Friday, August 31, 2012

Kent Haymaker Farmers' Market Mural

For most of the 20 years that the Kent Haymaker Farmers' Market has been in existence, I am happy to say that I was there.  If you know anything about Kent, the market is located down Franklin Avenue past Ray’s.  In the first years, the market was tiny with only a handful of vendors, but now . . . America is on a health kick and everyone wants to eat healthy and buy local.  I say, “It’s time to visit the market!” 

Our little market has grown into a community hot spot and that is where we spend our Saturday mornings.  I guess the fact that my son Earl sells corn down at the market is a big incentive – free corn for mom!  However, I would go with or without the corn.  My son Adam and my granddaughter Zoe usually go with me and Zoe put it very nicely when she said, “Everyone knows me at the market.”  And indeed they do: the cookie lady, the scone man, the bread lady the maple popcorn lady, the pierogie booth and the cheese sample guy.  We visit them all!

This year, the market planners commissioned a mural to be painted on the “legs” or pillars of the overpass bridge.  A young artist, Elaine Hullihen who studied art at Kent State, is doing the mural.  The mural has vegetables, people, art, and poetry to represent the market and Kent’s history.  I had the pleasure of meeting Elaine.  She is a wonderful young lady who along with doing art also teaches yoga.  Climbing up on that lift and painting the pillars – I can see that yoga might come in handy. 
I am very proud to live in Kent when I see art projects like this happening in the community.  Click on the link to view an article from our local paper about the mural project:

Take a look at the mural progress so far.  I will add more posts as the painting gets closer to completion.
Artist Elaine Hullihen at work

Do you see the hands?

My son Earl selling corn.

We enjoy a variety of local entertainment.  Lots of talent in Kent

Zoe loves the flowers

Model of Mural

The mural is starting to come to life.  Can you see part of the poem?

The hands are taking shape

I can hardly wait to see the finished mural.  How about you?  I'll be sure to share more pictures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Zesty Salsa Time

The tomatoes are coming into season in Ohio which means the jars and canner are coming up from the basement.  My son brought me a little present of half a bushel of plum tomatoes and now it's time to make the salsa.  I've been making this same salsa for a number of years and it tastes a little different each time depending on the tomatoes, the weather and the degree of heat in the hot peppers.  Still it always tastes yummy!  Nothing is better than opening a dark red jar full of summer vegetables and sunshine on a cold winter's evening.  It is so worth all the time and effort.
First you have to peel all the tomatoes.  To blanch
them, I wash the tomatoes, put them in the sink
with the stopper in and then pour boiling water over
them in the sink.  Wait a minute or two, pull the stopper
with a long spoon and spray tomatoes with cold water.
Now they are ready to peel.

Now for the vegetables . . .
Five cups of green peppers

Five cups of chopped onion

The recipe calls for 2&1/2 cups of hot peppers.  I used six because I don't like my salsa too hot.
Don't forget to wear gloves when working with hot peppers.   The juice will burn your hands, lips, eyes, etc.  Be careful!

Fresh cilantro and garlic - salt and vinegar (not pictured)

Here it is all sealed up and ready for the basement shelf.
The recipe is taken from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
Here is the complete recipe if you want to make your own salsa:

10 cups tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and chopped
5 cups of green pepper, chopped
5 cups of chopped onions
2  & 1/2 cups of chopped hot pepper (adjust to taste)  I only use about 6 peppers
1 & 1/4 cups of cider vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (you can add more to taste)
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Pack in hot jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Singer Golden Touch & Sew Model 620 -1966

I have stopped going to most garage sales so I could get all the "stuff" out of my basement and make room for my sewing room and material.  Unfortunately there was a one right across the street, so it was only polite to visit your neighbor's sale, right?  I saw nothing of interest until I spotted a sewing machine case under a table.

"Oh, is that a sewing machine?"  I innocently inquired.  As you can guess, that opened the door for an hour of sewing talk and my eventual purchase of a $12 Singer Golden Touch & Sew machine.  Do I need it?  No, but I have been visiting all those wonderful blogs where quilters collect machines and name them.  I could clean it up and name it Goldie, I reasoned.  Does it sew?  Well, it runs, but no manual.  Anyone who sews should be able to figure out any machine, right?  Don't answer that.
Here is Goldie.  Look at all those levers!
It came with enough metal attachments to keep any adventurous quilter busy for weeks.  Check out the paraphernalia . . .

These could be used for some serious torture!  The big attachment that looks like it could crawl is a button hole maker.
Easy to figure out if you have the manual - right!  Of course the only manual was for the button hole attachment.  Just figures!   I check Ebay.  Manuals are $16 and up; more than the machine.

Vintage Sewing Machine Manuals

After another search on the Internet, I found a site that sells vintage sewing machine manuals for $5.00 each.  How great is that?  It also accepts Pay Pal, so I found the manual for my Goldie and bought it.  They downloaded it to my email as a PDF file in less than five minutes.  It is clear and easy to read.  In fact it is the manual in a scanned form.  I would never have figured out how to thread the bobbin without it.  You have to jump through two hoops, say three mantras and pull your left ear. Here is the website if you need a sewing machine manual: 

I discovered that the bobbin is actually wound right in the bobbin case.  
Sew, I studied the manual and finally filled the bobbin.  I spent another hour setting tension and getting thread length and stitches fixed.  Now it sews! :)  

Did anyone ever sew on a machine like this in the past?  Thanks for coming along on my little sewing machine adventure.  I think this quote is appropriate for the complexity of Goldie.

"One has to look out for engineers - they begin with sewing machines and end up with the atomic bomb." ~Marcel Pagnot

Friday, August 17, 2012

Morgan's on the Miami River and The Golden Lamb

Day 1

Barb and I took a two day trip bus trip and first on the agenda was a three mile raft trip down the Miami River with Morgan's Outdoor Adventures.  I am a big fan of the movie River Wild staring Meryl Streep, so I was jazzed up and ready for this wild river ride . . . however, it was not really like the movie and we decided to call it "lazy river" instead of river wild.  Maybe not too exciting, but it was very relaxing on the river; we enjoyed spending time with Mother Nature.
We need nourishment before we take on the river.

The Welcome Center

Our fearless "River Wild" crew

How do you like my rowing technique?

Barb was so relaxed!

Brendon was our fearless captain and admitted that this was his first time down the river as a guide.  He did a fabulous job rowing, steering and sometimes pushing the raft.  What a nice young man!

Heading for the rapids.  Woo Hoooooo!

Barb left her sweatshirt in the bottom of the raft and then had to wring it out.  

 The Golden Lamb - Lebanon, Ohio

After our fun day of rafting, we got cleaned up and headed out to dinner at the Golden Lamb Inn that was built in the 1800s and hosted 12 US presidents.  Being an English teacher, I was thrilled to learn that the authors Harriet Beecher Stowe, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Charles Dickens were also guests at the inn.   Learn more about this fabulous restaurant by visiting

The food was excellent and I would highly recommend it if you are in the neighborhood.  
Look what I found on the wall of the inn - a quilt!

Harriet Beecher Stowe Room 

Day 2 of our journey

Our trip did not have a happy second day.  the bus broke down and we missed out on the part where we were going to visit Fabric Shack in Waynesville.  We waited four hours for another bus, but at least we were still at the hotel and not in the middle of the road somewhere.  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.  Barb made the best of her time by working on her cathedral windows quilt and ended up being the teacher and demonstrating the "technique" behind those pretty little windows.  
Barb captivated her audience
We will return another day to Fabric Shack.  Wait for it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rural Thimble Quilting Retreat

 I asked my sister what she thought it was like to spend a couple of days in an Amish retreat house and she answered, “No running water.”  I had laugh because nothing could have been further from the truth.  Not only was there running water, but we had every modern convenience possible along with a spacious “well-lit” room for quilting and gabbing – my favorite past times.  A big thanks to Miss Carol of Sweet Peas and Possum Quilting Blog for making this little get-away retreat possible.
Charm, Ohio . . . isn't that a quaint name?  We, my QB (Quilting Buddies) and I, were privileged to be the first group of quilters to spend time in The Rural Thimble; a retreat center right next door to and owned by Miller’s Dry Goods in Charm, Ohio, in the heart of Amish country.  If you are interested in quilting retreats for your quilting guild or QBs, follow the link to Miller's Dry Goods to find out more information about about rates and availability.  The Rural Thimble retreat house has room for up to 10 quilters with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.  The quilt shop is right next door to the retreat center and I don't want to tell you how many trips next door we made in the two days.  ☺
QB Gang from left to Right
Miss Carol, Glady, Jackie, Michelle, Debbie, Barb

Let the pictures tell the story of our retreat . . . 
Porch off downstairs bedroom which I forgot to get a picture of

Where I spent my first evening after quilting all day . . . 

Living room

Barbie wearing her halo and devilish grin

Pink Room upstairs sleeps three or four

Tables were arranged in a square so we could talk and sew. The lighting was superb!  A true white lighting!

In between quilting and eating, we could relax on the front or back porches and enjoy the view or wave to the Amish as they drove by . . . 

We did manage to get some quilting done - except I had a few issues with my flying geese flying right so switched to an easier tumbler block - then I could talk and sew.  Miss Carol did finish her DillyDally inspired quilt.  
Miss Carol's DillyDally Quilt
Michelle's Chicken Wall Hanging
Here are some of our projects . . . 
Jackie and her quilt for her granddaughter.  Lovely work!

Our projects . . . 

I'm looking forward to many more retreats . . .   Happy Quilting to all!