Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Annie...PART TWO!

I've had many emails asking about preserving sweet annie as well as making the walnut ink.
  I do have ALOT of sweet annie in the varying stages of preserving. 

Cut your sweet annie.  Mix hot water with glycerine.  I do 1/2 cup glycerine to 1-1/2 cups water + 1/4 teaspoon of green food coloring. Mix WELL, this is important.   Cut your sweet annie and put the stems in the solution - be sure to use a glass container.  I just used old canning jars.  You will want to be sure not to pack alot of stems in the jar, you need the air to be able to circulate around the stems and branches.  Allow the stems to stay in the solution until it is absorbed into the plants.  Usually 3 days, you can tell because the color of the sweet annie turns a darker green color.  I then spread the stems out on paper to dry.  Then I bundle the stems with elastics and hang them upside down to further dry, about a week or so depending on humidity.

I purchased my Glycerine from a local pharmacy.  Walmart does have it but it is a little bottle and more pricey than my local supplier (Go Figure!)
You could buy it online but the shipping would kill you for sure!
It looks like we may have frost this weekend so I REALLY have to step up my harvest to get it all in.

Walnut Ink:  Go to this link and scroll down for the directions to make walnut ink, OR just do a search using google, yahoo, etc:

I hope this helps. 
I plan to dry apple and orange slices in the next few days so I shall report back on my results with pictures....if all goes well!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Annie Harvest, etc.

I've been harvesting my Sweet Annie daily now.  I decided to preserve all of it because drying it just ruins becomes brittle and shatters and just makes a mess, not to mention it loses it's green color.
This is much more time consuming and involves a couple steps but worth it.    The plants are quite large this year and they are growing, intertwined with zinnias and cosmos.  My cosmos this year is about 7 feet tall!!
Here are some of the bunches in the dye/preserving solution.

I also cut alot of Tansy and that I'm just bundling and hanging upside
down to dry. 

Our black Walnut tree has lost almost all of it's leaves already, revealing the abundance of walnuts.  These will be dryed and I'll use the hulls for stains and dyes.
There are also plenty on the ground to be gathered.  Here you can see the difference between a dried and not so dried hull.

I hope to have sweet annie and tansy for my fall open house in our shop, October 8 - 10.

The ScareBear pattern is now ready to ship.  If you would like to purchase, simply send an email.  It is $10.50 + shipping.  You can make it plain also or sitting as the pics below show! He's only 15" standing and he's got short legs and is on the chubby side!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Children of the Corn...

Corn Maze, that is!

We all assembled at my house and left in a caravan of 7 cars.  All family members, 4 generations in place!!
My Mom, my sisters, spouses, children, grandchildren....
The weather was perfect, even a bit warm for late September.
Here's the farm, if you happen to venture to the northeast corner of
Pennsylvania, you will have to visit this maze.
Across the road they have a little farmstand with produce, pumpkins, etc.
Enter with caution!  My hubby seems a bit wary!

We all started out in a pack, with my Mom sitting it out in a nice shady spot outside the maze.

That corn sure is tall, my guess is at least 10 feet.

There are clues planted throughout the maze.  You have a sheet of paper
and you are to fill in the clues as you go to complet the word at the bottom
of your paper.

There are really pretty views....when you can get a glimpse thru the corn!
Wow, these are some cute lil girls in the corn!  My grand daughter and my sis's grand daughter.

It seems we all went different ways in the maze and were broken up into several groups.
After about an hour or so of "wandering", we kinda, sorta cheated and left the maze.....and not exactly following the path!  We just wanted out!  HAHA

Just outside the exit in the field were some beautiful horses.
Hello Friend!

There was also a nice town playground for the kids, a place to kill time while waiting
for the others to find their way out.

Chubby babies, playing in the shade!
This is my other sis's grandson and my newest grand baby, Gabriella - 5 months old!
If you visit the maze, it is only $5.00 per person.  If you have  a group of 10 or more, it is $4.00 per person.
Not a bad way to spend a nice afternoon!
Afterward, the caravan went for apples and we spent the better part of the rest of the day,
lazing in my back yard and chatting the day away!


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Truly unbelievable, the amount of rain and flooding in northeast PA and upstate NY.  Roadways are flooded or damaged, bridges flooded or ruined, business destroyed....schools closed everywhere and all areas declared states of emergency.
Our home is on high ground, we are one of the luckier ones.  When the rain finally stopped and we could get out a bit, we took some pictures about our small community.  The Susquehanna river is a small river in this area but it became a roaring demon overnight.  Below are some pictures we were able to take as far as we could go...which wasn't very far at all.  I don't know how long it will take or even HOW this area will be able to recover.
The river has yet to crest many miles south of us in the Wilkes Barre area, keep this entire area in your prayers please.
This is looking down Main Street in Lanesboro, PA.

This is Lanesboro Main Str. from the other end.

More Lanesboro, how ironic that boat is parked in flood waters.

Up the hill from Lanesboro, looking down across the river to Oakland.

Down in Oakland, you can get only so far on the road before the river overtakes it.

You will see far in the picture is the tree line where the bank of the river actually is under normal circumstances in Oakland.

Here's the Susquehanna River.  When things get back to normal, I will come back and post a picture of how it really looks.

Side of this road is washed away and you cannot see from the picture but there is actually a waterfall.....

This is the nice quiet stream that runs thru Lanesboro......not so today.

More random shots in Lanesboro.  As I stated, we could not go very far due to flooding and road conditions.

Just before dusk, my son snapped a photo of a rainbow with his phone.  Sorry, I don't have that shot but we did have some clearing skies....Tomorrow HAS to be better.