Friday, July 31, 2009

TEA & handmade folk art

(items above are from 2008; visit TEA tomorrow night to see what we have for 2009!)
I belong to a small online group called The Eclectic Artisans (TEA). We have been friends for a few years and started selling our handmade folk art as a group in 2008. We update 4 times a year and our 3rd webshow of 2009 is tomorrow night. Feel free to invite your friends to come for a visit as well. Our themes this time are Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. This is the link to our homepage, though individual pages won't be available until the show opens for business:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Inheritance

I know I said I was taking a break from crafting this month,
but I inherited this thing from both my parents...
Busy Hands Syndrome. Even when they were sitting around the table or out on the porch, they were busy with their hands. I remember over the years watching Daddy piddle with some little something, carving a piece of wood, making a drinking cup from a tin can, a piece of metal, and some rivets, working on a radio that had quit working, strumming his guitar, making bird calls just by holding his hands together and blowing...juuuuust right ~ he taught me how to do those calls...
and Mama would be reading (holding a book in her hands), looking through an old time gospel song book, sketching a dream she'd had the night before, writing a friend or relative, signing a birthday card to put in the mail, quilting, making little kazoo-like sounds by holding a blade of grass between her thumbs and blowing...juuuuust right ~ and she taught me how to do that!
They taught me so much more, but it's comforting to think of those little, silly things... it takes me back home in my mind. Since both of them have passed away, I have to be content with going back home only in my mind now.
Getting back to the title of the post ~ and my inheritance:
No matter where I am,
I always feel like I should have something in my hands,
accomplishing something,
making the most of my time,
even if it's a little silly and fun.
So while sitting in the evenings with my husband (and our kids, when they aren't too busy with other things), I decided I'd do a bit of crocheting. I went out in my workroom, rummaged around and found a hook and some cotton yarn that I'd purchased with the intentions of making a honeysuckle hued scarf, and started making these dishcloths...
I think I've found a new hobby via my inherited busy hands syndrome.

I'll probably be making plenty of these dishcloths and washcloths.
I know what family members will be getting for Christmas and for birthdays...
and I know what little extras I can make to fill the empty spaces on my website...

While searching for 19th century crochet books, I ran across this book which told about working children in 1864. Here is just a small excerpt:
Mary Croly, crochet worker.—Suppose I'm about 18. Have been at crochet 9 or 10 years. Learned at a crochet school, a largo room in a shop, where there were a great many girls, 100 I should think. There are no crochet schools now, but girls get together in houses, half-a-dozen or so together, as they can work quicker so. Have often got up at 6 on a summer morning and worked till 9 p.m., but never longer ; but lots of girls work all day till 11 and 12 p.m. ; when crochet was good some would stop up till 2 a.m., but I think not later. Each worker carries her work to a crochet shop from which they have got the work out. When crochet was good I would think nothing of earning 8s. a week, but now I can only earn 3s., working from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. This is not clear, but there is perhaps 6d. off for thread. Gives mother what I earns. Left school to go to crochet, and have never been to any school since, only to a chapel every night. Had learned very little. Can read very badly.

excerpt from Parliamentary Papers by Great Britian Parliament House of Commons
Childrens Employment Commission 1864

I don't quite think I want to crochet from 6 a.m. till 9 p.m. I'm doing well to work a couple hours on these cloths!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My first curated treasury!

Please come take a look at my first curated treasury on etsy:
I chose items of soft pink to celebrate breast cancer survivors.

I'd love for you to click on the items and leave a comment at the bottom of the treasury if you have time.




Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Love

Since I was married in the summer (this month to be exact), I thought I'd make Love Tokens for my July offerings at Simply Primitives. I really enjoy making these little hand cut / hand woven paper whimsies. My SP page will be updated late tonight or first thing in the morning.
I couldn't stop with just one set, and since I like shabby cottage items, I had to make this set (shown below) for my etsy shop, Simple Joys Paperie.

Thanks for stopping by today!
Take Care & God Bless,

Smokey & Benjamin-Thomas-Scooter

Smokey is 1 year and 4 months old now. He's grown so much in the last several months.
He loves to run with the big horses in our neighbor's fields.

Below is Summer, one of Smokey's friends. He's a sweetie.

Smokey's feeling a little camera shy now...

Smokey has to kiss Roger every time he sees him. Smokey's mama died not long after he was weaned, so Smokey is really attached to Roger now.


Meet Benjamin-Thomas-Scooter.
We got him during the 4th of July weekend (somone had dumped him and his siblings off at my sister's house overnight). I wanted a patriotic name, and was leaning toward Liberty. Jess didn't like that name and suggested Benjamin (Ben Frankin).

We tried that (Benjamin) for a few days but it just didn't seem to work, so then Jess suggested Thomas. That doesn't seem to click either.

Then a couple of mornings ago, Roger called him Scooter and it seemed to fit! Contrary to the photos, he is not a lazy, calm kitten.
He's as hyper and playful as can be and really keeps Sam busy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Today was our Homecoming at church. We had a wonderful service ~ lots of beautiful singing, old-time preaching, and a great dinner afterward! I go to a little country church... out in the country, of course. It's where Roger and I were married 25 years ago the 29th of this month (see photo above and remind me to tell you about my wedding dress sometime later). It's in the community where I lived nearly all my life before I was married. I love that little church and all the people that go there. I have such wonderful memories centered around that sweet church.
When I got home this afternoon and settled down to rest, I checked my email messages. I had several messages from both friends and strangers who had seen my paper wreath in an etsy article! What a pleasant surprise! You may see it here.
I also had a message from a lady who featured my wreaths on her blog, The Modern Mourner. Be sure to visit her blog and leave a comment when you have time.
I love her suggestion to use my wreaths as rememberance wreaths. I have books from my parents' home and this has given me an idea for my own decor. Tokens of remembrance don't have to be only for remembering those that have passed away. We can use these tokens for anything in our lives that we want to remember or commemorate.
I recently took some photos of Smokey and will get them on here in the next few days. I also have photos to share of a new addition to our family. I'll be sharing those too so check back in a day or two...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finger Painting

One reason why I hardly ever wear nail polish:

And here's a sneak peek of the results of playing with paint... and paper:

What I'm working on today will be available on Simply Primitives on the 15th.
Check back then to see the items.
Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Enjoying our Garden...

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a great cook. I cook daily, but it's usually pretty plain stuff... green beans, mac and cheese (though sometimes it's homemade), meatloaf, porkchops, cornbread or garlic biscuits... things like that. Once in a while I'll get out one of my recipe books and try something new.
This evening I tried a couple of new recipes. They are easy to make and made use of the vegetables we have in our garden this summer.
The first dish is Simple Cucumber Salad. We are picking cucumbers daily and I think a person can put up only so many pickles for the coming months. This is one of Emeril's recipes, but with a slight change. I didn't use chives, but instead, added a bit of parsley and tarragon.

Here's the link to Emeril's recipe:

The cucumbers and onions are from our garden.

Next is Squash Casserole. Squash is another vegetable that I am hard pressed to think of new ways to can or freeze it. My sister gave me the recipe that I used for the one pictured below, but I searched online and found one just like it, except for the type of squash. For mine, I used yellow summer squash instead of acorn or butternut:
The squash and onions are from our garden. I made 3 casseroles, one for supper and 2 to freeze for later.

And yes, we still have green beans from last year. I think we are starting on our last dozen jars.

Roger brought in his first ripe tomato this evening. Of course we had to slice it to have with the other dishes.

When I started supper, Roger hadn't gotten home from work yet, so I thought I'd fry the steaks. Roger's the griller, not me. They turned out ok, and I think the old cast iron skillet helped.

Last, we had sliced whole wheat bread (sandwich bread, lol!). I do want to find a book with easy home baked bread recipes ~ suggestions are welcome!

A Simple Joy for you today...

I looked at a Peony early in spring,
That grew in my little front yard;
I gazed at it long, and I thought of it thus,
While placing around it a guard:
It has started in youth, and is vigorous in growth,
Its buds are just forming to bloom,
And soon they will burst into beauty and light,
With the pride that they seem to assume.
But as summer advances, the plant will decay,
And the flowers, that so charmingly shone,
Droop and wither, fall off, and lie on the earth,
Forgotten, uncared for, all gone!
Just so 'tis with man, the bud of his youth
Matures in the days of his prime,
And he droops as old age leads him on the tomb,
Where he falls, too, a victim to time.
But there is this with the man, that is not with the flower-
The deeds to the world he can give;
The name he can leave to embellish an age,
And a soul that immortal will live.
George Adams 1886

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Treasuries on etsy

A big thank you to etsy seller, TheBlueDress, for featuring my Heart in Hand Love Token cards in her treasury and to etsy admin for making it a front page treasury!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pumpkins & Patriots

The Prim and Whimsy Girls are having another Gallery Hop!
Click on the banner below to see all the wonderful offerings:

For this gallery hop, I have painted Perfectly Poised Pumpkins, based on a photo of the cloth pumpkins that I make each year. Click on the photo below to be taken directly to my gallery hop page:

I've been busy with the garden. I canned 6 quarts of bread and butter pickles last night, and sent a big bag of cucumbers, squash, and cabbage to a neighbor this morning. I still have 4 more heads of cabbage in the refrigerator to can or freeze. Maybe, just maybe, I'll have things caught up so that I can enjoy the 4th of July this weekend.
Thanks so much for stopping by!