Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Asher Hill Farm - Branches source for Vintage Goods ... and Hand Spun Wool?

Hey you all. Sorry for the break in posts there. It gets a bit dodgy here in blog world when the barn sale starts to ramp up. And DK gets cranky if we run out of underwear and forks, so I have to look up from my computer or painting projects every so often and live the rest of my life.

That said, Monday was Columbus Day and my kids were out of school and the government was shut down, so we headed off on our annual family adventure to Maynes Tree Farm to pick pumpkins right from the patch. (Here's the link if you missed out on last year's post about it.) And I'll give you one guess where it is. You win if you said Buckeystown,  MD. 

 I always buy two pumpkins.

 Here's the One.

And the Other One. 

 The orange one is for carving and the blue one is for looking at until after Thanksgiving and then I roast it and eat it. Blue pumpkins are the sweetest. Great for soup.
Don't you feel like you are in line to see a pumpkin concert? 
DK has been taking awesome pictures lately. Had to steal it.

So if Columbus Day is over, and my pumpkins are sitting happily on my fireplace hearth, that can only mean one thing:


We are exactly one month out from the show. Nov 15-16 is the date for this year's event, so mark your calendars now. So much to do! 

And don't worry. I'll remind you of the date several more times before the show. 

There are 20 artists making cool stuff for you guys this year. I thought it might be fun for you all to meet a few of them in the next couple weeks. They may be a bit camera shy though, so you all might have to be content just looking in on their studios and taking a sneak peek at their stuff for the barn sale.

 Let's start with my new Vintage and Antiques dealer, Margaret Murnane.

Margaret Murnane is a woman of many lives. She works for the Army Corps of Engineers. She helped raise her husband, Jeff Jensen's five kids. She is currently helping him raise sheep and chickens and llamas on their small farm in Gainseville VA. And now she's becoming a vintage goods and antiques dealer. Asher Hill Farm is our purveyor of fine vintage goods and antiques for the Branches Barn Sale this year. (You can find links to our past shows here, here, here, and here)

I got to go climb around in the attic of Margaret's barn the other day and take a closer look at the goodies stashed up there.

Fun things like this sconce attached to a fence post abound here. 

And a four foot chandelier hanging from a tree in the front yard. So awesome!

And you have to go past the Chickens to get there. For some reason, I just really like chickens. I really don't know why. I used to be afraid of them after being pecked right in the belly button when I was four. But somewhere between four and forty, my navel and I got over it.

Margaret's attic full o' goodies is in her barn. You have to walk up a fairly steep staircase to get up there. I have no idea how she got all the stuff up there. But when you get to the top you see this:

And this:

And this:

 It's a magical place, full of mystery and wonderful things.

There are too many good things coming to show them all, but here are a few:

If you go down the gravel road a bit further, you come to what Margaret loving calls 
The Bed Shed.

This is one of TWO stacks of antique beds in the shed. Hence the name. 

Margaret's true passion is saving old rope tie beds.  (People have a hard time with rope tie beds because they usually require a smaller mattress than what most people are comfortable sleeping on. And the ropes have to be tightened frequently to keep the mattress supported.) She buys these unwanted head and foot boards and helps her husband Jeff recycle them into gorgeous benches that do suit modern lifestyles. 

Wanna see?

They use the head board for the back and then cut the foot board more or less in half for the arm rests. Fabulous, no? They just don't make stuff like this anymore.

 They had one in process while I was there. It was all built but needed to be sanded and painted. It's going to be a milky white.

 You can see how the various parts came together here. 

Here's a detail shot

Man, those spool details just kill me!

Here's the saw master, Jeff Jensen, working on another one. This one's gonna be more of a hall tree with hooks to hang hats and coats and baskets underneath for your shoes and mittens and backpacks.

You wanna hear something exciting? We get to sell these babies when they are all done! You know you are getting your measuring tape out right now to see if you have room.

But these guys don't just stop at cool vintage stuff and bed benches. 
They raise sheep and llamas. And then shear them annually.

While I was visiting, I got to meet Odin, their llama. Odin's main job to take care of the lambs, once they leave their moms. He does a great job of this. Plus he's cool and fluffy. I kept waiting for him to start talking with David Spade's voice. 

Wasn't it nice of him to pose so pretty for me?

 So they shear their sheep and then have the wool cleaned. Once all the chunks are out, they dye it themselves.

 Raw, dyed wool. It really is like sticking your hand into a technicolor cloud.

And then make the most gorgeous thread and rugs with the wool. 

This is the rug yarn, so it's larger and nubbier than regular thread.
 I didn't know people still did that. But trust me when I say that you want to touch it. So soft.

And you won't believe the colors it comes in. So. much. fun.

This is the regular size yarn.

 And as if the vintage and the bed benches and the yarn wasn't enough, they will also be selling honey from their hives. Yes, they are also apiarists. And it's good honey. 
Really good honey.

This wonderful photo by hbsmith designs is just a sneak peek of our promo pics for the show. I just got the pics back today and they are spectacular.

So that 's Asher Hill Farms. 
Yarn, honey, bed benches, and vintage goodies 
all coming your way in a month. 

BRANCHES Artisanal Barn Sale
open Nov 15-16, 9am -5pm

Held in the barn at Lynn Vale Studios 
4475 Sudley Rd, Gainesville VA 20155

See you there!

1 comment:

  1. I found my first blue pumpkin too. Exciting stuff right there. Wishing you lots of sales on the hall trees!