Monday, April 22, 2013

Shopping at a Museum

Fair warning - LOTS of photos! :)

I took a little peek inside the Greefield Village store the other day...oh my! They have done some updates over the winter and I couldn't wait to check them out. Want to see???
This is about the halfway point of the store. Yes, the halfway point. There is still more behind me. So much for the idea that a museum store is a tiny little cubby hole, right?

If you have never been to Greenfield Village, you need to go sometime! One of the many things they do there is celebrate American crafts. One of which is pottery. All of the pieces sold in the stores and online are made on site, in the Pottery Shop. These are just some samples of the redware pottery they make. Each piece is signed and dated by the potter who made it. They also make custom pieces for things like a wedding or birth. Staff who work at The Henry Ford receive a personalized piece of pottery to mark their anniversary, every 5 years. They start with a mug at 5 years, a pitcher at 10 years, a ring pitcher at 15 years, a bean pot at 20 years, and on and on. Very unique!

One of the other highlights in Greenfield Village is the Glass Shop. There they make a huge variety of items that are also sold in the stores. Here you get an idea of the color spectrum they use. Each year they also make a special glass candy cane and bowl. I have all but two of the candy canes...I just didn't like the colors they used for the other two years, but usually they are gorgeous!

For many years they have been selling small amounts of yarn, made from the fleece of the Merino sheep that are kept at the village. Each spring they are sheared by hand, using traditional shearing tools/methods. No electric tools here!

A before and after, so to speak. I took this picture a couple years ago during shearing season, but I still love how it shows the difference!

 Around the corner of the wool basket I found a couple other fun things, like the books, needle felting kits (in the basket on the left side of the photo), and these little measuring tapes. Crochet bees? Seriously, far too cute!
But do you see what is peeking out behind the book?

Yes indeed, they have started selling the roving! How fun is that?? This bag full of fluff is $8.00.

There were also these knitting needles...if I didn't already have so many needles that have been bought or gifted to me, I might have taken a pair home...I do love wooden needles. Maybe next time...

My hunt continued...

What can I say about this cart, other than I wanted to wheel the entire thing out with me? The glasses are really pretty, and would be the perfect size for the kids. They are using glass more often than the beat up plastic cups. However, I passed this time.

Balls of Bakers Twine...nice thick twine. Love the galvanized tubs!

Cute little pitchers, bowls, etc. I loved the yellow, though the pale blue cows were sweet too!

A table full of jams and jellies - yum!
A little reading nook. The shelves in this photo? All dedicated to crafts, gardening, cooking etc. I have bought a few knitting/crochet, gardening and cooking books here before. I even bought a book on raising backyard chickens...if only...

Car stuff, of course. Greenfield Village was founded by Henry Ford, after all. It's kind of a no brainer. :)

And I LOVED this little nook, with stationary and some really cute sheets of wrapping paper!

Wandered into the kids section and found hats and bonnets for the kiddos to try on. They have lots of traditional toys and games, and of course books. And so you don't think it doesn't have any of the traditional museum kid stuff...there were lots of giant pencils, whistles, and lollipops as well! :)

Finally I found what I was looking the middle, on the bottom...

A drop spindle kit! It came with a little bit of roving and instructions, though I opted to watch a lot of YouTube videos instead. We have been giving it a whirl this weekend, and both me and the two kids have had so much fun playing with it! Goodness knows if we are making anything usable, but we're having a blast!

So much so that I have this on order:

Isn't it gorgeous??? I don't usually go for pinks and such, but it was so pretty I couldn't resist! I also thought the gentle shift in colors might be more forgiving with my inexperienced hands. I bought it from Claw Tree Fibers, who also happens to be in Michigan. It shipped this morning, so I hope it will be waiting for me in the next day or so. Come on, Mr. Mailman, make my day!

So while this may sound like a shameless plug for the Greenfield Village store, I am doing it entirely on my own. I had so much fun poking around here again, and seeing what new goodies and new displays they had. And also to say that you never know where you will find just what you were looking for. After all, who would think to look for a drop spindle at a museum store? I love surprises like that.

And next time, I am bringing home some of the fresh made fudge. Being a Michigan girl, we take fudge very seriously here, and I have to say, I think it rivals the fudge in Frankenmuth, or dare I say it? Yes, even Mackinac. It's that good. I've been good so far, but sooner rather than later a bar of Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel will be coming home with me...and maybe something for the rest of the family too. :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A look back at Easter

Wanted to share a few pictures from Easter. It was a good, busy day! :) As I mentioned in my last post, I took over the dinner for some of the family because of an illness in the family. My mother usually hosts Easter, but she wasn't able to do it this year. We don't have a very large family, so moving it to our house was easy!

A peek at the new chalkboard door in the kitchen:


I've been on a tulip kick lately - I am so tired of everything being brown and crunchy outside!

I found a lovely set of late 1940's dishes by Homer Laughlin (you know my love of Homer Laughlin from earlier posts!) It's called "Cashmere" and is part of their Eggshell Georgian line. It's not complete yet, but I had enough to lay out the "grown up" table. I'm looking forward to this weekend, when I pick up the rest of the dishes I need from a seller I found on Craigslist. :) I will end up with a 12 piece set plus a variety of serving pieces - I can't wait!

I really need to buy some nice table linens...we don't usually have a tablecloth on our table but for Easter dinner I needed something! :) I found this light blue linen cloth at a local thrift shop last year but it wasn't long enough for the table, so I found a vintage floral bedsheet that also came from the thrift store when I was working on this project.  I didn't use it for the project so it has become a sheet for forts, sleepovers, and now a table cloth.

The kids had a egg & basket hunt first thing in the morning before I had to go to work. It was a gloomy morning with a bit of sprinkles, but then it cleared up and we had a sunny day with temps in the low 50s. Perfect chance to open the windows and go outside! They spent the majority of the day playing outside and when I got home and started cooking, my husband, brother and brother-in-law set up another egg hunt for Davin & Abby and their cousin Emily in the backyard. Since I was cooking I didn't get any pictures unfortunately, but throught the windows I could get a peek of the hunt - the kids were so cute!

We ended up with a total of 7 for dinner. Because I had to work, the menu was going to be simple: ham, potato dumplings & mashed, fresh green beans, corn, and breads. A selection of brownies, pudding and ice cream for dessert kept the kids happy - how could it not? :)
A day full of playing, a full tummy and a comfy couch, and we found Abby like this at about 7:30:
(via my Instagram)

Love that little face!

It was a pretty hectic weekend, but we were so happy to spend it with our family. We aren't a religious family, but holidays like these are just as important to us as a way to celebrate the importance of the special love that family and close friends bring. It's something that can feel routine, that they will always be there, but my moms illness this weekend was a timely reminder that we can never take for granted the time we have with them. Thankfully it turned out to be much less serious than it could have been, but even so, it was a wake up call that the time we have together is always precious.

I hope you had a lovely Easter as well, and no matter how you celebrate the day I hope it included all the love that you could possibly have, whether from family and/or from faith.