Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Jaidy!

Today is my grand-niece Jaidyn's fourth birthday. She is our delight and joy!

Happy Birthday Jaidy Lu with love from Aunt Penny!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Month of Happy Birthday's

December is a birthday month for my family. Today is my birthday followed by our Miss Jaidyn's fourth birthday on the 12th, and of course on the 25th we celebrate Jesus' birthday. Lots of festivities, food and family time going on this month.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Old Man Winter

Our Market season finished the last Saturday of October and while I will miss seeing our customers and vendor friends I have to admit to being tired and ready for an occasional Saturday lie-in. Since Market ended we have done two shows and had a Retreat with our Back Porch Friends ladies so I just got that lie-in this Saturday morning.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, warm and mostly sunny, so I winterized the chicken run. If I wrap the run in heavy plastic about 2 1/2 ft. high it blocks a lot of wind off the girls. I also cleaned their lil coop and added fresh straw bedding.

Next will be the bunnies turn. Skirting the bottom section of the hutch with that same plastic keeps the wind from blowing under them it and makes a huge difference in their comfort. Later when it begins to stay consistently cold I will put plastic over the wire portion of the hutch for added protection leaving the door uncovered for fresh air.

My little cottage will be getting her windows covered in plastic and new blinds. I eventually plan to make window quilts ... but I doubt that happens this year. Half my windows are original to the house and are not the most efficient so I definitely want them covered.

I found a great deal on the bamboo blinds that I love. Some will be topped with long lace valances and others with battenburg style cafe curtains. It will be a funky look but I think I will like it. My living room has had vertical blinds for the last several years and I have never liked them.

When I moved here from the country it bothered me that my house sat so close to the street and that my neighbors were also so close. I still do not want anyone looking in but I've loosened up enough to not want to live in a cave. The blinds are made of matchstick bamboo so they will let in filtered light and can be rolled up if I want to let in even more light.

A kerosene heater is on my list for this year and I have been doing some price comparison. So far the Tractor Supply is the least expensive. I would prefer a small wood stove but to do it right is price prohibitive this winter.

One more oil lamp and lamp oil is on next week's purchase list. I would love to find more beeswax candles too.

The Library is closing in a bit so I had better get a wiggle on. Have a blessed week!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Busy, Busy

I apologize for being such a slacker. There has been a lot going on this past month and I have been "doing" rather writing about doing.

Tansy's chicks have really grown. They each have their own distinct look and I hope to know who gets to stay and who has to go soon. This waiting around to see who are girls and who might be boys is very trying.

Sometime last month while receiving books at the Library a copy of "Homegrown & Handmade by Deborah Niemann came across my desk. It was with surprise, and delight, I saw my quote from her blog had been included in the book. If you get a chance check out page seventeen. [wink wink]. I can't wait for the book Deborah is working on at the moment to be published.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tansy is a Mama

Tuesday morning four of the blue/green eggs I had placed under Tansy hatched. I was doing my chores and while feeding the girls I checked on Miss Tansy sitting on her clutch of eggs. She was in an awkward position with her back end up a little higher than her front end. She also had an odd facial expression. Yes, chickens do have expressions and her's showed puzzlement. After the food was spread around she jumped out of the nest box and I saw three little peeps bopping about and a fourth one still working on hatching.

The chicks are marked like typical Ameraucana chicks although we have no idea who their fathers might be. The girl I got the eggs from has several roosters including a black Silkie, his mixed breed sons, bantams, and other mixed breeds.

Wednesday morning she moved her little brood to the pet taxi I had readied for her nursery. Tansy has explained to the other girls that while she may now be a mama she is still Queen of the Coop! When the chicks and Tansy are at one end of the pen all four of the girls go to the opposite end. Nobody messes with the babies!

These four little one are the first animals to be born/hatched on my little homestead. Living in town I cannot keep roosters so keep your fingers crossed they are all girls!!

~ Penny ~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happenings ... good and bad

Much has happened these last few weeks.

I am out of the boot ... Yay!
I'm now wearing a close fitting stretchy sock that will be my friend for the next few months. After wearing that hot, and heavy, boot for the summer I'm so grateful to be able to wear the stretchy sock that I will wear it happily until the end of the year if need be!

After my third MRI of the summer I learned I not only have bulging discs in my lower lumbar but I also have them in my neck. The pinched nerves in my neck from those boogered discs, and bone spurs, have been causing tingling with numbing/pain down my left arm. It's crazy! Crocheting and knitting were nearly impossible until my Nurse Practitioner gave me a cortisone shot and a few days of prednisone pills. For now things are better but I know pain injections are in my future. My NP has already made the referral for the shots. My Mom has the same thing but I seem to be coming into it a little earlier than she did.

Because of the foot/neck/back thing going on Nicholas, my 15 yo neighbor, dug holes for me so the Figs and Pink Reliance Seedless grape vines are finally in the ground. Hip Hip Hooray! There are still three Blueberry bushes, two Blackberry bushes and several herbs waiting to be planted. They will find their homes asap.

Chicken News:
Frack is now living with the other hens. She had taken to following me around the back yard like a feathery dog. It was actually pretty neat. She followed so closely that if I made a sudden stop she ran into me. If I sat in the chair, by the bunnies, she would come over to me and sit a spell and "talk" to me. I love that murmuring cluck talk hens do among themselves. One evening I heard her distress call and hurried over to find her being stalked by a large feral cat. I called her to me, chased off the cat, then clipped Frack's wings.

Clipping wings does not hurt the chicken but watching her being picked on, and pecked at, was too traumatic. I truly thought they would peck her to death. =( Even Frick, who has always been with Frack took a turn at tormenting the poor girl! It has now been over a week and the bullying is somewhat better. Frack doesn't cower in a corner now but is very light on her feet and keeps moving away from the bullies.

Family News :
Please keep my Daddy and Angela in your prayers. Daddy has to have another procedure done this week regarding the bladder cancer. Angela is now off chemo treatments but has had a blood transfusion this week and will be getting another next week. My family are fighters but help from above is always welcomed!

Remember this, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well", from Julian of Norwich.

~ Penny ~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Frick & Frack are home ... well sort of.

Frick and Frack were returned home Sunday evening. They were received fairly well by the home team. I had sweet corn waiting as their "Welcome Home Banquet", I thought the corn would take some of the attention away from the new faces. After sitting outside for a hour watching to see there would not be any blood shed I went into the house. At bedtime I walked down to check if they were all in their little coop. John had told me F & F might not go to roost. That they sometimes had slept outside so I wanted to make certain they did not become prey for hungry raccoon.

I shined the flashlight into the coop and counted chicky bottoms. Yep there were five fluffy bottoms sitting on the roost bar. Excellent. I went to bed with a happy heart.

The next morning I hear Tansy throwing a hissy fit slap my glasses on my face and look out the window to see what all the fuss is about and count chickens. One, two three, four. Oops that isn't right so I count again. One, two, three, four. Dang! I toss on my robe and slip into my Birks and trot down to look inside the coop. Maybe one of them is an early layer. Nope. Frack has flown the coop!

She is no where to be found. With all the feral cats in the neighborhood it didn't look good. Finally it was time to go to work and she still wasn't home. Sigh. John had offered to clip their wings but I have never had to do this and thought they would be okay. Hind sight IS twenty-twenty.

After work I stopped to talk to Angela and she said the Animal Control Officer had spent a lot of time driving around our neighborhood. Hmmm wonder if someone reported a loose chicken.

The next morning I'm rushing through my farm work before going to P.T. and see Frack in the tree by the chicken run. She has returned to her roots and like the jungle chickens is roosting in the tree! Her new routine is to fly down into the run for breakfast, a drink and a dust bath. She visits with Frick then when Tansy notices her flies up into the tree for the rest of the day. Crazy!

Hopefully they will all be reconciled soon ...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Frick n' Frack are Rejoining the Flock

When I purchased chicks more than a year ago I bought two extra Red Star chicks for "just in case". Stuff does happen and those lil bits of fluff appear so fragile I felt I needed spares. Oddly enough everyone survived and I was left with the dilemma of what to do with those extras.

John, the Library maintenance man, had chickens so I talked him into taking the two I was referring to as Frick n' Frack. I didn't want to get attached to them so I didn't give the pair real names. Now that Marguerite has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge I have room in the chicken hutch for another large hen or two smaller hens.

John's hens are getting some age on them so he wants out of the chicken business and has offered Frick n' Frack back to me. So yay they are coming home. They will not be as tame as my hens but that is okay. They still lay lovely jumbo eggs and are easy keepers.

We are waiting for the temperature to cool down before they reenter the flock and I'm hoping it will be an easy transition for all concerned.

Stay cool and have a blessed rest of the week!

~ Penny ~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Bitter and the Sweet

There are always ups and downs to farming ... recently I experienced one of the downs.

I came home from work three weeks ago to find Marguerite had apparently died from heat exhaustion. She was one of my Buff Orpingtons and a such a goofball. My chickens have been pets from the beginning and I frequently refer them as cats with feathers. They will rub against my legs when I am caring for them. I am constantly shooing them out from underfoot to avoid stepping on them. Rest in Peace my Golden Marguerite.

On the up side I was able to pick up several plants for my orchard at Saturday's Market. Espri from Brambleberry Farm brought me two figs, two Reliance seedless grape vines, two thornless Blackberries, and a Blueberry bush. Brambleberry Farm is currently running a sale on a selection of plants and I saved quite a bit on my purchase.

Please continue to keep Angela in your prayers. She will have her third treatment on Tuesday. She is experiencing wicked headaches and bad nose bleeds. The doctors do not know if the brain tumors are hemorrhaging (bleeding out), if they are caused by her constant high blood pressure or if it is a reaction to the chemo. =( After four treatment she will take a two week hiatus then there is suppose to be four more treatments. She is tough but the tough people still need to be lifted up in prayer.

Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. I go for my first physical therapy appointment for the inflamed tendon in my ankle. I hate PT but I hate the "boot" I'm wearing even more! It has been three months since I injured my ankle and I am so over wearing the "boot"!

I'm off to meet my niece Heather to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I saw it a week ago with the "Library Ladies" but told Sis I wanted to see it again so we made a date. =)

Have a Blessed week and stay cool!
~ Penny ~

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

I'm thankful for my Freedom!

Have a safe holiday!

Take joy,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Little Update

It surprised me to see I hadn't posted in three weeks. The month of June seems to have flown by until poof it's now July. Daddy told me as I got older time would become a fleeting thing and he was right!

One Friday evening in the middle of June Angela, Mom and Daddy did the Survivor's Walk at the Relay for Life event in Bedford. It was pretty special watching them walk arm in arm around that track knowing what they have gone through and what Daddy and Angela still face. Heather and Angela did the Caregivers lap. Because of the "boot" I wasn't able to make that lap, but halfway around the track Jaidy joined them so that was fun. Debbie and I sat in the bleachers for the most part but Deb did get a few photos.

Market has continued to be profitable for Angela and I. Her hats and felted bags are popular and my yarn is getting a good response. So yay!

This morning Jack, a fellow who sells beautiful wooden bowls at Market, gave me a bag of Osage Orange shavings. Before he tries a new-to-him wood Jack does a little research. He found that Osage Orange was a safe wood for his bowls and was once used by Native Americans to make a yellow dye. He thought I might be able to use it and brought it along this morning. The next time he uses Red Cedar he will save me another batch of shavings.

Natural dyes is something I want to explore this summer. Last year I dyed with Indigo but I really want to expand into things like native woods, plants and wild blooms. I'm looking for a Coleman type camp stove so I can continue to dye outdoors. Keeping my mess, and the heat, outside is always a good thing.

Please Angela in your prayers. She will begin chemo again a week from Independence Day.

Take joy,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fireflies or Lightning Bugs?

Whatever you choose to call them their first sighting on an early evening signifies the beginning of Summer to me.

While at Market, on Saturday morning, I saw my first lightning bug. It didn't make much of an impact what with it being daylight and all.

I've been keeping vigil for the last few weeks waiting for the first arrivals and Sunday evening my patience paid off.

First there were a few flashing lights and I was excited. After first dark passed the show began and I was giddy.

What signifies the beginning of Summer to you? The smell of just cut grass, that first ripe tomato, fresh picked green beans from the garden??

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My New Favorite Footware ... Not!

Finally got to see my podiatrist on Tuesday. After viewing my earlier X-rays then taking more X-rays he determined one of the extra bones in my left foot is cracked. Yes, I have extra bones in both feet and yes, I am a freak. There is also some tendon and ligament damage to my foot. I will be wearing the stylish boot for a month. =(

This Saturday Angela and our sister DebJo will be at a show in Princeton, IN and Angela's husband Mark and I will be at the Farmers Market.

I may be down .. but I'm not down for the count! [smile]

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moving Right Along

Yesterday was the first day of Market and we had a great day. There were approx. 60 vendors set up and more will come as the produce comes in. We have had so much rain that the majority of the growers are behind on their planting.

Angela and I both made more money this opening day compared to last year's first Market day. I nearly broke even on what I spent compared to what I made .. this isn't always the case!

My purchases included two Jersey highbush blueberry bushes from the Brambleberry Farm, a cinnamon roll and pumpkin roll from Mary, one of the Amish vendors. I sold a skein of sock yarn to one of my Library customers. Mrs. W. has plans to knit every member of her family a pair of socks for Christmas this year ... I asked if I could be adopted until the end of 2011. =)

Mary asked if I could dye black worsted yarn for the ladies in the Amish community to make baby booties. Apparently black wool yarn is difficult for them to come by. Another lady requested pink in a soft wool yarn that she could use in baby sweaters. I love the idea of my yarns being used to keep babies warm!

My CSA idea has been getting positive feedback. The best I can determine no one in my county is offering a CSA so it seems that I would be filling a need in my community. I can still share produce and eggs with my family and donate to L.I.F.E., our local foodbank, too.

Continuing with the CSA plans, besides the Blueberry bushes, I added the following herbs : Rosemary, Sage and Peppermint. Blueberries will go in a raised bed across the south end of the hen's run. Herbs will go into the front garden. The Rosemary will be in a pot so it can winter over in the house.

Next week I expect to get my Vern's Brown Turkey Fig trees. At Brambleberry Farm these trees only get to be about ten feet tall, then almost die down over the winter. This will be perfect for my small city lot. I will plant them on the east side of my house. This is the most protected spot on my property and has worked very well for my Nectarine tree.

My ankle may be boogered but I'm still following though with my farm plans!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great Quote

Let your food be your medicine
and your medicine be your food.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Garden Plans

I've been giving serious thought to offering a CSA next year. If I can get some of the basics finished this summer (raised beds, berry bushes, herbs, more fruit trees, etc.) then next summer would offer more time for actual gardening.

I thought to offer a dozen eggs, a fresh bouquet of flowers, and herbs along with fresh fruits and veggies. If I can get the grunt work completed this year, use drip irrigation, row covers and copious amounts of mulch I think this project could be very doable.

My niece Heather, the Asst. Chicken Farmer/Asst. Bunny Wrangler, is suppose to pickup up a greenhouse-in-a-box for me at the Tractor Supply. I checked on Tuesday and they had one left and Lola offered to put it back for me. I love TS and the folks who work for them! My friend Sandra, at Thistle Cove Farm, purchased one of these greenhouses and I really liked the looks of it. Saving $20 off and not having to pay shipping sealed the deal for me. =)

I'm spending most of this week with my sisters at the Back Porch Friends quilt retreat. Miss Heather is tending the farm and my Daddy is checking in every now and then too.

Most of my retreat time is being spent with my left ankle propped up wearing an ice pack. I took a fall last Monday and did a number on my ankle. It isn't broken but my Nurse Practitioner thinks I have some ligament damage. This is the same ankle I had a ruptured Achilles with a few years ago. My appointment with my podiatrist isn't until the 31st. =(

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking Forward to Market

Orleans Market's Opening Day
Saturday, May 21st
West side of Congress Square Park, Orleans, Indiana

Angela and I are looking forward to Market!

We will have many crocheted hats, felted bags, hand dyed yarns, mixed flower bouquets, soaps, clay buttons and whatever else we can come up with over the summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Sky is Falling

I awoke to a cool, windy morning following a second night of wicked storms. Looking out my laundry room window I saw a huge green shrub in the center of the backyard where no shrub was planted. Apparently when my lil urban homestead was hit by strong flat-line winds last night it took out part of a Box Elder and sent it across the chicken's run. The girls were not amused. It had narrowly missed their little hutch and brought down most of the hoops and netting that cover the run. Poor girls I bet they thought Chicken Little had it right and the sky was falling!

I made a quick call to work to say I would be late followed by a call to my Daddy/Farmhand/Handyman. After about an hour's work (Daddy sawed and I picked up) we had the tree out of the chicken's space and most of the debris lining the alley awaiting pickup. We still need to redo the hoops that hold up the deer netting cover. This will be the third time we have made these crazy hoops in less than a year.

The girls kept telling me all about their adventure and I kept trying to talk them down as they followed me from one end of the run to the other end. My poor chickens were pretty traumatized by the chainsaw too. Does anyone know a good chicken therapist??

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Busy Times

The countdown has begun for Angela and I to be ready, one week from tomorrow, for The Fiber Event. Angela has been crocheting, painting and sewing like mad. I have been dyeing like crazy (48 skeins so far) and have soap, several hats and a few bags to finish.

While off yesterday I cleaned out the chicken run. That's one item crossed off my list of chores for Spring. Next is taking care of the bunny hutch and mulching some plants with what comes out from under the hutch. One good about bunny poo is it can go directly around the plants without being composted.

I began my orchard last fall by planting a semi dwarf Nectarine. I've watched that tree all Spring for signs of life. I was finally rewarded with tight pink buds and pale green leaves that look like hand folded in prayer. With the warmer temps the buds have burst open. The blooms aren't very big and are a very delicate shade of pink. The fragrance reminds me of pear blossoms.

After things settle down I'll be shopping for blueberry bushes and more fruit trees. I'm so excited to finally be growing fruit on my tiny urban homestead.

Disclaimer : While the photo is not my tree they look exactly alike. =)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New on the Bookshelf

I posted a while back I wanted to do more food drying and had found a dehydrator on clearance hence this book. Mary T. Bell's books had some good reviews on Amazon. I appreciate that it isn't only drying info but also how to use what you dry.

I copy/pasted the product description from Amazon for the next book.
"Raleigh Briggs collects her zines, illustrations, and thoughts around what it is that makes a great DIY household—homemade cleaning solvents that aren't made from poison, herbs that will heal you, and how to setup a great garden. These tips and tricks fill in the gaps for those of us longing to live this lifestyle but lacking the necessary know-how." This is a tricky little book and I think it will be helpful with all the recipes for homemade tinctures, salves, bath & body products etc.

Book reviews coming soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Yarn From Last Week's Dye Day

I left the Library early one day last week to have a "Dye Day". My co-workers suggested I come up with a new name/phrase as an alternative to me saying "I'm dyeing on Wednesday." or "Sunday is Dye Day". They also feel it is a bit disconcerting to hear me say the reason my cuticles are green, blue, fuchsia etc. is because I dyed yesterday. [smile]

The balls in the photo are all approximately 44o yards fingering weight wool. This wool is from Corriedale type sheep and is pretty soft and felts great. I think each skein is enough yardage for a pair of socks or a scarf.

There are ten more skeins waiting to be finished this weekend and I will post photos of them next week. I hope to have at least three dozen skeins of various weights ready for the Greencastle show.

Tomorrow I'm ordering sock yarn that is superwash wool with a little nylon added to the mix.

My inventory has a dozen skeins of worsted weight wool and half of it is already dyed.The worsted weight is approximately 220 yards so I am dyeing those two at a time so there will hopefully be enough of similar colorways to make a project. There are two skeins waiting for the ball winder I think would make a awesome felted bag .
.. photos coming soon.

The next order will be more of the Merino/silk blend. It comes out very soft with just a little sheen. One of my favorites!

If the weather warms up enough before the show I really want to do some Indigo dyeing, yarn and Shibori. I saw on the Fiber Event workshop list a class will be offered in Shibori so it would be neat to have a few pieces available. I have planned to have some ready for market and the fall Quilt Guild show we are vending in November. Praying for above 65 degree days so I can get the Indigo vat going.

We are still requesting prayers for Angela's health. She was
diagnosed with viral pneumonia on January 17th and is still sick. This is too much for anyone but if you have all the other health issues that Ange has it's very serious. I'm still having coughing spells and feeling snarfy so if you want to add me to your prayers I would appreciate it too!

Better get a wiggle on. I have to go to Bloomington to pickup a gift certificate for a friend's birthday. It comes from a greenhouse and is my traditional gift to her. I was in Bloomington last Saturday but forgot to get it. Last Saturday it wasn't raining like crazy. @@

~ Penny ~

P.S. Picking up the new chicks tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Planning for Market

Tomorrow I will be mailing off our application to the Orleans Farmers Market. We hope to get a permanent spot this year. Last summer we had to wait in a first-come-first-placed line each Saturday and hope for the best. It was okay but knowing ahead of time where we will be would be better.

Last Spring my lil greenhouse shelves didn't work out very well so I am looking into alternatives this week. I've found a very small walk-in greenhouse on Amazon with free shipping and am seriously considering buying it. I have some gift cards (birthday and Swagbucks) that will help with the cost. It looks like something I can put up/take down by myself and that is a big plus.

This evening I also updated my Local Harvest listing. The updates show if I use Explore but do not show when I search with Firefox .. go figure.

Better get a wiggle on and head home .. there are bunnies waiting to be fed and lil Sebastian is just as demanding as Sunny when it comes to meals. =)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blog Button FYI

I updated my blog button. The previous one had a misspell and it was corrected so please grab the new button. Thank you Angela!!!

February has been amazing.

This month in southern Indiana, like many other areas, has had everything from snow & ice storms to 70 degree days. Such strange and amazing weather.

Thanks for the comments on Sebastian. He is such a sweetie.

My niece Heather stopped by last evening. She is my assistant chicken farmer. lol Heather takes care of my "farm" when I am out of town. She loves the new baby and spent quite a bit of time finding fresh grass for the chickens. I gave the grapes Roni, a co-worker, sent the girls. The girls love grapes .. especially Cicely! Sweet Cicely will steal the grapes out of the beak of the other girls and run. I keep expecting to have to apply a chickie Heimlich on her when she chokes because she is such a greedy girl.

I was told on Thursday the Tractor Supply will be getting the new chicks in early next month. Orschlens are getting theirs at the end of this month. I'm still planning on adding 4 or 5 more hens to my flock this Spring. I'll be looking for Black Stars and Ameraucanas. If the Black Stars aren't available I'll get more Red Stars. My Rosemary and Cicely lay extra large brown eggs .. they are huge!

Better get a wiggle on. I have to go back to Bloomington and exchange my chicken feed. The Co-op guy gave me broiler feed instead of layer feed and that won't do. The White River Co-op is the closest place to purchase organic chicken feed. [sigh]

After the feed store I'm making a yarn run to Joann Fabric Store and maybe Michaels too. I have some great coupons. ;^)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Introducing Our New Baby ... Sebastain!

He is a nine week old broken Lilac French Angora.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I've got a secret!

If everything goes well ... tomorrow The Black Sheep Cottage is getting a new critter to add to the farm. I'll try to post photo(s) on Saturday.

Remember it's a secret so do not tell my family!

Groundhogs, Robins and a Birthday.

Groundhog's Day was my Mom's 73 rd birthday. We waited until the 5th to celebrate with lunch at her favorite restaurant, the Asian Pearl. Lunch was followed by dessert and pressies at Angela's house. Mom had gifted Angela with the cupcake stand so she filled it with pretty lil cupcakes for our dessert. Notice the single candle on the topmost cupcake .. Jaidy "helped" her granny blow out the flame. That was her cupcake. Jaidy likes her a good cuppy cake. =)

My sisters and I are very blessed to still have our Mom and Daddy with us.

As I was going to the car I saw my first robin of the year. Poor bird. It is still freakishly cold here in southern Indiana. According to the official groundhog we are suppose to have an early Spring. I so hope he is right!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm a winner.

Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm had a giveway this month and I was one of the winners. It has a lovely poem and I intend to let it be part of my Mom's birthday present early next month.

The poem reads as follows ...

"My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot change the color
For He works most steadily.

Oft times He weaves the sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Until the loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly,
Will God roll back the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the skillful Weaver's Hand
As the golden threads of silver
He has patterned in His Plan."

~Benjamin Malacia Franklin ~

Three posts in one day ... this is some kind of a record!

Yay I have a blog button!

Angela used a photo of the wool block I designed for a swap to make my new button. My sister is very tricky and can do that sort of thing. ;) She also made one for herself and I have it on my side bar.

Please feel free to grab them!

Yikes we are in for a busy year!

Angela finally received a confirmation email that we will be vendors at The Fiber Event this April.

I've attended all the fiber festivals/shows offered in Indiana and in my opinion this is by far the best festival. So we are excited to be included in their list of vendors.

This week's mail also brought the application for the Bloomington Quilter's Guild fall show. This guild only has a show every three years and is always a welcomed opportunity to greet acquaintances that we only get to enjoy every three years. It is also a very profitable show.

So now our show line up is 1) The Fiber Event, 2) The Indiana Fiber & Music Festival, 3) Orleans Farmers Market, 4) The Woolkeepers Show, 5) The Bloomington Quilter's Guild Show. It makes me tired simply looking at the list. lol

In the midst of all this good news Angela has pleurisy and pneumonia. She isn't feeling well at all and if you feel so inclined could use some healing prayers.

Thanks everyone for the compliments on my hats. I ended up selling all them and have an order for another purple one. Better go finish my errands and start crocheting. It is freakishly cold here in southern Indiana and people are going to need those hats! [smile]

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I've Jumped on the Hat Band Wagon

Angela sold over 200 crocheted hats this summer at Market! She makes super cute hats for babies, lil girls, big girls, teenage girls and ladies too .. but no boy hats. When a few folks began asking for boy hats she didn't want to make them. You can't really frou-frou up boy hats. After being asked a few more times for lil boy hats I found a pattern and tweaked it to make it my own. It has ear flaps and I add a big pompom on top.

As time past a few requests came in for my hats in girlie colors .. pinks and lavenders etc.. I resisted but Angela said do it so I made a few hats. A few weeks a go someone ordered an adult ladies hat in hot pink in cotton so I made one. Can you say bright? I added the white band and white pompom to make it pop .. I think it worked. LOL

The hats in green and purple are a wool blend that is washable. I have nearly finished a wool hat for my neighbor Nicholas. The loose ends need to be woven in and I'm making a four inch pompom for it. I think if you are going to the trouble to make a pompom it should make a statement. [smile]

We are having Angela's and niece Hillary's birthday celebration today and I have to make a run to Papa John's so I had better get a wiggle on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Sister

Today is my sister Angela's birthday. Although I am frequently treated as the youngest Angela is actually the "baby" of the family. =)

Wishing you many blessings on your birthday Angela!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My BPF Wool Swap Block

New Year's Eve Angela and I worked on our blocks for a round robin we are parti-cipating in with our May Retreat group.

We are divided into two groups of four players. Each player chooses a theme, makes a base block (basting the wool pieces in place in a crazy quilt fashion) and adds one element. Then we send it on to the next person who adds another element. At Retreat we get our block back and can finish them with fancy stitches, more elements or whatever we wish.

My theme is "Down on the Farm". I made the barn sit on a hill. The top background fabric is actually a nice blue that represents the sky. The green and brown fabrics represent the fields and pastures. The blue in the lower right corner is for a pond. The gray on the lower left corner would be neat to have a ginger cat sunning himself on a rock ... just a hint. [smile]

I've been thinking about goals for 2011, both personal and for the homestead. As time allows I will make a list on the side to keep me on track. Some things I've already posted about but there are a few new ones and I think listing them together will be helpful. Hopefully there will be checks as they are crossed off the list.

Better get a wiggle on I've been here for far to long catching up on email and favorite blogs. I let my home internet go and must rely on the Library. By working in my shared office space I have privacy and no one hears my coughing .. still trying to get over my December bronchitis.

Praying for a healthy, positive New Year for all of us!

~ Penny ~