Friday, March 22, 2019

Henry the Hedgehog

Henry the Hedgehog
by:  Dicky Bird

A hedgehog I am
tiny and small
I have a great gift
to bring joy to all

So, rub my belly
and tickle my chin
I'll roll in a ball 
and give you a grin

My felted art will be available starting in April at The 319 Gallery, in Wausau, WI.  Link:

I will also be teaching some sculptural needle felting classes at the gallery.  I do continue to do "Where There's WOOL, There's a WAY" parties too.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tips on Tuesday - "Junker's Jargon"

I'm teaching my class tonight:  "What to KEEP, What to SELL, What to DONATE" at UWSP - Wausau.  I made up this little list of "Junker's Jargon" for the novice.  Some are my words, some are not.  All pickers have their own jargon - I even have nick-names for regular customers....(wink,wink).


Junk - doesn't mean junk - it means stuff - usually good stuff!

Garbage/Trash - ALL the other stuff that's not good junk...LOL

Antique - item over 50 years and older (some will say 100 years)

Vintage - item less than 50 years old

Art Deco - style of items from 1920-30's - specific style

WWII Era - from 1940's

Mid-Century - items from 1950 some 60's

Retro and Mod Era - items from 1960-70's and some 80's

Kitsche - (kit chee) a bit funky, weird item that is also neat

Hipster - someone who enjoys buying, using and wearing retro items

Hoarder - someone who can NOT part with things.

Collector - someone who likes a specific item, has many of them

Downsizing - reducing, decluttering, parting with while you are still able to....

Rummage Sale - when you are selling your own items

Living Estate Sale - when the person you are doing a sale for hasn't passed, just downsizing

Estate Sale - a sale after someone passes

Auction - (live or on-line) selling items by bids

Buy Out - when someone comes in and buys a whole house/collection takes it all

Estate Consultant - someone you hire to help you determine what to do with your items

Dealer - someone who specializes in antique/collectibles

Picker - someone who buys and the resells - either to a dealer or for themselves

Cherry Pick - when you let a dealer or picker, pick the best stuff and leave you with the rest

Gold - something super nice!

Honey Hole or Mega Pick - great spot, awesome sale, a place where picker found good stuff

Running the Traps - hitting all the regular spots on your picking route

Wheeler Dealer - one who likes to make a deal, take offers, willing to negotiate

Scoop - the inside on a sale or secret

Serendipity Picking - when you aren't looking for something and it finds you

Junk ESP - I have it!  When your guts say..."that's something!" even if you don't know it.

Junk Drunk - when a picker is "drunk/high" on the good deals they bought

Scammer - someone trying to trick you

EBay - Etsy - global on-line selling sites - must be a member

Craigslist - on line selling site, you select your area of listing, proceed with caution Scammers

Face book Market Place/Groups/On-Line Sales - all via face book selling sites

E-Waste - electronics vintage old stuff (waste)

Lot - an item or group of items for sale - sometimes "box lot" - sell it all in the box

Dumpster Diving - what it is

Big Garbage Picker - when spring clean up is happening, driving around picking stuff up

Curb Side Shopper or Curb Alert - place something on the curb for FREE

Flea Market - where you can find and sell all kinds of items

Early Birds or Early Birder - get in line early or sometimes go early to a sale

1st in Line, Line Up Crew, The Order, Line Up - order in which you get to go into a sale

Oh, I could probably think of others.  Like this one a client gave me..."Jacky of All Trades" - the thing is, in my area there are like 3 or 4 Jackies - I'm the only Jacky with a Y.  I've also been callled, "Country Jacky" "Ringle Jacky" - oh, I know, I've heard....some others "Big Jacky".... nope, don't like that one....

I hope you found these helpful and funny.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Motivational Monday - Master's Degree

I started this morning needing some motivation about procrastination and when I searched my own blog, this is what came was exactly what I needed to be reminded of:

The date was 2017, however, reading it, it could have been today.  I'm still working on my Master's degree. 

While working at Theme this past weekend, one of the "girls" asked me what I was going to take to my next to 2 shows.  They are back to back in May.  I said "I don't know...?!"  She said, "come on, you must's only a few weeks away!"  I quickly said, "no, I really don't, I work best under pressure!"  Just then, one of our customers, whom I've known and has bought stuff from me for over 25 years...peeked her head from around the corner and said..."that's true!  I've seen her work miracles!"  I started to laugh..."I don't want to over think it - I just do it."  I don't like it at times, but it works for me.  So, now as I muddle through today, this week, this post reminds me to keep the right attitude because I chose to procrastinate.  I'm working on my master's degree and that is what matters!

So I encourage you to click on the link to the older post above - it is exactly my thoughts for motivation.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Motivational Monday - Important Announcement

We interrupt this normally positive, upbeat, Motivational Monday post for an important announcement....

I'm so not motivated!  
I'm so not in love with daylight savings!  
I'm so tired of the snow!  
I am upset with myself!

So, I'm not feeling it today for my Motivational Monday post.  Al left for work today and we both decided it's been a LONG month and maybe, just maybe, we have "cabin fever."   

Something actually upset me so much that I was almost in tears...I'm not a "down in the dumps" Dicky Bird!  I didn't get the name of "little Miss Sunshine" for that attitude.  

So, I called one of my sisters.  I told her how I was feeling and the "why" behind it.  Then she shared something with me that made her feel sad and believe it or not it helped.  So, if anything, I would say today that might be motivational, it would be, share your woes with another.  Don't have a pity party!  We didn't, we actually helped each other, not only by sharing, but trying to figure out how to fix "it."  

Also, because I believe in signs...I woke this morning and asked "Lord, if you want to tell me something encouraging today, and you know I need it, let my little inspirational calendar have your word for me."  Guess what it said for today, March 11....I couldn't have even planned this better..."Prayer is the Christian's mightiest weapon" how did I forget...."just a little talk with Jesus and I'll tell Him all about my troubles, He will hear my faintest cries, He will answer by and by" (I can hear my Grandpa Kincaid singing and playing that song on his banjo even now).  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Week In Pictures

Found this shopping last weekend with my friends on the Vintage Shop Hop.  This is so what I do!   The other S word that should be on there is Sell it...(LOL).  Shannon's husband came up with that one.  I told him to Shush it...

"Where There's WOOL, There's A Way" in home needle felting party.  These were the 2 projects the hostess and I came up with.  

Our barn yard temperature - several mornings this week.  We are in a low area next to a little stream, it's always colder here.  

I've been doing a weekly giveaway on my business face book page.  This week is this little chick, her shell and 2 eggs all in this little vintage berry basket.  If you want to enter, click on Town Hall Trinkets on top of this page.  

I had 2 visits to the walk-in clinic.  Neither for my eye, rather for my ears.  Anyway, I still have a blood shot eye.  I also had a well woman mammogram.  My mom had breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy.  Get checked and check yourselves ladies.  To round out a week of going to different appointments, I started physical therapy.  We figured that the root of my issue is from a dog bite I sustained while delivering an item a client's home - over 2 years ago.

I didn't do anything about it, on all accounts including taking it seriously.  Now, I'm down to less than 10% (actually I can't even do it so 0%) ability to lift off on that leg now.  There is nerve damage.  That is why I fell with that huge cupboard and why I keep falling.  That calf muscle is 1.5" smaller than the other.  It's part of my RECLAIM year!  I didn't post this for a woe is me type comments - just talking about my life and why we should take care of ourselves.

After so many classes in a row, my felting tub of roving was a mess.  I spent about 2 hours rewinding into balls, bagging similar colors and organizing.  I always tell my students, "don't toss out any pieces of roving, even the smallest pieces can be felted into something."  This is the something, tie dyed eggs.  This week also brought a new opportunity for me.  I was asked to be an exhibitor at Gallery 319 in Wausau.  I will also be teaching a class in May.  

Another snow storm is on it's way here today.  I have paperwork to do, I hate paperwork!  

What did your week bring?  Any fun plans for this weekend.  By the way, "Spring Forward" daylight savings tonight.  Have a great weekend!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Working on Wednesday

It's been a long time since I did a "Working On Wednesday" post.  I've been working, just not posting it (smile).  However, I have been blogging, yay!

January and February days lead to:

Teaching some needle felting classes.  Starting an in home craft party concept called "Where There's WOOL, There's a Way."  Selling my items at the Wausau Antique Show and a Theme sale.  Collaborating with Applewood Lane Alpacas, District 3 Antiques of Wittenberg, Wisconsin to host a "Spring Into Fiber Arts" clinic in April.  Starting a weekly vintage give away on my main business facebook page.  Meeting with a few new clients and selling their items on my on line page.  Working on my cookie cookbook along with a children's book idea.  Whew...when I type it all out, it doesn't seem like I've been as slothful as I feel.  I'm not that productive, really....and I hate the "I,I,I, sickness" so, I hope this didn't sound like that!  My blog is my journal to my life that I happen to invite you in on.  


So, now that we are caught up, here is what I'm working on this week.  Painting furniture; cute little desk, cedar chest, book case and a few small boxes.  Making pads and pillows for these pieces.  Needle felting, mostly eggs.  Digging for, washing and marking inventory for my booths.

O.K. now that the temp has reached above zero...waaaaa, I'm on my way out to the barn to do chores.  Have a great day!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 4, 2019

Motivational Monday - Just Do It Anyway

Good Monday morning....well, it might be later by the time I get this posted.  

I have been listening to several pod casts lately.  Women entrepreneurs, women of faith, Chicken Soup for the (fill in the blank) and other uplifting types.  I can do this while I "work" and feel good about learning something too (wink, wink).  

There was one that I can't stop thinking about.  It made me sad and left me feeling like a failure.  Normally, her pod casts aren't this way!  However, she is interviewing, rather selling her "Master Minds" one-on-one for a year of mentoring.  After I thought about it, who wouldn't want to "buy into" the self negativity after listening...after all, she was trying to sell.  I hate to think it, but I believe that was the motive.  

She said that if you aren't making 6 or 7 digits a year in whatever it is you are doing in today's Internet age, you are failing.  I was thinking 6 or 7 digits...including the decimal point?  I know professionals, like lawyers, doctors, dentists with acronyms behind their names that don't make that.   She even said, "if you're not, then you are not an entrepreneur your a wantapreneur."  Really?! HOW RUDE!  (Stephanie Tanner, Full House).

I asked a few friends, some in my business others not, what they thought about this.  I had mixed answers.  So, I started crunchin' some numbers, figuring in some costs, thinking about what others do......NOPE, forget it, it was all just depressing me even more.  Hey, if you are listening to a podcast that makes you this sad - stop listening!  She did however, make me think about this, my Motivational Monday - Just Do It Anyway post.

Yes, whatever it is you enjoy doing, even if you are not an entrepreneur, if you find it rewarding, just keep doing it.  Don't measure yourself by other's success or failures.  Keep plugging away at "it" and find joy in the process....that's true success!   

Maybe your journey is weight loss.  Losing 50 pounds won't happen over night.  It's small changes that bring about permanent loss.  Journal, drink water, quit eating something 1 time a week and then 2 times and exercise.  I am preachin' to myself here!  

Maybe your journey is to be a stay at home mom.  You may think, how can I do it?  Don't jump in and quit your job cold turkey, prepare by saving.  Ask your boss to let you cut your hours, go part-time, work with your schedule - you will never know, if you don't ask.  I did that and was able to be full time at home within 1 year and trained my replacement.  It was a win/win.  

Maybe your journey is to buy land and homestead.  Educate yourself, find a mentor, volunteer or intern at a farm.  Talk to an older farmer ready to retire, you just don't know what one is thinking, until you enlighten them with the idea of a land contract, rent to own type thing.  

Whatever journey you are on, don't  listen to the naysayer's definition of success.  You define your own success.  Not every path leads to 6 or 7 digits to happiness or greatness.  I find peace in what I do!  I keep recreating myself and developing new ideas for my creativity.  Lately, I don't feel too successful, but, I keep doing "it" anyway!  You should too!  Good luck!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Grebe's Cooking Class - Chinese Hot Pot

For the past 2 years, my daughters and I have signed up to take a cooking class at Grebe's Chef Center.  (Link:  In this world of Walmart and Dollar Store "take over" - it is wonderful to support this family run business.  Truthfully, in Wausau they are the only store like this.  They are able to compete because they still offer what the other lacks:  individual customer service, an actual service department, QUALITY items, unique, high end kitchenware and this...their cooking classes.  

We love Asian food - of all kinds.  Justine and Josh were blessed enough to travel to China and experienced it first hand.  When we saw that Joy, who was born in China, teaches Chinese in Wausau Schools, was teaching cooking classes, we knew our hot pot experience would be authentic.  It was!  

This is Joy's hot pot.  We cooked ours in fondue pots.  I might have to find us these authentic pots for Christmas.  The broth, traditionally bone broth, has garlic, green onion, sliced tomato, Chinese dates, goji berries, dark vinegar and other spices added.  We had our choice of the spicy or tomato base for our pot.  You bring that all to a boil and add your choice of meat and veggies.  The broth is so hot, it only takes minutes for most to cook.  We had thinly sliced lamb, beef, fish, shrimp, fish and seafood balls, quail eggs, tofu and veggies of all kinds.  Once cooked, you eat right out of the pot.  We didn't, we used a big spoon to scoop our individual's flu season here...teehee.   

It was fun!  I can't wait to see what classes they offer next time.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Week 50 - Dicky Bird's Cheese Cake Cookies

Dicky Bird's Cheese Cake Cookies

1 stick soft butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C honey
Cream together, add

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
blend together and add

1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 C flour

Roll this into balls.  Take a mellon baller or back of a spoon to press into the middle of each ball to make a "divot" to put in the cheese cake mixture.

Cheese Cake Mixture:

1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg 
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Fill in the "divot" with this mixture.  I added 3 blueberries, but I think chocolate chips would be good or raspberries.

Bake these at 350 for 8-10 min.  This made 30 cookies.  They are good!  Enjoy.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Week 49 - Cream Cheese Cookies

8 oz. soft cream cheese
1 stick soft butter
cream together, and add

2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
blend together, and add

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 C flour
Mix well, make round balls and press with fork.  Bake 350 for 8-10 min.  Makes 2 doz.  Once cooled, dust with sifted powdered sugar

A light, fluffy, biscuit type of cookie.  Easy again, with simple ingredients.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tips on Tuesday - Painting Furniture

For my tips on Tuesday, I thought I would share a few on painting furniture.  I have painted and repurposed furniture, almost my entire life.  As a child, we would "pick" while rummaging all kinds of pieces "in the rough."  Some, my mom would repaint and others she would take up north to my grandpa to refinish.  Truthfully, I just assumed everyone did this!

1.  Have the good sense to know when to paint a piece and when NOT to!  I have to say, in this painting of furniture pains me to see some of these natural beauties painted.  Often times, when you understand the wood and the time frame these pieces were from, painting them is just wrong.  Not only does it lessen their value, most times they turn out "ugly."  Now, I say that as one who paints furniture.  But, I also know antiques.  Research your piece, before you paint it.  

2.  Prep, prep, sand, sand, wash, wash ..... get the picture?   You will never regret the time put into prep and cleaning of a piece before you paint it!  You will, however, regret when a greasy stain, chippy corner or even a bubbly veneer comes through your painted piece.  Fix it before you paint it.

3.  I do not follow trends in paint.  I am a classic acrylic painter.  I have used both milk and chalk paint, I just don't like the finish.  I'm an old dog...I don't want to learn new tricks...but, that doesn't mean my pieces look dated.  I do keep up with color trends.  One time I did a piece and the shopkeeper told me that the buyer's said..."it's as smooth as silk" and that piece was.  Pick your poison and master it!

4.  Always complete a piece.  Paint the back, underneath, back of feet, turn the piece every which way and look at every area covered.  It is a pet peeve of mine, when I see a beautiful painted piece and then I look at the back, the legs, even the back of paint.  If you are going to paint it - then paint it.

5.  Find the right product for finishing.  When a customer spends $300 on a painted buffet, they want to be able to use it without leaving rings or scratches.  Stain, poly or some other kind of finishing of your choice, but this step is crucial.

Here are a few pieces I've done in the past:

I love to paint in layers and add the aged patina

I also like to heavily distress using masking tape to pull off to achieve this antique aged look.

This was an example of knowing when NOT to repaint a piece.  I took off the old linoleum and cleaned it up.  Primitive pieces rarely, actually, I'm going to say NEVER need painting.  This took cleaning, sanding, sanding, oil and was work!  It sold at a show to another antique dealer in minutes of my putting it probably was too cheap...

Here are 2 examples of pieces that were already painted, probably years before, but I just took the sander to them and "knocked them down" - truthfully, it was part of the prep stage, but they looked so good that way, I didn't want to paint them.  Sometimes this will happen. 

6.  If the piece is talking to you .... listen.   

I will end with this one, probably one of my favorites.  I had an old can of paint I bought off the clearance rack.  It was an odd color.  My intentions were to use it as a primer and first layer of color.  Once distressed, it left this piece so soft and wouldn't know to look at it, but this has 6 or 7 different layers of "product" on it.  This was the "smooth as silk" piece I early mentioned.

Good luck and I hope these tips help you for your next project.   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

Motivational Monday - His "Honey Do" List

It's Monday already?!  HELP!  

I was rather motivated this morning and I accomplished most everything on my list, including giving the dog a bath and cutting her nails.  She hates that!  

I wrote about "MyONday" (read it here: and I repeat this to myself - "it's myONday!"  I was looking forward to doing what I wanted to do today, like needle felt the day away.  However, when I flipped my inspirational daily said..."a worthy wife is her husband's joy and crown."  Prov. 12:4 ....ughhh....  So, to motivate me, I made my list of things Al would want me to do and the dog was top on his list - she was stinky. 

So, he will be home soon to scrubbed floors, vacuumed furniture and rugs, sorted laundry, made bed...(teehee), dusted cabinets and saucy steaks in the oven.  Yep, it wasn't "myONday" - but, his.  In doing these tasks, even though I didn't want to, I do feel quite motivated!  I might even make a dessert!  

Next time you feel less than eager to complete some tasks on his "honey do list" - think about Prov. 12:4.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Week 48 - Cocoa & Chips Cookie

2 sticks of soft butter
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
Cream together, add:

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together,

2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C Cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
mix together in a separate bowl, slowly blend into mixture

2 1/2 C white chocolate chips
stir into the dough and drop by tablespoons onto a lightly greased pan.  Bake 350 for 8-10 min.  You will smell when to check on them.  These are a crispy cookie.  Makes 2 1/2 doz.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Saturday, February 23, 2019


I've been needle felting and writing little poems about them.  This is Wendy.

I know you've grown weary 
of all this Winter's snow,
warmer days will soon be here 
and then it'll be time for me to go.

I weathered the polar vortex
blizzard winds and grey skies
yet it's not hindered my spirits
nor dimmed my shiny eyes.

For the gaze upon your house, 
chicken coop and barn too,
made my days oh so happy
and took away my blues.

Winter is but a little time 
and just a few flakes away
nature's season of rest 
and my time to play.

I wonder if with a happy heart
when out your window view
you saw me as I sat guard 
while the cold winds blew.

So, when working in the Summer's sun 
and you look upon this place,
I hope you will remember me
and my smiling face.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.