Thursday, September 30, 2010

Herbal Teas

In my quest to decrease the amount of caffeine I consume I've been drinking Celestial Seasoning's herbal teas. The teas are good but the cost does add up. I added Lemon balm and Monarda citriodora ( sometimes called Lemon mint) to the new front garden. This weekend I will harvest some of the Lemon balm and dry it in my new dehydrator (a Wal-Mart clearance purchase this summer). The LB has done very well considering I planted it in July and we had a miserably hot, and dry, summer. LB can be used to make a hot or cold tea and may also be added to black tea.

It will be probably late Spring of next year before I will have enough of the Monarda to harvest.

Peppermint, Spearmint, and Anise hyssop are favorites of mine so I want to add a few plants of each herb to the garden next year. The mints will either go into large pots to keep them under control or I will buy more landscape fabric which has worked well with some of the other invasive plants.

The dried tea herbs may be another item I can sell at market next year ... I'll have to add them to my list of possibilities. [smile]

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just a thought ...

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
~ Thomas Edison

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall – A Season of Reflection

Kathy over at Two Frog Home was recently talking about journaling and Fall. This struck a cord with me so I bought an inexpensive sketchbook at the Dollar General Store. I want to keep track of my thoughts but to also have room to add other things that may appeal to me, clippings, sketches etc.. The photo above isn't mine but is similar to what I'm going to do. The cover of my newly purchased journal doesn't suit me so I will embellish it a bit and make it my own. Gotta love pretty paper and glue sticks.

With the beginning of Fall and the Farmers Market nearing it's close for the season I have been thinking of what I want to do different next year. I doubt if I offer my earrings next year. Although I kept the cost under $10.00, used sterling silver findings and semi-precious stones I still didn't sell very many pairs. C'est la vie

I did sell my hand-dyed yarns and will be expanding my offerings of them with more colorways and sock yarns too. This winter I want to make buttons using polymer clays. I have most of the supplies so just need to take the time to do it!

I have several knitted facecloths made up and want to make mini spa sets with a facecloth, soap and lotion bar bagged together and price them just under $10.00. The cloths are in pretty colors and the honey soap is nice enough to use on your face or a baby's skin.

I'm also wondering about weaving some wool hot pads then fulling them to thicken them up ... not certain about this one but may make a few test ones to see how they go over with my family.

Next Saturday a market visitor may come by our booth and help me with my spinning. I cannot for the life of me get the yarn to take up. After tightening and loosening and trying everything I know I called my wheel an old Jezebel and walked away. Jezebel is an Ashford traditional single treadle wheel that was gifted to me by a friend in Victoria BC ... thank you Michelle. I really want to spin and have many pounds of roving tucked away in my wool closet. Hopefully Connie will be able to get us working as a team and next summer I can offer handspun yarn at market.

It has been raining lightly most of the day so I'm heading home to work on my journal and give Jezebel a spin or two. Wishing you a blessed week.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Orchard Plans for The Black Sheep Cottage

Fruit trees have always been an interest of mine. Where I lived before was not my property so I didn't want to invest in a small orchard when circumstances could change requiring me to move and leave everything I planted behind so I waited.

Well the waiting is over. Last week I purchased a semi-dwarf Nectarine tree at Lowes. Second on the list is a Red Haven Peach tree, another semi-dwarf. Next Spring I would like to add a Plum, a Brown Turkey Fig and a Seckle Pear. After those I'll probably call it done unless I find a very good deal on a pair of dwarf Apple trees that I could practice espalier.

Someone with a "real" orchard might snicker at the tiny homestead orchard I plan but I think for me it will be just right.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More Eggs

So I was wrong when I posted all four of the chickens were laying eggs. It turns out only Cicely and Rosemary were getting with the program. I had a discussion with Tansy and Marguerite a week ago and explained that their free ride was about over. They had developed nice drumsticks and becoming a "Snack-Pak" was in their future. They beat the deadline of September 17th this morning. =)

Now if I can convince them to use the nest box and not the floor of the coop. Tansy is a big girl and even after I moved the box around she still squeezed her chubby self behind it. Silly girl.

Angela and I had a very successful Market Day yesterday. I sold two skeins of yarn, one of which is going to New Jersey. Angela sold over two dozen baby hats! It was crazy!! She also sold some felted bags including one she made from my indigo dyed yarn. The lady bought two other bags but kept going back to the ID one until she finally bought it. She loved the idea of the natural dyed yarn. Very cool!

Have a blessed week!