Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sketch-Up 3D model of the New House

My husband is definitely a jack-of-all-trades.  He is surprisingly talented at SO many things outside of his forte as a scientist, and in addition to leading the way in our house building process he took the initiative to build a 3D model of our house in Google Sketch-Up.

I especially need to be able to see things visually and spatially a lot of times before I can make design decisions, so this modeling has been extremely useful for us. It's also just really cool and fun to work with!  Of course we don't have every detail on the model yet, but here is a rough draft of what the exterior of the house may eventually look like from several different angles:

Front Elevation

Side Elevation (Screened Porch, Master Bed and Bath)

Rear Elevation (Screened Porch and Laundry Room)

Side Elevation (Kitchen, Breakfast and Dining Room)

You can also model/design the interior and add various textures (aka materials) walls and so forth. Sketch-Up even has furniture you can place inside the house if you want to see how different layouts will look. The textures do make the actual model look a little off in terms of color and tone, but it gives you a general idea. For example, we aren't planning on doing a green metal roof (most likely a gray or silver one) but it comes out looking light green on the model in Sketch-Up.

Below is a section of the model looking into the kitchen and breakfast area with the dining room on the far right and the pantry and laundry on the far left. I'm excited to be able to print out these sections for each wall so that I can draw or write onto it notes for materials, paint colors, and other design features.

Section of the what will be the south elevation, looking at from left to right: laundry, pantry, breakfast nook, kitchen, and dining room.

My husband says it wasn't at all difficult to do (but he doesn't think anything technical like this is hard!) but it does take some time and a bit of playing around with Sketch-Up to learn the ropes. I used to use Sketch-Up in graduate school and haven't touched it for quite some time, but I'm learning quickly again :)

Have any of you used Sketch-Up or a similar program for design work?

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

French Breakfast Radishes

My love for radishes has grown in recent years. I love the spicy bite they have and I think they are such a great compliment not only to salads but to all sorts of dishes. Roasting them is delicious too.

I've always wanted to try French Breakfast radishes because I love eating them with butter on top of a good, crusty bread like a French loaf or a sourdough. This year we planted them in our raised beds and although they aren't very big, so far we have several that actually grew!  Whoohoo!

I've been enjoying them in salads, with dips, and of course, with butter on top of crusty bread :)

Here is one of my favorite salad recipes with radishes:

Bibb and Radish Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

4 oz. country/crusty bread, cut into 3/4" pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic seasoning (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. mayonnaise 
2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
4-6 radishes, sliced
1 shallot, sliced

Heat oven to 400 degrees. On baking sheet, toss bread with olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and garlic seasoning. Bake for about 10-15 minutes to form croutons. In large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayo, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Add lettuce, radishes, shallot, croutons and toss to coat.

I'm going to plant them in the fall again too hopefully another good crop!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Shipping Fertile Eggs

A while back Elizabeth from Messy Organic Mum had asked me about sending her some fertile eggs because she wanted to add some Dominiques to her flock. Finding quality Dominique stock can require a bit of searching and therefore we as breeders who hope to preserve the breed standard welcome those wanting to get in to raising the American Dominique. I was happy to help!

But I had never shipped eggs before.  Thankfully, Elizabeth gave me some tips on how best to ship eggs from her experience.  So here's what I did:

I wrapped each egg individually in a little piece of a paper towel and then placed it small side down in the egg carton.

After placing all the eggs in the cartons, I covered them with more paper towels and then taped the egg carton together.

I put the egg cartons in a small box with packing peanuts or some sort of other soft filling so that they won't slide or bounce around. I taped up the box nice and tight.

After addressing the box, I wrote "EGGS" and "FRAGILE" all over the box so that the carrier would know to use caution when handling them.

I shipped the eggs Priority Mail with a note to the carrier that these were fragile, fertile eggs that were being delivered.  The first time I shipped them, Elizabeth said that all the eggs arrived intact! However, the hatching rate wasn't great so this time around I am hoping for a better fertility/hatching rate.

We just had a broody hatch out a couple of chicks so I can't wait to share some pictures with you. They are as cute as they can be!!

Can you share any advice on shipping fertile eggs? What are the best tips for good hatching rates in your experience?