Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bunnies in a Row

Right about this time last year I began making bunnies. When my daughter saw them, she said they looked like "Disapproving Rabbits" (if you haven't seen them online, check them out), and she laughed and laughed.

During the winter I was gifted with some angora bunny fur. I carded some of it up with some dyed wool and spun it into some really soft yarn. These bunnies are the result of another project with the angora. I carded it with natural color fiber and needle felted tiny bunnies. Each one fits just in the palm of your hand. I love having them around!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Here's My Schedule for the Next Four Months

Today we went on a wonderful hike on the Tunxis Trail here in Bristol and it was just lovely. I heard so many birds! And realized that I've forgotten most of their calls...sigh. I used to watch a video that showed the birds and their calls and it was great! I need that again.

Bethany Homecrafts 2009 Events

Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market
at Nathan Hale Homestead, South St., Coventry
June 14 & 28, July 19 & 26, August 9, 16, & 30, September 13 & 27, October 18

Trout Brook Farmer’s Market at Whole Foods, Raymond Rd., West Hartford
June 1, 15 & 29, July 13 & 27, August 10 & 24, Sept. 7& 21, October 5 & 19

Simsbury Farmer’s Market at 544 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury
June 4 & 18, July 2, 16, & 30, August 6, 13, & 27, Sept. 10 & 24, October 8 & 15

New Hartford Farmer’s Market at Pine Meadow Green, Rt. 44, New Hartford
Every Friday beginning June 5 (not July 10 or October 9)

Special Events:

June 6: Herb Fest Pleasantview Farms, 452 South Road (Route 83), Somers, CT http://www.herbfestct.com
September 20: Taste! Organic CT Manchester Community College
Manchester, CT http://www.ctnofa.com
October 10-11: Garlic and Harvest Festival, Bethlehem Fairgrounds, Bethlehem, CT. http://www.garlicfestct.com

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yellow Shafted Flicker

Flickers are quite common where I live. I've seen them hopping along, poking the ground with their long beaks, searching for ants. They are also common up in the trees, where they can be heard pecking and making their otherworldly calls.

This guy was a challenge to felt. I love making them for that challenge, getting all their markings in. He wasn't fat enough at the start, so I pried off his wings and added more girth to him. That made the boy happy.

I got a new bird guide and I'm really enjoying it - the Peterson Guide to Eastern Birds. It's wonderful for the different views shown. I've used my Audubon Guide for years and love the photos, but being able to cross reference the birds is great.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cashmere Baby Hat

I finally cut into the cashmere sweaters. My husband needed a baby gift for someone at the office and I was thrilled to have an excuse to work with my favorite fiber. I found the pattern on the 'net and it says it's a 9-12 month size, but I'm not sure about that; it seems smaller.

I'm becoming convinced that felted cashmere might be the best winter fiber for little ones. It's natural, so it breathes, but it's so lofty that it's a great insulater. It's the softest thing you can imagine. I mean that quite seriously. It's so soft that you can barely feel it against your skin. Can you tell I'm in love?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baltimore Oriole

The other morning I was out walking and heard a pretty fluting call high up in the trees. Funny how I forget things, but it wasn't till I realized the bird was in among the oak blossoms that I knew it was an oriole, didn't even need to see it. They have the most beautiful call (or is it a song?). I know I say that about all the birds! But as I hear each one as it arrives on its migration, it seems the most beautiful. I do give thanks for the gift of hearing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love Recycling Those Sweaters

These are some potholders made from recycled wool sweaters. A couple of weeks ago my friend brought me a bunch of sweaters from Maine and I've been having good fun making things with them. I still haven't cut into that cashmere yet.

Here's a list of what I make from the sweaters: potholders, treasure bags, mittens, hats, flowers, fingerless gloves, head bands, leg warmers, bags (purses, market bags, backpacks). I think there are other things I've used them for, but I can't think of them right now! It's a challenge to see just how much of a sweater I can use without wasting the fabric.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Red Bellied Woodpecker

I think that this is a funny name for this bird - it seems like it should be called a red headed woodpecker, right? But there is another named red-headed, so this bird gets named after its belly - which isn't even truly red! Anyway, no matter what it's named, I was thrilled to have one at the bird feeder this winter. I haven't seen him in quite a while, since I stopped putting out suet.

The ways of nature...this morning I was sitting by the window and saw a couple of crows in the yard. I figured they were up to no good, and I was right. They chased the robin off her nest and raided it, stealing the eggs. I was saddened, but that is the way of things, I guess. I wonder if the robins will try again with this nest or whether they will build a new one in a more hidden place.

This is what my worktable looks like today. I'm tagging the stuff I made last week, have a bunch of things ready to sew, and a bunch of sweaters ready to cut up. They are angora/lambswool and cashmere, so I can't wait to get my hands on them. But I have resolved to sew the ones I've already cut before cutting more. Ah, discipline!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Painted" Turtle

After making a bunch of birds, I look for something different to felt. I've begun work on some leaves for a new green man, and I've made a few turtles. The boy asks me to make them "real" with the true markings of painted turtles, but I enjoy doing something that's just whimsical. Other people seem to enjoy them, too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Another Tiny Chipmunk

I made another chipmunk for the markets; it's good to have a few of my most popular items on hand. The funny thing is that though I am not meaning to, I keep making tiny ones, baby sized. Or at least they are the size of young ones. I will have to try again and see if I can get an adult!