Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day Blacksmithing Demo at Mount Vernon Park

Jeff had a great Father's Day, demo'ing at Mount Vernon Park.  This is our local swim/tennis park, and it was such fun to be able to show neighbors and friends what we do all over the area!   Jeff got into the spirit of the day and made grilling tools, as well as a few nails.  The park had done a superb job of organizing the day, with woodworking demos, Jeff's demo, and a fishing derby, on top of all the other amenities of the park.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Repairing a Spinning Wheel at Benjamin Banneker's Historical Park

Jeff loves to demo because he loves to teach and he loves projects that challenge his engineering skills.  He is definitely NOT someone who makes 100 of something.  He doesn't make 100 of anything without a good reason!  Instead, he really enjoys the challenge to make something new, and especially when that project helps someone else.  At the Benjamin Banneker Colonial Festival  this past Sunday, a guest needed help fixing a piece on her spinning wheel and she'd even brought the wheel along for Jeff to look at!  The minute she said she had the wheel with her, I knew we'd be solving her problem.  Of course, Jeff  became totally engrossed in the project, and had a very good time helping forge a piece that solved the problem.  Better spinners than I can probably name the piece....

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blacksmithing Demo at Darnall's Chance

We spent a very, very hot, but enjoyable, Saturday afternoon at the Colonial Picnic at Darnall's Chance.  It was great fun to be set up next to friends like Tom and Dean and see other friends, as well.   The event organizers did a fabulous job in having lots of children's activities, and we really enjoyed the chance to see the house and discover its relationship to the Lees of Westmoreland County.  But, the best thing of all was the chance to connect a young man and his father with their blacksmithing heritage -- they had a great grandfather and other family members who were smiths in Kenya but had never been able to see blacksmithing in person.  That is exactly why we do what we do!

Thursday, June 11, 2015


It's the end of strawberry season!  And, also the end of baseball, the start of summer swimming, the start of summer tennis, and the end of school...plus tutoring, music lessons and the rest.  I simply could not add making jam to my "to do" list this week.  But, I didn't want the peak of strawberry season to pass me by, either!  So, we picked for an hour or so this weekend (less picking than driving, but we live in Northern Virginia and that's the way it goes).  And, then, I washed, hulled and froze the berries in 4 cup increments in freezer bags.  I will bring the bags out to do whatever with them when summer is over or I need jam, whichever if first.  It seemed the sanest way to juggle all the competing, worthy interests!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

L'Hermoine in Port at Alexandria

L'Hermoine is in port in Alexandria, and we took the opportunity to view it this morning.  We missed it yesterday when it sailed to Mount Vernon..so we didn't want to miss it again!   Taking almost 20 years to build, this ship is is a replica of the vessel that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780 with the news that French soldiers would aid in fighting the Revolutionary War.  For more information, please see:  http://www.hermione2015.com


tion on this ship and its voyage, visit the website:

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sam Gooding's Tool-Making Class

 Jeff enjoyed taking a tool-making class this past weekend taught by Sam Gooding:

And these photos are from our friend Steve Walthall, who organized the class: