Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Great Use for Our Son's 90 Degree Hook! (Gutter Cleaning!)

It was a rare spring Saturday morning, because we weren't gone from the house by 6 a.m. to a demo.  Odd, I know.  We even checked the calender a couple of times to make sure we hadn't missed something!  But, instead, we got some house projects done. The gutter cleaning totally vindicated my younger son who "created" the 90 degree hook design at a demo last year.   It turns out that 90 degree hooks are PERFECT for this task!  Who knew????

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday in Focus: "Jeff"

Equipment: Nikon D7000 with 35mm lens 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Teaching Demo at Burgundy Farm Country Day School

We had a fabulous time teaching at Burgundy Farm Country Day School the other day.  It's amazing how blacksmithing ties into so much of the children's curriculum!

We started out a very hot day in colonial costumes, teaching colonial history and blacksmithing to the 4th and 5th graders.  They have been focusing on colonial history this semester.  Jeff forged a rooker and a fork to take with them on their colonial camping trip (they dress in colonial-style costumes, sleep outside, and live out what they've been studying, including cooking outdoors using the tools Jeff made!).

Then, we switched to art classes, where we discussed sculpture and organic/geometric forms and Jeff forged leaves.  These students came with their own art materials and created their own art while Jeff forged.  We were amazed at what they created.

The first graders were holding their Farm Day as a culmination of their studies, so we taught them about how blacksmithing is critical to farming operations, and Jeff forged a hoof pick for them, followed by various hooks and nails.  These students got the chance to try their own "forging" with cold aluminum and a kid-friendly anvil, hammer and tongs.  Many thanks to their assistant teacher and our friend, Diane, for helping them with their forging!

And, of course, we tied science into everything!

It was a wonderful day.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our Demo at the Chestertown Tea Party Festival

We had the most fun at the Chestertown Tea Party Festival on Saturday!  Jeff demo'd blacksmithing in the Colonial Village (complete with the family-friendly anvil, which uses aluminum that will bend while being worked cold).  The kids and I helped out there, but also enjoyed the amazing parade, the good food, talented performers, and the tea party reenactment from when "in response to British Parliament’s closing of the port of Boston, the citizens of Chestertown met in May of 1774 and set forth “Resolves” forbidding importing, selling, or consuming tea in Chestertown. According to local legend, residents then gathered at the town center, marched down High Street to the brigantine Geddes, which was anchored in the Chester River, and tossed her cargo of tea overboard" (as stated on the event's site).   Meanwhile, Jeff had a great time visiting with our guests, teaching and doing what he loves to do.   Here are some photos from the day... 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday in Focus: "Hard at Work" (as titled by my son)

Location: River Farm, American Horticultural Society
Equipment: Nikon D7000 with macro lens

Thursday, May 21, 2015

More Fun From the WiFi Install at the Mt Vernon Archaeology Lab

Mount Vernon recently installed Wifi throughout the Estate, which meant for lots of dirt uncovered, which, in turns, means lots of artifacts for the archaeology lab.  Last week, I washed these artifacts and from near the South Ha Ha wall....some iron, bones, lots of glass and ceramics, shells, and a few modern things like bottle caps and even a fake fingernail! It's always interesting!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Batch of Peppermint Lavender Soap (for Lisa, and others!)

My good friend Lisa requested some peppermint/lavender soap as a blend to help repel ticks, since she lives in the country and spends lots of time outdoors.  I had some time today, as I waited on a legal brief to arrive for editing, so I made the soap.  It smells wonderful! Now, we just need to wait a month while the soap cures.  If you are interested in some of these bars, just email me and let me know.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Scenes from Claude Moore's May Market Fair

As always, we had a great time at Claude Moore's Market Fair!