Friday, September 20, 2013

Swan and Eggs Gourd Set and More!

Things are going on here just about the same as usual, though we are all excited to be at the end of the canning/freezing season. We officially finished our freezing for the season yesterday evening! Wow! The freezer is packed to capacity with peppers, zucchinis, beans, broccoli and the like. We are almost finished with canning as well --- just a few stray batches to go. Nothing major. Tomatoes are done, and that's a big deal. We've got tomatoes canned up in all kinds of ways: stewed, spaghetti sauce, salsa, etc. We have a little Salsa Verde to go, but just a small batch. Mom and I went down to the auction this morning and ended up staying for just about fifteen minutes and buying two quarts of buckeyes. Not bad!

Last week at the Farmers' Market, I was able to get a "Swan and Eggs" gourd set. We're not really decorating much outside this year, but I've been waiting for those to come on for weeks. She's now sitting outside in my Gnome Garden looking mighty pretty! I've gotten a small pumpkin and a burgundy-colored Mum to put out there with her since taking the photo, too.

I finally remembered to take a few pictures of things before they were processed into jars or freezer containers. Poblano peppers, Autumn strawberries (the best tasting things ever!) and some Horticulture Beans in jars. That just shows the beans in the jars before the rings were put on and they were canned. Once they come out of the pressure canner they just look like typical brown beans. They taste amazing! Of course, Oliver had to get in on this, too! Here he is being taken for a "walk" in my gnome garden with Mom. He's the best cat in the world.

This afternoon, we took a quick run out to Berlin and Millersburg to go up to the Heini's cheese factory and the Guggisburg cheese factory. That was fun. It was a nice afternoon for a drive and we were able to stock up on cheese at $2.00 a pound! Not bad! More later.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Royal Baby Fever: Duke, Duchess and Prince George Wool Dolls

Royal Baby Fever has really hit me. Where the world seemed to spend all of their energy on waiting for the Royal Baby to arrive, I have had a lot more fun since he arrived. After over ten years of collecting paper and memorabilia, coins and stamps and things like that having to do with the reign of King George VI, having a new little prince named George is FUN! I've ordered the New Zealand postage stamps (should arrive next week!) and even a Royal Trust "Royal Baby Loving Cup" for my hutch (to join all the KGVI china). I've spent any free moment in the evenings that I could get working on a Prince George scrapbook. What is it Elizabeth says: Enjoy it now while he's a baby, and you can imagine him as any type of prince that you like. As you can tell, Royal Baby Fever hasn't hit her as hard as it has me! ;)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Minikin Wool Dolls --- including Prince George!

Not to forget any chance of enjoying this little Prince, we decided to make a set of Minikin dolls that looks like Prince William and Princess Catherine when they stepped out of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's in London to show off their new baby to the waiting public --- via hundreds of media cameras and reporters. They really dressed for the occasion in baby blue, carrying Prince George wrapped in a merino wool shawl. It seemed like the perfect "makings" for a set of Minikins. Elizabeth made Duchess Kate's custom-made Jenny Packham polka dot dress out of blue wool/rayon felt --- and hand-sewed every dot on it! Prince William even has metallic thread to make the studs on his belt.

Baby Prince George of Cambridge is the "crowning" touch (bad pun, I know!) to this set --- in my opinion. He's my favorite part. I needle felted him out of merino wool. Actually, the real shawl that little George was wrapped in was made by G.H. Hurt & Son, a Nottingham-based company --- and it was made of merino wool!

We've just listed these in our Etsy store as a custom order, which means that we "make them to order" in about three weeks. If anyone reading this post is interested in ordering their own Royal Family dolls, please contact me through the e-mail address at the top of the right-hand column here on my blog. The Baby George Minikin is actually felted individually and is not sewn onto the Princess Catherine doll. If you'd like your little George in the arms of Prince William, well, we could do that, too! We could also make the Duke and Duchess in the outfits they wore in the first official pictures of Prince George.

The First Official Picture of Prince George

So, I hope that everybody is enjoying the Royal Baby --- and a peek at our newest wool felt dolls! The pictures don't really do them justice, though. You need to see them and hold them to get the real feeling. :) More later.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th . . .

Today is Friday the 13th of 2013! Wow! That doesn't happen often. Elizabeth and I were having a smile over it. We're not superstitious, but it's one of those things that is always made fun of and doesn't actually occur too often.

The weather here has turned freezing! In the 50s today, so standing at the produce auction this morning was pretty nippy. Got another peck of jalapenos, so tomorrow I'm going to be working on freezing them for poppers. Yay!

Gotta go, but thought it would be fun to post a short one. More later.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Beans and More Canning

The weeks are passing and they are all sort of blending together. We're still in the middle of canning and freezing and auctioning. The weather had been staying pretty nice, but over the last couple days we've hit record temperatures in the 90s! Of course, our tomatoes were ready in these hot days instead of the cool ones. We've been making and canning spaghetti sauce and tomatoes for soup. We have also been freezing poblano peppers and zucchini for stuffing. On top of all that, Mom and I bought nine pecks of horticulture beans at the auction yesterday! That is 2-1/4 bushels of them. We shelled them all yesterday and canned over half of them. The rest of them will be going into the pressure canner shortly. The beans start out so beautiful in various shades of white, pink and cranberry, but they cook into a typical brown-colored bean. They taste fabulous, though! They are good plain or in stuffed peppers or stuffed zucchini . . . or anything, really.

We have not had time to do much of anything that you would call "interesting" --- other than canning, that is. Elizabeth got a few westerns from the library that star Randolph Scott. Some were duds, but one in particular, Seven Men from Now, was pretty great! I've spent the evenings working on my scrapbook for the new Royal Baby, Prince George. I've pretty much got myself caught up now. Gramma is sending me one of the Spanish magazines with a Royal Baby cover --- so, I'm looking forward to that arriving.

Gotta go finish working now. I've got a few pictures to come but not had time to download them or upload them here. They'll come later!