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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rain and a studio

A week ago Tuesday we awoke to this scene.

and, later, this

Yes, it's RAIN! has now been raining, off and on, for more than a week! Thank you GOD! The pastures and fields are showing green, the animals are delirious with fresh, growing stuff to eat and I'm doing the Happy Dance! So what if I look like the Valley Ejiit! It's RAIN and God's Own Blessing and Gift...thank you Father.

It's been great weather for making things and my studio, aka Sandra's Playhouse, has been getting a workout. We've restored an old building (previously used to cure hams and bacon) into a studio for me. It's lovely having a place to go that's (a) away from the phone, (b) away from the house and (c) where supplies can be left out to be used again at *my* whim and fancy! It's not quite finished but I've already moved in and am using the space to both make things and restore my sanity.

It has a chair and ottoman for R&R, reading, knitting, quilting, writing or other hand work; also a bed for the doghters and spots for the cats. ~

A place for my spinning wheel and short chair that used to belong to Grandmother. This chair is so comfortable...just my size and with arms and a cozy cushion covered with a sheep fleece. And, a table (formerly computer table) that's now used to work on crafts, cut and sew fabric for quilts, aprons, etc.
My, oh my...I'm absolutely Over the Moon! Stayed tuned...soon, I'll show you the greeting cards I've been making. They make lovely gifts either by themselves or when tucked into a small basket of goodies to bless someone's day and life.

Blessings ~
~working space
~two finished quilts
~hot soup on a cool day
~wind chimes in the window
~eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to work

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Typical Week @ TCF

Last month, we prayed for the rain to hold and it did and is still holding. We've not had more than a few drops in more than a month. If you're the praying sort, PLEASE pray for rain at Thistle Cove Farm! Our second cutting of hay won't happen if we don't get rain and get it soon.

Even the buzzards want rain; I've seen more turkey vultures this year than ever before. It looks like a family has nested and hatched out their fair share of the little buzzards and they all like to ride the wind currents over this valley. Actually, they are quite beautiful when I forget their job on this planet. They are necessary though so I take photos and ponder their usefullness.

We had a film crew at the farm this past week. They are filming a CD/video for 'Round the Mountain and were here to film the scenery, horses, sheep and me at the spinning wheel. It was a lovely morning, enjoyed by all and especially the sheep. Some of the tamest sheep came into the yard to eat corn and were filmed around the spinning wheel. At least, as long as the corn lasted and then they grazed the yard.
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.

The week ended at the Buchanan County Fair where Heritage Crafts and crafters were on display. This is a small fair but one where heritage is appreciated and welcomed.

Bud Thompson, farrier, pounded on the anvil, Charlie and David Butcher (father and son) played bluegrass on guitar, dulcimer and fiddle; Cheryl Kerr and Emily Butcher made baskets and a Bland County woodworker carved a face in a tree stump. I did the usual fiber "thang".

Blessings ~

~rain which we desperately need, dear God

~county fairs

~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!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Armenian Fiber Femmes @ Haghpat Monastery

I'm home and, almost, feeling normal after severe jet lag. Dave and I have been to Armenia and, at Haghpat Monastery, found Fiber Femmes!

As all knitters, crocheters, felters, weavers, dyers and other fiber folks know...the language of fiber is international and crosses all language "barriers". Such was the case at Haghpat (also known as Haghpatavank)Monastery in the mountains of northern Armenia and overlooking the Pambak River. In the Middle Ages, it was a major center of learning and a masterpiece of religious architecture. The monastery was founded by Saint Nishan in the 10th century during the reign of King Abas.
At Haghpat, there are a number of folks scratching out a living by selling their hand crafted wares. This woman, and her friend, sold us some lovely things and, very graciously, allowed their photos to be taken. I've never seen crochet accomplished with a sewing needled and cotton thread!

She had a number of doilies made and a couple of beautiful white Celtic looking crosses. Of course, those crosses came home with us along with the wonderful memories of Haghpat and the "Haghpat Fiber Femmes".

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