Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stitch Sampler Easter Egg Photo Frame

This is a little bit of a spoiler for family who might be reading, but I wanted to share these Easter egg photo frames in case someone else is looking for an easy Easter project for friends and family. I cut out felt Easter eggs and used various machine stitches in a rainbow of colors to make the designs. If you're only making one or two, it could also be a good project to practice hand embroidery.

You can attach the ric-rac hoop by working it into one of your design stitches pinning it to the back. After the stitches are complete, you can stitch a rectangle of vinyl to the top for your photo. This was made to hold a wallet size photo. It's important to make the rectangle slightly bigger than the photo so that there's room to stitch. Stitch around three sides leaving the top open to slip your photo in. After the photo is in you can either stitch the top closed or leave it open so you can change the photo each year. I won't reveal the top secret photo I'm using as I don't want to totally ruin the surprise.

I feel silly how hyped up I get about the holidays, but I just want to make everything as magical for Oona as I remember it when I was a kid, and I'm excited to forge our own traditions too!

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Little Tiger Draws

Thinking about:
- my little one stuffing crayons in my pocket
- how sad it is when a favorite character leaves or dies
- beeswax melting
- how long it's been since I've really made art
- how fast my baby can rock on that rocking horse of hers
- new friends/ old friends
- how many of those little circular "O's" are lurking on the rug right now
- whether or not it's a good thing to set yourself up with stressful challenges
- blue green eggs
- felt
- going to bed

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Pinafore

I couldn't resist making Oona this wild little pinafore dress for Easter. It's from a vintage pattern I found at the thrift store for 25 cents, Butterick # 6711. The fabric used is called "Peacock Feathers" by Amy Butler. As it will likely be cold, she'll probably be wearing a turtleneck underneath. The honey comb skirt I made her will perhaps be part of a day before Easter outfit. I might need to make her a sun hat to go with this...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bird and Honeycomb Bib

Little Miss Oona is relentlessly growing, and many of her bibs have started to look tiny on her. So I got to work on this larger bib style (with a catch-all pocket, of course). It's reversible... one side has one of those honey comb patchwork flowers I love so much, the other has a patchwork bird. I could have used velcro or a button, but decided that a ties would make it more adjustable and allow me to tie it closer to her neck so nothing slips through onto her shirt.

I finished it up last night, and it was ready to be worn this morning for breakfast!

I think she approved.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I hope everyone enjoyed the first day of Spring yesterday. I did a Spring clean out and brought some stuff to the thrift store. We also took Oona on her first canoe ride on Lake Dunmore! She seemed a little tentative at first, but I think she really enjoyed it, especially when Mama and Daddy sang her rowing songs. The head band above was made from extra practice flowers from my Spring wreath in my last post. Here she is below sporting it over the weekend on a snowy trail. Despite the beautiful weather we've been having, there's always shady wooded areas in VT that don't seem to thaw until June!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crochet Spring Wreath

It's not quite Spring, officially anyways, but I wanted to share with you this Spring wreath I just finished. It's made up of crochet flowers and leaves. The wreath is based on this Ravelry pattern which you can find a tutorial for here. The wreath in the pattern is on the small side, so I doubled the size by doubling the number of initial chain stitches. I used the original pattern to make the base, but chose my own flower designs. For the large flowers, I used a motif #40 from "Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs". For the small flowers and the leaves, I improvised my own simple pattern.

Warning: this project was time consuming! I spent an entire week on this baby... not the most productive use of my time, and had I known, I might never have started, but that said, I'm glad I made it! It will be our Spring Equinox/ Easter/ May Day wreath for years to come. I guess if you stick to the pattern and make the actual size wreath, it probably won't take so long. There are lots of free flower motif patterns on Ravelry if you are looking to customize.

Oh, and if you've never heard of Ravelry, it's a website for crochet and knitting. It's free to sign up and you can find lots of free patterns as well as some very nice patterns for sale, and share your projects. I am banning myself from looking for anymore crochet patterns for the time being so I can concentrate on everything else I've neglecting.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sun Worshipers

This weekend we've been taking advantage of the beautiful weather... long strolls in the red wagon, a visit to one of our favorite waterfalls, and lounging about in the grass as much as possible. The hammock is up on the porch, and daydreams about summer projects are under way. We had our first dinner outdoors today... delicious black bean burgers. More sun and fun please! We're ready to put away the winter coats!

P.S. In this photo you can see Miss Oona, the beautiful White River, and the store!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Something Green for St Patties Day

I recently discovered that you can use egg shells for starting your seeds. When the seedlings are ready to be planted, you can put them in the ground, eggshell and all and the eggs shells will give the plants extra nutrients. (I recommend crumbling the shell a little when planting outdoors so it's easier for the roots to spread. ) You can use the egg carton to hold the shells while your seedlings are growing. I saved some clear plastic packaging to use as domes to put over my seedlings as it can still be a bit nippy in our old house this time of year.

I didn't have enough eggshells this year to do all my seedlings and I have a zillion of these plastic planters still kicking around, so I did use some of them too. Another cool tip I picked up this year, that probably is obvious to some people, is that if you put your seeds in a cup and use tweezers to put them in the soil, it's easier to control how many seeds you plant. In the past, I had a tendency to let too many seeds go in each compartment. I also have to become more ruthless about pulling seedlings when there's too many in one space once they've started growing.

While I'm talking about growing things, I wanted to share with you this awesome new magazine I just got in the mail. It's called "Taproots" . With articles about local living, fun artwork and photography, few advertisements and edited by SouleMama, it's worth a read.

Anyways, I think I need to take my little Leprechaun outside and find us a rainbow.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Amongst the Rocks and Grass

It's a wonder what the changing of seasons can do to your spirits. I feel ideas coming faster than my busy Mama hands can handle. I want to immerse myself in the outside world while somehow taken it all to the inside world at my sewing machine or on a piece of paper or with my crochet hook. It's impossible to do it all at once. So depsite all the inspiration, I feel slow as honey about actually creating anything. Maybe that's why I've been crocheting a lot lately. You can take your time because it's always one stitch at a time. You can't get a head of yourself. I've also been enjoying watching my little one enjoy nature, rock piles and all. I have a feeling we'll be spending many hours in this yard of ours this Spring. I can't wait to get my hands in the soil!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Tale of Ladybugs and Sunshine

Sorry I've been MIA. We've been enjoying some unusually warm Spring like weather around here, and hours outside have meant a refreshing break from screen time. Here's a little of what we've been up to:

- thrilling rides in a red wagon
- listening to Daddy play accordion and cello on the lawn
- walks everyday around lunch time
- visiting with Jake's mom (Oona's Moogi)
- eating delicious homemade black bean burgers
- learning to crochet flowers for a Springtime wreath
- playing with rocks
- completing this ladybug commission from the Easter Bunny
- getting some of my seedlings started (much more to get planted!)
- breathing that clean mountain air

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Images from the First Week of March

The snow has fallen and melted.

The breads been made and eaten.

Miss Oona has gotten up and down... many, many times.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Easter Skirt

My honey comb flower found a home on this purple and pink skirt. I'm thinking I might have Oona wear it for Easter. There's still another month to decide. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sister Visit and Museum

My sister Livi came to visit for a few days to see her little niece who was quite happy to have an extra playmate. We had to do some errands, but we squeezed in a trip to the VT Folk Life Center while she was visiting.

They had an amazing exhibit of artwork made by Mexican farm workers in Vermont accompanied by writings on their experiences.

It was incredible to hear their stories, the great lengths, dangers and sacrifices they made to come to this country. It's sad to think how far some of them have to be from their families to give their families a better life. I know it would break my heart to have to live away from Oona and Jake for even a week, let alone months or years.

This map was superbly crafted on coffee sacks and bordered with work gloves.

It was sad, but also inspiring. I don't think people realize how much of our nations food is grown by these underpaid workers who do the work many Americans are no longer willing to do.

On a less depressing note, it was great to see my sister and I can't wait to see the whole family come Easter time.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fox in the Snow

March began with a snow storm, and I nearly forgot to welcome it. Hello March, with your foxy grin, knowing that Spring is on it's way if we can only wait a tad bit longer. I love the thoughts you plant in my head of churned dirt and tiny seedlings as snow falls on our mountains. You remind me of the beauty of both Spring and Winter. I watch as Jack Frost etches flowers on our window sill while somewhere in the back my mind Pan Pipes are playing calling on the daffodils and green grass to come for a visit. Welcome March!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Necessity is the Mother of Something

My old belt took one too many accidental rides through the washing machine and started to fray and unravel. I've had it for years (it came with a pair of pants), and it was the only belt I used because it worked so well. It's difficult to find good functional belts that aren't leather so I decided to salvage the components of my old belt and make a new one.

It's adjustable, which is the best kind of belt for daily wear. And, it's patchwork which is much more my style than the old utilitarian army green belt I had before.

I backed it with a deep sea blue canvas for strength.

I only wish I could find a source for good belt buckles and adjusters, and I would make some more. I'm on day two of wearing it, and it's still doing it's job.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Collections: Tiny Boxes

"Collections": Each week I intend to share with you a new collection from my home and tell you a little bit about it. Each entry is meant to be a meditation on the objects we live with, how we see them, why we hold them dear and whether or not we need them. If you'd like to participate on your blog, feel free! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your entry so we can all see.

Since I was a little girl, I can always remember having little trinket boxes on my dresser to keep my jewelry and hair accessories and whatnot. I'm sure there are many out there with similar collections. It would probably be much more logical to keep it all in one larger jewelry box, but for some reason these tiny boxes feel so much more magical. Most of them are also gifts, so they give me a moment to pause and think about the giver.

Our bedroom is on the backside of the house and a bit dark for photography so unfortunately there were more than a few boxes whose close up pictures came out too blurry to post. But some of them can be seen in the photo above... a sweet little red wooden bird box from my mom, a blue needle work heart made by my Grandma Atwood that keeps my hair elastics, a pink glass bunny for earring... to name a few. There's also a few others that can't be seen that complete the collection. So many boxes! And these are only the ones on my dresser!

My sweetheart gifted me a few of these beautiful vintage Russian boxes. The first one reminds me of November, the month I was born. The one with the orange flowers he found for me in Providence. I'm drawn to the beautiful contrast of the orange and yellow on black.

I love this very tiniest of tiny boxes with the Phoenix rising.

This enamel flower box is also quite tiny and so lovely to peek inside.

The ebony flower and wicker box was a gift from Oona's Zaide for Christmas one year. The golden bird box below it was from Jake. It is one of the most magical of all the boxes because the birds come alive at night and soar around the bedroom while we dream weaving our dreams together.

My woodpecker tin was also a gift from Jake for my twenty-fifth birthday from a favorite curiosities shop in Providence. It is filled with twenty-five buffalo nickels that he collected for me at his old job at a coffee shop (he paid for them, of course!).

In the last photo you can see my butterfly tin which I have had since I was a kid and my kitty music box from my mom. Also, underneath are a few larger wooden jewelry boxes from my mom. So now you've seen my treasure chests. What's inside them is another story!