Saturday, February 27, 2016

Back to Dolls Again.

Making dolls is one of those things i seem to always come back to. i started making rag dolls several years before i had children. Then was my daughter was born i fell in love with Waldorf style dolls, but they weren't affordable and so i decided to learn to make them.

i made her a new doll every year for her birthday. In this photo all of the dolls are made by me except the one on the far right. The first two on the left i made for her before she was even born.  The second one from the right is the first waldorf style doll i ever made. 

This one was made in 2012 for her 6th birthday, but was lost a year later in our house fire along with all of her other dolls.

These are the dolls i made for her 2013, 2014 and 2015.  As ,much as i loved the Waldorf look i really struggled with them.  i had thought about making them to sell, but just never felt that confident with the pattern and really struggled with them.

This year i decided to try again, but instead of following the Waldorf patterns i had been using before i went back to my old rag doll pattern.  i used what i had learned from the Waldorf technique of sculpting heads and combined it with a pattern i was more comfortable with.   Just like that- it all seemed to come together.  The areas i struggled with before are no longer a problem and i'm very happy with how the dolls are turning out.

The last few weeks i've been working on them non-stop. i have 7 almost completed and 3 more started. i'm really enjoying the process of seeing them come together. i'm still just trying to find and perfect shoe and sweater patterns, details like bags and hats etc.  The dolls typically go through several outfit changes before i figured out their personality. Then i begin to add the extras.

These girls are waiting on shoes and bags. The doll on the left will probably have another outfit change, as i'm not really loving the pastels on her.  

This one was my least favorite of the bunch until i figured out her personality, and then she just came together perfectly. 

Every year i start off making dolls, then abandon them once gardening season starts. This year i'm really trying to stick with it.  i feel like this is the year, this is what i am meant to be doing right now. i truly do love the process of seeing them come together, now i just need to work on the finishing process and actually listing them for sale. :) Everything in it's own time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fuming Workshop with Kenan Tiemeyer


CLASS DATES 3/10 & 11

Want to increase your gold and silver fuming skills? Improve your marble, pendant, bead making abilities? Learn how to make really tight honeycomb patterns?  Then, this class is for you.  Join TGR in welcoming Kenan Tiemeyer for a two-day workshop in learning all these skills.  The focus of this two-day class will be on marbles, beads, pendants with the use of gold and silver fume as well as encasement of opals and the building of optical layers in pendants / marbles. 
Kenan Tiemeyer is from Floyd, Virginia.  He has demoed at the Art Glass Invitational (AGI) in Hilliards, PA and has written many articles for The Glassline Magazine.  Kenan has also traveled to Europe and other foreign countries demonstrating his techniques.
•  Students must be at an intermediate level working with glass
•  Students have experience with pulling points, working with tubing, and even "inside out" techniques
•  Class MUST have at least 5 students in order to hold class - Maximum student level is 8
•  Bring your tools, gold & silver, and opals if you already have them.  Glass needed for class is provided.  Gold & silver and opals will be available for the class (in a limited quantity) and for purchase.
• Class will be from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all dates

My husband rarely teaches classes, so this is your chance to learn his fuming techniques. 3/12-13 classes are filled, but there are only a few spots left on 3/11-12! Head over to The Glass Resort LLC to reserve your spot! 

*reblogged from

Friday, February 19, 2016

Apply to Host a Healthy Baby Home Party from Seventh Generation!

If we can get monsters out of closets, bring toys back to life, and heal scrapes with a kiss, we can get toxins out of our kids.

What is a Healthy Baby Home Party? 
Seventh Generation's home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!
Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, Plum Organics and Zarbee's Naturals.

What is the Application Process?
  • Sign up at to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
  • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
  • Applicants will be notified by end of March if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
  • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
  • 1,900 FREE Party Kits will be distributed in this round.
  • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
  • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the "Healthy Baby Home Party Application" offer.
My kids are no longer babies, so i've never hosted a Healthy baby home party, but i've been using Seventh Generation products for years. 

If you are expecting or have little ones at home and are interested in getting toxins out of your home,  Sign up today!

*By posting this information i'll be entered to win a Healthy baby home party kit. i occasionally receive free product samples in exchange for my review. My opinions are my own. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Around the homestead- reflecting back on a good year and new year goals.

It's so hard to believe that it is 2016. The older i get the quicker time seems to move.  We are now almost 3 years post fire, and life is pretty much back on track. We have found our new normal, and are slowly turning this house into a home.

For Thanksgiving this year, almost everything came from the garden. i did purchase a Tofurky roast, which is more of a novelty than anything. It wasn't necessary for our meal, but we enjoy them and like the idea of a very 'traditional' thanksgiving meal even though we are vegetarian. Our meal included roasted roast vegetables, butternut squash soup, Acorn squash stuffed with apples, pecans and honey. Fresh salad, garlicy greens and pumpkin pie. 

My hens took a little time off to molt and rest over the winter, but now that the sun is returning they have begun to lay again. i'm really thrilled with the variety i'm getting now. Still just missing the blue. i took this photo in the snow and the colors really just popped.  i don't think i'll ever get tired of taking egg pictures. 

Just like every year, i had a lot of issues in the garden. We had a really wet  rainy summer, and it caused the diseases like Septoria leaf spot, early blight and powder mildew to spread like crazy. i harvest quite a bit, but it felt like i lost a lot as well.  Even though i was canning all summer, the canned goods were just stored in boxes and hidden away in the basement, so i really didn't know what all i had.  It kind of left me feeling like i had wasted the whole summer for nothing.

Then Kenan put in these shelves in the cold storage area downstairs and we pulled out all the canned goods and set them up on the shelves.  This is the first time ever i've had a pantry to store all of my canned goods. The shelves are  24" deep, so i can store a ton of food.  i also have my potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions and garlic in the baskets.  Below the shelves are storage bins with holiday decorations and craft supplies.  It's a pretty amazing feeling to see it all laid out like this and to really recognize all of the hard work i did over the summer. 

This spring we are planning to get a real greenhouse, fence the garden and really try to improve the soils in our gardens. We are also going to work on improving the goats area, and setting up our cistern to be solar powered. Kenan is also talking about getting an overflow tank for cistern.  That way we would have an almost unlimited supply of water for garden irrigation.

 We had also originally talked about putting in a second well, since ours is low flow and really doesn't produce enough water for our household, especially as the kids get older and want to shower more often. However after doing a bit of research, we are instead going to try to tap into two artisan spring heads that are behind the house.  The goal is to set up a 1500 gallon potable water tank using solar powered water pumps.

So yeah, we have a lot of plans for the year.  i will try to document our progress, but it seems more and more difficult to find the time to put together these posts. Even now in the winter when i have more time, i spend it working on dolls, jewelry or in the glass shop.  i'll be posting about that eventually as well. i'm really excited about the work i am doing this year, and look forward to share