Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), or Spotted Touch-Me-Not, is a leafy plant found plentifully near shady, wet, woodland areas such as creek banks. It blooms mid-summer to fall with orange-y trumpet-shaped flowers.
Known for its usefulness in soothing skin irritations, burns, insect bites, and inflammation, jewelweed can be especially helpful in preventing or treating poison ivy rashes. The juice from the leaves and stems neutralizes the oily urushiol left behind from encounters with poison ivy or stinging nettles, if used before or soon after exposure.
The alternate name of touch-me-not is derived from the tendency the seedpods have to "pop" when touched. The seeds of this annual plant self-sow in large stands; above you see jewelweed growing profusely along a bank flanked by sunny black-eyed susans. The plant attracts honeybees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to its colorful jewel-like blooms.
I hand-picked loads of jewelweed at a neighbor's property (with permission), so that I could infuse its beneficial qualities into a specialty soap. The leaves and flowers were simmered in oil, which I then used to create my Nature Friend bar. I also incorporated the chopped leaves, along with plantain leaf, which is another great dermatological herb.
Lavender and peppermint essential oils promote healing and anti-histamine action, reducing the itch and inflammation. Lather on this soap before going outdoors as a shield, or use to cleanse affected skin after exposure. Even if you haven't caught the rash in time, this gentle goat's milk formula can soothe troubled skin and assist in the quick healing of the rash.
Jewelweed: what a kind provision of our Creator! Have you used jewelweed soap before, and has it successfully worked for you? Let us know your story!
Hello! Hello! With all that's been going on with Granny's back surgery last week, I'm finally getting a chance to blog about what's been happening around Mountain Musings!
By the way, thank you for all your prayers for Granny while she was in the hospital and also for the emails I received asking about her. She's still recuperating a bit more, but we think the surgery was a success with the three compression fractures being repaired. She still needs to be very careful getting around!
Two weekends ago Hannah and I set up her soap display and Granny's basket display at the Redbud Festival in Dayton.This was a first-year craft show so we had no idea if it would be well attended.
The day was absolutely lovely, the vendor area so roomy and grassy, and we were blessed with Tom's help in setting up our new 15-foot tent--what a heavy monster--nice, but we never could have managed it alone!
Here's Hannah getting her side of the tent ready with all of her products for sale:
Hannah's display always looks nice with the antique scale holding soaps, colorful lip balms, and her two wooden cabinets full of the goats' milk soaps she makes:
Normally Hannah would be setting up each week at our local Farmers' Market, but because of this craft show, she just sent one small basket of soap with Sarah to their booth there. Jonathan became "Hannah for the day" and sold soap for her and helped Sarah set up and break down her tent and display.
All ready and waiting for the customers--some showed up but unfortunately a lot didn't!As the day got underway, free wagon rides brought folks all around the town and put them off at stragetic spots--right across the street from our tent being one of the stops:
One of Hannah's first customers was a co-worker of Jonathan's, so I took his and his friend's picture:Here are some of the other tents. We were set up right alongside a highway...which was quite different:
And did I mention that I met a blogger in real life? I've read Cindi's blog (Cindi's Sewing) for quite a few years. She's a Virginia blogger and only two hours from me, but until the craft show we had never met. Here we are getting acquainted when she stopped by after bringing her daughter to a local college orientation:
And did I mention that Granny couldn't be at the craft show? Well...after Sarah finished for the morning at Farmers' Market, she drove Granny to the show just for a while so she could see the setup and how things were going. Here she is a couple of days before entering the hospital for surgery. I think she looks pretty good even getting around in her wheelchair:
Okay, fast forward to this past Saturday ... Hannah took the morning off from Farmers' Market again to head with Jonathan to the Lexington River Road Races. That meant this week I became "Hannah for the day" and tried my hand at selling her soap!
You know what...I've come to the conclusion that I did not take after Granny in the sales department! But I enjoyed the day and had a fun time being with Sarah!
Let's check out Sarah's chalkboard to see what she's selling today: Mini Key Lime Pie, Black Forest Fudge, Blueberry Lemon Muffins, Turtle Cheesecake, and a new favorite Key Lime Fudge--and those are just the ones she wanted to call attention to:In this post I'll feature one of the plant vendors that's at market--Weird Dude's Plant Zoo is set up right next to our vendor spot and features very nice perennials:
And here's a final view of Saturday's customers. Many regulars and newcomers frequent the market each weekend. Why not plan a trip to the Farmers' Market and come see us this summer? Who knows...I might be there behind the counter trying to sell you something!
Another prayer request...Granny's only living sibling passed away on Friday, and I'll be taking her to the funeral Tuesday in my hometown of South Boston. Please pray for strength and encouragement for her for the day's events and traveling safety as I drive us. Thank you!
Outside my window... there's a storm a'brewing. We can always see the black storm clouds headed our way from the Alleghenies over to the west. Today's temps are mid-70s and breezy.
I am thinking... about the garden and flower beds--so much work needs doing this spring, and I haven't drummed up the get-up-and-do-it attitude to get started!
I am thankful... for our five acres the Lord has given us at the top of this hill. I love where we live!
In the kitchen... today is bartering day so Hannah just baked rolls and loaves to exchange for fresh farm eggs.
I am wearing... black skirt, black tank, bright pink blouse...with Crocs.
I am creating... nothing at the moment. But now that the beehives are out of the living room, the sewing machine can be set up in there so I can start on the Saturday Sampler block.
I am going... with Granny to the radiology department of the local hospital tomorrow for another nuclear bone scan. She's still in much pain from the fractured vertebrae when she fell back in February at my sister's house. She then re-injured her back two weeks ago, so the spine specialist wants more x-rays and is considering surgery. Please pray for her healing.
I am wondering... how the girls will do at Farmers' Market on Saturday. It's Earth Day which brings more folks downtown. Fridays are Sarah's all-day baking days...the delicious aromas are wonderful, but the kitchen is totally off limits for anything else!
I am reading... a stack of my hometown newspapers dated from January through March. Do you like reading old news? I like catching up on hometown news just in case it's about someone I went to school with, and Granny saved these for me when she was in SC.
I am hoping... to put up some new wind chimes this weekend along with my dinner bell that fell over last summer in the big windstorm and all the summer garden flags. Maybe those accomplishments will encourage me to get started on the flower beds.
I am looking forward to... Granny being up and about again, making baskets, and able to go with me to quilt class.
Around the house this week ... Jonathan installed 10,000 bees and their queen safely in their new hive; Hannah tried a new dessert--ice cream brulee--with the raw cow's milk she's now using; I'm waiting for a low-wind day to burn the garden pile of debris; Tom's still working on varnishing more parts of the queen-bed he's building; and Sarah's been taking care of her aging Pepper who's now wearing doggy diapers. :(
A picture I'm sharing...Hannah's in the garden shed making notes of which tags we'll need for baskets at the show. Come meet us in Dayton, Virginia, next Saturday, April 27, for the Dayton Redbud Arts & Crafts Spring Festival--not sure Granny will be with us; however, Hannah will be selling her soaps, and I'll try my best to sell some baskets!You can find more Daybook entries here.
Regular readers will probably remember the post a couple of months ago titled There's a Bed in My Living Room! Thankfully, the bed has been removed--it's already stained and is being varnished in the garage--but isn't quite finished.
Taking the bed's place are two beehives...in the living room! Like father like son...
Jonathan lost one of his beehives this winter and decided to build bigger and better hives for this season. A new shipment of 10,000 bees is due tomorrow, so these hives have to be ready pronto:
These top-bar hives will have a screened bottom that will catch mites as they drop down from the combs so the bees won't get mite disease--at least that's what I understood from all the bee talk! In the photo below you can see the screen attached as he's placing it on the bottom:Thankfully, he's been careful with his project, and the living room seems none the worse for the building projects that have been going on lately.
I think I'm going to put in a request for a real workshop to be built for the guys...outside! :)
(In case you noticed, you can catch a glimpse of some of Granny's baskets there on the floor to the left in the photo. Hannah had several new ones out to take some photos, and then she'll list them in Granny's Etsy shop...love that blue-handled potato masher basket!)
Updated to add:
Mark that blue-handled tater masher basket SOLD! I think Granny should hire me for her marketing manager, don't you? :)
Our trip to South Carolina to visit my sister for her birthday and to pick up Granny and bring her back home to Virginia was full of a variety of enjoyable activities! Hannah and I packed for eight days away...and every day was definitely packed with fun!
As soon as we arrived mid-afternoon, we learned that my sister was attending a forum for her journalism students at 5 p.m., and she asked if we wanted to accompany her. Well...why not? Let's go!
Mike Gallagher, popular radio host and conservative political commentator, was the special guest speaker. We had seen billboards around town with his picture, but not being radio listeners, we had no clue who this famous personality was. Sorry, Mike!
The hour was super interesting, and Hannah and I really enjoyed his presentation and being on campus again.
Unknown to my sister, I was up to some shenanigans and arranged for the staff to sing Happy Birthday to her and bring out a complimentary sopapilla as a birthday surprise. I didn't know she'd be wearing a huge sombrero...ahem, not sure she was thrilled with that! But what a special birthday time and so much fun!
Here's our friend, Rhonda, and Bet together at the restaurant...friends and co-teachers for many, many years!Here are Hannah and Granny enjoying each other's company and waiting to cut the birthday cake:
The next day included a very special treat of meeting with my sweet blogging friend, Lisa, from over at Shady Grove Adventures. Lisa drove about an hour to have lunch with us at my sister's house. I was looking forward to renewing our friendship after Granny and I traveled to Lisa's home in Pickens last year.
Lisa arrived bearing gifts galore!! Oh, my goodness! She had crafted such wonderful items by viewing our Pinterest boards to see what kinds of things we liked!
She brought my sister some Scrabble pillows that she made after finding them on her Home Sweet Home board! Since we both enjoy Scrabble, we absolutely loved them!And look what she found on my At The Garden Gate board: brick herb markers! Lisa told her husband she needed some old bricks for a project, and he found these for her!
At Christmas I always cry when I open special surprise gifts...and it looks like I'm halfway there in this photo. Crazy, huh? Tears over bricks!Here are all three bricks. I love them all--but the Chives brick is my favorite!
Thank you, Lisa (and her husband, Tom, too)!Lisa sewed cosmetic bags for Granny and Hannah and even made one for Sarah! She definitely made our day with her creative generosity!
And I gifted Lisa with a Fig Tree "Chicken Scratches" applique flour sack towel. She has chickens, so I think she liked it even though I found out I'm not an appliquer:
While Lisa was visiting, Granny took her out to my sister's garden shed where she showed her the 18 baskets she's made since Christmas:And, of course, we had to take photos together before she left. Lisa also wrote about our visit over on her blog if you'd like to read her side of the story! We had such a blogging good time! :). Oh, yes, I'm just remembering that Sarah sent Coconut Cheesecake for us to serve for our luncheon dessert with Lisa.
She's testing out this flavor for Farmers' Market this new season and wanted some feedback. I'm a coconut lover and thought it was excellent!
And speaking of Farmers' Market, the girls are preparing for Opening Day tomorrow! Talk about a whirlwind of activity this week! This place has been hopping!
~ Stay tuned: Spring Break ~ Visiting Friends on Their Goat Farm ~ Part 2
We awoke this morning with about 5 inches of new snow and a
forecast for more today, but the sun is out brightening the day and making the Valley a beautiful place...so I think this storm is
now past us.
Oops..maybe not. Edited to add: It furiously snowed all day!This day will be a busy one! Hannah and I are packing to leave for South Carolina tomorrow...and bringing Granny back home with us after Easter. Yay!
This will be a fun week of visiting my sister for her birthday, getting together with a South Carolina blogger for lunch one day, attending the Living Gallery production, and traveling another two hours to visit a blogging family that I've never met!
And, of course, pictures to follow next week of all our South Carolina adventures.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend and a worshipful Resurrection Sunday.
After reading the last post, did you guess correctly that I picked both options and crammed all the fun I could into one day? Yes...a sliver of both please! :)
I decided to go on an adventure over the mountains and spent a half-day at the Highland Maple Festival over in Monterey. It definitely wasn't as crowded as most years because of the rainy weather, but I met up with some friends (planned and unexpected!) which made it all worthwhile!
Here are some pictures to document my day. First, here's the local Monterey Courthouse lawn where several vendors set up their wares:Some of the crafts for sale included knitted goods, birdhouses, primitive wooden carvings, and mushroom logs: I stood for quite awhile and watched the guy carving wooden baby rattles...very interesting since he carves the little rings right on the spindle:
I struck up a conversation with the man selling trees since Jonathan recently planted some apple trees for his bees, so this booth was very interesting to me:Two local shops in town, Morning Glories and Moonflowers and Wool Becomes Ewe, were delightful to browse. The garden shop is always on my list of musts when I visit Monterey, but it was my first stop at the yarn and fabric shop:
The quaint yarn shop looked old-timey and very interesting--especially when I spotted the barn quilt on the side of the building. Barn quilt = must be good!This shop was small but fun, and being around beautiful fabric definitely qualified as celebrating National Quilt Day!
After I finished my shopping, I headed back to where I was parked and ran into old friends we knew back in Williamsburg. In fact, Mary taught our kids to read music and play recorders many years ago. They live in the Monterey area now and were helping with the Maple BBQ Chicken:
And...here are my friends from my hometown of South Boston and the ones I made the trip over to the Festival to see:We tried and tried to phone each other throughout the morning so we could meet up, having no clue that in such a small country town the lone cell tower would be overloaded and calls couldn't go through!
I finally gave up all hopes of running into them and was headed back home when I decided to try to call one final time...lo, and behold, the call connected! They were on one street corner, and I was on the opposite! What fun to get to talk at least for awhile!
Here's a partial view of the main street in Monterey looking back east, the direction I headed home:Back home again, I settled in for a cozy afternoon of sewing and worked on the first red block in my Block of the Month class in honor of National Quilting Day! It turned out better than I expected.
If I had a design wall...this would go on it!What a very full day! I hope you enjoyed going with me to the Maple Festival!
National Quilting Day is recognized on the third Saturday in March each year; this year marks the 22nd annual celebration.
What will you do to celebrate? Visit your local quilt shop and buy some fabric? Start a new project? Invite friends over for a quilting bee? Teach someone to quilt who doesn't know how? Or how about organizing your sewing space?
All of those ideas sound like fun...well, except for organizing your sewing space--that sounds like a lot of work to me!
The snowstorm this week in our area of Virginia stole our power (thankfully only for most of one day and only for one meal cooked outside on the grill), but we also lost our internet reception for three days...no current news, weather forecast, recipe-checking, reading blogs, or ability to answer comments and emails.
These pictures are especially for Granny. She should be glad she's with my sister in South Carolina now! Our neighbor's house is somewhere behind those snow-laden trees:
And below is our driveway that Jonathan and Sarah worked many long hours to snow-blow. In the distance it curves left and goes down a very steep hill which they cleared:It snowed a foot and a half before stopping! Sarah was pleased to finally see some real snow this season, to say the least! Some fun downhill sledding for her but also lots of shoveling--so why does she like this stuff with so much work attached to it??!
With no return of electricity in sight, here's Jonathan making a path to the grill so Sarah could grill some pizzas for us:
The Elliott's Knob transmitter supplies our internet reception and was out of commission from the storm. That little snow path winding upwards, top left of the photo below, proceeds higher and higher up the mountain until you reach the transmitter.
Hannah took this zoomed photo out of her bedroom window. Anyway, all that to say...we're sure glad someone finally reached the peak and restored power up there:Today was our very first Saturday Sampler Block-of-the-Month class for this new season. Yes, if you hadn't spotted the 2013 Projects button on the right sidebar yet, I signed up for another year. You knew I would, right? Thankfully, there was no problem getting out of our subdivision and to class today.
Here's the first Show and Tell this month...a lovely purple and green quilt from a previous Saturday Sampler class a couple of years ago. I took that class and still have this quilt top to make! I think I'll hop right on it...after I finish this past year's Saturday Sampler.Anyway, we had an interesting class with lots of newbies participating this year. The red fabric packet we received for the first block was just gorgeous--but the instructions looked quite confusing actually, and I can't wait to tackle it this week. Yes, this week and not the night before next month's class!
That's been our snowy week and my Saturday in class. And, thankfully, Tom is finally home tonight from working the storm outages.
After the all-day Quilt Festival and a much needed rest that night, we awoke the next morning to a rainy Saturday. The outside weather didn't dampen our spirits as the morning was filled with a sense of anticipation of how much sewing we'd get done on our selected projects.
My friend, Chris, outdid herself with all the cooking while I was visiting. Here's the delicious breakfast that awaited me when I came downstairs--quiche, fruit, yogurt, and muffins. Thank you, Chris!
Next on the itinerary: Race to the Berninas!
Here I am sewing sashing on the twelve Saturday Sampler Blocks of the Month from the class I just completed at Patchwork Plus. Before I left on this trip, I had taken time to cut LOTS of strips, blocks, etc...everything I would need to ensure no hold-ups and lots of sewing time:
Here's my photographer--John, a 12-year old Texas Ranger and the youngest of Chris' ten children, who kept us company throughout the day. I really wanted to bring him home with me after the weekend was over--he makes the best freshly-squeezed orange juice! Thank you, John!Chris worked hard and accomplished a lot--completing blocks for her block-of-the-month projects and a piano border for a table topper!
Towards the middle of the afternoon we took a quick break for some fresh air and headed to her local quilt shop, Nancy's Calico Patch, which was only a few minutes down the street--how convenient!!
And there was so much beautiful fabric and quilting inspiration inside:This shop displayed antique sewing machines just like my local quilt shop. Quilt shop owners must all be collectors of old Singer machines:Well, of all the inspiration and "eye candy" that I saw at the Quilt Festival...and of all the beautiful quilting fabrics that I saw in the quilt shop...I have to say that I was the most excited over this last picture I'll show you more than anything else from the weekend.
Chris' design wall in her sewing room which displayed all the blocks she's been working on encouraged me the most. Take a look!
Aren't they all just gorgeous?! I'm longing to do every one of those blocks! I'm sure some of you quilters will recognize most of these blocks she's been working on.
Included on this wall is the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Block of the Month using Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille (far top right); blocks from the Sew Red for Women block of the month (top left and bottom); and four blocks from the Blogger Girls block of the month (the red/white/blue blocks, left middle rows).
I loved all of my adventures while I was away, and I hope you enjoyed traveling along with me to Williamsburg, to the festival, and to my quilting friend's home! I certainly had a wonderful, wild, quilting weekend!