Ward House

A visit

I was so excited about this afternoon;  the granddaughter of Mrs. Ward was to stop by for a visit.  I was hopeful to hear some of her growing up stories, memories of her Grandmother, etc.  The neighbor just emailed to say that the Granddaughter had stopped by her shop (that avatar is on the right side bar) to say they were heading home early.  I am sad to have missed her visit.  =(  Please come back soon!!

In other news, my friend over at Howling Hill is now writing for The Greenists; her first post is about one of my

favorite animals – CHICKENS!  Stop for a visit.

A sweet giveaway from Phat Fiber – these too cute stitch markers.

And, since some of us need a ‘gloom & doom’ fix (not really G&D), the partial lunar eclipse this Saturday portents some interesting social upheavals, amongst other things.  Serenity posted the details here. Current events seem to be right on.

Since we will not have guests this eve, work will continue and hopefully finish on the coop.  I also hope to stitch a few more envelopes and a skirt! *crosses fingers*


June 24, 2010 Posted by | Chickens, family, repurpose, sewing | | 1 Comment

Old t-shirts

Ronnie went through his drawers the other night and set out many t-shirts that he does not like/will no longer wear, etc.  This pile has been sitting by the closet for several weeks now and it is time for me to either donatethese to Good will or repurpose them into something we/I can use at the house.  Handkerchiefs are in limited supply and I like t-shirt material (jersey) so began my search for how to make a handkerchief from this material.  Typing this makes me realize that all sounds kind of silly; why do I need a tutorial to make a handkerchief?  Just cut a square of material and hem it, right?

Well, if I’d taken that attitude then this tutorial, on round and such handkerchiefs would not have been found,  nor this one on making a skirt.  You know I’m going to have to make both, like this weekend.  Yes, there will be pictures.  

June 23, 2010 Posted by | repurpose, sewing | , , , , | Leave a comment

16 days (roughly)

And counting.  We will actually celebrate Yule a little early as we will have all kids home the weekend of 12/19.  I am feeling a bit crunched.  Yes, we give only a few small gifts to each other.  Still.  There are so many patterns that I’d like to stitch/hook/knit and so little time – even when I started earlier this year!  I must admit to being scattered especially since I keep changing the list!  LOL  Adults are easy enough – it is making something that my fashionista teens will like that I find most challenging. 

Having typed all of that, I did find these posts today that provided some inspiration:

  1. Repurposed sewing, which some great book links, from FIMBY.
  2. Beeswax, candles (citrus) from brown robin
  3. Great December desktop wallpapers from Smashing Magazine.
  4. Field Guide to Cookies giveaway.  =)  Find your inspiration!

Today I have also posted at Homemakers Who Work – scoot over there to see pictures of the gingerbread house we created this weekend.  The recipe is included!

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Crafting, economy, gift ideas, sewing | 3 Comments

Picture Pages

As promised, a picture of the shrug that was repurposed last night AND a shot of the mouse hole in the house, behind the wood stove.  It faces Odis’ food bowl so it is easy for the mouse to snack.

With that, I’m gonna finish baking cookies for tomorrow.  =)  Nite!

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Crafting, family, sewing | 3 Comments


Found this yesterday and have just the sweater to use – glad I did not donate!

I hope to take a picture this afternoon – wore the bolero top today.  LOVE IT!

Now for a sweet non-halloween giveaway that does not expire until 11/3; check out the goods over at Keeper of the Home.  Another must read is over at A Homesteading Neophyte; read yesterday’s entry about the snake and then today’s – love young people’s logic!
Lastly I fell in love with this book (The Sew-It Book) < would make a cute addition to our library! My girls would enjoy this, during one of their crafty  moments!

That Queen Anne’s Lace scarflette is finished and I started one in black.  Crochet is so much faster/easier for me.  I believe once I finish this sock, the next one will be crochet!  =)  More on that later. 

October 29, 2009 Posted by | halloween, sewing | 5 Comments

Repurpose clothing

This weekend I will once again tackle the laundry, craft room which has become the collect-all.  Potatoes need to go into a better form of storage other than a bucket in the floor. This room also holds a pile of clothes that were gifted to me by someone who has a different body shape than I, meaning I cannot wear these clothes.  This pile is viewed as gifted crafting materials;  Ronnie has a different name for it.  *clears throat*

When thinking of what new items could be created from these various pieces, I found these sites:

Am I crazy?  It is not like I have a slew of time to sew and when there is spare time, knitting is what is picked up.  The more I think about it, and Phelan’s post about hording vs prepping.  Torn, I am, on if this is considered hording or saving for a day when I will have more time to craft.  Clutter does pull down the energy so am I just crazy?  

Your thoughts?

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October 16, 2009 Posted by | economy, self sufficiency, sewing | 2 Comments

DNT update and other nonsense

Not saying that the DNT is nonsense. This picture of my mug falls under the nonsense category. Kathie had posted about moments she is enjoying and I included vanilla biscotti coffee from my new ‘recycled’ starbucks mug. As that phrase sounds kind of icky, a picture is definately worth a thousand words. This is a new mug that is made from 28% post consumer plastic.

Now that the mug is cleared up, on to the DNT challenge. Not as much as been accomplished. *sighs heavily*

  1. Not walking to work yet. Went home sick Monday, had an appt. in Staunton Tuesday so that just left today. Tomorrow I am on call for the restaurant and work there Fri. & Sat. night. Good thing about the hours is that I can hopefully get some medical bills paid for and be in a better position financially.
  2. Waiting and watching for windows – watching Craigs List.
  3. Ronnie knows someone, who knows someone, who services machines for The Bacova Guild. Waiting to hear if this guy can look at my machine. In the meantime I did buy a Brother sewing machine. Has more bells and whistles than I currently use; however, this Brother will take me into more projects.
  4. Tallow is still in the freezer. Ronnie and I did talk (yes, talk is cheap) about making soap. I explained, briefly, how lye is made from ashes and how a ‘simple’ barrell can be used to filter water through ashes to make lye. Remember we have a wood furnace and wood cook stove – Lots of ashes. In the meantime, my next trip to Walmart will include a lye purchase, unless the local mart has it – I will be floored if they do!
  5. Complete. I purchased the banner, completed policies, listed and have even paid on my first invoice! Whoo hoo.

Wow. Now, before I forget, Sharon has some great info here about saving/preserving/using herbs. Enjoy today and I’ll be back.

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Doing not thinking, economy, family, Recycling, sewing, wood cook stove | 2 Comments

DNT challenge update

I am day late in posting this update. Fortunately, not a dollar short for once. One of the waitresses is out for the next two weeks so I have picked up her days plus my regular days. Makes for some nice jingle in the pocket though not much sleep in the bod. *yawns* Anyway, check out my earlier post about goals; this is what I’ve accomplished so far:

  1. No walking to work yet – still working on the logistics of the p/t job and kid activities.
  2. Have already put out feelers for unwanted windows.
  3. sewing machine still a big ?. The closest service center is almost 2 hours away (one way).
  4. tallow is still in the fridge.
  5. Purchased a banner that kind of fits my magpie, fairy-diddle behaviors. Completed the policies, about me, etc and listed my first items. Please let me know what you think.

One of the massage therapists that works at the Warm Spirit Spa (located in the Grist Mill) was in the bar last night (while I was working, obviously) and we got to talking about massage therapy as a business. On several occasions she mentioned that it was her opinion that I would be really good at it. Not sure why she thinks that. Anyway, I am giving her statement serious thought and it seems that as hours pick up at the restaurant and my hours at home are less I wonder if I am in the right place. I’ve posted about listening to ones intuition and my intuition says that I am not in the right place. Right now my actions are all about doing what will pay the bills. Yes, I preach to the girls to do something they enjoy and the money will come. I can say that to them because I will be there to help them until they get onto their feet; a safety net I do not have. Massage therapy is a skill that I would be able to barter, along with sewing, gardening, cooking, etc. I have concerns about being in insurance as the economy continues to tank. Already there are clients who have do not have a bank requirement for insurance and therefore canceled their home insurance policies. More of this will happen as money becomes more scarce. My computer/artsy skills will become less needed as people will stop internet service in favor of electricity, food and other essentials.

Massage therapy pulls from the creative dance side of me. Did you know that for 10+ years I studied middle eastern dance? The group I used to perform with can be found here. I stopped performing 2 years ago – could no longer afford the 2-hour drive to practices and classes. This picture is from a gallery opening we performed at in Blacksburg several years ago. This field fits my tattoo’d and peirced personality. I have yet to meet another insurance agent with a nose pin!

What are your thoughts? I am willing to invest in this program if it will help with the future. Not quiting my day job either; going to keep going with it for as long as I can.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Doing not thinking, family, sewing | 2 Comments

Doing Not Thinking (DNT)

A few weeks back Kathie at Two Frog Home started the Doing Not Thinking (DNT) challenge again. So much more can be accomplished when one has the support and reporting requirements of and to a group.

After joining the group I realized that I had not really thought through what I wanted to accomplish with this challenge. Well, now I have it:

  1. Walk to work at least three days out of the week. Now, keep in mind that I live 2 miles from work so this will be no big deal. The challenge here is making sure I get up in time and leave the house when the bus picks up the girls (8:00 am). I’ve timed it and can walk 2 miles in 30 minutes. Reading this post by Sharon prompted me to get off my arse and start doing something to help fix the problem. Yes, I am but one; however, my one plus another plus another eventually adds up to many. My generation will only see the tip of the climate change iceburg. My children and grands will have to live that horror. If I can save just a little bit of that pain then I will do what I can NOW.
  2. Begin collecting what we need to build a greenhouse. The major challenge on this will be locating the windows. I’d like to repurpose old glass from a building being torn down or old windows being replaced.
  3. Find out what is up with my sewing machine. Straight stitches work just fine. A surging type stitch (zig zag) is too loose to be much good. My Singer machine is older and yes, I still have the original manual. Now, pick yourself off the floor. =) Even using the instructions, these stitches are still too loose.
  4. Make homemade soup using some tallow that we saved from a side of beef. Now Rhonda Jean, over at down–to–earth, has a great soap making tutorial and a current entry about making cold pressed soap. She also includes a soap calculator, though I am not sure I know how to use it. If the tallow does not work, I will make our soap using Rhonda’s process.
  5. Get serious about my home business so I can quit waiting tables (still have my day job). I have started creating an Esty store (the name is subject to change) and while this appeals to my creative nature, I am not sure if this is the way to go. If you needed to buy towels, wash cloths for the home, and cannot make your own, where do you go to get them? Walmart or do you try to buy homemade? If you go the homemade route, do you shop online? What types of online stores do you like? Do you flea market? etc.

This seems like a short list yet is packed with some intense (for me) items. *whew* Now to get started.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Crafting, Doing not thinking, greenhouse, Recycling, self sufficiency, sewing | 1 Comment


Last year I posted about the beginnings of our worm composting bins (vermiculture). For awhile I thought that using too much worm compost would burn the roots of your plants so I have used it very carefully. It would appear that this information is incorrect. Planet Natural states that because the PH is neutral that it is an excellent overall fertilizer. This compost can be used as a top dressing, in potting mix, seed raising mix or around the base of fruit trees.

Now our vermiculture set up is by no means glamorous. We do not have one of those commercially produced worm bins; a Rubbermaid green bin from K-mart with small holes drilled into the bottom for drainage, and larger holes towards the top and in the lid for ventilation. This evening we sorted the worms from their gold and we will use direct in the garden as well as make some worm tea; soak collected matter, strain and then spray or pour.

Now for a completely different tangent, isn’t this one of the cutest projects?? The tutorial can be found here.
Along crafting lines, various envelope templates can be found here and a bird house, from recycled pallets and various what nots, here.

April 16, 2009 Posted by | Crafting, Gardening, sewing | Leave a comment