ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin the Pardoned Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving and may your holiday be as bright as Pumpkin's....he's on his way to Disney Land....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Embarassing Moment

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday - but I was hiding in total embarrassment and did not surface the entire day!

I'll share my embarrassing moment, but then you'll have to share your's! Deal????

I was filing some paperwork. My filing cabinet has temporary stickers on the drawers depicting the alphabet of the files the drawer contains. I was wearing a fleece jacket which evidently was very attracted to the file "D". I did not notice this however until I walked into a meeting with a large "D" blazoned center stage on my right breast.

Most of you have not seen me, but those who have, know that I do not need a sign to denote that my cup size is a "D". Several people found my sign hilarious! Did I mention that I have only been at this job for about two months and I work in a pretty conservative environment!!!!

I'll blog more later - I am lucky enough to have two days away from the office right before a holiday so by Monday, hopefully no one will remember my cup size!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Now Give Me Some Figgy Pudding.....

I was opened up to a wonderful new taste sensation yesterday!
Fresh Figs - not to be confused with fig newtons -

Remember the Big Fig Newton? I sure do and on select moonlite nights you can see me out on the front lawn doing the Fig Newton Dance - join me now....
Ooey , gooey, rich and chewy inside
Golden, cakey, tender, flaky outside
Wrap the inside in the outside
Is it good? Darn tootin’
Doin’ the big Fig Newton
one more time now - The Big Fig NewwwwTon

- not even's what the inside of a fig looks like. They have many texture layers with the middle a moist edible seed mass. The taste is subtle, fresh, moist, gently sweet and musky. Little hints of grape and apricot to me.

Terri, my sister-in-law and partner in crime - all types of crime....has been on a quest to provide me with fresh figs. I was dubious to say the least and I took it as a sign from God that each time she got close to mission accomplishment - it would slip through her grasp...She bought a fig tree - the first one didn't make it (might have something to do with the drought and a lawnmower.... Then she took me to the farmers market where she had bought fresh figs a week prior - when I went, no figs....not even a fig farmer! She has bought another fig tree - no figs this year. Anyway - periodically she would mention the fig quest and I would giggle and humor her. Well, yesterday she stopped off at The Fresh Market - she knows that is against the rules! The Fresh Market is a checkbook trap - we can not go there and stay within a budget because there are so many awesome, high quality items there. Anyway, she found fresh California Brown Turkey figs....and they are sodium, no sugar, no fat! A dream food! I will definitely meet my 2 fruits daily requirement for the Health Rewards program with these guys around.

The figs were awesome - thanks so much Terri for awakening my Fig taste buds....they are very happy...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa Claustaphobia

My work is doing an awesome motivational campaign to help avoid holiday weight gain. It's called Santa Claustaphobia (fear of looking like Santa after the holidays).

Here's the challenge - weigh in the week before Thanksgiving (yes Virginia, I did this today). No one but you and the nurse know the weight....thank goodness.

Then you weigh in the week after New Year's. If you do not gain weight, you get a free long sleeve t-shirt and points toward lowering your health insurance premium. At the end of the year, if you have 750 points you get a $$ savings per month. There are various things you can do to earn points - this campaign for instance earns you 50 points. Taking a health assessment counts also and gives you goals to work at to earn more points!

This is a really cool way of reinforcing health maintenance. So, if you're looking for a way to stay motivated maybe a weigh in is what is needed! Nothing like cold hard numbers to jerk you right back to reality! That is, if the tightening of the trousers doesn't do it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Austen Hijack!

Okay, Terri again. This is a hijack, but Melissa instigated it, so I don't feel one bit guilty! Actually, I never feel one bit guilty about hijacking her blog, but this time I really don't, because Melissa is hijacking mine as soon as she takes the quiz for me!

I took the Austen quiz for Melissa and here are the results. I see Melissa as:

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

And the description: You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

I think this is an interesting exercise because you get to see how other people perceive you. I liked Elizabeth Bennet, so is it any wonder I like Melissa? Well, I pretend to, anyway, so I can steal all her good ideas! :)

'Til next time!


Jane Austin Fan

I have been a Jane Austin fan for a while, but I must admit I don't think I've actually read any of her novels - my experience comes from the big screen. Therefore I am not as dedicated as I should be. My New Year's Resolution is to read her novels and some biography's. I shall keep a little list here on the blog so you can see how I'm doing.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I took the quiz and I am Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! According to the survey I am practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though I am tremendously sensible and allow my head to rule, I have a deep, emotional side that few people often see. (They had me right up to that last bit - I think I wear my emotions on my sleeve - but I'll have to let others be the judge. It might be funny to take the quiz answering as someone else would for you - then compare!!!!! Hmmmm, I think this is another opportunity to blog-jack Terri's site!!!!!

I will get right on reading my first novel right after I finish my custom order crochet projects. I've two scarves to finish up this week, 10 more of the 12 crocheted pouches (then they must be felted - I only hope my hubby gets the washing machine hooked up prior to Dec 15th so I can get them felted!), I have a few crochet cosies for soap bars to make for BrandyAnn and two scrumble purses I'm been meaning to talk to you about.....perhaps I'll tackle a tutorial this weekend!

The house is coming along - we are on permanent power now but it is very limited. We have a few inspections to go through prior to getting everything hooked up...Dan is finishing up the outside which is a good thing - because it is unseasonable freezing here in East Tennessee.....just what you need when you're living in an aluminum can and using a port-a-potty!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hijack - Five Things Melissa Would Never Say

Okay, Terri here, with your weekly blog hijack! I thought it would be fun to post five things I think Melissa would NEVER say, and see how she responds. Here goes:

1. No, I don't want a pale sugar cookie!

(I think Melissa would do just about anything for a pale sugar cookie!)

2. I never play in the rain.

(Just try to keep her OUT of the rain! But, it's one of the reasons she's so much fun to hang around with!)

3. There are too many plants around here!

(She can't be trusted in a garden center!)

4. I'm hurting, so I think I'll take it easy today.

(This is the woman who ran three miles the day before her back surgery! I have to make her go to the doctor when something hurts, and she often doesn't tell me because she knows what I'll say!)

5. No, lets not go dig another garden bed!

(I could ask her to go help me dig a bed as soon as she gets home, using flashlights because it will be dark, and in parkas due to the cold, and she would do it! )

So, there's Melissa - from my perspective. We'll see how she responds when she sees this post!


Terri, you are hilarious - you did forget one though!!!!!

6. Let me wash that off first!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

It is hilarious that Daisy nominated me for the "Let Them Eat Cake" Award ("Marie Antoinette A Real Person, A Real Award"). This is one of my favorite sayings (and things to do). I generally follow up the comment with "Off with their heads!" Which is what Marie Antoinette heard right after she opened up the bakeries.....don't mess with people's cake - you could loose your head!

So for today I say to everyone!!!!! "Off with their heads"....oops, "Let them eat cake!"

I wish I had a petit four and a lounging couch!!!!

This weekend I finished up nearly all my custom orders. (Three car scarves, four pairs of half mittens, one long scarf, one hat for me (hee hee, I put in a custom order for myself! Hey my ears are getting cold.) I sorted through my available yarn stash and picked out the fibers for the two scrumble purses I still have to finish and sorted some craft boxes...I was one busy beaver.

During the week I need to start on the crocheted/felted pouches my sister wants for our shin dig at Mom's for Christmas. We are hosting an open house. It has been a while since Mom has had us all over for a holiday....we thought it would be fun to host an open house so friends, neighbors, family, and those people who drive around looking for open houses to get a free meal could stop by and wish us all a Merry Christmas. We eliminate the stress of cooking a big meal or rushing from one house to another and not giving full attention to anyone....For childhood entertainment we're going to decorate sugar cookies! What fun, nearly as much fun as eating cake.

Maybe pictures tomorrow of my goodies before I mail them all off to their new homes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hat Winner and Other Assorted Happenings

It's been a busy few days...Last week before I left for Indiana, I delivered a few sweet potatoes to Lakeisha, a friend at work - I got the potatoes from this (remember my weekend which included digging up the sweet potato bed and turning it into a garlic bed for the winter?).....

Lakeisha used this.....

to make them into this.....

What a lovely pie...

The craft fair this weekend was fab.

That's me laughing at Deb (my fabulous Indiana sister-in-law) who is taking my picture. Notice we are conveniently situated next to the fortuitous.
I'm making a custom order that was needed that evening.... coordinating hats for a 8 year old and 6 month old. We were interviewed by the Kokomo Tribune and an article was in the Sunday paper - complete with a picture of the booth! I think the guy just wanted a picture of Deb, and then felt obligated to publish a story!

Marmee's suggestion of a jewel toned snood which turned into a raspberry beret sold to a lovely lady in the red hat society -
her silver hair set off the beret exceptionally, making her look and feel like a million bucks. (I love the sparkle in the eyes of someone who loves wearing what I made! Especially when they look fab in it!) In fact, she liked it so well, she commissioned a free form crochet purse which I make from funky pieces sown together quilt fashion...(another post about that project.) I made my friend Danita a funky scarf out of the red fiber in the beret - I can't wait to see how she looks in it!

My mother loved Daisy's inspiration and wants one made with a snowflake on the brim for Christmas. Thanks for the award Daisy!!!

Other big sellers included anything made of Alpaca...I have several commissions to finish. One lady added to my future collection - she wanted fingerless gloves to wear while walking. She and her friend also bought both short scarves to look fashionable on their group walks with their club.

Another great recommendation was to make American Doll sized vests to go with the doll hats I made....I could really go over the top and make matching items in girls sizes so the American Doll and their "Mothers" match.

The pink baby hats went out the door so quickly, I wish I had more. The one Susie inspired sold....

I made a child's hat from Terri's suggestion of peach and soft dark green....the stitch pattern I used made it look like a turtle which my mother thought was hilarious! But I was the last one laughing as it was the first hat sold! - Thanks Terri!

My project for next year is to work on the aesthetics of our booth...Deb and I have a great idea for using an old screen door....put lattice where the screen was, a small mirror in the middle and old door knobs all over the door....hats and scarves can hang from the knobs and when they are sold the knobs will look cool...I think we'll hinge the door in half so it can fold down for transport....

And now for the winner of the you design it, I'll make it giveaway! Hurray Mildred - that's her with Harriet. Here's the comment Mildred left as entry: Oh, I love this! My unusual color combo suggestion was inspired by a Hull vase - peachy-pink, light aqua, buttery yellow. My grandma crocheted a hat for me when I was young that had a little brim that turned back, and the yarn was feathery soft. So Mildred, am I combining the color combo with a small turned back brim hat??? Also, can you measure your head and let me know what size it is? I'll get the hat made up this week and we'll expect to see a picture of you in it posted sometime soon!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

This is another blog hijack... Terri, here, wishing Melissa a Happy Veteran's Day! For those of you who don't know, Melissa is a retired Marine. This means she spent more than 20 years of her life serving this country. I am very proud of all she's done. Sometimes, when I have a dilemma to solve, I ask myself, "How would Melissa handle this?" And then I go and do the opposite!! Just kidding... :)

Seriously, Melissa is the epitome of a Marine - she's intelligent, strong, disciplined and has a great deal of personal integrity. Also, she's funny, and fun to hang out with, and she makes cool hats. She also makes a killer shrimp toast appetizer that is dangerously good. So, Melissa - this post is to you. Happy Veteran's Day!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Make it Take it Hats and Kylie's giveaway!

Here's a cool bag Kylie did for a giveaway - I'd swap a hat for a bag....

Here's the status on the ThistleDew you suggest it, I'll make it hat giveaway - Lisa submitted - Natural Colors (tans and greens) with ear flaps and a tie. Here's the protype sans earflaps.

Mildred would like a peachy-pink, light aqua, buttery yellow like Grandma's Hull vase.

Mamma Bee at the Bee Content Ranch suggested a Dubblamuska in rainbow colors or a vibrant colored andes mountain hat with ear flaps. I must tell you this one has been the hardest - I have two failed dubblamuska prototypes - My daughter loves them - butttt they look like an elf hat (she's eight remember) - still working on this one....the concept is easy but for some reason I can't get the increasing correct! It has become a challenge....

GNG Girl just couldn't decide - times running out girlfriend! (Now you know she'll need a little glitz on hers!)

Tattingchic offered up green with a purple pompon on top - like a thistle!

Debra suggested a lavender and violet combo - oooo I could crochet a pansie for the brim of this one....extra points for posting about the blog - thanks

Hannah suggested a rolled up brim for her hat - not specific about the colors but she's wearing hot pink in her image!


Susie chimed in suggesting a rolled up brim with a daisy on it - she inspired this childs hat.

Amy first offered a raffia hat - but then didn't want one until spring and switched to a cloche hat in the colors sported by Terri from Clay Hill's image
She'd like a chocolate and pink version - sounds delicious!

Marmee inspired a version of her suggestion of jewel tones in a loose fitting snood
Doesn't this hat make you want to scream "RRRRRaaass berry Beret" at the top of your lungs???!!! (Not from the '80's are you???) Gotta love Prince or what ever his name is now!

Daisy offered up her namesake on a hat - here it is!

And she was kind enough to post a link on her blog!!!!

Jannellybelly suggested chocolate and pink - got the yarn all picked out! Chocolate wool and some pink mohair for trim.....

Another 24 hours - another three hats!

I am addicted - you have sent me over the top....I now feel guilty if I don't get three hats done every 24 hours....remember I have to work (which is really unrealistic when it's craft fair season! Show some compassion will ya?!!!!)

Most things at ThistleDew are revolving around hats, but not everything. Dan finished up the house siding - with the help of two brothers and two nephews and a bucket of KFC (yuck! and wow how expensive!) So here's what I see when I pull up to the farm after a day at work!!!! Aren't I lucky? but it's been a long time comin' I can assure you!

Yesterday I worked on Daisy's hat idea during lunch and finished up after supper -
This hat looks very cool - it is chock full of textured stitches - I didn't want to put a brim on it because I did some fun stitches toward the bottom, but Daisy must have her daisy. (I think I'll work on more petals if Daisy wins the competition) - My daughter wanted this hat immediately. She thinks black is tres chic, so chic in fact that I made her pinkie swear that she would never get black fingernail polish - I am pretty lenient about colors of fingernail polish - after all if you can't wear glow in the dark vibrant yellow polish as a little girl, when can you wear it? And also who are they making it for????? Anyway I digress....back to the hats....

I found some fun fur - ok I confess I picked it up from a chain store yesterday because I was having fun fur withdrawal - and as predicted when I got home and opened up some found yarn stash boxes - there right on top were a few skeins of fun furrrrr...go figure! This is a little girls hat - who can resist pink!

This morning I woke up early and whipped out this fab red with jewel tone accents sprinkled throughout....

Ashley hated this one - it wasn't black! She did agree to model it for me....sorry Mr Kool-Aid, Jiff and Bounty (the quicker picker upper.)

I am off this afternoon to my Mom's for the craft fair and post will be Tuesday with the results of the craft fair and who's hats got the most ooooh's and aaaahh's....good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway posted November 3rd . I will close the entries on Tuesday after I return and post the result Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hats, Hats Everywhere Hats!

You guys are so awesome!!!!
I am getting up at 4 am to work on hat ideas you all have submitted for my challenge/giveaway.....I have three I made since yesterday to show you...

The first one was inspired by Marmee - She wanted a snood - I thought snoods were those little bun covers ballerinas wore but Marmee says her idea of a snood is a cross between a beret and a cap. She loves jewel tones and included deep red as a choice. I happened to have a very lovely cranberry red chunky wool that I pared with a slightly duller red to make the cranberry pop and give more bulk. I made a beret out of it - I hope this is close to Marmee's snood! I have a feeling she wanted more snooding - I picture Scarlet O'Hara with that black net thing on her hair... This hat looks better on a live head, gives it more of a beret look. Notice the back covers a little more of the neck to the ears. One ear would be covered by the beret portion if chosen to wear that way. What do you think?

My next attempt was from Lisa's suggestion - she wanted naturals. I found this super chunkie yarn in my stash, it has naturals and greens in it. I started with it and decided to add chocolate wool paired with a specialty yarn in neutrals that changes every 20 feet or so. Then I thought I'd do the brim in alpaca and mohair really long so you could fold it up a few times and make it really thick... Lisa wanted ear flaps, which I will work on one of that ilk, but I really liked the alpaca over the ears so thick it has a sort of Russian look to the hat....well I got mostly done this morning before leaving for work and then didn't like the wide bands of color -

I'm going to rip it out tonight and make the bands smaller in a striped pattern - I think it'll give more continuity........what do you think?

During my lunch hour I whipped up one similar to what Hannah described -

She didn't have a color preference but wanted a roll up brim. This one is a small brim, I'll work on some a bit thicker. I thought it might also fit the bill for Mildred's suggestion, but when I re-read her message the colors are wrong....

Mildred wanted Peachy-Pink, Aqua and Yellow - reminescent of her Grandmothers Hull vase...I'll keep working on it....

Am already thinking about Daisey's suggestion - Black, loose fit with small daisey's on the brim....stay tuned - if you have suggestions, make sure you go to Nov 3rd's post and get in on the fun!

I wish I had more time - I love making these suggestions! What a crafters dream!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Create a Hat just for you!

Wow, I am getting great ideas for hats - I want to make them all!!!! For those who didn't read yesterday - you design a hat and if selected in my giveaway, I'll make if for you!!!!

Here's an idea from Susie at Diggin In The Dirt. She wanted a hat with daisy's on it.

I worked up this child's hat as a demo - I like it.
Don't worry Susie, I'm working on the daisy's for a tassel. The baby hats to the left I worked up this weekend - please allow me a moment to give credit to my models - Mr. Kool-Aid and Jiff...thank you so much for working with me.

Here's a few of the hats I made this weekend.
The first one is made from variegated wool with a multicolored ribbon as accent. It's close fitting except for the top which is very textured (can't tell in the picture) The one on the right is rust wool with the same variegated ribbon.
This skull cap is made from Alpaca in a tweedie natural light brown. This is very trendy among teenagers and men who like what the football players are sporting - really I saw this stitch on a skull cap some famous dude was wearing!

Here's one using mostly aqua mohair with the alpaca and teal wool accents.

Here's Sarah, the little girl I taught to crochet last weekend - she's modeling a hat I whipped up for her while she was learning....

Below is Sarah learning to crochet with her Mom....Jan used to crochet but the knowledge is buried deep in the recesses of her mind behind how to make fairy wings and how to get peanut butter out of hair.

Here's a rust and green wool fiber straight from the Andes. I think I'll use this fiber to create Lisa's masterpiece she's from Life in New Hampshire. She'd like to see ear flaps on hers. I've had a lot of requests for ear flaps, funny enough! I guess I've been in warm areas for to long...although I love a neck gait in the winter - snuggle, snuggle!!!!

As you can see, they are pretty tame. I am now moving to some a little more creative. I can't seem to find my fun fur, which I love to put around the brims of the crazy color combo's....I refuse to breakdown and go buy some - I always fall into that trap and then end up never using my stash, but growing it....and spending the money from future sales...this doesn't make my hubby happy!

Don't forget to visit November 3rd's post and let me know your design if you haven't already done so.

You can also check out a quilt giveaway by The Handmade Quilter