Alpaca Babypalooza





A few weekends ago I happened to see a notice for an event called Alpaca Babypalooza. The Sugarloaf Alpaca Company was inviting everyone to come out to Adamstown MD and see the baby alpacas. How could anyone resist the idea of two dozen baby alpaca? The whole event was free, which I thought was really lovely. First we fed the alpacas with food that was provided. Then we took a tour of the spinning mill, which was so interesting! I wish I had taken photos. After the tour we came out side just in time to watch see an alpaca giving birth. Neither of us had seen an animal born before and it was such an astounding experience.
Before leaving we made sure to pick up some treats from the gift shop. I bought a couple of amazingly soft alpaca batts for spinning, and B decided on a needle felting kit. I am saving my batts for a special Halloween yarn I am planning to spin myself. I want to knit a pair of arm warmers for the Fall with a Halloween vibe to them. I am still looking for the perfect pattern.

Civil War



For the last couple of months B has been really interested in the history of The Civil War. We live fairly close to Gettysburg PA, and his class had a field trip to Gettysburg during the final month of school. After the field trip they received flyers about a free one day program called A Day In The Life Of A Civil War Soldier, and he was eager to sign up. I asked Katie about signing her son up too since I figured they’d have even more fun together.
The event was at the Blue Ridge Summit library, which is housed in what was a train station of the Western Maryland Railroad built in 1911. It’s a really beautiful building, and the whole area of Blue Ridge Summit and Pen Mar has such an interesting history. The Western Maryland Railroad constructed Pen Mar Park as a tourist destination in 1877. There was a an amusement park that included a scenic lookout, roller coaster, movie theater, dance pavilion, picnic shelter, miniature train, photo studio, concession stand, carousel with a penny arcade, dining hall and children’s playground. The park was a huge success with thousands of visitors taking the trip from Baltimore to Pen Mar by train. But by the late 1920′s people stopped traveling to the park by train and it stopped making a profit for the railroad. The area apparently had lots of beautiful hotels, and over 100 boarding houses.
You’d never know it was such a huge tourist destination today, the area still has the scenic overlook and pavilion, and there is a small playground but that’s about it. There are apparently two dvds about the area that I’d love to see, one called The Grand Hotels Of Blue Ridge and Greetings From Penn Mar. The whole area must of really been something to see in it’s hey-day.
The Civil War Soldier event was on the first day of Summer and it was unseasonably cool in the 60′s. Luckily we live close enough that I was able to make a quick run home to grab sweatshirts and brew Katie and I some hot coffee. The program was four hours long, and the kids both loved it. They learned about marching in formation, flag drills, each job needed for loading a cannon, uniforms, and supplies. We were having trouble judging how they felt about it just by watching. Four hours is a long time, and they spent an hour and a half of it each taking turns doing the various jobs to load a cannon for firing, so we were really happy when we talked to them afterwards. They said it wasn’t too long, wasn’t ever boring, and they loved it.

Summer “I’m Bored” List

Today is our first official day of Summer vacation, and so I thought it would be fun to share our “I’m bored” Summer list. I’ve added links where appropriate (and if its an amazon link its an affiliate program link), but feel free to ask me any questions, and I hope you have an exciting boredom free Summer!
1. Go Letterboxing
2. Plan a picnic lunch
3. Play in the sprinkler
4. Make shaved ice (we ordered this machine because we wanted something that makes shaved ice like snow, not ice pellets)
5. Check garden and pull weeds (you can make this a game like who can pull the most weeds, or pay 5¢ a weed etc.)
6. Play games in backyard at night with patio lights on
7. Ride a bike
8. Learn origami
9. Play a board game
10. Use air popper to pop popcorn & watch a movie
11. Write a story
12. Go do “Paint Your Own Pottery”
13. Learn to make friendship bracelets
14. Make butterbeer
15. Read a book
16. Tie dye t-shirts
17. Play with water marbles & food colored water
18. Make a cardboard box city
19. Make homemade rock candy
20. Dye paper with shaving cream and food coloring
21. Make kool-aid ice cubes to drink in Sprite to make a magic potion like drink
22. Make outdoor waterbed
23. Play Jenga with cut up sponges as the Jenga pieces add water to make it interesting and play outside
24. Decorate a pair of white shoes with fabric markers
25. Take a trip to the used bookshop
26. Go to a new park and feed the ducks
27. Wash the car
28. Make one inch buttons (we have a button maker and I forgot how much fun it is to make buttons out of little drawings)
29. Make a toothpick marshmallow house
30. Go see a movie
31. Check newspaper for festivals and carnivals
32. Clean a tiled floor with dish soap and sponges like Pippi
33. Go bowling
34. Play Bingo
35. Make gummy bear popsicles
36. Shaving cream filled water balloons
37. Make smokes
38. Make rainbow bubble snakes
39. Fill a mini pool with water and bubble bath
40. Make window clings
41. Make scented kool-aid rice for playing in (don’t let all the stuff about toddlers fool you, my son is eleven and loves playing with his action figures and lego people in rice, bags of pearler beads etc. its perfect quick sand etc)
42. Make pressed flowers and leaves
43. Make a yarn maze
44. Watercolor paint in the rain
45. Make a sheet fort with old sheets and clothespins
46. Microwave a bar of soap
47. Make ice cream in a bag
48. Drawing scavenger hunt, give kid’s a list of household items to find and draw
49. Sparklers & snaps
50. Go on a hike
51. Try geocaching
52. Listen to a classic novel on “tape” (there are many online for free at Librevox.org)
53. Write letters and cards
54. Make acrylic sun prints
55. Take photos with a disposable or underwater camera
56. Visit the animal shelter to pet cats & dogs
57. Make a batch of jello worms
58. With rain ponchos go on a walk in the woods during a rainstorm to spot frogs
59. Grow pots of grass for our cat
60. Build a fort from a big cardboard box
61. Do a puzzle
62. Create a scrap book with photos, drawings, writing and stickers
63. Wash the dog
64. Visit the zoo
65. Go swimming

Summer Sewing







While I have not been a good blogger this Summer, I had completed a bunch of sewing projects. One of my goals this Summer was to work through some of my stash fabric. While I haven’t really made a dent in the fabric stash, it is nice to have some 100% finished projects to show for my effort.
Deer pattern from here, I wanted to try and find some vintage soft toy patterns to make as gift toppers for this Christmas. I’ve been experimenting with little sew-in frame purses, here is a helpful tutorial.

I decided right before I left for Florida for The Golden Years show that I needed to create a new purse for myself out of Golden Book fabric. I purchased the it’s a cinch tote bag pattern here. At first it bothered me that I could only find the connecting rings in a size that was too big for my webbing straps, but then it hit me that I could just turn the rectangle rings sideways! I didn’t get a new photo, but I hope you can see what I mean. I also made myself a little Halloween handbag using my Halloween fabric and a frame purse that I have had for months.

I used the same fabrics to make another coffee mug-rug, I use these little things for pot holders, hot pads, and underneath my coffee mugs to catch any spills. I used this paper piecing pattern for the sawtooth star.

I finally dug out all my halloween fabrics and made a quilt-as-you-go strip quilt, which I was able to finish in just a little over one day! I used this tutorial for guidance. Now I’m considering making a second Halloween quilt, but using the sawtooth stars instead.

And lastly I made myself a wallet! I didn’t use a pattern and it has a lot of silly mistakes, like it opens the wrong way. But it work well for me now until I find a wallet pattern I really love. Have you finished any sewing projects this Summer? I’d love to find some more things to sew before the Summer is over!

pick-your-own


We were excited to go pick some strawberries this long holiday weekend, but it wasn’t in the cards! I guess we’ve got to remember to check the hotline. Instead we settled for some pre-picked berries and consolation ice cream sundaes.