Archive for the ‘Needle Felting’ Category

My family caught our first bad cold of the Winter. We all go it, to varying degrees. I am happy to say that herbal remedies and lots of Elderberry syrup was all it took to get through it, but the staggering of sickness had us off our game for over a week. Glad to say we are all back to being well, and were so in time for Istra’s 2nd Birthday!

Momma made the little Kitchen helper a new apron, embroidered with a little blonde girl working diligently in the kitchen! She’s happy to wear her new apron while safely standing in her Little Partners Learning Tower.   Her grandparents got together on this one. I was thrilled, because she’s had a couple mishaps with the chair she usually stands on to help, and there is no way I want to deter her, from what seems to be, an inborn passion to cook and wash dishes!

On her birthday the weather was showing all signs of the approaching Spring. Then, 2 days later, the first official day of this new Season was ushered in by a snowstorm!

The Music wall looks so cool, even covered in snow. I can’t wait for the girls to play with that this year!

The Elderberry plants and raspberry bushes in their Spring regalia.

The fence with the branches that will be a lovely trellis for cucumbers this year.

I love listening to the Ducks complain.

Not everyone on the farm complained.  The Rabbits didn’t seem to mind a bit, nor did the litter of 8 kits that are all cozily snuggled in the nest Clementine made for them.  She kindled 9 a couple days ago, but we lost one, at 1 day old.  Not uncommon, and he was pretty tiny compared to the rest.  The others seem to be doing well, and they are starting to get there orange fur.

It may be snowing, but the Arugula Microgreens are doing just fine, inside by the window.

Flowers will be blooming soon, but for now we can enjoy the bouquet from Istra’s Party.

Grammy can enjoy the felted flower her granddaughter’s made with a little help from their mom. Needle felting is such a kid friendly craft, especially with the great forms they have now. The girls made the petals and leaves and I helped with the assembly.

And while the snow came down, we read our new book. The Gardener. It’s a fabulous story told in letter form. I simply love it. I think we may do a little project with the book. It’s set during the years of the Great Depression, and while it mentions the peripheral events, it does not mention the event by name. I love that. The little girl the book follows is a real trooper, and family is so sweetly portrayed. I can’t recommend it enough.

A similar theme, but a very different book, is the The Curious Garden.  We’ve loved that one for a long time now.  It’s about a little boy, who lives in the city, but finds a small patch of Garden.  The Garden needs a Gardener, and though he’s not one, he decides to become one.  It’s sweet.  I love that the gardener is a little boy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your first day of Spring, whether it acted like Spring, or not.


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I've been working on this for a while, off and on.  I keep thinking there is one more thing I want to make before I give it to the girls.  Finally, I decided I could give it to them, if they enjoy it and play with it, and I want to, I can make more later.  So tomorrow morning, when Mini comes out from her night of slumber her farm feltscape will be waiting for her.

The three girls, their Sheep, Horse, Pig, 2 Ducks, 3 chickens, 2 bunnies and basket of carrots were all needle felted.  The plowed field was knit, and sewn to the felted mat that was decorated with needle felted pond, river with bridge and tree.  I love it, and I hope the girls do too.  Some of the figures are too small for The Baby to play with alone, but it was made for both of them, at their different stages of play.

I've seen felted play mats a bunch of times, in different blogs and magazines, and have wanted to make one since seeing the first one.  Oh, cool sidenote, all the wool, except the yarn for the field, came from Riverslea Farm and their locally raised sheep. 




Homestead update:  Molly started building a nest today.  She is due to kindle tomorrow!  The first Muscovy is due tomorrow, to hatch her Muscovy Ducklings.  The Cayuga Ducklings she hatched are doing well inside.  Finally, the first incubation of chicks is scheduled to start hatching tomorrow too!  So there should be fun baby pictures around here, very soon!

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Okay, so the title is probably a bit dramatic…

I did find two very helpful, knowledgeable and kind guys, who were willing to fix my oxygen concentrators.  I use oxygen concentrators to power my oxygen/propane mix torch for bead making.  They are the kind that are used in hospitals and nursing homes, for people who need oxygen.  They take the air and separate the oxygen particles out and filter them through a hose.  I hook that hose to one part of my torch, and a propane tank to another.  The oxygen makes the propane burn cleaner and hotter, to melt the glass more efficiently.  You can use a tank of oxygen, too, but it's a lot more expensive. 

So, anyway, I have 3 used concentrators, that while still very viable, are no longer eligible for medical use.  They have powered my torch for a number of years, until recently.  I called and called and found no one who could fix them, as most places that sell them just send them in for credit when they don't work, because people rely on these things to breath, so you can't have them breaking down.

Finally, I found a place in the Manchester area.  Brought them over, the guys pulled them apart, showed me what needed to be cleaned, how to clean them, attached a couple things that had come loose, found an old owners manual for the one that is still giving me trouble, explained to me how to fix it myself, to avoid a costly repair bill…all that and they wouldn't take any payment!  They were such nice people, and for no other reason, than to be nice.  They didn't need to take any time with me, but I'm extremely thankful they did!  I'm so excited to fire these up and make more beads!

After getting the units fixed I was able to connect with a friend, who lives nearby, and who I haven't seen in far too long.  We had lunch, caught up, and I got to see her new dog and bead making studio.  It was a very lovely day in the Southern part of the state.

Finally, a quick stop at the Fabric Fix, where I found a VERY cool patchwork fabric.  I picked that up with a couple other pieces, a bunch of fold over elastic (my new love), and headed home.



I'm still felting away on the girl's Spring play set.  I worked on her tonight…more on that when the set is done.


Tomorrow is the Farmer's Market in Exeter!  I'll be going with Husband.  Hope to see you there!

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I froze a bunch of the Autumn Olives for when I'd have more time to make them into things, like Jam.  I am not sure I have more time, as I anticipated I would this Winter, but I finally made a batch of Jam.  I used the pink box of the Sure-Jell, that requires no sugar.  I did this so I could just use honey.  This was for a few reasons:

I prefer avoid sugar, if I can.

I liked that I used local Honey so it's all local Jam.

I thought the flavors would go together well.

The jam did jell up, which I often have issues with, so that was good.  It's not as "jelly" as a real jam, but it's quite spreadable, so that is cool.  The flavor is okay.  It's still a bit bitter, but sweet, so I don't think it's a lack of sweetener, I think it's the skin of the berry.  It doesn't make it unpalatable, but it's there.  


I used the Bromioli covers (and jars) to make the jam.  That was a unique experience.  The lids are 1 part and quite sturdy, so they dented out when first applied.  They did pop in, showing a good seal, and were quite a bit more forceful than the faint "bing" that I'm used to.  They seem to work well, and it will be nice to have a cover already on there, that will work fine in the refrigerator.  It's also nice to know that my food isn't sitting there being contaminated with BPA.

I'm working on a little big needle felting project for the girls, though more for Mini, right now, than The Baby.  I'll show more later, but so far, here is a little sneak peek.


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I have been meaning to make a seafood chowder, for a while, but never get around to it.  Since I picked up shrimp from the Market yesterday, I figured now would be a good time.

I sauteed some potatoes, then added shallots, and garlic.  Next came the shrimp, cod and lobster, browned quickly, followed by the milk, cream, salt, pepper parsley, and thyme.  Let simmer for the afternoon. YUM!

I figured I needed something fitting of the butter I made yesterday, so out came the buttermilk for some tasty biscuits…heart shaped of course.  I think I've had these heart shaped cookie cutters for 12 years, and I'm not sure I've ever used them before today!

My Yard: Garlic

Local: Potatoes and Shallots(Meadows Mirth), Lobster (A friend of a friend in Kittery ME), Shrimp and Cod (Eastman Fish), Salt (Maine Salt), Cream and Milk (Brookford), Thyme and Parsley (A friend's Garden), Butter and Buttermilk (Made by me, from Cream from Brookford).

Not Local: Baking Powder, Pepper, Flour

We did have some fun with the hearts today.  Heart shaped pancakes made with Raspberries, making them pink, for breakfast, with a little Mama Made card and felted heart, greeting Mini, this morning. 


Husband found little hearts tucked around his morning routine with little thoughts from me.  He commented that I was very thoughtful and he was very predictable, since I knew every step of his morning.  I think he is pretty predictable, but I like that in a man, especially since he does have a spontaneous flare, keeping him predictable, but not boring.

I hope you had a nice day, spent with someone you love, too.

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Sad to report Elizabeth won't be hatching any eggs for us.  It's probably just as well, since it's getting a bit late for such things, in the season, but it would have been fun.  Josephine is still brooding well, and is very dedicated to her nest of eggs.

Mini and I had some craft time.  We worked on a needle felted picture.  She loves doing this kind of activity.  I enjoy it too, as long as I can keep my hands away from her needles!!  She does a good job of not getting herself, so that is good.


We also made a skirt using the Oliver+S tutorial.  Mini pushed the foot pedal for the machine while I guided the fabric.  It will match the leg warmers her grandmother knit up for her, which she likes wearing even in the warm weather.  We made a pretty good team and she had fun sewing, which is great.  I love giving her the opportunity to be exposed to these crafts at such a young age.  Sure she might not be ready to do them on her own, but when she is ready she will have such a head start on understanding how things work.


Farmer's Market in Portsmouth tomorrow!  I'm going to try to buy some flowers for the garden. I focus so much on the veggies, but really,flowers do great things for a veggie garden by attracting all kinds of good bugs.  I tried to pick out some flowers last Saturday, but became too overwhelmed.  We've planted quite a few things since then, and I have a better idea of what space I have available.  So that should help.

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FOR TODAY, Wednesday April 15, 2009

Outside my window… the spinach, peas and swiss chard have been planted. 


I am thinking… Caroline Ingalls (mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder) was quite a gal.  Journeying with her husband and small children to an unknown area, planting gardens, building a home while tending to children, without the use of electricity, or running water.  Today while I was wearing the baby in her wrap, wearing my linen dress with bloomers, and planting peas, I felt very akin to Caroline, but only in a small way.

From the kitchen… Spaghetti!  I have some delicious homemade sauce that I made with canned tomatoes from the summer. YUM!  For after dinner snack, custard…mmmm.

I am wearing… My "little house" outfit of a linen dress and bloomers.  I love linen dresses with bloomers, even better than my old stand by of jeans and a black t-shirt.

I am creating… a sweater for the baby.  I should be making her another wool soaker.  Maybe that will be my next project.

I am going… to the Jenness Farm Open House, probably on Saturday!  Sugar Mama will be there, and I need Maple Syrup, I'm totally out, so I'm excited about getting more.  I'm also going to bring dad to Yellow House Farm to get some ideas for our chicken housing needs.  I'm so excited about our poultry plans.

I am reading… Biggle Poultry Book – A Concise And Practical Treatise On The Management Of Farm Poultry.  Recommended reading from Joseph at Yellow House Farm.  He had a super cute original copy that was about the size of a 3×5 card, and so adorable, and old, and yellowed.  I got the re-release that is not nearly as cute, but has the old fashioned looking type, so that is cool.

I am hoping… the government will someday become small and humble, being servants of the people, so we are truly represented in the law making body of our country. 

I am hearing… Husband reading the book Little Tom Turkey
to Mini, and the baby making little sweet cooing noises while she cuddles in the blanket next to me.
Around the house… gardening is taking priority over everything else.

One of my favorite things… Iced Shooshy La La Chai.  I'm so glad Iced Tea Season is coming back.  I like hot tea, but not as much as I like it Iced.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Celebrating Mom's Birthday when she gets back from visiting my Aunt, this weekend.  Transplanting the seedlings…I have everything I need, now to find the time.

A picture thought to share:


Mini learned a little bit about how to needle felt today.  She picked the colors and where to put them, and did the felting herself, with a little help initially placing the small bits so she wouldn't stab herself.  She decided it was a blanket for her baby, and had as much fun putting it on the doll, as she had making it.

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