Sunday, July 5, 2015

The amazing black raspberry

Nowhere in nature is there a flavor that can compare with the  black raspberry. I was not even aware they existed until I bought this property in Southeast Ohio, and found them growing wild here. The season is 1st week in June to 1st week in July.

You have to get deep into the thickets, and the thorns cut you up pretty bad. Plus all the bug bites, poison ivy and related nasties. The multiflora is deadly, a horribly invasive non-native bush. Seems like it's thorns have thorns! But all this is totally worth it.

This bucket full is about 12 cups. But it is only half the "yard" (places that I pick). So doing the back half nets another full bucket. This vein of berry plants runs parallel to the road. I used to go walking up the road and pick too, but it is too much for me now, so I just stay on my own property. And believe me it is plenty!

This year may be the best ever. They are huge! And perfect, and so prolific. I freeze them in 4 cup batches because seems like all the things I make from them require 4 cups of berries.

I take 4 cups of berries, a little water, a cup of sugar and cook it. From here so many wonderful things can be made, all with this mind blowing flavor.

Like ice cream and popsicles.

Ice cream cones.

And pie with home made whipped cream. This is just incredible!

Here is a wonderful slushy drink I made up. I made 2 ice cube trays of berry juice, put the cubes in the blender. Then the 4 cups cooked and strained berry juice, the juice of a lemon, a little milk, and my secret ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. (is it just me or does anyone else want to eat this stuff right out of the can haha) I put  1/3 to 1/2 the can in. Then blend. Amazing!

These berries make the most fantastic wine! No water or yeast, I just smash the berries in a bucket and let it sit lightly covered for a week, Strain and add sugar, the amount depending on how much juice you get. Put it under airlock and when the bubbling stops, bottle it. Making it this way it is thick like a liqueur. So good! Just berries and sunshine :) I also used to make it with water and yeast the conventional way and that is very good also. That way it is definitely a wine.

Tomorrow if I'm not rained out, I will go for  the last pick of the 2015 season......always kinda sad....But- I have so much in the freezer!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bernese Mountain Dog puppy

My latest piece is this little Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. 
Hand carved with every attention to detail. 

Those big puppy paws that he will eventually grow into feature carved toes, nails, and paw pads.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ginger cat

I had a lot of fun making this kitty! As I've said before, I like to actually do the striping with fur, not by brushing on stripes.

It is fun to gradually come out of one color of fur and blend it into the next. Of course, it is also quite maddening :)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Little baby bunny rabbit

Adorable baby bunny rabbit! Is he shy or just washing his face? Super realistic, hand carved and furred with every attention to detail.

He is sure to make your miniature setting come alive! On ebay until April 12th.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mischevous little raccoon

This little raccoon is going to get into mischief! Very realistic yet adorable with carved toe and fingernails. Life filled eyes. Hand carved with fur applied. I love to do the shading with the actual fur like real animals and not brush on anything.

Yup, there he goes, looking to get into the trash!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Boston terrier

My latest piece is a 1:12 scale Boston terrier. It is hand carved and furred with every attention to detail, including toes with nails, paw pads.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kilmouski & me

Hello blog friends. I've decided to do a post here because many friends and followers are also friends and followers of Catherine and her blog Kilmouski & me. She is in the hospital with ruptured appendix which became dangerously infected and abscessed to the point where she was literally just hours away from death. Still not out of the woods by a long shot, but I think all her friends should know. Please keep her in your thoughts and hopes for a speedy uneventful recovery...

These pictures are some off her amazing work.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Scare-dy cat!

HA! This kitty is afraid of a little squirrel. His back is arched and his hair is all on end down his back and tail :) The little scene is 1:12 scale. The animals are hand carved then furred.

Well the little squirrel is not backing down!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1:12 scale Sabots

I ran across this beautiful sign online and noticed the wooden shoes, as I had made a couple of pairs previously. I hadn't thought they were anything but Dutch. So I looked into the French shoe of this type. They are known as Sabots.

This pair of hand carved 1:12 scale miniature Sabots replicate a pair from the late 1890's. They are carved from Cherry wood with real leather straps.

    Sabots were worn by the lower class throughout Europe. Peasants were so highly associated with sabots, that eventually, the term "sabot" became a slang name for the country peasants. During France's Industrial Revolution, the peasants were called from the fields to work in the factories when all the city folk went on strike. The sabot-wearing peasants did not know how to properly work all the modern machinery, which is when the term "saboteur" became slang for "to bungle a job" and the word "sabotage" described the act damaging of something, which the peasants inevitably ended up doing to the equipment.

Below are the pictures I worked from:

I found several pictures of French wood shoes as a collectible in a current day setting.