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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.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Loving Work of Hands and Hearts & Apron Giveaway

Do you know Tammy, Flat Creek Farm blog? Recently she posted Mr. W was back in the blacksmith shop, making, among other things, trowels out of railroad spikes...yes, railroad spikes!  Tammy gave the address of Mr. W's etsy shop so I hied myself there quick like a bunny and found the above.


To misquote Keats, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. I've asked Abba if He'll permit me to have this in Heaven so I can garden properly. It's perfectly made...fits well in my hand, has a slightly angled, sharpish edge for digging and it has a PW for maker's mark...Mr. W's initials. I only tell you about this now because, let's face it, once those railroad spikes are gone, they are g.o.n.e. Also, (selfish wench me) I wanted to make sure mine was in hand before I let the world know; they are sure to fly off the shelf, er, out of the shop. Do you know a gardener? This is the absolutely perfect gift for that gardener and s/he is sure to be the envy of their garden club!

Tis the season for craft show and fairs; recently I saw Mr. D who makes things of wood. Beautiful, useful things of wood that I've bought and given for Christmas gifts in years past.

He makes hand turned nut bowls

as well as very large bowls with beautifully fitting lids. He also made a marvelous jewelry box which I'll photograph later and show you.

"An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.
An artist says a hard thing in a simple way."
~ Charles Bukowski ~ 

There was a little craft show in the county seat today and one vendor stood out above the rest. I stopped in my tracks when I saw these young folks who are just getting started. When I asked for a business joy. When I asked the name of her joy and she said, "We've been thinking about a name but haven't come up with one. My name is Sarah and his name is Seth and we'd like to, somehow, combine the two. If you have any suggestions, we're open."

 ~ Sarah Jane and Seth are in black shirts ~ 

She took my notebook and wrote her name, e-address and phone number then handed it back to me. I looked at what she'd written and exclaimed, "You've got the perfect name for your business...Sarah Jane Designs" is what I thought of then but now I'm thinking... SARAHJANE Designs or SarahJane Designs or SARAHSETH Designs or SarahSeth Designs!" Actually, I don't think I said 'designs' but it was in my head. (I run into that a lot, stuff in my head that doesn't make it out of my mouth. Then again, far too frequently the exact opposite happens and then I'm done for.)

What do you think would make a good name for them? They do steampunk, repurposing and quotes on wood. The twin light above is made out of leftover bits and bobs and if I'd needed a lamp, it would have come home with me.

Lovely Bukowski quote...I like Bukowski but haven't found many people who know him and, must admit, was shocked, pleasantly so, to find him on Main Street. His poetry could sometimes be dark but then, isn't life sometimes dark? (As an support of my decision to live behind locked gates he wrote, "Do you hate people? I don't hate them...I just feel better when they aren't around." ---yessssss!---) (update note...I don't hate people but I do better when the fewer the better. I'm not good in crowds...INTJ doncha know? and tend to want to take over...which isn't greatly appreciated by some -grin-)

Do you think this would make a marvelous television table? Sarah said she enjoys steampunk and re-purposing things. In my day we called that "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" then "reduce, reuse, recycle" came along and now it's "the 5 R's...refuse reduce reuse repurpose recycle".

Whatever. Just do your bit.

On Pinterest I found Reduce + Reuse + Recycle here and left in a hurry as I could loooooosssseeee myself on this page! In England it was called Make Do and Mend, which I also like.

In addition to prepping for winter, I've been busy doing this and that...knitting strewn on the porch hats and orange cowl for hunters, followed by a green camo cowl for a hunter, then a cotton green scarf with a tiny baby hand spun, hand dyed woolen hat sitting atop and the wildly yarned hat has bells hanging off. I knitted one for my sister and she wears it on her school bus runs and her "children" find it highly amusing. Steph, my sister, is a wonder! She's been a bus driver for decades and says it's her calling to bring a bit of saneness, love and joy into the lives of "her" children. She's been at it so long, she's now driving the grandchildren of the children she started driving. Hmmm, does that make sense?

Now, coming from the other end...a dark green acrylic 0 scarf, meaning it was joined and has no beginning nor end, but isn't a true mobius. Next is another cotton cowl, then a fat woolen circle that's going to be felted and used to warm my French press coffee press. The next is a green/white scarf then a wool throat scarf.

From my farmhouse kitchen comes blueberry jam, kiwi jam, strawberry jam and peach vanilla preserves. A taste test pronounces them all very delicious especially on my cat head biscuits or my cornbread, both made with buttermilk gotten when I churned ten pounds of butter a couple of weeks ago.

In the slow cooker now are apples, sugar and spices that will, sometime tomorrow, make a few pints of apple butter. (You would not believe how good the house smells!) I ran out of time but was going to make ricotta cheese today; perhaps tomorrow I'll make that cheese and an apple cake whose recipe was given me by Aunt Esther and is incredibly tasty!

"The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them." ~ Charles Burkowski ~ 

Do you wear aprons? Grandmother B, wore pinafores, true pinafores, and those are the aprons of my childhood. She also wore flannel nightgowns and I still have one or two that remind me of her...plain, serviceable and heavy duty for these cold Appalachian winters.

This pinafore apron was made by a six months from 95 year old woman who passed away unexpectedly. Her daughter was selling the aprons because "Mother made them to sell and that's what I'm doing." I bought several, this bright, cheery yellow one is going to someone who leaves a comment answering "do you wear aprons and if so, what kind?" I'll take comments until Thursday evening, say 5 and then draw a name via and announce in a new post with more photos of aprons the old lady made.

Now. Back to the Two Fat Ladies of my last post...Clarissa Dickson Wright died at age 66 in March 2014 while Jennifer Patterson was first to die in August 1999. They traveled Great Britain in a antique Triumph motorcycle, dropping in on pony clubs, men's choral groups, abbey's and various other groups to make wonderful meals in kitchens not their own.
Jennifer wore rings...lots of them, while prepping and making food and it was a hoot to see her long, blood red manicured nails dipping into a mess of something or other!  They were fabulous cooks...long before Emeril sang out, "Pork fat rules!" these two women were using lard, pure butter and other things the food police have since declared "very bad for you". I'm of the opinion no food is bad for you, it's the lots and lots of food that's bad for you. Then again, both of the Two Fat Ladies were...fat and unashamedly loved their cooking and their food! As did Prince Charles from this account. Both were very interesting women who lived life deeply and, off and on, quite well. Finally, if you'd to see a tribute to Jennifer, click here.

Another aside...there are many, many reasons to love Two Fat Ladies and one of mine is I recognize so many places they go...Kylemore Abbey, Smithfield Market, Connemara and many other places...what great memories!

P. S. For the giveaway, you MUST leave a way for me to contact you...either leave your e-address in your comment or a link to your blog. Several have left comments but their settings are NO-REPLY and that's not good. If you win...there's no way to let you know.

Blessings ~ wonderful folks who still make things by hand ~ Two Fat Ladies ~ Flat Creek Farm's Tammy and Mr. W ~ knitting ~ cooking ~ food ~


  1. I wear an apron when I'm cooking, or preparing the many pounds of tomatoes from the greenhouse. My favourite is one from Canada that my daughter sent me, blue and white check.

  2. I have been thinking about aprons like this as I'd like to wear them cooking and outside too. I've looked for them in thrift stores but so far haven't found any.

    This was a very interesting post and I thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

  3. I didn't realize Wright was so much younger than Paterson. Wright was younger than I am when they made that show, I guess. They were a hoot together, and I loved watching how much they enjoyed food and their eaters too. I need to go back and watch that again - thanks for the reminder!

  4. I wear an apron when baking...the chef style that covers me up top to bottom! My grandmother made pinafore style aprons and instead of a loop around the neck, she pinned the top to her dress. I can still see her pinning her apron...wish so much I could give (and receive) one of her wonderful hugs. Sandra, she was the one who lived on Dry Branch awhile, then the rest of her days on Mt. Airy, just past Mace.

  5. Loooove your Posts so much!! Don't comment often...but I feel like I have just visited a very Precious Friend every time! Hugs to you!!

    I wear Aprons sometimes...have a few old ones that my friend's Grandma had made....are well loved for sure! A fresh sunshiney one would be wonderful...& with Winter coming, for sure!! (can make my own sunshine every day! lol) Thanks for chance to win!

  6. I usually remember to put on an apron after I have covered myself in flour. I'm sure it would be easier to remember if I had a pretty yellow one... x

  7. We recently downsized our home. Somewhere in the move, my aprons got lost. There are still many boxes to open so I am hoping to find them. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your aprons!

  8. I don't always wear an apron but love remembering my mum in her"always worn apron!"
    I feel fortunate to have a couple of them. Hers were simply tied at the waist, usually found close by in the kitchen.
    Your post "tickled" my memory . . . and I love that.
    I do have one apron I wear, it says . . . "I Paint" and I wear it when I create with my paint brushes and canvas.
    (Another idea for artist painting is to find an oversized dress at the second hand shop, open the front to the bottom,
    wear it like a dress, pockets are helpful . . . it gains great character with time!)

    I am always amazed at what you accomplish . . .knitting, chores at the farm, canning . . . preserves . . . an amazingly talented woman indeed!

  9. My mama always wore and apron and so do I. She used hers to gather eggs or maybe a stray sock would find its way to her pocket. She put hers on every morning when she dressed for the day. Mine proudly hangs on a hook ready at a moments notice. I love that yellow apron and the story that goes with it. Loved the Two Fat Ladies. They were a hoot and I never missed their show. All that knitting makes me want to pick up my needles and get busy. Been crocheting lately but I really prefer knitting. Love the "click" of the needles. Have a wonderful day and don't forget to put my name in the pot please. Oh, is there a better smell than apples and cinnamon? Don't think so.

  10. While I like and agree with the philosophy of make do and mend, somehow making something into something else that you really want rather than because it is all you have seems so much more appealing doesn't it! xx

  11. So much here, Sandra!
    The apron is lovely! A pinny!
    I should wear an apron. I made one a few years ago but it was a dud.

  12. Yes, I wear one, my favorite being the last one my Mom owned and wore in 2000, before she passed through the chaotic land of assisted living, then nursing home wilderness, and on to heaven's gate. It is a rare thing to pull out your Mom's favorite apron, and not cry buckets, so it does not happen often. I also have one my MIL made back in the 50's it is so small, I could use it as a bib, pink & green, made from pillow case fabric, with minuscule hand rolled hem binding all the way around. She must have been small as a child when she made it, before 6 kids, and abusive alcoholic PTSD husband charged through her life. That woman is a Saint, she will drive you nuts with her talking, but has a heart of gold. She says she's only 84, and she told her brother off a few months ago, he was razzing her terribly. But he got his, she rubbed it in good that he is now 82! He did concede defeat, you don't mess with mountain women of a certain age (hers apparently)!. :)

    I loved those crafts, nothing beats an artist piece, they breathe life into their work!

  13. The gardening tool made from a railroad spike sounds interesting, Sandra. I love the artist mind--so inventive.
    I wear an apron when I realize I need to have one one. Usually it's after I have a splatter or two on my clothing--I'm slow to learn. Aprons so remind me of my Nanny--she wore an apron all day long. I can see her now sweeping in that flowery apron. Missing that sweetheart Nanny of mine. ♥

  14. Oh, I have so much to say!
    First, so I don't forget: I don't wear an apron because I keep thinking I'll make one. I've been thinking that for maybe 30 years now, ever since I wore out the apron I inherited from my Auntie Ruby, from whom I also inherited my Featherweight Singer. Which I really ought to use to make myself an apron. Someday.
    Now: that trowel is a treasure, alright! And so is your woodworker - I love that big wooden tub with the lid! I have a tiny wooden pillbox made by a friend in Portugal - it's got a threaded lid, and when it's closed, the grain lines up top and bottom. I use it every day and remember my friend, who I am still in touch with but will probably never see again.
    So much knitting! Wow. I saw a hat pattern the other day that I think is a Harry Potter/Dobby the House Elf thing; it's a long stocking hay that looks like several different colorful hats worn one atop the other! I wish I knew someone who would love to have it, because I think it would be a lot of fun to knit.
    I have seen some episodes of those life-loving women on their old Triumph...maybe on youtube? What a couple of rips! Everyone should know how to Enjoy Life That Much.
    And finally, I most certainly would believe how good your house smells when you've got apples cooking in your crockpot - yum! :)
    Have a great week, Sandra!

  15. I wear an apron every day when working in my kitchen. My favorite is a kind of smock that has pockets. How great to be almost 95 and still creating and sewing!
    You have been busy! Love all the knitted projects and the jams you've made. You will feel well and truly prepared when the cold weather hits.
    I will have to look up those Two Fat Women. Sounds fun.

  16. The kiwi jam sounds intriguing. I'll have to try that.
    I remember enjoying the Two Fat Ladies on the tellie some time back. Don't have a TV now, so I don't see anything.
    I love aprons. My grandmother always wore a white one. I'm trying to get in the habit again because I keep messing up my clothes. Years ago, I made 2 aprons out of washable decorating fabric to match my kitchen --that was 3 kitchens ago. Only one left and it is threadbare and pocket-less. Also, the ties are getting a little short. Ahem.
    Would love to win your extra apron.
    Now please excuse me while I go stare at your gorgeous header photo of green hills and blue sky.

  17. This post was just chock full of all kinds of stuff of the handmade variety which is lovely to see. :)

  18. And still I managed to forget one thing: SARETH
    I like the was it sounds and looks :)

  19. I haven't worn an apron in ages, but I sure do NEED to wear one! How wonderful that you were able to buy up a few handmade treasures and willing to share. This certainly was a fun-filled post. You've been knitting up a storm. I had to laugh out loud about crowds and people. I'm an INTJ as well, so I understand perfectly! hahaha.....

  20. I have 3 old treacle sewing machine. Bases, all Singer, I recently saw a child
    ds red wagon mounted on one made into a bar.

  21. It cheers me up to see your pictures and read about the biscuits and jam... I'm getting ready to bake bread soon. Would have done it today but needed a nap more. Love...

  22. Even though we are in the process of downsizing, a good craft fair is still enticing for me. And I went to the etsy shop and looked at that trowel...I'd love one and it would make a great gift. As for aprons, I don't wear them, but they make so much sense!

  23. Sandra . . .
    I needed a return to the Apron post . . .
    Sometimes it becomes an added treat to return and look again!
    That post was "chock full" of hand made, ideas, quotes, wisdom too. By the way, I like . . .
    SarahSeth DESIGNS
    Thanks again for my gift . . . I am excited!
    Love ~
    "The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them." ~ Charles Burkowski ~


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