Friday, December 18, 2009

PARSON BROWN....... waiting patiently for the snow to fly. Here in NE PA an inch or 2 is expected for tommorrow. That'll put a smile on his handsome face.

The baking is done for Christmas.
 Now if only I could muster up the courage to do some shopping for gifts.
I am not a shopper unless it is for the shop.
I have been working at my day job for like 9 straight days and finally have a day off today.
And I have made the most of it, I put together several foodie gift baskets for a few customers,
made pumpkin dip mixes and turkey soup packs,
three different gourmet cocoa blends and
puttered around besides.
I'd like to go home and put my feet up and relax but that's not going to happen.
Next to my chair is a beautiful frasier fir with not a single light or ornament on it, so that's what I will be doing in 15 minutes.
Now just in case I don't have time to post (back to work tommorrow) in the next few days.......

Friday, December 11, 2009


............and his Snowbuddy hiding in the cupboard.

This is a sitichery pattern that I did with a combination of stitchery and applique in wool. See the potpourri? I call it "Gift of the Magi". It is a mixture of real frankinscense and myrrh with rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs. For the "gold" I put mini gold paper stars and gold tinsel glitter in. Almost sold out of this one.

This is another soap made by my friend Robin Weber. I call it "Gift of the Magi" also because it is very lightly scented with frankinscense and myrrh. And of course, a gold bow to top it off.

I have the shop all decked out for Christmas with 7 small trees and lots of lights and garland and primitive ornies and dolls, but when I go home at the end of the day......NOTHING.....we haven't even gotten our tree yet. There's that old saying about the shoemakers kids with no shoes. Well, that's our quiltmaker/crafter with not a one in sight.  How sad!

I have a hundred things to do before the quilt guild meeting Monday and will have to fit it in aound my work schedule (I work everyday til then). So...must get busy sewing and pattern designing. Will take pics and post later.......

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Just one of several cookie trays.

Candy jar display

The angel tree

A little snow guy

A big snow guy

Christmas spice soap with star anise decoration

Plain Jane soap in a plain brown wrapper-too cute!


Wassail Spice packets---always a best seller with the wine sampling---WOOHOO!

A very big thank you to everyone who came to the Open House.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I made this tablerunner for fall. It took just a couple hours to put together and then an hour or so to quilt. I will have patterns and kits available this weekend in Christmas colors. I will post a pic when its done. The pictures do not do it justice, the colors are more crisp and contrasting in person.

OoooooooH NooooooooO!!!!!

The time has come to put away all the halloween crafty stuff.....I do like to leave out some fall decor until Thanksgiving. Then the serious Christmas decorating starts in the store. I usually put up 4 or 5 trees (small ones) because I like to display all the ornaments. I had one of the kids go into the garage attic and bring down some boxes that I didn't know the contents of and........... lo and behold.....I spotted some Santas and Snowmen that I had made and frogotten about.  Am anxious to unpack those boxes that have been in that attic since our move 4 yrs. ago. I'm heading outside to do some last minute cleaning up and putting some herbs to bed for the winter. Calling for freezing temps the next few nights.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Today, Fri. Oct. 2nd, I surprised Judy at The Cinnamon Stick
for Witch"s Nite Out. I didn't tell her I was coming and she was surprised. I dressed in a hastily put together witch's outfit and drove the 91 miles. OMG----her shop is so awesome........all decked out in fall and halloween goodies. I picked out some neat ornaments and old fashioned orange tinsel. There were so many witches roaming around and a lot of cackling going on. What fun!!!! are so clever and creative....I enjoyed myself immensely! Definitely a destination shop....and the shop next door, Homespun, lovely wools and all my favorite pattern designers. It was hard to pick just a few. Can't wait for the Christmas Open House.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Here are a few pics of my stand when I participated in the Heritage Festival of our little town of Benton, PA.

I used my collection of traditional quilts that I have made over the years and covered all the tables. These are baskets of fat quarters all in small calico-like prints. I only brought things that looked like they were from that time period. I also had some enamelware buckets filled with rolled up wool, but I didn't get a picture of those.

The top shelf here is redwork patterns and supplies and the lower shelves are enamelware pans filled with an assortment of tea.

I travelled the back roads around our farm and gathered about 24 fresh herb bunches and displayed them in old blue mason jars lined up on the tables. This seemed a fitting sign.

Here are the herbs that were used during the Civil War in our area. I used wooden clothespins and attached tags with the herb name and what they were used for. Everybody thought it was pretty neat.

I also clipped lavender, chamomile, bee balm and mints from
my garden. My stand was very colorful and smelled heavenly.


Well........not really a crash but the next thing to it. I downloaded an ezine in April and really enjoyed the magazine and wanted to get the next issue. So I clicked on the website and when it came up something about hackers was on the screen. So.......dummy me thinks the computer forgot where it was going and I went for a second try on the website and same thing.....hackers. Needless to say........I got a virus....well, not 1 but 9 viruses. I was trying to get on Blogger and it (Blogger) would not let me in because the viruses were sending messages trying to infect more computers. Blogger sent me a note that said there was some unauthorized action going on and to protect the other users of the site I would not be allowed in. WOW! That is how I found out about the viruses because my computer was still working but everything was loading very slowly and getting slower everyday. So.......I installed an antivirus program (90 day free trial) and everything is good again. You can be sure after the 90 days I will subscribe.

Friday, July 17, 2009


On Sat. July 25 from 9am-10pm and Sun. July 26 from 9am-4pm the Fishing Creek Confederacy Heritage Festival will be going on in the town of Benton. There will be civil war reenactments, a theatrical production, 1860's activities, professional musicians playing civil war music and period crafts and demonstrations. I will be there to showcase herbs used during the civil war. I will gather fresh herb bouquets and display them with a card with the then and now of herbal lore. I am also bringing some books on civil war quilts with fat quarters to sell and traditional rughooking and wool for pennyrugs. Everyone will be in period costumes and I am making a working day dress for one of the leaders of the group and my costume will be a little more fancy (because I am a merchant whose husband has died in the war and I took over his business as the village druggist) with a hoop skirt and zoave jacket with undersleeves and a reticule (which is a small purse hung from the waistband) and bonnets, of course. shop will be closed on Sat. the 25 of July. Come visit at the festival.

Monday, June 29, 2009


My friends and I would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe 4th of July. In our small town we have a bluegrass festival going on July 2-5 and it is very busy at all the restaurants and shops. I will have my shop open and won't be going to town until the evening. There is also a big fireworks show at midnight Sat. night (I think). I never find things out until the last minute. Anyways..........Happy July 4th........Long may she wave!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Here is a clever use for an old spindle bobbin. I have a lot of them all with different colors of thread wound on. I put a simple bouquet (to match the thread) in the hole in the top and wound some rusty wire around the top with a loop for hanging. For a splash of color, a strip of homespun would look cool. Isn't she sweet? I like to make my dolls versatile. I will sew the hands together and then I have a place for a seasonal ornament such as now with the bouquet of daisies or a flag or both. In the fall she will look great with a small pumpkin tucked in her arms. At Christmas, I make stick trees and she can hold one of those.
So, a couple of months ago I promised a recipe for Rhubarb Punch. Well, I made some and am offering samples in the shop this weekend. It is delicious. My significant other keeps asking for some, so I made him a batch too! I have a cupful here next to the computer as I'm working right now.
Simmer 1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar in 2 cups cold fresh water just til sugar dissolves (5 min.). Let cool and put into a large pouring container.
Simmer 2 lbs. (about 6 cups) fresh or frozen rhubarb* diced in 1/2" pieces in 4 cups cold fresh water about 10 min. covered.
Turn off the heat and let steep covered til lukewarm then strain into the large container with the sugar syrup you made earlier.
Add 5 - 6 more cups cold fresh water, refrigerate til cold---stir and ENJOY ! ! !
I garnished with fresh lemon balm and mint would be nice too! Let me know what you think!
*I have fresh rhubarb that I froze already diced in 2 lb. packs in the shop.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This is the buckeye beauty block, but if you look close it is the jacob's ladder block x4. In most of the block patterns that I have looked at the the dark triangle is on the outside of the block---well---I liked it better on the inside of the block next to the dark 4-patch. So--what I am doing is packing the 3 colors together for each block and each pack will make two 6 1/2" jacob's ladder blocks. Each pack is also numbered so you can purchase them in order and not get any duplicates. There is also enough fabric for a scrappy border and binding. The pattern is free with your first pack purchase. And just make as many as you want, start and stop anytime. When I have enough blocks (12) made I will arrange them (3x4) into a top with the borders and binding. If I have enough people interested, I will offer a 2-3 hr. workshop on speed piecing--I can make 8 jacob's ladder blocks in about an hour.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


A selection of Christmas fat quarters.

A sampling of everyday fat quarters.

More fat quarters........hundreds to choose from.

The quilt shops in northern Columbia County in NE PA are having their first annual spring shop hop. It's called the Susquahannah Stash Dash. There are 7 shops involved and it runs from June 5-14. I am NOT involved in the shop hop so you don't need to come here with your passport, but during this time I will be having a fabric sale........fat quarters will be only $1 each, but you have to buy a minimum of 10 for that price..........Americana coordinated fabric packs will be half price.........Bolts and flat-fold fabrics will be 25% off the marked price..........20% off all quilt and doll books and patterns..........Please call if you need directions to the store 570-458-6968. There are written directions from different areas in the Apr. 03, 09 blog titled "A Nice Drive in the Country".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


In Sept. of '08 an awesome group of four quilters formed the Northern Columbia Quilt Guild. Over the course of the last 10 months a wonderful woman, Lorraine, did a presentation and told stories about the underground railroad during the meetings. The blocks were drafted in 4 sizes by another wonderful woman named Carolyn. This is my version of the quilt. It looks a lot better in real time. I got to admire my handiwork for 1 week only because someone already bought the quilt. That would have been one I would have liked to keep, it was really beautiful and graphic because of the dark background. I made another one in pinks and browns in a different setting and size. It is on the quilt rack right now. After its done I'll get a picture and tell you THAT story.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


My pictures are out of order. This is a pic of the garden after the brave little piglets (shown below) came for a visit. They rooted around in the mulch and disturbed the newspaper weed blocker. What a messs......thanks little guys! This spring our pig sow had a litter of piglets and they are the cutest little guys. Look at how tiny they are compared to the mama!

I think Mama is trying to hide or maybe she's just keeping her nose warm. Look how each little piglet is a different color. At about three weeks old the piglets were getting brave and coming out of the pen. They would go exploring in the barnyard and run at every noise.

Getting ready for summer! HIP HIP HOORAY!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Here is a before picture of my herb garden. Isn't this old fence great. It was going to be torn down and burned so I rescued it. I cut it down to about 30" and knocked out every other slat. I told my husband I wanted it to look like its been in the yard for a hundred years....He said "you don't have to worry about that!" Now it looks good with our 100+ year old farmhouse.
I always use brown eggs for dying at Eastertime. I just love the way the colors come out with the brown undertones. They look so countrified.

The shop will be shut on Sat. April 18th. My son participates every year in the "Odyssey of the Mind" competition. The group from Benton placed 1st in the regionals with 348 points out of a possible 350. They are going to the state finals this Sat. I am going so I can get pictures. Evidently everyone was very impressed with the Walrus (my son) costume, which was made by one of the girls in the group. I didn't get to go to the regionals so am going this Sat.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I tried to put my map here but a message kept coming up--internal error-- so there's no map. I will type in the directions from different areas. And if it's raining like today, bring an umbrella, it is a bit of a hike from the parking to the shop.
From Rt. 42 and points west: In Millville take Rt. 254E about 5 miles, turn left onto Austin Trail, go approx. 5 miles, turn right at stop sign, go 1 mile, we are on the right, across the street from the Jackson Baptist Church.

From Rt. 487 and points east: south of Benton, take Rt. 254W about 5 miles, at the stop sign turn right, go 1/4 mile and turn right onto Austin Trail, go about 5 miles, turn right at the stop sign, go 1 mile, we are on the right, across the street from the Jackson Baptist Church.
From Berwick: take Rt. 93N to Orangeville, turn right onto Rt. 487N, follow directions from Rt. 487 above.

From Bloomsburg: take either Rt. 487N or 42N, follow those directions above.
From Benton: off of Rt. 487N. turn left onto Market St. follow Market St. out of town, over West Creek Bridge it is now called Distillery Hill Rd., follow Distillery Hill up the hill, at the T follow the road to the right. Keep going approx. 3 miles, cross over Green Creek Rd. and go UP the hill (not right and down and not left and backwards) UP the hill. The road now is called Derrs Rd. Go approx. 3 more miles and you will see the Jackson Baptist Church in front of you, we are on the left, approx. 5-6 miles

From Rt. 118 and points north: take 487S to just north of Benton and take a right onto Waller Rd., go a few miles and take a left onto Green Creek Rd., go 2 or 3 miles and take a right onto Piper Rd., go 2 or 3 miles and at the stop sign, we are on the left.
These are the easiest directions and once you are here you will no doubt find shortcuts to take home. As my friend Carolyn says....all roads lead to Derrs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Last night I brought in the last 10 or so boxes to unpack. I love this old farmhouse. It suits me. I have rearranged the quilt fabric room for the third time. I think it works now. I spent the whole day (tuesday) emptying out the garage so I could sweep and mop. I am going to divide it into an antiques room and a plant potting room. It has 11 foot ceilings and the walls are all panelled. The quilts will have plenty of hanging room. Hope to get some pictures soon so you can see.

Our new address is 353 Derrs Rd. Benton, PA 17814 (the parsonage across the street from the Jackson Baptist Church in the Village of Derrs). Please call for directions....we are only 5 miles from the old location.

New phone # is 570-458-6968. It took the phone co. 2 weeks to connect the phone.

Picked out a room upstairs for scrapbooking. Now I just need some furniture for it.

Set up the quilting machine in another upstairs room. It has a view of the parking lot so I can see arriving people.

New hours are Monday thru Saturday 12-5 and Thursday til 8 pm. Other times by chance or appointment. Closed Sunday by order of the church!

Please check the blog frequently for changes or closings and goings on. Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Click on the picture to get a close-up of the quilts.

I have officiaolly started to move. I have been mulling over in my mind the pros and cons of leaving town and opening my shop in the country. The pro column is about 15 items long and the con column is only 1 item (location). This is a pic of the town shop. The dilemma is that I am located behind another building and as people drive by on the main road they have no idea I am even back there. When the store in front of me is closed, no one sees my shop out back (and they close for the winter). I think I lose a lot of business with no road frontage. And my overhead is very high for this small town. The pro column at this shop is 1 item long (location, but not really a good one) and the con column is 12 items long (probably more). I have been searching for a place on Main St. for a few months now and nothing has been going in my favor. I read a book called "The Secret" last year and one of the main issues with this book is that "you make your own destiny" and "if you think it, it will happen". I really believe that and here's why: When we first moved to the little village of Derrs, the parsonage next door to us sat empty and I thought to myself "what a neat place that would be for my shop!" WELL--wouldn't you know, when I asked at church one Sunday about a month ago...."What do you think about moving my shop into the parsonage"? The response was a big YES--the only yes I have heard for months. So, I'm thinking that my thoughts from 4 yrs. ago are going to happen. I have signed a contract with the Jackson Baptist Church and will be moving into the parsonage this month. The parsonage is located only 5 miles away and a very nice drive in the country. It sits on an acre and a half with room for gardens and a greenhouse. The attached garage will make a great classroom. I teach all kinds of primitive handwork and need the room. I'm looking forward to all this new space!

These are the Summer girls. I make a life-size doll for the porch every season.

Thank you Patti from Brickhouuse Crafts for your kind comments.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


A friend was in and saw my Uncle Sam pieced and quilted wallhanging and wanted her sister (in-law?) who lives in Florida to see it. The sister (in-law?) decorates her home in Americana. So here, in all his glory, is Uncle Sam. Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Bunny on a stick peeking out of the daisy patch.

Paper-pieced tulips wallhanging. Bright and colorful.

Cutest ever bunny in a box with carrot garland.



Check out the monkey!

Winding up for the throw!


Every year at about this time the BENTON JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL has a dodgeball tournament. My 2 boys are always on separate teams and It is such a competition between the two teams. This was the first year I actually went to watch. It is sooooo much fun for the kids and for the audience. I couldn't believe how much fun it was. The OFF CONSTANTLY team came into my shop to use my work table to gussy up their t-shirts. The t-shirts are white and they add graphics and nicknames, I liked CREEPER and POP-O TART alot, but they were all really creative and original. My other boys team was something about COSMIC PANDAS and they came in to cut their stencils and were going to Max's house to paint their shirts. The teams consist of 6 players and the object is to not get hit by a ball thrown by the opponent. There are 3 balls in play at all times. Its really fun when the opposing team gangs up on one boy and he has to dodge 3 balls at once. The OFF CONSTANTLY team had a gorrilla (SMURF PAPA) on their team and everyone was yelling "Kill the Monkey". What a riot!! The tournament lasts about 3 hours and we had to stay to the end because OFF CONSTANTLY beat every other team and had to beat the TEACHERS TEAM. The teachers won!