Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random Ramblings....

Obviously, I have not been blogging. I enjoy blogging but I have not had time. Between school starting, trying to make products, running the B&B and about fifty million other things, let's just say that life has gotten in the way!

The kitchen renovation has taken up a great deal of time. I honestly thought that you took out the old cabinets and then just put in the new ones. Well, not in this old house! The wall had to be rebuilt so the cabinets would hang properly. The electrical had to be redone. The flooring has yet to be fixed and the penninsula (sp) has to be taken out and reinstalled because it's not plum and level. It works but not correctly. The mixer lift doesn't work at all because nothing is level! So, on it goes. It's wreath season so I've been working on those orders too. Something had to give and blogging was just one of several things that had to change. The kitchen is coming along but it's going to be a slow process. But I figure if I can make breakfast with a blue tarp for a wall and no counters, I can certainly manage at this point.

Anyway, I have 2 shows coming up in the next 2 weekends. It's all fun and very exciting but it all takes time. I did want to at least make an attempt at doing something, which is better than nothing. I'm also struggling to help my husband by building his new website. Yup, it's a lot. For the most part, I really love all of it too.  I'm putting some pictures in so you can see what has been going on.

So, it's been several weeks of seek and find! Now most of the things have a place. It's still going to take more time to finish everything. It's very exciting to have a new kitchen. I just had no idea the length of time it would take or what kinds of things were going to happen in the process. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss and this would be one of those!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Handmade Coffee Tote Bags now in our shop

We have a couple of new handmade coffee tote bags that we've added to our shop. I'm going to show a few extra pictures here so that if you'd like to purchase them you'll have a few more details to look at. Both sides of each of our bags are different and each has a different lining.

Handmade Coffee Tote BagHandmade Coffee Tote BagHandmade Coffee Tote Bag

The second bag has a calico lining and navy blue straps. As you can see, each side is different. These bagas measure 14x16 and have a 6 inch side panel.

Handmade Coffee Tote BagHandmade Coffee Tote BagHandmade Coffee Tote Bag

There will be more bags coming as soon as there is enough time to make more.  Right now we have 3 available in our store. There are 5 or 6 at Nature's Storehouse in Canton as well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Handmade Balsam Wreaths

Handmade Balsam Wreath

We are taking orders for our Balsam Wreaths and will begin shipping November 25th. We'll take orders until Dec. 10th. We ship our wreaths and we can include a gift card for you if you let us know when you place your order that you'd like one.

I began making wreaths nearly 30 years ago. It was just a few weeks before Christmas when my children were small and I found out that I had overdrawn my checking account quite by accident. I was a stay at home mom and taught piano lessons but there was no way to make up that mistake AND be able to purchase Christmas gifts so....I went down to the local floral place and purchased some tree bows, wire,wire rounds and ribbon. I found some old pieces of ply wood and propped them up against the mail box on either side and wrote " For Sale". I banged 2 nails in each side of the plywood and began wrapping greens on the front porch while the kids were napping. I vowed that if I could somehow manage to get through I would always make wreaths. And, here I am,still making wreaths. Needless to say, I sold the wreaths and I sold so many that I had to keep running back for more greens. That year I began to establish what would be my customer base.

Since then, I became a teacher, moved from Connecticut to New York, began teaching and eventually opened the bed and breakfast  and started the gift shop. My children are grown and on their own but each year I continue to make wreaths. I look forward to making them each year. I just love how excited my customers are when they get they get their wreaths. I love the smell of the balsam, the time in the woods gathering greens and just being outside.

Our wreaths and our wreath page will be coming soon and we'll begin taking orders so check back in a few days. We look forward to another wreath season and more happy customers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Shipping on All Soaps

We are going to have free shipping on all of our soaps through the holiday season. If this works well, we will continue having free shipping on all soaps. pine cone soap

[caption id="attachment_1143" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Turkey Guest Soap"]Turkey Guest Soap[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1193" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Green Tea and Cucumber Olive Oil Soap"]Green Tea and Cucumber Olive Oil Soap[/caption]

More soaps being loaded onto our website daily. Check back to see what new

soaps we have added to our site. All at free shipping!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Specialty Candle Tins

We are introducing our new specialty candle tins. Each tin is made with a specailly designed cover so when you've used the candle, you can upcycle the container. These are the first we've made and we have more coming soon! These are Very Merry Cranberry.

Verry Merry Cranberry 4 oz. Soy Candle Tin

Verry Merry Cranberry 4 oz. Soy Candle Tin

These are two of our new covers. In the Very Merry Cranberry, there are 4 different covers. We also have four different covers in our Autumn Wreath Scented Candle. Check back, when the internet is working again and I can upload pictures, I'll happily put all of them into this blog. Right now, nothing is working correctly and I'm not able to put any more photos here. As soon as the problem is solved, I will post the rest of the pictures. You can see them in our online store in the candle section.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Soaps and More New Creations Upcoming....

I thought it would be a good idea if I shared some of the new soaps I'm making. Very exciting stuff! I just love working on them. Later today I'll be trying some totally new stuff which I will share, whether they work or not. Right now I'd like to just show you some of the things I've been working on.

[caption id="attachment_1138" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Moose Soap on a Wooden Soap Holder"]Moose Soap on a Wooden Soap Holder[/caption]

This soap is all natural goat milk. The colors are natural as well. The fragrance is warm vanilla sugar. The background has sparkle in it. I'm thinking for some it may be too much sparkle. This is what happens when you put too much brown in your soap and have to try to lighten it up without wasting it. It is very pretty but I'm not so sure that it's the best way to do this.  All of my first animal or wildlife soaps are this way.

[caption id="attachment_1139" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bear Soap"]Bear Soap[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1140" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Buffalo Soap"]Buffalo Soap[/caption]

This could also be a bison depending on your point of view. At any rate, these are what I'm calling my animal wildlife soaps. I have made more of them and have decided that using oatmeal soap makes a nice background color.

Here are some of the others with more new soaps coming up soon.

pine cone soap

Pine Cone Soap

[caption id="attachment_1143" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Turkey Guest Soap"]Turkey Guest Soap[/caption]

So these are some of the things I've been working on. I hope you've enjoyed seeing them. Some are in my online shop and some aren't there yet. Gradually, all of them will be in the online shop.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Organic Soaps made with organic essential oils

I have not been blogging. Blogging is something I really enjoy but time has not been my friend at all lately. August was extremely busy with the B&B which I'm very happy about. School has begun and the start is always draining. It takes a while to adjust to the schedule etc.

I did want to take a moment to let everyone know that I'm introducing organic soaps to our soap line and that they will be made with organic essential oils for fragrances. I'm very excited about these and will be posting pictures and more information in the very near future.

We have several new soaps to introduce as well, just in time for the fall and upcoming holiday season so look for these in the very near future.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Handmade Coffee Tote Bags

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Handmade Coffee Tote Bag"]Handmade Coffee Tote Bag[/caption]

Handmade Coffee Tote Bag
Handmade Coffee Tote Bag

[caption id="attachment_1115" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Handmade Coffee Tote Bag"]Handmade Coffee Tote Bag[/caption]

I've been making these coffee bags from the burlap bags that the green coffee beans come in. Each one is different in some way. The lining, the handles, the bag, are all unique in one way or another. The listings in my online shop won't show all of the details of the bags so I decided to put them in my blog. I currently have eight different bags for sale in my online shop. Most of them are listed. If you see something you'd like but need more detail you can check my blog or send me an email and I'll be happy to give more details and pictures.  In the meantime, I'm going to continue to feature the different bags in my blog so my customers can see the inside and outside of each bag. This bag has plain burlap side panels. These bags are great at the grocery store, farmer's market, for work, to carry books or any time you need to carry a lot of stuff! I use mine constantly. 14"H,16"W with a 6" side panel.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Early Morning at North Fork B&B

[caption id="attachment_1100" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Breakfast Bistro"]The Breakfast Bistro[/caption]

This is what we fondly call the breakfast bistro. Although we don't usually serve guests here, we like to enjoy breakfast outside from time to time. The bistro has a new umbrella! This morning we'll have our breakfast there. Our guests will have theirs in the dining room watching the humming birds. Outside breakfast is an option but usually our guests sit in the adirondack chairs in the pergola or have afternoon coffee at the bistro. There isn't a lot of seating or extra room for food but both are in our future plans.

While enjoying dinner at the bistro last night, we couldn't help but notice the humming birds. Fiesty little characters! No matter how many feeders or how much food, they fight over both. Amazingly fierce little birds and very territorial. We never tire from watching there acrobatics as they interact with eachother and feed at the feeders and various flowers here at North Fork B&B.

[caption id="attachment_1101" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Humming Birds"]Humming Birds[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1102" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Humming Birds in the early morning at North Fork B&B"]Humming Birds[/caption]

This time of year is also a great time for the gardens. Our memory garden has really taken off and is looking very nice. We plan to be working on a new garden at the front of the house this week. We've been under construction as we've taken off the front porch. This has kept us pretty busy. Hopefully this week we'll complete the new garden. It will be a while before we can stain the new siding but we're hoping to get the done by early September.

[caption id="attachment_1103" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Memory Garden"]The Memory Garden[/caption]

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coffee Totes and North Fork Gifts

[caption id="attachment_1027" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New Coffee Tote Bags in the gift shop"]Coffee Totes at North Fork Gifts[/caption]

I've been pretty busy with the B&B but in between times I made nine new tote bags from authentic burlap coffee bags making a unique tote bag, shown hanging in my gift shop. These tote bags can be carried over the shoulder or just by their handles. They are great for work because they hold so much. Each is lined with fabric. These are eco friendly as they are upcycled. They are also "one of a kind" which makes a unique handmade item. We have lots of soy votive candles, locally made fudge sauces, local maple syrup and maple candy, placemats, handmade soap, lotions, sugar scrubs and even strawberry jam! We make a variety of gift baskets and our customers can create their own basket if they wish. We also have Jonathan's Spoons which I hope to get into the shop online for purchase through our online store.

Tonight I'm hoping to get out to the shop to finish the bath teas. I'll be putting together some bath tea sets in the near future so be sure to check back. There are some completely new items I'm working on as well but they are a surprise.

Today most of my time was spent working in the yard, mowing. I'm also gearing up for the second week of August when I plan to transplant perennials and day lilys. Today I went over to my mom's and we marked all of the day lily's I'd like to transplant. I've been planning just how I'd like to orchestrate this. Usually I don't plan at all I just get plants and put them in where ever how ever. They always look nice but this time I really want to accomplish my vision and that is going to take planning!

Our Coffee Totes are available for $30 with free shipping. I hope to have them in our online store this evening barring any unforeseen difficulties that is. Here are some other pictures of the shop and the totes.

Coffee Tote Bags

Coffee Totes

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stuffed Blueberry French Toast for Breakfast today!

We had our fabulous stuffed blueberry french toast for our guests this morning. They just loved it! The kids loved the fact that it is served with whipped cream. It is very yummy! Yes, of course I'll share the recipe. I wouldn't think of keeping something this yummy all to myself! So, here it is. Try this breakfast, it's just wonderful.

Blue Berry Stuffed French Toast

 12 slices French Bread (1" thick)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cup half & half
1 T vanilla
1/4 lb. butter
1 c brown sugar
1 pint Blueberries

 Melt Butter add brown sugar bring to low boil., Beat eggs, half & half, vanilla. Dip break slices in egg mixture. Lay dipped bread slices in 13x9" greased baking pan. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread slices, Pour butter and brown sugar over bread, sprinkle blueberries over top. Refrigerate 8 hours  overnight. Bake 350 35 minutes un-covered. Serve with whip cream.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Local Foods for North Fork B&B Breakfast

[caption id="attachment_981" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bacon,Egg and Cheese Strata North Fork Bed and Breakfast/Gifts"]Bacon,Egg and Cheese Strata[/caption]

This morning we served this fabulous strada for breakfast. The bacon, which was exceptional, came from Cook Farm in Heuvelton,NY.  Our guests absolutely loved this tasty dish.

[caption id="attachment_982" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Fresh Blueberries"]Fresh Blueberries[/caption]

These blueberries and raspberries came from Sweet Core Farm. They were all purchased at the Farmer's Market in Canton,NY.  This is a great place to find and purchase local foods. You can find all kinds of vendors there each week. It is worth the trip!

We'll also be putting this recipe on our website. Check back to see the recipe and what is happening at North Fork B&B/Gifts. You'll be glad you did!


Monday, July 4, 2011

It's a Great 4th of July!

Over the years I can remember many Memorial Day and 4th of July Day parades that were rained out. I remember the disappointment. This day has been spectacular! We really couldn't ask for nicer weather. Recently, I took some photos of the flowers. They are doing really well this year. It is so satisfying to see how beautiful they are. The past few years we've had so much rain, it was tough to keep things nice. This year things seem to be doing quite well.

[caption id="attachment_957" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Pergola, A great place to relax!"]Adirondack Chairs in the Pergola[/caption]

After I'm finished with this post, I'm headed to the pergola to sit and relax and enjoy the breeze and watch the birds.

[caption id="attachment_958" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Flowers in the Pergola"]Flowers in the Pergola[/caption]

 The above photo, is my favorite flower arrangement. I love the colors and particularly the way the bacopa falls over the side. The straw flowers are an added bonus. It is just charming with the tangerine violas. Makes for a very pleasant area to hang out in and listen to the birds.

Flowers on the front step

These are the flowers on the front step. Usually by now I'm having a terrible time keeping things looking nice. I'm so thankful things are doing so well. My brother and his wife raise all of these plants and each year I make my way over to the greenhouses to purchase my flowers for the season. They do a fabulous job. Their place is called Never Tire Farm. The mums for this fall are already growing in the greenhouses. They do annuals and perennials and the mums in the fall. They shut down in the winter months due to the extremely cold winters and extremely high fuel costs.  Well, I just wanted to share a few little tidbits today. Happy 4th of July! I'm off to the pergola to sit (something I rarely do!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Jam and Soy Votive Candles and Melts

I love to make jam. I thought I would include some pictures of the jam I made recently. I decided to make them in jelly jars, something I don't usually do, so that they can be used in my gift baskets and also given as gifts.

[caption id="attachment_939" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Strawberry Jam"][/caption]

This week I spent quite a bit of time watching the birds. When I wasn't watching birds, I was busily working in my shop making soy votive candles and soy melts. Here are some of the things I made.

[caption id="attachment_940" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Coffee Beans Soy Votive"]Coffee Beans Soy Votive[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_941" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Vanilla Almond Soy Votive"]Vanilla Almond Soy Votive[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_942" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Coffee Beans Soy Melt"]Coffee Beans Soy Melt[/caption]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Birds and Their Nests

I realize it's been a while since my last post. I'm pretty sure it's about a month now. I have finished school for now and have begun to catch my breath. My plan is to get back to blogging on a regular basis. I did find that the computer was taking up way too much of my time and I needed to get away from it and outside, walking and gardening, planting and just relaxing in the sunshine, listening to the birds and taking in everything around us. The day before yesterday was the arrival of the wren. I was sure they weren't coming this year. Probably changing the house, I figured. Low and behold, she chose the chickadee house to build her nest and she wasn't the least bit quiet about it either. I was able to get some pretty awesome shots of her nest building.

[caption id="attachment_930" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Nest Building"]The Wren Building Her Nest[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_931" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="More Nest Building"]More Nest Building[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_932" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Just One More Stick"]Just One More Stick[/caption]

Today, day three, she seems to have settled down somewhat. This was the chickadee bird house I had written about in the spring. The other house I had written about was the one designed for robins and swallows. Was I ever surprised to see a robin checking out the house. I thought it was too late but that was not the case. She built her nest on top of the box instead of inside of it but who knows what goes on in the mind of the robin? Yesterday, I saw some pointy things and wondered what they were. I was so suprised to find that they were the babies AND those babies were nearly fledglings! Every time I go in and out of the shop, I see these little darlings. Of course the one time they were both standing up and trying out their new wing feathers, I did not have my camera! I will try to get some pictures of that in the upcoming days, if they don't fly away before hand.

[caption id="attachment_933" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Baby Robins"]Baby Robins[/caption]

I will continue to keep a close eye on all of these birds and let you know what happens. In the mean time, I am working on making products. My goal is to complete everything I have supplies to make. I'll be posting these in the near future so be looking for them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Trees Are Gone

Yesterday just before 7 am the truck showed up and the men began taking down the trees. They were dangerous and had been for some time. I had always refused to have anything done but when I saw how they were moving in the strong winds and realized how wet the ground was, it was time. Luckily, no one got hurt and they never did fall on the house. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "you need to do something about those trees before they fall on the house",I would be a very wealthy woman. Well, they are gone. It is going to take some getting used to for sure! We planted a maple tree a few years ago and plan to do more planting after we get the yard repaired from the huge holes left from the tree removal.

Tree Cutting 1

                                                                                                                                                                                     tree cutting 2tree cutting 3

tree cutting 4tree cutting 5

Tree cutting 6                                                                                                    tree cutting 7

tree cutting 8                                                               tree cutting 9

I will always miss these trees as I said in another post. They have been the home of many birds and even a couple of families of racoons over the years. They have provided shade and that wonderful sound of leaves blowing in the breeze. We'll be planting soon and I'll be sure to share that when it happens.