Fall Fiber Festival. Nothing better!

If you've never been to a fiber festival, you're missing out. And if you've never been to a fiber festival in the fall, you need to mark your calendar for next years Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials at James Madison's Montpellier in Orange Virginia.

First and foremost, there are vendors. Lots if vendors

Selling raw fibers, yarns, finished products and anything else related to knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving or any other fiber art you could dream of.

Then, there are the animals. You can see where different animal fibers come from.

Angora rabbits.

Mohair goats.


And of course sheep, sheep and more sheep!

Once shopping has been completed, I grab something from one of the vendors to eat and go veg-out in front of the sheepdog trials. It is truly amazing to watch. The skill these dogs have is amazing.

It is worth the price if admission just to watch these working animals do their thing.

So even if you can't get to Virginia next fall. Make sure to search out some sheepdog trials near you. You won't be disappointed!


First big order!

Took my first large bag order to a store today! The Yellow Button in Harrisonburg, VA.

I feel very excited about the direction my bags are going in. Today Harrisonburg, tomorrow the WORLD! :)


Waxing day!

Cotton waxing that is! More bags to be cranked out, means more linings to be waxed and waterproofed. 3 yards of duck cloth means a killer arm workout. At least this hot weather is good for something!



Rain for the first time in about 3 weeks. So happy I got a reprieve from lugging the hose around the yard for one night!


Quality control

All of the bag components used here at Crooked Oak Design must pass a very stringent set of quality control tests. This test is the "comfy" test, performed by Bitsy.

She says it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Bitsy. If you snore any louder people are going to think you're slacking on the job.

As I suspected, this batch passed with flying colors.


Slowly but surely!

Getting my @etsy site stocked with goodies!


Pickin' and a grinnin'

The first of the tomatoes are in! There were 3, but one was enjoyed straight from the vine. Mmm, mmm good!


End of an era.

I know my blog is a place to write about my creativity and the endeavors I am currently working on. But working a lot from home allows me to do many other things at the same time. Today I watched the final space shuttle launch, and it was strangely emotional to me. I shouldn't be surprised though, I've grown up with the shuttle program, and like most people my age it has been a large part of my schooling.

I was 5 when the challenger disaster occurred, and watched the tragic events unfold live on television. It has an impact, believe me. A few years later Barbara Morgan came and spoke at my school. She was the alternate teacher scheduled for the Challenger flight if Christa McAuliffe was unable to fly. It was one of the most amazing assemblies I can remember. She had footage and hands on visuals of their training methods and had me enthralled the entire time.

And a few years after that I was chosen to grow space tomatoes. I'll explain further. One of the missions Challenger was assigned to do was to collect a satellite that contained various plant seeds that had been sent into orbit to study the effects of zero gravity on live plants. It was collected about 5 years later then it was supposed to have been. I thought I was the coolest for being able to grow something that had been in space. Mind you, they turned out to be normal tasty tomatoes, but you can't help a girl from dreaming that they would be purple and glittery or something fun like that.

So today when I watched the shuttle launch live, on the NASA iPad app, in HD, listening to all of the radio check-ins, well-wishes, and speeches, it was hard not to tear up a little. And how could I not be awed by the idea that my little tablet was broadcasting live images from the underbelly of the shuttle as it blasts miles into space. Certainly it is the closest I will ever get to blasting into orbit, but it can't keep me from dreaming...


Back in the garden

Tonight I made stuffed zucchini with home-grown zucchini. I wish I could say they were from my garden, but alas, they were from my parents garden. But amazingly delicious none the less!

Stuffed zucchini:

2 zucchini, cut in half with insides scooped out (save guts)
1 onion diced
1 package fresh mushrooms
1/2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese + extra for topping
Salt, pepper, parsley to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In sauté pan heat some olive oil, sauté onion and mushroom until soft. Add zucchini guts and sauté until soft. Remove from heat, add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Add salt pepper and parsley. Scoop into boats, place on cookie sheet & bake for about 20 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes.



The most productive day ever

It is great to have a sense of accomplishment. Yesterday was absolutely one of the best days days for getting stuff done in the Crooked Oak household.

1. Drove home from vacation, stopping at the in-laws along the way.
2. Did every stitch of laundry accumulated by said trip.
3. Picked up dry cleaning.
4. Ran errands.
5. Made 2 gallons of tea.
6. Made a batch of bean salsa aka "Texas caviar".
7. Made 2 gallons of homemade laundry detergent.
8. Setup new iPad. And well, played around on it for a while.
9. Made dinner. An awesome salad with baked shrimp "croutons".
10. Worked in the garden for a while. Taking out bean plants and getting ready for some more tomato plants.

Whew! It was a very satisfying day.


Bag lady

I am officially a bag lady. I've just stocked some new designs on my Etsy site. Here's to hoping they go over well!


My theory on why the years seem to go by faster and faster

I walked into my local Hobby Lobby today and was smacked in the face by:

Fall. Yes folks. It is mid-June and thanksgiving has taken over the aisles of my favorite craft location.

BUT. Then I turned the corner.

And there was Christmas. Now. In June. More then 6 months prior to the holiday - and it's here.

This is, in my opinion, why the years seem to fly by. We live with Christmas for 6 months of the year.


If I didn't love it, I wouldn't do it!

I love creating, and all aspects involved in the process. I have come to have a deep appreciation for patterns. I used to be the type to start cutting and see what comes of it. I seem to have evolved into the type that creates patterns and sticks to them! So today is a pattern creating kind of day.


Workin' it

My desk is a mess. It's how I work best! Plus, I find it helpful to have lots of toys at arms reach.


It's a good day!

My garden is going gangbusters. Finished the tomato cages and picked the first crop of the season: green beans!


Time again for me to change

I'm in love. With BURLAP! Working on a new line of handbags that should be ready soon. I can't wait!

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