small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Sound of Tiny Hoofbeats

Most people this time of year are waiting for the sound of hoofbeats. On the roof. Made by reindeer.

But yesterday the dog was outside and when I went to let her in, this is what I saw. Making hoofprints all over my front yard.

They had escaped from my neighbor's pasture. And now I know, not for the first time. Recently we had several big piles of horse manure way back in our garden. Couldn't figure out why anyone would have rode their horses thru our yard like that!! Well, now we know. These beauties may have come over during the night and blessed our garden. Those piles plus what they left last time were scooped up in a bucket and thrown in the compost pile to enrich our garden next year.

But these guys spooked really easy and as soon as I headed out to get pics they started running like the wind. Thank goodness, they headed back home and hopefully right back in thru where they escaped from cause their owner was not home. Supposedly these are very valuable horses and she makes a living of them. Not sure how, cause she never comes outside and does anything with them. They never get ridden or socialized. The guy that feeds them and cleans their stalls told me this. He is the only human contact they really get. Such a shame. But I am not a horse person myself so I can not offer to go spend time with them in any helpful way. But I do admire their beauty as long as it is from a safe distance.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Bees Knees-Literally

My husband and I are beginning level beekeepers. Many of the men in his family have been beekeepers. It has always interested my husband and recently one of his older relatives, who is not in the best health, gifted us with 3 hives.

I have pretty much left DH to do all the work with the bees. He has a calmer nature and the bees sense that and stay calm while he is messing with them. But this winter I have helped out by feeding the bees on warmer weather days, when DH just happens to be at work. It is easy to feed them. You just pour sugar water into very shallow plastic lids so they can land, eat and not drown. Usually on warmer days, I will fill their bowls continually all afternoon. After the first fill they are usually buzzing all over the place, just waiting their turn at the sweet stuff I am putting out.

So yesterday I decided to put on the close up lens and try to get some good pics. Trouble is, at my "advanced age" it is hard to keep the camera really really still in order to get real crisp shots with the close up!! But I think these are pretty cool.

I love the last one where the bee has just taken off and is in flight!! Of course, there is always the danger a yellow jacket will also come feed. They are very easy to recognize with the very distinct yellow stripes and shiny body. The bees usually tolerate them when they are really hungry and will chase them off during times when they have the extra energy to do so.

But as I was shooting pics, I realized I have come a long way since the bees came to live with us. I have never been really scared of them but when I saw them crawling on my hands while I was shooting pics, I decided I am getting pretty complacent about them altogether!!

So hopefully this spring we will harvest our first honey. Then work to increase the number of hives and bees for the future. Meanwhile I know they increased our garden productivity and will continue to do so. They are the best pollinators for many plants and I always saw them busy at work ever morning when I went out to pick.

A few more pics from my day yesterday. First some pretty leaves and tree fungi done with the close up lens. Then of our dog Daisy who decided to make her self comfortable in the chair on the porch.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Log Cabin Tour-2009 Elkton, Tennessee

As I mentioned yesterday, we had tickets to the local historical society's log cabin tour. There were 5 cabins to be visited spreading over about a 20 sq mile area in just 4 hrs. Plenty of time I thought. Well, we barely had enough time cause we enjoyed each place so much we didn't want to leave that one to go to the next!!

The first cabin I have no pics of. It was the official starting point and stayed a bit too crowded. It was a true old log cabin, restored just enough to keep out the weather. It was furnished with period peices, including a gorgous old quilt on the bed. They had a spinner there with yarns she had spun from all kinds of animals. Even dogs and cats. I am convinced by spring we will be raising angora bunnies and maybe a golden retriever will be added to the family. Don't even get me started on cashmere goats!!

The 2nd cabin is the one I took the wreath on the door picture at. It was a very old cabin with mostly historical value. 2 governors to the great state of Tennessee were born in it many eons ago. The elderly gentleman there was a descendent of the 2nd family to own it and he was great at telling all the history that was held within it's barely standing 4 walls!! Also these cemetery photos were shot just below the cabin in the Bethany cemetary which has some very very old graves.

The next cabin we visited was modern and quite a cute place. I think it is probably just a weekend house for a young couple with no kids and way to much money on their hands. The shell was built but the husband finished most of the inside himself. Funny thing-the husband had put up a teepee in the front yard which had 6 beanbag chairs, a firepit in the middle with a large screen TV hooked up to satellite so he could watch the football games. Gorgeous house that the man builds and still he is relegated to having his mancave outside!!

Then we went to see a amazing large modern log home up on a hill not very far from our neck of the woods. I have been down the road it is on many times and not seen it due to the trees surrounding it. But without leaves you can catch a peek of it driving by. The driveway was so steep that they have a winter parking pad down below in case they can not drive up. Inside the home was lovely, large and although sparsely furnished, it was perfect. I fell in love with a armchair that was obviously from the 50's that they had reupolstered and now I want to find one of my own. But I didn't just love the house the way I might should have. Just didn't have the spark I normally find appealing in a home. The view from the wrap around porch was beautiful tho, and I swear you could see the entire county from up there.

The last cabin was the one that took our breath away and inspired us into wishing for a cabin of our own. Like that would ever happen. But you gotta dream, right? This place was quite aways out to begin with. And it was getting late by the time we finally got down the road to the actual cabin. It was set in a lovely shallow valley away from anyother signs of life. The closest house was over a mile up the road and it was actually the house of the owner and builder/restorer of the cabin. The man had never ever built anything in his life prior to this undertaking. But it had always been his wish to have a cabin. So when he found this land without any cabin to restore he chose another direction to take. He bought a old cabin that had been dismantled and had it brought to his place. He rebuilt the old structure with a new, but done in the original method, foundation. He had to add some new logs to make the place just a bit bigger but he had those hewn at a old style sawmill and he hand cut the mortises to match the original. He kept everything so it looked like it had when the cabin was first built but threw in new technology if it could be completely hidden. Like in the foundation and behind the chinking. But there is no plumbing, electricity or insulation. But my goodness, it was gorgous. Everything about it shown with the love this man put into it. And the view in all directions was pure heaven. I should have asked the man if he rented it out for a weekend occasionally!! The pictures I got were pretty good considering how dark it was getting when we were there. But I think that everyone is worth seeing.