Christmas In Kaneville

This is the weekend, Saturday, December 4th,  for the village’s annual celebration which includes a bake sale, horse drawn wagon rides and of course a craft sale.  I will be there, in the Community Center, just look for my “Handmade” bunting.  If you want a sneak peek at what I will bring this year, go back a couple posts to see what was at my Open House.  I will also have some new things that weren’t there.  Gotta keep things exciting and fresh you know!

Also  available  will be the book my husband researched and self-published.  It is a gathering of Kaneville news from the years 1900-1904 from the then titled,  Aurora Daily Beacon.

It contains weekly news, over those four years, of daily life in Kaneville.   I am sure that you will recognize names and stories and events, some which have probably passed into the folklore of the town.  History, development, change and growth are all here.   And now, 110 years later, you may find that maybe a few things haven’t changed.

Had to put down my crochet.  There is news of birth and death, illnesses we don’t see anymore, barn dances and farm injuries.  Talk of church services attended, oyster suppers, gatherings to play carom, the price of butterine,  the proud decoration of houses, descriptions of the earliest Decoration Day gatherings.  One of my favorite entries is of a gentleman who ” has an elegant new engine and it is currently reported he loves it almost as well as his wife.  It has a bell, a fierce whistle, a cab, a place for a bed and many other wonderful things for a steam thresher engine to have.”  If you’ve been reading here a while you know my fascination with these old steam engines.

Now I need a cup of coffee because I may be here a while.  The language is charming.  For “no one needed to complain of ennui or monotony for want of a place to go on Monday night.”  Oooh, now I want to know what they did and where they went, on Monday night.  The news and events and weather reports are poignant.  Names are familiar.  Places ring a bell though many no longer exist, but I’ve heard the stories.

Kaneville, 1900-1904, (151 pages), will be available for sale as bound copy at my PK Handmade table this Saturday.  It would make a  great gift or conversation starter for your family gatherings this holiday season.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Last Weekend’s Leaves


Though I know there have been a lot of photos of pretty fall leaves out there lately, I had to share mine, especially now that most of them have been blown off the trees in the wind storm.


Just standing on the ground looking up does not capture how beautiful and tall these trees are.



These are all at the farm and are old and majestic.  There are places for seventeen people to swing at one time, if they wanted.  We have spent countless hours swinging.  Some of them are good for climbing too.  Every time we get a big wind storm like yesterday, I think of those trees standing strong, hoping none of them topple.



Had to photograph this Burning Bush too.


Just beautiful.

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 5:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Now In Bloom

If it’s fall, the sedum is blooming in our garden.  I think we may need a little more variety, though the color is just so pretty.


Took a little drive out to the farm and snapped about 300 photos.  As you can see, this little cosmo grew out of a crack in the concrete where a lot of farm equipment travels daily.



His little shadow.



And beautiful asters.  Thinks we need some in our own garden.



Back in our garden, the only California Poppy blooms happily amongst the sage.



Some of the herbs have finally found a happy home, literally right next to our house, where they are protected and   handy.  Here there is Italian parsley, thyme, chives, and lavender just out of the photo.  The fuzzy silver is Lamb’s Ear.   I will cover the parsley with a cloche again this winter to see if it will survive.



What’s in bloom where you live?

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Summer Canning

This is the result of a quick walk through my mother-in-law’s garden a couple weeks ago, 45 quarts of canned tomatoes, yellows and red.  In addtition, there is salsa, relish, strawberry sauce, and cider.  That’s a lot of jars.

Several years ago,she gave me a jam making lesson.  The strawberry jam we made was delicious and the company was fun, but my memory of the day was the heat.  It was very hot.  Isn’t it always like that when you have huge pots of water boiling on the stove and have to spend the next six hours in the kitchen?   Needless to say I’ve not undertaken any canning since.  I’ll leave that to the expert.

Oh, but we will be so happy come December to taste this summer garden!

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 5:45 am  Comments (2)  
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Late Summer At the Farm

We all know it’s coming, we can feel it.  And though we haven’t had that first frost, there is a definite change in the air.  Out here, in the country, just 14 miles west from our home, the scent of burning leaves has already permeated this Sunday afternoon’s air.  Really, doesn’t everyone like just a touch of that smell?  Just a touch?  Though the trees haven’t begun to turn, you can just tell the trees are ready for their annual show.  What kind of color will this summer have produced?  I can’t wait!

There are just a few daylilies left in bloom, like these four.

Our favorite afternoon activity, swinging in the 100+ year old trees.  There are 13 different places to swing, or hang upside down, and endless chances for trees climbing,

Some hidden surprises if you know where to look.  These tasted just like grape juice.

And by mid-afternoon the shadows have grown long.

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 5:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Late Summer Harvest

A day spent at my in-laws home in the country seeing what is nearly ready to be picked.  These apples will be used when we make cider.

Grapes so pretty on the vine with the sunlight glowing through.

Gourds for decorating.  Later in the fall we stomp on the few dried unpicked gourds that hid amongst the vines, releasing the seeds so more grow next year.

And of course there are the edibles, ready right now.

But where are the potatoes we dug?  Somehow I forgot to photograph them.  They were the reason we ventured into the garden in the first place on this day and discovered everything else that was ready for harvest.

This is about as local as it gets.  And how delicious is a freshly dug potato, buttery and not at all chalky.  We ate ours mashed with a little buttermilk and another batch diced and sauteed in a little butter.  Again, no photo.  But when I make potato chips, I’ll be sure to show you.  They are sooooo good.

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 6:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thank You From My Heart

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited me at Kaneville Fest last weekend.  It was great fun to see familiar faces and to meet many new visitors who appreciate handmade items.  I hope to get into a holiday show or two and there will be another PK Handmade Open House in November.  I will keep you posted on dates and times.  Now that I’ve taken a few days to unwind and catch up on some home work, I am feeling inspired again and ready to shift into this beautiful fall season.

But first I thought I’d share the results of the day P and I spent crafting with air dry clay.  After rolling the clay to a thickness of about 1/4 inch, I cut out a shape with a cookie cutter.  Then I impressed a variety of textured items into it.

This is a thrifted crochet doilie.

Upholstery ribbing.

The handle of an antique spoon.

The arms of a starfish.

Half the fun was finding textural things to use.  These will be framed in a shadow box  when I find the right one.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Published in: on September 4, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Craft Show Sneak Peak, Part II

I am ready and patiently waiting.  The weather forecast is good.  And I have many new PK Handmade things to share with you.

Here, bracelets in all colors.  Earrings too.

And button rings just for fun.

There will also be playing-card garlands.  For those of you have seen these before, they go fasty fast.  Plus some new card designs and unique gift items.  And of course  journals for recording your child’s school year or upcoming holiday memories and hair clips in new Autumn designs.  But I can’t show you everything now.  For that you will have to visit me at Kaneville Fest this Saturday (by the Community Center) or Sunday (by the historic buildings), August 28 and 29.  And tell me you read the blog.  I’d love to meet you!

Hope to see you!

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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I Make Things

Many of you have been asking what I’ve been making lately.  So I shall give you a peek.

These were so very popular at my two holiday shows I decided to make some of these over-sized ornaments, pretty, floral, and feminine.  So nice to hang on a doorknob, in a window, on a wreath.  Or you may choose to tie it onto a gift and write a message on the back as you would a greeting card.

This is a tiny shadow box made of repurposed items.  Cute and sweet.

New card designs, always needed, always a favorite, to be sent, or kept and framed for yourself.

Small gift boxes, perfect for giving  jewelry or sweets.  Holds a gift card perfectly.

So please come visit me in my cozy little PK Handmade craft booth at Kaneville Days, August 28 and 29, (more info to come).  You can see these lovelies as well as a few surprises.

Happy Friday!

Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas in Kaneville

Many, many thanks to everyone who visited my little crafty booth last Saturday at the village’s Christmas celebration.  In addition to the craft show, there was a wagon ride pulled by Belgian horses, a visit with Santa at the firehouse, cake walk, and a cookie sale at the church, which I understand, sold out very quickly.  Lots of handmade goodiness.

Everyone who visited was so kind and had many nice things to say about my booth.  Most often heard though, was that they had never seen anything like it at a craft show before.  I made some ornaments that had a definite and intentional vintage look.  One woman, of great-grandmotherly age, commented that they brought back memories of the lovely decorations she had on her tree as a child.  I think that was the nicest thing I’ve ever heard about my handmades.  Another vendor, who had the most delicious smelling handmade soaps, said she loved the look of my booth because it “made sense”, “the props and products all flowed to tell a story about the things I was selling.”  WOW!!  She got it!

I really needed to hear those things to confirm that this is what I want to do.  I just want to make things. I want to make things that people will use and love, that will bring back a memory and help create new ones.   So that’s my mini mission statement, which I hadn’t intended to write today but really that’s it in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading today.

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 6:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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