sweater for winter

October 24, 2014

It is going to get cold over here. Or at least cool…I can’t expect snow, but it will be cold and damp around here for a while. I am actually looking forward to the rain (and hopefully it will come!).

14 - 8

My squirrel tendencies kicked in about a month ago, and I started this sweater. It was inspired by images of sweaters that I found, as well as a sweater that I made a few years ago and gave away.

14 - 11

The collar is supposed to fold over, but it has been a little tricky, and likes to stand up. Then I find that I am walking down the street looking a little funny..

14 - 7

I haven’t put buttons on yet, but will get around to it soon. For now, things will be a little bit cozier around here!


a welcome guest

August 20, 2011

I thinned my carrot patch this afternoon after work.

The bulging ones are paris markets, the purple is a dragon, and the long skinny ones are danvers. All from Seed Savers Exchange (via At Home Store).


December 3, 2010

I am happy to say that we have gotten our website, www.athomestoreonline.com up and running, just in time for holiday shopping!! Stop in to visit our site (or the store if you are in Iowa)!

Our website has a selection of our favorite store items, including Nicholas Mosse Irish Pottery, Burleighware from England, hand made baby slippers, Italian torrone, panforte, and panettone, Moomin books, mugs, and bowls from Finland, and much more! We are adding new items every day, so keep checking back!

pies for francis

October 10, 2010

My sister and I think that Francis Thicke is the perfect candidate for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa. I guess that is why we are spending Saturday night baking pies. Made with fresh local pumpkin and fresh local milk!

We wanted to do something to raise money for the Thicke Campaign, and decided to bake a whole lot of pumpkin pies to sell at the John Lennon Tribute Concert Reprise: to benefit the Francis Thicke Campaign. It should be a great concert, so stop on by! What a great excuse to support an awesome campaign!

Heli-Claire and I started with fresh pumpkins. We roasted them in the oven, and then scooped out the meat, mixed it with Radiance Dairy whole milk and cream, sour cream, sugar and spices. The recipe is from our grandmother!

We will have slices available for a donation, so if you are in the mood for some good music and a slice of pumpkin pie, stop by tomorrow (Sunday) night at 7:30 pm to Cafe Paradiso! All donations will go directly to the Thicke for Secretary of Agriculture Campaign.

nature’s colors

June 22, 2010

Anna Baumann and I spent the better part of the afternoon yesterday dying wool with plant dyes. We are going to have a natural dying workshop at the store this Saturday, and we were going over some of the things that we were going to use.

We hacked away at an Osage Orange log, and chopped up some purple cabbage, to come up with 5 beautiful colors!

We started with locally grown sheep’s wool, spun into a lace weight yarn. Little sample spools to test the colors and mordants!

For the Osage Orange dyes, we started with wood chips. Into the dyepot with some water and the wool.

After gently simmering the dyes, we added different mordants to our color mixtures with varying results.

Brightening from the citric acid and alum, and darkening and dulling from the iron. All beautiful colors though.

Meanwhile, the cabbage was very gently simmering on the stove. We used three separate batches of yarn (two yarn, one roving) to test the different mordants.

The cabbage with iron,

with the magic of citric acid, turning the dyebath bright pink,

and with alum, keeping with the purple cabbage look.

We took the finished wools out to the driveway to dump the dyestuffs, and rinse. They looked beautiful all laid out amongst the rocks. The final wools kept different amounts of the original dyes. Some faded more than others…so exciting!!


May 28, 2010

We found t.q. a few days ago on a gravel road. He (she?) was crossing, and I stopped the car right over him, got out, reached past the tire, and pulled him out! What a cutie. I think that he came right out of the turtle egg hole.

I took him directly to my dad’s house, and set him into a pool of rain water that he had sitting in his garden. It is the perfect spot. Partially shaded, and surrounded by flowers.

When I put t.q into the water, he seemed a little uncertain as to what he should be doing. It took a little time for him to figure out how to turn, and swim up and down. It was super cute! He has a tendency to tuck his right back foot in when he turns around.

t.q. has a little board in the middle of his pond to sit on and relax in the sun. Turtles can’t stay in the water all the time, or they will tire out!

To feed t.q., my dad went to Hy-Vee and picked up 15 cents worth of hamburger meat. t.q. didn’t eat any the first time, but after a few tries he took a mouthful. We feed him a bite, and then we set him back into the water to eat.

I think that he has already grown in the three days that we have known him.