Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Beautiful Snow

At first glance, this post might seem way out of chronological order....but I promise that it is not so!  We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days at our cabin, Chestnut Oak Lodge, in the Shenandoah Valley this past week....and got to experience the most snow of our entire late MARCH!.  Our kids had gone fishing the day before in the local lake.... The snow was a beautiful surprise.  


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Planning Our 2013 Demo Season

On the first official day of spring, it seems appropriate to map out our upcoming demo season.  It's actually not far away and we are so looking forward to it.  We love getting the chance to visit with you!

This is how the schedule currently looks, although it will likely change a bit.  And, if you'd like us to demo at your event, please just call or email.   We'd love to hear from you!

April 18-20 - American Horticulture Society, Alexandria, VA.  This is the AHS annual plant sale, and we demo here because we volunteer at the AHS and it's a nice way to give back to a wonderful organization.  They sell Jeff's ironwork and my photography in their gift shop, as well.  This is also a great location for a demo because it is beautiful and generally not crowded.  We will not be in colonial attire, but it is a great choice if you'd like to visit and get all your questions answered.  We won't be here all the hours of the plant sale, so we'll update the site when those hours are finalized (Jeff is likely to be there Thursday afternoon and all-day Saturday, with a morning demo on Friday for all the school kids I want to bring to see him!).  

May 4 - Wye Colonial Fair, Wye Mills, MD.  This was one of our favorite events last year!  Lovely fair and lovely people.

May 18-19 - Claude Moore Colonial Market Fair, McLean, VA.  If you peruse our site, you'll see that we are very loyal to Claude Moore.  We demo at every Market Fair and have a wonderful time!  The Market Fairs are tremendously kid-friendly and have great food.  Plus, the craftspeople are amazing.  It's truly a wonderful place to go for a fun afternoon and a chance to see some top-notch artisans   

May 24-25 - Stratford Hall Blacksmithing Weekend, Westmoreland, VA.  The home of the Lees becomes a major center of blacksmithing for a weekend.  This is a HUGE event for anyone interested in how iron ore turns into iron and then is fashioned into an ax.  Our friends will be demonstrating that aspect (which is rarely seen, hence the excitement), another friend will be demonstrating his farrier skills, and our family will be demonstrating the colonial aspect of blacksmithing.  We can't wait! 

Memorial Day weekend (probably Saturday) - Mount Vernon Park Demo, Alexandria, VA (private demo - open to members of MVPA only) 

July 21-22 - Claude Moore Colonial Market Fair, McLean, VA

August 31- September 1 - The Scottish Games.  For this event, we become McPherson's Forge in honor of our ancestor Alexander McPherson.  We have attended these games for years, and it's a special treat to be able to demo here.  What's not to love about blacksmithing next to the bag-piping competition and in view of the athletic games?  Plus, the food is amazing!

September 28 - 1812 Fair and Reenactment, Jefferson Patterson Park Museum, St. Leonard, MD.  I've got an 1812-appropriate dress just for this occasion and we are totally looking forward to the crab cakes! 

September/October Dates TBD - Historical Trades Fair, Prince William Forest Park, Woodbridge, VA.  Last year, Jeff loved this event for the bluegrass music

October 5  - Handsell/Nanticoke Historic Preservation Society, Dorchester County, MD.  Last year, we were blown away by the dedication of the the folks who are trying to preserve Handsell.  They were truly amazing and we were blessed to get to know them.  We can't wait to see them again! 

October 20-21 -  Claude Moore Colonial Market Fair, McLean, VA

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Field Trip to the U.S. Capitol

The other day, I had the opportunity to visit the U.S. Capitol through one of my jobs as an assistant teacher for a group of 6-9 year-old children.  We have a lot of fun together, and this field trip was no exception. My focus was much more on keeping track of the children than photography opportunities, so I didn't even take my good camera equipment.  Instead, I wore sensible shoes and had my emergency contact list at the ready.

Plus, our family still jokes about the time I toured the British Parliament many years ago and had a buckeye in my pocket for some odd, unknown reason -- security viewed the nut as a threat and removed it!  I've learned my lesson and am rather cautious about taking anything extraneous on these types of trips!

But, I couldn't help myself from taking a few photos with my phone.  The lines and lighting were amazing in places.....

And, the allure of history was too much to avoid like the location of Abraham Lincoln's desk or George Washington's portrait painted on the dome mural.

Next time, I just might take the better equipment!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Postal Service Definitely Knows Jeff is a Blacksmith!

Here's a bit of humor from our week.....the Postal Service (particularly our carrier!) knows that Jeff is a blacksmith.  Sledgehammer, anyone?!  Actually, Jeff has his own sledgehammer and will deliver this one to Mount Vernon. He'll take it the rest of the way, though, and will give the mail carrier a break!