Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Open House, The Grainary, and Kromski....

We've been very busy here at the cottage for the past few months, but with the weather turning colder, we are slowly migrating inside for much needed catching up on things like blog updating!



There's so much to share, but with our annual Christmas Open House coming up on Thanksgiving weekend, I won't have much time in the next few weeks to post here. I will be catching up afterwards though.



The Grainary, as you know, is the mothership of The Spinner's Cottage. Located in the country near Wellington, OH. and started in 1990 as a shop to showcase Carol's stained glass, and moving quickly into integration with other home decorating merchandize, all handmade by either mom or myself. Eventually, we started carrying commercial retail items such as candles, primitive decorations and braided rugs that were made by a lovely operation in Kentucky.



But we prefer tradition and always opt to make our own inventory whenever possible. Several years ago, when I began weaving, we phased out the commercial rugs. Now, you can find my handwoven rugs, placemats, mug rugs, table runners and more displayed in our rustic and cozy setting.



Carol is still making stained glass pieces ranging from Christmas decorations for both the tree and table, to small windows and lamps. You'll find lovely angels, that make wonderful gifts for someone special, little stockings for the tree and much more. She also continues to take custom orders.



Aside from these two staple items, we continue to carry a small amount of primitive decorating items for the table, tinware, Keepers of the Light candles, and recycled bottle items such as cheese/serving plates and spoon holders. These are crafted by Carol as well.



A few years ago, my love of yarn took over my life. I have been crocheting since I was 4, and yes, I continued to crochet from the time I learned and still do today. My love of textiles began at an 8th grade field trip to Greenfield Village, where I witnessed weaving for the first time. From that time on I longed to own a loom and in 1985, the dream came true in the form of a Christmas present. A 4 harness Harrisville Design floor loom!



I now own more looms than I care to admit, and each one has its own purpose. For the most part, my weaving is rag rugs. I work on a vintage Union Loom, which was produced in the 1940's. These looms were originally used as therapy for returning soldiers, as weaving strengthened the coordination and muscle tone in wounded soldiers. I am drawn to the history of the Union loom, a simple two harness contraption that is built to produce rugs. I often wonder whose hands created on this loom before me as I switch shafts, throw a pick and pull back the reed.



But, I am off track here. I began telling you this as a segue into what lead me into spinning! It was the weaving. I had a desire to make blankets out of mohair yarn, but was finding it very difficult to locate a source for exactly what I wanted. In my research, I became intrigued with the processing of fiber itself and one thing lead to another and I began a small cottage processing mill. With that, I learned to spin and now even though I continue to process raw fiber for a select customer base, I primarily process for resale in The Grainary and on my Etsy at www.thespinnerscottage.etsy.com.



I also carry combed top for both spinning and felting and you can find a nice range of fibers to choose from including local alpaca to silk hankies all hand dyed by me.
Aside from that, I also dye a nice little range of yarns. You can find fingering weight to thick and thin yarns and on occasion some of my handspun.



I recently learned to knit and am excited to delve more into this craft this winter.
At this time, The Grainary is split just about in half between our regular items and the fiber.
We are also very excited to announce that we have recently became an official Kromski Dealer. We carry a small selection of spinning wheels and looms at this time and will be expanding in the future. Kromski is my favorite wheel so I was super excited to become part of the Kromski family!



On top of that, this is our 25th anniversary and to celebrate both that and the dealership, we are giving away an 8" Kromski Harp Forte Loom! Purchases made from The Spinner's Cottage, both online or at The Grainary qualify for the drawing which is being run in the Ravelry group The Spinner's Cottage. Simply post your purchase in the drawing thread and you are in. This giveaway started on Nov. 3rd and will run through December 31st.
Good luck!
~Vickie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shop Update...

It's been a while since I've posted anything fibery on here.

Killdeer, the Phat Fiber sample for the Birds of a Feather theme are available in the Etsy and shop again. These sold out pretty quickly the first time around.


 
 
I've also found 4 oz of Heather from the Phat Fiber 'Inspiring Women' theme hiding behind the now sold out Captain Batts. This is available in the shop and will be listed in the Etsy this week.
 

 
 
And since I am getting ready to get back to my dye pot, here is some fall inspiration.

 
 
 
Until next time,
 
~Vickie
 
 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bike Night at Lake Erie Harley-Davidson


This post is way out of the ordinary for this blog, but I was fortunate enough to spend a lovely evening with the folks over at Lake Erie Harley-Davidson tonight and wanted to share.




My lovely aunt is a volunteer at Friendship APL and along with some other wonderful ladies known as The Beer Ladies, sell beer at bike night to raise money for the APL.

Mary Lou

 Diane
 


The band Caliber was awesome!
 



 



A little something for the ladies....



Just because I like 'em...

 
 
 
A cozy fire...
 

 
 
And of course, the main attraction....
 




 
 
 
 
I think that about sums it up.....
 
Until next time,

~Vickie


 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Free Spinner's Clinic....

Spinners in the NE Ohio area. I will be hosting a free clinic on Tues. July 29th at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Mitchell Pfeiffer of Pfeiffer Chiropractic Clinic, Wellington, Oh.
Dr. Pfeiffer will be discussing proper posture at the wheel and how to avoid neck and shoulder pain. He will also be answering your questions.
Bring your wheel!
At The Grainary, Wellington, Oh. Please PM me for directions. This is a FREE clinic but I will need you to sign up by July 24th. Space is limited.
Please share with your guild and spinning friends. Spinning is supposed to be relaxing, not painful!
~Vickie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Facebook, Growing and Some Summer Love.....


Lovely flowers from my aunt, out of her garden.
 
For years, I’ve avoided joining Facebook. I simply didn’t understand the reasoning behind it and had no interest. Recently, however, I decided it may be a good platform to promote The Spinner’s Cottage and connect with other local fiber enthusiasts.


I set up my page but didn’t get back to it too often. Two weeks later, after not being too attentive to the forum, I began to run into old friends.  It started to become fun catching up with old school mates whom I’ve not seen nor heard from in over 30 years. It seems like a lifetime ago that we were all together in school and now we are "familiar strangers" meeting up in this very active website. Some people post photos from when we were teens that have triggered memories that I have long since pushed to the back of my mind.

Since graduation, we have all walked our own paths. Gone our own way and scattered across the country.  We have dealt with our own demons, lived in our own hells, and achieved our own dreams.
 
In catching up with some, I find that our paths were very similar at times. We’ve all had ups and downs, yet we all trod forward, moving through time that is too precious to waste. Yes, we’ve learned much since those adolescent years when life was fresh and hopes were what drove us. I had forgotten how much fun I had with some of these people.
 
 

I, like my classmates, have lived a whole life since then. I’ve grown in ways I had never imagined. Experienced things I would rather not have, and have been fortunate enough to hold in my hands, true happiness. And while I have come through the ashes a little scarred, a bit scared and a whole lot changed, I realize, that these things are what have made me into the person I am today. When I look back at the girl I was back in school, I can truly say that I am a much better person today. I am better despite, and because of my experiences, both good and bad and while I would surely erase certain events in my life, I know I cannot turn back the hands of time.
 

So I will simply enjoy the summer love that Mother Nature offers up every year to remind us of how fragile and beautiful life is.

Until next time,
~Vickie
 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering on Memorial Day..........


Memorial Day was created to honor and remember those soldiers who died in battle during the American Civil War.

Exactly where and when is questionable, but eventually the entire Nation agreed to a particular day in May to remember those soldiers who have fallen in battle.

We call it Memorial Day.




 
 A 1906 claim stated that the first Civil War Soldier's grave was decorated in Warrenton, Virginia on June 3, 1861.

In 1862, women in Savannah, Georgia, decorated the graves of Confederate solders who died in the Civil War.

In 1863, the cemetery dedication service at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a commemoration ceremony at the graves of dead soldiers.

July 4, 1864, ladies decorated the graves of Civil War Soldiers, at Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1865 the Federal Government began formally dedicating National Military Cemeteries for dead Union Soldiers. More than 600,000 Union and Confederate Soldiers lost their lives during the Civil War.

Prints and Photographs Collection, Library of Congress
 
On May 1, 1865, a group of Freedmen, or former slaves who were freed as a result of the Civil War, declared a May Day, in which they, along with Missionaries and School Teachers, gathered to clean up and landscape the unmarked graves of some 257 Union Prisoners who died while imprisoned at the Charleston Race Course in Charleston, South Carolina.
This was the first widely publicized gathering to honor those who died during the Civil War and was covered by The New York Tribune.
It was there that the first public commemoration took place after workers erected an enclosure and arch with the dedication, "Martyrs of the Race Course".
Around 10,000 people, including 3,000 school children, Union Troops, Northern Missionaries and black Ministers gathered to commemorate these soldiers and this day became known as Decoration Day.

In 1866, the Ladies Memorial Association, of Columbus, Georgia, passed a resolution to honor the Confederate dead annually. This is known as the Confederate Memorial Day. Throughout the south, many states continue to observe this day, however it falls on different days in different states according to the event they choose to commemorate.

April 25th, 1866, women laid flowers at the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers, at Columbus, Mississippi.

May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Union Civil War Veterans, issued a proclamation for a "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and Nationally. That year, the commemoration commenced on May 30, a date chosen because there had been no particular battle on that date.

May 5, 1868, Ironton, Ohio held the first Decoration Day parade and continues this tradition today. It is claimed to be the oldest running Memorial Day parade in the Nation.

In 1868, ceremonies held for Memorial Day at Gettysburg National Park became nationally recognized as a tradition.

 


Memorial observances were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states that year and grew to 336 the following year.

In 1871, Michigan declared Decoration Day to be an official State Holiday.
By 1890, every Northern state had done the same.

By 1870, 300,000 Union Soldiers had been reinterred in 73 National Military Cemeteries.

The Commemoration Ceremonies were sponsored by the Women's Relief Corps, which was the women's auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic, with nearly 100,000 members.

In 1882, the commemoration ceremonies for Decoration Day started to become known as Memorial Day, and in 1967, was declared as the official name.

In 1968, Congress declared Monday to be the National Day of Observance in order to combine 4 known military memorial holidays into one and make for a 3 day weekend. The reaction to this move was  not well received.

The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:
"Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day". (Wikipedia)



Memorial Day has seen many changes over the last 153 years, but the one constant that has remained is the why. To honor and remember those soldiers who have fallen in order to protect the freedoms of these United States of America.

Library of Congress

I would venture to guess that the first soldier's grave to be decorated was probably done by his widow. A very personal and private gesture to show her undying love for him. When and why others followed suit, remains to be seen, however, we must keep in mind, that women from both the north and the south, deemed it necessary to honor soldiers, both confederate and union. I can only imagine that the women who chose to decorate the graves of soldiers from the opposite side, did so out of unspoken sisterhood to that soldier's wife who could not do so herself. These women understood the magnitude of the Civil War, the great loss on both sides. In their effort to do something, anything to acknowledge the pain that was inflicted by this war, the children it left fatherless, the women it left widowed, and the families it tore apart, they unwittingly created a National Day of Observance that is still honored more than 150 years later.
Today, we celebrate with picnics, time with friends and family and continue to decorate our cemeteries, wave our flag, and honor those fallen in battle for this country.

A Marine at Vietnam Memorial July 4, 202 (Wikipedia)


It is no longer a holiday to honor only the Civil War dead, but to honor all of the fallen soldiers, both past and present.
So, while you are enjoying your day in what ever fashion you celebrate, please take a moment to remember those who can't. Think about their families, widows and children alike, who are left behind. Their soldier sacrificed his or her life to ensure that we continue to celebrate things like Memorial Day.

~Vickie








Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Winds of Change.....

Dear Readers,

I know it's been a very long time since I've posted, but I have been around, just very busy.
Even if it doesn't appear so, I do read each and every one of your comments and emails and I very much appreciate them.





Summer is fast approaching and, of course, I am no where near ready for it. Spring has been proving to be lovely weather, yes including all of the rain we've had, but the first sign of spring is more of a starting pistol for the race ahead. The race with the work, that is!

Weeds are growing....well, like weeds, and I am already behind. The "To Do" list is endless and I fear I will never be able to complete it before the winter winds begin to howl once again.
I spend about 4-5 hours on the lawnmower each time I cut grass and this gives me a lot of time for clearing my head, reflecting, and thinking of plans for the future.
Last week, while I was mowing, I reflected on the changes in my life and how those changes have shaped who I am today.



At times, The Winds of Change have knocked me flat out, while other times it has gently caressed my cheek as if to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Either way change can be hard, and yet sometimes it can be enlightening and positive.
So, last week, as I was mowing and reflecting, I started to see clearly, the path I now must venture along. A new horizon if you will.
Some of you have known me for many years in real life, and others of you just know me from this blog.
I love the magic of the dyepot, the splendor of blending fibers on the carder/hackle and the sweet serenity of spinning yarn.
But it's not enough to make a living at yet and I need to do so. I have had many jobs in my lifetime, but it has been, writing that has called me home time and time again.
The winds of change that knocked me flat out 5 years ago, tickled my feet a year later when I discovered spinning and tried to blow me over when I lost my job just over a year ago. Instead, I enrolled myself as a full time college student in order to learn more about business and webdesign.  I have spent the past few weeks looking into the possibilities of returning to writing/photography.
I'm not sure where I'll land as far as work goes, but be assured, the fiber will not suffer because of it. The fiber is my future.
Now, this very long and tedious post leads me to a point about this blog. I have resisted allowing ads on this blog because I wanted to keep it beautiful and enjoyable. I have been cornered into trying ads though, at least for a while. I hope you don't mind and they should be geared toward craft/fiber/gardening things, hopefully. I will do my best to keep them discreet, yet I do hope you will patronize these advertisers if they are of interest to you.



I will also, for the time being, be writing more about many crafts here at The Spinner's Cottage. In the future, I may be moving to a completely different blog for those purposes, but in the meantime, I am making this the new home for all things craft/home/garden. I'm not sure where these particular winds of change will land me, but I am hoping I enjoy this ride!

I started this afghan in 1976. It has been reworked no less than 3 times but I finally finished it this year!

Thank you for taking time out of your precious day to spend here at The Spinner's Cottage.
~Vickie