"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where I Store My Teacups ~ Part II ( Cat-Napping Room ? )

Blizzard woke up from his cat-nap while I was taking photos of my crafting room. Since he realized it was only me he settled himself back down and got comfortable on my work surface.

This was once our daughter's bedroom. She has long since moved out and now lives with her own family, so my husband & I began setting things up to accommodate the crafting supplies and work area that I used to store under beds, in closets...anywhere I could find space. Now it is all in one room. The boxes and bins are labeled and I try to keep like items together. The shelves are from Home Depot and are in the closet storage system department. I had at first wanted beautifully made hard wood shelves  and know my husband could have made them, but we're busy and expediency and budget were taken into consideration. I am very happy with these shelves.
Even though this looks cluttered, everything is labeled and has a place.
The wall on the far right has shelves holding the clean & carded wool from my flock of Jacob sheep. I try to use almost all of my wool before the next wool harvest , but there are always a few wool batts left on the shelves before the new shearing is finished. Sometimes this wall holds many bags of clean and carded wool fiber piled up in front of the shelves of wool. So much wool you cannot see the shelves ! The little shelf to the right of the wool shelves holds weaving supplies and a sewing machine.
This is the wall opposite my work table. Fabric and sewing supplies dominate here while the lower cabinet holds crafting books, pattern books, and magazines I use for inspiration in my crafting. The sewing machine & sewing table I use is beneath the thread holders on the wall. I keep it covered when not in use because working with my wool fiber can sometimes be dusty work. Again, any closed boxes, baskets, or containers are labeled and stored near similarly used supplies.
I see Blizzard is sleeping again and I am going to have to reclaim my work surface. Thank-you for taking a moment to see my messy, but useful & much loved crafting room. Now I am going to work on a few more needle-felted balls. Blizzard will probably happily bat them around and hide them . He's just testing them out to make sure they work properly and having fun watching me find them later on. I suppose this makes it Blizzard's room too, his cat-napping room !

Monday, November 17, 2014

Where Do I Store My Teacups ?

 I store my teacups and teapots in pretty boxes ...
 ... in my crafting room. It looks cluttered I know, but I took these pictures after a few hours of needle-felting wool balls. I set my needle-felting materials near the small table which has a stack of rubber foam to absorb the sharp needles I use for needle-felting the balls. Blizzard the cat is my constant companion when I am indoors and I frequently have to stop my crafting and remove him from my work surfaces . I placed the little table & chair in front of the small t.v. so I can watch the Hallmark channel Christmas specials I have recorded for my days in the craft room. ( Easy- viewing Christmas specials with happy endings make me happy , and inspire me when I craft.)

 I sew, quilt, make rugs , scrapbook, fill photo albums , and write letters in this room. And I store my teacups here.
The view from my window in the crafting room. It is a fine foggy fall day, the ducks and geese are splashing in the pond, Blizzard is napping on the table .As soon as I brew myself  a cup of tea I'll remove Blizzard from the table and begin a new batch of felted wool balls.I'll show the rest of my crafting room in the next post.
I am joining these ladies for Tea-Time Tuesday :

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Simply Autumn

 Simply autumn . Pictures from the front of our home where the Japanese maples are dropping their leaves on the evergreen shrubs underneath.

 The shady and secret spots of our property hold little pockets of moss and mushrooms.
One of our ducks napping in the fallen maple leaves of autumn, simply autumn... my favorite season.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Whimsy in Autumn

We love the fall ! Whimsy and I appreciate a good walk through the autumn leaves. This is my favorite time of the year. Apparently the dictionary defines autumn not only as the season between summer and winter, but also as my season in life . Autumn:"time of maturity or decline  ...autumnal : past middle life"*. Hopefully the "decline" part isn't too bad yet because I still don't even feel like I am past middle age. ( after all , it's perfectly reasonable to expect to live to be 120 years old, isn't it ? )

*Webster's Collegiate Dictionary  1941

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hobbit Style Root Cellar

I had the good fortune to meet the people who built this root cellar . They allowed me to check it out and photograph it . I decided such a wonderful hobbit-hole needed to be shared with you ! Above you can see the entrance to the root cellar , or cold storage, built to preserve the vast amount of fruit and vegetables this family grows.
If you walk up their driveway this is what you'll see. A beautiful rock garden where the plants thrive in extreme temperatures This area of the U.S. has very hot summers and very cold winters. The rock garden is actually the roof of the root cellar. You can see a pipe used for ventilation of the root cellar sticking out like a periscope.
The home sits below some beautiful mountains and overlooks meadows where elk, deer, cattle , and wild turkeys graze. Breath-taking views everywhere you look, and they've taken a simple root cellar and turned it into just another view worth looking at and enjoying.
Inside the root cellar ( they hadn't yet begun to fill it up with their harvest when we were there ) are bins for potatoes, onions, apples. There are shelves for all the canned goods they preserve themselves.
I could easily covet this fine hobbit hole .
Root cellars, larders, and pantries full of food canned and preserved by us that was grown in our own orchards and gardens is such a rewarding endeavor well worth everyone knowing and practicing to some degree. Wouldn't it be fun to look forward to stashing the hard-worked-for goods in a hobbit hole like this ?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tea-Time Tuesday ~ Lusterware & Weaving

I love this blue Lusterware teacup. I have a set with 6 cups & saucers, matching sugar & creamer with teapot . The set also came with dessert plates and salt & pepper shakers. I especially love the simple colors of this Lusterware. ( BTW, I've seen lusterware  also spelled lustreware , and this spelling is also correct. ) Blue is one of my favorite colors and when combined with the yellow-gold inside of the teacup it seems rich. The black handle enhances the teacup.

This piece of weaving goes perfectly with the tea-cup and fits in nicely with autumn d├ęcor don't you think ?
This hand-woven piece is one I found in a pile of linens being sorted for the estate sale my husband's family had after both his parents died recently. Being a very amateur weaver myself I recognized a hand-woven treasure instantly and found it had a tag sewed into one hem. I am 99% sure this piece of weaving came from my husband's aunt , Marion Lowery . She was a home-economics teacher in our state a few decades ago and collected such items on her many travels. Before she died she gave all of her precious items to family and friends , and my husband's mother was her niece.
Needless to say, I snatched this up completely aware of my good fortune in discovering my husband's family was happy to allow me to keep this hand-woven table-runner. After bringing it home I looked up the name on the tag and found The Fireside Industries of Berea College ~ Berea , Kentucky * is still weaving treasures today. They also have an interesting history* that surprised me and made me even more appreciative of their ongoing education in American crafts.

"Weaving is at the heart of Berea College Crafts. In the early 1890’s, Berea College President William G. Frost was astounded by ‘kivers’, woven coverlets produced in mountain homes. He established Berea’s “Fireside Industries” as a way to preserve traditional Appalachian crafts and to provide parents a currency with which they could pay for their children’s education. Berea College, through its support of traditional mountain arts, became a leader of the American Arts & Crafts movement and the Appalachian Craft Revival. In 1900, a Berea coverlet won a gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris." quoted from Fireside Industries web-site.

I have grown to appreciate more simple things as I grow older. Carefully and lovingly done weaving, knitting, embroidery, quilting~ any needlework, worked in classic colors and designs is timeless. Simple tea things , home made meals and desserts, a simply but prettily set table offered with true hospitality are treasures one cannot put a price on .When you share a tea time or a meal where such hospitality is  woven through-out it is always a memorable time. For me the classic blue Lusterware and hand-woven table linen set the scene for sharing a cuppa with people I love as the weather outdoors keeps us inside.

I am joining these ladies for Tea-Time Tuesday :
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage *
Martha at Martha's Favorites *
Ruth at Antiques and Teacups *
Bernideen at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog *

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Dangers Of A Wandering Mind

 If I were new to blogging now , I might be inclined to name my blog Thoughts & Tales Of A Wandering Mind or some such title. My mind wanders even more when I am indoors crafting , cooking, cleaning. "Mind: noun~ a beautiful servant or a dangerous master." AU

Last week I began again my seasonal making of little flocks of sheep for nativity scenes. I have my piles of wool, containers of items to adorn the necks of the sheep, ( miniature leaves, bells, hearts, raffia ) paint , and my needle-felting tools.
 When I finally sit down to spend a few hours of crafting my mind says "ahhhhhh , now I can wander". As I am making the sheep my mind wanders over and around the many shades of black & gray wool I have and I think maybe my sheep should be spotted just like my real flock of sheep. So I make a few spotted sheep.
 But hey, my mind wanders over to the bright colors I love and there are lovely bags of turquoise wool I dyed last spring. Maybe I should make polka dotted sheep !
No... I'll make some black sheep, some gray sheep, some brown sheep. Should I make black, brown, and gray ears for those sheep ? I have so many bags of wool from sheep of all different shades. My mind's eye wanders over the little boxes of jewels and seasonal adornments I have for the necks of my sheep, but I also love the sheep unadorned. Should I simply forget the adornment?
Can you see how a simple little wool- crafting can become a real winding road for a wandering mind ? Maybe even lead her to a few dead-ends and detours. And then of course I have to spend time thinking about actually following up on some of the ideas my wandering mind gathered during her meanderings. (not all bad, this can be fun too !!! )

Mostly though, my wandering mind will flit, fly, and even settle on thoughts I have not brought under control. Fearful thoughts, worries, concerns. Often, because I am alone while crafting , there is no one to help me keep these thoughts in check,so I will turn on the t.v. for distraction and watch the news. Big mistake, the thoughts become more fearful , more worrisome, and then if I am not careful the darkness of depression begins creeping in like a low cold fog. "Fear is a slinking cat I find beneath the lilacs of my mind." Sophie Tunnell

I looked up a few quotes and Bible verses to write down and remember  because I know God , my God, does NOT cause fear and worry. He is the God who cares for me and should trials and tribulations be a big part of my life He gives me the ability to be happy and rejoice anyway. "Fear is faith that it won't work out." Sister Mary Tricky

~"Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow ; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has troubles of its own." Matthew 6:34

~"Fear cannot take what you do not give it." Christopher Coan

~*"Put off timid , fearful, and troubled thinking. Put on love and sound judgment in the power of the Holy Spirit ( Based on II Timothy 17 , I John 4:18 )

~"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them." Andre Gide

~" Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7

Yes my wandering mind meanders here, there, and everywhere when I let fear take hold, and that happens as I sit crafting at my comfortable dining room table  in my home that has all the modern conveniences and plenty of food. My family thus far is safe and healthy, all truly gifts from God. Yet I know even if none of these things were the case...if we had no home, no food, or family members suffering tragedy, I would have no excuse for the fear and worry. And I am ashamed.

How did this post get from crafting little sheep to fear and worry ? How do I get from crafting to being overcome with fear and worry ? By letting my wandering and meandering mind travel and dwell on them. Scary and dangerous , the wandering mind. Time to re-train her and bring her back from her wayward travels. " We need to brace ourselves up and realize that we are responsible for out thoughts , attitudes, and actions." Pursuit of Holiness

* quoted from Biblical Counseling Foundation book on Self-Confrontation.