Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ancient treadmill found

 This is the great wheel Dad restored for Garfield Farm Museum. (my photos might be odd for a while as the white balance on my camera is misbehaving - I even got out the manual!)   I demonstrated spinning on it this Sunday at their Harvest Days event.  Don't let the chair fool you there is a reason they call these walking wheels.  I had a lovely drive down - about 2 hours - and got there with plenty of time to set up and chat before getting into costume.  I also spun some more on it as I had only worked on it for about an hour after Dad finished it.
 This is the view from my perspective, across the lane from me was a woman discussing tanning and Joseph (on staff at the Museum) demonstrating blacksmithing. He is working on a chain link fence to use in future demonstrations. I was using some East Friesan wool that I processed myself and dyed with staghorn sumac - which smells lovely during the dye making process - and I ended up with 3 skeins of yarn. The yarn is varied lace to fingerling weight and I am very happy with it.
 I got Joseph to take my picture. That is the Tavern Museum behind me. The bag by the chair was given to me by a friend and fellow volunteer, it contains afghan hound fur she collect from her dogs.  I also had drop spindles to demonstrate on and have people try to spin.  It was a very pleasant day!
 My breakfast table Monday morning. The yarn is wound on the bobbins there, winding was the only time a sat on Sunday's Demo, a Great wheel is all about walking aback and forth and one guest described it as the treadmill of the 1840's.  Mouse is eating breakfast in the background and we have star anise & cinnamon apple butter and apple jelly in the jars.
My knitting.  I am learning to knit from a chart and doing lace patterns.  So I thought the great wheel yarn would be perfect. I am loving the knitting. This will be a lace neck shawl thing from Jane Austin Knits summer 2012 edition.

I hope your projects are bringing you joy!~ Julia

Friday, October 4, 2013

Apples, apples, everywhere.

This is how the day started!

I did not move the apples from the below picture onto the table. There are just that many apples.  I worked on apple related projects for the entire workday.

I am waiting for the last batch in the canner to finish so I can go to bed now.  I stopped work at 5 to take Beaver to his dad's for the weekend and visited with my parents - we meet at the halfway point which works out to be near my parents house. 
My Dad was helping me to restore a great wheel that Garfield Farm Museum had stored in a barn.  They want to fix them (there are three) up to have volunteers demonstrate spinning on a great wheel. They have the Garfield family wheel in the museum, these were donated at some point. Dad got it working and it looks great. We spent some time working on tension and spinning with it tonight. I need to do some research on better cord splicing methods... but that is another post this one is suppose to be about apples not spinning. It sneaks it's way into all parts of my life.

While I was working on apples today I made up these loaves of bread, which I just pulled out of the oven. I used only the yeast left in the bottom of the carboy after bottling a batch of pear cider. It is a sour dough like bread with a faintly pear cidery taste.

left to right apple butter, apple butter in cool anniversary blue glass jars that makes the food look different, and spiced apple rings.
I did up apples for jelly - I have near a half gallon of juice.  Most people dump the fruit after making juice for jelly, I don't I mill it and make apple butter. I got 5.5 pints tonight and it smells so good.  I cut and froze apple slice for pie, I am also going to try making pie filling - this is not how I make my pies normally but experimentation is fun, right? I also did spiced apple rings with cinnamon and star anise. This is a new recipe for me and they were so yummy it took serious willpower to not just eat all of them.  I have 9 half pints - side note doesn't hay-pint sound better, like a hay penny - and a half gallon of syrup I will use to make more.

Oh and the apples are still everywhere... I seriously doubt anyone but me could tell any got used - unless I made you carry the compost out - and the trees have at least that much again on their branches. Hoping you kitchen smells as good as mine ~ Julia

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Buried under a mountain

Family beach day with my parents, sister and brother in law.

Part of a current quilt pattern that will be a Christmas present for Butterfly.
Yep I am still alive here, but I have been busy. Good busy. Exhausting busy. Racing around from one project to the next like a chicken without a head busy. So here is what has been going on...

No, too long, let me sum up....

Okay, even that would likely be mind numbingly too long. So the shorter version with be what I can think of right at the moment and highlights. I'll try to cover some projects I have going in more detail in the coming weeks as I am hoping to get back into the swing of this. A dear friend and I were talk last night and we decided to challenge each other to posting today instead of just thinking up post and meaning to get to it.

The big stuff:
Beaver started High school! And went out for the football team! (I am not sporty or anything so this has been a bit weird for me, but I am learning.) He is loving school - he is a okay student and a natural leader normally - but this year he is really doing well and talks engagingly about all his classes this year. Mommy happy dance. He is co-captain of his model painting team.

One of many day trips to Old World Wisconsin with family friends
Mouse was accepted to the same STEM school Butterfly is in, he took switching schools very well and seems to be flourishing at the new school. He is a very smart boy but seemed to have trouble making close friends, it is nice to see him playing with kids would seem excited to see him and have similar interested.  He is on the model team as well.

Beaver's model.
Butterfly is just that a social butterfly. She had a bit of a hard time this year as her closest friend was moved to a different class and a lot of the others moved levels, (k&1st, 2nd &3rd, and 4th&5th are grouped together in the classrooms at this school) but she has made a few new friends and is enjoying having her beloved teacher again. Her teacher announced a baby on the way and Butterfly wants to learn to quilt to make her a blanket.

Mouse's Model

Badger is in kindergarten. (I have no kids home during the day...) she is doing well and adjusted much more easily than I expected her too.  It helps that her sister's best friend was moved into her classroom, so she already knew someone.

Butterfly started painting mostly just to get to hang out with her older brothers. She did not really like it, but she did very well. Beating both of them and making the team. I told the leaders I did not think she wanted to be on the team. When I told her she won, she told me that she didn't like the painting part so much, but she loved competing so she is on the team.

and as for me I picked up a very more hobbies to fill my days - as if I needed any! I went back to brewing and wine making, I am buried under mountains of apples, I am quilting more, I opened an Etsy store, joined a spinning guild, joined the football moms club, am thinking of joining a quilting guild, am exhausted.

I decided to add a few random pictures from our blog-cation. Hoping you are making your full days and enjoying them. ~Julia