The space bar on my laptop stopped working.  My laptop is dying a very slow and painful (to me) death.  This is why I’ve had so little to say in general and in particular about our dear Elijah’s birthday.  I thought I would save you the frustration of trying-to-read-a-post-written-like-this and me the frustration of trying-to-write-a-post-like-this.  But it kind of worked as a photo essay; 13 in 14 pictures (one for good luck?).

Santa Hat details

Horse Lover Mitts details

Rosebud has been very eagerly learning to cook lately.  Very eager about learning all sorts of things actually, which is a fabulous state of mind for a burgeoning first grader to be in!  I have officially started some first grade work with her, with the thought that as school work slows down for the summer with the boys, it will give me more relaxed time to concentrate on her.

Cooking wise she’s really attached to the idea of doing things herself.  The latest in her string of accomplishments is writing her own recipe.  What started out as my humoring a little girl of 6, turned into our new favorite grain-free bread recipe.  It’s absolutely delicious!

  Mairi Bread

4 eggs
3/4 C arrowroot flour
3/4 C sunflower seed meal*
2 T. honey
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C apple cider vinegar

*The sunflower seed meal must be ground fine.  If it’s not things might separate and get a little weird.  Still tasty, but without the beautiful bread-like consistency that you will over wise get.

Mix all of the dry ingredients.  Blend all of the wet ingredients.  Mix the two together.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan.  Bake at 375 for around 40 minutes.


Licorice the Lamb and Other Spring Tales

Over the course of two weeks we graduated from wee, petite, miniature bouquets nestled in spice jars and extract bottles, to full blow bounty of blossoms.  The pulmonaria (which sounds so much prettier than “Lungwort”) has done amazingly well this year.  I want to divide it up and put a little everywhere.

It’s only May and already the garden has gotten the better of me.  I can’t keep up.  Also I have a certain little someone who really wants nothing more then to be permitted to stand right in the middle of my garden beds.  She climbs in, and stands perfectly still, dead center, looking over her shoulder, waiting for someone to notice and frantically come running over to scoop her up and out…lettuce seedlings trampled under foot, radishes flattened.  Today she discovered the joys of picking all the flowers off the strawberry plants.  How could I have forgotten what a challenge this could be?  I’m trying to channel my inner Farmer Dan.  Years ago, we were members of a wonderful CSA and one day the head farmer stood causally by, watching as three children ran right through a freshly planted field.  Their mother was mortified.  He just smiled and shrugged and explained that it was factored in.  That they planted in a way that assumed kids at play and the occasional dog digging something up.  He really seemed sincere, but I have to wonder if inside it wasn’t eating at him just a little?  All that work!

We have a lamb now.  Right.  So, uhm, that happened.  Though I’m still not really clear on how.  We were visiting a friend and the new baby lambs and there was this day old one being rather violently rejected by her mother.  She was crying so pitifully that it was making my milk let down.  The scale was tipping and she was rapidly running out of the reserve she needed to survive.  Our friend had to leave for work.  I offered a to help out if she ever needed a hand, thinking that you know, we could come down and take a feeding shift from time to time and before I knew what was happening, Iain had a little black lamb in his arms and Elijah had a jar of sheep colostrum and they were headed back to our place.  She’s 2.5 weeks old now and what with middle of the night feedings, and milking sheep and all, it’s been a bit intense at times.

Steve was a rather perturbed (“Wait a minute, so I don’t even get consulted before we move barnyard animals into the house?“).  This is a very valid gripe.  In my defense, what was happening hadn’t totally dawned on me and I was still rather befuddled by the what, how and why when he got home.

She’s just fostering here.  She’ll go back to live with the flock once she’s weaned, but it’s been agreed that she will remain the children’s sheep.  They have been working very hard to care for her.

Her name is Licorice.  Seraphina calls her “Bah-bah”.  They follow each other around.  I really couldn’t quite say who is following whom.  Bah-bah will bend down and nibble something Fina will nibble next to her.  Bah-bah will run up to me bleating to be petted on the head.  Sera will follow a few steps behind, looking up with an expectant “Bah?” and then run away happily once she’s been petted as well.

She’s still a lap-lamb.  Though she’ll be too big for that before long.


Hancock Shaker Village

A couple of weeks ago we took a trip to meet my parents at Hancock Shaker Village.

That’s Seraphina’s birthday sweater.  There was just enough yarn leftover to make a little woodland sprite bonnet to go with it.  I survived the steeking, but I assure you, I’m in no hurry to attempt it again!  The whole process was fiddly.  I should have used a color with more pop for the flowers.  I knew it might be a problem and I was right.  I just loved both yarns so much that I hoped the influence of my affection would inspire them to play together nicely.  I couldn’t find any buttons in my stash that I liked for it, so I whipped up some little fabric covered ones.

We’ve moved on to other birthdays now.  We will have two teenagers in the house before the week is out!  Mind-boggling

I’m reading, let’s see?  Four different books now?  It suddenly got hot and my brain went on vacation.  I can’t keep track of them.  When I misplace one, I just pick up something new.  Saved by Ben Hewitt is the latest and it’s looking promising.

After that atrocious winter we seem to have skipped spring and launched right into summer.  I’m livid.



First Birthday: a Lengthy Belated Post

Licking the icing off the beaters on the eve of her birthday.  She cried when we tried to take it back to wash it!

In the spot where we first laid her out almost exactly a year before to examine all her wonderful, sweet, precious, newness.

Galen’s gift to her was Peter and the Wolf performed as a puppet show.

I’ve been planning birthday dresses for her since the day she was born, even before actually.  In my mind this year’s was to be a smocked bishop dress in colors to coordinate with her birthday sweater.  Does it go without saying that the birthday sweater was planned ages ago?  While I was still pregnant I had one pattern picked out for a boy baby and one for a girl baby.

Only I’m trying really hard not to spend money whenever possible and a bishop dress requires three yards of high quality fabric, which doesn’t come cheap.  I challenged myself to make her something from supplies I already had.  Which was actually really frustrating for me.  I tend to get caught up with a certain vision of what a project should be and it’s hard to shift gears.  I tried all sorts fabric and pattern combination and nothing seemed right.  Finally I struck on this pairing of an antique lace collar with a spring green cotton-silk blend.

With a violet for her hair.  My darling little harbinger of spring.  What to say of the joy that is a baby girl due on the equinox?  Our Sweet Wild Violet.  Dear Seraphina Violet Juliette.

We were planning a little party but everyone had been sick the week before and we were still kind of worn out.  Steve and I decided that we really just wanted to spend a quiet day playing with our baby and her siblings, not running around cooking and cleaning and worrying about whether she will be sleeping when people arrive or not?

Swing Tutorial

A glass sippy cup.  The only gift we purchased.  It’s very well loved.  You need these lids to convert it from a bottle to a sippy.  My sister bought her the lids thinking it was the whole cup at Christmas time and we finally got the glass bottle part to pair them with.  I like it much better than the metal ones we used with the older kids.

After cake and presents she spent hours of the afternoon just swinging away, taking sips of tea and cuddling her baby.

This delightful illustration was a gift from our friend and neighbor.  Earlier this year she made the children a story book featuring her charming little elves and fairies roving about our neighborhood!

In lieu of an official party we had a few people over for ice cream the following week.  Elijah makes the most amazing dairy free ice cream.  The guest of honor had plain coconut cream with banana slices.

The bunch of daffodils were hands down her favorite gift.  I pressed one for her baby book.

Last year’s blessing egg, hung with this years.

While we dyed pysanky eggs she painted eggs and whatever else was handy with vegetable juices.

We are so blessed.


magpies, homebodies and nomads

Full title- Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads: A Modern Knitter’s Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style.  I just finished a gardening book, so it seemed like time for a knitting book and this one sounded just right.  I like knitting books that include advice, stories and design ideas.  That sweater on the cover is now on my must knit list.  I’m seriously coveting it.  Now if only the yarn for it would just magically appear in my work basket.  I want to make the Loro Vest as well.  Though I have trouble with vests and skirts.  I like them both, but I never know what to pair them with, so rarely wear them.  I think if I just did it in a nice gray, like the sample, I could pretty much wear it over anything.

I’m currently finishing up some knits for Elijah’s upcoming birthday.  I’m very nearly done them.  When he is around I’m back at my current obsession which is to knit every single adorable baby-toddler pattern before she outgrows them.  With my specific current project being a tiny lace sunsuit.

I’ve been meaning to update my Ravelry pages for a while now.  There are a lot of holes there.  It seems unlikely that I’m manged to post about all of my past projects that I’ve missed when I can’t even keep up with posting about my current ones.  But when I spotted Elijah in the scarf I designed for him almost two birthdays ago (!) now, I asked if he minded if I took a few pictures.  I should really write up this pattern.  It’s a fun one.  I didn’t have any interesting buttons that fit, so I took the burning tool to a couple of plain wood ones and just did some free form scoring.