What’s in the Works Wednesday?

Oops, missed Wednesday again! Not because we weren’t working – I blame the IRS (even though filing taxes wouldn’t be so bad if I kept up with all the bookkeeping…). So here’s some of what’s been happening in Bill’s shop –

Drop Leaf Table
Drop Leaf Table, black ash

Bill tells me these tables are the best he’s ever made. Probably both tables will come to me next for a bit of decorative painting.

Drop Leaf Table
Drop Leaf Table, cherry

I think this cherry table is just drop-dead gorgeous! We’ll be exhibiting these first at the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans, VT, April 26-28. Stop by to see all of our hard work!


What’s Poppin’?

POPovers are! We just love them for a slightly guilty Sunday morning breakfast. Easy to make (though take awhile to bake) and taste so eggy wonderful all slathered with butter. I usually use an electric mixer to combine all of the ingredients but this time I combined it in a bowl with a pouring spout and used an immersion blender (it was just too convenient). Didn’t this batch POP! I’m happy to share the recipe with you here.


What’s new?

It gets a bit busy around here this time of year, what with painting and doing taxes and trying to get in a bit of quilting. Finally finished the quilt for my nephew’s baby. This is Star of My Heart for sweet baby Maeve.

Star of My Heart quilt
Star of My Heart for Maeve

What have I been painting? Veggies! These markers just need to have sticks attached. I must say that it is cheery working with these little guys! 🙂

garden row markers
Garden Row Markers from Jeanne Rae Crafts

Movin’ On – Finally!

They are all done! If you find your birds are in need of housing, check out our birdhouse page. If you don’t see what you want there, feel free to email or call us (information is at the bottom of this page).

Sampling of new birdhouses
Flower birdhouses
Flower birdhouses from Wildflower Wood

Every one of our birdhouses will weather extremely well because they are:

  • Made from native Vermont cedar
  • Finished with a lead-free exterior finish
  • Functional birdhouse for outdoors
  • Enhanced with hand painting
  • Floral designs are also protected with a clear exterior finish

Best of all, they are the only thing “blooming” in my garden right now!

Now moving on to a bazillion garden markers. Well, maybe a couple hundred. 🙂

Unfinished garden markers
Unfinished garden markers

Summer squash, yellow and green beans, pumpkins, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, green peppers, here I go. New this year: chili peppers and eggplant.

Ahhh, spring – it’ll be here before you know it!


Different World Out There

We had to travel to the big city of Burlington (VT) this week to pick up Bill’s planer which was in for repairs. Just 2 hours southwest of us and it’s a different world. They have virtually no snow and people were actually raking lawns. We, on the other hand, still have a lot of snow. But so do the mountains, plenty for spring and Easter weekend skiing, which is good for all of Vermont. We were treated to this view on our way home, about a half hour or so from Burlington.

Fairfax, VT
Mount Mansfield from Fairfax, VT

Even during the change of seasons, I love Vermont!

BOM Progress?

It’s almost April, almost time for a new block in the Pixie Garden Block of the Month. Sue, who previously shared all of her “empty” blocks plus Block #1, is moving right along with Block #2.

Sue's Block #2
Sue’s Block #2

She’s still wondering if she wants to embellish with buttons or embroidery. In either case, I love it just the way it is now! Thanks again for sharing, Sue.

So how’s your BOM coming along?

Pictures from the Workshop

Bill has been all excited about finishing his next unique project, so much so that he took these pictures himself.

Nice little table

At first glance, it’s just a nice little table. Check out the side view, taking special note of the wooden pins.

Table side view
Side view of the table. Take note of the wood pins.

But remove those pins…

table bench
Pull out 2 pins…and you have yourself a handy dandy table bench!

And you have yourself a bench! Open up the top of the bench…

Inside the bench
The seat of the bench opens up

And you have storage! How handy is that? This unique piece of furniture is called a settle table bench with storage. The wood is ash and will have a golden oak stain. Stay tuned to see how stunning this unusual piece turns out.

What’s in the Works Wednesday

Oh my! This is the fifth Wednesday in a row that I’m posting birdhouses. I promise this will be the last!

More birdhouses!

This time it’s chalets, barns, and yet-to-be-named shape. I also should mention that each birdhouse is made from cedar, has a clean-out and ventilation, finished with exterior paint, and exterior varnish over the painting. They are fully functional birdhouses meant to go outdoors.

I’m having fun painting these little flower vignettes, with a different butterfly for each different flower. So far, the flowers are purple coneflower, ox-eye daisy, and black-eyed susan; the butterflies are spring azure, yellow sulphur, American copper and red admiral. Most people don’t really care exactly what they are but I just like to know.

Next week, it will be on to garden markers, and oh, so many pieces of furniture. Here’s to a productive week!

Welcome Spring!

I’ve been reading other blogs lately that tell of adventures in planting gardens (as far back as January) and picking big bouquets of daffodils just this week. If today is any indication, we will have to wait a bit before that happens here in the Northeast Kingdom.

Jeanne Rae Crafts' birdhouse
Poor little bird house!

Spring in Vermont is, at best, a fickle thing. Funny, this seems much more like winter…


Mr. Moose Snowstick
Mr. Moose Snowstick says 14″ on the ground (we already had 6″ before the storm).

You might be able to see the little sunk in hole around the stick.  Hard to tell exactly how much snow we’ve got. If anybody cares.

spring snow
Welcome spring! Another 3″-7″ expected tonight.

But you have to admit, it is pretty! 🙂


On any given day, chances are good that Bill is designing some new piece of furniture. This coffee table is the first radically new design for 2013. I’m loving it, he not so much.

coffee table
Arches coffee table, maple and pine

We would love to hear your thoughts, too.

Best St. Paddy’s Day Meal

cat & leprechaun
Happy St. Paddy’s Day from Betsy and her favorite leprechaun

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We were so lucky to have been invited to my son Bill and DIL Deb’s for a traditional meal, one of my all-time favorites – corned beef and cabbage with carrots and little red potatoes. I brought homemade cloverleaf rolls, banana cream pie and first time ever, Irish soda bread. Actually, the cloverleaf rolls were made with my old standby Dinner Roll recipe and the pie was Cheater Banana Cream (some might call it “almost homemade” but to me it’s cheater) both of which my family loves. The Irish Soda Bread was thanks to Mavis Butterfield at One Hundred Dollars a Month.  Served with honey butter – equal parts honey and softened butter – it is so yummy, definitely a keeper!

Here’s hoping that your St. Patrick’s Day was as rewarding as mine!

What’s in the Works Wednesday

First coat of varnish…

varnishing tables

…on 34 pieces of furniture as well as table tops and drawer fronts!

Table tops, cabinets, drawer fronts
Table tops, cabinets, drawer fronts

But I’m still up to my eyeballs in birdhouses and little bird feeders.


Over 70 done so far, with another 2 dozen to go. In between times, I’m painting ornaments, also. Next week (though I hope sooner) it’s on to garden row markers. The challenge will be to finish before all those pieces of furniture come a knockin’!

Late winter hike at Moose Bog

Saturday was such a beautiful day here in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom! It was just too nice to not take a hike so we headed to Ferdinand’s Moose Bog Trail. On the way, we came across a large flock of those winter visitors, the snow buntings. While on the trail, we were lucky enough to see 3 of the boreal bird species we so long to find: gray jay, boreal chickadee and spruce grouse. The spruce grouse was a real bonus – there on the edge of the woods was a male and female not 6 feet from us. They aren’t called fool hens for nothing! Snapping a picture of them was another story, however. It’s so hard to focus through a maze of tiny branches! A half hour after seeing that pair, we flushed another male spruce grouse as we left the trail.

Hike on the Moose Bog Trail.
Beautiful day for a north woods hike.

It may have been warmer in other places, but it’s still hard to beat a (relatively) warm late winter day in Vermont! You can see a few more of our photos here.

What’s in the Works Wednesday

This time in the workshop, Bill’s putting a finish on a newly designed coffee table. I’m loving those curves! Can’t help but notice the “close-enuf” sign that his dad made him years ago. His dad would be pleased to see that Bill’s woodworking goals have moved wa-a-a-y beyond “close enuf” – right into craftsman!

Coffee Table
New coffee table design in the works from Wildflower Wood

In the studio, all the flower birdhouses, pansies, daisies and sunflowers, are ready for the final coat of varnish.

Flower birdhouses
Flower birdhouses from Wildflower Wood

Coming up this week, more birdhouses – nuthatch, chickadee, wren, chalet, barn, and schoolhouse – as well as little bird feeders.

What’s in the works for you? 🙂