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Crafting On: Yarn and Barn Yard

    It's a funny little piece of spring here--- the roses have bloomed, but it keeps turning stormy and cold. These pretty climbing roses ( a hearty yellow climber from the feed store and a cherished David Austin Rose called 'Strawberry Hill) seem to have done alright though....they're on the east facing wall of the studio, and so are protected by 101 year old brick work from the squalls that run in from the west.

  Spring is, perhaps, the prettiest time here (aside from an odd autumn here in there if the summer hasnt been too brutal and worn out the trees before they can glow with fall color.) April in Oklahoma will lull you into thinking this is an impossibly lush, green place. It's probably when most settlers came and said "oh, what a lovely place! Let's stay!" and then weren't they surprised when July and August rolled around ;).......

   Currently we've been having the best time with the newest addition to our little 'urban homestead'....we got a new baby rabbit and a young chicken. Some wires must have gotten crossed because now the chicken just wants to be with the rabbits (she thinks the hens are too much drama) it's hilarious.

   Aside from animal husbandry though, I've been spinning and making new yarn, and am in the midst of 'circling the wagons' as they say. Im trying to simplify my life and commitments, get myself focused and a little replenished. Which is so hard to do, isnt it? Because it often involves saying no to people and feeling like you're being selfish for guarding your time and energy. But sometimes...you just gotta!

   Something fun we are planning around here is a monthly 'tea and craft' date, I'm thinking perhaps the last saturday of each month. We're getting together this coming Saturday with lunch at The Burnett Mansion at 11 am and the coming back to my studio to craft from 1-5. Anyone is welcome to come, and if it better suits your schedule to come sometime in the afternoon, drop ins are welcome! The studio is at 120 E McKinley in Sapulpa, OK. Let me know if you'd like to come!

  And because this is a little bit about crafting and crafting already done (I just finished those skeins above that are white and pink, which get their pink from madder root dye!) I'll add this to the Keep Calm and Craft On round up! Visit Frontier Dreams to see more!

thanks so much for coming by--- what are you up to with your crafts and projects?

Original Painting: Summer Cottage Garden

 One of the latest additions to my etsy shop is this new painting-- Summer Cottage Garden. It's an illustration from my book "Snow on Martinmas" that can now be enjoyed as a print!

  The scene shown is a summer harvest scene in my 'dream' English cottage garden. Oh, to have flowers so sweet and lush, and veggies so perfect and large, right? There's lot of detail tucked into this piece as well, such as happy little bees around the lavender bush, and a farmer gathering the season's first hay in the back ground.

 And I love a good baby-in-a-basket, you know ;) Couldnt resist putting a little one on mama's back as she and her older child gathered the day's harvest. Perhaps they're headed into town that morning to sell their veggies at the market? Or perhaps they are preparing for Michaelmas dinner?

 This painting can be enjoyed in my book Snow on Martinmas, but I thought it was a perfect spring and summer print as well. Hope you like it too! :)


{Crafting On} Lenten Shawl

  Hello and good morning! This is going to be a bit of a quick post because this is a busy day in a busy week! Not only is it Holy Week, but my oldest has state testing as well to make sure our homeschooling efforts are keeping her on track for where she needs to be within her grade. I'm not worried for her, we've already gotten to fifth grade math, and her English skills are on track too. But say a prayer for us as we navigate this new territory!

  One thing I'm happy to have completed though is my Lenten Shawl--- the knitting project I took on as my Lenten Discipline. I took part in the Lenten Knit Along with Willfulmina on Instagram and am honestly very surprised I finished up EARLY! Its my plan to wear the shawl at Easter Vigil.
  The salmon color yarn is yarn that I hand dyed with Madder Root several weeks ago, the oatmeal is natural undyed wool from my friend Lavonne and the navy is hand-dyed too, although just with rit dye.

  I LOVE how it turned out and have worn it out several times. With a nice little shawl pin, Im able to arrange it several ways, and make prominent the salmon or the navy, depending on what color goes best with what I'm wearing.

  The way this shawl is made is super easy. Literally all I did was a 'yarn over' on one end of the shawl, and that is what gave it the asymmetrical triangle shape. I haphazardly worked in stripes of the new color pretty much when I felt ready to do it (haphazard could be my middle name when it comes to crafting...I am not an exacting kind of gal).

  What I didnt realize when I started this project was that the second (middle) color would become the 'main' color of the whole piece, but I like how that worked out, because the oatmeal gives it a more neutral feel that goes with lots of things, instead of being more blue or more coral. I'd like to make this shawl again with a whole new color scheme.

   And so, I must run--- but there are lots of {crafting on} projects over at Frontier Dreams to view this week! THanks to those who have come to visit me from there! I appreciate it so much!

  Off to our busy day now, but will be back soon!~

{Dye Project} Pascha Red Yarn

 As promised! Here's a peek at the yarn that I dyed with the Greek Easter Egg dye! The color that came out is pretty amazing! A really deep, brilliant, striking red. Even prettier than the eggs, if you can believe it!

Im not sure how color fast it is. But I rinsed (and rinsed, and rinsed....then rinsed again) the yarn and the color kept its richness. The color also kept coming out into the water.....so Im not sure if it is something that will always bleed :O I rinsed this stuff for more than a day! But its good enough to play around with at any rate!

I also ordered some more natural dyes to play around with in the coming weeks and will work on getting some fresh dyes and handspuns in my shop! So, stay tuned for more pretty dye projects! And now, to decide what to do with this luscious 'Pascha Red' yarn..... Im thinking maybe an infinity scarf? Or do you know of a project that begging for 2 skeins of ravishing red? Do tell!~

The Tale of the Red Easter Egg

   We've been busy little chickens around here! It seems the girls are all laying now, and we are practically overrun with eggs--- white eggs....slightly pinkish eggs (whose iridescent pearlish pink shell interior will make your heart leap a bit when you crack it) great lovely mint green eggs, and teensy tiny brown bantam eggs--- one girl lays smooth coffee brown, the other a lighter mocha with dark freckles.

  The other day we got out the traditional Greek Easter Egg dye I ordered from Legacy Icons and dyed a whole bowl full of eggs.....they came out a bright deep pink! I'd thought they'd be more red, but the pink is pretty too. Then I got silly and dropped some yarn into the dye....Oh, THAT, friends, is another story! The Easter Egg Yarn! But I digress....

  We are up to our beaks in eggs and happy chickens....

As for this mama hen, I've been doing some little paintings, like a grouping of saint portraits I finished last week. I still have this little painting of Mary Magdalene with her red egg--- how appropriate, yes? 
  The story of Mary Magdalene and her red egg is very interesting, one of those lovely folk tales that sprang up about the Apostles adventures after Pentecost was over and they went throughout the world declaring "He is risen!"

  The legend says that Mary Magdalene traveled to see the very Emperor of Rome to declare that Jesus had risen from the dead. She had brought a basket eggs to illustrate her point about rebirth, but the emperor mocked her.
"He is no more 'risen than those eggs are red!" He is said to have scoffed....and then the crowd gasped to see that the eggs had all suddenly turned, yes, red!

And so it is that you'll see many icons and painting depicting Mary Magdalene with her red egg!

  I also painted some little wooden pins--- perfect for scarfs or shawls or cardigans! I have one more left in my shop at the moment--- and I will make more! They are so fun to make, and how neat to have a little painting you can wear, dontcha think?

  And so, these are a few of the things we've been up to lately. Just little projects done here and there. At this stage in life, this is what I can manage. I've had a bit of an epiphany about what I can do and that its ok if it's small. I love the St. Therese quote 'do small things with great love.' Small things are important. It doesnt all have to be a massive undertaking. It can be little paintings projects tucked here in there, between spelling words and math chapters. And those little things can be pretty satisfying!

What small things are you doing with great love these days? I'd love to hear about them!

{Crafting On} April Showers, and Always Knitting

   It's spring in Oklahoma. Everything is so lush and green you could almost talk yourself into thinking you were in some lovely English landscape. And then the violent thunderstorms come, and the tornado warnings, and things start to feel a little less like "Larkrise to Candleford" but ah, well! As any good Okie should, I do love a good thunderstorm!

 Right now, Im looking out my dining room windows at the most interesting light. The half sunny day/half foreboding Bronte sky sort of light. The steeples on the churches outside are stark, lovely white against the dark sky. I love it. This might be the essence of prairie life.

    I am also happy to see things greening up. It was an ugly, bare gray and brown winter here. We really had no snow to speak of. No winter wonderland. Just dry and dark. I wish we'd had some snow--- I know the plants need it, and the bugs will be awful come July. But at this point, Im glad to see the green come. The garden is waking up, and the spring rains are romancing the little leaves and buds to open. April in Oklahoma is a gorgeous time. If only it could always be April or October!

   Right now I am working on a couple of knitting projects. I finished my shawl for myself and have worn it out and about a few times, I'm very happy with it! Right now I'm trying to start on a wrap for a friend and keep starting over. It just always seems not quite right. I've switched from circular needs to plain old straight ones. Here's hoping this time around will work out! I'll just keep toting it around in my little works-in-progress bag, with my little bag of knitting odds and ends that make me laugh--- I also got it at Fleece n Flax in Eureka Springs!

 Ah, and as for reading....I just picked up these two books at the library. After much heavy reading, I wanted something light and happy. My friend Patricia recommended books by "Miss Read" as what I was looking for when I asked about 'a book that takes place in a nice english village and everything works out in the end!" I got the Christmas one because that's all my library had, I'll have to order in more from the other branches. But you know me....I do love Christmas! I picked up the other book because it had a pretty house, a nice garden, and should be an old timey mystery. Lol, that's all Im going on right now!

And so....that's what happening around here! THanks so much for everyone who entered my book giveaway! I appreciate it so much! How strange and lovely to have my very own book out in the world! If you get a copy, I hope you love it!~!~!
til next time,

This post is part of the "Keep Calm and Craft On" project with Frontier Dreams. Click HERE to see the other blogs!

Book Giveaway Winner!

hello there, friends! Thank you SO MUCH for your warm reception of my little book, "Snow on Martinmas."
I am posting here to announce the winner of the giveaway for the book....which is Kirby!
Thank you so much!~

And if you'd like to get a copy of my book, it is now available on Amazon! :D