HELEN-SPINNING CLASS-NEW FRAME FOR EMBRODERY

12 07 2015

GREETINGS

Yesterday was a wonderful day, clothes dried well and there was a slight breeze.  Today there will be humidity in the air so outside chores will be done early.

Still working on the bathroom where the ceiling was pulled down.  Have the window area all cleaned up of debris. Bottles are being replenished with lavender/Cider vinegar for the Bath .  The old tin box holds all my shoe polishes and brushes.  With hardly a closet or storage area in this Old Farmhouse one must invent places to store things.

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HELEN

Helen has had a few glitches with a call to the Vet but now seems to be recovering .  SHe is eating well and talking like she use to. She likes being in the kitchen where there is much activity and loves being held.

She was caught eating the newspaper so now old sheets are her bedding.

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Mmmmm Scrambled eggs with corn

SPINNING CLASS

Yesterday was the first of two sessions of Spinning Class  It went great with each girl making wonderful yarn.  Joan was a member of our Woolgathers Spinning Group and Deb is a new comer to spinning.  We had a lot of fun and they were given parts of 3 fleeces to wash during the week.  We will be working on carding and spinning those fleeces, talking about all sorts of dyeing and spinning mohair, linen and cotton next week.  Great fun.  Thanks Liz at SHeep and SHawl.

Great Yarn

Great Yarn

THE OLD FARM SCENE

It’s funny how you remember every detail of some things you did in your life and other things just slip your mind.  I remember being with my Aunt Milly in a tiny craft store in Longmeadow, Mass.  I saw this delightful embroidery pattern and wanted it, it reminded me of all my wonderful days spent at Old Sturbridge Village.  She bought it for me .  I spent hours and hours sitting in front of the fireplace in the Victorian house I lived in, working on this.  It needed cleaning and the frame that it was in wasn’t quite right.

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The old frame has been in my family for a while and with some adjustments it will accommodate the picture.  I love the attention to detail in this. Cat on the roof, the sledders looking like they were doing 100 miles an hour, chickens eating.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a lovely day.  Carole

Lil came over and wanted to play the piano.  

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MORE NOW AND COLD WEATHER-SPINNING ALPACA-NEW OIL TANK

27 12 2013

GOOD MORNING

MORE SNOW AND COLD WEATHER

We had a couple of inches of snow and the weather has turned cold again.  I wonder how my friends in Ireland are as they were suppose to have winds up to 90 miles an hour and expected flooding.

SPINNING ALPACA

I found this bag of alpaca that I have had for sometime.  I want to make some hats to sell and decided to spin up the whole bag.

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 I am spinning it rather thick so it won’t take that long. Its a nice shade of brown.

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I do love spinning on my Irish wheel. spinning brings one a sense of peace.  I good way to wind down from those busy days of the holidays.  I will be teaching a How To Spin Class at Sheep  soon.  

NEW OIL TANK

Today  my oil company is installing a new oil tank.  My old one was very rusty and old.  I want to get away from oil but  I have to say its nice not worry about heat and just switching it on but there is a cost to that luxury. This house is not easy to heat.  The kitchen is by itself and frequently has frozen pipes in the winter .  I have a wood stove in there and keep that going during the day and the oil picks up at night.  I have a pellet stove in the  diningroom but at the moment it need cleaning.  I hope Chris and I can do it and I can get that going.  Both those things require lots of work and time and money.   It would be nice if I could figure out a way to have one simple thing to heat the house with.  I have thought of a chimney going through the center of the house.  There was one there once but it was taken down.  A brick chimney running through the house and exposed may be the answer.  A Russian Fireplace comes to mind  but they are extremely expensive to build .  The Europeans have long know how to heat their homes with AGA stoves which heat the house and also heat hot water, I have looked into them and they cost around $5000, it would a good choice for the kitchen thought and then I would have hot water and no more pipes to freeze.  I think the pay back time would be quick.

 I am familiar with Ireland more than other countries, their cost for fuel is much higher than here in the states, of course ours are subsidized by the government.   Because we have always stayed in self catering cottages we have become very familiar with different heating and hot water systems.    Instant hot water was something that I found to be so efficient.  Why have we not done that in this country.  I know the systems are out there but if everyone had them imagine the savings .  My boiler runs all summer just to keep the hot water hot.  What a waste.  I do want to install that system in my house.  Everytime I go to Florida I am amazed at how few houses have solar on them.  It wouldn’t take long to get your money back on solar there.  Until oil goes up to maybe 5 or 6 dollars a gallon people don’t care.  So far this season I have spent 1000 dollars, I will get another delivery today with will be 250 gallons at 4 a gallon so about 1000 dollars, that will last for a month or 6 weeks depending on the weather.  I will spend over 3000  dollars in oil this year.  The wood was free gathered around here and pellets are about 240 a ton and I use 2 tons.  One system would be the answer.  Changes like that need a lot of thought.

I hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are in this world. I thank you so much for reading my blog today.   Carole





THE SPINNING WHEEL-MRS. BROWN

21 11 2013

HELLO,

THE SPINNING WHEEL

Enjoy the sound of  the wheel.  This wheel makes one slow down.  It will not be spun fast, it must have a slow pace to spin the best yarn

      (i HOPE THIS WORKS)

I love my Irish spinning wheel. In the mid 90’s a trip was planned to visit James Shield of Carndonagh, County Donegal to pick up a spinning wheel.  The arrangements were made by calling James and ordering one, the butcher shop took the call and got James on the phone, he only lived across the street.  He told me to come along, he always had wheels going and I could pick the color of wood I liked.

I had found his name in a crafts book I had picked up on an earlier trip.  In the book were names of three people making wheels including James but sadly James was the  only one left making them.  Now I found out that he was the last Master Spinning Wheelwright in Ireland.

The shop was in the back of his house, a wonderful well light shop with wheel parts everywhere ready to assemble . I met his wife and son and had a delightful visit and picked out my wood.  My wheel happens to be made of a mahogany Church Pew.   He scoured the strands (beaches) for parts of boats and wood washed up on shore  Two days later my wheel was done and I had spent those two days enjoying the time touring the Inishowen Peninsula and would do that for longer periods again on other trips.  WHen I picked it up you could still smell the polish on the wood.  Another visit and I was wisked off to the top floor of the house to visit with their son weaving on a large loom. it took up the whole  room.  He was weaving to sell to the local store.  Beautiful work.

In those days you could bring anything on a plane, the bottom part and legs were packed in my suitcase but the wheel itself was too large for a suitcase so I brought in onboard and put it under the seat. James is gone now but on my next trip to Donegal I plan to stop in the shop and visit with his son.  Check out their website at johnny@apinningwheels.ie

SPINNING THE WOOL

SPINNING THE WOOL

THE PLYING IS DONE

THE PLYING IS DONE

READY FOR A PROJECT

READY FOR A PROJECT

MRS. BROWN 

Mrs. Brown and I made a quick trip back to the vets to get some eye ointment and I watched Dr. COnnor give her the meds.  I was having such a hard time getting the meds into Hazel and Mrs. Brown.  I think I have got it now.  She is glad to be home.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole





OLIVER – FERAL CATS – OLD COOKBOOK RICE PUDDING -SPINNING TARGHEE ROVING

11 12 2012

HELLO

OLIVER

Oliver came home from Brookside Animal Hospital today.  He had quite an ordeal, with dental extractions and fixing some ingrown nails.  I feel such a sense of relief knowing that he is not in any pain now.    He was given a shot of antibiotics that will last 2 weeks.

ALMOST HOME

ALMOST HOME

The sedative that was given to him at home worked but didn’t make him sleep, I finally had to get my fire tending gloves to catch him.   Our vet Dr. Funk explained that if cats don’t get to mingle with humans when they are very  young they will remain feral.  Poor Oliver accepts me as the person who gives him food and water and cleans his liter box but is afraid of me.   I am going to be spending my night-time hours with him in hopes that he will come around a little.  Dr. Funk would like to keep his nails trimmed so in 2 months time we should make a return visit. 

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OLIVER FINALLY ENJOYING HIS FANCY FEAST

MY GRANDMOTHER COOKBOOK

This cookbook was given to my Mom, it belonged to my Grandmother who passed away before my Mother met my Dad.    It is a well used book and its fragile, I hope someday to look through it and use some of the recipe’s.

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OLD FASHIONED RICE PUDDING

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This was a dessert staple in my family home and I still make it.  Its filling and tasty and a good way to use up extra milk.

4 cups of milk                                                     2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup uncooked rice                                    1/2 tsp. salt

(not quick cook rice )                                      1 tsp. vanilla

grated nutmeg                                                  3/4 cup raisins

Put all ingredients except the grated nutmeg and raisins into a large casserole baking dish and stir together.  Add the grated nutmeg on top and bake in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.  During the first hour stir 2 or three times with a fork so the rice will not settle on the bottom.  After this add 3/4 cup raisins and stir.

When cooled enough store in the fridge.

This is good served warm or cold.    ENJOY

SPINNING TARGHEE

I have been cleaning  in my room full of boxes of wool and yarn and I found this green Targhee roving.  I love the variation in colors.  I plan to get some smaller amounts of dyed roving spun up and make some fingerless gloves to sell next fall.

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Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a wonderful day.    Carole

 

 

 





OLD SWEATER – PINEAPPLE POMANDER

4 12 2012

HELLO

The weather is too warm with temps almost in the 60’s today.  It will be in the 40’s tonight and almost the same tomorrow.  My pussy willows are budding.  The same thing happened last winter too.  They budded at this time of year, but they were still beautiful in the spring.

THE OLD SWEATER

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This is my old sweater. I wear it all the time, it’s an old friend. It is close to 30 years old.  I thought it was older but did my calculations again.  I bought the wool from a farm during a shearing day.  Picked out the sheep and her name was Lydia.  She was beautiful.  I  spun all the wool and knit this sweater using the old Jackie Fee book for help.  When the sweater was finished I showed it to the farmer and she said oh too bad I didn’t realize the wool was so nice and Lydia went to market.  That made me feel so sad.  That is one of the reasons I decided to get a few sheep.

I just recently came across an article about a group of women getting out the information that local yarns and handspun yarns last a lot longer than commercial yarns.  This seems to be true.  I see people at sheep and wool festivals with the same sweaters on from year to year.  

Of course good care at the end of the winter seasons will keep a sweater in good shape.  All my sweaters are hand washed  and stored with some essential oils and this one had pennyroyal and mint in the box.  It smells wonderful and the pennyroyal keeps the moths away and the mint keeps the mice away.

PINEAPPLE POMANDER

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Ingredients:

1 pineapple

whole cloves

cinnamon

Using the pineapple itself as the pattern poke the cloves into the grid-work.  You will need to get them as close as you can.  When it’s all done roll the pineapple in cinnamon and either hang it to dry or place it in a platter with greens.  I have never done this but I  do the same with  oranges  every year.  They last for years and I hope the pineapple does too.

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I tried several things to make the holes although most time the clove will go in, but a large metal sewing needle does the trick.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and I hope you have a wonderful evening.     Happy Pomander making.         Carole





THE YARN – PLANTING HYACINTHS – DATE NUT LOAF

16 11 2012

HELLO

The sunset was spectacular tonight.  Looking to the west it was peachy oranges with lavender and gray clouds and looking towards the east it was pink and blues.

Its chilly and ice froze on the bucket that I don’t have plugged in last night.

 

 

 

 

 

DATE NUT BREAD

I had lost my favorite date nut recipe, had it for many years.  I used to listen to Gus Saunders’ Yankee Kitchen on WBZ- Radio in Boston in the 80’s and got many wonderful  recipe’s including that one.  After I went to Nova Scotia in the fall of 2011 my friend Susan, sent me  a recipe book called “Taste of Nova Scotia”.  What a great book chock full of great recipe’s. including one for date nut bread and it was very similar to the one I used.  I did change it some reducing the sugar, it taste wonderful.

OLD  KITCHEN TOOLS

 

 

 

 

 

I remember seeing this cute nut chopper all my life.  It could have been my grandmothers for all I know.  I am still using it and it still does a good job.

GETTING THE HYACINTHS GOING

 

 

 

 

I have found some of the hyacinth glasses today and decided it was time to get them going.  I have had  the bulbs in the fridge for at least 6 weeks.  You fill the glass just to the end of the bulb.  You will have to watch the water level daily.  Keep in a cool place until some growth shows on the top.  I just love the smell of these in the middle of winter.

WOOL FROM THE BAG

I started making a hat from the wool from the bag but most of it is very coarse so it will go into a rug instead.  I am going to start a hat tonight from Wilbur yarn and some Targhe yarn that I have left.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you have a wonderful day.

Carole

 





READING SHEEPISH – BAG OF WOOL – SPINNING AND DYEING

16 11 2012

HELLO

SHEEPISH

 

 

 

 

 

I am still reading Sheepish, having it in the barn means I only read a chapter or so a day.  Catherine Friend was worried about how sheep effected the environment.   She found out that they are actually good for the environment.  Now sheep and goats are being used in land were fires are prevalent to keep a large area clear of scrubby growth, they are also used on power lines to keep the growth down.  

Wool ranks third in the worlds natural fiber, Jute second and Cotton first.  Although we in the United States are doing well in reducing insecticides when producing cottons so much of our clothing comes from countries that don’t.  I was so amazed at how many chemicals go into making cotton.  It makes one think about buying any cotton clothing.  Buying organic is great but where to find it and when you do it so expensive. 

I thought that this book would be a frivolous book about sheep, you know the kind of book that entertains but you don’t learn anything.  I was quite wrong.  This book has given me a lot to think about.  I highly recommend it.

BAG OF WOOL

 

 

 

 

I have this bag of wool which has been sitting on my porch for ages.  I just don’t know what to do with it.  Its full of all sorts of dyed stuff.  Bits and pieces left over from dyeing, not the best wool but good enough for a pair of socks or some mittens.   Most would throw this away but this wool came from my sheep, there are parts that will go into the mulch but a good part will be made into something useful.    So today I am going to spin some of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIN OF CAMPBELLS TEA

 

 

 

 

I have had this tin of tea since I was in Scotland almost 20 years.  Tonight I used the last of it for the dye for the quilt squares.  

Thank you for reading my blog and hope you have a wonderful day.

Carole