Some of you may know that I grew up in a small city called Chatham. In case you are wondering where that is, it is between London and Windsor along the 401 corridor but not officially on the 401. That is a whole other history lesson in politics and rural development.
Most of my impressionable years were spent living in a century farm house outside of Blenheim between Porky's Corners and Erieau.
It was an ideal setting. Farm land for miles and miles but only a 5 minute drive to Lake Erie.
We were surrounded by barns and farms. We lived on a one acre parcel that was severed from the original farm land. The land around us either had wheat, corn or tomatoes for Hienz growing. The barn outback was used as a smoke barn in the summer. Same as the barns across the street from us. So many people on their way to the lake would stop and come up to our door to let us know that the barn was "on fire". Eventually my mom made a sign saying the barn is NOT on fire but is a smoke barn.
Alas, that old barn has been torn down same as the one across the street from where I grew up. The old farm house still stands and I feel as though it must have shrunk in size from the time I lived there. I guess that comes with getting older. My love of barns is still the same though. On our way to the camp when I was younger we would always take the back roads to Bayfield with my grandfather in his Ford station wagon. Bouncing around in the very back of it eating our oatmeal cookies and enjoying the views. My grandfather explaining the names on the barns, why there was a clover leaf on some, cows on others and pointing out the barns that had the family name on it and instead of sons,,,,, it said DAUGHTERS! We always giggled at that. Thinking about the poor farmer with 7 daughters because they kept trying for that proverbial son that never came along. (which reminds me always of the Mighty Casey at the Bat and his daughters cartoon)
One year, the barns were looking different! Why was there quilts on the barns? Some of them were very simple in design and others were elaborate. So many questions and no answers as to the decoration.
This was my last year to go to camp and the following year I moved away.
Years later, fate brought me back along with my family and once again we were venturing out for car rides through the country side. Once again I was intrigued with the quilt phenomenon. There were a couple scattered about Chatham-Kent County but the majority was through Middle-Sex County. Luckily this time, I had this wonderful resource called the internet! Well, they were called Barn Quilts and many of them represent the farm, barn and family that it belongs to.
Today there is a website called www.barnquilttrails.ca/ and there is so much information regarding this along with history of the tour, maps, how to be involved, and more. The movement is expanding through Ontario and is very prominent in the United States.
You are probably wondering what does all this have to do with 13 and 1? Well, these are apart of me, my upbringing and in turn have some kind of creative influence on me and what I present in 13 and 1.
I love the colours, the history and the creative outlet these rural farmers have.
This summer I want to plan a barn quilt for the front of my shipping container that I have plunked in my yard. What kind of story do I want to tell people when they pull up into my yard?
What's my story? I have two dogs, two daughters, live on a hill, it's windy as all can be and the house is always a mess. How can I portray that? ha ha.
I am sure I will figure it out. But in the mean time, I am now planning a workshop for May about making a small 2x2 quilt block.
I will have to think about the logistics of it and how many people I can accommodate. Hopefully I can have access to the small barn that is on my landlords property which is why I am looking at May when it is a tad bit warmer.
This will be a longer than usual workshop and will most likely be held on a Saturday afternoon when I will have help for the store front.
There will be no stencils but full size templates, a light luncheon and fingers crossed a history lesson in regards to these pieces of rural agricultural art.
Please stay posted for the date and cost for this awesome event! I am so excited to be planning this.
Thanks for reading along. xo Jo
There are a couple of workshops coming up at 13 and 1.
April and May's workshops I am still trying to figure out possible dates and times.
If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please don't hesitate to contact me.
On January 17 I hosted 13&1's very first sign workshop and it was a great success. So much so that not even a week later, the next sign workshop for March is 90% sold out already. I am completely humbled that this is such a hit in the community.
I like to do workshops that I, myself would sign up for. That and being in a small community with great creative minds, making sure activities do not overlap and do not share the same outline too. Some days it has its challenges, but so to does walking and chewing gum!
The workshop went from 6-9pm at the cost of $50 a person. Included in the cost of a workshop is snacks and refreshments.
With each workshop there is a learning curve. Thank you to all who came out and stuck through the couple of hiccups we encountered.
a) a light hand with stain is always recommended if you want it to dry quickly.
b) I will be purchasing hair dryers to speed the process along.
c) after 3 craft store failures in carrying the proper vinyl.... just order it on line
d) Country Chic paint is thicker than regular craft paint and it doesn't bleed as much
e) Warkworth is filled with amazing people.
It is such a quiet month that we are in. A month of in between. It's right after the holiday season, weather is completely unpredictable. This week alone my girls have had 3 snow days, and we have gone from -27 with snow squalls to +9 and rain all in a matter of a day. Its a month when people are sluggish, making resolutions (maybe even breaking them!) and many are coming down with colds and the flu. ICK!
Walking through the Dollarstore and Michael's and they are already decorating for Valentine's Day and even EASTER!
That is something that I have difficulty wrapping my head around... the advance of the next holiday! Decorating the store for Christmas during the second week of November... while my house sat unadorned for a month after that.
It's cold and icky out, I do sit and wish for greener views, warm breezes and a sun kiss felling. But why rush it. Fact, I did get my truck stuck in a snow bank in my own driveway and cursed up a storm while trying to free myself. Blasting about how we should pack up and move to where it is forever moderate. My girls were totally on board for that venture. Lets do this mom! Then we looked around and were like, well, it is very pretty out. Pretty freaking cold!
After giving up, we ventured back indoors and I went onto social media.... first thing that came up was a meme about Canadian weather, and how in winter, there's no mosquitoes. Gave me a chuckle and I am very grateful for no bugs right now. No stupid flies covering my country house's windows, dodging wasps while opening the back door to hang laundry... being Canadian is very much Ying and Yang. Good and Bad, Cold and Hot, Snow and Drought...
I am completely rambling on in my musings and I shall stop before I get carried away about some other topic.
In general, only 47 Days till SPRING.
Only 56 Days till the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival.
Only 159 Days till Summer!
What a quiet village Warkworth turns into in January.
After the hubbub of December with the Festival, Late Night Shopping, and well, just Christmas in general, we take a quiet step back in the New Year. A bit of solitude before the Spring months.
With that, I took it upon myself to finish a couple of projects.
Up first was a small cabinet that I purchased at an auction. It was advertised as a telephone table, probably because it was full of telephone books.
Once I got it to the store, cleaned it up and opened it, I found the copper and an original sticker and stamp from the company that made it.
As soon as I saw the copper, I knew it was a humidor.
With some research (thank you google) I was able to confirm my assumption. It is indeed a humidor. Specifically, a smoker stand with optional copper lined humidor. Made from walnut and in great need of a makeover. It was made by The Middlesex Furniture Company between 1950-65.
I took inspiration from the blue in the original logo of the company. I went with Country Chic's Midnight Sky for the body of the cabinet then used a natural wax on it with some black wax to give it depth.
I gave the humidor a light wet distressing to add depth and character to it. It turned out quiet handsomely and is an eye catcher.
Once the humidor was finished it was time to move onto a small marble top side table.
This piece was pretty straight forward. I pulled the grey from the marble to match with a paint. I used Hula Hoop by Country Chic and it created a perfect balance of light and dark.
I finished the table with a natural wax and it's all ready for its next home too.
Workshops for January.
January, 17, FAMILY SIGN, from 6-9pm
Make a custom family sign with stencils and Country Chic Paint.
Workshop is $50.
I ask that all who are interested to register with full payment by January 10 so I can create the stencils and prep all necessary boards.
All signs will be painted on a large plank board. Hanging attachments included.
Refreshments included in cost.
January 31, SMALL PIECE OF FURNITURE from 5:30-9pm
Bring in your own small piece of furniture (picture frame, side table, small chair, stool...) and learn how to refresh it with Country Chic paints.
Learn how to sand, prep, paint and how to use different finishes/techniques.
You wil be able to choose a 4oz of any colour you would like. If you would like a larger size, I will deduct the cost of the 4oz from the size of paint you would prefer. (ie. 4oz is $9.95 and a pint is $24.95 (minus the 4oz) it would become $16)
Cost will be $65
Refreshments will be included.
If you and yours are looking for something absolutely fun, wonderful and magical this holiday season, visit the small village of Warkworth!
Friday evenings beginning with the Festival of Trees and the Santa Claus Parade on December 1st, the village will be transformed.
December 8, 15 and 22 there will be free wagon rides from S.O.S. Lounge located on Old Hastings Rd and they will proceed down to Church St and turn on to Main St.
Here you can visit the quaint little shops which many will be open till 9pm for your late night shopping experiences.
Children's activities will be held at The Town Hall. All sponsored by generous patrons within our community. There will be cookie decorating, face painting, a magician, ornament decorating and much more!
Mulled wine will be served in the Metaphorhome parking lot and Santa will be at the Mews all bedecked for a Winter Woodland Wonderland!
Our Lucky Stars will be hosting their famous pizza nights on Fridays and don't forget about Jeannine's Friday Night Dinners, Sper's chef Douglas Hope will spoil your palette with his delectable dinners. Justine at S.O.S. Lounge will surely entertain your soul with live music, spirits and yuletide merriment.
Oh, cannot forget the pop-up shops, Oliebollen, hot cocoa....There is just so many activities... you will just have to visit Warkworth! I promise,
YULE LOVE WARKWORTH!
Last week I hosted a Paper Wreath Workshop and it was so much fun.
The wreaths that I made for demonstrations are now available to purchase in the store. They are quite a hit, so I am planning on making a couple more in various sizes.
In case you wanted to attend but missed it, no worries, below is a step by step tutorial.
As with most things, we need to start somewhere.
I found that in a lot of online tutorials, there was a lot of steps left out so one had to use their imagination to get to the next step.
My hope here is that I can make this as easy as possible for y'all!
First you find some cardboard which will become the backing for your wreath.
Make sure it is clean and not from a pizza box!
Take your cardboard and draw a circle on it for you to cut out. The bigger the circle the bigger the wreath.
This tutorial is for a double layer wreath. You can make a smaller one, but I'm a fan of go big or go home!
Once your circle has been cut out, make a smaller one. Like a doughnut and a hole!
Put the cardboard aside as the fun part now begins. It's time to start rolling the paper into cones. I have used anywhere between 50 cones to over 100. Just depends on how big the paper is you use and how tightly you roll them.
Please remember to be consistent with your sizes as it will appear on your wreath.
I am using a large print Art History book for this wreath. It has lots of art pictures and with the contrast of the white, it will pop!
Once you have rolled and rolled, and even rolled some more, it's time to add them to your cardboard.
Apply some hot glue to your rolled piece of paper and position it on your cardboard doughnut.
I like to glue mine on in a compass style. North, East, South and West. Then fill in the points between until it is filled in completely. The next step is to add another layer over this row by gluing a rolled cone in between each cone. This way it covers the gaps.
Once your second level is done, it's time to start on your doughnut hole!
Here I rolled the papers slightly tighter and started in the compass style again.
Once one side is filled, I flipped over the circle and glued the cones on, but this time overlapping the points to make a tight centre.
Once done it will look like a tight flower. Take the finished top layer of the wreath and hot glue it to the larger bottom portion of the wreath to make one large wreath.
For the back, I glued on a bit of ribbon and some scrap felt. The felt reinforces the backing and gives the hanging ribbon a bit more strength.
When finished, hang your masterpiece and enjoy!
Made with an older book with the centre made of burlap and an old book cover.
A smaller wreath made with only one layer. I used a small red burlap and a little stag toy.
Quick little rainy day table.
I accidentally broke the top of the table and it needed a small repair. Once glued with Gorilla Glue, I felt like it needed a new life. When raining outside and you are a wee bit bored, bust out the sandpaper and paint.
I chose a cherry pink colour called Full Bloom. Once it was painted I put a graphite glaze on the flat surfaces and it is looking quite spiffy!
She's all ready and available for her forever home.
Truth be told, I cannot make a pretty pie. Try as I might, the crust is beyond my ability. I have made them with lard, shortening, butter...then thought maybe it's the type of counter or rolling pin. No, it was the handler each and every time.
I usually stick to press-in shortbread crusts or really cheat and but the pre-made crusts that I can unroll and put into my own pan. You know, to make it look like I made it. Add a little bit of flour dusting to my apron and hair, and voila.
That said, I hardly ever use canned fillings. I love making the blueberry fillings, the cherry, raisin... even the cavity inducing butterscotch filling.
Last year I absolutely forgot about the Perfect Pie Contest and missed submitting one.
This year.... I made it just in time to their cut off of 10:30 am! I submitted my entry at 10:20.
As I said earlier, I do not make pies. My entry was not pretty. It was Perfectly Imperfect. Delicious, but not pretty.
I made a Toasted Coconut Cream pie with a meringue top and a coconut shortbread crust. It was submitted into the Meringue Category. Fingers crossed!
Either way, I enjoyed making it with my daughter who kept me entertained with her antics, except for when she dropped all the sugar onto the floor and my dog got a sugar high.
Next year... I'm thinking one of my pot pies (which I am actually good at!) and a fruit one. As they say, practice makes perfect.
Just in case you want the recipe:
Coconut Custard Filling:
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. plus 2 tsp cornstarch
3 cups of whole milk (1 can of coconut milk + enough milk to equal 3 cups)
3/4 c sugar, plus 1 TBL
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBL butter
1 c shredded coconut* I like mine toasted but either way works
Whisk the yolks in a bowl, set aside. Stir cornstarch, sugar, salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk carefully to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat. Let it boil one minute, then add half the filling into the yolks, whisking to temper the yolks. Add the mixture back into the pan and cook over heat, boiling for another minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, butter, and coconut. Cool the filling slightly (about 30 minutes) and pour into a baked pie shell. Cover custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until set.
To toast coconut: spread sweetened, flaked coconut over a cookie sheet and put into a 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally and shake around until coconut is golden brown. Don’t walk away (I’ve burned many, many sheets of coconut walking away.) Cool before using as a topping.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup confectioners sugar(powdered or icing sugar)
1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup reserved toasted coconut (can be left out)
In a bowl, place the flour, sugar, coconut, and salt to combine. Add the cold butter and mix until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Transfer the pastry to a pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (Can use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the pastry.) Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust until golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. It is now ready to be filled.
Use the 4 reserved egg whites from the coconut custard
A dash of cream of tartar
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
**I always use glass or metal bowls as plastic can retain a residue and your peaks will be limp.
Add the lemon juice and using an egg beater, beat the egg whites until frothy. They should form what’s called soft peaks. Peaks are the "hills" that pull up when removing the beaters from the foam. You’ll know your peaks are soft when the tips gently fall over.
Gradually add the sugar, 1-2 tbsp at a time until it is all incorporated and the peaks become glossy. Continue beating until the foam forms stiff peaks and all of the sugar has been dissolved. To test if the sugar has dissolved, rub the beaten meringue between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels gritty beat the eggs a few more seconds until smooth.
Pile your meringue onto your warm dessert and bake at 425˚ F (218°C) for about 4 or 5 minutes - just enough to gently brown the peaks.
Hi, i'm jodi!
I am a wife to a railroader, mother to two daughters, caretaker of two Golden Retrievers and a Himalayan cat. I live in a small town with a big heart. I enjoy antiquing, furniture re-habbing, D.I.Y's and painting.