Tag Archives: Craftsbury Common

Natural Dyes

Jody has been a busy duck dyeing yarn in the fiber arts room on campus. She used a variety of natural dyes to get these wonderful colors: logwood, indigo, cochineal, onion skins, walnut, weld… and a whole passel of other dyestuffs I can’t remember at the moment. I hope MY summer will be filled with such things too!

350 dot ORG

It’s 350.org global action day! Sterling celebrated by having an upcycling workshop, trail crew,  grain threshing, leaf raking and bread oven baking.

The product of all that leaf raking!

I went down to the farm and helped Andy, Abbie, Rihanna, Sarah, Erin, Jackie and Josh thresh the grain Andy grew all summer. Here is the process…

Undo a few bushels and gather them in a circle with their heads pointing inward…

Take some flails (that Andy made last night!) and thresh the heck out of those stalks. You’re separating the grain from the straw… here’s a video too!

Then you gather the straw into a pile for bedding later and pour all the grain into bins.

Then pour the grain into another from a height so that the wind will carry away the hulls and chaff that you don’t want and the grain falls right into the bucket. Repeat.

After a few hours you’ll have 5 bags of grain and a smile as big as Andy’s… Happy 350!

Sterling Farm

It’s SPRING! And lovely outside. That means that the babies are getting bigger, the goats are getting friskier and the pigs are lolling around in steaming piles of muck.

Odin, guard llama extraordinaire does NOT like to be touched. However, he doesn’t mind it in the least if you want to gaze at him in an admiring fashion…

One of the new lamby-lambs feeling rather brave and sturdy. The mother ewes are now back at Bonnieview and the lambs are doing just dandily out on pasture.

And last of the hoofed creatures is Thyme, the friendliest nubian milk goat you’ll probably ever meet. She spends a good chunk of her day with her elbow hooked over the door of her pen waiting for some sort of action to walk by.

I realize that I haven’t put up any pictures of my favorite animals at the farm: the meat rabbits. There are roughly 100 rabbits ranging from babies still in the nest box to the momma rabbits.

This is the second of three batches of babies. Still small enough to chill in a nest box. Since then there are three more nest boxes with babies still sleeping in puddles of their mothers fur, too small to do anything but squirm around and squeak.

These are the first batch of babies from a few months ago… too big to stay with their mothers and too small to eat.

And here’s the big buck, all on his own. Apparently he hasn’t been too prolific so there’s been some debate about what to do with him. Joe and I keep joking that Linus should make a trip down to the farm… before we realized that he’s actually sterile. Ah well, it’s better that way…

The Great Craftsbury

So, I thought I would finally show you a wee bit of Craftsbury Common. It’s where I’ve been living for the past three months which makes it about time that I did this, eh?            DSCN1242

Do you remember that crazy shop update a I did last week? Well, this is where I took all of the snowy pictures. This is the Sugarbush where students take the draft horses to practice moving logs and where they get the sap to make syrup in the appropriate season. It’s a pretty magical place where leaves carpet the ground and then snow drapes itself over everything later. I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in spring…

DSCN1243The Sugarbush is just right down the road from Sterling itself and this is the sign along the road halfway between.


And this is what the (paved) roads look like in winter: all ice and cracks and frozen grasses.DSCN1245

If you keep going until you’re right across from the dorms there’s a little cemetery, peopled with very, very old graves.


Old graves… and this one. DSCN1252DSCN1253

He’s gone to the great highway in the sky.DSCN1254

Back across the street there’s Merlin dorm where our apartment is, next to the logging shop.


Here’s the front side of Merlin. There’s a volleyball court in front and a nice grassy lawn where all of the picture of Linus were taken. Our apartment is the fifth window from the left on the second floor. It goes all the way back to the other side of the building and it’s a perfect size for two people and a little furry bunnyman.DSCN1258And here’s is the other dorm on upper campus, Madison. It’s not quite as nice as our building… there’s no radiant floor heating, carpet or new beds. There are two more dorms about a 15 minute walk away and that pretty much accounts for all of the Sterling students.

So that’s a mini snapshot of the Sugarbush, the road and the dorms. I’ll probably get around to doing more of Craftsbury, but not tonight. Ta ta!

Effortless… or so it seems

So, today was the first of five winter Farmers Markets in Craftsbury. I worked pretty hard for the entire week making hair pins, finger puppets, fabric birds, wool pom poms, needle felted wood-legged animals… and so many many more. I borrowed Paul and Keren’s big drying rack and John’s wee drying rack for displays and spent two hours setting things up in the Craftsbury Academy common area.



Woolies on parade!


I made a mess of hand warmers in monkey fabric, finger puppets, fabric covered buttons and needle felted critters including…


Mister Deer-man! I’m pretty proud of that one.


Here are the two ponies, a llama and a sheep. So good. But so fragile.


And here are some of the felted pins I made. I bought a felted flower pin years ago at Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland and I love it so I decided to make some for this sale. They turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. After the last sale I decided that I needed to make some more… conventional things. My answer where these flower pins, some fabric covered buttons, fabric birds, wool pom poms and those needle felted animals. All in all I was right, those were the things I got the most comments on and what actually sold at the end of the day. I’m glad I did it.


I went to the Holiday Market at the Craftsbury Academy yesterday to sell some goods. I did a booth with Sarah who goes to Sterling and knits these great lace shawls and also . It went pretty well, we both sold some things and this was a good way to start dipping our toes into the local craft scene. We both signed up to do the Winter Market which starts December 12 and happens once a month all the way through April.DSCN1002

Here’s our booth, my things are on the right and Sarah’s are on the left. It was a little slap-dash, we got together the night before and attempted to try to set things up, but that turned out to be utter chaos so we had to do most of it during the two hours before the show started. It worked out fairly well in the end, but I think we could have sold more if we’d displayed something better. Ah well, next time!


There are some familiar faces here, no?DSCN1011

Wallets are something new I’ve been working on. I really like how they feel and how easy they are to make. I even have a pattern up on etsy if you’re interested… although the pictures aren’t terribly interesting. I’ll have to work on that part.DSCN1008

El Fingero Puppetos…DSCN1004And some woolie mans! Turns out they sit really well in the beer holders that I fished out of the recycling. I wish I’d had some time to cover them up, but maybe that’s part of their charm, no?

Very Very Good

The Uries gave me an application for a Holiday Craft Market at the local school in Craftsbury. It was due on the 1st but I called the woman on the form and found out that there’s still enough room! I’m going to a craft sale! To sell things! Oh I’m so excited….

It’s on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, oh I can’t wait.