Sunday, February 23, 2014

8/52 Wild Women


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Elsa: the great explorer, diaper bottomed and rockin' her punk rock style
Oona: lovin' her tutu wearing, cowgirl ways

http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Favorite Gingersnaps



 It seems you don't have to twist my arm to get me to make cookies. Oona oh so sweetly mentioned gingersnaps this morning, and I was in! (only a couple days after dental torture... bad, bad, bad, I know) I offered to make the chewier type, but no, they had to be the ones that could be shaped into animals... a true snap. I guess cutting out the shapes and playing with the animals is half the fun. Anything went... we had witches, moons, snails, gnomes, ducks, and a good deal of other woodland, farm and happy shapes. I used this recipe below from a 1950's Swedish cookbook (I think it's out of print so I can safely share the recipe). The only variation I made was to replace the corn syrup with molasses. They're a gingery delight!


*Ok, I lie... I actually made two variations this time. I added a little cocoa (1tbsp), to give them an extra kick... and of course, all the snappy little chocolate chip buttons and eyes and whatnot. Oh, and then I got rid of the blanched almonds, added a little less sugar... schucks... no recipe is sacred once I get my hands on it!


Here's the recipe as I made them:

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2- 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg well beaten (or lazily beaten)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
  • optional: 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • optional: chocolate chips for decorating (raisins, almond slivers, bits of candied ginger would also work nicely)

Combine all dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly, and then slowly add in wet ingredients mixing as you go. A mixer might save your muscles a workout .

Chill for several hours until dough is firm. I cheated and put it in the freezer and then forgot about it, and ended up having to thaw it. Still, it was faster than the several hours thing.

Next, roll on a floured surface and sprinkle flour on top. Roll into thin sheets and cut with a floured cookie cutter. The book says 1/16", but for me, it was probably 1/4" to 1/8" because I like them a little thicker. If it gets too sticky, sprinkle more flour or chill it again.

Cook 5-8 minutes in preheated oven at 375 degrees. Let cool and then make them dance. Take care to lock the door so they don't run away!




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scenes from the Weekend


Jake says  heart shaped pan-a-cakes on Valentine's Day are a new tradition around here.
Natural and easy-to-wash face paint has given us endless fun this winter.
A look out the front door on Valentine's Day... I suggested we build a snow man on the porch.

With the help of Baba and Papa, we finally made it out sledding this year.
My favorite lovebugs. 

Endless snow around here. Yes, it does feel like we're getting buried alive. I hope you're somewhere tropical right now enjoying sunshine and pineapples. We need some Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts so we can feel as though we're on vacation. We've had several snow storms in the last week, and during one of them I asked Oona if she wanted to play in the snow, and she replied, "I just want summer!" I'm right with you my cutie pie.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7/52 Pancakes and Babycakes

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2014."


Elsa: Just happily munching on a baby snack. 
Oona: Sleepily admiring her Valentine's heart and bear pancakes... not sure if she should eat them or play with them!

http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow Flower Moon

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/calming-buddha-quotes/#sthash.40YpxgqN.dpuf
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/calming-buddha-quotes/#sthash.40YpxgqN.dpuf
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/calming-buddha-quotes/#sthash.40YpxgqN.dpuf
Granny heart instructions found here.

Happy Valentine's Day! A swirly whirly blizzard has given us a cozy snow day to celebrate complete with heart shaped pancakes and music and rocking horses. I am so grateful for the love I have in these walls, and in this great big world. I don't think we'll be able to see the "snow flower" moon tonight, but I'll still blow a few kisses to it for the romance it brings to the night. I hope your universe is filled with love in it's many colors.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/calming-buddha-quotes/#sthash.40YpxgqN.dpuf

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sewing Day Dreams


I spied a white ermine dashing across the snow into the stone wall behind the house this morning... perhaps an omen! We are poised and ready for another snow storm here. Flurries are falling now, enough to scare me away from a trip over the mountain to see the dentist this afternoon. This is the second thwarted attempt to get dental work done... I would say "I suppose it was not be", but yet it has to be. Just as long as this cavity doesn't get infected, I should be able to wait a bit longer. So, now that I've narrowly escaped dental torture, it seems the perfect day for crafting. If only my littlest would sleep somewhere other than Mama's arms, I could perhaps dust off the old sewing machine and get that needle pumping (try as I might to use it in front of her, she is very jealous of that magic box that distracts me from her every need and perhaps a bit afraid of the noise).

I finally came into possession of this lovely Japanese sewing book that I've been admiring for far too long, and I'm hoping sometime in the next year I'll be able to make one of these lovely garments. It's titled, "The Stylish Dress Book", but it offers an array of blouses and tunics too. And yes, no kids clothes here, it's all clothes I can wear! I love the loose fitting and simple yet elegant style of many of the patterns (perfect for my post baby-having body). The most exciting part of finally getting this was that I got to use my forty percent off coupon at Jo-ann's. Hurray for a deal! I don't go there often, so it was serendipitous this book I've been adoring was in stock. I won't kid myself, it will probably be a while before I make many of these things, but the classic and functional styles mean it will serve me well throughout the years.

As mentioned before, most of my crafting these days is with hook and yarn. I try to plant yarn baskets everywhere so I can pick something up while nursing, watching a show or getting attacked by my children (urrr...playing with them). I find it much easier to do repetitive projects with yarn than I do with fabric. Lately, hearts have been a theme... hmm, wonder why? I love exploring granny squares too... there's so much you can do with them, and I've learned so much about crochet just from trying new blocks. Ravelry and Pinterest offer endless tutorials. I made some granny head warmers for holiday gifts. I'd love to design a granny sweater vest for Elsa before she gets any bigger, and I have some granny leg warmers in mind, too.

I think I need to take a break from buying more supplies and pattern searching... for my mind as well as my pocket book. I'm going to try to make an effort this year to destash... supplies and ideas. I recently did some stocking up on yarn and fabric, so I should be able to do just fine with what I have. Now I just need to carve out sometime to make!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Warm Hearts

Lupe (the llama) and Rosalind (the bunny) sitting down to tea.
She finally let me hang our rainbow hearts.
You don't have to walk to dance!
It would be a lie to say I'm not "winter weary", but there are moments of light and sunshine in our little world. As Elsa gets more mobile, I witness these two sisters finding ways to play together. They have their struggles... a pinch here, a push there, and sometimes even a wap from the littlest one who wants to show she can hold her own! But overall, I do see a lot of love from these little pixies. Oona gets sad when Elsa is sleeping. She tries to to cheer her when she is crying by making ridiculous fake laughing noises. They roll around on their little couch together giggling away! What's warming your heart these days?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

6/52 Twenty-five Cent Ride




"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Oona: At our favorite antique mall... riding the range once more... 
Elsa: Her first horsey ride, one minute smiles, the next tears... big sister had to finish this ride for her.

Elsa hit the 9 month mark this past week! As I went through big sister's old clothes to see what she would be fitting in next, I felt teary eyed, thinking it had been only a short time since Oona was wearing these things, and now my little Elsa would be wearing them and how could my little Oona seem like such a real and genuine "little girl" now! It goes too fast. I sneeze, and they've grown again. I'm trying to do better to savor my time with my little ones. I sometimes am guilty of wanting them to grow faster, be more independent (which is a good thing too), but I need to remember these cuddly baby days won't last forever.

Ok, so what's my little 9 month-er up to?

- getting into everything
- climbing and crawling like there's no tomorrow
- rolling around with big sister (Oona loves hugging and squeezing her... sometimes a bit over zealously!)
- pulling herself up
- standing for short times unassisted
- baby babble is starting to vaguely sound like real words... phrases she might possibly have sorta kinda said: " I do" and "I love you"
- does this cute thing where she snuggles her head down against the floor with a big ol' smile and waits for us to go "awww!... If you say "awww!" she automatically does this... even Oona plays along
- said "bye bye" to Dada this morning... I  kind have a funny feeling my girls might always call Jake "Dada"
- waves and smiles like the Queen of the World

(These monthly lists, as I'm sure I said, are more for me to keep some sort of record as I never seem to find time to update the baby book! I promise to stop at a year! Oh wow, that will be here all too soon!)

 http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/

Friday, February 7, 2014

Holiday Forget-me-nots

string of beads getting ready to be turned into a necklace
wooden wheat penny birds made by Jake for our mom's and grand-mom's
Because I know this blog is utterly lacking in crafty goodness these days, I wanted to share a couple of holiday crafts that have finally found their way to their recipients! (We celebrated Christmas with my parents only this past weekend, and we still have one more Christmas to celebrate when my sister comes to town! We make it last all year long!) There were a few other handmade things that I forgot to document, but really it's a wonder anything got made at all. The wooden birds were actually made by Jake, not me, but they were so lovely hanging next to the gold stars I made last holiday season, I had to share. He made Oona a bird without the string of pennies so she could fly it around. I'm hoping I get one for Valentine's (hint, hint... ok, he doesn't read this thing, so I'm just talking to myself, hehe). I made a few of the hodge-podge necklaces above and strung them with velvet cord for a bit of glamor. I tried to keep my hand making simple, but really I need to make it even simpler next year... maybe starting in July with a real plan. It does get stressful, and I hate for crafting to feel that way. I suppose I could do away with it all together, but truthfully, I look forward to it too. If only I had more time and more hands!

Note: My bead making box is a vintage letterpress box that I store in my map table drawer. It works great because I can see all my beads at once which makes it so much easier to create. Of course, I can't bead often these days as little hands want to steal my treasure as I work.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day

Color pencil drawing on black paper, "Flower Spirit"
That white fluffy stuff has been falling all day. I won't worry about shoveling it until tomorrow. I'm starting to think very seriously about what I want to grow this year... in the garden, on paper, by crochet hook and at the sewing machine. I have a feeling I'm planting too many seeds, but I can't resist. What better to do on a snow day than plant a garden?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

5/52

Happy Ground Hogs Day! Our ground hog says "more winter", sigh, but at least this past weekend has given us a break from the bitter cold.


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Elsa: Wearing her party hair-do (no styling, just doing) and enjoying a quick snack (paper!)
Oona: Giving herself a personal puppet show at a friend's birthday party


http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/