Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finally, Pictures!

At long last, I finally have some current pictures. Something is not right with my camera! Tim let me borrow his camera and I took several pictures to update the gift shop. Today was very exciting. We have received more orders over the phone and on the website. One is for a larger gift basket to ship. I just love doing these things for people at holiday time. Actually, any time!

This gift basket has the four holiday coffees; Frosty's Favorite Flavor, Candy Cane, Jingle Bell Java and Mistletoe Mocha flavored coffees. To purchase any of these you can call. Go to http://www.stlawrencevalleyroasters.com/ or http://www.northforkgifts.com/ and call or email. Not all of what we have is on our website yet. Baby steps. We're getting there.


Here's the 2 sampler size gift basket. We have something for everyone on your gift list!





You can even get a mug with one coffee sampler! Now onto the soaps....



We have lots of different soaps in many different shapes and sizes. You can get guest size (1.5oz.) snowflake soaps, celtic knots, oatmeal, vanilla-lavender in goat's milk or shea butter. Most are 1.50 or less. These make wonderful stocking stuffers.

It's taking way too long to upload this evening. Look for us again tomorrow and we'll share more from North Fork Gifts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Is Upon Us

I haven't written in a very long time. My goal is to try to get to this more often and keep people up to date with what's happening. Last Sunday we had our open house. This past week the weather has made many changes in the scheduling. Our concert was postponed. Yesterday's trip to Utica to see Mama Mia was cancelled. We'll be going to River Dance in April instead. Tonight is caroling followed by hot cocoa and cookies with the singers. In the upcoming week we'll be singing all day on Tuesday as we travel to Ogdensburg and visit various nursing homes and Meadow View Apts. in Heuvelton. Our concert is TBA. The K-6 concert is on Friday and this week is also secret santa so....needless to say, it's going to be very busy.

The shop is warm and cozy. The tree is up and decorated and I spent a few hours the other day putting insulation into the bays along the ceiling to hopefully, keep it even warmer! I'm hoping to post some pictures of all the new things. Right now it's off to work! Hopefully, I'll be able to get back at this on a more regular basis.

The shop is open as long as we're here, we're open!! So please feel free to come by.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Pleasure Indeed....

We had the pleasure, at North Fork B&B, of meeting Virginia Brown Waite, Florida Congresswoman, when she stayed with us this weekend. Today we will be open for business in the gift shop where Lisa hopes to be making more soap and candles as we prepare for more guests at the B&B and the upcoming holiday season. We have lots of new fragrances and some new soaps that will be coming out as well as some new candles. Check our blog and see the new things we'll be offering in our gift shop and on our website.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's a Very Exciting Day!






On the down side of things, I had to say goodbye this morning to my brother, his wife and my nephew as they head back home. We had our Thanksgiving weekend again this year and a wonderful time and fabulous food was had by all. My niece will have to head back to college as well today. We'll all miss each other and be looking forward to the next time we can all be together. My nephew helped me with my cello. He plays really well and had encouraging words for his aunt. He was also incredibly helpful in the gift shop hanging dried flowers. Today the ceiling should be finished! It's almost there....the dried flowers are down and ready to be put out. The Fall bags are on display and all in all it's a very exciting day!

These bags are a a sample of what we have in the shop. To see them all check out our website at http://www.northforkgifts.com Our Balsam wreaths will be on display soon so check back often to see all the new and exciting things to come!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dried Flowers

This weekend we'll be bringing out the dried flowers and finishing the ceiling. This is one example of the wonderful dried flowers we'll have on hand. Bunches can be purchased to decorate or use in arranging. We have quite a few bunches of statice available as well. You can see more at our gift shop website within the next couple of weeks. http://www.northforkgifts.com For those of you looking to keep warm as the colder weather approaches please check out a fabulous site for hand painted and hand dyed fiber for those winter and holiday projects at http://www.moonlightandlaughter.com For coffee to keep warm and a fabulous new fundraising idea check out our coffee at http://www.stlawrencevalleyroasters.com All great places to find wonderful things!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh that ceiling....



We're still working on the ceiling in the gift shop. Here's hoping it gets finished this weekend! Right now we have guests from Virginia and we're getting ready for our Thanksgiving weekend. We celebrate it now so all of our family from CT can travel without worrying about the weather. In my album on facebook there are lots of pictures from last year's dinner. I just love to have everyone for dinner. It's always fun! Stay tuned for more pictures from this year's dinner.




Here's the progress we've made so far...Yesterday I posted the regular ceiling before anything had been done. There are 4 bays left that still need blue board. The picture on the left, below is the ceiling with the blue board. The picture on the right is what it looks like when it's finished. Of course I couldn't wait to hang some of the baskets used for dried flower arrangements and gift baskets. I dont' think it's going to be long now before we have it done!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rainbows and Fall Foliage







We've had quite a bit of rain lately. In between showers we've seen some beautiful rainbows over the farm. This is one them. I have to say, these do make tolerating the rain a little bit easier! Looking out over the field and seeing the beautiful foliage is nice too.





I'll be adding the finishing pictures soon so check back! This is the ceiling of the gift shop before anything is done to it. Check back often for updates. Check out our website to see the new things and purchase items from our shop at http://www.northforkgifts.com Become a follower of our blog and a fan on facebook.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lots of New Things in the Gift Shop...

Our new little candle with a wonderful fall fragrance. The 1.5 oz. hexagon shaped soy candle. A wonderful way to celebrate the fall season with a fall fragrance.


Wooden Wick Soy Candle 12.5 oz. Perfect Pumpkin fragrance. Wooden Wick Candles evoke the sound of a crackling fire when lit. The perfect way to enjoy the crisp fall weather.

Each day after work a little bit more comes together in the gifts shop. In the soaps, we now have a small 1.5 oz. soap the the upcoming holiday season. Keep up with our blog to find out what new gift items are available.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Fall Season Is Upon Us....

We've been incredibly busy here at North Fork with both the gift shop and the Bed and Breakfast. We've had cool weather and rain. The leaves are changing like crazy and it's really beautiful. The picking of the straw flowers has slowed down. The new vented heater has been installed in the gift shop and Tim and I have been working on putting up the rest of the ceiling. It's tough because there's a lot hanging on the beams and the measurements change as we go along. Little by little though, we're getting there. I made some new soap this week that's really neat. Tiny bars that fit in the small organza bags. They will be a great addition for guests and for the upcoming holiday season!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lots of new items....




We've got lots of new items in the gift shop! Beautiful aprons for the holiday season including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and some that just celebrate the harvest. New Autumn Harvest soaps! A Fall line of bags that are just wonderful and 2 warm and cozy fleece throws to celebrate the upcoming Fall season. Many new candles including our new wooden wick candles. Lots of new things to see. The dried flowers continue to grow nicely. Statice and straw flowers are picked daily and the new dried flower bunches will be going up within the week. http://www.northforkgifts.com/ is the place to buy your holiday gifts or gifts for any occasion. The website is still being worked on. You can email me to pay for items that are not listed with a button for purchase. The bread is selling really well too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Incredible Weather

Now it's back to work. The weather is wonderful! The flowers are blossoming nicely in the gardens and the second set of the corn crop is coming in. Due to an extremely wet summer, the pumpkins seem slim to none. The butternut squash seems non existent as well. When it's that wet, the plants form blossoms but as they begin to form the fruit, they turn black and fall off. This nice sunny patch of weather will hopefully provide enough drying time soon enough for some of these plants to produce. If they don't, there's always next year! The hummingbirds have started to migrate as there are fewer and fewer at the feeders these days. I used to take the feeders in on the first of September but read that there are stragglers who need extra food to make the trip. Hummingbirds won't stay just because the food is there. They know when to migrate and they will as soon as they are ready. Last year I had 2 little hummingbirds that stayed later than usual. As soon as they were plump, they took off.

We've had a few customers in the gift shop and that's very exciting. I need to make more soap and candles. I have many pressed flowers that need sorting and filing. The bread has been selling very well too. There's a lot of work to be done on the websites and I'm hoping when I get back some energy and have recovered from the start of work, I can make lots more stuff and be ready for the holidays!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally some warm and sunny weather....

We are finally having some warm and sunny weather after 2 months of nothing but rain. Yesterday afternoon I was finally able to kayak and even went for a swim in the St. Lawrence! I haven't done that in years. We were kayaking just off Welsley Island. I had never been there and always wanted to go. The water was quite pleasant. We saw several Osprey. On one siting I was sure it was an eagle because of the white head but my daughter was quick to point out the black mask around the eyes and the pattern of black and white on the lower parts of the bird. We saw a Great Blue Herring as well hanging out on the side of the river. He was quite content to preen himself and look magnificent. All in all it was quite wonderful.

The garden is looking better with the warmth and the sun. The pumpkin plants are blossoming and the butternut squash is as well. The statice is growing like crazy. I've been able to pick a large bunch of flowers each day. The straw flowers are coming in better with more varied colors beginning to blossom.

North Fork B&B is quite busy and due to be even busier as parents bring their students to college. This morning's breakfast will feature sourdough pancakes! Yum!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rain,The Farmer's Market and the Mystery of the Mouse!

I haven't written since our first trip to the Farmer's Market. Our first experience was very positive. Tim was able to sell his coffee and people were very interested in locally roasted coffee. It was great fun. I was also able to sell some of my soap and candles. It was a very nice day.


The paperwork never came together but I'm hoping the person will be able to meet on Monday so that this Tuesday I can sell baked goods at the Farmer's Market. We went last Friday as it was drizzling. We checked the weather map before we left and both thought the showers would subside. We were wrong! We got to the market and set up. People immediately were buying coffee and we thought we were in for a great day. Within minutes it began to pour. I quickly packed my things away in a large plastic tote. I slid the tables in a bit and moved some of the coffee to protect it from the rain. When Tim returned from some errands, it rained even harder. By a bit after 11 we decided to call it a day. The rain got worse and worse and we were worried about the labels on the coffee as they began to curl from the excess moisture. This week it looks like the weather will be better. One can only hope!



Well, the first time we went to the market I noticed mouse droppings in my car. I have searched the entire thing for this mouse. Today, I was going through the bath teas and saw some herbs in the bottom of the basket. Then, in the bottom of the tote there were, you guessed it, mouse droppings! Now I ask you, how does a little mouse get into a huge, sealed plastic tote, chew a bath tea, eat a pressed flower off the top of a candle and another one off of a soap box, and get out and away? This is just crazy!! The night before the market my new bath teas came in. I worked like crazy to make them for the market on Friday. There was no mouse then and there's no mouse now. Anyway, I'm showing some of the new bath teas that have escaped this mysterious, masterful mouse.









I'm very excited about these new bath teas. They are fun to make and they are nice to use. They also make a wonderful sachet. I plan to make more and include a new larger size as well.




We had guests at the B&B as well. Here's a picture of the breakfast table and the wonderful cinnamon french toast that we make here at North Fork B&B.




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Off to the Famer's Market

Well, today I'm off to the Farmer's Market. We'll see how it goes. Tomorrow I will finally be getting the paper work in order so that I can market my bread. I'm very excited about that! So I'll be selling my sourdough bread at the market as well. I'm hoping they have taken care of checking into the coffee. We should be selling that today as well. Let's just hope the rain holds off!

The garden is doing well. The corn is pretty tall now and the rows that were eaten by the birds are even filling in better than I thought they would. Yesterday I had to free a bird from the deer fencing. I'm not sure I like that fencing. One bird got caught in it before but I didn't get there soon enough. I'll be back to talk about the Farmer's Market. Still working on the gift shop website. There just never seems to be enough time!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Busy, busy time at the B&B and the gift shop



This is a fabulous sunflower field in Maryland. I had to take pictures of this! Quite beautiful.



After taking some time off and doing a little bit of traveling we're back at it full swing. The coffee business has been pretty busy these days with lots of deliveries. Coffee can be purchased from the website. I'm not sure why people aren't using it. I wish they would or let me know if there's a reason they don't. http://www.stlawrencevalleyroasters.com/ the best coffee ever!


So, getting back to the travel. En route to a family reunion, we checked out a dried flower farm where we purchased a wide array of fabulous dried flowers that will be available in the gift shop. The Wheat Wreath pictured above, is just one of the many different types of wreaths and swags we will have in our gift shop.
We stopped in Lancaster and Intercourse,PA where we found many great ideas for the both the B&B and the gift shop which I'm currently working on implementing.

We're finally linked with Bed and Breakfast.com and their blog site. We are on facebook as well. The linking thing there is a bit more complicated. I'm still in the process of figuring that out.
I hope to have some pictures of the garden and the flowers very soon so check back often.




Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rain, Rain and more Rain!






Seems that the past few days have been nothing but rain. I keep trying to work only to be rained on some more. Tonight it is finally clear and the sun is out. It seems like forever since we've seen the sun. In the midst of the rain, I created some pretty cool candles. I like them and I hope my customers will too. Here's what they look like.





The one on the left is a pillar done with pressed flowers. The 2 above are pressed flowers on the lid of the candle tin. The one on the left (candle tin) is Fresh Brewed Coffee. The one to the right is Lily of the Valley. The pillar is unscented. Just some of what went on in the rain. There was also the bout with the tiller which is now in the garage caked in mud. Oh well. I'm taking a break for a few days and then I'll be back at it. Sometimes it's good to rest. I don't do that very well, resting that is. I need to now though so I am. This morning was really busy with coffee again. If you want to try the best coffee you've ever had in your life, try my husband's coffee. You can buy it off of his website if you'd like. http://www.stlawrencevalleyroasters.com He has flavored coffees too for those of you that prefer them or just like them once in a while for something different. It is worth checking out for sure. Well that's it for now. Time to begin that break I was talking about. Hope you enjoy looking at these candles.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pressed Flowers

Totally enjoyed Rock for the River last night! Awesome show with incredibly talented musicians. It's always fun to go to Clayton.

Today will be spent putting together orders to be shipped tomorrow morning. I'm very excited that I've sold pressed flower soap and candles with pressed flowers on the cover! I'll be creating all day today and hopefully working in the garden. Guest preparation for the B&B too. So it's off to work....website stuff too and more bread! It'll be busy for sure and great fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Purses and Pressed Flowers....




All of the goals that were set for the gift shop were attained on Thursday. We've had nothing but rain, rain and more rain! The garden needs attention and hopefully that will happen today. The big news is that the gift shop is all set for customers. The check out counter is finished enough. Today I'd like to put the trim on the sides. The purses and beautiful cards are all on display. I'll be making more soap today as I've sold out of my shea butter vanilla lavender. I still have goat's milk vanilla lavender. It's very exciting because it's my own scent creation and people just love it! I'm putting some pictures of the purses here so you can see them. The gift shop website is still under construction and I hope to have it finished soon.


As you can see, the inside has pockets and a key holder. They are very well made with an inner lining and magnetic button to close at the top. The straps are just the right length to go over the shoulder or be held in your hand. The colors are just perfect for summer! All of these will be shown in detail on the gift shop website http://www.northforkgifts.com/ It's still a work in progress so please be patient. If these interest you please email me at northforkbandb@hughes.net and I'll be happy to process your payment and send you the purse of your choice.

The pressed flowers are coming along. It took most of the day yesterday to categorize them. If and when it ever stops raining, I'll be pressing more. They look really nice on the covers of the tin travel candles. I'm hoping to get some of the 4oz. candles ready for sale. Time to work on the website. Tonight is Rock The River! Always a lot of fun! Since I'm up so early this morning, I've decided to finally take the time to visit my friend's blog. She is also my sister-in-law. She does the most incredible work with fiber of all kinds. Her patience amazes me. Her work is amazing. I highly recommend checking out both her blog and her product. You can find her blog at dyeingtospin.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy time in the gift shop...

It's been a while since the last post. Graduation and many duties at work have kept things very busy. Yesterday all of the little things that needed tending to in the gift shop regarding trim were nearly completed. My plan this morning is to get out there and finish them. The new purses are on display! They are gorgeous! Completely lined with inside pockets and key holders in beautiful summer colors. Lilly of the Valley soy candles have been added. Many beautifully crafted thank you cards and various cards and tags will be displayed today. A new shelf will help to organize a bit better and then more products can be created. The plan is to also have pictures available here to show the new things. The website for the gift shop should also have added products and be more functional. So...it's off to work on these and many other things. Hopefully, a trip to the farmer's market as well to check it out. I hope to be selling there as well soon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pressed flowers and the candles....

Yesterday we were able to get the tiller and we tilled the garden last night. The corn was disappearing so I put a fence around the garden. Hopefully, the corn will remain but we're going to need to reseed a couple of rows. My dad always told me to plant 3 times what you need. One third for the animals, one third for yourself and one third for the weather. The animals have their third!

I started putting pressed flowers on the lids of the candles in the tins. They are beautiful! Now I'm going to put some in the tops of the apothecary jars. I may try some on the boxes for the soap as well. This morning we're off to get the water going at camp. As soon as we're done, I'm going to work in the shop. I need to enclose the checkout counter and measure and plan the rest of the work area. I'll be picking and drying grasses, pressing more flowers and making as many candles and soap bars as I can. Monday the purses should all be finished so I can put them on display. It's very exciting. There will be all kinds of new things arriving in the gift shop!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pressed Flower Soap Success and the seeds are up!

Finally, I have successfully created pressed flower soap! After many tries, success. These are so pretty and very different. This particular one is done in a sweetened honey base with a green tea and cucumber scent. I think my customers will really love this new soap!


I'm including a couple of pictures of some of the hanging baskets in and around the pergola. They are so pretty! They're growing beautifully. Yesterday I potted up more planters. I hope to finish them today when I have more soil.


It's very exciting this week in the garden. This is a picture of the corn. I planted 8 rows and it's all up. I was a bit worried because there have been tons of birds in and around the garden. I was afraid they may have eaten the seeds. The beets, beans and carrots are up as well. Time to start weeding.









Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today It's the Gift Shop

Most of the day today has been spent in the gift shop. Filling the shelves with things I've made is very satisfying. We now have many different types of soaps and soy candles. Everything is finally coming together! We have yet another rather dark sort of day here with more clouds than sun and intermittent rain. The birds don't seem to mind a bit. They began singing around 4 am!

There are so many different birds feeding at this time that I'm amazed. The bright red male cardinal is a regular now. The rose-breasted grosebeak is too. The tweeting of the finches is non-stop. We have both the gold finch and the purple finch. Today I noticed again that the wren is singing. I haven't seen them yet but there's no doubt that they are here. One would think someone slipped in in the night and put in a recording or something. They go non-stop!

I'm going to be working with the pressed flowers and making soap to replace what has sold. I'm hoping to make more candles as well. I'm still working on labels and building more shelves.
Here's hoping that tomorrow we can spend more time outside in better weather. All for now...it's back to work.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Humming Birds....



I've had some technical glitches learning how to blog. I wasn't able to get in and write. Now, finally, I am. My subject is the Humming birds! We've had them for years but this year they are very active and it seems that there are more than ever. It's been so much fun watching them. There is one male that frequents the top of the umbrella. He sits on the round plastic umbrella top like he's playing king of the mountain. Yesterday, he sat preening himself and even took time out to rub his beak on the umbrella top. It's fascinating to see humming birds at rest, actually sitting still. I also had the pleasure of seeing 3 females sitting at the same feeder. They all sat on their perches and drank at the same time. In all the years I've fed them, I've never seen that!




Another very exciting experience has been how close I'm able to get to them. I can stand within inches of them. When I'm outside I always seem to move because of the sound as they approach. It seems natural to move out of the way so I've been practicing trying to stay as still as possible. Here are some pictures from inside where I am able to be still enough to get very close. Hopefully I'll get some pictures from outside as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The garden is finally in!

After much stress, mostly due to a faultly, yet brand new, rototiller....our garden is finally planted! The hanging plants are out and almost all the planters are planted with beautiful flowers. For a while it was touch and go. Every time we'd get started we had another frost warning and were carrying plants back under cover! Now, hopefully, we're off to a fabulous gardening season.



Guests are beginning to book and fill up the summer availability and it's slowly getting warmer.



The humming birds are in full force and diving all over the place. There are at least 3 males and 3 females frequenting the feeders now. The finches, rose-breasted grosebeak and cardinals are also plentiful now.