Spring Market Success

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Hosting our first ever Thistle Lane Spring Market this June  left us feeing inspired and encouraged. Together, with a very dedicated committee we managed to provide our visitors with a market filled with 17 vendors for a local shopping experience.

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The country ambience of a farm house bed and breakfast and horse barn setting was the perfect place to display our merchandise. The day could not have been any nicer, the weather was fantastic, the food at the canteen was second to none, and the customers were greeted by the artisans and farmers themselves who were more than willing to show their gifts, talents and products.

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The market hosted just over 300 people throughout the course of the day, with that being said, we will be looking into hosting future markets.

We are excited to announce that plans are already set into motion for our first ever Christmas in the Country Market. We look forward to sharing details on this event soon.

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This brings us to the possibility of an even larger Spring Market in 2018!

Thank you so much for sharing in this day with us. If you missed it, you may get another chance to attend a Thistle Lane Market soon!

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Thistle Lane Spring Market

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Join us on June 3 for our ONE DAY ONLY Spring Market. Seventeen local artisan and business vendors will be showcasing their handmade goods and one of a kind merchandise. This is an opportunity to connect personally with the people who love what they do and most importantly gives us an opportunity to shop small and shop local this spring!

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Our amazing vendors include-

Retro Chique- Take a trip down memory lane by visiting us at the Spring Market. You will not be disappointed by our selection of retro and vintage one of a kind collectives. 

Daisy Thirteen- We aim to bring simple nature inspired designs to your home. Personalized gifts and accessories, designs to make you smile.

White Rustic Woodworks- Building things rustic including tables, benches, book shelves, doors, coffee tables. Rustic inspiration at its finest!

Handmade With Love- Repurposed furniture and handmade home decor, made from pallets as well as other recycled materials.

Grunthal Berries- We grow our strawberries and then make a beautiful heritage jam. The jam tastes as fresh as the summer and is a little runny, just like grandmas recipe.

Sage & Olivia- Unique, expressive, chic and always current. Uniquely handcrafted jewelry, designed with natural stones such as turquoise, jasper, agate, labradorite, coral and many more. Using vintage elements, chains, pearl, leather, and feathers the jewelry is ever evolving.

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Roosties Baby Muks- Re-purposed leather and fabric toddler footwear that is durable with barefoot like comfort.

Then & Now Designs by Wanda- Then & now designs is taking something old and used then transforming it into something new and refreshing. Furniture, frames, blackboards, are some of the items of our home decor line.

Artist Pivot- Arts and crafts, antiques and collectables. A variety of antiques in vintage and retro collectives. Flea markets dream with an assortment of new and gently used items.

Old Church Bakery- Artisans Bread, sourdough cultures and long fermentation give this handmade baked bread its tremendous flavour.

Oma’s Quilt Shop- This little country quilt shop offers fabric along with a variety of ready to sew quilt packages, hand made quilts, and much more. There will be something for everyone, no matter your style or sewing level, you will be inspired by the choice fabrics, and patterns.

Annilynn’s Custom Made- An assortment of home decor items with a modern rustic touch, lanterns, wooden signage, vintage inspired chalkboards and much more are a few items that are being offered.

The Home Workshop- Home, office and commercial design services including project management and furniture sales. Let us help you make your house a place you are proud to call home and a business a pure reflection of your brand and business goals. Connect with us at the Market to dream up how we can make your design dreams come to life.

MA’s Creations- Inspirational signage for home and office, variety of styles and sizes. These beautiful signs are sure to leave a statement, expressing your inner thoughts.

Thistle Lane Flowers- Field to Vase, locally grown flowers, bouquets will be sold weekly throughout the growing season, at various locations. The venue at the spring market allows me a chance to show what we offer, our bouquets, hand tied as well as quart jars will be available for purchase.

Boreal Tree Company- All things made from trees including birdhouses and wooden tapas boards.

Dadirri Naturals- All natural alternatives for health and beauty at your fingertips. Quality ingredients and hand-crafted products that are great for your body and your world.

Lehman’s Log Furniture- Showcasing and selling beautifully hand crafted stools, mirrors, coffee tables, dressers and more. All made from logs for a truly rustic look. 
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We looking forward to seeing you. Follow us and our vendors on social media for sneak peaks, directions and so much more!

Shop small and shop local with us this spring.

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Jumping Into Spring

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Flower farming is definitely moving forward at this time of year, with end of February being the start of the seeding schedule. In all actuality, the year starts much sooner than this, with time spent dreaming, planning, ordering, and reflecting on the past growing year, there is much to think about.

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December and January, we have the arrival of all the new seed catalogues, staying focused on what we want to grow and how much we can grow are often the difference between the dream and reality. Plus the long cold winter days are also the time to catch up on any reading related to flower farming.

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Starting all my seeds under lights in my basement is great for awhile. About mid March I start running out of lights and moving seedlings around the house. Thankfully some of my girls have moved out and I have extra bedrooms, to put the overflow. This is also the time I plant the dahlia tubers (the ones I saved from the fall before stored in a cold room for the winter) and of course we buy more to add to the stash. This cost is justified because I start them and take cuttings off the original tuber and if things go well you can double or triple your collection all from cuttings. Love it! Seedlings growing happily under lights, a few still have their seeds stuck on top.

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All flowers get bumped up to regular flower packs as soon as their true leaves set in, that’s when things start to get really full. We have a little rustic greenhouse that my husband built for me about twenty years ago, that’s where I move all the flowers into, as soon as I see the weather looks stable which is typically the beginning of April.

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The goal is for earliest planting possible, to bring you the best locally grown flower bouquets!

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For the Love of Hobby Farming

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This month we’ve decided to give you an inside look at our little hobby farm, the animals and how we manage the farm during our Manitoba winter months. Every farmer spends most of the summer preparing for the dreaded long winter, making sure you have enough hay, that the fencing is safe and secure and to ensure the run in the sheds are prepared for the wintery blast.

The last few winters, the weather has been particularly pleasant for the most part, with the exception of a few very cold days, during which time special care is provided for the animals with extra grain rations and bedding.

The morning feed for the sheep starts whenever the sun rises, sometimes I think their routine reflects our routine. They literally only exit their sleeping quarters at approximately 8:00 a.m. How perfect for us! They understand the value of morning coffee!

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They wait for us to open their fence, we do lock them up as we are surrounded by neighbourhood dogs, plus coyotes. Once we release them, they are off for their breakfast of mixed grains, lentils and chickpeas. Sheep by nature are followers and they love routine.

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Maverick our future guard dog is much to young to protect his herd, but he definitely thinks he is part of the group!

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The hay bale gets placed in a pen, we hand fork it to the edge, the sheep then eat the hay through the page wire, this system works great for keeping their feed clean and leaves very little waste. It is a win/win!

Sheep are creatures of habit, they love routine and in winter they always travel in single file. They are easily trained and are highly motivated by grain.

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Now for the animals that are near and dear to my heart, in the country during the winter we call them hay burners. Cody and Shadow are our quarter horses and their short sidekick Turbo the pony and Maria the miniature donkey.

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Creating Balance for 2017

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The start of the New Year always fills our hearts and minds with anticipation, and a feeling of new beginnings. Striving to create a balance between family, personal goals, business goals, and much needed down time looks different for everyone. I’ve made a list for myself that will incorporate goals for the upcoming year. To keep me accountable for the things I would like to accomplish, I’ve created a vision board. This will be a visual reminder during the year to refocus on specific goals because I know what happens when life gets busy we let things go and lose sight of good intentions!

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Personal Goals:
Faith- Devotion to God, nurturing our soul.
Family – As a wife, mother, grandmother; knowing these relationships must take priority.
Friends- Be there for your friends; you need to be a friend to have a friend.
Fitness – Need to establish a regular routine to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Business Goals:
Bed and Breakfast- Entering into our fourth year as bnb owners we continue to strive to offer country hospitality to our guests. We are grateful for all the wonderful people who cross our paths, and whom we have the privilege to share our farm with.

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Field to Vase Goals: 

Going into our second year of flower farming, we are very encouraged by the response of the local community. We will be amending a few soil issues as well as refining our draining around the garden. With that being said, I’ve ordered more flowers and have admitted to seed addiction! lol. We are looking forward to sharing the bounty and creating many bouquets for your enjoyment.

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Our Katahdin Sheep Goals: 

Our desire to use our land to raise purebred Katahdin has been a learning curve for sure. The long term goal is to sell commercial breeding stock, the short term goal is to understand and educate ourselves in a very complex balance of running a high health herd. Nutrition, genetics, parasite control and farm management play a huge part in the overall health of our sheep. This journey is at the beginning. Working together with my husband in this area has been very rewarding. We both have different gifts and when combined we make a great team! TL Vision 4

Creating a balanced life is very personal, keeping things and goals in perspective might take awhile to master. How we use our time changes through the seasons, and even possibly week to week. Using the vision board, will help me to stay focused, determining where my time spent will bring the greatest results.

This last month our Pastor spent some time on teaching us to make plans. There is nothing wrong with making plans, in fact it’s biblical, but we need to hold these plans loosely because ultimately its God who directs our steps. Real life comes to all of us, meaning we can make the perfect plan for our year, but often life gets redirected and our course needs to change.Being flexible to incorporate change and still be focused on goals is a challenge for us all.
In conclusion, dream big!
Having a vision for your life and business creates passion and that passion is the driving force behind personal change in order for us to get things done. Most of all enjoy the journey of finding your passion!

Cheers to an amazing and blessed 2017!

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Friendsgiving

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Holiday Crafting with Friends

There is nothing better to kick off the upcoming Christmas season than a gathering of friends. All of us have memories of family get-togethers, Christmas programs, work banquets, and many assorted Christmas related events. On the other hand, a simple event to celebrate the women in our lives and the gratitude that we feel towards each other can only be called “Friendsgiving”.

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Our Friendsgiving Day, the scene is set, a rustic bed and breakfast venue, candlelit tablescape with the scent of cinnamon and soft Christmas music playing in the background. The perfect atmosphere for a festive start to the day.

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The menu for the event consists of vegetarian quiche, farmhouse quiche (spinach & bacon), caramel pecan topped cinnamon buns, miniature pancakes topped with raspberry sauce, whipped cream and maple syrup. Plus, a full dose of coffee for each of us.

After much chatter and laughter, combined with a need to move around and do something, the party moved to the horse barn for the crafting portion of our day.
Creating a Christmas wreath, under the influence of a lot of coffee, our motto being that we can do this!

With a few basic instructions, pruning shears, wire cutters and a barn full of natural foliage that had already been separated into various evergreen piles, our creativity flowed. So much fun was had as we started experimenting with the look we were trying to achieve; helping each other decide when more or less natural greens were needed and helping each other twist wire around stems.

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The final decision, what kind of ribbon to personalize our wreaths, should it be burlap, plaid, shimmer gold, white or classic red. Using all natural materials, mostly evergreens, we had a common thread throughout our wreaths, but the finishing touches that we added, clearly reflected our individual personalities and added that personal touch.

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How precious each one of us is, we bring different gifts and ideas together including respect, love and we value each other. How special to appreciate each other’s God given uniqueness. To have a friend is to be a friend.

Thank you ladies for joining me for this fun event!

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Fall Decor on a Budget

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Surrounded by natural beauty in the fall season, it stirs a desire to decorate our homes both inside and out.

The warm colours that are displayed everywhere we look and the crisp clean air ignite us with creativity. The true beauty of fall decorating is that there is no need to purchase anything. There is no right or wrong way to make a fall vignette, just add or delete natural elements or move things around till they feel just right.

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A few things you will need:
Pumpkins, grow your own or pick up a few at the store is quite inexpensive.
Garden pruners for foraging in your back yard or someone’s bush. Always ask for permission first!
Any plaid guilt or throw, most of mine come from second hand stores.
Look around you house for anything rustic country such as birdhouses, wreaths, old pails, garden pots and even a small bench. Don’t be afraid to be creative and the older the item, the better!

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Now start putting things together in a layered effect, constantly stepping away from your vignette to see how it’s looking. Before you know, you’ll have the most beautiful, unique fall decor for your exterior!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Thistle Lane’s Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup graham wafer crumbs,
1/3 butter
Mix crumbs and butter together. Press into 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.

Filling:

3 pkg cream cheese
3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Dash of each: cloves, nutmeg and ginger

Mix together cream cheese, sugar vanilla and eggs. Divide mixture in half, too one half add pumpkin and spices.
Pour the plain batter over the crust, gently top with pumpkin batter.
Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the centre is set.
Let cool completely!
Best taste for cheesecakes is the day after they are baked!

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Top with either a drizzle of chocolate or caramel and add a dollop of whipping cream! The next day call a friend and make yourself a pot of coffee. Enjoy!

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Girls Gone Wise

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Thistle Lane Guesthouse offers a retreat weekend package for young women called Girls Gone Wise. We have teamed up with our local church to offer a Christian Ministry directed at young women from the ages of fourteen all the way to college age. The possibility of doing a mother daughter retreat would be a welcomed idea, for there are many biblical truths we address that are for women of all ages.

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The book called Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, is written by Mary Kassian an award winning author and well know speaker. It has twenty main contrasts between wild and wise that we touch on throughout the weekend. We have divided those chapters into four main teaching sessions, due to the time involved, this retreat weekend is a condensed version of the book.

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According to scripture there is a measure of “Girl Gone Wild” in all of us, this retreat is designed to help young women discern between wild and wise decisions, learning about God’s design for womanhood.
Our young women have a tremendous amount of pressure to conform to the world’s patterns and standards. We would like to empower young women to choose God’s biblical truths as their moral foundation for spiritual success in their lives.It seems there are so many of us living with brokenness, dysfunction, and pain and without clear direction of what the bible tells us when it comes to being a women of God.
This retreat will be offered as a private booking at the Bed and Breakfast for any group of young women, it is taught by qualified leaders, who are actively involved in our local churches. We are very clear in presenting the plan of salvation, the girls are asked to bring along a bible, if they do not have one they will be given a bible as a gift.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3 5-6

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Weekend Agenda
Friday night, arrival between 5pm -6 pm
6 pm dinner
Girls Gone Wise is based on Proverbs 7
7 pm Session 1- Heart- What Holds First Place in Her Affections
– Counsel- Where She Gets Her Instruction
– Approach- Who Directs Her Love Story
– Attitude- Her Prevailing Disposition
– Habits- Her Priorities and Her Routines
9:30pm – Bonfire (weather permitting)
Saturday 8:15- 9:15am-Breakfast
9:30am-Session 2-Focus- What Commands Her Attention
-Appearance- How She Adorns Herself
-Body Language-Her NonVerbal Behaviour
-Roles- Her Pattern of Interaction
-Sexual Conduct-Her Sexual Behaviour
Noon – lunch 12-1pm

Afternoon activities- Crafting Session 1pm-3pm
– Horse Care- with supervised rides- 3pm-5pm
Saturday DInner-5:30-6:30
7:00pm-Session 3 -Boundaries- Her Hedges and Precautions
-Authenticity-Her Public Versus Private Persona
-Neediness-Whom She Depends on to Fulfill Her Longings
-Possessions-How She Handles Her Money and Resources
-Entitlement-Her Insistence on Gratification
9:30pm movies/free time
Sunday morning Breakfast 8:30-9-30am
10am Session 4 -Reliability- Her Faithfulness to Commitments
– Speech-Her Speech Habits
-Influence-Her Impact on Others and Their Impact on Her
-Sustainability-Her Ability to Nurture and Sustain a Relationship
-Teachability-Her Willingness to be Corrected and Instructed

The teaching sessions are hands on with a variety of video segments, sharing, question/answer and referencing the Bible.
What’s included in the retreat package?
– Girls Gone Wise Book
– Notebook
– All the meals are made right here at the Bed & Breakfast
– Towels and bedding
– Crafting supplies

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Please call for pricing, and any other questions you may have! We require a minimum of 5 women and a maximum of 9 women, including chaperone/ youth leaders. We hope to see you this fall/winter!

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Farm Fresh Flowers

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Let’s start from the beginning, why flower farming? Well, two summers ago I started to cultivate an outdoor riding area which was to be my riding coral. Last summer, I worked my horses in this particular area but something was not quite right, the dirt was very nice. It had a lot of organic matter (old hog manure) which caused me to think, I should really be growing a garden in this location. We can always put the riding ring beside the garden, why not!

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Since vegetables did not pull at my heart strings, that left me with flowers! So the research began and ever since then, I have not looked back. I learnt as much as I could, plus with a little bit of seed knowledge from my young married years, I moved forward with this exciting new venture!

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I began most of the seeds in my basement under lights and by April, I moved all my seedlings into my old green house. Things were starting to look promising.
Early spring, we put up temporary fencing to keep the horses out of the garden and give definition to the space.

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Then, it was time to put the baby plants into the new garden. Planting a few thousand seedlings actually should be classified as a sport, because I felt every muscle in my body and found a few that I was unaware of. Next year the plan would be to train physically prior to this spring time event so that I’m better prepared physically and mentally!

Our Goals-

  • To provide fresh local flowers during the growing season for the Guesthouse, and Horse Barn Rentals
  • To sell locally grown flower bouquets
  • Entertain the possibility of offering bulk flowers for DIY brides and events

Our Obstacles-

  • Heavier clay soil than first anticipated
  • Abundant rain, which drowned out a third of our crop, right off the hop along with a few deer
  • Bugs that were unfamiliar to us, eating my precious Zinnias and Sunflowers
  • My pony Turbo, who is actually related to Houdini and has no problem showing me how he can enter my garden whenever he wants and step on all my flowers

Our Solutions-

  • To continue to learn about flower farming; knowledge is power
  • To bring in extra topsoil to amend the soil and add organic matter
  • To continue to work on organic farming practices to conquer bad bugs and encourage good bugs and growth
  • To educate the consumer on the need for locally grown products; flowers included

Our Joy-

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The first year of flower farming has been a learning curve. It seemed as though germinating, transplanting, and growing in the greenhouse was the easy part. Once the transplants hit the dirt, I thought they would take off; it was not so easy. Learning what kind of soil and its drainage was most important. Eventually, after a slow start we started producing flowers and at times more than my market could use!

Thanks to good friends, they received a few flower gifts along the way. There is a sweet joy that these home grown flowers bring to my soul. I can’t explain it, you can just feel it. The season is almost done, and I can hardly wait to start again next year!

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