Sunday, October 26, 2014


The first frost has yet to arrive. The last of the summer sun is savored.

Short walks and long shadows.

Ghost bugs are there, and then not.

Green peppers change to orange.

and beans to seed.

Potatoes are dug and moved from one underground storage to another. walnuts, generously given by a friend, await the hammer.

the rafter of turkeys grow larger by the days.

and september projects are finished in october.

it is time for bonfires and almost the beginning of november!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

weftember weaving

The garden harvest has been getting ahead of me. Every third day I pick and for the next two days, I pack or process. There isn't much time for fun things like spinning or weaving. Moments are snatched.

Usually, those moments come in the morning. This happens, mostly, because I have been waking before the sun is up. We have been having chilly mornings, filled with fog. I make a small pot of coffee, and reach for the distaff and spindle. There is a purpose, a plan, to spin enough linen to weave some cloth.

While at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival, I picked up some Hemp Sliver in a sort of roving type package. I was told it was imported from Romania. It spins up very well, and I've been amazed at how very much it resembles some of the better flax that I've spun.

Can you tell which spindle holds the spun hemp?

This image shows linen and hemp singles, side by side on the nod. It is difficult to tell the difference.

After finishing these singles will take a trip to the warping board (gulp).

And weaving on the Double Hole Tape Loom has filled some moments in the afternoon. Grace has added some wonderful handmade 4 and 6 inch maple shuttles to the Etsy shop!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

hold everything - it's time to snap

Grab an apron and pull up an Adirondack chair. We can sit on the deck and listen to the river go by while we snap beans.

There are some 700 and some odd steps from the garden to the kitchen. This is the route I travel several times a day, in and out of the garden, with baskets full of beans.

These are Haricots Verts, they grow longer, skinny - tender and crisper than your ordinary bush bean. I raised them from seed I've saved over the years, and this year's harvest is exceptional.

The yield so far is over a bushel in weight. A good year for the beans.

Having picked the majority of them at the peak of their perfection, I will leave the rest to mature for seed, or possibly the bean pot. What comes in on top will be used for fresh eating. Handfuls-steamed then sauteed in minced garlic, olive oil and almonds.

pick, wash, sort, snap, chop, measure, steam, pack, process and store. only ten steps there. repeat as many times as necessary.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


As a verb, the word produce means to make or manufacture from components or raw materials.

So in that sense of the word, I've been producing lots of different types of things these days.

Trying my hand and producing a distaff or two, and adding designs to the copper and other elements to the staff.

This one is from a piece of a nearby maple tree that needed to be trimmed out. It is a pleasing task to make a distaff!

As a noun, the word produce means things that have been produced or grown, especially by farming.

So in that sense of the word, I've actually been producing jam from produce! Lots of nice fresh red currants from the garden!

My friend, Judy, stopped by and dropped off some of the Nanking Cherries from her garden. Thank You! A bowl of cherries is always good to keep nearby, when one is spindling linen. keep those juices flowing. The rest were turned into jam.

When my spindle is at rest, I tuck it inside the distaff, for easy storage. As I look at it, it appears to be a cocoon of sorts.

Summer is in full swing! I'm enjoying the view~

Monday, June 23, 2014

a garden walk in June

The chickens will escort us as far as the garden gate, so be sure to lock it after you enter.

The garden demands a lot of time to keep up with the growing season. There is always something that needs work. This year, a new frame and netting were constructed to protect the currants and blackberries. On the opposite side of the garden, another frame protects the blueberries and cherries.

The peas are finally coming into blossom. It is tempting to add the flowers to a salad....

especially, since they are growing next to the lettuce and onions...

The next row is full of potatoes.

And the next row is full of potatoes, also. There is another row of potatoes up near the rhubarb. There are a lot of potatoes growing along the riverrim this year!

The Russian Red Zinna are so bold in their color and fortitude. The cool nights don't seem to bother them at all and I'm surprised to see flower this early in the season.

Two rows of bush beans are doing well. There are Verts and Wax. One row is from saved seed, and is healthier than the newly purchased seed. Always something interesting to observe and wonder about! Behind the beans, there are two rows of peppers. One row of Sweet Hungarian, and another row of Bell Peppers. Some are red, and some will be orange and some will be green.

Walking down to the hill to the last bed, we find the corn starting to take hold. There are six rows of corn, with the last two rows planted with winter squash. I'm hoping the winter squash will take off and grow up the fence.

And here is a promised photo of a monster hosta. I don't recall the name or where it came from...but it is happier growing inside the fence where the deer cannot nibble on it.

Finally, the ox-eye. For my mother. The wild areas are full of their white petals and gold buttons. They are tall this year, taller than I've ever seen them before.

Thursday, May 08, 2014





an oriole in the quincy...

yep. it is finally here! springtime in the mountains!

Monday, March 31, 2014

phenological events March 2014

6th bluebirds on rosehips
17th starting seeds
herbs, tomato, pepper
20th snowdrops & daffs up
22nd skunkcabbage
23rd chipmunks
26th redwing blackbirds

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the bandwagon

A couple of years ago, I hopped on the band-weaving bandwagon. My efforts were stymied by not having a good band lock. Since I made one a few months ago, I've been doing more weaving. It really is amazing how having the right tools for the job can make such a big difference.

Warping my Double Hole tape loom has become easier since I've enlisted the help of my husband's old wooden C-Clamps. Set up on either side of the loom, they hold it in an upright position and I can see both sides of the loom. I use my handmade threading tool to pass the warp threads through the slots and holes. Once I have it warped, I can move the C-Clamp over to the shelf near the window, and it becomes an anchor for one end of the warp.

I've been weaving with different size DMC cotton, and silk, playing around with what works best. So far, I like the results of the #5 the best.

Keeping the wpi in mind, I've been spinning my own silk to use for weaving. I hope to use it as pattern threads for the linen tapes I will make. It has taken me longer than it should to learn some of the finer details of band weaving, but it is starting to come together. This past week I tried warping for a simple back-strap loom.

It is very interesting to compare the Double Hole Rigid Heddle Loom with a Backstrap loom, and the ways that patterns are achieved. Now that I've gotten acquainted with the basic set up, I'll move onto trying to do some patterns.

From where I sit when I'm weaving, I have nice light from the window and warmth from the coal/wood stove. The view out the window lets me take notice of the slowly disappearing snowbank, and snowdrops that have started to grow. They are more like "snowdrips", as the blossom is still closed up tight against the cold. They seem to know that the temps are still too cold for the pollinators.

The chickens are very glad to find areas where the sun has melted away the snow to expose the dry dirt!

Nothing like a good dust bath after a long winter.

They dig their holes and kick the dirt up. The kick it all around and over themselves. Then they bask in the sun and dirt.

Other signs of spring I've noticed include: skunks and skunkcabbages, redwing blackbirds, and chipmunks. Still no Eastern Phoebe. We are expecting rain on Friday. They should be along soon after that.
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