Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fresh Bagels

Our fridge is looking rather bare since the plague hit so I've been improvising to put off the inevitable grocery trip over the snowy mountain. Despite my stuffed up head I've really risen to the challenge of limited supplies. Flour, salt, a little sugar (or honey) and some olive oil and you've got yourself a bagel! Voila! Also, not to pat myself on the back too much, but they're delicious! I used sesame seeds on top because I happened to have some in the cabinet. It's odd the things you're left with when your cupboards are near empty.

For lunch.... some delicious carrot ginger soup... for dinner... some lemon lentils with rice. It feels like the master chef challenge. This is surely using up the last of our reserves. Leaving the house will be necessary come tomorrow... well, I suppose we can make do with left overs and bagels if we really need to.

Oh, here is the recipe for bagels. They're really not hard at all! (Just slightly time consuming) I better go check on that soup!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Housebound Blues

We've been housebound for a week now with a miserable sore throat/ sneeze/cough/ fever kind of sickness. Not much is getting done around here... mostly drinking lots of tea and watching too much "TV". We don't actually own a TV, but sometimes our internet watching can result in the same glazed over/ half alive effect. The babe is needing lots of extra hugs and holding, and I'm happy to oblige. We had to miss her baby friends birthday party today because of this devilish cold. Totally not fair! I just wish this awful thing would go away already. We've been more than patient with it. We need you to send us some good health vibes!

P.S. The good news is we have a new vacuum cleaner! Now to get well enough to have the energy to use it! Sickness be gone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Collections: World Dolls

"Things"... we have so many of them, don't we? If we live in the Westernized world, many of us probably have enough objects in our lives to open several museums! Our wardrobes alone could cloth an army! It's such a curious thing to me the human tendency to collect. I come from a long line of treasure hunters/ junk collectors, and I have quite a few "things" of my own... quite a few collections, indeed! Sometimes I think I could get rid of everything, but there is some beauty in the things we surround ourselves with. Objects can help to hold memories or communicate to us in different ways. Over the years I've learned to be more choosey about the "things" I let into my life. Mostly I like vintage things or those that have been handmade. It helps me to justify having so much because I am giving new life to something old or appreciating something someone has created with their own hands! Occasionally there are new things I can't resist or have a need for.

I've decided to start chronicling some of these collections here on this blog with a weekly post entitled "Collections". It will be a meditation for me on these objects to see what memories they evoke, to think about what objects I can part ways with, and just as a fun way to look at all the "stuff" that surrounds us, and how we come to have so much of it.

The first collection I'm going to share with you is actually not my own, but my little girls. It is a collection of vintage dolls from around the world, and it is relatively new to our house. Many of the dolls were given to us by her Zaide this past Christmas.

The Mexican doll with the pompoms and basket on her head and the doll with the blonde hair and kerchief featured to the right below are contributions from her mommy. I hope as she gets older and looks at this she will realize that there are all kinds of people in this great big world with different ideas and traditions they hold dear.

I look at these and I wonder what other things my little one will gravitate towards and treasure. I hope she will always realize that these are just objects and the people and Earth that she lives on are of far greater importance.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Needlepoint Alphabet Blocks

Recently, my friend Mary sent Oona these wonderful needlepoint alphabet blocks. They are done on a plastic canvas so they have some durability. A friend of hers had a set of these blocks made by their grandmother, and Mary used the vintage blocks to make Oona's set. I love them so I had to share, and Oona is pretty wild about them too.

I love the lady bug and scissors and owl and... all of them!

I think I'd like to try needlepoint some day. I remember doing a plastic canvas butterfly pattern with my Grandma Atwood when I was a girl... I wonder what ever happened to that.

P.S. The purple sweater Oona is wearing was also a handmade gift that Jake's Aunt Vicki made! Don't we have some pretty awesome family and friends? They certainly spoil us in all sorts of ways!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fluttery Presents

Oona's bbff (baby best friend forever) is turning one soon. As butterfly fever has been sweeping this household and perhaps the nation, I thought it appropriate to make this special little lady a fluttery creature of her own. The wings are filled with recycled cellophane and cotton batting so they are both crinkly and soft to the touch.

I made a matching skirt for the birthday girl in fluttery layers as sweet as a birthday cake. I am smitten with my color combo. I fully plan on making Oona a matching skirt as well. Baby best friends have to wear matching skirts, right?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Butterfly Shop Update!

Hello folks! I just wanted to let you know that I finished those butterfly eye pillows up over the weekend, and they've flown their way into The Wildwood Flower Etsy shop . Did I mention that each is filled with wonderful organic golden flax seed? Also, if you didn't notice, my Owly Valentine sets are on sale for just $10. A great value for a set of six hand Gocco printed cards and I've only a few sets of each color left in stock!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butterflies in Winter

It's been snowy here the last few days, and I've been busying myself making these butterflies for the shop . Goodness only knows what's got me thinking of butterflies in the depths of winter, but I do think they bring a bit of cheer to this kingdom of white.

They are each filled with lavender and flax seed and are intended to be used as aromatherapy eye pillows that can be heated or chilled. I should have them finished and in my Etsy shop by the beginning of next week.

Other than that we've just been watching the snow fall, winding the clocks, eating apple cinnamon muffins, and watching Star Trek Voyager on Netflixs. Good stuff!

(She's wearing a plaid skirt and striped pants... who dresses this girl? She's breaking all the laws!)

I'm hoping to escape the house this weekend with my mommy friend Kate for a coffee break. Daddies will get the girls for an hour or so. Sounds good to me! Maybe Oona and I will have some playtime in the snow too! What's on your "fun list" this weekend?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My First Handmade Blouse

One of my big goals for the new year is to sew more clothing. I've been afraid of it for a while... especially sewing for adults... there's all those curves and the three dimensional aspects of the human body to consider. I've mostly sewn clothing for Oona and in the past, I've made myself a couple dresses with little success. I've been happy with the things I made for Oona (smaller package, less curves to worry about), but the things I've made for myself have typically been flops. I'd love to get the hang of it so that I can design my own clothing patterns at some point. So, I finally decided to have a go at making clothing for myself again. I love making things for my family and friends, but I feel so guilty when I take the time to make myself something. So silly of me because in the end, I'm glad that I did!

So I set aside some time to make myself this lovely blouse pictured below. "New Look" pattern #6913 style D. It's a relatively simple pattern so I had more confidence going into this than I've had with other pattern attempts. It's hard to see in the photo, but it has a yoke and puff sleeves.

My one major complaint about the pattern (that I didn't realize when I purchased it) is that it has an unnecessary back seam. I modified the pattern by cutting the two back panels on the fold instead of in two pieces (getting rid of the seam allowance for stitching the two pieces together). This probably altered the fit a little bit, but I actually like how it turned out so my deviation did not result in disaster.

And for the first time, I've made something for myself that I will actually wear and not hide in the closet in shame and embarrassment. The fabric is by Anna Maria Horner and I purchased it at my favorite fabric shop in Burlington, Nido. Love love love the fabric! And there's enough left over to make Oona a little something.

I'll probably use this pattern again to make one or two more shirts. It feels so good to begin conquering your fears!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Artist Mushrooms

My sister just came for a visit, and while she was here we all drew on these funky mushrooms a friend of ours found for us in the mountains here on a hike. They're called Artist's Conk and are great because they can be etched into on their white surface to reveal the brown interior. You can use an etching tool or sharp pointy object of your choice. You can also paint on them. They should be dried before making your art on them. We let them sit on our pellet stove for a few days.

The one above is mine. I used watercolor crayons on top of my etching. It was supposed to just be a fun abstract design, but when I look at it now, I just see a friendly mountain spirit.

My sister etched with her pen. Hers was still in progress when she left so I can't show you the finished piece, but I love the snail that's swirling it's way around in there.

Jake did one too, etching it and then coloring with my woodless colored pencils. Such a cozy looking house by the mountains... when can we move in?!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rock Paper Scissors Year

("Northern Lights")

Happy New Year! Welcome January! This rock above is part of a calendar I made for Christmas for family and friends. I painted twelve rocks for each month of the year and photographed them (Jake helped with that part). Then I had them printed as a calendar. I thought about sharing them all at once, but decided it would be more fun to post them each month for their respective months. Above is January entitled "Northern Lights". I thought this one fit because I always think of the New Year as a sort of an explosion of color with fresh ideas and new beginnings. With the holiday rush over, I feel the urge to start new creative projects and rejuvenate old ones. I'm not holding myself to high expectations this year with a one year old running around. I'm sure I'll only find time for about a quarter of all I intend. But it does help me to make a list and see how high the mountain is before I begin the climb. So, without further dilly-dallying, here are some of my goals for the new year.

2012 List of Good Intentions:
- Paint more! (I'm hoping to do one painting or drawing a week)
- Sew more clothing for myself and Oona and possibly for the shop
- Make felt jewelry
- Make felt art and fabric art or multi-media creations
- Create new eye pillow designs (I have a few ideas already)
- Get Oona on a better sleeping schedule (right now she's a night owl and mama is whooped!)
- Buy less!
- Clean out some of the useless junk we've been storing for no good reason... a trip to the thrift store is in order.
- Eat less sugar!
- Be a better mama.... which means getting more sleep and laughing and playing more!
- Be a better spouse... which means putting the shoe on the other foot from time to to time
- Practice my neglected ukulele
- Participate in at least one art show
- Take more nature walks
- Meditate
- Get an art website up again
- Grow an awesome garden even bigger than last years!
- Cook healthier meals... less cheese and carbs.... more veggies
- Get my Etsy shop more active... updating more often, more new products, and hopefully selling more
- Surrendering when I just can't do any of this!