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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair

I can hear autumn in the air.
I hope to soon feel it also.
It has been such a long and hot summer. I welcome the change of the season.

The Arts and  Crafts Fair at Cedar Lakes started in 1963 - the year of West Virginia's Centennial.  It has always taken place during the 4th of July.

This year it has changed.
The location is the same - Cedar Lakes, near Ripley, WV.
The date has changed to September 16, 17 and 18.

There will still be the artisans selling and demonstrating their crafts and the great food.

But this year the fair will also explore West Virginia's rich heritage with areas highlighting Celtic,German, Italian, Swiss and early American influences.

My cousin and I will be in the German section on Friday from 9am until 1pm, which is student day, crafting German Straw Stars with the kids. After a little research about German folklore, I found out the story behind the stars. It is a sweet story about a little shepherd boy presenting a fragile straw star he had made to the baby Jesus.

We will also be there on Saturday.  We will be talking about German heritage in West Virginia -  the folklore and the facts. I found out that many of the things my family and I experienced growing up, may have had its roots from early German settlers.

My mother is Scotch-Irish descent, my husband has German in his background and my cousin Carmen, who will be with me on these days, has German in her background on her mother's side of the family.

Like America, West Virginia is a melting pot of many different people. It makes our people, customs and life more rich and colorful.

I hope to see my friends and family out there on Friday and Saturday. I also hope to meet many new faces and become friends with many more.

Click here to visit the festival's site. 
They are also on Facebook.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Crafting With Clothespins

On my last blog post I mentioned that I had been making clothespin wreaths.

Here is how I made them.

Supplies needed: 
Clothespins (approximately 100)
18 inch Metal wreath form
Spray paint

This is an easy craft with stunning results.
My wreath form was green. I spray-painted it the color of my choice (yellow). You can also leave it green. Then I attached my clothespins to my clothesline and spray painted them.

Let dry thoroughly.
For my project, I painted 52 blue and 48 yellow.
Attach the clothespins to the wreath form by simply clipping them on the inner three rings.

When put on properly, it will be a snug fit. No gluing is needed.

Make a bow and attach. I cut out and painted a WV for mine. I attached the bow with floral wire and glued on the WV embellishment.

Use your imagination and craft a wreath for all occasions.

I love making these and they are fairly easy to make. 
You could make them for every season - Fall, Christmas, Winter, Easter, Spring, and Summer.
Happy Crafting.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer's Beauty and Bounty

The last time I posted, our garden was growing and weed free.

Well, our garden is still growing, but it is not weed free. The rainy season has the weeds growing and growing.

We were lucky where we live and the terrible storms that went through West Virginia a few weeks ago, didn't effect us. Although, it did hit in neighboring counties. I want to thank a few of my blogger friends for their emails showing their concern.

Our three blueberry bushes are producing very good this summer. I have picked 26 quarts thus far and they need picked again. I put then in the freezer and we enjoy them all year. They taste so much better than store bought.

Our Rose of Sharon are showing off . . . the bees and hummingbirds love them and so do I.

and so are our butterfly bushes.

I got a hydrangea from my neighbor last year. He was cutting his down. That little bush has went crazy this year.

I have also been crafting. My cousin and I are over the craft class at our local senior citizen center. Crafting with them has put me in the mood to craft at home.

I have been making clothespin wreaths. I just love them. I made one for the Fourth of July and I have made a WVU one. I am putting the WVU one on our auction table at our family reunion this Saturday. West Virginia doesn't have a pro team, so we go all out for our university teams.

I will show you in my next post how to make them. They are so pretty . . . and easy!

Hope your summer is a nice one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have had a weird spring and, therefore, got a late start to our garden.

But it is coming along nicely now.

 We planted our beans and the rain fell. A few days later the plants popped out of the ground.

These are our tomato plants. We planted three dozen plants. We already have tomatoes the size of large marbles.
We got a late start on our sweet potatoes. 
But they are coming along.
 Our peas are taking off!

 This is one of our five rows of red potatoes.
This is not my garden. 

These are my two rows of blackberries.
I am keeping my fingers crossed. They have not did well at all the last 2-3 years. I pruned them big time this spring and they have took off! But, this doesn't mean the vines will not die on me, like they have the past few years.

What do you have growing in your garden?

Friday, May 13, 2016

They're Back!

MacArthur told the people in the Philippines, "I shall return."

Arnold, in The Terminator, said, "I'll be back."

And my pretty yellow iris's are back.

Seventeen years ago the cicadas were here and, as they promised, they are back.

These red-eyed creatures with their shrill song and long wings have taken over the land.

here are two emerging from their shell

 empty shells underneath our Catawba tree leaves

 on our neighbor's house

A couple of evenings ago when I was walking I heard them singing.

Now I will not be the only one with ringing in my ears. Everyone will hear the song of the cicada.

Oh the noise - the beautiful noise emerging in the quiet countryside.

I did a little research.

As billions of insects emerge, they can reach a density of 1.5 million cicadas an acre in some areas. They live above ground for four to six weeks. All they are interested in is screaming, singing, seeking out a mate and laying eggs in slits of small branches of trees. Females can lay up to 400 eggs each. In about six weeks the nymphs emerge, fall from the trees and burrow anywhere from six to eighteen inches into the ground where they feed for the next thirteen to seventeen years.Then . . . they'll be back.

Are they out in your area, too?


Saturday, March 26, 2016

One of the oldest furniture stores in America

Vail Furniture is still owned by the family that started the business in Ripley in October 1844.

Isaiah Vail, the great-great-grandfather of the owner, was a carpenter who made caskets and furniture.

The early business evolved into a funeral home and furniture store, not an uncommon combination in small towns where a woodworker needed more than one way to keep busy.

Vail Furniture is still in its original location, in a 12,000-square-foot, two-floor store.

When Vail started . . .
James K. Polk was running for president
West Virginia was still Virginia.
Samuel B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, sent the first telegraph message over the first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore. His words were, "What God hath wrought."

On our last visit to the store, they let us go for a ride on their elevator.

Customers usually walk up the steps to the second floor.

This is looking into the elevator
Here I am with my cousins ready to go up. 
I asked him if they used to move furniture on this elevator. He looked at me and said, "Coffins."
 The ropes are  pulled by strong arms.
 The gears turn and raise the elevator
 close up of gears

 swinging doors that open up to the elevator

In addition to furniture, they have  framed pictures for sale.
I love this unique picture of the US map!

And, I think this clock is very unique.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to one of the oldest furniture stores in America - if not the oldest.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Day Superstitions

 The following is a re-post from a few years ago.

 New Year's Day Superstitions

I thought I'd better get this post out today - you know just in case you want to do or not do any of these things.  (just kidding folks)

New Year's Day is full of superstitions. Many differ, depending on what part of the country you live in.

Now for us, you just have to eat cabbage on New Year's Day. There's just no getting around it. The stores in our area always put cabbage on sale this time of year. I've already bought me a big head of it. When I was growing up, Mom used to put a silver coin in it (usually a dime) and the one who spooned it out with their helping was sure to come into money that year. I really think it was just a way to get us kids to eat cabbage, though. We all wanted that dime!

Here is a link to how my husband cooks our cabbage. 

And, as far as my grandma went, you had to be a male or you weren't entering her house first on New Year's Day! They said she had her son who lived next door come to her house bright and early. I guess it didn't hurt that he was also tall, dark haired, and handsome, which is another superstition people had about the first footer.

There are lots of superstitions I found on the internet. Some of the more prevalent ones were:

Wear new clothes. This would mean receiving new garments throughout the coming year.
Avoid crying if you don't want to continue the pattern throughout the new year.
Be nice and refrain from using foul language.
Don't let money leave the house. Don't pay bills or loan money on New Year's Day. Or for that matter don't even take out the garbage or shake out a rug! This will ensure that nothing goes out of the home during the new year. Some soften this rule by saying it is okay to remove things if something is brought in first.
At midnight, all the doors must be opened to let the old year escape.
Make sure your wallets, purses and cupboards are well stocked on New Year's Day and it will bring prosperity.
Do not do the laundry on New Year's Day! It will 'wash away' or lead to a death in the family.
Pay your bills or loans before the New Year so you won't have any debt left for the New Year.
Make as much noise as possible at Midnight - you are scaring away evil spirits. Evil spirits hate loud noises, this is also why church bells are rung on wedding days.
Babies born on this day will have luck on their side.
 If a girl looks out her bedroom window upon rising and sees a man walking outside, it is said she will be married before the year is out.
And, be sure to kiss at midnight! This will ensure that those affections will continue throughout the following year.

So there you have it. Be sure and pay all your bills today, go shopping and stock up on groceries, do your laundry, put money in everyone's wallet or purse(even if it's just a few pennies), kiss the one you love at midnight, and then proceed to make a lot of noise!
Then on New Year's Day be sure and wear new clothing you received for Christmas, be nice and polite, make sure a man comes into your house first, then proceed to make a big pot of cabbage for dinner!

That shouldn't be too much to remember.
Do you have any more to add to my list?

Happy New Year!