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Open House: October 3!

     Friends! I am SO so happy to finally announce our FIRST open house! You are all cordially invited to visit us at our studio, which we have dubbed "prairie house" on Saturday October 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
   I will be offering original art, prints and a sundry of other items and Tasha will be offering handspun yarns, macrame and weavings for the home and garden!

   We also plan on having yummy autumnal treats and goody bags for the first few people who come! If you're in the area we'd love to see you! Sapulpa is 15-20 minutes outside of Tulsa and about an hour and a half from Oklahoma City.

   Can't wait to see you, and hope you can come!~

Scarf Winners

   Also--- popping in to announce the winner of this week's giveaway of the Anokhi Scarves--- in poetic coincidence of rhyming--- Winnie and Linnie! Congrats, ladies!~! :D

  To see my FINAL giveaway and Tasha Tudor Centennial post, see post below!~

Happy Birthday Tasha Tudor!~ With Goody Bag Giveaway

    And so, here we are! The Tasha Tudor Centennial! Thank you all so much for coming by each week for the Tasha Tuesday posts and giveaways. We had fun, didn't we? Congrats to all the winners and thank you for all your wonderful comments and participation and sweet notes. 
   Today would have been the 100th birthday of Tasha Tudor-- and I'm happy to celebrate today with a nice cup of tea and something sweet! 

   Discovering the art of Tasha Tudor has been so special to me--- it has inspired me to begin my own life as an artist and has brought me so many lovely kindred spirit friends. Our journeys up to New England have been highlighted with visits to Vermont and the Tasha Tudor museum as well as her home and garden. To be able to be at Tasha's home, among all the things she loved and her beautiful creations--- with the people I love and cherish most--- has been fantastic.

  Tasha's birthday illustrations, especially the floating birthday cakes drawn for "Becky's Birthday" (and something she really did for her daughter Bethany's birthday!) has become iconic.

   All Tasha's work can be found celebrating, home, family, animals and simple homemade fun.

  I hope on this day you take a moment to engage in some simple delight in honor of Tasha....on her 100th birthday!~
   Of course....we need one more treat as we celebrate the day, don't we? So I have a very special goody bag to give one lucky poster! The goody bag is full of all things Tasha would love-- one more gorgeous hand blocked scarf from Anokhi in an amazing shade of deep teal blue, a block of handmade goat's milk soap made locally, a handful of heirloom flower seeds with sweet illustrated packaging, a selection of tea bags, and a note card with one of Tasha's homey illustrations on it.

   If you'd like to win the Tasha Goody Bag, just leave me a comment here in this post! FOr extra chances to win, you can share on your social media and let me know in additional comments! The winner will be chosen early next week.

   And so, I will leave you to enjoy your day!~
Take Joy!~

Etsy Shop Update

   I'm happy to report that I just did a huge restock in my etsy shop this morning and have gotten in several prints that sold out, as well as added some larger size prints (including a limited amount of extra large prints, such as the one pictured above)
   Be sure to stop by and check it out in case you've been waiting for something to come back into the shop!~

Tasha Tuesday: The Homespun Beauty of Anokhi Scarves

 Dear Friends,
     What fun we have had this month as we celebrate the art and life of artist Tasha Tudor for her 100th birthday! I hope you all have enjoyed our Tasha Tuesday posts, giveaways and interviews! I have had such a great time putting together these special posts for you, and hope that it's brightened your Tuesdays in August. 
   This week will be extra special as it is the last week of August and Tasha's 100th birthday would have fallen on this coming Friday--- August 28.
Photos of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown
 This week's post--- and giveaway--- are inspired by Tasha's unique fashion sense, inspired by days gone by. And what is more iconic to Tasha Tudor than her beautiful scarves that she was always seen wearing, no matter the season....

    This summer when I was able to visit Tasha's home and shop at The Rookery on the Tudor property, I was introduced to the gorgeous Anokhi scarves. The Tudors have selected these gorgeous scarves for sale in their family shop as reminiscent of the scarves Tasha was so fond of. I was immediately taken with how gorgeous the patterns were, and the scarves are made of the lightest silky cotton.
    Soon after I returned home, I visited the Anokhi USA shop online and was overjoyed to see how many lovely patterns they have available---- in designs ranging from intricate florals to simple geometric designs.

    The scarves are all handmade and hand blocked in design. And best of all, Anokhi is a fair trade company. Anokhi is well known for its success in preserving and revitalizing traditional textile skills, and for its involvement with educational and social projects in Rajasthan, India, where the company is based and its products produced.

   Anokhi  uses hand block printing, on the highest quality pure cotton to create their textiles. The process begins with handmade teak printing blocks to create the design of each textile. For each scarf pattern, the printer designs from one to thirty print blocks, each of which takes two days to carve. Printers stamp every three-meter block of cloth approximately one thousand times. All the embroideries and decorative stitching are done by hand, mostly by the Meghwal community in the district of Barmer, in the Thar desert region of Northwest India. 

   I have simply fallen in love with these scarves and now count myself as a fan and collector. They are so well made--- the colors are deep and the detail of the patterns so lovely--- and the cotton is so light and breathable (which is handy during sweltering Oklahoma summers!)
   The scarves are pretty enough to be used as decorative pieces, placed in the center of a table with flowers or wrapped up with favorite books and tea for a lazy afternoon spent reading on the porch.

   I am happy to share my new found love of these dreamy scarves with you--- Anokhi USA has been so kind as to offer this lovely pair of scarves for YOU, my readers! The designs chosen for this giveaway were hand picked by the wonderful folks at Anokhi. The scarves they chose are some of their most "Tasha" looking designs, and goodness, did they pick just right! I cant wait for you to see and feel these beautiful scarves that are sure to become a staple in your own wardrobe--- whether you wear it with an apron and petticoat, or  jeans and a blouse. 

  Because of Anokhi's generosity, I have this pair of scarves to offer to TWO lucky winners this week--- one for each winner.  I have a blue floral scarf and a dark pink floral scarf for you to choose from (see photos below).  When commenting, just let me know which one you'd prefer  and on Friday I will choose a winner for each scarf!

  In the meantime, if you'd like to browse Anokhi USA's amazing collection of scarves, you can visit their website here. Not only do they offer their designs in these beautiful and decadent scarves, but they also sell kimonos, kaftans and surongs to wear as well as pillow covers and quilts to enjoy around the home.
   And while the scarves offered here today are very reminiscent of Tasha Tudor, they have many patterns that might suit your tastes even better, in the most amazing array of colors. Happy shopping!~

  And so--- if you'd like to make one of these scarves your own---- all you need to do is comment! And for added bonus chances to win, I would love it if you would share this post on your social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) and then just come back here to leave an additional comment letting me know! That will help spread the word and also up your chances of having your name selected!

  Best of luck and, of course---
Happy Tasha Tuesday!~

PS: Be sure to check back again on Friday, Tasha's actual birthday....there will be one LAST giveaway, and perhaps a little more from Anokhi.........

This week's Tasha Tuesday book winner....

    Hello, and good afternoon! I am popping in to announce the winner of this week's Tasha Tuesday post! Are you ready?!?! This week's winner is......

  AMY from Pan Pan Studios!

Congrats, Amy! Let's get in touch and I will send your copy of Tasha Tudor's Garden your way!!!

A big thanks to all who entered, and again to Tovah Martin for her wonderful interview. Be sure to come back next week for our last Tasha Tuesday and giveaway.......

Take Joy,

House Portrait: A Little Red Cape

  Usually when I'm asked to paint a portrait--- its of people! For this project, however, I had the pleasure of creating a portrait of a house for my friend Erin. Erin is a lover of history and all things 'old timey' and has just revamped her blog as Bygone Living.
   The house that Erin chose for her banner is a real home, situated in Setauket, NY. You can read more about the house and see its gorgeous interior here on her blog.

   It's Erin's dream to one day live in an antique home like this--- and one I can understand! Of course there are no homes of this age in Oklahoma, but I do love these old New England homes so much! Yesterday I stopped by Blue Heron Antiques in Jenks, Ok. to visit my lovely friends there. They have been busy traveling all over the US to collect beautiful Early American furniture and accents to put in their shop--- and I'll be honest--- wandering among that old furniture made me a strange kind of homesick.

  It will come as no surprise, I'm sure, that we're already talking about 'next time' we go to New England, and were hatching plans before we even got back to Oklahoma! It's a place that captures the heart and imagination, for certain!~

  And if you're a lover of old-time New England and history, Erin's blog will be a great read for you as well!~


Tasha Tuesday: An Interview with Tovah Martin

Good Morning, and Happy Tasha Tuesday!~
    I'm so glad you could join us, as I'm thrilled to have a very special guest on the blog today--- Tovah Martin! Tovah in a renowned horticulturist, author, speaker and contributor to print and television media. She was also a longtime friend of Tasha Tudor and counted her as a mentor.
   You may even be familiar with two of her books written about Tasha--- Tasha Tudor's Garden and Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts. You can learn more about Tovah and her books on her website, and I also suggest following her great page Plantwise with Tovah Martin on facebook.
   I'm so pleased to have Tovah here on the blog today chatting a bit about Tasha, and can't wait to share it with you. And thanks so much to Tovah, for taking time out of her very busy schedule, to "Talk Tasha" with us. 
   And so, I will get out of the way, and welcome Tovah to the blog!~

- What was it about Tasha Tudor that first drew you to her? 

    Long before I met Tasha in person, I was drawn to her art. Coincidentally, an aunt worked for the publishing house that produced Tasha’s stationery and she gave me a set of Tasha’s cards when I was very young. I never parted with a sheet of that stationery. 
   Instead, I brought those cards with me wherever I went—to college and to my first job. Her art captured the essence of free-spirited country life and there was nothing else like it at the time. 
Photo by Richard Brown
    Every brushstroke spoke of levity and a love of nature. So when Tasha walked through the door of Logee’s Greenhouses, where I was working, I recognized her immediately. But how could you fail to recognize Tasha? It wasn’t just that she dressed uniquely—she had an independence and a spark that set her apart from the rest of the world. 

- How did Tasha's garden inspire and influence your own gardening style? 

     Tasha also gardened like nobody else. Her love of vintage plants was contagious. Tasha 
was really the first cottage gardener that I knew—she forged a passion for a style of gardening that was dense and infinitely romantic. 
    It was defined by tight paths, groping vines, hidden terraces, heady fragrances, and plants with stories attached. I will never be as brilliant a gardener as Tasha, but I try. Tasha’s foxgloves, sweetpeas, peonies, Exbury azaleas, and dianthus were the stuff of dreams. I can see and smell them now. They’re still some of my favorite flowers.

- What advice do you have for anyone who would like to create a cottage garden? 

     I think the essence of a cottage garden is the density. You should become lost in it. Tasha 
loved to make lunch when I visited and she always did it from scratch. So as soon as I arrived she would say, “Go show yourself around the garden while I make the lunch.” And that was my signal to get lost. 
    It was so hard to pull myself away from the magic of the plantings to sit down to eat when lunch was ready. Fortunately, she always served lunch outside during the growing season. Even if it was pouring, we sat on the back porch. A cottage garden needs to surround you 
Illustration by Tasha Tudor
and touch you.

- What was your favorite spot in the Corgi Cottage garden? 

     That’s a tough question. Tasha always had a project going—inside and outside. So she 
was invariably planning a new section of the garden throughout our friendship. Whatever she was working on became our focus and her enthusiasm was boundless. When she made her “secret garden” with the larger-than-life foxgloves—I was enthralled. I loved the greenhouse with its gnarly old camellias. But I also loved her potting area with the stacks of old terra cotta pots. And I remember the first time I saw the fairy ring of dianthus…the whole place was a fantasy.

-Did you learn any heirloom crafts from Tasha that you still enjoy today? 
Photo by Richard Brown

    I’ve always loved to sew, but Tasha shared her love for hand sewing rather than stitching 
on a sewing machine. I still find it infinitely restful to pick up a piece of mending and work on it by hand. And Tasha also taught me how to make flower garlands. I’ve brought that to my local elementary school—teaching the kids how to weave garlands. 

-How has Tasha inspired you to 'take joy' in your work and life? 

   Beneath it all, I think Tasha’s primary message was to follow your own drummer and 
honor your inner creativity. Tasha forged trends, she never followed them. She found beauty and she created beauty. Tasha could take a piece of paper and make something absolutely splendid from it. She could look at a flower and see the world in its petals. And she discovered that beauty daily with fresh eyes. Certainly, she taught me to look and really see the zest all around us. And she inspired me to seek the words to express my reverence for nature.



 And now, to celebrate Tasha's garden and in celebration of such a wonderful visit with Tovah Martin, I've got a very special giveaway in store! This week's giveaway is a copy of Tovah Martin's beautiful book "Tasha Tudor's Garden." This book is a staple of any Tasha Tudor book collection--- with lovely and thoughtful writing (plus, lots of expert garden information!) as well as the gorgeous photos of Richard Brown. If you'd like to win a copy of this book--- it's easy! Just leave a comment here on the blog. Good luck! And the winner will be announced on Friday!~

  Hope you have a wonderful Tasha Tuesday!~
Take Joy,

August: Artist Appreciate Month

 I think all of us can think of someone who's art we've seen and that captures our hearts and imaginations. It may be a painting, a sculpture, a piece of music or a book illustration--- but something about it, and something about the creator, speaks to our heart.
   This month Patience Brewster, a talented artist in her own right, is hosting "Artist Appreciation Month" on her blog and I was asked to join in!
   As I selected my artists to feature, I was struck by their similarities--- all women, all raising children while they created, all very much tied to New England. 
   I was thrilled to see that Patience Brewster fits all of these categories as well, so it all seems very much 'meant to be.'
   Patience grew up in Plymouth, Mass. (yes, that Plymouth!) and she always had a love for art and creating. 
   First working as an illustrator for books and cards and later moving on to sculptural elements such as her very popular ornaments, she worked many years with little ones underfoot. 
  It is so inspiring for me to see women blossom as artists and businesswomen with family and motherhood. I believe that the life experiences, emotions and love that makes a woman a mother adds depth to her work, although it is such a tricky balance to strike--- pursuing your passion for art while keeping the home fires burning, so to speak. Patience and the other amazing women in this post managed to do just that though, and I consider them all role models as I try to follow in their footsteps.
   And so, without further ado, here are the wonderfully talented ladies I have chosen to high light this month--- beginning, of course, with.....

Tasha Tudor
 As you all know, I love Tasha Tudor. I count that day in the bookstore when I fished "The Private World of Tasha Tudor" out of a sale book bin at Borders one very auspicious day.
   At the time, I was trying to finish college and very newly married. I had set up a little table in a tiny corner of our tiny apartment where I could paint, but had given up on ever painting for anything other than enjoyment.
   I'd let the advice of others and the weight of classes sending me the message of 'get a real job, and that's not art' pound the creativity out of me. I assumed to be 'happy and successful' I had to resign myself to life in an office and snatch moments of painting here and there. It wasn't any sort of life that excited me, but I was under the impression that that was how you lived when you were 'grown up.'
   However, opening up that book--- a spark was lit! I saw a woman defiantly 'living the life she imagined' and being successful (tremendously successful) at it. I saw a woman who loved the same old fashioned things I loved, who lived in a home and lifestyle that spoke to her heart, and not what the world would tell her to do. 
  I think seeing that, and falling in love with her art and books, made me braver. I adopted the philosophy that the best way to live was being true to my own heart and desires. Which, of course, took an incredible amount of baby steps and going against much very practical advice. I quit my job to be with my baby. I started painting and entering shows and selling online. We sold our modern house and bought an old craftman with a studio space. We had another baby. And it's all been.....a huge blessing.
    And I feel like step one in all of this could very well have been seeing Tasha's art and life and seeing that there was another way of being in the world. And for this, she will always have a soft spot in my heart.

Grandma Moses

 This summer we were able to travel to "Grandma Moses Country" up in very upstate New York and into Vermont. I can't tell you how much my heart just absolutely sang to be in the places that Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) lived and painted.
   Probably the 'original' painting granny (because I'm becoming aware of my undying love for them, as you'll see!) her story has almost a fairytale element to it.
   She didnt even begin painting until the ripe old age of 78, after raising a house full of children and living for decades as a rural farmer's wife. She decided to take up painting after age made it difficult to continue another love--- embroidering-- and one of her paintings just happened to be spotted in a drugstore window by a big-time art collector in her native Hoosick Falls, NY. In a turn of events that is practically head spinning, she was displaying at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC within a year.
   What I love about Grandma Moses' art is how authentic it is to her--- she just painted what she liked and how she was able to do it and it was an outrageous success.
   Many of her works took place in the country of her girlhood, upstate New York, and remembered activities and events of the past. She painted a piece inspired by learning of the death of Abraham Lincoln as a little girl---- which is an amazing snapshot of history from one who was really there.
   I also love her depictions of every day life in 19th century New England--- like tapping the maple trees, going to quilting bees, and even mischeivious pranks on Halloween.
  Grandma Moses is an amazing example of "it's never too late to start something new" and I find her so inspiring in so many ways! During our trip I was able to see many of her works in person in the collection at the Bennington Museum in Bennington, VT. And I will always treasure those long winding drives through Vermont and New York, knowing I was actually in those landscapes so dear to her.

Barbara Cooney
 Illustrator Barbara Cooney is a new discovery for me, but I already have a strong affinity for her and her beautiful creations and timeless books.
   Cooney may have been born in NYC, but she was also immensely inspired by small town New England, especially her beloved Maine.
   I first discovered her when we bought The Ox-cart Man for Robbie at Old Sturbridge Village. 
   We were not only captivated by the story, but also Cooney's gorgeous illustrations with their folk art feel and the way that they shared so much in so many little tucked in details--- an artistic element I love and try to do myself. 
   We ordered a few more of her books, including Miss Rumphius and Island Boy and our hearts are completely captured, not only by her amazing art but her own lovely story telling in the books she wrote herself.
    In learning more about her I see many similarities between her and Tasha Tudor--- the child of a painting mother, she grew up surrounded by art and creativity, and she was most happy out in the countryside, particularly the landscapes of old New England. She loved to travel, and those exotic destinations do make an appearance in her work, but it is evident where her heart truly lay---- the seaside, the country, New England.
    I have just started really delving into her art and am surprised to find that there's not too terribly much information on her, despite her winning two Caldecott Medals and being declared a 'treasure' by the entire state of Maine.
   I look forward to learning more about her and collecting more of her books and art. And like the rest of the women featured in this post, I find her life and work so very inspiring. 

.......And so, here they are, a few of my favorite artists, women and creators that feed my imagination, forge a path for me to follow, and made the world a more beautiful place through their art.

   I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about those who inspire me. And now--- tell me--- what artists inspire you? Is there anyone out there whose work you love, or maybe you inspired you in some way in your life? Do tell!~ I'd love to hear your stories and inspiration.....


Tasha Tuesday Week 2 Winner

Hi Friends!~ Thanks so much to all who entered the giveaway for the knitted doll set for our Tasha Tuesday celebrations! This week's winner is.....Cathy from Morning Musings! Thanks so much for entering, Cathy! :D Just send me your mailing address and these little things will head your way!~
Stay tuned for next week's Tasha Tuesday!~!~

Old Sturbridge Village: A Glimpse At Homespun Yarns

    One of the many things I loved about our trip to New England this summer was how much traditional fiber art I was able to see, touch (pet?) and learn about. It had been my hope that I would be able to see some traditionally made yarns at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass. and I was not disappointed! On our second day there, there were a pair of young women simmering yarns and hanging their dyed wares out to dry--- and you know my heart just went pitter-pat....

   That day they were dyeing beautiful reds with cochineal (made from....beetles! Yes, bugs), brilliant deep blues with indigo, and greens with sage. I'm not sure what the browns were being dyed with.....but I'm hoping it's black walnut since I have a big black walnut tree just outside my kitchen window!
    The girls were very sweet and knowledgeable--- and I tried to play it cool but you know I was dying to ask if they were using some kind of old timey legit, but pretty gross, human mordant (you don't even wanna know....ok, it involves urine.....) but I think they said they were using iron (they said.)

   The skeins of yarn they were making that day were big and beautiful and oh, it got me so excited to come home and try these things out with my studio-mate-all-round-best-girl Tasha. I think as fall gets closer and the weather cools off, we will find ourselves out back cooking up big batches of dyes. I have some indigo that I've been holding onto (my precious) and I'd love to dye with cochineal. 
   So....despite the hot weather (although it was actually nice today, 88!) I am eagerly looking ahead to fall. I've got some big projects on my painting desk right now so I'm not sure that I'll be able to do a large group of new offerings for an Autumn Gathering this year-- but Im ordering prints and restocking my shop soon and will also have new pieces for sale.

   As always....thank you for coming here to visit. I appreciate it so much!~
Til next time,

Lamentations--- Shop Update

hey there, friends!~
   Just ducking in to share that my painting "Lamentations" is now available in my etsy shop! You can ead more about it HERE.  This is a special piece to me--- and perhaps it will offer a little comfort for you or someone you know.

Tasha Tuesday: Little Knitted Love

 Good morning and welcome to another Tasha Tuesday as we celebrate the 100th birthday of one of my favorite artists, Tasha Tudor!

   This past summer I was able to step through Tasha's door into her little house filled to the brim with all the treasures that inspired her life and art. Fine china, her painting supplies, antique furniture, her doll house with such little beautiful things and even her knitting-- still in its basket, placed off to the side near a huge antique loom.

  Recently I've been thumbing through my copy of Tovah Martin's book "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts" and have really  been enjoying the sections on dyeing and spinning (especially now that I have Gretel!) and her love for miniatures and dolls. It's amazing how many old skills Tasha was able to hone, and how many talented artisans and friends she was able to surround herself with. It's a concept I am taking to heart myself, as I identify more deeply with how her hobbies and life influenced her art. I am finding the same thing is happening to me!

   For this "Tasha Tuesday" I thought I'd combine two of Tasha's great loves (two things I also love!) knitting and little doll things. I am starting to see the advantage in combining knitting and dolls--- doll clothing knits up a lot faster, and a doll will never rip a hat off and run squealing from the room. Yep, dolls always appreciate what you make them.

A page from "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts by Tovah Martin

    And so I've been inspired to get out my own knitting needles to make some little things--- a pointed little cap with a ribbon tie and lacy edged capelet with antique button to fasten it closed. The duo fit just perfectly on my little doll made by my talented dollmaker friend Christine Crocker. Christine is another Tasha Tudor lover, and it was my pleasure to get to ramble through Tasha's garden with her--- as well as Deefield Massachusetts! The dolls she makes are inspired by the antique Queen Anne style dolls that was used as dressmaker models in the 1700s--- and I'm sure Tasha would have loved them.

   And so--- what would another special Tasha Tuesday post be without a giveaway to share? And this week's giveaway is special because it is the cap and capelet that I just finished up. Knit using a dreamily soft alpaca blend yarn, these pieces will fit a small doll, but can be adjusted a bit depending on where you tie the cap or button the collar of the capelet. 

  If you'd like to win these little pieces, it's easy! Just leave me a comment here on this post. And on Friday one lucky winner will be selected!~

   In other Tasha news--- The Tudor family will be hosting "Tasha Tudor Day" The Centenary Celebration on August 29 in West Brattleboro, VT. Some of the events scheduled include a Tasha Tudor cross stitching pattern class taught with the help of my sweet friend Melinda Mull--- also a lover of precious doll things and little treasures! There will also be a 'coloring for grown ups' class and a watercolor class taught by Marjorie Tudor--- which I would love to be able to take part in....if only I was just a little bit closer!
   For more information on these events, you can go HERE.

Well, I will sign off for now. I'm so glad you came by to visit! 
Have a happy Tasha Tuesday--

Gretel the Spinning Wheel: An Estate Sale Love Story

Earlier this week I dropped my daughter off at VBS and just happened to glance through the ads to see that an estate sale was going on a couple of miles from our church. From the ad I saw that they had Longaberger Baskets and wingback chairs. "Oh good," I thought. "I bet I can get some 80s craft books at this sale!" And really, that was all I was going after. Until...of course...I saw her:

    I swear, my heart started to pound and I could barely breathe. I'd been pricing wheels last month in anticipation of going to Fiber Christmas in July and those prices were completely out of my range. I texted photos of the wheel to my studio buddy and spinning ingenue House Sparrow Fine Nesting. Was the price good? Did it look good? It's like....I couldnt even think I was just in luuuuv. Suddenly I was thinking all:

 and of course:

   I hovered over that wheel like a nervous chicken, knowing I hadnt really planned to spend more than pittance at the sale but also realizing "when am I EVER going to have this kind of luck again?" It was an Ashford Traveler wheel with all the bobbins and bits and a 'lazy Kate' attached. With all this flying around in my brain,  I made the decision--- I picked up that wheel and I BOUGHT it.  I put her in my car, all a-twitter with being smitten, despite all the dust and actual (fairytale?) cobwebs covering her. The wheel had obviously been in storage somewhere for quite a while.I just prayed that the wheel worked and that I at least came out even on what I spent on her.

   I think I named her before I even got home. I'd learned from my fiber art friends that they give their wheels names, like an old friend. And I had just the perfect name for her--- Gretel. Old timey, folksy, and a wee bit fairy tale.

  So-- I got her home, dusted her off (there may have been sweet nothings whispered. Don't judge) and polished her up. Tasha (my studio-mate, not Tudor, lol) looked it over and declared her totally workable. There may have been a moment of terror when the conrod snapped in half when I was cleaning the wheel, but luckily it was a very easy and cheap fix. 

   The next day I took the wheel to see my friend Jane Deason--- Fiber Art Guru and Maven of all things fiber and spinning--- who also happens to be a dealer for Ashford Spinning Wheels. When I sat down with her to look at the wheel she laughed, "You know you practically stole this, don't you?" So....looks like I got a very good deal. :D

   Jane gave me some great tips on caring for my new wheel and I bought a maintenance kit to replace any bits from the wheel that may need updating or might break like the old conrod did. The wheel is probably from the late 70s/into the 80s and from the look of her, wasn't used too much. Oooooh, all that is about to change. Gretel is going to get a new lease on life, and I'm vowing to make the most out of what really comes down to dumb luck. but surely---- Gretel and I? We're meant to be ;)

   And so....here we go. On a yarn spinning adventure! And this will dovetail so nicely with next week's Tasha Tuesday post! Be sure to check back Tuesday for that post.....with more goodies to win!~

Have a wonderful weekend!~