Early Spring Gardening

Today I planted some Echinacea seeds from Ferry Morse, in a 70 pellet Jiffy Seed Starter tray I got from Lowe’s.  The tray is super easy to use, just pour water in the empty spaces on each side, and let the pellets plump up.  Then, you might need to tear back some of the netting, to plant each seed, but after that, set the tray outdoors for sun, and keep the pellets watered.

These seeds should sprout in about 10-12 days.  Hoping.

I’m hoping to get all of these plants into the ground this week, and get the garden weeded and mulched.  Here in the South it’s spring, and pollen time, and time to plant your gardens.  Flowers for the garden:

Athena Sun Euryops

Archangel Angelonia

Silky Deep Red Milkweed

Belleza Dark Pink Gaura


Dianthus and Dusty Miller




Assembling my Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

After shopping, browsing, reading, and watching videos about tabletop looms, I finally decided on getting an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom, and I found a great deal on Etsy.  The sellers I found on Etsy are from Mielke’s Fiber Arts:


I think they do just about everything fiber related!!  Weaving, yarn, roving, wool, felting, naalbinding, braiding, dyeing, spinning, knitting, lacemaking, hackles, heddles, rugmaking,  and more!


Amy is soooo nice and friendly, and very helpful. THANKS SO MUCH AMY!

My Ashford Rigid Heddle 32 inch tabletop loom arrived yesterday, unassembled, and, when I pulled the parts out of the box, here’s how it looked Everything nicely wrapped and secure:  

Next,I laid all the pieces and parts out, and went through the checklist, making sure my dear husband would have all he needed.  I gathered a couple of tools from the tool drawer:  a hammer, and Phillips head screwdriver.

Everything on the checklist was there, and as you might have noticed,  one of my dogs was keeping me company.

SO!  I bought the Ashford Heddle Loom from Mielke’s Fiber Arts store in Wisconsin:  https://www.mielkesfiberarts.com/

Now for your visual tutorial. Here’s how hubby so graciously put it together, taking time off from his day off.  (You can use these photos to help you get your loom together, along with their instructions, if you’d like)

Here’s where you may download instructions:assembly instructions for rigid heddle loom – ashford handicrafts

 Step one:  attach the reed support blocks to the sides: Step two:  Tap the clicker pins into the holes on the right loom side:

Step three: Attach the “pawls” so the clicker pin fits into it:

Next, attach the front and back rails to the left side with the screws they provide:

Step 5, place the cogs onto the ends of the rollers, and secure with washers and screws provided:

Step six, slap the handles HARD, onto the holes in the cogs.  I mean it, you really have to hit that hard, to get it

to fit snugly onto the pegs:

Next, connect the warp sticks to the roller with the warp stick ties.  I did one of these, and it was difficult, until I covered my fingers with cloth, to be able to push the arrow head through the small holes in the ties and the roller.

Put the rigid heddle reed into the rest position of the reed support blocks, and play around with changing it’s positions: Down at Rest

Finally, assemble the warping peg and clamps: Clamps and the warping peg.

Of course, see if it clamps onto your table: Yup!  It does.  🙂

Now, read the booklet that they also include in the shipping box, which is titled:

Learn to Weave on the Rigid Heddle:

Then, go here and watch Ashford’s excellent tutorials.  If you need to get the video to slow down, remember to click the “settings” button on the video’s lower right-hand screen, and click 0.5, or 0.75.  It helps to see what she’s doing in slow motion, if you’re a COMPLETE BEGINNER like I am!!

www.ashford.co.nz   Go to their website and watch other tutorials if you need to, just look under tutorials.

Here is a great video by Ashford about how to weave.  I’ve watched it 2x already.

Happy Weaving!  I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it either inspired you to try weaving, or it helped you assemble YOUR rigid heddle loom.  Please let me know!

Don’t forget to say hi to Amy at Mielke’s Fiber Arts!

Georgia Tann ~ Pedophile, Kidnapper, and Liar




Fingerless Mitts and Books

I have another yarn project in the works, this is a pair of fingerless mitts I’m knitting for a neighbor.  It’s an easy pattern if you can already knit in the round with double-pointed needles.   The yarn for the mitts is Red Heart Collage, color is 2250 Rose Dust.  The pattern is Maine Morning Mitts, by Clara Parkes, and it’s a free download.

Here you can see one mitt finished except for the thumb, and the other one is about halfway through.

I’m also reading some of the stories in the book, “Sincerely Yours”.  Four authors, all Christian fiction or Christian historical fiction. 

I didn’t like the story by Amanda Cabot, or the one by Laurie Alice Eakes.  Moonlight Promise was pretty boring and predictable, too many references to warm, soft lips and tight muscles for my preferences.  One Little Word was also a yawner, I didn’t finish it.  Too much of sparkling eyes and heat rushing through their veins, yadda yadda yadda. I know I already like Jane Kirkpatrick’s writings, and Ann Shorey, so I’ll start one of those novellas, and then return this to the public library.   I love using the public library, it has saved me a lot of money on books.

Starting the 2nd Pom Pom Blanket

After winding hundreds of feet of yarn, and then stringing it on my wooden loom, it’s ready to be tied off and then cut.  I’m hoping this time I’ll tie each cross area faster, but no promises!  I’m using various shades of blue, on the bottom layers and the top, and in between, various shades of pink and lavender, with some white. 

The acrylic yarns are RED HEART SUPER SAVER and CARON SIMPLY SOFT yarns, and one roll of BERNAT POP yarn.  Color is “Snow Queen”. Let’s hope this blanket is fluffier!


One Glorious Ambition~ the Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix

I finished Jane Kirkpatrick’s marvelous historical fiction book about Dorothea Dix.   Miss Dix was best known for her reformation of the treatment and housing of the mentally ill.  I was impressed with the tenacity and stubbornness of Dorothea, in standing up to legislators, pursuing politics and doing whatever she could to get people to view the mentally ill and mentally retarded(who were often imprisoned)  with COMPASSION instead of revulsion or fear.

The visits she made to both public and private institutions for the insane almost broke her heart, but it also infuriated her, which cemented her fervent desire for change and ameliorate socially accepted treatment standards of the 1800s.

The novel is intensely interesting, and keeps the reader wanting to know more and more.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in social history, mental health, or to any Christian who would like more insight into the amazing life of Miss Dorothea Dix. 


Matthew 25: [34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
[35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
[36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
[38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?[39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

[41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
[42] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
[43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
[44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
[45] Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
[46] And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


First Pom Pom Blanket

If you’re not born again, and not sure if you’re going to Heaven after you die, then please do what these verses in the Bible say:  [8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


The first pom pom blanket is finished.  I didn’t use enough yarn but I did that on purpose, so I’d understand how to make this.  I’m already getting things ready for the next blanket.  Here are photos of the front and back,

and a couple of old pictures of the loom. 


Thanks for dropping by!  Jesus loves you.


Pom Pom Blanket Crafting

Well, I’ve just about finished making my first pom pom blanket, and it has taken a lot of tying and cutting, but it’s turning out very cute.  My wonderful brother Chuck, founder and owner of GyreToys, Inc. http://www.gyretoys.com/

made the beautiful wooden loom with wood pegs, and I’ve really enjoyed working on it.  He’s a master woodworker, in my opinion, and he makes gorgeous projects.  He has a God-gifted talent to be able to look at an ugly old log or piece of discarded wood and “see” a bowl, or top, or anything in it.  I think he could be a sculptor of statues!  He says he looks at a piece of wood, and keeps chipping away until the object emerges.  Take a look at this amazing top:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KEg1ED7Qkk

Now, here are  photos of my pom pom blanket as it has progressed:

Top layer of yarn, then bottom layer of yarn, (got the sequence mixed up while uploading pix)  close-up of pegs on the loom, then the front of the blanket as I tied EACH cross-piece 4 times, and then the back of the blanket, still on the loom, as I checked to make sure every cross-piece had TWO ties on it.  If you don’t tie each section twice, the pompom won’t work out right.

The tying took me a while, and it was a good time for me to listen to audiobooks or sermons from some favorite internet pastors.

Today I’m cutting the pom pom strip areas, and I’ll post photos of the finished blanket when I’m finished.  If YOU want to learn to make one of these, go to You Tube and search for “how to make pom pom blankets”.

I’m also reading a fascinating book by Jane Kirkpatrick, called One Glorious Ambition!  It’s the story of Dorothea Dix, a teacher, nurse, and champion crusader and reformer for mental health facilities, and the humane treatment of the mentally ill.   Review later!!  Stay tuned!


Paperback Swap

Just a quick blog entry here, if you haven’t used Paperback Swap, you’re really missing out on some good deals.


Here’s how it works: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=209

  • You have books in good condition that you do not want to keep.
  • After you have Posted the first 10 books to your bookshelf, you get 2 “startup” credits (and two swap fees so that you can use them) from PBS to get you started swapping.  After that, you earn credits by sending out books to others. Only the first account for a household receives startup credits/swap fees.
  • You may order any available (paperback/hardcover) book for 1 Book Credit each. audio books cost 2 credits each.
    • If you are enrolled as a Standard Member, you pay no Swap Fees – just Book Credits – to request books.
    • If you are unenrolled (“A la Carte”), you will pay a 49 cent Swap Fee for each book shipment you request.  Everyone starts as an A la Carte Member  – you can enroll in Limited or Standard Membership in our Kiosk.
    • If you are a Limited Member, you can make 30 requests per year using credits only and no Swap Fees. After the 30th request in a year, each request will need a 49-cent Swap Fee (or a “Free Swap” earned by sending a book with Printable Postage).
      Read about the different membership options here.
  • If you want a book that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order.  You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
  • When a book is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
  • wrap and mail your book. You can even print postage directly onto the wrapper!
  • When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit (2 if it is an audio book). Yes, you pay the postage to send out your books, but when you request a book, the sender pays the shipping!
  • The books you receive from the club are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have read them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the books you send out to others belong to their new owners.

PaperBackSwap is a great way to share books with people all over the country!

So, this is how I buy a lot of my books, and how I get rid of the ones I know I’m not going to keep.  Sometimes our local public library has really good book sales, and I’ll pick up some titles and then swap them on Paperback Swap to earn more credits.

They also run a site called Swap A DVD, but I don’t watch many movies, and the ones I watch I usually keep.


P.S.  I’d LOVE a chair like this, wouldn’t you?

Book Review of Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake

Wow, Letter Perfect, what a great Christian fiction story! Cathy Marie Hake is truly a Godly author, and I hope she writes many more books.  I learned that she Hake was injured in a number of falls. She suffered broken bones and a concussion that interfered with her writing and book release of Serendipity, another book I’d like to read soon.


The story is set mostly in the 1860s while it was still a “wild west”, and California had joined the United States about 8 years earlier, so it was still kind of primitive in a lot of the USA. The main story is about Ruth Caldwell, a young Christian woman who has failed charm school, as they say, but this time literally. She goes home after being expelled from Pettigrew Academy, and spends the last few months of her mother’s life caring for her, and her mother preparing Ruth to live with her dad who lives on a ranch in Folsom, California, after Leticia’s death.
Ruth arrives at the ranch in a stagecoach, and the story goes from there, introducing several very interesting characters and story lines, involving Josh McCain Jr., Mr. McCain Sr., Laney, Hilda, Galen O’Sullivan, and a few others. The book was intriguing, and I had a hard time putting it down.

You also peek into the history of the Pony Express, the Civil War, and the beginnings of the cross-country railroads.

There’s also an expertly woven mystery in the book, which kept me curious and interested in finishing the book, and even reading down to the very last page, which I don’t always do.

I loved reading the descriptions of some of the fashions ladies wore back then, and several humorous references are made to Ruth’s struggles with hoop skirts! 
The MAIN reason I kept reading Letter Perfect was the lovely way Cathy Marie Hake kept bringing the bible,
God, Jesus, and PRAYER into the lives of each character, well, almost each person. Every chapter, I think,
had a reference to Jesus, His power, His provision, and His purposes for every person on planet earth, if they will only follow Him. Isaiah 30:21- [21] And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to any born again Christian who wants decent reading material in their home.   Here’s a list of her books:  https://www.fictiondb.com/author/cathy-marie-hake~9135.htm