21st. Workshops are just a lot of fun and you can view past images here in our slideshow. 

I’m finding though some of you might also enjoy gardening workshops?  These would be more of a demonstration and tips for getting started. I’d love to get your feedback so I can ponder them for future events.

In the meantime if you haven’t signed up for the  Make and Take Email you can do that here and don’t forget to sign up for a workshop each class has space for 14 creators.

Let’s meet and have some fun!

DIY Into Spring with These Fun Workshop Projects