Sunday, November 25, 2007

Herbcrafting Time at Frog Hollow

The months of November and December hold a special kind of Paradise for me. My sister and I turn part of the soap and jewelry studio into a shop during those months, while folks are hunting for the perfect tree on the farm. We spend lots of time in craft heaven. We are both involved in (and hosting) an herbal craft swap, but we've finished those things. They'll be reported on after the boxes go out.
Each day seems to be perfect timing for a new project. We might play with some resins, or packaging. Maybe we'll pull out the paints or stencil some fabric. Ideas that have been brewing for months finally come to fruition. The magazine is away at the printers', soap is on the shelves ready to fill orders, and we get to play for a good long time.

Yesterday the amber resin and little carved rosewood boxes that have been here for months finally got packaged up. Figuring out exactly how to display them was a bit of a challenge, but the end result looks pretty good. The scent comes through the shrinkwrap band that protects the resin, and the choice of black corrugated cardboard and kraft label stock seems to work well.
With my brother coming to join our little art colony, it is exciting to think about what we might accomplish. As it is, we have the soap, the distillation, the lampwork and jewelry making, and the magazine and books. Bob is looking at putting in a pottery studio, and John is checking into working with lost wax silver work. All we need now is a spinning wheel and a few alpacas. Maybe a goat or two? Oh, and then we need to study chandling. Another brother used to do a good bit of leather working. Hmmmm....

We pulled out some of the gourd stash from last year and decided to do some rattles. There are several more not in the picture - either drying or waiting to be drilled for a hanging loop. The kids got into the act on the rattles. There is something so relaxing and mesmerizing about working with a natural medium. The gourds lead you if you just relax and go with it. Next thing you know, it is done!

For years, I've wanted to try a pine needle basket. On the way down to the shop this morning I picked up a branch that had been trimmed off and left in the field. When I got to the bottom of the hill, it turned out there was a large pile of such branches. Oh well. Anyway, once the beginning circle is sewn into place, it is simple to go from there. Sticky, but simple. There were a couple of shells from the most recent trip to the beach that had holes that fit over the needle, so I stuck them onto the basket. Now I'm thinking about how much fun it would be to weave things like lavender, thyme, and rosemary. It was more fun than I expected.

Now to think about projects for next weekend!

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