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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eric Sloane Museum
Kent CT

Roger got out to the country corner of Connecticut. We took the wee girls to the Eric Sloane Museum and the Antique Machinery Museum next door (last August, I am trying to catch up on my neglected blogging).

This is a lovely quiet museum out in the woods. Staff is so friendly. Roger got to play engineer with Isobel and Meta.

Lots of interesting stuff to see.
Here is Roger and Meta sliding back down hill on Argent Lumber Locomotive #4.

There are at least two trains, this one is inside and you get to climb in it and blow the whistle.. cover your ears!

Hawaii #5, a 1925 Baldwin steam locomotive.

There are lots of other interesting stuff too. Here is the Hubbard Steamscycle, handbuilt 1969-1973 by Arthur "Bud" Hubbards of Monroe CT.  Two cylinder, single-acting, 6 horsepower, 100cc displacement. Water tube, superheating coil, 100-600 psi. Fired by kerosene, vaporization burner. Bike frame German Maico 1956.

Oh, and there is a fabulous mineral collection...inside and this great pile of kid rocks outside!

Come on out...
Saturday, May 4, 2013 is CAMA's Spring Power-up Day.
Buy, sell, vendors and lots of fun.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Seed Savers, Iowa

On the way home from the Nordic Fest, Roger and I stopped to check out the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa. This is a wonderful farm dedicated to saving and sharing heritage varieties of seeds.  I am so glad that farmers and greenhouses are doing well in our currently tight market.  Seems folks are becoming more aware of local farms as a source of good, nutritious food rather than anemic supermarket varieties.  And the good farmers are keeping us all going. I am sure you heard the slogan, "No Farms, No Food."

Here in Iowa, this is a lovely family operated farm.

They have events and workshops and a lovely bunch of garden.

Check out this great portable chicken coup.
And you know how I like waddle fencing and tee-pees....

Reminds me of my own Scarlet Runner Bean Tee pee above!
And... I wonder if they would be interested in selling
my little Red Birds?
My pottery birds, greenhouses, gardens
and gardeners seem to go together!

Check out my birds at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Iowa and Weaving at the Vesterheim Museum

I have been working on weaving bands or tapes in my "spare" time at fairs.  I found a paddle tape loom in my attic several years ago and have taught myself to make bands, thin weavings for ties and decoration.  Before we had zippers and velcro, many countries made these simple, strong, thin bands by the yard... because they needed something to use for ties. The English, my paddle loom is an English style, made plain bands, but the Scandinavian, Germans and Russians made more elaborately colored bands to decorate their costumes. Having a Norwegian boyfriend, I was even more interested in the fancy patterns.
I have finally figured out how they do this on a flat board with slots and holes, no 4 heddle loom to make it easy. Roger started carving a flat gate style Norwegian loom for me and we headed out to the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah IA for the Nordic Fest in July.

Wonderful, expert craftspeople converge at this museum to demonstrate their work, share their love for early trades and crafts and have a great time with friends.  Roger set up his big tent on the museum grounds to demonstrate his wooden bowl carving on a pole lathe. Potters, carvers, weavers, spinners and artists spent the weekend sharing. I set up my mini pottery and a few yellow ware pieces in Rogers tent, I did not bring my potters wheel and took a break from clay, I really wanted to weave and hopefully pick up some tips from the experts.

I was not disappointed. The museum had a fine collection of early Norwegian tape looms and my first look at old tapes and new done by experts.  I brought along my new booklet I wrote on tape loom weaving and sold copies.

The groups of tradespeople I hang around the country with have a truely great livestyle. We get together at events like this one and work our crafts, share our knowledge and experiences and have a great time doing so.

Above... Roger entertaining and teaching the visitors his trade.

Read more about the festival at:

And my looms at:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

July in Nebraska

Traveling the fair circuit. I spent this July traveling to the Mid-West. Early July, I flew into Omaha Nebraska. Roger was demonstrating his bowl turning at the Madison County Fair. A nice little fair in the middle of corn fields. The weather was in the high 90s for 6 days of sun.

I sent some pots on ahead, and cut down one of my paddle loom boards to fit into my suitcase. I had to fit 6 mugs and steins, the loom, yarns, notebooks, and some clothes into my two bags. This time, I had to stop at the airport security so they could take out my Oil of Olay bottle. It was 6 oz. Too big. But the nice gentleman said he would scan it, although he doesn't usually do that, and gave me back my Olay. This time, my plane got sent to Minneapolis for the first stop. Which got me debating with others about planning my next trip to Minneapolis. By booking a flight to Omaha by way of Minneapolis, and getting off at the half way point, would now turn into a direct flight and save me having to sit in Philadelphia or Chicago for a couple of hours. The only problem with this is the baggage. What if they had to take my roll on case and send it to Omaha. How much would I have to pay to get it back to Minneapolis? Well, it's something to think about.

I got to Omaha on a commuter plane. A little tight, but a short flight. In Omaha, I had booked a bus that would take me the two hours to the Madison County Fairgrounds. The bus turned out to be a shuttle, which I missed, they had to come back for me and I finally rolled into the tiny town of Madison, population just over 2,000. Corn and soybeans, cowboys, cowgirls, cowkids....all very nice and friendly people.

The corn crop looked dry. I wove on my tape loom to pass the time and met some locals who were interested in weaving too.

This bug on Rogers tent ropes and this corn field, and the beer garden were the only photos I took while there.

Roger and I got invited to a Nebraska corn farmers couch burning party at 3 am one morning. The farmers had 1,400 acres of corn, some was being watered but the whole mid west was dry this summer.

The couch burning started a few years ago and now this once a year event has grown and friends and family come for weiners cooked on a pitchfork, beer and other tidbits while sitting around a huge bonfire on old couches and chairs. After everyone had their fill of weiners, someone put a mattress on the fire and then a couch. The flames shot up into the early morning sky. People backed away from the heat. The couch went up so fast... do not smoke and fall asleep on your couch. WARNING:  Do not try this at home. Folks seem to like to watch things burn, but the fumes were not so good and we left around 4 am smelling of burning fibers and smoke.

We saw some great bull riding, horse shows and met a lot of nice folks. Seems one of this fairs best events is line dancing and the beer garden. Next to each other and about 100 feet from our camper till 1 am.  Crowds of teenagers were great to watch dancing and having a good time to very loud music. They enlarged the beer gardens this year. The enclosed, underage enforced area of just beer, could hold about 2000 folks.

All in all a very nice fair that I would recomend... did I mention the fair admission was FREE?