Good morning, Cupcakes!

 Well, I was right about Obama and Chuckatree in Iowa.  I am a political genius!

It’s FREEZING here on Pickle Road in Long Valley, so I started a fire and am writing this from my laptop.


The other day when I was in Kindred Quilts, my home shop, I found some fabric in the back room (the sale stuff — and she always has great stuff on sale).   So I bought it because I was inspired, from the wings of angels, for a summer picnic quilt.    Here’s what I bought.


 You guys know that I’m a huge collector of all kinds of shit.  You name it, I’ll collect it.    Well, I recently found these mugs made by Hall China using the Autumn Leaf pattern that I collect.   They are not vintage — they’re a  new commission, but I had to have them!  

Pefect-o for my morning java!


 Then, while online shopping surfing, I found a really obscure ceramic Quilt Shop to add to my collection — you might remember seeing a lot of my collection in the December ’06 Quilter’s Home.  Well, it finally came.   Take a look.  


My good friend and quilt mate Gloria Dighton, read this fascinating blog the other day and remembered that she had some glass door knobs that she rescued from her father’s workbench years ago.   She brought them over for me to have which I thought was THE sweetest.   Jeff and I are trying to figure out exactly what to do with them.  Any ideas?  I smell a Quilter’s Home project coming on, don’t you?


And wouldn’t you know it, but another very close quilting friend, Twinny Mangle,  brought me a surprise this morning!   It’s a vintage spinning wheel, that her sister brought her from Germany a piece that I had once admired.   I couldn’t believe my eyes!   You know what this means, don’t you?


Now I’m going to head out the local sheep farm in town and buy some dirty roving and start spinning with home grown roving.   sheep.jpg

 This farm, Valley Shepard Creamery,  is pretty incredible and the cheeses are remarkable.  If you’re in the Long Valley, New Jersey area you must stop in for a tour, buy some cheese and relax a little.  


Before I start spinning, I’m going to have the piece cleaned and threaded, etc. which means a trip to Frenchtown, New Jersey, to one of my favorite hangouts, The Spinnery, a yarn and weaving store.   It’s another spot you’ll want to hit, right on the Delaware River that separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  


 Twinny also brought a bag of hard candy, Black Walnut candy, that she picked up the other day.  I had never had it before but I loved it.   Jeff wasn’t so crazy about it.    Gosh, it looks like crack, doesn’t it?  😮


I remember picking black walnuts out in the woods with my mom and dad, in those big ugly green shells of theirs, that would stain your hands and everything else they touched,  black.   There is no taste in the world that equals that of the black walnut.   I’m not even a chocolate eater, yet my mom’s fudge, loaded with freshly shelled  black walnuts was remarkable. 

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12 Comments on “Goodies!”

  1. January 4, 2008 at 8:00 PM #

    Hey Mark, that’s what I meant – that you were genius in picking the winners! Oh boy, I can’t wait till you get addicted to spinning! I am a (way beginner) knitter and love reading the knitting blogs – its a hoot to “see” what happens when a knitter gets a spinning wheel and some roving – its a fast trip down a slippery slope! Its already hard enough for me to decide whether to piece, quilt, or knit… 🙂 I’m afraid I’d be a goner with a spinning wheel. Too much fibery fun!!!


  2. Nancy
    January 4, 2008 at 9:02 PM #

    I remember that candy from when I was a kid. Have not had it for years. I am jealous!


  3. ABB
    January 4, 2008 at 9:41 PM #

    Save me a piece of candy!

    Glass knobs – if you get enough or at least enough that are the same size, you can swap out your dresser drawer knobs. Bathroom cabinet also. You can make some very interesting coat rack/hangers by screwing the knobs into a board. If they don’t stick out enough, screw a small piece of wood onto the board first, then screw the knob into the small piece of wood. Whatever….have fun with all that screwing!


  4. January 5, 2008 at 12:17 AM #

    Glass door knobs: attach in a row to a nicely finished board, mount on the wall, and you have a wonderful coat rack or place to hang whatevers!
    Sheep: from that picture, I can tell you are too late for now! Those sheep were just shorn! You’ll have to wait for Spring.


  5. Jackie
    January 5, 2008 at 1:39 AM #

    Mark, you’re not just a Political genius – – you are a genius in lots of areas! All the candidates scare me at the moment, so I’m ignoring the whole process. It’s the head in the sand approach. Stay warm.


  6. Sherry Wood
    January 5, 2008 at 2:26 AM #

    Mark, have you thought of mounting the doorknobs on a beautiful piece of wood and then hang some of your vintage aprons for a nice display.


  7. ABB
    January 5, 2008 at 2:39 PM #

    If you want old weathered barn wood to experiment with, let me know. If I get down to my folks in VA this month, I’ll bring you back some. They dismantled one of the old barns 2 years ago and probably still have some boards around.


  8. Paula
    January 6, 2008 at 3:56 PM #

    Black walnut tale. We had several black walnut trees in our front yard that would rain their bounty every year. We would go a pick up buckets of the green hulled nuts and then put them on the gravel driveway. The next year, we would get out our buckets and picked up the newly naked black shell nuts. (Driving over them took off the covers) My late brother in law who was disable by strokes, etc. had lots of free time and he liked to shell the little devils as he knew that he would end up with jars of black walnut gems that would eventually make themselves into cookies.

    While Andy was in culinary school in VT his teacher mentioned that she had never had fresh black walnuts. Andy called home, and within a week, I tracked down a tree, and a box of the green hulled babies were on their way to VT.

    Oh Paula! Track down some more! I’ll pay shipping and handling! xoxom


  9. michele
    January 6, 2008 at 4:27 PM #

    I’d hang a beautiful quilt from those beautiful door knobs. Or swap out the perch on an unusal birdhouse with a knob and you’d have a unique piece of home dec. Or make a window valance – hang vintage hankies on them. Or glue several to the bottom of a piece of wood. Voila you have – serving tray, plant stand, pet bowl stand. Put one on the wall to hold dog leashes. Or send them to your best friend (me).


  10. mary from utah
    January 6, 2008 at 10:54 PM #

    Hi Mark.
    I LOVE black walnuts!! We have a huge tree at the lake. I remember eating these as a kid and getting black fingers. You are right, there is no other flavor that is like black walnuts YUM!!


  11. Dianne Goetz
    January 12, 2008 at 4:23 PM #

    Vintage door knobs…oh yes, I’ve got a great use for them. I have used them, with the escutcheon (the cool metal part with the key hole…many of the antique ones have fabulous designs to the metal) as the brackets on which to rest my curtain rods (also non-traditional, made from re-bar painted black…way less expensive than conventional curtain rods and very attractive; note: the rebar is difficult to cut and does require primer and good spray paint so it doesn’t rust, or it can be left to rust, then sealed).

    Anywho, back to the doorknob/plate combo. I cut a piece of thin wood to fit into the back of the escutcheon plate and glued it in with construction adhesive. Then I ran a long screw through the hole for the doorknob (from the back protruding through the front) and used more construction adhesive to glue the doorknob onto this screw (the knob usually has a spindle sticking out of it–remove this if necessary). Then I mounted them to the wall on either side of the window, using the already present screwholes in the escutcheon plate, laid the re-bar across the knobs and Voila! Fabulous, one of a kind curtains rods and supports. Of course, any rod that can hold curtains can also be used for hanging fabulous quilts!

    Let me know if you want a picture. You can go matchy, matchy or mix them all up. Any type of knob will work: metal, glass, wood, stone…there are so many cool vintage knobs out there. Thanks so much for letting me share this idea! You’re tres’ fabulous and so are we!



  12. EskimoMaryNearDC
    January 18, 2008 at 3:41 PM #

    Wouldn’t know what crack looks like (THANK GOODNESS!!!)


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