Sunday, May 31, 2015

22/52 Maple Syrup




"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Oona and Elsa: another dance around the maple sign

http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/

Friday, May 29, 2015

In the Garden: Radishes and Red Currants

Oona and Elsa's tiny garden has grown a little bit bigger.
 So much is happening in the garden these days it's hard to keep up. This morning I finally got my potatoes planted and a sets of leeks, a bit late, but they'll still be fine. Our first year of radishes are doing nicely. I have much thinning still to do, much planting, much weeding, but so it goes.


I spruced up the girl's garden with some scrap fabric flags, pretty yarn and sticks for the snow peas. We also planted a mixed pack of flowers that Oona picked out. I always have trouble with mixed packs, so Elsa and I added some zinnias while Oona was at school as insurance. I'm trying to encourage them to help as much as they can, but it's not always easy to get them involved. If I set up a rain barrel maybe they'll be able to help more with watering. I am enjoying the tiny size of their garden. It's so much easier to manage! I wish they were more enthusiastic about pulling weeds.





Jake and I have been diligently working on the new pumpkin patch. I finally got manure put down and started to build hills. Jake is going to build tipis for them to grow up as we've had a problem with mold on the leaves in the past. It will be our "three sister's" garden this year with black beans and corn mixed into the patch. I saved lots of pumpkin seeds to plant.


Our mint is here and already giving it's bounty in cups of tea and a quick delights for curious mouths. I do love mint!


We bought two red currant plants this year that are already growing berries. I can't wait to make red currant jelly.

They're not as productive as the red currants, but I think we'll get a mouthful of blueberries this year as well.


Kale and lettuce are doing just fine. Next year I think I'll use row covers to give them an earlier start. I always have hopes of getting things going just a little bit earlier than the last year, but it's so hard to keep on top of everything.



I love my perennials.... so satisfying for little effort. I'm excited for peonies. They're always so fragrant and beautiful.


Hopefully we'll be making some humming bird friends soon when they find our new feeder. I might have to lure them with some hanging flowers too.



The Green Mountains are certainly living up to their name. After a long, hard winter it's nice to see so much green.


I'm also excited that our lupines are starting to spread. They are definitely one of my favorites.


It's nice to see things begin to take shape. Things really are in full swing now! And June will be here in a few days. I've already spotted lightening bugs. There's still lots more planting to do. I will be a busy bee this week, for sure.  I'm grateful for a later growing season, as I would never come close to keeping up otherwise. I might have to downsize next year. A large garden is proving to be a challenge.

How does your garden grow? If you keep blog posts or have flickr photos of your garden, feel free to leave a link. It's so magical to see what others are doing in their garden.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coral Baby Sweater


A tiny coral sweater is underway. It's made out of soft cotton yarn... just right for end of Summer/ beginning of Fall, when it will be worn. The picture above just shows the collar, but I've started to work on the rows of bobble stitches. I think I might have to adapt this pattern to larger sizes... two for my girls and perhaps if I get very daring, one for me. If only I had enough of this coral yarn for all of them. I'll share a photo when it's finished.

Lately I've been following along to the daily readings in "Simple Abundance". I read it long ago and far away, before I cast aside all self-help books in favor of crafting and parenting books (different forms of self-help, haha). I picked it up again because try as I might, things feel far from simple these days. I can't even tell you how many articles I've read this year alone on simplicity (maybe that's half my problem... too much research and not enough practice ). It's definitely a popular subject, something so many of us are striving to attain. Why? Maybe because the modern world is too busy, hectic and altogether too dizzying. It wears out your dancing shoes if you keep dancing too long. So, I'm trying to take a minute or two each morning to read the days passage. What do you do each day to help remind you to pause and savor the moment? Standing in the sunlight is another thing that helps me feel connected.

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .
 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

21/52 Two-headed Turtle

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2015"

Oona: sporting a new shell and new hair cut
Elsa: being a turtle is always more fun with your sister

http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bunny Moons and Bedtime Buddha


A little "bunny moon" dress for a little lady due  to arrive in August.
The beginnings of a another dream catcher and "Buddha at Bedtime" a meditative story book from the local library.

A few flea market finds (tiny straw basket with rose, yarn, small etching with swans on a river, and some gross grain ribbon my mom gave me for a homemade hula hoop project.
Sunny Weather List: ( good things no matter the weather)
- first canoe ride of the season to start the week
- first swim at Blueberry lake (for the kiddos... I just put my feet in)
- visit with my sister and her husband and my nephew on the weekend
- trip to antique mall and flea market with our visitors
- watching how things have grown after a Spring rain
- playing in the park with the girls
- finding some fun story books at the library (see middle photo above)
- twenties hair cut (not me... you'll see soon enough)
- yarny day dreams

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .
 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

20/52 Sea of Dandelions


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2015"

Oona: enjoying the delights of a bed of flowers
Elsa: putting those new pockets to good use

http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/


My girls are just floating in a sea of dandelions right now. They pick me the most enormous bouquets of "flowers", fill the wheel barrow, make little altars, turn them into soup, put them in their pockets, wear them on their heads. I don't care if those sunshine posies are trying to take over the garden before I get it all planted... my girls are having too much fun with them to care. And this girl has never gotten so many bouquets of flowers in her life. Spring time is magic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tanglewood



 

For Mother's Day Jake bought me a beautifully illustrated vintage book, "Tanglewood Tales" by Nathaniel Hawthorn.  The stories are all Greek myths with incredible color illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett. I'd never heard of her before, but she apparently also illustrated "Old French Fairy Tales" and "The Arabian Nights" before passing away at a young age. Her work reminds me of another favorite illustrator of the time, Kay Nielsen. We started to read one tale as a family, but I think perhaps they're a little beyond a four year old's attention span, haha. I'm looking forward to diving in on my own and relearning my Greek mythology as it's been quite sometime.

On the crochet hook is a pretty little something in dried cranberry. It's a secret year long project I've embarked on that will take me through a rainbow of colors (if I get that far). I'll have to put it aside soon to begin some baby projects for new babies on the way (not my own, I assure you). I have to admit I've just been searching Ravelry for a summer cardigan pattern for myself... not sure which will take priority, but likely the baby gifts.

And how lucky am I, I also got a rainbow for Mother's Day, not to mention some awesome kid artwork.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kitty Cats, Polka Dots and Pockets


Sometimes it's hard to get an idea out of your head, even after the time for doing has past. I've had this kitty cat fabric for a while now with the intention of making a dress for one of the girls. Oona had a small kitty cat tea party for her birthday last December and I had intended to use this fabric for her, but she opted for a very pink princess dress instead. Then Elsa's birthday drew near, and I thought, "Perfect! or rather "Purr-fect!" because Elsa is even more kitty crazy than her sister. But as life would have it, there was flu and long, tired days. We missed our favorite May Pole festival, and so the girl's just wore their costumes from that on Elsa's birthday. All's well that ends well, but I still had this adorable kitty fabric, and no official birthday dress. I know Elsa wouldn't care, but it still bothered me.  So I used one of my go-to easy dress patterns, Simplicity 2019, and came up with this. The polka dot pockets were a last minute decision, as I knew they'd be a selling point for whether my choosey toddler actually wore the dress. Pocket dresses are a wonder. I'm not sure how I feel about them now that they're on, but I know they'll be filled with all manner of goodness. The skirt part of the dress has been simplified from the original pattern because I didn't have enough yardage to do the layers. I'm glad I finally dove in made something with this fabric, as it has been taunting me from the fabric cupboard for far too long.


Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams.

Monday, May 11, 2015

In the Garden




 The garden season is off to a good start. I've been snapping photos here and there. Oona is taking the sister garden very seriously, blessing it with her magic spells and such. Those are our first ever radishes above in their tiny garden. The next step will be to thin them.


 We added to our front flower patch in the Fall with more daffodil and tulip bulbs and a few surprises I had forgotten about.


 And this four leaf clover in our hay mulch was the best surprise of all. I'd like to say that I did the noble thing and left it to grow, but I really needed the luck... so pluck!


 We picked up some annuals to decorate our store porch. I think last year I grew my own pansies, but this year I got off to a late start on the starter seeds. All that cold weather put me off, and now it feels like summer outside.



Our baby plum has blossomed for the first time. It's survived two brutal winters so I think it will do just fine. We have one plum in honor of each of our girls, but I can't remember who is Oona plum and who is Elsa plum, or which one we planted Elsa's placenta under.




 And hopefully our apple's will offer a little more than a couple fruit this year.


Jake made me a nice sit-upon for the big garden. I look forward to sitting still for a moment.


My biggest garden successes so far have been getting all the mulch down early and just recently getting the lettuce, kale, spinach,  and a few other cold weather crops in. For once I think I'm semi-on-target for our climate zone!


 I also built a pretty little stone wall around the garlic and raspberries. I am still in confusion about how and when to prune raspberries. I missed the winter pruning because of too much snow. Time to do some more research. Are you growing anything this year? If you keep garden posts, please feel free to share in the comments. It's to be inspired and learn from other gardeners.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

19/52 Wildwood Flowers





"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2015"

Oona, Elsa and Mama: building houses for the wee folk
Elsa: sitting peacefully on a mossy log
Oona: contemplating her next magic spell
Oona and Elsa: a moment of quiet for these chirping chickadees... water always has that power


Happy Mother's Day wonderful mama's out there! I am so grateful to have these two sweet girls to teach me everyday. Before they were born, I dreamed of building fairy houses with them, and now that they are here I think about building dreams with them. It's such an honor to help these Wildwood flower's grow, and I am so lucky to have a mother who helped plant those dreams in me!



http://www.practisingsimplicity.com/