I found some yarn in Michael’s that I just fell in love with. I suppose it would be considered a novelty yarn. All I know is that as soon as I touched it I knew I had to make something with it. That something turned out to be a shawl that I found the pattern for in a small book in the store.
AS soon as I find the label I’ll edit this and put down the yarn I used. I can’t find it right now, (blush). It’s a bulky yarn that is kind of like a chenille on steroids. Fuzzier and much softer but with that sort of look. It’s totally lucious to touch and you really just want to sink into it.
This is the shawl I made. I had to learn how to do a Broomstick Lace stitch. It was a very odd stitch to understand, but once I learned it I loved how it looked. The shawl is soooo warm! The color reminds me of Neopolitan Ice Cream. I love how it came out.
When the van first broke down, as it always seems to be the case, it was during that week that we barely got above 0 degrees even during the day. My poor sweetie was out in that all day trying to fix the van. For 4 days he froze his bits and bobs off, and his face was practically numb it was so cold. I decided to try my hand at a helmet liner, or balaclava.
I found lots of patterns online. I started one and it was going great until I got to the part where the opening is. I couldn’t figure that out for anything, so I found another pattern and used that one for the opening. There was a bit of tweaking, but it worked out. The only thing I didn’t like was how short it is. It looked a LOT longer in the picture, even though I know I measured it and made it to the size they called for. Next time I would make it much longer and do it with a bigger hook so that it was more of a dickie look before moving into the neck part.
Still, it fits the sweetie fine and he LOVED wearing it the other day while spending hours snowblowing after the storm. He said his face was actually hot. yay! The yarn is Cascade 220 washable wool in a dark green.
I’ve been wanting to try learning to make baskets. I’m always looking for something different to make to add to my things for sale at the store. I looked at a lot of basket patterns and got the general gist of how it works and set down to make my first ones. These are made out of tshirt yarn that I salvaged from the sweetie’s old tshirts. I like the rag rug look. I’m going to stiffen them up and put a bowl in them to get the shape to really set, but I don’t want them too stiff. Just enough to add a little body to them. I like how they came out overall. I’m thinking of weaving some ribbon in to dress them up a little.
Since I’ve been making nice warm wristers for others and my hands are always cold at my computer, I finally sat down to make myself a pair. I bought this really pretty pattern for a set of cabled fingerless gloves and a cabled headband. I started them last night and one glove is about halfway done, even with having to rip it out and start over. They are going to be soooo soft and pretty and really warm. I’ll get pictures of those up when they’re finished. I’ll also show you my newest earrings, which are made with crochet thread and look like tiny doilies.
Talk to you all again soon!
So how did you all fare through the storm?
Here in Massachusetts we got pretty nailed. The coast actually got a little more than we did, which is fairly unusual. It was compared to the storm of ’78 up here, but in the most important ways, it was easily not as bad.
Yes, there was lots of snow, but we knew this was coming a week ahead of time. We had so much warning that anyone who was not prepared deserved what they got, imo. In 1978 there was nowhere near the ability to foresee the amount of information that we have now. That storm really caught everyone off guard.
Here where I live, we got about 2 ft. of snow. It was very windy, which wasn’t helping matters. The darker pictures were taken at approx. 3:30 in the morning, about halfway through the storm. The really big lump is our Saturn car with just the mirror sticking out the side. I had to push the door open as best I could and get out and shovel just enough space to swing the door open so the dogs could get out to do their business. By the time the storm was done, the only proof that I had shoveled in the middle of the night was a slightly lower look to the level of the snow in that space.
We were very lucky in that we did not lose power once the whole storm. There were over 625,000 people without power the last time I heard a count. Some of them are still waiting to have power restored. We were as ready as could be, but I was glad we didn’t have to deal with it afterall.
This weekend the Sweetie and I took a big jump ahead on the prepping front. We found the nearest LDS Cannery and had at it.
Before I get into that however, I want to tell you where my thoughts are on this whole thing.
First came the “omg, who would eat all this and why do I need to store it up?”
Then came “omg, how am I going to collect all this?”
Then the somewhat dismayed “omg, how am I going to save all this?”
Then I was back to a slightly familiar “WHY do I need to save ALL this?”
I read a lot of prepping and homesteading sites and I notice there tends to be a big difference in attitudes about the whole thing. There are those who are, in my opinion, way over the top. They would have you turn your entire house into an armed and armored bunker and give everyone ranks and everything about their lives is about killing and maiming everyone else for one reason or another. Not my thing. Some are going for the long haul. 30 year supplies and hunkering down in a hole until its all over. Not really my thing either. Others are a bit more pragmatic about the rising costs of food and the possible need to have supplies for lean times to come. Honestly, that’s more the side of the fence I fall down on. Now I have bits and pieces of the others, but on the whole, I think its just a practical good idea to have some stockpiles around…just in case.
I read on someone’s website that the greatest enemy to food stores are light, oxygen, critters, dampness and hungry folks. I can solve all those. But a lot of the things on the lists are not things my family would really eat. One thing I read that stuck with me is that if your family doesn’t eat it now, they won’t want to eat it later. I tweaked my list. I noticed that most people store wheat berries rather than flour. When I asked why, the answer was that berries last 30 years, whereas flour only lasts 10 years. Well, I don’t have a grain mill, and having read how long it takes to hand grind flour to the right consistency, I wasn’t overly happy about that prospect.
Then I thought more about it… In 30 years I’ll be 81 years old. Do I really expect to still be eating 30 year old wheat berries at 81? Truthfully no. I think this is one of those cases of a little over the top. 10 years makes me happy enough. In this case, I was able to get the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, but had I not been able to get them, I still have found no definitive reason why packing it with my seal-a-meal wouldn’t have worked just fine. I tested it and it makes a solid brick. No different than the oa packs made. I’m storing it in my very temperate, cool basement in industrial thickness barrels in the dark. Critters can chew through these barrels (from experience I know this) so every enemy of food is solved, other than the hungry two-foots. I may still have to resort to this since the cannery is about an hour away and not something I can do all the time.
Now… ::drumroll:: For my weekend shopping trip I present to you…
25 lbs of sugar
25 lbs of potato flakes
12.5 lbs of cocoa
25 lbs of pinto beans
25 lbs of oatmeal
1 #10 can of refried beans ( I wanted to try them out before buying 25 lbs of it. )
2.8 lbs bag of pancake mix ( I wanted to try it out first as well. I usually use Bisquick for pancakes, but not sure that I can save Bisquick, so thought I would try this. )
60 lbs of White Wheat Flour. (I ordered this from Price Chopper when it was on sale. It’s hard to find up here and when I saw they had it I was stoked. Been reading about white flour and diabetes and not a huge fan of red wheat, then found out about this variety of wheat. So far so good!) BTW, the flour was Hodgson Mill flour.
Next trip I plan to get 25 lbs of dried carrots, onions and non-fat dry milk powder. Also plan to start getting things like dried cheese powder, butter flakes and dried eggs (although I want to try making my own as well with my dehydrator).
So there you have it. My weekend. Hope you had a great one, too!
Well, folks, I’m back. I took a little hiatus because it was just too busy and I had so many things going on that I just didn’t have another brain cell left to devote to anything else. Something had to give, and it was my blog. Course the one time I did get on and do something I got into trouble. LOL. All is well, though, and Preparedness Pro owner could not have been nicer about forgiving me. It was a good lesson for me to learn anyway
Christmas has come and gone and the new year is here. Ever think about how much stress and busy-ness and rushing around really just comes d0wn to ONE single day? Then BAM! It’s over and you’re exhausted, fatter and thinking…omg only 364 days till next Christmas! lol.
The Sweetie had to work and we have no family up here, so it was a quiet day. Course, the time around it wasn’t quiet, but when the day finally dawned…everything that could/should/had to get done was as done as it was going to get and with a huge sigh, I stayed snuggled up with my quilts and dogs and just vegged out. Then the Sweetie got sick and ended up spending most of the holiday in bed. Poor thing. He worked Christmas day, but ended up taking the next day off because he was so sick. I felt so bad for him. He hardly ever gets sick and almost never for longer than a day or two, but this cold really had him down for the count.
New Year’s is really not a big deal to me. When I was young it was a great excuse to pig out and stay up till the magical hours of the night that belonged to grown-ups. Of course, this is assuming that I didn’t pass out in a sugar/salt/dairy coma before midnight rolled around. I also simply don’t like to drive, unless its an emergency, because of all the drunks on the roads. Emergencies would include death, dismemberment, hanging limb, bleeding into a bucket, or running out of Cherry Coke.
So as I think about the year to come and this blog, I want to find something that I can do as a weekly thing that would be fun and helpful. Giving that some thought. I know the year has already begun… I’ll do extras to catch up. This is all assuming that I come up with a feasible idea. lol.
That’s all for this post. Just a little catch up. I got behind on reading blogs as well, but working on getting all caught up on what everyone’s been up to. So look for me on your blogs, my friends!
Ta for now!
I put up a post, stipulating where I had gotten the post, because I loved what it said and thought my readers would as well.
I did not realize I was doing something wrong in reprinting an article from this site. The article was from Preparedness Pro and its one of my fav places to go for ideas, recipes and suggestions on ways to better pursue my “frugality” plans.
The owner of the site posted a comment letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that I had done something illegal.
I want to take this time to apologize profusely for doing something wrong. Laws are, as I was told, only as good as those who obey them, and it was never my intention to violate the rules of the site or those laws. I’m still fairly new to blogging and have not done that much in the way of reprinting. That is no excuse for my ignorance and I’m sorry to Preparedness Pro and to Kellene for violating their site.
I hope you guys will forgive me. I am an honest person and a Christian and would never have knowingly done something to harm you or wrong the site or the authors of your articles.
Please accept my apologies and thank you for showing me what things to look for so that I can do a better job with my little blog.
To my readers, I’m sorry as well that you had to read something that was wrongly put up. The Preparedness Pro site rocks totally and I urge you to visit there often for the interesting and very helpful articles.
Again, I apologize.
The hubby and I had a wonderful time this weekend. We went on the Country Roads Christmas Tour for the second year in a row. Last year was our first time and we had so much fun we had the dates for this year marked on the calendar months in advance. 17 stores took part this year.
The idea is to go to each of the 17 stores, visit, relax, maybe do a little shopping, and get a card stamped at each place. Each store has some kind of little treats and drinks set out to welcome visitors and they’re all decked out in their holiday finery.
This year we had snow in the morning and it snowed most of the day. It was colder than last year as well, although Sunday it warmed up nicely and most of the snow was gone by late afternoon. I liked the snow though. It really added to the ambiance of the entire event.
I decided to take pictures of the places we went to share out trip. Unfortunately I only have pictures of the first day, in which we hit 12 shops. The last 5 I have no photos for due to technical difficulties. ((Ok, if you need to go there.. it was due to operator error. Happy? lol ))
I may not get these in the right order, but it doesn’t matter.
We started out at Red Apple Farm. We love going here and its a favorite stop on many of the bus tours during the holidays and leaf-peeping tours. They do their own baking, cider making, and fudge making. All of which are terrible for your waistline but SOOO good in your belly. We just had to start there and get some homemade cider donuts to fortify us for our days adventure. —>
Down to Earth Nursery is a fun place to go. First thing you notice is how good it smells. It’s a small store, but packed with lovely items made with all kinds of pine trees, berries and various greenery. <—
Whiting Farm is adorable. It’s a small cabin with all the personality of a large house. Inside its packed to the loft with rustic and primitive items. They have a great selection of the “grunge” candles, also known as grubbies. They look much better than they sound and yet the name suits them perfectly. lol. It was warm and cozy and you can’t help but feel welcome. —>
King Phillip Restaurant is a staple in the area. They run a lot of specials during the year and there are always cars in the lot. We haven’t eaten there yet, but I’ve heard all good things about the food. Its on our “todo” list still. <—
Krafter’s Krossing is one of those lovely surprises you find when you’re just out riding around on a nice day. That’s how we found it and we loved the discovery. The shop is entrancing. There isn’t a spare bit of space that doesn’t have something adorable, beautiful or vintage sitting on it, hanging from it, or propped against other wonderful items. Its also much larger than it looks from the outside. From vintage jewelry to handcrafted furniture, from retro kitchen gadgets to primitive crafts, they have it all. If you go there, be prepared to spend some time finding all the little wonders tucked in every corner. —>
<– Nouveaux Riches is one of the coolest little shops you’ll go into. The store is filled with truly vintage items of every kind. From kitchen gadgets you’ll remember from your grandmother or mother’s kitchen, to wedding gowns and clothing from years gone by, to advertising and brand art. There are even items for the newer at heart folks looking for odd little gadgets and doodads from not so long ago. If the main floor doesn’t keep you busy enough looking around, they have even more downstairs. This store is definitely worth finding. If you’re like me, you’ll find all the “antiques” from my mom that I use every day in my kitchen today. lol.
Country Folk Gift Shop has beautiful folk art items. The store is part of Templeton Furniture, a family run furniture store. The furniture is gorgeous and the store has a welcoming feeling. Go through the main showroom and you’ll be in the gift shop. They have really nice handmade rustic furniture that I wanted to just load in my van, set up in front of my woodstove and sit and knit in. —>
<— Heather Croft Quilt Shack is a treasure trove of all things material. The store is packed full with bolts of material in any color and pattern you can think of. They also carry wools of all sorts. The main store is where all the materials and supplies and cutting happens and they also have another small gift shop of already completed items. Ever want to learn to make rag rugs or braided rugs? They give lessons! Need small pieces of material for your quilts? They have tons of them! I also was lucky enough to get the last of one of their treats and it was soooo good I asked if there was a recipe for it. The owner found some paper and proceeded to write it down for me. I was thrilled. I’ll be posting that recipe on the site shortly. I know you’ll all love it. The hubby and I sure did.
Country Mischief. Ok, I’m going to tell you right now. Make this a day trip! There are two locations. One is also a restaurant which I’ve been wanting to try since forever. ( We’ve tried twice but they were closed. Note to everyone…always call ahead to be sure they’re open! lol. Still, it IS on our todo list. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the food. BUT…that said…the real reason to visit is to look around. The building with the restaurant has 18 (I believe this is the correct count) rooms packed to the gills with every kind of antiques, quirky item, doodad and handcrafted items that you could possible ever want. I’m not exaggerating either. If you love to rummage around rooms of goodies, this is the place for you. After you wander around, go have lunch and then head down the road a short ways and you find….wait for it….location number 2! This building, the one shown in the picture, doesn’t share its space with a restaurant and if you thought the 18 rooms of the other building had a lot to look at, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I totally recommend this place as a day trip all its own, including lunch. You’re sure to find something you can’t imagine how you lived without. —>
Whatever you do, save room in your stomach for the visit to The Kitchen Garden. This is a Scandinavian bakery in the heart of New England. As soon as you enter your nose will want to run away from your face and just live in this bakery. Unless you are allergic to almonds, you WILL want to try their Scandinavian Almond Cake. It’s incredible. Truly. The store also has all kinds of fun items to look through including, be still my heart, knitting books! Yes, I love knitting and scandinavian knitting is really beautiful. Just don’t leave without some treats. And if you are really lucky, look for a fella who looks like he might be up to mischief and ask him to do a magic trick for you. <—
If you want a lot of pop from a little space, head on over to Country Antiques. Primitives and handmade items live in perfect harmony with the country decorations. Lights were twinkling all around us and you are always made to feel welcome. An elf, in full elfish regalia, had a smile for everyone and added a touch of whimsy to a fun visit. This was our last stop on Saturday and the temperature was dropping fast, making the roads start to be slippery, but it was a great place to end the days travels. Bolstered by a cup of thick and rich eggnog, and lots of ideas on what I could do in my own house, we headed home. This little shop is a real gem in a small package. —>
Now, unfortunately this is where my photos leave off, but I’m not going to leave out the rest of our tour because of that. So I hope they will forgive me for being a photo noob.
There are two alpaca farms on the tour. First one we hit was Colonial Hill Alpaca Farm and B&B. This is a fun place to visit. The animals are usually out where you can see them and one look at their adorable faces will make you wish you had a couple yourself. The shop is a knitter/crocheter’s dream shop. They have yarns in the natural colors of the animal they came from as well as hand dyed yarn that will get your creative juices flowing just looking at them. And if you want premade items, there are absolutely gorgeous hats, gloves, socks, jackets, shawls and purses galore. They also have alpaca finger puppets which it has become a little tradition for us to get whenever we go there. We couldn’t let our visit go by without adding to my little collection.
The second farm is Popple Camp Alpacas. They don’t have a shop per se, but they do a lot of the local fairs and craft shows. They have beautiful yarns and gloves, hats and socks that will keep you roasty. toasty warm in the coldest weather. Their herd of pretties are also there to be seen at the farm itself. Whats also fun is that when you buy the yarn or knitted/crocheted item, the owner can tell you the name of the alpaca the fur came from just from the colors. I think that’s pretty cool.
Hartman’s Herb Farm and B&B is a delight to the senses when you enter the shop. Herbs hang in bunches from the wooden beams overhead, mortar and pestles stand ready to make custom mixes and bags of fresh herbs wait to be bought and taken to your own kitchen. It’s fun and fascinating to see all the herbs there are and how they look when they were on the plant and also after harvesting. If you’re looking for something special or greater amounts you can call and talk to the owner about getting what you need. And all this started from a small pot of herbs that were found on the property and started in a little pot. Good lesson for us all there, eh?
White Picket Studio was new to the tour this year. This husband and wife artistic team has opened a small gallery of their paintings. I wanted to bring home half the store. The wife works mostly in watercolor while her husband does mostly acrylics. The shop is located on their farm and their horses watch you drive up the driveway. The paintings are truly gorgeous. Most are of life on a farm and the country life. Her husband does quite a few of old pickup trucks half taken over by the flora and fauna and I loved looking at those. The paintings of the horses, though, are truly wonderful. It’s not just a picture of a horse, they capture the moment and heart of the horses as well. They may be new to the tour, but if you’re looking for local artwork for your country home, you will want to see these before looking anywhere else.
Down the street from Popple Alpaca Farm is Petersham Leathers. You enter the workshop of the business and all around you are pattern pieces, old sewing machines and the smell of leather. If you’re like me, the smell of leather is a welcoming aroma. We also like going there because not only do they have treats and cider and eggnog, but they have warming “additives” for them. <wink wink> I also had my first taste of Tabouleh there today and I liked it! I’ll be looking for that next shopping trip. Through a door is the showroom of finished items. It smells even better in there and you have to almost forcibly keep yourself from running your hands over the soft, supple leather purses, bags, belts, wallets, etc. The leathers are lovely colors and the items beautifully crafted. The owner, Sylvia, also does custom leather work. Before you go looking for that something special and unique in a big store, go here and talk to the owner and buy something custom made for that special someone.
A tour of this area is not complete without a stop at Smith’s Country Cheese, Inc. This is another favorite stop for the bus tours that come through the region. There are all kinds of samples to try and if you’re a cheese lover like the hubby and I, you won’t be able to leave without buying your favorites. This year they had homemade macaroni and cheese made with their sharp cheddar and smoked gouda cheeses. Let me tell you….it was awesome! We came home with smoked gouda, cheddar and the recipe for that mac and cheese. lol. They also have a full gift shop of fun and unique items. I got a small statue from there last December and wanted to go back and get another but never got around to it. I went back this year and they had more by that artist! I got another one and those two are going to be featured on my next blog banner. Your kids will also love this store and a lot of the toys and knick knacks for kids are a throwback to when they really made toys to last. From primitives, to “educational” toys, to collectibles and all kinds of kitchen gadgets, this store has it all.
I know this post was long, but I just had to let you know what we did all weekend. The sweetie and I had a wonderful time together. It’s a fun and relaxed event that does more to put us in the spirit of Christmas than all the flashy ads and commercials could ever do. We smiled all weekend, snuggled at night and talked about the places we saw and the things we ate during the day. These are the things that you really remember. The things you do with those you love, when everyone just has a good time.
For more information on this event, go to http://countryroadschristmas.com/ . Plan to make this a part of your Christmas season next year. I highly recommend it.