May 4, 2014

A Very Cool Birthday Present

I have a birthday coming up in about a week.  This for me is normally not a big thing.  But, this one is 62!  Wow!  How did this happen?  Seems like my last birthday was 21!

Anyway,  while manning a booth yesterday at the Clinch River Antiques Festival in Clinton, TN, I noticed what looked like an old yarn winder in a booth across from us.  Sure enough it was.  And really old.  this handmade, with square nails, Yarn Winder or Yarn Weasel was built in 1814, according to the date etched into the box.  While I was talking with them about it, Gary walked over, saw what we were talking about and bought it for me!  Cool, very cool.  This is a beautiful and still workable piece.
Add An interesting note, Gary's last name is McGhee.  The builder's name is W McKee.  McGhee and McKee are listed as part of the same Scottish clan.

This pin the fits in the hole to the left of the knob on the top of the box is a mystery.  I can't figure out what it's for.  There are 2 additional holes at the base of the box, just at the base of the clicker and the pin fits in both very nicely.  I'm thinking is could be some kind of counter, but there are only 2 holes.  Any suggestions on what this pin is for would be greatly appreciated.
From what I've read, this is the base of the Clicker.  When I've wound on a predetermined times around the wheel, the clicker makes a loud "Pop" sound.  It is said that this tool and the pop sound it makes is the origin of the child's song, Pop Goes the Weasel.  I'm to find a way to change the number.  Right now, I have to wind 300 yards to get the pop.

We had a very good show in Clinton yesterday.  Sold a bunch and saw several people who we've visited with at other shows.  Next stop, the Knoxville Trade Day at the Jacobs Building in Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, TN on 5/17.  I'll be offering a class on potholder loom weaving there. If you're interested, please get in touch.

April 16, 2014

The craft season is upon us!

This past weekend was a very full one.  If I could have been in 2 places at one time, I would have!  Besides my growing weaving and weaving supply interest, I also belong to a number of groups, each of which are very important to me.  One of those groups is the K-town Sound Show Chorus, part of the Sweet Adelines organization, promoting the Barbershop-style of music.

We went to our yearly regional competition this past weekend in Covington, KY.  What a time we all had.  Just picture a large hotel and convention center suddenly packed to the gills with flocks of women dressed in costumes covered in sequines and glitter and stage makeup, huddled in corners of every open space, all singing different music, laughing and talking up a storm.  Wow!  What a time!

It was a chance to see friends not seen in awhile, to get to knowothers better, and to sing our hearts out!  Some fun!

At the same time, the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival was being held in Townsend, TN.  Gary and I went there for the first time last year and had one of the best craft shows we had ever had.  He got to go by himself this time and again had a terrific show.  What a partner I have!

Here is a picture of

the new display that
Gary built for us. 
It's so versitile and shows
off our products so well..

And, this is the most recently woven bamboo shawl.  It was sold at the show along with lots and lots of potholder looms and loops.  We're busy dying more loops and I'm putting new bamboo warp on the loom to weave more of these shawls.

Gary enjoyed his time at the Townsend show this weekend.  He enjoyed seeing so many people we met last year.   

March 16, 2014

We had our booth at the first show of our season yesterday, the Knoxville Trade Day at the Jacobs Building, Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, TN. It was a terrific day. Ken Culbertson, the organizer of the monthly event, has done a very good job in setting up this venue. We have already scheduled to have the same spot at the next Trade Day on April 26. Here's a picture of our booth. I love the new booth Gary made for us last fall.  

Our friend, Linda Nichols, joined us for the event and brought the hand embroidered tropical prayer flags that you see in the top left corner and handmade beaded jewelry.

March 12, 2014

Gary and I and friend Linda Nichols are excited to announce that we will have a booth on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the first Knoxville Trade Day, the Jacobs Building, Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, TN.  This exciting new monthly event will include artists and craftsmen, antique dealers and other vendors every month.  Come see the first show.

February 25, 2014

Catching up.

Day 1 at the Foothills Craft Guild Show with the new booth that Gary designed and built for us.
The TN Creates Show at the Secret City Festival

While I found myself locked out of this blog last year, I was out of work and trying to find the next job.  I was also busy building my weaving business. I was thrilled to be accepted into the Foothills Crafts Guild last spring.  I had booths at 17 area festivals in 2013, including to name a few:  the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival in Townsend,  the Tennessee Creates Show in Oak Ridge as part of the Secret City Festival, both the Meadowlark Festival and the Hummingbird Festival at Ijams Nature Park in Knoxville, The Spring and Fall Clinch River Antique Fairs in Clinton, TN, and ending the craft show year with the grand finale:  my first Foothills Craft Guild Show at the Jacobs Building in Knoxville.

This year, we will be returning to many of these shows and others.  I'm excited to say that I have just passed the jury for the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and will have a booth at one or both of the Guild's shows in Berea, KY this year.  We've also signed up to be one of the vendors at the Knoxville Trade Day at the Jacobs Building in Knoxville, TN one Saturday each month starting on March 15.  This is a great way to start this coming craft year.

Under the big tent at Asbury Methodist Church
Outside at the Clinch River Antiques Fair in Clinton

January 30, 2014

I have been working on a series of large "V" shawls lately that are turning out very nicely using hand painted and dip dyed bamboo warp and dip dyed bamboo weft.  I'm really enjoying the contrasts between the dark sections and the bold colors.  Here are some shots of my most recent one, which was woven for a long-time friend.

January 20, 2014

Road Trip to Tazewell, TN

Saturday, I went on a road trip to spend the day with my friend, Linda.  She lives in Luttrell, Tn and wanted to show me a fantastic fabric store that she had found.

After finally making it to Linda's house, we headed off to Tazewell.  This store, Discount Fabrics, has been in business for many years, but I had never heard of it.  I must say:  WOW!  They have everything.  I could go wild in there.  Charlie and Beckie Yeary own the store.  They are so friendly and helpful.  This huge metal building houses an enormous supply of fabric, notions, craft supplies, upholstrey fabrics, yarns, and machines.  They are an authorized Janome seller and service center and also sell several very large quilting machines.  I fell in love with a couple of their machines.  They also have classes there.  On the day we were there, several people were working on some machine embroidery and seemed to be having a terrific time.  I will definitely return to this store.  I really appreciate business owners and managers who treat their customers so well. Beckie gave me some very good help in trying to decide what kind of machine I want to buy next.

Once we dragged ourselves out of the cloth shop, Linda and I followed the directions that Charlie had provided to the Mountain Hollow Farm and Store.  It was just a little bit further.  Linda had heard of this place and wanted to see it.  The Bohnert family has built a lovely farm in a little hollow and Beth operates a beautiful shop there.

We left the highway, followed the paved road a little way, thenleft it to go on a gravel road that followed a beautiful stream.  Almost to the house, we stopped to look at this lovely dam and waterfall.  (I took a picture of it, but this one from their Facebook page from some earlier winter, looks so much better.)

Then we were there.  They have beautiful casmere goats, rabbits, llamas and a wild assortment of other animals. We walked past a small ampatheater where they offer talks about their animals to school students. Once  inside the shop, it was warm, welcoming and loaded full of yarn!  Yehaa!  Beautiful wools, silks, cottons, and mixtures of loads of other fibers.  I broke down and bought skeins different brilliant colors of a fiber made from the Banana tree.  I wound some of it today to use in a scarf I'm putting on my table loom. It's going to be gorgeous.

Linda and I lingered there for quite a while.  We really enjoyed meeting Beth and the others in the shop...

What a fun day.  I definitaly want to revisit both of these places and highly recomment them to anyone who loves fiber and cloth.

Discount Fabric, 2030 Old Hwy 25E, Taxewell, TN, 37879, 423-626-5337

Mountain Hollow Farm, 553 Vancel Road, Tazewell, TN  37879, 423-869-8927 and on

January 19, 2014

Finally, I've figured out how to get back on my blog.

Several months ago, I started having problems with my email freezing up.  So, I opened up a gmail account and started using it instead.  As soon as I did that, I was locked out of my blog.  Just couldn't find the way to get back on.  I've tried to find help on Google several times, with no help.  Google seems to have almost completely distanced themselves from their users.

But, today, I landed on a page that made such a simple suggestion.  Why had I not thought of that before?  Just log out and log back in under the old email.  And I'm back in.  I tried everything under the sun to reopen my blog, but not that.  So simple!

July 25, 2013

I found this great poncho while surfing the web looking for ideas for ponchos, cocoons, and shrugs.  Isn't it cute.  I love the weave pattern, too. 

My great friend, Linda, and I went to Asheville, NC last weekend to shop and go to the Southern Highland Craft Fair.  What a great show, as usual.  I saw so many beautiful pieces. 

After the craft fair, Linda and I walked down Haywood Street to Earth Fair and the cool boutique that's next to it (I can never remember the name of that shop!)  Then, we found the old Woolworth building that has been converted into a craft co-op!  What a great idea.  There is a set of registers up front and several booths for the artists to set up their displays.  And an added plus, they set up a soda fountain on one side of the building, just like there used to be.  So, cool!  If you're in Asheville, check this out.  It's on Haywood Street, just a block below the Earth Guild.

Oh, yes, I've decided that if I'm going to be a member of Foothills Craft Guild, I should have my own booth for the show.  (Gulp!)  That means, I'm weaving and dying fiber like crazy right now and will be doing so until November. 

Namaste!  Andy

July 11, 2013

I wove this lovely looper rug for Linda in Maryville.  She came to me at the Smokey Mountain Fiber Festival in Townsend, TN in April and asked me if I could recreate a rug I had for sale there in a larger size.  I said I could.  She knew the width she wanted, 4 feet.  But wasn't sure whether she needed 6 or 7 feet in length.  I suggested we use the Golden Proportion to see what would be the most visually appealing length.  And here it is.  6.5'. (4 feet x 1.619)  I am so glad that I read the Threads magazine.  They have had several issues dedicated to this measurement trick.  It works every time I need to decide how long one side of a corner needs to be.  I've used it for rugs, shawls, clothing, etc,  You get a lovely piece every time.   

I'm so glad that the rug turned out to match Linda's colors so well.

June 30, 2013

Gary and I and our good friend, Linda. spent the day at Ijams Nature Park in South Knoxville yesterday as vendors at the Meadow Lark Music Festival.  What a wonderful time!  The weather was perfect. The Music terrific and the people was so great.  I heard that last year they had around 300 people there.  Yesterday there were around 900.  Yee Ha!

This will definitely be one of the shows that we go back to.  They only had a small handful of vendors.  I'm sure they would like to have more.  Sales were good, too.

Today, I'm going to have lunch with my friends in the Women's Table.  I'm so blessed to have these women as friends.  We'll be gathering at one of the member's homes this time.  It's so much nicer that way.  We don't have to yell around restaurant noise to hear each other. 

I've decided to bite the bullet and sign up for a full both on my own for the Foothills show this November.  I'll need to get busy weaving now.  That's a lot of space to keep filled up for the whole show.  I have several projects in process and more on paper.  So, I should be ok.  

June 21, 2013

TN Creates and Elm Grove Elementary Homecoming this weekend

I've been weaving up a storm lately.  June has turned out to be a busy craft show month.  Here are some of my newest scarves:

 These new items are already placed in my booth for the TN Creates Arts and Crafts Fair at the gym in the Oak Ridge  Civic Center.  The show will be tomorrow, Friday, 6/21, and Saturday, 6/22, from 10 am to 6 pm.  Come visit.

Directly across from my booth is the booth of Barbara Webb.  She has been a member of Foothills since it began.  I bought one of her hand painted drift wood pins when I was in High School.  I'm going to wear it tomorrow and show it to her.  Another fantastic artist there is Bill Capshaw.  He makes beautiful pottery.  He also has a wonderful voice.  I'm looking forward to hearing him sing again with the Soul Sanction when the ORHS class of 1968 has their union later on this year.



 Then, on Saturday night, after the Craft show ends, it's time for the 4th annual Elm Grove Alumni Homecoming.  This is always such a fun evening.  So many childhood friends all in one place.


June 13, 2013

I'm going to be selling my woven products and dyed loopers and looms this weekend and next. 

This Saturday, June 15, I will be at the Lavender Festival in a booth with other members of the Locally Grown Gallery.  I joined the gallery a few weeks ago.  We'll have the booth at Jackson Square and will also have the Gallery open.  The Gallery is just downstairs on the lower level of Jackson Square, behind the Soup Kitchen.  I hope those who can will come visit.

Then next weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 21 & 22, I will be selling and demonstrating my weaving at the TN Creates Crafts Fair.  This fair is sponsored by the Art Center of Oak Ridge and is part of the Secret City Festival.  We'll be in the gym at the Oak Ridge Civic Center.  My Mom worked there until she retired.  This nice article was published in the area Visions Magazine.

I've been weaving up a storm these past few weeks in preparation.  I've completed several commissioned items and have also produced some very pretty painted warp and weft soy silk scarves.  They feel so soft and silky. Here are some of them:




May 19, 2013

I joined the Locally Grown Gallery in Oak Ridge, TN this week.

I joined the Locally Grown Gallery in Oak Ridge, TN this weekend.   I will be selling my handwoven items and my weaving kits including Hand-dyed Cotton and Wool Loopers and the metal potholder loom and will be working in the Gallery.

If you have never visited this gallery, you can see a sampling of the items offered by the member artists by folling the above link. 


May 8, 2013

Last  weekend, Gary and I and our dear friend Linda had a booth at the Clinch River Antique Fair in Clinton, TN.  We were in the same location as we were at the Fall Antique Fair, at the intersection of Cummin and Commerce Streets.  Our other friend, Kathy, had her own booth on the corner of Main and Market.  We all had pretty good shows, considering the heavy rain that started almost as soon as the fair opened at 9 am and ended long after everyone had gone home in the late afternoon.

We saw many people who have visited us at other shows and were next to the same people who were in that spot last fall.  A very nice family who I really need to make it a point to get and write down their names next time I see them.  How could I have spent all day on 2 different occasions, sitting right next to them, talking off and on about the day, and not share our names!

So, here is a picture from last year's Fall Antique Fair.  What a great croud.  We had a terrific fair last fall. The weather was great!   Then!  We went home soaking wet. I've been drying out all of my products ever since.

This next weekend, we will be at Vestival, an arts and crafts and bluegrass music festival on the grounds of the historic Candoro Marble Mill in the Vestal community of South Knoxville and in the neighborhood where both of my parents grew up.


April 21, 2013

We had the best show ever this weekend at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival in Townsend.  From conversations with other vendors there, I am not alone either. 

The venue was great.  All was, from my point of view, very organized and well run.  I'm kicking myself right now for not taking pictures to show what it looked like with people all around my booth.  What a rush!

Having an interview published in an article last week in the Maryville Daily Times certainly didn't hurt!  I had several people come up to me with "Are you the sock ring lady?"  Cool!  I'm going to have to work on promoting my work and booth prior to future events.

I sold 2 rugs and more looms and loops than ever before!

Thank you, Nancy Williams and Donna Dixon.

April 19, 2013

We're at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Festival in Townsend, TN this weekend.  Today was a great day.  There was almost constant traffic.  We sold several items. 

Tomorrow, I'll be teaching a couple of classes.  It's so much fun, introducing people to weaving. 

It's also great to be back in Blount County.  I lived there for about 10 years right after I graduated from college.

March 6, 2013

Third Try's The Charm!

I submitted these 5 items this week to the Foothills Craft Guild in application for membership.  I tried 2 other times and didn't make it. 

I wove this natural colored cotton throw on an AVL loom that I have at home on loan from the Tuesday Weavers.  It took my husband and me months of trial and error to figure out how to get that loom to work. Once I'd gotten a couple of plain weave rugs and shawls done with out a problem, I decided to try the longer dobby chain that cam with the loom.  This is what I made.  It looked so good that I just kept on weaving until I ran out of warp. I wove 2 bamboo bands to put as hem bands on each of the narrow ends.

This Shadow Weave Scarf had a color change with every shot.  It took a long time to weave, but was great fun.

The Key Lime and Natural Bamboo Overshot Scarf  has such a soft touch.  I made 2 pieces with this pattern and the same fibers.  The other one is wider and is sitting on top of my Mother's Secretary Desk.

I had planned on weaving this bamboo huck scarf in Natural and then painting it with an assortment of muted pastels. When I finished weaving, I just couldn't dye it.  The huck spots just sparkle.

And, lastly, I wove the Cotton Hand Towel in the Kentucky Log Cabin pattern with stripes in Lavender, Blue and a variegated thread with purple and orange.  I played with the threading and weave designs in order to come up with a mixture of horizontal weave stripes, once I had finished and washed the fabric. 

I got the call this afternoon.  I'm in!  I feel like Sally Fields:  "The like me, they really like me!

Yee Ha!


February 7, 2013

I LOVE cheesecake.

I found this post while on Pinterest today.I can't to have the timeto try it. Looks really yummy!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New York Cheesecake

To me, this is the single best cheesecake I have ever had. I discovered this Jim Fobel's cookbook about 20 years ago, and it is the one I return to again and again. It is creamy smooth, lightly sweet, with a touch of lemon. This cheesecake has become the favorite of family and friends who've had the good fortune to be served this slice of heavenly goodness.

Ordinarily I don't serve a topping because it is so good, but for those of you who like a cheesecake with a little something, I opened up a can of blackberry pie filling and put a nice dollop on the top. I do this for you.

You may have noticed that this cheesecake does not have any kind of crust, neither bottom or sides.

You may also have noticed that there are no cracks in the top. That is because this cheesecake is baked in a bain-marie, a water bath. This is one of the secrets to a truly creamy cheesecake.

You'll need advance planning to prepare this recipe, but if you do, I believe you will fall in love with this recipe as much as I have.

New York Cheesecake
(Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan. This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie. Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy. Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth.

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching. Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours. Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled. For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

**My Notes: I can't stress enough how important it is to let those first 4 ingredients in this recipe come to room temperature. I've hurried the cream cheese and have had unsightly lumps of it in my batter.

**I've italicized the mixing instructions to emphasize blending the ingredients to achieve the desired texture.

** Have a platter or other large dish that will hold the hot and drippy springform pan after you remove it from the bain-marie. When you remove the bain-marie from the oven, the water is very hot, so please exercise extreme caution.

Before removing the roasting pan, have a plan on where you are going to set it so you are not holding the pan, desperately searching for a clear space to set it down. I find it impossible to remove the cheesecake from the bain-marie while it is in the oven, so I remove the entire set-up from the oven. I make every effort not to burn my wrists or the back of my hands while removing the springform pan; I haven't been burned yet, but I have soaked the edges of the potholders in the hot water, and it's amazing how fast that steaming water is wicked up to my tender fingers!

**When you first remove the cheesecake from the oven, it looks light and puffy, and there may be some hairline cracks in the top. Do not despair. As the cheesecake cools, it will gently deflate and the hairline cracks disappear.

January 15, 2013

I've been spending my time these past few weeks, while in between work projects, weaving some new items to get ready for the next jurying process with Foothills Craft Guild and reorganizing my home office and studio. Whew!  Both are major jobs and so far, neither is completed.

Two of the 5 Jury pieces are done, the third just needs some fancy finishing, the fourth is on the loom, ready to start.  And finally, after changing my mind loads of times, I'm satisfied with the design I've made for the 5th piece.  All I need to do now, is wind the warp and get back to work.  :D

My office and studio project is now going as smoothly.  I'm still in the middle of pulling things out and trying to find a place for them.  So, I have a mess!  But, I found a very good blog that I now follow that is written very well and offers many great organization ideas:

Great ideas.  Now, how am I going to organize all of those pieces of fabric that I now have stored in boxes?  I want to be able to see them.  There are several great blogs out there on the subject.  I have quite a few new ideas on how to display while I store my stash.  I need to get them out where I can see what I have to play with, while at the same time put them somewhere out of my way.

This is an old blog.  But, has some terrific ideas.

I must admit, I have a problem with fabric.  I have not only my own personal stash, but that of my mother, my mother-in-law, a couple of my aunts, and even my grandmother's  stash.   I am a fabric horder and am proud of it!  


January 11, 2013

We were on TV today

WBIR Live at Five had a piece about the Tuesday Weavers today.  Everyone shown looked great.  Many of us, though, were in the Pottery room taking a class from Carol.  Why didn't we think to go out to sit at our looms while the video crew were there filiming?  Oh well.  Probably because
Carol's class was so good.  It's been 30 years since I took a weaving class!  I highly recommend taking a class every now and then.  :D


December 19, 2012

K-Town Sound in a Flash Mob at West Town Mall

The a capella singing group that I belong to had a Flash Mop yesterday at West Town. WBIR had a news crew there. I'm in some of the shots!

October 26, 2012

How cool!  I went to the Foothills Craft Guild website a few days ago and look what was showing on the first screen: 

The Tuesday Weaver's booth at the Foothills Craft Guild Fall show 2011. 
This has been a great fall craft show season.  I've seen more people shopping this year than last year and the sales have been much better.  This, to me, is an indicator that our economy is finally turing around.  People are buying fun things, like loopers and potholder looms, not just the essentials.

I've been busy making some new bags (still in the fine finishing stage on them) and some new scarves.  Here is the one that I most recently finished and posted:

I did not work today.  So, I took advantage of the time and went to the Crafts Center and nearly finished the  Large Log Cabin "V" Shawl that I have on the loom.  I will be ready to finish it on Tuesday.  That will finish the warp that I've been working on for awhile.

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