Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's that time, at last!!! Maple In The County! Sugarbushes are in full gear and smoke and steam is pumping out of the different sites boiling down all that sap. Yum! The Black River Cheese Factory has their maple cheddar cheese at the ready and extra curds and even better... ICE CREAM!! Yes you heard me correctly. They are scooping ice cream starting this weekend. Apparently they are showcasing the maple walnut flavour, of course!
We are also doing our bit of maple in the barn too. The great and talented Crafty Crone has created a maple pecan biscotti for the occasion of this weekend and it tastes awesome! I couldn't resist a nibble.

Also Scott Switzer is coming for a visit and bringing more of his wares to show off on in the garden outside the barn this weekend. He is an incredibly talented rock carver. I can't wait until I see what else he is bringing to sell. He makes some fabulous birdbaths, benches and even solar granite lights. To see lots more photos of Scott's work click here.

Hope to see you all soon and get out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather and eat some maple sugar for me since I'll be in the barn I'm missing out on those treats, though I probably will sneak across the street for a ice cream before closing on Sunday, hee hee.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Spring Opening is Almost Here!!

Well only a week to go! March 19th is our opening for the 2009 season and the snow has finally melted, just in time.

I've been doing some more fixing up inside the barn, mostly painting, cleaning really but Tim did put some new lights upstairs so now, even on the cloudy days, it's bright and sunny feeling up there.

The delivery truck has been stopping by just about every other day and my house is filling up with boxes of goodies while I go through them and input everything to inventory. I couldn't take any of the boxes out to the barn today thanks to the insane wind! Another big branch fell of Grandma Willow beside the barn but luckily it missed me and the barn. It's crazy how big those branches are when they are finally on the ground. They don't look that big when you look up at them still attached to the tree!

Anyways I've completely turned the barn inside out and now I have only 7 days to put it back together as well as bring in all the new fun stuff that keeps landing on my doorstep. Luckily my friend Laurie, display creator extraordinaire, is coming to help me on Friday and will hopefully fix some of the mess I've made. I've found some new, old furnishings at a few auctions that I've refinished and painted up and put in the barn so now I've got some new ways to display. I really love auctions but I'm bad with always seeing the gem in the rough that anyone else sees as complete junk. I've been refinishing furniture since I was 16 and always loved bringing wood back to life or painting it into something pretty. I haven't really bought any real lemons at the auctions and occasionally under all the grim, wax or thick paint I've found a real beauty that ends up being worth a lot more than I paid. It's a good thing I don't mind the work of getting to the good stuff under all the gunk. These days I avoid items that need stripping because of the chemicals and the mess, so I usually stick with items that a good sanding, some TSP and a coat of paint or clear coat can fix up easily.This is one of my painted side tables that I did a couple of years ago. This furniture I bought from an old mennonite furniture maker whose farm is near my in-laws. The furniture is always pine and absolutely beautifully made. Dovetailed drawers, hand hewn knobs and perfect finishing. Then I get to paint on the fresh new pine. I love the new wood and I like to let the wood grain show through so I use acrylic paints like a wash or stain and follow the pattern of the natural knots in the wood to help decide the design and placement. I have been buying furniture from Mr. Martin for 8 years and he has always made excellent pieces. I just wish I was able to do more of this work for clients, it's so fun to create a painting on a functional piece of furniture.

Well I must go and finish some orders I forgot about or I won't have any of those pretty spring flags to fly from the barn!