Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another New Year's Eve

It has been  roller coaster of a year. As you can see from my post's I did well in the beginning of the year. But piddled out at the end. The normal life stuff got in the way. There was a death in the family and my father-in-law became the administrator for the estate. The estate is in Florida and that means my mother-in-law needs to be taken care of. So there have been several sleep over weeks at the farm.

So with that and there was a period of some tightening of the belt. An still we made it to the end of the year. This is all good and I of course wanted to post my New Years Eve post. Which I have done for quit a while now.

As tradition hold I will not talk about plans for next year until then. So for the moment please enjoy your plans to ring in the new year. For I will see you all tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Herb Sale

This past Thursday was the Philadelphia chapter of the American Herb Society annual herb sale. So yes I happened to attend. We weren't able to attend last year. So we made up for it this year. I got some common plants but the cool things that I got are fun.

I picked up a Bitter Orange plant which I just found out is bergamot which I had thought was a leafy herbs. Well at an rate i have a bitter orange tree. The second is Turmeric witch I thought would be fun and something I have never grown. They did have ginger but you can go to the store and pickup a couple of roots and plant them. The final interesting and different spice i picked up is Cardamon. Another plant I have never grown so we will see how they all work out.

As always this is a fun sale and if you are ever in PA in May. They hold the sale the Thursday before Mothers Day RAIN or SHINE. You need to stop by you will truly enjoy yourself.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Field Trip

Well now that I have the gardens I have to fill right. Well the side garen outside my studio is going to be a dye garden. An what does that mean? That means  rip to a herb farm to get some dye plants. Well actually I have some growing and I have some in seed for but I wanted some that I don't have.

A trip to Well Sweep Herb Farm was in order. I believe I has mentioned them before. They have just about everything and other then a couple of mints and a clematis. Every thing I got was dye plants and the owner was a bit impressed by the project. Which is cool in my book every one is really nice and helpful.

We also stopped by for a double lecture on native plants. How to plant them and what they sell in the native plant species. which was a great learning experience and a project for another day.

So back to the dye plants, Since I have several of my own I only needed a small amount. They are as fallows.

  • True Indigo
  • Woad
  • Senna
  • Alkanet
  • Golden Rod
  • Calendula
  • Field Horsetail
What I have in the house is dyers chamomile, nettle, madder, official elecampane, french marigold, our lady's bedstraw, hopi blue corn and hopi black sunflower (I've thought this to be blue but will see). In reality this is going to be a really nice dye garden. Plus Well Sweep has a lot more in the dye plant area. So I can always get more if I like.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Garden Stage 2

Ed and I just finished step two in the back yard garden. I finished removing the weeds and grass on Monday. Yesterday I installed the trellises and today we both installed the rocks for the border. To distinguish between the garden and the path. Time to go and plant.

Monday, May 1, 2017


A project that Ed and I have been wanting to do for bout eight years. Was to remove the fence in our back yard. And have it all open. Children playing baseball on the corner kept hopping the fence and never asking if they could enter the yard to get there ball. So at the time it made the most sense.

At the time my Brother-in-Law and now wife had moved in and they had dogs. So we decided not to go through with our plans. We became okay with it, with them here we rarely used the back yard. We left it alone, they moved out for about a year and then moved back. Again not really feasible to do, so we left it alone.

Over those years the wall holding the dirt off the pavement had crumbled. Which meant the wall of course needed to be replaced. To make our lives easier and since we wanted to do this for ever. We removed the fence, made life a dream. The wall that we built was a stone wall.

You see the farm is actually on a mountain. So there are a lot of stones everywhere. I mean to the point we should have enough stone on the property to build the farmhouse out of stone. So we decide to collect some of those stones and bring them down to the house for the wall.

The wall itself is a stacked wall, which means there is no mortar in between the stones. If you are ever out in the country and see divider walls of stone. They are most likely just stacked with out mortar. That is exactly what we did, when you do that you need a good mix of stone. Large and small and everything in between.

We also decided to turn the back yard into a garden for our selves. So after the wall was built I started removing the grass and weeds. I actually finished that today. So all that is left is to `layout the garden and path. Once that is done I can start to plant. We decided to use the left over stone for that part. It will just tie it all together.

A little extra piece is a grape arbor. I have two grape vines. One is out front and I use the porch as the trellis/arbor. The second is a wild grape that came up from us spitting grape seeds in that area. That one needs a arbr to grow on. We tried just lashing it together but it wouldn't stay up. So I bolted it together and it has thus far stayed in place. If it does fall, just to fall then it goes and unfortunately so does the vine. The grape needs something to grow on or it will kill everything around it.

There is still plenty of work to be done. So this is only the beginning stages. Still it looks good for the beginning.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lenape Fiber uses and Spinning Techniques

Today was a bit of work but we also had fun too. We went to the Lenape Indian Museum. They happened to be demonstrating what the Lenape people did for fibers and weaving. Well they didn't use animal fibers, they did of course use leather. They fibers they used where plant fibers such as nettle, milk weed, blood root and different tree barks. If I paid attention The strongest fiber they had was blood root.

They used an awl to poke holes in the leather before sewing. That was a beaver tooth, then they just used the sinew of the deer as sewing thread. Before beads they used porcupine quills to do there embellishments.

The most unusual thing I didn't know about. They didn't use a drop spindle to spin there fiber. They did it all by had, ALL OF IT. They would spin the fiber between there thumb and four finger. Then twist it over another bunch of fiber. So by hand they would be spinning and plying at the same time. The demonstrator gave us a piece of raffia to try our had at it. Ed had five minutes then he was done. I did my piece and then his.

It was a really good time. I learned quite a bit and had fun with it. If you are ever in the Allentown Area stop by the Museum. They do have events all year plus they do a really good Pow Wow they call the roasting of corn festival. That is in August. So if you get the chance to go you just may see us there.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Crystal and Gem Show

I'm not sure if I have mentioned it in the past. But something I have been doing for years is to collect crystal, gems, minerals and the like. Today one of the local Lions club chapters held a crystal, mineral show and we went. Ed has said he has been to it in the past and it was very large when he went. Well this year, it being at a local high school it wasn't as large as past shows. Or at least what he remembers when he went to them.

I actually did very well with finding some fun stuff. I picked up a gem quality opal. I believe it to be a Golden Opal, it is very pretty and caught my eye. I also got an Irradiate quartz, Shiva Lingham (I have seen them in the past and found them to be pricey). An a Apache Tear, Prenite, two Tremolites (not sure why two), Bismuth, Pyrite.

I also picked up a grab bag, in traditional grab bag fashion you have no idea what you are getting. I think I did really well with this bag. I got two Amethysts, the one is regular and the other is specked with Red Hematite. I also got some Calcite, a bag of tumbled stone and some Sand Selinite.

All in all I think I did really well with every thing and had a wonderful time. I enjoy going to those types of events. So when they come up I try to go if at all possible.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Birthday Presents

Ed and I had the pleasure of attending our Great Nieces first birthday party. Well with all parties of this nature you need to take a gift. So we did buy a couple of things, I also made some thing as well. I wanted to make her a toy. Well I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do. I had come across a crochet bird pattern. So I decided to make one.

The original is actually made of wool. I decided to go with cotton it's easier to keep clean. All you need to do is through it in the washer and dryer and your good to go. the pattern is very interesting I had never done the magical circle before. It made it much easier to do then a chain method. The only thing I wouldn't do is use the magic circle for something flat. It naturally cups as you go around so your not able to have a flat piece. It looks more like a bowl. At any rate it is still much easier then the chain method.

Another gift I withed to make her was a bag. The bag itself is store fabric that I sewed into the bag. But what i did do was inkle weave the straps. Since the material is cow print I went with black and white checks to simulate that effect. It came out really well. The party was a wonderful affair and the gifts where well received
. Now I just have to figure what I'm going to make her next.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


I just wanted to give every body a quick update. I have all of my seeds for this year, finally. They took a bit to get here. But in the end they all arrived safe and sound.

I purchased all heirloom as I always do. I also got the usual suspects of seeds int= the veggie department. I also picked up some dying corn's, blood butcher, Hopi blue and glass popcorn. I saw the glass ones last year but I wasn't able to get my hands on any. I also got my hands on some coffee beans to plant and a dragon palm ( more about that in a minute). I also wanted to get my self cotton again. I wanted to try the green and brown varieties. I had both before but I screwed up and planted them directly out in the yard. They took to long to germinate and never matured in enough time. So this year I'm going to start them all inside and they should do much better. The final seed's I picked up are flower seed for cutting, but I also picked up some decorative  or ornamental grasses as well. To add some interest into the arrangements.

The dragon palm (also known as Dragon Blood Palm) is the producer of the resin Dragons Blood. The resin is used in medicine, incense and spiritual work. The legend goes as the last dragon was slain his blood spilled over the land. Since dragons blood is toxic it called everything it touched and let the land desolate. Some years later in the center of this desolate land something appeared to grow. As it grew it became a palm tree. This palm tree when it bloomed had the most fragrant sent coming from it's petals. As the tree matured a very fragrant resin appeared on the tree. It was believed that this resin was what once was the blood of a dragon. It is a highly prized and beautiful herbs with it's deep red color.

So we actually only have a couple of day's until the first day of spring. Then finally we can see some new life with in the area. An warm weather yes, hooray for Spring.

Philadelphia Flower Show

A week ago today Ed and I went to the Holland themed Philadelphia Flower Show. An yes they had a lot of tulips but that wasn't the only thing. To our surprise they had a lot of industrial pieces through out the displays. They also had a lot of vegetable gardens incorporated in there displays as well. Pus bicycles were also a large piece in this years accent's. I realize I am late with post my trip. But I was a bit busy this week so I really didn't have a chance until now.

I typically post all the pictures that I took. There are well over two hundred so with out an album it just isn't going to make much sense. With that said I am only going to post a few of the pictures here. This is one of those trips that we haven't made in a couple of years. We are glad we made it to this one.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New York

This past weekend we went on a little trip into the city. You see Santa brought me a couple of tickets to see Wicked. If you ever get the chance to see it go for it. This was my first venture to a Broadway show and I am glad I did. The show is well worth the experience.

So we didn't have to rush for the bus we decided to stay over. We got our selves a room at The fabulous Roosevelt Hotel in Mid-town. The best part of where the hotel is situated, you are blocks away from everything. The cathedral and Rockefeller Center are just down the street. As is Grand Central Station. Time Square is a bit further but no horrible of a walk. Then you can also make your way up to Central Park. All is in walking distance.

This was a wonderful and well deserved trip. Something that we don't get to do for our selves. So we are very glad we did this and had an amazing time doing so.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vision Board

Well it has been a while. So I decided that the first project of the year is  Vision Board. I plan on using it exactly what it is intended for. The cool thing about this project I had 90% of everything. I only had to get a couple of items to complete this board.

For this project I used foam cord board. It was something I had from another project that never got used. I started by covering it with batting. To make life easier I used spray glue to attach it. This makes every thing run more smoothly.

I decided to add herbs to the board. I used a mix of rosemary, lavender, cinnamon and ginger. I sprinkled them on top of the batting. Then covered it with the fabric before I flipped it over to secure the fabric to the wrong side.

Then I secured the fabric with glue. My reason for this is simple. I attached the ribbon by staples. So I felt it made more sense to glue then staple. Than to staple everything and it worked out quite nicely.

After I attached the ribbons I wanted to secure them where they crossed each other. i used fasteners to do this. I first poked holes just under where the ribbons crossed. Then attached the fasteners. This actually makes the board look nicely quilted.

After That all that was left is to cover the back. I like having a finished look. So that is why I fabric'd the back. But you certainly don't need to if you don't want to.

So this is the finished product. I had a lot of fun with this project and can't wait until my next one.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

I would like to wish Everyone a Happy New Year!!!!!!!

With all the difficulties of last year. Actually at the end we made out alright with some head way. Which mean it gives me some room to work on projects and get some blogging done. Actually to have the ability to blog because I will have things to blog about.

With all of that said we have entered a time of new possibilities and opportunities. It is then up to us, how we choose to deal or handle them. We are the ones to make our future great and in the end we are the ones that need to live with our decision, no one else. So let us make the right decisions for ourselves and no one else.

May your New Year be filled with health, happiness, possibilities and prosperity. Let no one stop you from uptaining your happiness. Many Blessing to you all.