≡ Menu

Crafts and Artsy stuff

How to Make a Cork Wreath

What do you do with all those corks you've saved?  Make a Cork Wreath. It isn't difficult if you follow my directions and take it one step at a time. Here is how to make the perfect Cork Wreath. Cork wreaths are pretty any time of year, but folks like them for the holidays. I [...]

Okra Santa Ornaments from the Garden at Big Mill

How to make these cute Christmas Santa Claus ornaments from Okra We're celebrating "Christmas in July" here on the farm. These ornaments are made from the okra seed pods that dried on the okra plants at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. Most folks just throw them away; when I was growing up we saved them [...]

Spinning & Raising Sheep on the Pamlico River

In another life, I had sheep in my yard. Remember the sixties? Chloe, Maggie Belle & Yorick (photo by Peter Galuszka) I didn't have a lawn mower and I really did believe that the sheep would groom my yard. I needed the fleeces - I was working on my master's degree in fibers - spinning [...]

Making Molasses

Molasses -- that dark, sweet liquid that tastes so good on a hot biscuit -- was once a staple on every farm in eastern North Carolina Melvin Price and Lucy making molasses My dad's family made molasses and to him molasses on a sweet potato was a meal. He told me all about how they [...]

Vollis Simpson – Junkyard Artist of Whirligigs

Vollis Simpson, called the Junkyard Poet of Whirligigs and Windmills by the New York Times Vollis Simpson is a craftsman of brightly painted metal art - giant creations he calls windmills and we call whirligigs. Driving through eastern North Carolina looking for Lucama and Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Farm, you begin to wonder if you are [...]

Vanilla Extract Recipe – How to Make your Own

Want to make a special gift for the cook in your life? And for not much money? Homemade vanilla extract is the perfect gift - everyone cooks. And at Big Mill B&B, vanilla is one of our favorites. But not all vanilla beans are equal. If I can even find vanilla beans in eastern North Carolina, [...]

Light up with Wine Bottles

It's magic -- those tiny lights that twinkle in the wine bottles in the rooms at our own North Carolina Bed and Breakfast, Big Mill Inn-the perfect romantic getaway. The idea is really simple: just drill a hole in a glass bottle and push the lights in. Guests ask me all the time, "How do [...]

Cast Beeswax Ornaments

I saw my first Brown Bag Cookie Mold in the early eighties in a tiny shop in Virginia Highlands, a small Yuppie neighborhood in Atlanta, where I was living. This love affair has never ended. I have St. Nicholas from the 1983 collection, which was the first year they were made. The Brown Bag name comes from [...]

Citrus Decorations – How to dry Orange Slices

Now that the holiday season is approaching, I have to try to shed the Bah Humbug attitude. The best way for me to do that is to make something pretty or make a gift for someone. My mother and I used to cook and bake fudge, brownies and cookies and we made all our decorations mostly from things [...]