Copyright © 2007-2015 Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Cont'd

Our sugar maples are starting to color.I made another apron. For this one I used the free pattern found here. By the way, don't go here if you don't want to catch the apron bug.
I made a li'l batch of my own laundry detergent this week, Y'all, and got an added bonus; I'm saving green/$$ by going greener. Hang onto to your money and smile, Y'all.
I used the first recipe found here. Another step-by-step tutorial is here.
The ingredients are easy enough to find. Walmart carries borax. I'm told Kroger has washing soda, but if not you can buy 100% sodium carbonate (basically the same thing) at a pool store. Also, you can call the toll free number (1-800-524-1328) for the Arm and Hammer Co., and they'll tell you where in your area you can buy washing soda. I already had the sodium carbonate so I used what I had on hand.

Be cool, Y'all, Go Green. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Autumnal Doin's

Howdy from the hills, Y'all!
A few weeks ago Goodman and I took our annual trip to Kyle Carver Orchard in Cosby, Tenn. The drive is as much a delight as the apples in my opinion. Can you see why our mountains are called "Smoky?"
At the orchard.In the market.
Have an apple, Y'all.
As we drove through Gatlinburg on the way back home I spied this little guy perched on a rooftop. ;)

We also went on our little annual flea market trip to Ohio. I'll spare you those pictures and just show you this very unusual statue that looks like it's rising out of the ground at a church in Miamisburg, Ohio. Click for a better look.Knitting...I've done a few ballband dishrags, but I'm resting my hands for another task I'll be busy with in the next few weeks. I'll be making hundreds of wedding mints for my niece's wedding reception. We're planning a trip to Texas next month to attend the wedding. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward to that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Tisket, A Tasket

A look at a few of my homemade baskets..
A large Williamsburg basket which is a reproduction of the baskets that were made centuries ago in Williamsburg, Virginia by a Mr. & Mrs. Cook. They were used as serviceable market baskets.

A small Williamsburg basket that Punkin 1 (first granddaughter) and I made several years ago.A small egg basket that will hold yarn for a knitting project just as easily as fresh eggs. Could you imagine a broken or soiled egg (they don't come freshly washed from the hen house) in this basket..not me.
A tater basket...just large enough to take to the garden and bring back enough taters for supper.
A wool-drying basket replete with legs, my favorite basket.

I made these baskets at different times as you can tell by the difference in the shade of the reeds. The potato basket has been made the longest and the wool basket is one of the newest. There are other baskets that I'd like to make someday, like a fishing creel, a Cherokee picnic basket, a Nantucket Lightship basket, etc. The directions for the ones pictured here and the ones I've yet to make are all in this great book by Lyn Siler. I got mine from eBay for $3.  I"m using the money I saved on the purchase of the book for basket reed, handles, etc. ;)
Goodman has been driving over the walnuts in our country-style, gravel driveway for me as he leaves for work and returns home again. (He's used to my dabblings & is always a good sport about them. :) I wouldn't recommend doing that on a concrete driveway because of the dye in the hulls as it makes a royal mess, but here it will wash into the soil as it would in nature anyway. Why would I want him to run over the walnuts? Trust me, it crushes the hulls open slightly and makes it a lot easier to remove them . (Remove the hulls with gloved hands, of course)
Hulls in the bucket to save for when I have enough for the dye bath for the baskets. ;)Drying the nuts for later to use in holiday baking recipes like fudge, chocolate cookies, on top of hot fudge sundaes...drool. I've had lots of questions on an easy way to crack the nuts..and as far as I know there's no easy way under the sun to do that - grab a hammer and lay the nut on a hard surface and whack. If you find a better one, give me a holler!Have a great weekend, Y'all!

Linking with The Art Of Home-Making Mondays, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all

Ah, autumn, how I do love thee...
After school today the grandgals and I trekked down to the lower pasture and gathered walnuts. The wagon made it easy for the girls to bring them back up to the house. Ahem, I supervised. ;)  There's more...tomorrow, maybe. I need enough hulls for a natural dye bath. I have some baskets that I made a few years back that need dying really bad. ;) There's a Williamsburg basket, a 'tater basket & a couple more. I'll show them to you another time.  One wagon load of walnuts is a good start...
Nothing like a hammer for crackin' a tough nut. Enjoying the fruits of one's labor.I bet you thought I couldn't knit with a cut finger - I did just a bit. This scarf was mostly done last winter, so I merely bound it off this morning. (How?  See, you just hold up the wounded digit and try to remember to leave it up or much pain follows. ;)  
A chunky li'l garter stitch Homespun scarf in Colonial blue.
Thanks to everyone for your notes of sympathy for my little mishap. We're mending nicely.
Be cool, Y'all. It's hard not to be cool with these wonderful temperatures, eh?
Shared at:
The Art of Home-Making Mondays

Friday, October 3, 2008

Crumpled in a Heap

It was Monday afternoon, Goodman was still at work. The grandgals and Oldest were staying for dinner. Me, I was mindin' my own business, cooking supper for five today. Out of nowhere someone wields a knife. In a short moment I felt the sting of a sharp knife; then blood ickin' everywhere. In a panic I ran to the medicine cabinet and sink. I don't remember much else for the next hour except in a fog thinking... Peroxide. Supper is going to be a tad late. Bandage. Where's the neosporin? I have to stop this flow of blood. (It sure makes food preparation icky.)
Whodunit? Sadly, my own knife points an ugly, bloody blade back to myself. Fast forward. Goodman arrives and takes over the choppin' board. Punkin 1 has meantime fried some very tasty potatoes, and Punkin 2 is waiting to add cooked noodles and gravy to the leftover roast..if it ever gets chopped. Finally, Oldest arrives and when told the blood flow hasn't stopped, she says once she had a cut that wouldn't stop bleeding, and when she'd had enough of it...she smacked it. Huh? Really? Well, I'd had enough by now. Sure enough, the blood flow stopped. For real. Coincidence? I don't think so. Remember that; it could come in handy.

Now, crumpled in a heap....
I was three inches from finishing the "everlasting bathmat." Maybe next week.