Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Blessings ~ Bro. Bubby ~ volunteers ~ coal ~ donations ~ the Appalachias ~ people who help when they can, how they can, what they can ~
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
For the rest of our lives, it will be a time of firsts. The first Christmas without our Wife, Aunt, Sister, Mother, mother-in-law, friend; the first New Year's, the first Valentine's, the first...
People are holding up well, as well as can be expected, I suppose. Aunt. R. suffered in this life; for the last sixteen years she was on oxygen because she had COPD from working in a sewing factory. Not only smokers and coal miners get COPD. Plain, ordinary women and men who work in tiresome circumstances, earning a living for their families also got, get, COPD. Anyway, she's not suffering now.
So, in this Holy Season, hold near and dear to those you love; remember with fondness and kindness those who have passed. Eat well, drink sensibly, love more today than you did yesterday but less than you will tomorrow. Remember God loves you and hold fast to your faith.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Little Christmas ornaments can be seen in the background; I'm only
hoping to heal quickly enough to put up a Christmas tree and use those ornaments!
This is my tea cozy but I don't think I'm finished with it. There's too much space that needs something but it's been fun and will be quite useful. I drink pots of tea and wool cozies keep the tea hotter/warmer than sitting out nekid.
Here's the back side and it has even more blank space than does the front:
I really like the dragonfly and the buttons spell "blessing". Yet, something is lacking, just not sure what.
Blessings ~ hot tea in the winter ~ work to keep hands and mind busy ~ healthy animals and husband ~ knitting ~ music ~ Christmas! ~
Monday, December 03, 2007
The original rules were "I will send a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is Pay It Forward by making the same promise on your blog."
Great, eh? I think so too except I'd like to up the ante a bit. The first five people who leave a comment on my blog will receive a hand crafted/made "something" before Christmas 2008. I've been blessed and want to share my blessings so I've increased it from three to five people. If you see fit to send to five, rather than three, that's great but you're only obligated to Pay It Forward to three people *and* post about it on your blog. Post both about PIF and what you receive/send upon receiving and sending.
Pay It Forward and Merry Christmas!
Blessings ~ Blogland ~ Pay It Forward ~ Christmas ~ People who are willing to be kind ~ Cats on my lap who help me type ~ Blessings too numerous to count ~
My point, was and is, one has to be comfortable with oneself. Where ever we go...there we are. There's no escaping being with ourselves and, when we lie down at night, we have to be comfortable with how we've conducted ourselves during the day, or, make things right as soon as possible. If coloring your hair gives you pleasure and you've got the funds, go for it. If you're going into debt to color your hair, I would seriously re-think the matter. Almost nothing is worth being in debt, at least to my way of thinking; I enjoy freedom too much to be in debt. But that's another topic for another time.
Blessings ~ choices ~ freedom ~ fun ~ being comfortable with oneself ~ the folks who have voiced their opinions/thoughts ~
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Starting Saturday, 24 November, for ten days, through 4 December, 2007 Art for 1,000 Wells, an international group of artists, artisans and crafters will offer their original work for the common goal of raising mondy to benefit Blood:Water Mission's Thousand Wells Project.
From the Blood:Water Mission website: "When Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay's lead singer, visited Africa in 2002, he had to struggle to accept what he saw. Poverty and physical and social suffering in Africa shook him, challenged him, and changed him.
"The 1000 Wells Project is building 1000 wells and clean water projects in 1000 African communities. Businesses, churches, schools, artists and individuals are collecting funds so they can sponsor the construction of wells in Africa. In the process, they are learning about how HIV/AIDS affects African communities, and what it means to partner humbly with communities to pursue transformation."
To find participating eBay listings type the keyword term TWBW, standing for Thousand Wells Blood:Water, but there are more artists than currently show on eBay. Check out Art For 1000 Wells for more information and links.
"Buy Once, Give Twice" - from the Art For 1,000 Wells site.
Blessings ~ another beautiful day ~ hay for the animals ~ the WWW and yes, even dial-up! ~ being on the well side of sick ~ the wind blowing the leaves out of the yard ~ people who care and do what they can, where they can, when they can
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This afternoon, Dave went over the mountain to buy provisions and came home with the DVD Amazing Grace, something on my Christmas wish list. It turns out there are up sides to being sick, after all.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Camels are mentioned in Genesis, chapter 24, and the story of Rebekah drawing water for Abram's man servants' camels continues to amaze me. Drawing water is hard work and made even harder when one has to pull up a clay pot hanging on a rope, made heavier by the weight of the clay plus it's soaked with water and full of water. Until a couple of years ago, I had to draw water, carry water and fill a horse trough for one of our horses. It was usually below freezing, usually a brisk wind and I'm using two five gallon buckets to carry water 150 feet. It was challenging. And, all I had to do was fill the trough...not fill a camel who drinks 30 gallons at a time. YIKES!
Not for the feeble hearted yet Rebekah volunteered to do this task. She wasn't asked, she volunteered. My guess is...she cheerfully volunteered as well.
I've, mostly always, had a good attitude when tending to my animals. I adore my work and am amazingly blessed to live on this farm and do the work necessary to keep everyone going. But. These are my animals and this is my farm. Rebekah gave water to the man servant and then volunteered to water his camels. All ten of them.
I'm math challenged, so to speak, but even I can figure out that's about Three Hundred Gallons of water...roughly ten gallons at a time.
The mind boggles!
Wandering through the souk we saw many strange and wonderful sights. Not many women though...women reign at home while the men tend to business outside the home. Most of the women we saw were either tourists or Berber; the few Muslim women we saw were heavily robed and, more often than not, veiled.
This woman is selling a few lemons and peppers alongside the street. Just consider...just as this woman, Rebekah would have been robed and veiled as she watered those ten camels.
Needless to say, when I'm carrying water I'm dressed in insulated coveralls, long underwear, wool sweaters, socks and hat. Mostly I'm cheerful but my level of cheerfulness lessons greatly the more I slosh freezing water on myself as I'm carrying those buckets. Life on the farm lends itself greatly to understanding, on a Very Intimate Level, what it must have been like all those thousands of years ago.
Food was killed the day it was eaten and, even today, one finds sheep, goat, and chicken carcasses throughout the market. Remember Abigail? In order to appease David she "made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses."
Now, I don't care how hurriedly one prepares a meal nor how many servants one has at their disposal, there's more than a day's work in baking two hundred loaves and slaughtering and dressing five sheep. Abigail has already seen to it her household has food put by as evidenced by the "five measures of parched corn, hundred clusters of raisins, wine and two hundred cakes of figs."
Look up "prepared" and you'll find Abigail's picture. This woman is a jewel, a credit to herself and her household and her oaf of a husband, Nabal, is a drunken lout, even called wicked.
UGH! Spare me from such a marriage and a man. I wonder if Abigail was sold into marriage, perhaps traded for debt or land or livestock. Her life couldn't have been rainbows and roses being married to Nabal yet she didn't let that stop her from being the best she could be.
Oh Dear. There's another message for me but it's bedtime and, like Scarlet, I'll think about this tomorrow. Unlike Scarlet, I'll probably dream about this tonight.
Travel is broadening, sometimes even frightening, but I love, love, love to travel. Only death will separate me from Thistle Cove Farm but I dearly love to travel...to meet and greet other of God's children, see His creation, find new people and new things to pray about.
I leave you with some quotes on travel but if you cannot travel...at least read about traveling.
"I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself." ~James Baldwin
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." ~Mark Twain
"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." ~G.K. Chesterton
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. " ~St. Augustine
Blessings ~ travel ~ good friends who make a good journey better ~ people who share their wisdom ~ KJV ~ lessons learned both the easy way and the more difficult ~ a great marriage
Monday, October 29, 2007
I spun about two pounds of single ply "Unserious Rainbow Yarn" whilst at the festival. It's going to make a Very Unserious Scarf ~
This "tree" is actually poison ivy, apparently, on steriods! Every year it grows just a bit larger and becomes just a bit more menacing.
When leaving Thistle Cove Farm through Thompson Valley, there's a stretch of road that's usually beautiful. At this time of year, it's breathtaking and always I slow down so the image will burn into my memory.Blessings - autumn and harvest ~ 2.25 inches of RAIN ~ meaningful work ~ prayer ~ God's bountiful beauty ~ all the Good Folks who made the National Folk Festival 2007 such a GREAT time! ~
Sunday, October 21, 2007
What, you ask, does this have to do with anything?
The answer...everything! We're all but steps in a path leading from Eve, or Lucy if you will, and going into infinity. Every day, we, all of us, choose to be helpful or hurtful, kind or unkind, a giver or a taker, a friend or a foe. I tell people all the time that fiber folkes are the Best People in the world and I mean it. I can count on one hand the fiber people I've met who were surly or contentious or just ill tempered. To a person, most are gracious to a fault, willing to share their expertise and experiences, willing to take the time to be kind.
Donna Druchunas is no exception.
She has a new book entitled Discovery - Ethnic Knitting from the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes from Nomad Press. She has two previous books, including one of my all time favorites, The Knitted Rug: 21 Fantastic Designs and her most recent Arctic Lace: Knitted projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters.
Donnas has long been, since The Knitted Rug, one of my favorite designers and bloggers. I enjoy reading about her travels, her patterns are clear and well designed and I always end up learning something...if not a lot of somethings!
The current back cover photo shows Donna, seated, with what looks to be size 50 knitting needles in hand, busily working on another project. She looks like a person who, while not taking herself very seriously, takes her work Very Seriously. IOW, my kind of Fiber Femme.
Ethnic Knitting has eight master patterns for drop-shoulder pullover sweaters but begins with four simply projects to build the skills necessary to accomplish the master patterns. She uses quick notes, a visual plan or detailed guidelines in worksheets designed to assist knitters to not only knit a sweater but learn how to craft one in the process.
For the sample sweaters she explains how the same designed 40-inch sweater will fit (very close) as opposed to a 34-36 inch sweater (loose fit). I find this quite helpful, ever more so than leaving out the additional guidelines.
All this to say...Donna is a guest blogger for Fiber Femmes on Monday, October 22 and Leslie and I are excited! I've long enjoyed Donna's work as well as "meeting" her the last time she was a Fiber Femme guest blogger.
Donna is a continuing thread in the life line of knitting. She realizes she's yet another knitter to continue, or assist in continuing, the age old craft of knitting. There are as many ways to knit as there are cultures in the world and I'm grateful to Donna for bringing more of them to light.
I hope you enjoy her as well and, after buying her book, discover for yourself the pleasures of Ethnic Knitting.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Dave asked me one time, "when are you going to start making all our clothing?" My response, "just as soon as you start killing all our food."
Yep, we both laughed...let me tell you...the good old days are NOW! I seriously enjoy dressing up and playing "pioneer woman" but wouldn't trade even. I'm living the good life now and thank God every day. I met one dear, older woman who spent UNTOLD hours making this very beautiful queen sized Garden Path quilt. She's eighty-four and would like to sell this quilt; if anyone is interested, please let me know and I'll put you in touch.
Kat, my quilting guild friend, made the gorgeous Double Wedding Ring queen size quilt show below. She's selling this quilt which represents, perhaps, a thousand hours of work, maybe more. People see the price of quilts and think, "too much!" but how many people would work for $1 an hour? At least in the good ole USA.
This Turning Twenty quilt pattern in a double bed size, is for sale as well. Katherine and Donna worked together to make this quilt and it's made in a pleasing design of blues and yellows.
This coming weekend I'm headed to the National Folk Festival in Richmond, VA. I'm there as a guest of the Folklife Apprenticeship Program through the VA Humanities Foundation and will demonstrate spinning, knitting and the fiber arts. The Folk Festival is always a Very Fine Time and this is the third and final year in Richmond. Next year it will move somewhere else but, I understand, folks in Richmond have plans to host their own folk festival so it will continue.
Jon Lohman, Director of the Folklife Apprenticeship Program, has written In Good Keeping: Virginia's Folklife Apprenticeships with free lance photographer Morgan Miller. This coffee table sized book, published by the UVA Press showcases the first five years of the program and is resplendent with marvelous photographs of the various Masters and Apprentices.
Blessings ~ family, always family ~ crisp Autumn days ~ festivals & the Folklife Apprenticeship Program & Jon ~ quilting ~ the good old days of NOW~ the strength to do the work He has set before us ~
Monday, September 03, 2007
These aprons are made from a man's shirt. The one on the left shows John Deere tractors, has a pocket and both of them still have the shirt snaps.
Perhaps this apron was given away as a gift when an appliance was purchased?
Blessings ~ aprons ~ a deep well filled with delicious water ~ inside work to escape the heat of the day ~ melons from my garden ~ clean air ~ a night sky that takes my breath ~
Friday, August 31, 2007
My secret is I've aided many a ewe and one mare in the birthing process. When I finally got back to the house, poor Dave took one look at me and said, "where did you get stabbed?!"
Hurry on over and tell a wee secret about yourself.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The watermelons and cantelopes are doing well and are tasty! We ate one of each on Friday and have more for supper Sunday. My little gardens are doing well, tomatos are lovely and lucious, melons are wonderfully sweet and, like most of the gardening world, we're overwhelmed with squash and zucchini. People have taken to locking their car doors when they go to the library or they'll find a bag full of either/both upon their return.
Blessings ~ rain - 9/10 of an inch! ~ healthy animals ~ lovely gardens ~ a country church with excellent pastor ~ bountiful work to consume both hands and heart ~ a most gracious and merciful Father
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
every thing! The floor was painted last week so we carried everything out of the building and put it on our back porch. UGH! Just when everything was looking so Very Good too. I haven't been able to craft and it's getting on my nerves although I have finished a silk shawlet - to be shown in another post. The floor paint color is very soft and neutral and serves to visually expand the size of the room. A couple of rugs on the floor will make it easier on my feet, keeps the room warmer in winter and gives the dogs a warm, soft place to lie down. At least, the dogs that don't claim the cushiony dog bed first.
The studio still needs electrical wiring installed and then walls nailed up. We're using the rough cut hemlock that was used for the barns and other outbuildings which should age beautifully and provide an excellent back-drop for bulletin boards, etc.
I keep saying "studio" but it's really just an old building that was once used to cure meat. At one point, it had electricity but with a little "lipstick on the pig" it's almost ready for me to use as a retreat and escape. We'll just have to move furniture around when it's time to put up walls.
I've finished this flannel baby blanket and have two more to finish just like it. The front is various nursery rhyme figures - Little Bo Peep, Cat and the Fiddle and others - while the back is bright red. Hand quilted hearts and stars fix the three layers together and add some visual interest to the back side.
A baby quilt takes about one and one-quarter yards of material, front and back plus the batting. I didn't know that when I purchased enough of this cute fabric for three quilts. When I started cutting them into baby size quilts, I had no idea who would receive any of them.
I think babies are God's opinion the world should go on and the babies keep on coming. Tina, at church, is expecting as is Dave's neice so there go two quilts. I suppose the plain ones could always be used as lap blankets to keep someone's knees and lap warm.
WHOOPS! News flash...I just found out friend Frank's daughter, Samatha, is expecting so there goes another baby blanket.
The two, below, are quilted panels and only need hemming to be ready to give away. The first is a delightful Mary Engelbreit nursery rhyme pattern...So Very Cute!
This is simply a yellow quilted panel and I'll either turn under the edges and hem or use a border and hem. It all depends upon my time.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Fortunately, I've been paired on the up and down side with people who seem to have no problem with animal fiber. After all, if not for my vocation and avocation of shepherd and farmer, my small hand spinner's flock would not live better than 70% of the world's population! But they do...live better than 70% of the world's population and I rejoice in that fact. My animals live a life of ease and freedom from the stresses of sheep coming and going. No one ends up on the dinner plate, no one is shipped to market. The only thing my dear little boys and ewes have to do is grow delicious fleece and let me love on them. Everyone's life should be so good!
Someone in California sent me a skein of Debbie Bliss 80% cotton 20% silk aran in royal blue. It's lovely but judge for yourself...
We've been busy at Thistle Cove Farm, working on the house, my studio and landscaping. My studio has been emptied so the floor can be painted, our bedroom paint job is completed and the wildflower patch at the kitchen porch back door is almost finished. I'll have to show you photos later, we're in a burning rush to ready ourselves for a drive across the mountain to the Town House Grill. It's a delightful restaurant where the chef takes extra care to not only prepare delicious food but to present it beautifully as well.
I'll leave you with a photo of a deer that was wandering around near Anne's house last week. I caught a glimpse of the deer through the hedgeso knew to get out the camera. Still, I almost managed to mess up the shot because my settings has been switched whilst in my purse.
Be cool, it's a hot August.
Blessings ~ the anticipation of an excellent dinner ~ a bedroom almost finished ~ a studio almost finished ~ a wildflower garden almost finished ~ meaningful work
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Quilts hanging on the line provided a nice side-drop to the scene while the spinning wheel faced down the valley. The quilts were made by (l to r) by my beloved Aunt Bonnie and Dave's birthday quilt was made by me. We were all pleased with the arrangment and feel it adds greatly to a video that lacks textural softness. The quilts and animals add a touch of gentleness that softens the video and gives a more rounded picture of crafts, especially fiber crafts, in southwest Virginia.
~rain which we desperately need, dear God
~friends, some near, others far away but all dear
~a rich and varied heritage and culture
~critters, beasts and varmints - even those who do the nasty jobs
~the privilege of living @ Thistle Cove Farm in the USA!