Thought these photos of this abandoned “haunted” house that I found out in rural Missouri would be appropriate for the holiday of the day.
Ben, Get Off That Hen : A poem by yours truly, the non-poet.
Little mouse ran out of the house, to find his brother Ben.
When he reached the yard he laughed so hard.
Ben was riding a hen!
Isn’t he CUTE? I’m totally in love with him and will miss him. He belongs to a gal in Colorado who mailed me hair that she brushed off of her own cat over the spring months. It’s so awesome to see this one of a kind mouse outside of my mind’s eye and share it with others.
There are many steps to creating something like this, and, as you can see, at some stages it looks really odd and makes ya wonder if it really will end up cute. The finishing stages when I stitch on the eyes and felt on the other facial features (making it come alive!) is my most favorite part.
These are the steps I took to create this one of a kind cutie:
- I cleaned the cat hair thoroughly but carefully
- felted a mouse shaped form out of core wool
- wet felted a tail and ears out of colored wool
- covered the wool form with the gal’s cat hair
- attached the ears and tail
- stitched on glass bead ‘eyes’
- stitched his little hands together
- felted a little nose and smiling mouse mouth
I put hours into creations like this and I feel that it’s a wonderful way to spend my time. If you’re interested in a custom mouse or other animal for yourself or a loved one, check out this Etsy listing I made using this mouse as my example.
During August of 2010 I was enjoying some time in Minnesota with my aunt and got into talking about local wild mushrooms. She told me about the chicken of the woods – how unmistakable it is with its shelf-like structure, no stems, no gills and bright orange color. The very next day while we were enjoying a picnic dinner in her front lawn I spotted one growing right by her garden on a sawed-off portion of a big oak tree!
The odds of that happening were so slim that I feel like “it was meant to be”. We carefully cut the mushroom and sauteed it with onions, green pepper and butter the following evening. The level of deliciousness blew my mind and I have been forever hooked on this mushroom. It is one of my most favorite mushrooms, if not one of my all time favorite foods ever. The following year I was at her house again in August and we found the chicken growing back! (so we ate it again!)
Over the winter down in Missouri I grew my own oyster mushrooms which turned out GREAT. Then in the spring I found jelly ear mushrooms in the wild, at their peak of being jelly-like, and ate some for the first time. They were more of a texture than a flavor but I would eat them again.
Any way you slice it (ha!) the chicken of the woods mushroom is a superior mushroom. Ever since finding the one at my aunt’s house in 2010 I have been looking for more. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago in Nisswa, Minnesota that luck struck me and I found more — Much, much more!
OH GLORIOUS CHICKEN!!!!!
It was growing on the roots of a living oak tree. There was a lot of dirt and grass incorporated into it so I spent many hours meticulously cleaning what I wanted to keep. I had a couple friends to help too but eventually everybody petered out and thought I was nuts. Then I cooked some and they understood!
Doesn’t it look a lot like chicken? The fibers run in strands like muscle tissue and stay that way after cooking, the coloring is similar to white meat or seafood and even the amount of moisture in the mushroom is similar to meat. Since I no longer make chicken a reoccurring item in my diet it’s hard for me to say “it tastes like chicken too”. To me, it has it’s own flavor which is hard to describe but very, very wonderful and I would say “different” than other typical cap/stem mushrooms.
I cleaned, ate and froze the remainder of over 6 POUNDS of Chicken of the Woods.
I’ll be sure to share some recipes soon, as these mushrooms are not to be eaten raw. So far I have sauteed them, added them to a chimichanga, and made them into a veggie burger. I think a creamy white sauce over pasta and spinach sounds good, along with marinating them before grilling, and I can’t forget… making “chicken nuggets” by breading and frying them!
The luna moth is one of the largest moths in North America. I found one (injured, half of one wing ripped off) clinging to the side of my car tire yesterday evening. Exciting!
I vaguely remember seeing one in Minnesota when I was a kid but I sure didn’t get to take photos of it to remember it like I did this time! Its colors and shape are so inspirational. Maybe a luna moth inspired nuno felt scarf is in order… bright greens, yellows, white and rusty rose!
It was so fun to hang on to it for a minute. When I was done taking photos and oo’ing at its colors I carefully left it on a tree not far from where I found it. Too bad its wing was torn. Good luck Luna!
I made two new “bloody vampire bite scarves” recently. I LOVE making these scarves! These are the nuno felted version where I use soft merino wool roving in natural ecru (white / cream) and two shades of red as “blood” and white silk gauze fabric.
One of them has a lot of “blood” on both sides and bite marks going horizontal.
View the listing for the More Blood Vampire Bite Scarf on Etsy
The reds are bright and the silk adds a lot of beauty to the scarves, causing certain areas to be semi-transparent. Both of them measure 90 inches total – 70 body, 20 fringe – and the width varies between 4-5 inches. Light, warm-yet-cool, and very soft, these scarves are a great accessory to utilize all year long. If you don’t want to show off your bite marks all the time you don’t have to. There are many ways to wear it that make it look like any abstract sort of red and white nuno felted one of a kind handmade scarf…
Be sure to check out the scarf section of my shop for all I have available and examples of what I can make. If nothing I currently have listed is exactly right, contact me to discuss a custom order. I would be thrilled to create something unique for you!