Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall - Winter Schedule

The photo of this Peace Sweater was taken at the Forest Park Farmer's Market

Coventry Farmer’s Market: Nathan Hale Homestead October 2, 16 & 30

Coventry H.S: Nov. 20 & 27, Dec. 4 & 18

Simsbury Farmer’s Market: 544 Hopmeadow St. Sep. 1&15; Oct. 6&13

Westport Farmer’s Market: Imperial Ave.Commuter Lot Sep.8; Oct. 27

Forest Park Farmer’s Market: Sep. 20, Oct 18

Trout Brook Farmer’s Market: Whole Foods@Blue Back Sq.

Sept. 5, 12 & 19; Oct. 3, 10 & 24

Lebanon Farmer’s Market: Town Hall Green Sept. 17; Oct. 15

Litchfield Farmer’s Market: Community Center Oct. 29, Nov. 19, Dec. 17, February 4

Hill-Stead Farmer’s Market: Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington

September 4, October 23

Big E: @ CT Building, September 30

Garlic Fest: Bethlehem Fair Grounds October 8 & 9, 10-4

St. Peter Claver Craft Fair: 47 Pleasant St, W. Hartford, Nov. 12-13

Christmas Town Festival: Bethlehem, Dec. 2 & 3

CT NOFA Winter Conference: Manchester Community College, March 3, 2012

Friday, July 22, 2011

Working With Wool When the Weather Blisters...

I'm still doing some work with cottons, but it's time to start preparing for the turn of the seasons. People are beginning to get ready for school and the fall work season, and I'm starting to see wool sales pick up.

A couple of weeks ago I sold 3 sweaters for little people, so I needed to make at least one new one. I love the falling-leaf theme...

These are SO my colors.

The brights are really fun to work with and seem to be the most popular thing for little girls.

I said goodbye to the Tree of Life Jacket a few weeks ago. She went to a good home, but I miss her! Grateful for photos...

Check in at my Facebook Page for new dates and pictures of what's new. Be well!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Been Too Long...

I can't believe it's been so long since I've sat down to write. Facebook is largely to blame - it's so easy to post a picture and a short caption that it's where I go instead of here. And it's very focused to the folks I see at markets. If you'd like to see my page, it's here.

So today I am here because I think I picked up a bit of the tummy bug the Boy had the other day, and sitting feels better than not. I need to balance the check book (I'll get to that eventually) but this is more fun! Speaking of the Boy, there's another reason I've been so busy that blogging has gone by the wayside. He was in a production of Alice in Wonderland, and mom was helping to make the costumes - thus all the time I had here in the studio was used to build up my stock for the upcoming season. Which begins this Saturday with my first outdoor market in Stonington.

Here are a few pics of things I've made in the last month:

This is a dress I made for my little friend, Lilah, who just turned one. I've been working in recycled cottons as well as the recycled wool. The bodice is a top I found that was just baby-sweet with scalloped trim and a little lacy flower on the front. The skirt is panels cut from cotton jerseys.

Here's an adult skirt. It's so much fun to play with color and pattern.

Go fly a kite! This is a toddler sweater upcycled from a cashmere sweater. As I've said before, I think cashmere is the ideal fiber for babies. It's so soft, and lightweight and breathable.

Here's a little bunny that's needle felted.

And another cashmere baby sweater.

Ah well, the checkbook waits...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Is Coming, I think....

All winter I was gifted with a visitor for lunch. Nearly every day while I was eating, I could look out my window and watch the resident downy woodpeckers having their lunch. Usually it was the female, but sometimes Mr. Woody would show up, too. You can tell the difference by the red patch on the back of the male's head. So yesterday I had to get a pic of him!

Even though there are still patches of snow in the neighborhood, I was thrilled to see these happy faces in my front garden.

I've taken a bit of a break from birds, but now I've started up again.

A ruby throated hummingbird.

This is a golden crowned kinglet. They are tiny little guys, about the size of hummers.

I'm making some bird nests, and having fun doing that. Mostly I'm preparing to vend at the CT La Leche League conference next weekend, so I'm sewing up lots of longies, diaper covers, and skirts in both wool and cotton.

Enjoy the light and the warmth (we hope!)!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Coming, It's Nearly Here

The bulbs against my neighbor's foundation are popping up. I actually saw them for the first time about a week ago, and couldn't believe it, as the snow bank you see here was taller and closer to the house, but there they were.

If you look closely in this shot, you can see two nubbins of hyacinths showing their brave little heads in the tiny corner of my front garden that is free of snow.

This is the broad view. That snow bank has been as high as the window ledge this winter.

It's been a long one for everyone, I know! I'm a cold-weather wimp, so I haven't put my nose out of my door much this winter unless I've had to. At this point I'm parched for the outdoors and my walks! This morning, even though it was 20 degrees, I said "Uncle!", threw on my fleece-lined jeans, sweater, coat, all the stuff to keep me warm, and went to the park to walk. I was richly rewarded by the sounds of running water, song sparrows, robins, woodpeckers, and more. It sounds like spring, even if I had to keep my eyes peeled to avoid the black ice!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Owls and More

Eastern Screech Owl

It looks like I will get to blogging about once a week. I've tried to sit down and do it more often, but there's only so much a person can fit into a day...
I do post pictures of my work more frequently on Facebook. If you'd like to get those posted directly to your FB page, look up Bethany Homecrafts and hit the Like button. My page would love to have more friends!

I've been working on owls this week, so I have something new and interesting to bring to market. It 's fun, but takes so much longer than other birds! The guy above is the gray phase of the eastern screech owl. You can hear what they sound like at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The guy below is a saw-whet owl, and you can hear his voice here. He's a really tiny owl, and his whistled hoot is as cute as he is. When you see his photo you'll see that I can't come close to doing him justice!

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Purple Finch

Purple finches are really common where I am, but I don't get tired of them, they're so beautiful! Here's what they sound like, from Cornell.

This is my first try at a jumper for a little girl. We'll see how it goes over when I bring it to market!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Make Lemonade on a Snowy Day

Common Redpoll

Yesterday was a forced in-the-house day, because of the weather. (Today's one, too). So I decided to make lemonade of the weather's lemons, and finish up a lot of work that's been sitting around.
First off, I've had a huge bin of cashmere scraps sitting around for a while, just waiting for me to have time to figure out what to do with them. The other night, while the boy was rehearsing at the Warner, I started on that pile. I cut a bunch of panels for baby skirts, and pieces for baby booties, and still had a big pile left. The rest I cut into rectangles and squares.
Cashmere Wrist Warmers

Here's the result, or at least the beginning. My friend and fiber co-conspirator, Rhonda Withington (check out her Etsy Shop, The Mischievous Carrot) brought some really cute and funky wrist warmers to the Coventry Farmer's Market on Sunday, and graciously gave permission for me to make some Rhonda-inspired warmers of my own. I had a ridiculous amount of fun sewing these up!

Just how do you photograph your own arm???

Baby Booties

Mittens and Wrist Warmers from a lovely sweater

So today is another home day of sewing and shoveling. I still have a bunch of baby skirts pinned and waiting to be sewn. Sigh. It's much more fun to design than to sew! But I do love the baby skirts when they're done - they're so darn cute!

Stay safe, warm and dry, wherever you are, and may your roof be strong!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Icy Day Birds

It's being a real winter in our corner of the world. Our first snow/ice storm came along today. I hear there may be more on Friday.
Anyway, while I was shoveling, I noticed that for the first 45 minutes or so, I didn't hear any birds. It was quite silent. Then as lunchtime drew on they started moving in. First I heard the red-belly woodpecker, then the downy; next came the nuthatches and the titmice. It wasn't till I got inside and was eating my own lunch that I saw the little guy above at the feeder - the red breasted nuthatch.

This is a Great Kiskadee. He's from Latin America, and shows up in south Texas, too. I love his coloring and markings, so I had to make him. This time of year, when I don't have a lot of shows, is a great time for me to felt whoever I want!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy Day

We got more than 12 inches of snow in the last 12 hours, so this little birdie is perfect for the day. My aunt used to call them snow birds (their real name is dark-eyed junco), and I love them. Even though they are gray, somehow they brighten the snow - maybe by the stark contrast.

Here's what it looked like here after we shoveled. We got it done early because the Man was supposed to go to work for 1 pm, but it was still snowing. After we finished shoveling he got a call that the office would be closed all day. Ah well, now there are only an easy couple of inches to finish off, and the Man, the Boy, and the Girl are playing Monopoly while I work uninterrupted (gotta love it).

Here's a skirt I made for Kathie from The Proud Peacock
to give to her sister. I love to do custom work; it challenges me to do styles or color combinations that I wouldn't think of.

Wherever you are I hope you are warm and safe!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baby Cashmere Skirt

This week has been an interesting one. There is so much that needs to be organized, sorted, cleaned...
We went through the process of buying a new vehicle (it's the new Bethany Homecrafts-mobile)...
I had a wicked week of PMS...
So trying to get work done has been like pulling teeth out and scratching fingernails on a chalkboard all at once. Sigh. Fortunately the week is over, the car is in the driveway, and the PMS is done. I can smile again (my dear one commented on that, so I know it's been a while!).

Not a lot of work has gotten done - or at least not a lot of things were made. I've also been trying to get back to the computer work: loading things into my Etsy shop, and onto my Facebook page, and into my Ravelry page (if you're a Raveler, I'm Thanksforwool). But here's a skirt that got put together.

It's entirely cashmere, and made to fit a little one between maybe 9-18 months old.

The top of it is a cashmere turtleneck, very soft and stretchy, thus the wide range of ages it can fit.

Like all of my twirly skirts, it's a full circle. They are absolutely adorable on the baby, and are the sweetest thing ever to hug a baby in, they're so soft! (Sorry, I usually don't toot my own horn, but I love these skirts.)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Birds Are Returning

Now Christmas is over, and time is less at a premium, I've had a bit more time for needle felting. Here are the ones I've worked on over the past week or so.

Red-Wing Blackbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Chipping Sparrow

I'm back to putting things into my Etsy shop, so it's not the boring place it has been over these last months!