Sunday, December 29, 2013

Etsy Weekends - National Parks

I only have one item to share with you this weekend, but it is very cool...thus worthy of its very own post! A little background first: Matt and I love to travel. Over the last few years we've been a bit silly about it, moving instead of visiting...but it's been an exciting and interesting adventure! We have big travel plans for our future when we have real jobs and vacation time and all that. For now, our plans are a little smaller. We live in South Western Montana, and have easy (well easy enough!) access to several National Parks. So far we've only visited Yellowstone, and haven't really been able to explore it in as great of depth as we would like. Also, living on this side of the country it will be much easier to road trip to National Parks in California, and the Pacific Northwest. While we're waiting for the financial stability to travel the world, we figure we'll travel this immense country first! The item I found on Etsy that I'm sharing today will help us track our travels...and it is perfect for us!

National Parks Checklist Map Print - 20x24 mounted canvas
National Parks Checklist Map from ElloThere

We hope you've enjoyed this installment of Etsy Weekends, and hope to see you back next weekend!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Today we will enjoy our holiday with family, the way Christmas should be celebrated!

We hope all of you are able to enjoy the holiday as well, and hope you have cookies as good as ours :)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Yarn Porn - BlackBerry Ridge Lace Weight

I want to talk yarn again today! You can read my original post (where I drone on about my love of yarn) by clicking here. Otherwise, stick around and see what I've got to say about another Lace Weight wool...yes...I will probably talk about Lace Weight again in the is my favorite!

Today I actually have pictures of things I've knit with this specific yarn, 100% Wool Lace Weight by BlackBerry Ridge Woolen Mill. (That's the place we get some of our wool spun into yarn...they do an amazing job!!) The first time we visited, they had all kinds of patterns that Mom and I drooled over. We eventually picked out a pattern and yarn for the two of us, we would make matching lace scarves! Mine in black (oh so sensible black) and hers in a beautiful dark purple. The pattern was actually a collection of seven lace patterns - A Week in the Life of a Knitter's Cat and we could easily choose our favorite pattern, this way we'd have matching, but different scarves.

Lace Weight 100% Wool
I think we bought the yarn and the pattern sometime before 2005, but I can't quite remember when. I ended up with the yarn in my stash, and in 2009 finally knit up Mom's scarf. This yarn knit up beautifully, the yarn itself was a dream to knit with! As I said, this Mill does most of our wool to yarn/roving conversion, and there is a reason we have continued to take our business there: they do a great job! If you have wool that you'd like turned into yarn or roving, I suggest you take a look at their website, or if you just want some gorgeous wool that has been spun into yarn in an old Wisconsin Woolen Mill!

Here is the finished scarf:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Ornaments

Every year I like to get a new ornament for our tree. This year I've been a little slow going, and still haven't picked one. Here are a few I really like from Etsy!    
Norwegian Rosemaling in Telemark Style on Shatterproof Christmas Ball
Rosemalled Ornament from Folk Art by Cathy
Red Ceramic Christmas Ornaments Lace Ceramic  Winter Home Decoration Gift Set of 3
Ceramic Ornaments from Ceraminic
Bell Ornament from Pigeon Toe Ceramics

Hope to see you next weekend, when we show off more Etsy finds!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


It's no secret that our family is Norwegian (and Irish, German, and a whole host of other European nationalities). We may not be the best Norwegians, I've never made lefse by hand and I won't go near Lutefisk, but Pam still makes rosettes every winter for the holiday season. Another piece of our Norwegian heritage that calls to me every few months is rosemaling. Growing up there were always examples of rosemaling on our walls, and it is something I am currently missing in my household. Knowing that I don't have artistic abilities I will have to wait until I can buy my own wall adornments, and since I don't have the money at the moment, I just troll the internet looking at beautiful examples of rosemaling.

Rogaland style plate
Rogaland style, courtesy of

According to the website, this craft saw a revival in the 20th century - starting in Stoughton WI, home to the Opera House Pam and Randy have been frequenting as of late. It's a small world!
Norwegian Rosemaled Blue Snowflake
Snowflake Ornament from Etsy
Norwegian "Velkommen" Sign in Valdres Style
Welcome Sign from Etsy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Moebius Scarf

A few years back Pam got a hold of a new knitting book by Cat Bordhi - A Treasury of Magical Knitting. Within that book were directions on how to make a moebius in knitting! A moebius is an object that has only one side, and one edge. Basically they are infinity loops, that twist once. Pam spent a lot of time making all kinds of things from the Magical Knitting Treasuries (there are two!) including the scarves, a cat bed, and several purses.

Young model with 'Jester' purse
Moebius Purses felted - Noro wool

With the newfound popularity of 'infinity loop' scarves I thought it was time for me to learn this method and start making the scarves that people want. Pam graciously sent me the pattern book, new needles, and yarn to start making scarves! I couldn't wait for the semester to end so I could start knitting, and I haven't stopped for almost a week now! I have made five scarves and have so many ideas for others, check them out on Etsy! (Minus one now - the red one sold this morning!!)

Pam has been knitting too, and also has new items ready for sale on Etsy, now to just get them listed! :) Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Cooking with Wood

Sorry for the long break there, between Thanksgiving, dead week and finals week at school, things got a bit hairy around here! We've been busy out doing, in knitting, and looking at all the wonderful things Etsy has to offer! This week I want to share two new kitchen gadgets I came across...and want very badly to own! Hope to see you next week when we share the other goodies we have found :)

Pepper Mills from Tree Branches.
Elm Pepper Mills from Cam Lavers Design
Grill Cleaner from Great Scrape

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Roving

A person can never have too much roving. At least, that's what I tell myself. Here's a sampling of roving I wish I could get my hands on!!
Brown and White Swirled Alpaca Roving - 2 ounces - August PhatFiber Box Contribution
Swirled Alpaca from North Star Alpacas
MY FRIEND Bamboo, Wool, Alpaca roving - 2.0 oz
Bamboo/Wool/Alpaca from Aloha Blu
Angora from Cashmere Bunny

SALE Merino wool  19 micron: Purple(superfine)
Purple Merino from Divinity Fibers

Check back next weekend to see what else we've found on Etsy :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winter Wonderland

The snow has arrived again. Well, it came earlier already, but this seems to be the kind of snow that will last. Actually thinking that I should have gotten out and raked the backyard...but it will wait for Spring now! As will the sod cutting I kept putting off, and the garden cleaning I haven't quite finished...although I might run out and pull the tomato cages into the garage before they get too rusted from the snow!

Either way, the sight is one to behold.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Men's Soap

Christmas is coming, or so my work schedule tells me - our schedule for Black Friday came out this weekend...whether or not I am prepared, it is coming! Got me to thinking about presents, and while perusing my favorites on Etsy I came across a great collection of Men's soaps!

Cowboy Soap from Ginger Grey Soaps
ON SALE Cool Man Handmade Vegan Soap, For Him
 Cool Man Soap from Artisan Bath and Body
Orange Clove . Goat's Milk Soap . FOR MEN . fall soap
 Orange Clove from Dancing Mooney
Hemp Soap from Mandala Rain

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sink Kitty

Happy Friday! Here are some pictures of Lela, the famed sink kitty, in several sinks across the country! :)
Green Bay, WI

Black River Falls, WI

Gresham, OR

Mishawaka, IN

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Written Word in Knitting Part Two

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the PieceWork Magazine's contest about the Written Word in Knitting. I've been thinking about this a lot. I've also been thinking about my future profession as a teacher, and funny enough, they kind of go hand in hand! You see, I want to be the kind of teacher that has quotes up on the walls. But I want them to be quotes I've gathered, hand selected, quotes that speak to me. Anyone can go to a list of historical quotes and pick and choose. I want these to be quotes I come across in my readings in preparation to become a teacher (kind of wish I had been doing this for years now lol) Well, I came across my first classroom wall quote. I am taking a Latin American History course, and we are reading about the "First Encounters" of Europeans with Native Americans. One of the readings really resonated with me, it was a piece written by Bartolome de las Casas about encounters with the natives, and relations with the Europeans and their Kings. Las Casas was a native sympathizer, who rallied for their rights, and was very frustrated when other colonists thwarted his attempts for their own personal gains. The quote that stuck out to me was this, "You can see how easy it is to deceive a King, how ruinous to a kingdom it is to heed misinformation, and how oppression thrives where truth is not allowed a voice." He wrote this in 1561, and it still resonates today - "how oppression thrives where truth is not allowed a voice".

I copied this into my OneNote notebook a while ago and it has been rattling around my brain ever since. I want to dig in to the culture of the Taino people he was talking about. (He was talking about the conquest of the peoples of Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.) I know at the time that clothing wasn't big, so I can't really replicate any textiles, but I could replicate patterns from their carvings, or pottery maybe, and find out what colors they would use. Depending on the colors and patterns I come up with, I'll try to decide if I want to put this design on a hat, or mittens, or what. He mentions in the writing that the only clothing he saw them wear was a "humble cotton shawl". So that's a thought too.

Then again, trying to be historically accurate as far as the clothing is concerned feels a bit silly. I will be using a quote in English, written by a Spaniard, and using the wool of an animal that never lived on the island if you take all those other thoughts into account, does it matter that it's been placed on an item of clothing that would never be necessary in the tropics? Maybe not. :)
Critters not found in the Carribean!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Knitting Supplies!

Since I don't have much time to actually knit, I spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. Here are some great Etsy finds that will help with any knitting project needs!

Knitting Nancy, Paduak Wood French Knitter 5 prong -2
French Knitter by Amy's Woods
Siamese Cat Yarn Bowl
Siamese Cat Yarn Bowl by LAS Pottery

Tote Bag by Kelly Connor Designs 
Peace Fleece Hand Painted Wooden Knitting Needles - 10" Approx 25cm - 6.5mm
    Knitting Needles by Peace Fleece through Scrumbobbly
That's  all we've got for this weekend, come back next weekend to see more treasures!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Tip - Eating Healthy

So we all know that you need to eat a rainbow right? Well, today Pam is going to talk about eating something orange!

Last week a friend gave me a huge squash. I've never done much with squash, so I was surprised to find that it is amazing! I'm going to save the seeds to grow some next year. She bought them from a company in Missouri that sells organic and historic seeds. Anyway after I cooked it the shell just peeled away from the squash. There wasn't a lot of scooping necessary just put it in big bowls and then I put some in freezer bags. I still have several regular squash to cook. I read an article a few weeks ago about how orange food is good for you and since my coworker broke my heart telling me that Cheetos don't count - I guess I'll have enough squash to last all winter!

Pam didn't do too much squash cooking when I was growing up, the veggies we ate the most of were peas, carrots, and corn. When I mentioned to Matt that Mom (Pam) had made a squash and I wanted to get the directions from her he was surprised that I didn't know how to cook them! I think I know what Matt will be cooking the next time he makes supper :)

There are a ton of great recipes out there for squash, but here is one of our favorite cooks, giving the lowdown on Butternut Squash Puree. Be sure and check out her other recipes while you are there, but if several hours go by while you sit and ogle food pictures...don't blame us!
Image Also courtesy of Pioneer Woman :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Wooden Decorations

When I was younger my Dad used a lathe to make several turned wood bowls. They were really nifty, each one slightly different, with a different finish, different decorative pieces, and made of different wood. He told me about a star pattern bowl he had made a long time before I was alive with different colored woods and a lot of effort. I always thought we would make one together, but never got around to it. Of course, this has never diminished my love of hand carved, hand turned, or otherwise hand crafted wooden pieces. Here are a few of my favorites from Etsy!

Oak Burl Hand Carved Butterfly Mounted on Maple Wood Hand Leaf Carved Bowl
Oak Butterfly on Bowl by Glowing Heart Studios
Walnut Raindrop Tray
Walnut Raindrop Tray by 3D Woodturning
Wooden Cherry Pedestal Bowl / Candy Dish / Fruit Bowl
Cherry Pedestal Bowl by Wood Expressions
Box Elder Burl Bowl... rustic in design.
Box Elder Bowl by Uneducated Woodturner

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sheep Fleece Anyone?

There was always one creature who was super excited for sheep shearing day every year. Her name was Spike, and she has since left us. These images really convey her feelings toward Sheep Shearing Day :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the Kitchen with Pam: Garden Salsa Style

Today we are visiting Pam in her kitchen, while I had very little tomato success in my Garden, Pam had tons of tomatoes to play with!!
This year I had lots of tomatoes in my garden but not as many peppers as I would have liked.  I used the peppers I did have to make salsa.
Here's my recipe:
10 cups of chopped tomatoes
5 cups of chopped onions
5 cups of green peppers
2 cups of hot peppers
4 chopped cloves of garlic
1 cup of vinegar
1 tablespoon of salt
I normally make a few batches of medium and a few of wow is this hot!  Adjust the temperature by how many peppers you put in.  I have a small food processor and I chop up the tomatoes, peppers and onions and I end up dumping everything in  a big pot and then I let it cook for at least an hour.  I put it in small jars like the kind you normally put jam in and then I do a hot water bath.  I found the recipe several years ago in a Taste of Home magazine and I've made some changes over the years.  I think the original called for cilantro and I don't like it so I don't put it in!  A word of warning when making salsa - if you wear contacts don't wear them the day you are making salsa!  Wear gloves when you chop the hot peppers! 

Written Word in Knitting

So, Interweave Press is holding a contest that involves knit writing. I saw the ad in one of my Piecework Magazines and have been rolling the idea around in my head since I came across it.

My one big issue with this is that one of my favorite literary scenes is just that - a scene. For some reason it's the images I build in my mind from the words an author has written that sticks with me more than the words themselves. I've never been terribly good at reciting poetry from memory, or memorizing favorites lines from books. I fear that I would end up trying to spell out a whole page of writing from my favorite books, and that would mean an afghan instead of mittens! (The picture shown in the magazine is of Piecework's Poetry Mittens).

The only real reason I'm even tossing around ideas is because I already have an entire alphabet charted. Actually, I have two whole alphabets charted. I charted them when I was working on new sayings for the talking mice. I really like the idea of a hat...with the words spiraling up from the band, starting big and getting smaller...and maybe have the hat taper to a long tail like those ski hats that were so popular when I was a kid. Then I could use more words! :) Of course that leads to a lot of logistical problems. Knit letters can really only get so small. Plus, it would be a ton easier to not have the lines spiral, but I think the spiral would be the coolest. Another way to make a spiral would be to knit one long strip and stitch it together to form a spiral. But I don't see that working very well in a hat setting...unless I taper the starting piece...hmmm....

What do you think? What would you knit? And what literary piece would you quote? (My favorite is below....)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Sheep

It's no secret that at Hide and Hair we love sheep. Really, who doesn't? They are big fluffballs that you get to shear every year and play with raw wool!! That love extends to household goods depicting sheep, and here are a few of our favorites from Etsy!

Little Lamb (8x10 Print of baby lamb with soft turquoise background)
Little Lamb Print from enrouge
Wool and Flax Art Print 11x14 or 12x18
Sheep Print from Mary's Montage
Lamb with a Blue Tweed Scarf- Needle Felted Christmas Ornament
Felted Lamb Christmas Ornament from Bossy's Feltworks
Sheep earrings

Sheep Earrings from Stickman Jewelry

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Changing Seasons

We went for our Autumnal Peet's Hill walk this week, and got some really great images of Bozeman. Our fall came on a little strangely this year, at the beginning of the month we had a snow storm that damaged trees and knocked out some power across town. Some of the trees went straight to dead leaves, while some struggled through to give the beautiful display below. We hope you enjoy these photos! The first set is our Summer to Fall shot of the same street, and the others are the town views of changing leaves!