Holiday House Tour Leftovers

As is usual after Holiday House Tour, a few lost items have been turned in to the PHW Office and have not yet been claimed. If you are missing a hat or a car alarm key fob, we may have them! Let us know at 540-667-3577 or and we can reunite you.

We were remiss in not thanking some of the volunteers who stepped up over the fall and collected shopping bags and newspapers for PHW to use at the Bough and Dough Shop. As best we can determine, we used the equivalent of a 39 gallon trash bag’s worth of donated plastic grocery bags, and probably close to that amount of paper bags and newspaper bits to pack items. The unused newspapers were recycled, and the leftover bags have been saved for next year. Thank you so much for your donations – we will do it again next fall!

Also, if you have not done so already, we are still seeking your anonymous feedback from the 2016 Holiday House Tour to be discussed at our January 9 meeting. Take the survey now! All feedback, good and bad, is helpful for us to see where we can improve the Tour and Shop.

2016 Holiday House Tour Feedback Wanted!

Santa's ListDid you attend the Holiday House Tour and/or Bough & Dough Shop this year? We’d like your feedback for future planning! Please take a few moments to answer a ten question survey at Survey Monkey. It should take you about fifteen minutes maximum and the anonymous responses will be discussed as part of our event wrap up meeting in early January.

Take the survey now! Thank you all for your time and interest in improving the Holiday House Tour!

Holiday House Tour 2016 Final Notes

HHT Wreath and Candle As we near the last hours before the 40th annual Holiday House Tour kicks off, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

Tickets are still available at the advance ticket sale locations:

Kimberly’s, 135 North Braddock Street
Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 7 South Loudoun Street
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road

Tickets will also be available at the Bough & Dough Shop on December 3 and 4.

Admission to a single site on Sunday is $5. Pay at the door of the house you wish to visit.

If you have questions, the best place to find someone well-versed on the House Tour Saturday and Sunday is the Bough & Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre, 315 W. Boscawen St. The Shop is open Saturday 9 AM-5 PM and on Sunday 11 AM-5 PM.

The normal PHW phone number (540-667-3577) and email ( will not be staffed from Friday-Sunday. Should the weather or some other disaster impact the tour, we will try to push notification on Facebook, the PHW blog, and the PHW voicemail message ASAP.

Watch for any changes about to the Saturday handbell concert and Sunday Lessons and Carols taking place at Braddock Street United Methodist Church at

The hours for the house tours are Saturday (Preview Party and Candlelight Tour) 6-9 PM, and Sunday (Daylight Tour) from 1-5 PM.

Note that George Washington’s Office Museum, 32 W. Cork St., will be open on Saturday only, 3-9 PM. Washington’s Office will not be stocked with House Tour tickets or booklets.

The Bell House, 106 N. Cameron St., will be open Sunday only, 1-5 PM. The Bell House will be stocked with House Tour tickets and booklets.

There will be complimentary warm drinks at the Bough & Dough Shop for all visitors as in previous years.

Costumed carolers from Winchester Little Theatre, organized by Nancy Ticknor, will once again stroll the streets and serenade tour-goers at the open houses between 2-4 PM on Sunday with festive holiday music. Carolers sing 4 or 5 holiday standards at each stop. They will start and end at the Winchester Little Theatre, and travel to the houses open on the tour.

The weather forecast is partly cloudy on Saturday, to rainy on Sunday. Precipitation is not expected to start until after 5 PM. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s, falling to the low 30s overnight.

Have a safe and happy Holiday House Tour, everyone!

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Artisan: Marilynn J. Boyd

Beaded Snowflakes

Marilynn lives in Middletown and has done various crafts before becoming addicted to beading. She has been at it for 6 – 7 years now.

She works with a large collection of beads in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes made of crystal, glass, resin, and wood.

She even has hand-made ceramic beads she bought as a young teenager which were simply strung into necklaces.

Now she stitches bracelets, earrings, and necklaces using beads of all kinds, some only 1/16″ in size.

Her snowflakes are created on metal forms with beads of various colors, shapes and cuts to catch the light when hung on a Christmas tree or in a window.

Beading requires creativity, an eye for color and texture combinations, plus a bit of dexterity and patience. There are so many beads and so many options; you just have to be open to the possibilities.

“Sometimes I even dream in beads!”

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Food Truck: Jack Knuckle Gourmet

Steve and Abi Callahan

Jack Knuckle Gourmet, Winchester’s first gourmet food truck, was opened in 2014 by dynamic husband and wife team Steve Callahan and Abigail Gomez. Steve has been a chef in the industry for over 20 years, and was thrilled to be involved in bringing the exciting food truck culture to the area!

JKG specializes in delicious gourmet sandwiches, but along with street-side vending, they also offer on-site and in-home catering, with exquisitely prepared menus and mouth-watering creations from the skilled hands of the chef.

Whether you stop by the truck in Old Town Winchester, or have JKG cater your event, you are guaranteed to try something new and love every last bite.

Visit Jack Knuckle Gourmet at and on Facebook.

Jack Knuckle Gourmet will serve lunch at the Bough & Dough Shop between 12-3 PM Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4.Jack Knuckle Gourmet menu for Dec. 3 & 4.

Bough & Dough Shop Greenery

greeneryOutside on the deck of the Winchester Little Theatre awaits a bounty of freshly-cut greenery for your holiday decorating. Buy greenery in bulk by the bag at the Bough & Dough Shop this weekend, including pine, juniper, magnolia, spruce, nandina, holly, and boxwood, or buy handmade decorated wreaths, arrangements, and bows for your decorating needs. Special thanks are due to Lynne Caldwell, Cheryl Crowell, Donna Downing, Howard and Joan Lewis, and Nancy Murphy for providing the bulk greenery.

Greenery 2015Nate Windle will return again with fabulous finished greenery creations. In addition to the traditional fresh greenery wreaths and arrangements you have come to expect at the Bough & Dough Shop, Nate will provide some limited artificial greenery decorations so you can enjoy his artistic skills for years to come. If you are making your own arrangements from the bulk greenery, you can also expect a selection of bows made by Nate that are suitable for adding the finishing touch to your handiwork.

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Artisan: Linda J. Brown

Graustark Farm’s Fiber Products

Linda Brown has been spinning, weaving and felting with fiber for over fifteen years. Her foray into the fiber world started with spinning angora from her daughter’s 4H bunny. From there she progressed to raising a few sheep and llamas. After realizing how soft, luxurious and easy to clean the llama fiber could be, Linda developed a breeding program to raise a variety of llamas specifically for their soft fiber and good temperaments. Llama fiber is different from sheep wool in that it is a hair fiber which has no barbs and contains no lanolin.

Through the farm business, Graustark Farm LLC, Linda uses her llamas’ fiber to create custom wearing apparel and accessories through weaving, knitting, crochet and felting. The process starts on the farm with shearing in the spring and then progresses through hand spinning the yarn to weaving or other needlework. Almost all of Linda’s designs are created with her own handspun yarn from llamas living on the farm; other fibers may be added for color or texture. In addition to using llama fiber for her own designs and private commissions, Linda creates with the other farm fibers of alpaca and Romney wool as time allows. The farm participates in fiber shows and promotes llama fiber as a new horizon in luxury fiber.

Linda feels that education about llamas and their wonderful fiber is as important as the sale itself. She hold the position of Senior Consultant with the Camelidynamics program of llama and alpaca handling and training as well as being active in several regional llama associations. Graustark Farm displays llamas and Linda’s fiber art in various settings, such as the Bluemont Fair, Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild, Franklin Park Arts Center Gallery and of course by appointment on the farm. Learn more about llamas and their fiber on the farm web site,

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Artisan: Lin Hausknecht

Klay Haus Pottery

Lin grew up in Western New York, and has been living in Yellow Spring, WV since 1989. She has been creating art with clay for over 25 years. She first studied pottery in Geneseo, NY, then Towson, MD, and other locations. Her works range from mugs and bowls to birdfeeders and birdbaths. Her goal is to make utilitarian pots that are well-crafted, aesthetically interesting, and enjoyable to use. Throwing on the wheel and hand-building with clay allows her to make things by hand that are pleasing to the hand and eye. She also likes to experiment with various techniques and firing methods, exploring the endless possibilities and qualities of clay.

She also enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for pottery with others by teaching classes, where she tries to pass on the skills and enjoyment of working with clay.

She currently teaches non-credit classes at Lord Fairfax Community College, and is a member of the Shenandoah Potters Guild.

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Artisan: Jackie Tobin

Handcrafts of the Shenandoah Valley

Jackie has been creating something for as long as she can remember.

Encouragement and inspiration came from her multi-talented grandmother, who not only taught her to sew, but provided her with self confidence and unlimited materials to make things. Create something from nothing? Of course!

Over the years, Jackie has participated in many Shenandoah Valley Craft Fairs and Shops. She was a partner in Stone Soup Gallery on Winchester’s walking mall, where you might find her creating hand woven baskets or painting detailed images on newly designed Holiday ornaments. Currently, she has added upcycled wood creations to her palette, greenery arrangements and dried flowers from her garden, and so much more.

Jackie works full time with children at Virginia Avenue Elementary School. She lives with her husband Bill, has two grown children and six grandchildren.

Visit Jackie at her Facebook page.

Featured Bough & Dough Shop Artisans: Cyndie and Peter Rinek

Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop

Cyndie Rinek, along with her husband Peter, a landscape architect and arborist, is the owner of Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop, located in the tiny Western Loudoun County hamlet of Philomont, Virginia. With a degree in journalism and a professional background in retail management, Cyndie left the corporate world 23 years ago. Over the years and through hard work as well as a lot of trial and error, Cyndie has taken what was once an interest in flowers and plants, to a passion and then turned it into a business specializing in lavender at her home, aptly named Blooming Hill. She now has a collection of one thousand lavender plants in almost one hundred different varieties and also tends the many formal, informal and herb garden beds that fill the 4 1/2 acres patch of paradise with a view of the Blue Ridge that make up Blooming Hill.

Cyndie is a member of the United States Lavender Growers Association, the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America, a Master Gardener and also a member of a local garden club called the Night Bloomers and often hosts talks at Blooming Hill or travels to garden clubs and groups and speaks on the subject of lavender and other various garden topics. Aside from being a landscape architect/planner and arborist with over 30 years of experience and whose design aesthetic is the backbone of Blooming Hill, Peter is also an accomplished artist and craftsman, creating beautiful eucalyptus wreaths and original oil paintings of Loudoun County Towns in his unique “Americana” style and has developed a loyal following of art enthusiasts.

Blooming Hill is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays and other days by appointment, April through December. Visitors to the farmlet may tour the grounds and gardens, peruse the gift shop on the property, hear Cyndie and/or her husband share their gardening knowledge and, on certain and/or special occasions, enjoy a lavender infused traditional cream tea or traditional full tea on the porch.

Visit Blooming Hill online at