Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Favorites: Simplifying

Hello! A little change on my "Friday Favorites". I can't seem to meet deadlines these days, so I'm changing it to "Weekend Favorites". I 'll still shoot  for Friday, but "weekend" gives me a little bit more give. 

Five Favorites this Weekend:
Insect Hotels h(Who knew this was a thing? It is! It helps out the beneficial insects and is a fun project to do with kids.)
Intentional Making (Great podcast on "Love to Sew". Have a listen!)
Propagating Succulents
Moda Free Quilt Pattern (This looks like a simple and beautiful pattern.)
Kimono Top  Tutorial (This is at the "top", haha, of my make list. I'll let you know how it goes.)

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mending Magic

I must admit when I look at my mending basket I get a bit discouraged. Some of those items, whether large or small, seem to live in that basket.  I spied my purple down coat with feathers bursting staring at me one day in that way that unfinished business stares. It seemed to be saying, "Hey, you've gone a whole season without wearing me because you can't seem to stitch up a silly hole the size of a ping pong ball. You're disgraceful!"

I probably push these items to the back of my "to do" list because they are not urgent, though sometimes it means someone will grow out of them before they get fixed. But I think it is also because the work of repairing can seem so mundane. But honestly, it doesn't have to be.

 I've been inspired to mend again by a resent trends in mindful mending, Japanese Boro Sashiko stitching, and my own need to not be wasteful and keep items both beautiful and functional. And since taking out this one coat, I've felt motivated to slowly but surely tackle that basket. Who knows, if I get through it this month, I might be able to use that basket for other things that will inspire me in different directions.

It feels a bit like Spring cleaning to tackle these mending projects. I am also peeping into my unfinished project basket, which can have a similar oppressive quality when I'm not in the right mind set. It is helping to clear space in my little work room and giving me that sense of accomplishment that only a finally finished long lingering project can do. When I've made my way through these baskets as best I can, I'd like to make some patches to have on hand for when one of my two wild children rips another hole in a favorite pair of pants or dress or sock or stuffed animal. I'd love to have some needle felted little animal patches on hand and perhaps some crocheted pieces or embroidered pieces of scrap. Oh, the possibilities!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Favorites

Chapter Book for Kids: "Orphan Island" (we are half way through this one right now, but it's great so far)
Show: "Escape to the Country" on Netflix (real estate hunting in the UK... love the historical bits of the show as well as getting to have a peek inside country cottages)
Cake Recipe: Scandinavian Almond Cake
Project I Need to Try: Creative Mending Patches
Gardening Book: "Great Garden Companions" by Sally Jean Cunningham. I took this out of the library recently and am enjoying all the tips.  

 (Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog
and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Thursday, March 29, 2018


crochet egg chandelier

It's time for rebirth. I am feeling it in so many ways. The first crocus has bloomed and I am so ready to get my hands dirty in the soil again. Seedlings are sprouting in the window.  I'm also trying to get things that have sat stagnant in my life flowing again.

While I've never stopped working on my crafts for selling at our local farmer's market over the summer and random craft fairs, I've let my online shop sit empty too long. So, slowly but surely I am adding items.

My family is also planning and saving for bigger changes. We don't know exactly what they will look like yet. But it feels like it's important now to re-imagine. I think Spring is definitely the time to do this... to plant seeds and figure out what will grow.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Favorites: Happy Spring

Friday Favorites
Something to Chill Your Kids Out:Breathing Exercises for Kids
Podcast Episode: Crafty Planner Podcast: Katrina Rodabaugh: Mending, natural dying and slow fashion
Kids Show (some action/ scary parts): The Magic Lamp and the Moving Islands (available on Amazon Prime): Sinbad adventure... this one is dubbed, but there is a subtitle version that goes before it... You can mostly make sense of the story without seeing the first one.
Easter Crochet Pattern: Crochet Eggs
Adorable Kids Book:  Chirri and Chirra

 (Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday Favorites A Day Late and A Dollar Short

 Friday Favorites

Spring Craft to Make with Kids: Origami Butterflies

Gardening Show: "Big Dreams, Small Spaces" on Netflix. This is the only kind of reality TV that I can get into. The guests design their garden dream in Britain with the help of expert gardener, Monty. I love that they do the work and spend the money themselves, making many of the projects obtainable.

Poem:  The Layers by Stanley Kunitz: A facebook friend shared this yesterday on their 50th wedding anniversary, and I thought it was too beautiful not to pass on to you.

Kid Quote: "Do you think the leprechauns steal the chocolate from the store?"

Cook Book with Something Green: The Art of Vegetarian Indian Cooking (There is a wonderful recipe for saag in this that I love. A friend gifted me this book a few years back, and it's definitely my go to Indian food cookbook. Pretty much everything I've made from this cookbook is great.)

 (Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you find a pot of gold in the world today, or a colander of gold as the case may be!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring in Winter

The tea kettles on and the powdered sugar is still falling outside. There's pizza dough rising on the warm top of the pellet stove, and a pile of snowy clothes hanging nearby to dry. I haven't been watching the weather and was surprised to get the automated call from the school this morning announcing yet another snow day. I really do enjoy snow days, perhaps even a little more than my kids who are still at that age when school is mostly just fun and play, but I'm definitely yearning for my garden and being able to run outside without having to get the kids dressed in a million things. So as the snow piled up this morning, I brought a little Spring to our family store.  The store will be ten years old this March, and it certainly a little Spring awakening for it's birthday. I found a wonderful fallen branch while at the park with the girls that begged for something to be hung from it. Origami butterflies seemed to be just what it was calling out for. I've also been adding my latest felt creations. I do so love those sister bunnies above, that will surely help me hop a little more swiftly into Spring time.

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites: Yoga, Cookies and Flowers


Friday Favorites: 

Easter Book: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes This book was a childhood favorite.
Spring Crochet Block Pattern: Primavera Flowers Granny Square
Yoga Video: Yoga with Adrienne I've been doing yoga since my first pregnancy over seven years ago, but I didn't really start doing it regularly until about a year and a half ago when I discovered the Yoga with Adrienne videos on Youtube. She makes it fun and easy, and has many videos that are between 15-30 minutes. I started with the 30 day challenge linked to above, but she has many others, and just came out with a new one called "True". It's awesome, and it totally changes my day when I start out with "Yoga with Adrienne" in the morning. She also has a few short meditation videos that I do daily.
Podcast Episode: "Thread Cult" Episode 31 with Heather Ross
Thing to Do on a Snow Day: Make chocolate chip cookies! Oh, and playing in the snow can be fun too!

(Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Friday Favorites (on Sunday)

My kids have been off from school and keeping me busy, so I apologize for my "Friday Favorites" on Sunday. I am shaking a scolding finger at myself right now.

Friday Favorites

Spring Kids Book: The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers
Gardening Tool: Stirrup Hoe... Amazing gardening tool for weeding standing up. It feels like you're vacuuming your garden.
Food/Travel Show: Kito Kato (available on Amazon Prime... Learn about popular flavors in Japan based on region and introduced through Kit Kat bars... The kit kat bars are really only a tiny part of each episode. It's really about the flavor and culture of each region.)
Stone: fluorite
Kid Quote: Mommy, can I have spinach on top of my birthday cake? (Mom win!)

(Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In the Garden: Is it too soon?

It's that in between time of year where some days we're huddled by the pellet stove, and others, like today, we're running around outside with our coats off (in t-shirts, for the bravest among us!). Seeing those bits of muddy grass gives me the motivation to dig out my seed box and take stock of what I have and what I will need. I haven't started any seedlings yet, but not to worry. We have a late growing season here (we're not frost free until the end of May!), so I'm not late at all. It's good to go through old seeds so I don't buy something that I already have in plentiful amounts. Yes, four packets of eggplant seeds will surely be more than enough for my growing space. It was nice to be reminded of some of the seeds I got last year, and didn't have time to plant. I'm talking to you Shiso and Lovage and Pineapple tomatillos. I've gone through all the veggies, and next I'll take a look at flowers and see if there are any berry bushes I have space for. While I was digging through I also organized seeds by where and when they need to be planted. Next I want to map everything out to make sure I have space and so I can plant good neighbor plants together.

I've also brought the garden to my sewing room. I made a few garden apron/ tool belts to sell at the Farmer's market this summer. They have pockets for seeds and lists and whatnot, and a belt to hold tools. I will probably make myself one, but I can't choose what fabric I want... oh, the difficulties of having too much beautiful fabric. 

At the same time, I've been making winter pixie hats for the girls. Yes, we definitely still have a firm foot in winter right now too. 

Anyone have any cool seed varieties they're trying this year? I'm excited to try Japanese Tatsoi (which I've been told is a bit like spinach, but easier to grow here) and Dragon Carrots (They are purple and are suppose to be spicy and sweet.). I'm looking for rose bush recommendations. I want a variety that makes rose hips and smells lovely.

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites and Finished Projects

"Silver and Spice Hood"

 Friday Favorites:

Parenting Book: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (I wish I had this book from the start... stay calm and connected to your kids... great techniques for a happier family. I am sure I will reread this book again and again. I'm human, and I don't always follow the advice, but when I do, it's like magic. Check out her website, too: Aha Parenting.)
Sewing Scissors: Kai (Super sharp and the handles are as soft as butter.)
Album: Souad Massi : Deb (availble on Amazon prime... great for a family dance party... African/Middle Eastern influences... sings in Arabic, French and English... so beautiful)
Recipe I Want to Try but Haven't Yet:(hehe) Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry
Kid Quote of the Week: Elsa: (while talking to her drawing) Let's make the world a better place. Let's make it windy!
(Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Making and Growing

Like a squirrel with her nuts, I am stashing away projects for the farmer's market this summer. Just thinking about it makes me think of green grass and gardens growing. Speaking of which, it's time to get some plants started. What are you busy making or growing?

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites: Happy Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year

Books: Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin and Love Is by Diane Adams and Illustrated by Claire Keane (Happy Valentine's Day and Chinese/Lunar New Year!)
Tutorial: Knit Tutorial with Rhyme
 Purl Tutorial with Rhyme
I've wanted to learn to knit for years. I've attempted a few times, but it didn't stick.  I have one set of wooden knitting needles sitting dusty in my craft room that always look at me with judging eyes. I just came across these videos with lovely kids rhymes and suddenly it all seems possible. So I guess I'll give it another go and maybe you will too!
Podcast Episode: Love to Sew: Episode 25 Sewing As Therapy
Watching: "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (on Netflix)... pretty ridiculous, but it's a short thing to watch with your sweetheart when your tired and just need a laugh.
Kid Quote of the Week: "I want you to build me a balcony. When it's warm outside, I'll go out and say 'Ah, the fresh summer!'"
(Too bad that would be a real pain in the butt to shovel with all the snow we get in the north country.)

(Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, I'd love a shout out on your blog and feel free to leave a link in the comments!)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Favorites

Maybe the five million things I have to do already just isn't enough for me. I thought it would be fun to start something new on this dusty old blog, called "Friday Favorites".

Peace Lily showing off a beautiful bloom and giving me hope for Spring in the heart of Winter.

Book: Serephina (This was an X-mas present and we are currently reading it. It deals with prejudice and intolerance through interactions between human and dragon-kind. It is for the teen + audience.)
Article: A Pain Relieving Response to Being Rejected or Excluded
Project I Want to Make: Crochet Pixie/ Gnome Hat ("Silver and Spice Hood")
Beverage: Coffee with foamed milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon (Okay, I do this everyday. It's just so good.
Fabric: Foxy Knit

I hope you find something of interest in this mix.  I will try to change up the categories each week.

(Featuring five favorites every Friday. If you'd like to do the same, a shout out on your blog would be nice, and feel free to leave a link in the comments!)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Snow and Felt



Fresh snow fell on the weekend, and I've been trying hard to get myself and the kids outdoors as much as possible before and after school. We are all in need of sunshine and exercise, and it's always nice when you can get these things and play at the same time. At my children's school there is a program called "Winter Wellness" which takes the kids skiing or snowing boarding once a week. The younger kids all do cross-country. I decided after a recent visit to the pediatrician that we really needed to be getting more physical exercise at home, too, and we'd start our own "Winter Wellness". Of course, the at home version is mostly throwing snowballs, sledding and running around the yard as it's already 4pm by the time we get out there.  I've also been taking solo walks when I can, and the bonus of working harder at healthy living is that it gives me more creative energy to poor into projects. January was really very slow and slothful (partially due to sickness), so I feel grateful to be getting motivated again.

In the craft room, I seem to be having too much fun with felt and hearts.... tis' the season. I have some new felt crowns in the works and just finished a pair of sly foxes. I've been spending a lot of time hand sewing this winter, which can be slow, but feels like a nice change of pace from the machine.

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Carving the Moon

The veil of sickness is lifting on our little home. There's still a little bit of rattle in my throat, but I feel a billion times better than I did last week. It's amazing how the world stops when you're sick. Well, not really. Telephone repair guys still show up when your drowning in a sea of mess and the dishes and laundry still manage to pile up even though no one is eating much and jammies become cemented to your skin. I guess what I mean, is, that thinking stops when your sick. Yes, that's what happens. It's remarkable how good it feels to be able to do things again, even when there's still not much rhyme or reason to what you're doing. It feels good to be able to taste coffee and chocolate again. It feels good to have our afternoon tea and popcorn break again. It also feels good to drop my littlest off at preschool for the first time in a week and see the joy from her friends and teacher upon her return.

Today I sat in my work shop and carved a stamp. I filled it with all the flowers I could think of that heal you. It was probably not the top thing I needed to be doing, but I haven't done anything like that since I was in art school, which was over twelves years ago now! I forgot how long it takes! I need to test it soon and see if it actually works or if I need to do some more carving. I think this year will be an experiment year. I've been playing with watercolors too... just making tiny artwork that I can dispose of easily should I detest the results.

Before sickness hung over us, the girls and I made those sweet little clothes pin dolls you see above. We used scrap fabric and colored pencil faces and put a wish into each of them for the New Year. Mine is simply a wish to create. Now that I'm feeling more like myself again, I hope there will be a lot more of that.

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hello 2018

I'm sipping the last of my coffee as I sneak back into this little space to say, "Hello 2018!" You started with a "Brrrrrrrr!" Plans to travel to Burlington for fireworks and a dragon parade were canceled when the forecast promised negative temperatures. It feels quite warm today at eighteen degrees, but we've started the year with some frozen pipes and extreme temperatures (negative 26 being the worst of it) that have me thinking of packing our bags for a tropical island (if only!). So on New Years we stayed in and painted with new Christmas paints, had a movie and read our fortunes. We did not make it until midnight. We've yet to do that since having children, and I really don't mind.

Jake's Dad headed out yesterday after a long visit for the holidays and the kids headed back to school. I am still operating at half speed from those very chill days. I actually had the house to myself for a few hours yesterday, which is very unusual, and squandered my time cleaning up. But it does feel nice to get back into the routine of things. Another winter storm is building outside and more freezing cold temperatures are on their way. It's winters like this that cause me to drift off into daydream land of fields of wild flowers.

The end of December marked ten years since we moved to "The Land of Winter"...yes, we were foolish enough to move here in winter (hehe). We had snow half way up our bottom floor windows that year. I still love it here, but I could do without the  negative temperatures so we can get outside and snow shoe or cross country ski or at least not see our breath in the house. Stay warm, where ever you are!