Monday, July 2, 2012

Link for tanning rabbit hides

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ewe better believe it

16,000 yards of wool (3 men's sweaters) can be spun off one sheep's fleece, according to one source on the internet. Wow! I have a lot of wool to process! I have about 20 fleeces!

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to make Brown Sugar, Peanut Butter, and more

Photo credit: alvimann from

Today I made Brown Sugar. All you need is white sugar and molasses. I ran out of the brown stuff and needed more. I put the white sugar in the food processor and pour in a bit of molasses. How much depends on how dark you want your brown sugar.
Photo credit: kahanaboy from
I also made peanut butter. Peanuts are much less expensive than peanut butter-especially the natural kind. I use the unsalted peanut, because the salted ones make a peanut butter that's much too salty. Make sure they are roasted (although you could probably bake them in the oven for a bit). Into the food processor they go. I also add a bit of olive oil to keep it mixing and to moisture to it. You could add any kind of oil (peanut, canola).

Photo credit: clarita from
I am almost done making two 1900's costumes for my daughter and I for her coming of age ceremony. We are going to celebrate it at a historical site. Looking forward to the whole event!

My dad tilled my garden for me. I'm planning on making it into squares instead of rows. I may even plant marigolds and nasturtiums around it to keep bugs at bay and for color.

Homemade Root Starter

  • Harvest two cups of willow branches and remove all leaves. Willow wood of any species contains IBA.
  • 2
    Cut the limbs into 3-inch sections.
  • 3
    Boil ½ gallon of water.
  • 4
    Put your willow wood pieces in a large metal bowl or large glass container. It needs to accommodate all the twigs and ½ gallon of water. Add the boiling water and allow the wood to soak overnight.
  • 5
    Strain the solution through a sieve or colander. Discard the solids.
  • 6
    Collect the plant cuttings you'd like to root. Put one of their ends in the willow water. When they develop roots, discard the starter solution they were in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store unused root stimulator in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Read more: Homemade Starter Solution for Plant Cuttings |

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sewing plans

I totally misunderstood how much wool I was getting-and I'm so glad! It is now do-able.

I found some black fabric that matches what I already have for my daughter's quilt, and even at a decent price. Happy!

The ladies in our Handicraft Haven group came over Thursday and we were in the sheep fleece. We learned how to skirt a fleece, wash it, pick it, card it, and spin it. It was quite fun (and smelly).

My friend Stephanie finished her first quilt and brought it at our meeting to show us. Lovely!

I'm planning on doing some sewing today. I'm making myself a biscuit quilt purse (or puff purse) in cranberry, navy, black, and...what was that other color....? Dunno. I found  a belt to use for the straps. Should be nice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I have inherited 32 bags of sheep wool-Yikes! My hubby is a little intimidated by it all, and after trying to wash 1/2 a bag, so am I.

Here are some projects I found for all this wool:

  • A wool filled duvet
  • Wool batting for quilts
  • insulation (yeah-actually insulate houses with it!)
  • dryer balls
  • shoe felts/liners
  • Newfoundland mittens (uses unspun wool)
Hmm...lots of ideas. Off to clean my wool....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Renaissance Costumes

Today I sewed mended and modified Renaissance Costumes for the Annual Renaissance Party. Lots of our friends are going this year and I can't wait.

The easiest way to "make" a costume is to buy a top that you like second hand, modify it, and sew a skirt to it.

I'll be sure to take lots of pics!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kool-aide and Dyeing

I'm still dying wool. This time I dyed it with Kool-aid. It dyed super fast, the water was clear within 20 minutes, and no dye squeezed out. Super impressed!

Grape in the crockpot-marbled effect.

lime green

cherry red

We had some snow. With it, we had a casualty-our mailbox: Gotta love snowplows.

Ice on the windshield

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Dyeing

Fiber, that is :) This is my first attempt at it and I've used commercial dyes. I hope sometime soon to commence using natural dyes, but I'm not there yet. Here's my first attempts:

Blue mohair and wool.The first two were dyed in a pot on the stove with alum as a mordant. The last did not have alum but had salt and was dyed in a crockpot.

Grey wool

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Get-together

We met, last night, at my aunt's house to meet my 98 year old great aunt, the last surviving of her family and youngest of 13 kids. Last time I had seen her, I was just a kids and I don't even remember.
She is a veritable fountain of family knowledge. I look forward to visiting her again and getting to know some of my family history and writing it down.

Some of the cousins haven't seen each other since we were babies. It was nice seeing everyone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Morning Walk

The path.
Add caption
Sliding on the ice!
Trying to take a self portrait :)
watch the ice carefully as he jumps....
seriously hollow ice-cave in!
feathered ice

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year

our gingerbread houses 2011
Happy New Year!

My wonderful husband bought me a new spinning wheel with accessories for Christmas. It works like a dream. Beware all sheep and alpacas! I'm coming after you with my shears! :)

We visited family and played lots of board games and ate many delicious meals. God granted us a nice rest.

Family Christmas Supper
Christmas Eve Dessert!!

Vest for Grampy

New toys!
The old barn on the homestead.
My 3 getting ready to slide with new sleds.
hubby and son enjoying the winter snow