Saturday, December 6, 2014


I have been making lots of needle felted woolies this past week, getting ready for the first of 2 holiday markets in a row. The first was today. It was so fun! I did really good there. Sold a lot of soap and dryer balls. And sheep. Other things too, but mostly those things. So I will be making more this next week.

I made these cute little pin cushions. I love them. But didn't sell any today. I'll be going to the Main St. market Wed. so maybe I can sell a few there. I think this will be my last Wed. market. It's getting to be too cold for outside markets. Especially for just 1 hour.

Some more little owlies. They are so sweet. I need to look for some little feathers and put on the little heads.

I did sell lots of sheep. One lady bought 3, then wanted a little lamb. So had to get that made while there and her grand daughter took it home to her. I had one of the other vendors ask if I could maybe make a bass or catfish for her husband. I told her I could certainly try. She said she's call to see how much I'd charge. She'd like a life-sized fish, so not really sure what to charge. Also another lady wanted to me to make an Airstream camper for her husband who is restoring one. Still working on that.

I love going to markets and meeting new people. I met a new neighbor out my way here. She was next to me today. And saw so many old friends there. It's always fun.

Now to get ready for next week! Hope y'all have a great Sunday.

(Almost forgot to say that anything I make is for sale! So let me know if anything catches your eye. These would make great gifts! And shipping probably wouldn't be too much.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December already!

    I am so busy I don't know where to start. Or go. I have a Holiday Market at 2 different churches the next 2 Saturdays that I am trying to get ready for. I've been ordering fleeces and getting some of them delivered. I've been washing a white Romney fleece I got Monday, so I can make dryer balls, snow people and owls with it for markets.

Also trying to take care of Mrs. T and her household problems. And trying to spend time with my Mom and sister, while she's here at Mom's. I am SO thankful my sister Heidi has been able to be here so much during this time. My mom fell a few weeks ago and broke her right knee. She won't be able to drive til after Christmas now. She's walking, so can do some things for her self now. And my brother was her last week from Colorado. He left Monday morning. So it's been fun. And lots of food. And traveling here and there.

So I am trying to get some things made for the holiday markets in between all this. Haven't had much luck though. I have 2 more full days to work at it. Just seems like so much to be done still.

And my hive outback was empty last Friday when I was showing my brother the hives. Slap empty. Well, we did see a few bees buzzing around it. I was just stunned to find it empty. It was full just the day before. I've been feeding both hives sugar water so I know there were bees in both hives.

So now, the garden hive bees have been out back in that hive, cleaning it out. I suppose some of that hive's bees joined the garden hive. The queen must have died. I did see what looked like a few queen cells on the bottom of a few frames up there. But the bees are doing a good job of getting all the pollen and honey moved to the good hive. When they are done, I'll put that hive away for next year's new bees. Or a split from the garden hive.

So this is why I have not been here lately. Just so much to do! What is going on in your lives out there in blog land?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

1st crocheted hats...

 My sister has been here since Monday, staying with mom. We went to my niece's in Tn. Wed. to learn to crochet hats. My sister just learned to crochet and loves it. And I have crocheted for years, but have never made hats. I had learned to knit a hat a few years ago, but it takes too long. And I HATE round knitting needles. So Jill said to come on up and she'd teach us a simple hat. And it really is simple and that's what we like! So this is my first hat. Made for my youngest grand daughter, Kansas, who was more than happy to be my model. She's just a natural, don't you think?

And this is my 2nd hat, made for my oldest grand daughter Chloe, who was too shy to model it. So Kansas said she would. It's more slouchy, which I like.

This is the 3rd hat, made today in a few hours, at my mom's. For my oldest daughter, Heather. I first made one too many rows at the beginning, where I have to add a few more stitches. So when she tried it on, it was quite big. Like she could do her hair in dreads and it would have fit fine. So I took it all out to the 5th row and then went from there to this.

I learned a new  stitch to make a ribbed look. I love this stitch. Something like front and back stitch. And this pattern is SO easy and fast to make for even a beginner. Heidi, my sister, who has just started crocheting, has already made 2 hats. So this is what we have been doing together. I love it!

So everyone is getting crocheted hats and scarves for Christmas this year! Done!

Thanksgiving was different this year. My youngest daughter and her husband always had to leave to get to his parents house by 4 on Thanksgiving day. So we decided to do it on Friday this year. So Thursday, we just had a ham dinner at Mom's. Friday, everyone came to my house and we had turkey and all the rest of the usual stuff. So much nicer.

AND, this is the first year I DID NOT LEAVE MY HOUSE!!! The WHOLE day! It was fantastic! We have always gone shopping on Friday. But the past few years, I have not wanted to go. But my mom always made me go with her. So I did. Naw, I really did enjoy spending time with mom. Just the past few years, I haven't even wanted to think about Christmas. And getting out in all that mess? UGH! Not my favorite thing to do anymore. Plus, Mom had broken her knew a few weeks ago, so can't be on her feet too long. So it was different this year. I am not complaining  at all.

I hope you all had a wonderful week with family and friends. And that you didn't eat too much.

Monday, November 24, 2014

John C. Campbelle Folk School...

This is some of the pictures I took of my trip last weekend to the spinning class. Look at the snow on top of this mountain. So pretty.

Bee hives out in the field by the house I stayed in. No bees in them though. Someone said they take the bees somewhere else for winter.

                                                                I just thought this was cool.

A greenhouse and chicken coop. I felt right at home with the chickens and bee hives so close.

If you click on this picture, you can see the name of the little town. There was a store and a few other buildings, called Clay's Corner.


This was so peaceful.

And a log house. Doesn't look like it's used for anything. But really cool place.

I am ready to go back there!

Friday, November 21, 2014

My bees...

I still have them! It's been 6 months and I still have 2 hives of honey bees. I don't think they are as strong as they were during summer. I have seen LOTS of dead bees. I am assuming they are drones. But we have had some nights in the low 20's. And snow Monday. But they are doing pretty good so far. I've been feeding them sugar water with honey in it. And when I find time, I'll make a "sugar cake" to put on the top of the cover.

This is the Outback Hive. I had a small box on top, but they never did anything in it. So I took it off a few days ago. I had read they don't need the extra room to have to heat during winter. I think they are much better right now with it off.

This is the Garden Hive. They are much stronger. More bees here and not so many dead ones laying around.
They go through a quart of sugar water a day and would take 2 if I gave it to them. I was going to take this top box of yesterday, but when I lifted it up, there were bees and wax toward the bottom. So I left it on for them.

I just hope they make it through the winter. I'll take these jars off when I get the cakes in and then put the entrance reducers in.

What about you other bee keepers? How are your bees doing so far? Would love to hear about them.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm dying.

Yes, that's right. Dying. Wool. That I spun myself. And I picked the Goldenrod and Sumac a few months ago to make dye "tea" to use. I don't know what it's called.

So I stayed home ALL day today. Didn't even go see my poor mother. She fell 2 weeks ago at her church and broke her right knee. And fell right on her face again too. It looks much better. But her knee can't be bent. She is walking on it though. So she can do a lot now that she couldn't do last week. My sister came up and stayed with her over a week. That's how I got to go to my spinning class. Thank you Heidi!

I found some directions for natural dying. Went to the studio and got it all together. It takes 2 hours to wash the skeins. Then another hour to set the mordant. Then another hour to keep the yarn in the dye pots.

This is the rinse water.

Then they went into the mordant pots. I used alum and cream of tartar.

Then into the dye water. This is the Sumac. it's really pretty when in the water here.

And this is the Goldenrod. So pretty.

And this is the finished yarn, hanging outside on the front porch to dry. Or drip really. Then I brought it inside the studio.

I wish now that I had done all the yarn in the yellow. I love it.

But don't know if I'll dye again. It took so long to do and it's just an iffy thing. So not to knit up a pretty scarf or cowl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My $700 skein of yarn.

I am SO glad I went to this spinning class at the John Campbell Folk School. I learned so much. And now I CAN SPIN! I will be able to spin my own wool from my own sheep now! I am beyond thrilled about this. I also learned how to use a drop spindle. 2 different kinds. I am very impressed with myself and proud of me too. It was so much fun.

This is the yarn I spun at the school. Some Corriedale roving. Very easy to use.

This is what I've done at home. I am getting better at getting the fiber smaller so I can get more on the spindle. Or bobbin. What is this called? I would love to take a class now on the mechanics of the wheel. What everything is called and how it works. I need to know these things as well. At any rate, I LOVE spinning! On the wheel and the drop spindles.

This is my home made Lazy Kate. I have my great grand mother's but it's too narrow to hold these newer bobbins. So I used to rods and put them through this basket. Works great!

And this is some of the spun yarn, plied.  Pretty big.  I am already spinning smaller.

This is some of the washed Romney fleece I had gotten from the fiber show a few weeks ago. I carded up 5 batts  and spun away. I am loving Romney. It's SO soft.

This is some of the Romney, spun. You can see how much smaller it is here than the white. I already have 2 bobbins full so far. Need to get the rest of that fleece washed up.

I really loved that school. And it's only about 100 miles from here. I had called to get a room because I couldn't find any hotels in Murphy. I got a room in the Bidstrup  House. With a shared bath. Which I didn't mind. But specifically said I did not want a shared room. So when I got there, I went to register. Got my room # and found the house. It looked like a little Hobbit house. All I could see was the roof. I had to walk down and behind to get to the door. A long hallway with rooms on either side. Cold. I found my room. It was the size of a small bedroom, with 2 twin beds, really close together. I saw another name on the door with my name. Then the door opened and this little lady walked in. And to my room. My little room mate. I almost cried. So I went back up to the registration office and told her I was not happy. I wanted my own room. SO she looked and found me another room. I would have to upgrade, which was fine with me. It ended up being a huge room with 2 double beds and a bathroom in the room!!! And upstairs from my classroom! I was a very happy camper then. And had a great time the rest of my stay.

There were people from all over the country there. Some families. One of the girls in my class was from Brooklyn, NY. If anyone can go, I highly recommend this place. I would love to take the pottery class next.  Sunday, we all had to display our work in the 2nd floor of the house I stayed in. It was amazing seeing all the beautiful things all these people had made that week. Very impressive indeed. I will go back.

But glad to be home. It's freezing here. Had out 1st snow of the season yesterday. Already found 2 dead hens in the past several days. The sheep of course are loving this cold weather. They are dressed for it. I hope you all stay warm and happy the rest of the week!