Monday, September 19, 2011

Take your pick...

There's some cute new handmade things at the My Aunt Debbie shop. I stop in each week with Mimi to grab my bookkeeper paperwork. Here's what caught my eye today:

Figure hugging hand knit dresses by Luciloops...

Upcycled Tree Bag by Fybster...

Headbands by Jen Hartman of Peachy Tuesday...

The Lookout Point necklace by This 'Ol Thing...

and don't forget a little sweet treat on the way out:)

We will be keeping very busy this week with kid stuff and appointments. I have a bit of heaven in the way of wool coming to me at the end of the week. Lots of great things in the works. The studio is ready to roll.
Have a great week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Who's the Pretzel Maker?"

we took a little trip to Lititz, and visited the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery on Wednesday.

I love "the making of things"...the order, the production...the A. B. C. steps. It gives me ideas and inspiration for my felt making. so, I really liked this little tour, in this historic house, with it's old brick walls, on Main Street in Lititz. I liked the assembly line table, the unique wooden dough drying bins, how they created their own dough meading system, the drying racks, and learning about how they progressed to more complicated and faster equipment.

It was interesting to know that the shape of the pretzel has a lot of symbolism. (from the Sturgis website:)
"Italian monks used scraps of dough to form the shape of children’s arms in prayer, with three holes to represent the Christian Trinity. They were called “pretiola” in Latin or “little reward” and were given to children who learned their bible verses and prayers."

I enjoyed learning about how the mistake of recooking pretzels left in the oven overnight, resulted in the hard pretzel.

and it was a pleasant relief to know that pretzels are dairy and egg free, so Miss Mimi and I could eat them. Next time, I'll sample more of their flavored varieties.
It was a nice little tour, for a mere $3. and you can take home a hot little soft pretzel ball for $1. xx

And how an hour after I blogged about this...we met the great, great, great Grandson of Julius Sturgis himself:

After writing the nicely informative blog above, I went downstairs with the kids to work on the studio area. I had just finished painting a wall (with baby on hip no less)! when I realized (with a bad cold) that there was a pretty intense burning smell in the room, and the smell was everywhere. Oh no! I detached the light from the balistier that lines the wall. Normally we don't keep this bulb attached as it flashes sometimes, but I had reattached the bulb just this once to light the wall so I could see my painting.
After I detached the bulb a crackling sound remained. In the wall!
So 911 got a call from Maggie French, and soon after, into the house, came numerous fireman. Three times the size of regular humans in all their gear. and yes, it was very exciting because at 8:30pm, to my quiet little street, they also brought the roaring engine (with lights flashing)! The kids and I sat on the glider on the porch in the dark, watching the lights of the engine (very, very exciting.)
Walkie talkies were in use (to the delight of Max) as were heat sensitive hand-held devices. the words "there's a hot spot in the wall" were declared and more fireman poured in. The wall had gotten to 120 degrees and they were able to refrain from ripping the wall apart. We were instructed to have an electrician replace the balistier.
what does this have to do with pretzel making? well a fireman noticed Max's pretzel certificate in the living room. and he says, "Who's the pretzel maker? I've seen a lot of those certificates growing up. Julius Sturgis was my great, great, great Grandfather. I'm Jake Bowman."
and so Max met a real Sturgis. In his very own living room. and I got to take the picture and add it to my Sturgis Pretzel blog the very same night:)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weathering the storm.

the storm that gave us the worst flooding since Agnes was dark and powerful with long long spells of torrential downpours. Every few hours. and it just went on and on for days.

we didn't load up with bottled water. we just used our umbrellas, dug out the kid size raincoat, got one flashlight out, and watched the news. impressed by all day local coverage, rising local rivers, and evacuation reports.

the yards and gardens of the neighborhood have taken a beating. with saturated everything, things look dark green, wind blown and stirred around. but today the sun was out and it was *almost* like nothing happened at all. I spotted this gorgeous flower next door. wrinkly from days of heavy rains.

so delicate. how could it still be here?

and because my favorite neighbor is more of a gardener than me, I photographed the happenings of her plants. Sitting in ransacked mulch. Early autumn leaves thrown about and looking like remnants from after the party.

big leaves serving up some post-party hors d'oeuvres. "Leaf Crisp or Bark Bit?"

delicate little things, thinking innocently that incessant rain is normal.

hearty leafed plants that hugged the old big tree.

who was comforting who?

and amongst it all, a half FULL cup of Flood Blend tea.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To have a little cottage house...

We went to Mt. Gretna today. To celebrate the end of summer. Missing our family cottage and community like this in West Milton- we truly needed a fix.

and we got one.

it was dreamy,

and funky.

as it should be.


With tiny paths in between the houses.

and porch inspiration...

for days.

this one was so big, and lots of crafty stuff lying out on their table.

Mimi was in dog heaven here. with lovely dogs of all shapes and sizes hanging about with their friendly owners.

there were even butterflies.

i think this is the cottage that could have been mine once when I was a single gal. I'm not joking, it was for sale when I was 23 and my Dad suggested helping me buy the place. I spent a couple evenings after work that fall feeling in arty heaven, walking the empty paths and just imagining myself there. It was fabulous, but I think there was an issue with the heat. I wasn't completely sure, so no offer was made.

We ended our visit at The Jigger Ice Cream shop. There was an enormous line, and I sat sweating in the humidity surrounded by towering chocolate sundaes. It was horrendous. And as Matt seemed to stand in line for an hour, another interesting sundae after another would pass by me, one with two little donuts on it, one with a little flag, and the owner of it would carry it with such cockiness and there would be a big "ahhhh!" from their table, and I couldn't taste any of it. Mimi and I and our non-dairy diet ate french fries. Oh boy.

Perhaps next year we will rent here.

oh, my. Summer. bye bye.