Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wood Wick Candles in a Victorian Jar

I was so excited when I first saw these victorian jars. I couldn't wait to make wood wick candles in them. The pewter top sets it off. I haven't put my usual organza ribbon on these as I'm still thinking about what I like the best. Smelling the lilac made me think of spring and all of the wonderful things that come with that time of year. Skiing is so much fun and I look forward to going out into the woods and along the edge of the fields everyday. There are so many things to see. There are always tracks from one kind of animal or another. Today we saw fox tracks and rodent tracks. We saw many deer tracks as well. It was a very fast ski and a great deal of fun! One of the other fragrances in my candles was Lily of the Valley. What a wonderful smell. If you close your eyes you can imagine standing in a patch of them. Such a tiny flower and such an incredible aroma! I just love seeing them in early spring.
What a wonderful smell. If you close your eyes you can imagine standing in a patch of them. Such a tiny flower and such an incredible aroma! I just love seeing them in early spring.  Another flower that is amazing is lavender. I've yet to get it to come through the winter but I will keep trying none the less. Lavender has a most wonderful aroma. It is used in aromatherapy for relaxation. I've had my experiences with this for sure. This past fall I bought some lavender buds to put in my soap. I was so excited to make the first bars of soap with lavender and I was so proud of how nice they looked. It was all quite temporary however. My mom put some by her kitchen sink. She liked it as much as me. Over the course of a few days, the lavender began to turn brown. It looked like my soap had bugs! My neice reached to use it at my mom's and jumped and threw the soap bar thinking it had bugs on it. Obviously I have some work to do in this department. I am
very proud of my lavender candles. I like the colors and so do my customers. I'll have to keep working with the soap to get it right but this wood wick soy wax candle came out really well. As I think about spring and the warm weather, I do start to wish for the end of winter in a way but usually it's when the snow has melted and there's no chance of it coming back that I am ready for spring and summer to arrive. Until they do, I'll keep making as much as I can to be ready for the upcoming crafting season and the sales that'll have in the mean time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Pressed Flower Candles

Here are more pressed flower candles. They are so pretty. I love burning them because the flame ends up behind all of the flowers as the candle burns. They are really beautiful. This one has some grasses and a few maple leaves along the bottom.

The leaves are collected in early spring. The grasses are picked in the summer. Some grasses can be pressed, others need to be hung and dried. I usually press the smaller and thinner ones as they work better for candles.

This beauty, to your right, has large flowers pressed along the bottom with delicate flowers and a few grasses coming out toward the top. A wonderful deep pink-lavender flower. Quite delightful.

This is a favorite of mine. I love the delicate flowers and grasses.
The colors in this one are really pretty too. There is some very deep blue, almost purple, with some lighter creamy colored flowers and greenish grasses. The combination is really pretty.
All of these can be purchased at our gift shop.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Awesome Soaps and more candles on the way

Yesterday I made amazing goat's milk and oatmeal soap. There are 2 different fragrances and both are amazing. Oatmeal, milk and honey and warm vanilla sugar. Both smell wonderful! I just love the way oatmeal feels and how it softens and helps your skin. This is great for a winter shower or bath. I made several different guest size soaps for our Bed and Breakfast Guests to use. I put them in our complimentary ammenities baskets. Everyone loves our soaps and many guests purchase some from our gift shop to take with them when they depart. They make wonderful gifts and they are a nice addition to any bathroom or kitchen to add that special touch.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine or anytime....Spa Bath Basket

Here's a really nice valentine or any time spa bath basket. I always leave compimentary soaps for our bed and breakfast guests. I'd like to offer a spa package and I'm working on putting one together. Part of that  involves a Spa Bath Basket similar to this one. In this basket there's a Basic Bath Tea,

a 4 oz. bar of "Beneath the Stars" sweetened honey soap with an all natural goat's milk, heart shaped emed.

there is a nylon suds maker soap bag,

and a bag with 6 unscented, heart shaped pink and white bath fizzies.

A very nice and very enjoyable basket all for a very resonable price. Go to or to see this new basket and make your purchase before we run out! I'm also working on lotions and made quite a few new candles yesterday so check back often to see what's happening.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Peppermint Candles

Last night I made peppermint candles. I'll be making more today. They smell wonderful. There's nothing like that fresh clean smell. We have lots of different fragrances to choose from. Frazier Fir is on the list for tonight's candle making session. You can take a candle making class when you stay at our B&B just let me know when you book your room that you'd like to take a class and it can be arranged for you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

So much fun in the woods today skiing

We had so much fun in the woods today skiing. This is the first thing we saw. It is what remains on the ground after the pileated wood peckers have made holes in the trees.

Here's what the holes look like. I apologize for the blurry picture. This is what happens when you take your glasses off to ski because of the freezing drizzle. You can see the huge holes in the trees. The wood peckers had quite the feast by the looks of it.

We checked this out for a while and then headed over to Petey's loop. As you may remember, we saw 4 porcupines yesterday but I had forgotten to take my camera. Today, we weren't so lucky. We only saw one.

The big dark lump in the middle of the two tree trunks is a porcupine.

You can see him even better in this picture. Basically he looks big and black. They don't move or anything. They look like they are sleeping. They are quite cute.

These are some close up shots of a set of single porcupine tracks. It's such fun to go through the woods and see who has been there. I find it all so very interesting. I couldn't wait to get back and share these pictures. Hopefully, the next time I'll have my glasses and more porcupines to take pictures of.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

4 Porcupines and No Camera!

If you've read my blog before you would have noticed the porcupine trail I pointed out (literally) with the tip of my ski. Well today my daughter and I went skiing and we took what we call Petey's loop. For many years now, we've seen a porcupine in this one particular white pine tree. We have come to call that porcupine, Petey. Today, as always, we looked again for porcupines. Up until now, we haven't seen any, just tracks. Today there were four! They were hanging out at various points in the tree. My daughter showed me where they had chewed the bark off of a nearby pine tree. I just kept saying, "The one time I come out here with no camera, and look what happens!" It was too late in the day to come back and get my camera. My daughter said they will often gather before bad weather comes. She said that was probably a female that had kept her babies with her as they often do. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can head back out and hopefully get some pictures of all of this. For now, it just has to be what I described. Here's hoping that tomorrow we can get some picutres.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some nice soaps

These are sweetened honey soap with a goat's milk embed and perfect pumpkin fragrance. They have a raffia bow. These are wonderful soaps for a guest bathroom or to have in your kitchen. They have a wonderful spicey smell and the colors blend in just abut any kitchen decor.

The are my favorite! Shea butter snowflake soaps with either sparkling snowflake or first snow fragrance. These smell wonderful and make your skin feel fabulous. I also package them on a nice wooden soap holder. These are very useful and very nice looking soap holders. The soap does not get soft and mushy on these holders. The air can circulate and preserves the life of your soap.

I love using shea butter soaps, especially in the winter. Look for more items coming soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Had a great ski....

Tonight I had a great ski. Getting ready for guests this weekend. Working on linking and continuing to build the gift shop website. Things are slowly coming along. My first ever fund raiser starts tomorrow and I have a music festival for work this weekend. I'm co-chairing the festival which at times has been a huge amount of work. I'm glad I had a partner to work with. It makes things much easier. Tomorrow will be rehearsals with the concert on Saturday. It's all very exciting. I'm sure the concert will be as wonderful as ever. I'm going to be creating some new things within the next few days. I'm very excited about making them and then sharing them here. Time to finish the chores for the day and hit the hay. Tomorrow and Saturday promise to be very busy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Gift Shop....

As I continue to work on the website and making new things for the shop, I thought I'd upload some of the pictures to show the variety of items available. Here are some beautiful table runners. On the left are hand made cards for various occasions.

We also have a few Amish Pot Holders which have quite a bit of hand stitching on them. They are blue and pictured above. We have a variety of kitchen towels and soy candles.
There is a very wide variety of dried flowers for our customers. The ceiling is lined with statice that I grew and dried as well as natural grasses for dried flower arrangements.

Here are some hand painted candles, pressed flower candles, soy candles and soaps.  I'll post more pictures in upcoming blogs. That's about all for today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Things Are In, New Stuff In The Works!

As the day wore on, my one saving grace was coming home to the new things I had ordered. Blue jars and new baskets. Both wonderful. I'm only sad that I'm too tired to make anything. Once again, I need to go to sleep. I was hoping all day and imagining all night while sleeping of all the things I planned to make today. I'm simply too tired.

I did want to say that I tried both of the soap bags and I love them both. They make wonderful bubbly lather and feel great on my skin. I'm sure anyone who purchased them or will purchase them will love them! That is a wonderful thing. Well, that's all for now. Hopefully, I'll have more energy and a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today It's All About The Cookies....

There are some days when the appropriate thing is to make cookies. Today was one of those days. I woke up too early for a Sunday and actually did attempt, without success, to go back to sleep. After some coffee and breakfast, I went to the grocery store. When I got home, I decided it was time to bake cookies. I wanted molasses cookies and found a wonderful recipe. This picture is of those delicious molasses cookies. I really wanted to do more than one kind. I just love to bake. I especially love to bake cookies. The second batch were Amish Sugar Cookies and oh man are they good! I had never made either recipe. I was pleased with both and so was Tim.

I have to say that these are one awesome cookie! If you've never tried them, you must.

The baking was followed by skiing. I cut some completely new trails even though it was kinda windy. Tomorrow I can add another loop to my skiing. Or maybe later in the week actually as I have a pretty busy schedule tomorrow and will probably have to ski at night. Not good for picture taking but it works for getting outside and being able to ski. Actually we're supposed to have a southwest wind and often that brings lake affect snow. Oh well, it doesn't hurt to dream. Now it's off to figure out some new valentine labels. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? First day of the work week. Hopefully it will be a fun day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Skiing in Paradise!

These are pictures of porcupine trails. I hope I spelled that  correctly. My daughter, a wildlife scientist, taught me what they look like. It is always a pleasant surprise when I find one in the woods while skiing. All those feet trudging along from one tree to the next producing the most amazing foot path. In this picture, above, you can see the path right by the tip of my ski. The top picture is where I tried to show the depth of the path and photograph how neat it is to see one of these in the woods!

This picture is coming onto the back trail. I took these yesterday when I went for a ski. It was snowing like crazy. I love skiing into the woods when it's snowing. The snow just kind of sprinkles down into the woods. This path has a watering place for the deer in the winter. As I skiied, I noticed several places where trees that are leaning over from the weight of the snow have been eaten by the deer browsing for food. It's quite magnificant. No matter how many times I ski the trails, I'm always amazed by one thing or another.

I am sooo glad that this picture came out! I took several, trying to get the right shot. This is it! Snow laden branches, deep in the woods. No wind has touched them yet. The quiet takes your breath away. I just had to share these experiences. Some of you may live in the south and miss the snow. Others, may be wishing you could have snow. So this way everybody gets to see the snow and the woods in winter. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pressed Flower and Hand Painted Candles

North Fork Gifts has beautifully crafted candles done in pressed flower designs or hand painted. These candles are a wonderful way to brighten a winter day or create atmosphere on a cold winter evening. As the candle burns, the light shines behind the design. They are very pretty and a great "pick me up" for the winter months and into the spring and summer. We have both scented and unscented candles. Each one is different and unique. Due to the fact that they are all hand made, no 2 are exactly alike.

My hope is to be able to make some new things very soon. Having moved everything, I'm in the process of figuring out just how I'm going to put together a work space. I have just about all of it figured out now and hope to begin creating as soon as this evening. The only thing standing in my way at this point is tiredness. I am very, very tired. I'm not sure if it's all the extra at work, the weather or a combination. Hopefully, I'll be up and running this evening and presenting some cool stuff by tomorrow. We'll see what happens. Now it's off to work!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Wonderful Day to Ski!

Well, this is a picture of some of the brush that surrounds our woods. On this particular day they were just beginning to be snow covered. Today the woods are absolutely breath taking. I hope to get some photos of them to share when I go skiing. Yesterday and today my skiing took place in the dark. I had appointments after work and by the time I could get out there it was dark. I love it when it's like this. The snow is all sparkly and there's a hush that comes over the woods as the snow trickles through the trees. It smells different too. It is simply wonderful and there's really nothing quite like it. It's been difficult the past couple of days because while I'm at work and watching the snow, I'm thinking that I should have brought all of my ski gear so I could ski on my break. Anyway, I wanted to share this most wonderful thing. Our guests can ski at no extra charge when they stay at our B&B. You need to bring your own equipment. We don't have rentals available but we have some awesome trails. Snowshoes work too!

All the things that could freeze in the gift shop have been moved for the winter. They are safe and inside where it's warm. I will work from the house until the spring. I'll work on really making extra things for our customers so we'll have a great selection of various things available in the spring.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why blog?? What's a Gift Shop to the owner and creator???

I'm not sure what to do with the link thing at the top of this so I'm going to skip it right now. Over break I watched Julie, Julia or Julia, Julie. I really loved the movie. I wasn't too keen on the ending. I have enjoyed break but I feel like I'm destined to find places for things and that is my life's plight. Find a place for this and reorganize that. Throw that away and put this here and that there. Often I ask myself, why blog? Does anyone read it? Has anyone even seen the darn thing? And if they had, did or do, what do they think or what is their reaction? No one has ever commented so who knows!

Today, I don't care. Today it doesn't matter to me in the least little bit. Today this is simply a way for me to vent!!! Today I have decided that blogging is a way for me to vent about this stuff. Stuff, there's too much stuff and simply too many things. Too many things to deal with and too many things to think about and too many things to find places for. Today, I had to fish or cut bait. I decided to cut bait. After much thought, a huge gas bill and in an effort to maintain, I turned off the heat in the gift shop. I moved everything that could be ruined by freezing into the back hall or back porch or what ever you want to call it. It's where the wood box is, it's where we keep the skis and snow shoes and it's where my computer and half the gift shop are located. All of the things I need to make soap and candles are scattered in various places. Where ever I could fit them, I put them. I have no idea what's going to happen when I go to make soap or candles. Yup, I had a good cry and then I determined that I was NOT going to let this get to me. I was going to deal with what was in front of me and just keep on keeping on. Sounds so rediculous, I know but in the process of processing all of this stuff I came to realize that I absolutely love making soap and candles, creating. Most of what I have made, I have sold so I have to give myself some credit there. I do wonder, however, why I am so driven to do this stuff. There we are again with the stuff! Anyway, this gift shop and the creation of things is extremely important to me. I enjoy it and I look forward to the next creation. When I'm supposed to be sleeping, I'm thinking about new things to make.

I continue to work at trying to become more known on the web and in my local community. I don't want to have a huge business. I don't want a bazillion orders and feel overwhelmed with it all. I just want to make as much as I can and sell it. It's that simple. Until today though, I really was not aware of how much all of this means to me. All I do know is that I will continue to move forward and see what happens. It's all I can do.

As for this blog and blogging in general....I will keep doing that as well. As best and as often as I can, I will blog and continue to hope that someone will comment and that more people will become followers. There's no way I can sit at the computer for the hours it would take to keep up with everything all the time. I don't have the time or the patience. Today though, I have blogged and I have vented and for me that is all that matters.