Tuesday, February 21, 2012

That Surprise that I mentioned earlier.....

So many of you know that I am also a spinner and a weaver.

I love to the feel of the wool, and the smell, and the's so relaxing. And like clay I am creating something functional from such a basic material!  I am only a novice knitter. But I keep on spinning. Soon I will weave with all that handspun, but that is a story for another post.

Over the last year, as a new resident of Charlottesville the knitting site Ravelry has been an amazing resource of patterns, inspiration and friendship and professional networking (I've sold ALOT of pots because of this group. They are my most faithful fans!)  But for me there are two specific groups that helped me through the lonely days (and nights) in a new house and new community, Juniper Moon Farm (of which you have heard me speak many times) and Gilead Fiber Farm in Vermont.

As is appropriate, it was THROUGH Juniper Moon that I "met" Kristen and Gilead Farm. JMF was having a (it's first...there is another if you are interested!!!) flock give away and Kristen won the contest of a life time! So of course I trotted on over to her website and found her forum on Ravelry.

It's been a year and there have been alot of changes. I've become a regular visitor to the ACTUAL farm at Juniper Moon. I've been making their own small line (mugs and yarn bowls) of pottery AND enjoying the sights and smells and sounds that is The Farm. I've met so many wonderful people both AT the farm and again, through Ravelry.

One of these new found friends is Kristen. Though we have never met, and only this week have even spoken on the telephone (!) I've loved following her ups and downs as a new shepherd. Reading about  her joy at finding her first new baby goat in the barn, her painful flock losses from parasites or mineral deficiencies (the things you can learn on Rav!), her battle with winter and ice and summer and Hurricane Irene..., her crazy dog with the voracious appetite and her dream of a complex of tiny houses for all of us to finally come and hang out in the field with her and her flock.  All while working a full time job at the local John Deere dealership.  There are many of us who read her forum feeling as though we are shepherding vicariously through her while at the same time being amazed at her tenaciousness and love for what she is doing.

So Kristen has been contemplating some changes in her farm "model".  She and I have been "talking" about pottery.  How I am always trying to come up with ways to combine my love of fiber with my love for clay....and we came up with these:

I am so excited to be selling these tumblers!  My interpretation of the pictures I've seen and the descriptions I've read of Kristen's Gilead Fiber Farm.  She raises both sheep and and angora goats (Skippyjon, the trouble maker is the black sheep portrayed on many of these cups) Anna is a black faced sheep that I think of as I decorate..and then we have the angora goats...imagine them nibbling on the trees and cavorting amongst themselves.  (And yes, cavort is the perfect term to describe the antics of an angora goat!)

I've posted these tumblers on my etsy site.  A portion of the sales will go directly to Kristen.  My way of  being a shepherd!

Friday, February 17, 2012



with my neighbor

loom partially warped (a long overdue commission)

Pots!  (And there is a secret in this photograph.....)

LOTS of pots


Monday, February 13, 2012

Seven Things

So seven things ya'll don't know about me.

1.  That secret desire to take part in a chain letter thing.

2.  I've traveled through or lived in 46 states.  (I grew up as an army brat.)

3.  I've been a vegetarian for 25 years....but I don't really like vegetables.

4.  I lost my first tooth while picking wild flowers in upstate NY.  (I was BITING them off because they were so stubborn.)

5.  I struggle with shyness unless I'm sitting behind my loom, at my spinning wheel or with a table full of my pottery.

6.  I have a fear of bridges...ESPECIALLY the Chesapeake Bay Bridge out of Annapolis.  In fact that one kind of cured me of freaking out over the smaller ones.


7.  I absolutely HATE any kind of confrontation.

NOW I can go back to stressing about the selling of this house, the mysterious oil tank, and all the pots I need to have available over the next several months!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


So, this week I was granted the dubious honor of the Versatile Blogger Award.  (Thanks Meredith from WhyNot Pottery!) I say dubious because there is no cash prize, not even a ribbon, and it feels very much like a chain letter....But on the very positive side I AM happy knowing that Meredith follows my blog, this chain does push readers to read new blogs and "meet" new people...and I've always had a secret desire to follow through on a chain letter...

The only requirement of this award is to pass it on to 6 others....and to tell you 7 new (!?) things about myself.

(I imagine that there are some of you I am including that have already been given this honor....Meredith and I do "read in the same circles" if so bask in the extra appreciation and go on with your day knowing I love having you in my blogging world!)

Susie Gibbs (her farm manager and her farm manager's significant other) has the most amazing and definitely versatile blog at  Travel, DIY, recipes, sheep and goat knowledge, photographs (most recently new baby cows!) and new yarn...I never miss a post.

Elizabeth Seaver at continues to brighten up my days with her beautiful paintings and her fanciful stories.  Plus she's a good friend.

Tracey Broome at  A talented potter that writes what she thinks and shares so much of her personal insight as well as her fantastic pottery.  One day I will own one of those fantastic barns of hers...

Ron Philbeck at  He often talks about his "heros" on his blog, I have to say he is one of mine.  (Are you blushing Ron?)
British potter Doug Fitch at I finally met him a year ago when he came to the States to teach a couple of workshops.  His pottery is fantastic and he carries quite a tune while playing bass with The Love Daddies!

And Doug's partner in crime on that workshop tour of America, Hannah McAndrew at  If you want to see some beautiful slip trailed pottery, scoot on over to her site for a visit!

NEXT time.  Those seven things.....(Which includes my secret desire to pass on a chain letter.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Keeping Busy

Still working away.  The yard got a good layer of mulch last week.  It's amazing how hiring someone else to do a job like that relieves a girls back!  Met with the realtor and the sign should appear this week....

Had a nice weekend in Fredericksburg.  It was the monthly First Friday Art Open House, so spent Friday and Friday evening working on my latest weaving project (wool, to be felted into a nice heavy wrap) and talking.  There was ALOT of talking and visiting.

Came home today (Monday) and hit the studio.  I've got alot of work to accomplish in the next month or two.  A special project for a friend in Vermont (more on that later as it transpires!) as well as stock for Fall.

I'm reading a great book by Kate Morton, "The Distant Hours".  Think that will be the evening for me!