Galleywinter Farm is the setting that has inspired some wonderful artwork over the years. Creative folks of all sorts seem to be attracted to this little piece of heaven. Discoveries and experiences while trail riding, camping or just puttering around horseback warranted documentation so suitable journals and pommel bags were created. Adorning the horse is an age-old tradition and still alive today - ala the buckaroos of the sagebrush basin, the Mongolians and Tibetans, among many other horsepeoples. We love to carry on this tradition in our own way with functional and beautiful gear.
Bark cuffs. If you love wood, its grain, and imperfections, then Wear it!! These cuffs made from hickory bark are all different, beautiful, and extremely durable. I wear mine all the time - for working with the horses or dressing up for dinner out.
Bark clips are really fun on the journals to mark your place - and provide a nice bit of beauty in your day. They also work great on a collar or to close a scarf.
Bark containers made of white birch called Makukoonse were used by numerous Eastern Woodland tribes - Ojibwe, Shawnee, Potawatomi, Seneca, and Mohawk. We are using these as a model for our pine and hickory bark containers. They have a snug-fitting wood lid with a leather pull. Very durable, and great in your saddle bag, glove box, or purse for supplements, medicinals, needles, thread, or other small items.
Buckskin. I skin local deer harvested for meat and take the hides through a labor-intensive process, ending up with super soft brain-tanned Buckskin. These skins were traditionally used for clothing by the native peoples, as well as being made into various bags and parfleches. They were often decorated with porcupine quill in elaborate designs. These items are still being made by a handful of artists in the states. I try to attend their shows and bring home quilled neckbags for my clients - who wear them riding and elsewhere. My buckskin hides make wonderful shoulder bags. They feel wonderful and are extremely lightweight. I'm experimenting with making journal covers of braintan. (I also love to sleep with a hide on my bed!).
Felt Pommel Bags. We love to day-ride out in the mountains. The best bags are those you carry over the pommel of your saddle because the weight is most easily carried up front and they are right there to reach into on the go. Great for cellphone, knife, journal, sunglasses, water bottles, maps. - and snackfoods. I've always loved felt and love a good pommel bag. I fell in love with the first one I made: the way it looks, how it blends right into your saddle, the cushion it provides for your hands while riding, how extremely lightweight it is, and how secure everything is in it. It's not phased by rain and it loves to be washed.
Computer Bags of Felt. These are fantastic - the felt cradles, cushions and protects your computer. Also makes a great seat cushion when empty, unlike most computer bags. Made to your specifications with a snug fit so nothing even thinks about falling out. Straps are leather, woven wool, cotton or linen.
If you love to write, or would like to cultivate this lovely personal practice, it helps to have a journal that invites you to it, that wants to be touched. Handwriting on paper with a pen or pencil feeds the senses and helps us remember better what we've written down. Journals are like a "bucket" for catching the stream of creative awareness that flows when you're with a horse - hanging out or riding out.
In the office where I suggest clients pause, notice, and record their food choices, energy levels and thoughts, a food journal was welcome. At Galleywinter we needed a small and durable pommel bag journal for our trail rides. Then we needed a "pocket" journal, small enough to fit in any pocket and able to hold a pencil. We wanted a horsemanship journal as beautiful and well -made as our horses. We also needed a full size writers' journal for open ended reflective writing, one of the best and cheapest self-referred therapies there is. We made them all and use them with great pleasure! Galleywinter Arts' handmade journals were born!
Nothing but the finest papers are used for covers and inside pages. All are sewn with linen thread in great colors.
Horsemanship journals are letterpress printed with a Horse of Life design painted by my mother, Edith Todter. This lovely image has graced our t-shirts for many years.
"Thank you so much for the beautiful horse journal. I'm going to use it for recording special moments with my new little rescue horse."
Here are the prices for the hand-sewn journals:
Pocket Journals 3 x 4" $ 10
Writer's Journal 8.5 x 11 $28
Letterpress Printed Horse of Life Journals:
3 sections 5.5 x 7.5" $25
I love to spin fleeces into yarn that has a lot of texture, color and character. You'll find natural creams, greys, browns and blacks that knit into amazingly beautiful wear-on-the-farm or anywhere sweaters. Local growers provide wonderful fleeces for handspinning. Romney and romney crosses, coopworth, alpaca all end up as gorgeous handspun yarns. My good friend and fiber artist Laurie Gunderson of Appalachian Piecework in Staunton likes my yarns for her weavings. Check out her Market Bags.