Category Archives: crafts

Spring Awakening: First Flowers

Part two in my collection of nature study necklaces (you can view part one here).

Coltsfoot“: The very first of flowers to appear in our area, we often spot their cheery yellow blooms surrounded by snow.

Pulmonaria“: Also known as lungwort.  With it’s multicolored blooms, semi-translucent, and delicately veined flowers nestled in a bed of mottled leaves, pulmonaria is one of the first flowers to appear in our garden each spring.

“Viola”: The johnny jump up, the violet, there are many names for this resilient quintessential spring flower.  The spring garden wouldn’t be complete without its sweet fragrance and beautiful array of colors.

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Snippets: A Collection of Lace Necklaces for Mother’s Day

“Too narrow breadths for nought-except waistcoats for mice” ~ The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

Or for some lovely, delicate lace necklaces.  A much better use I think!  The mice can fend for themselves.  Available in Plum, Baby Blue, Mustard, Cream, Baby Blue Oval, and Navy Leaf Print.  Also for Mother’s Day a couple of hand embroidered wool brooches; Loved and Blessed.

The shop is just full to bursting with beautiful Mother’s Day gifts as well as a number of Earth Day inspired toys.

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You know you must be a homeschooler…

When your 13 year old asks you to knit the sweater vest worn by one of his favorite documentary presenters and keeps pestering you to get on it because he can’t wait to wear it in public…I’m really quite convinced that I’m spending more time untangling the six balls of yarn attached to my work, than actually knitting.  Much more time.  This is supposed to be for his birthday in mid-May (as he keeps reminding me), but it’s not looking promising.

I’ve been reading Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief by the brilliant Katy Bowman, not just for myself, but also for the sake of my child with severe growing pains.  Helpful hint on that one, the only thing we’ve found that is really making a difference so far is regular high doses of vitamin D.  At first I found it amazingly challenging to be walking the right way.  Actually I could barely walk at all and slowly inched my way about holding onto furniture.  But it’s starting to become second nature now and I’m feeling strength returning to those under-worked muscles, as well as a general improvement in certain sorts of pain.  I think in the long run it’s going to be a very good thing.  So much so that I am seriously considering assigning reading it as part of an anatomy block for the older boys.  Perhaps it will influence them in their proclivity towards toe pinching, high heeled cowboy boots!

A couple of things for the shop:

A headscarf in nostalgic homespun.  One for me and one for the shop.  This fabric is fairly light weight and really scrunches up nicely.  And of course it can also be worn fully extended as well.  It’s just right for everyday wear.  I have a narrower version cut from the same fabric that I’ll be listing later in the week.

   And a few sets of birch candle holders:

KCCO

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Our baby turned two…

Her last hour of being one.

And if you were to ask her about it, she would say, “Seria burday March! Get wet. Go creek.  Shovel keep going!  Seria get.  Maia Rose get.  Iain carry home towel.  Have bath.  Pop-pop come Seria burday.  Talkin’ Me-mom on tv!  Open presents, rip, rip!  Have treat.  Eat Booberries.  Blow candle *blowing noises*, sing (actually singing now) ‘happy burday to you!’”

The waterfall that she so adored the week before was no longer running, so they cleared away the debris and as the flow returned dubbed it “Phina’s Fall”.

She was in constant motion; dancing, laughing, singing; too excited to go down for her nap.  We did and ate everything that she likes best.

Galen made her leg warmers.  When she opened them she exclaimed, “baby warmers!” and quickly pulled them on.  Since her birthday was the day before Easter, he also made her a basket out of cordage plied from dried iris leaves.  Mairi Rose embroidered a tiny violet on some felt and strung it on embroidery floss for a necklace.  She also brought her own five dollar bill to dance and from the stock of used dance clothes picked out the tiniest pair of ballet slippers she could find so that Seraphina could have her own dance shoes when they put on shows at home.  My mother crocheted her a beautiful afghan, using this pattern and Swish DK yarn in ‘Sugar Plum’.  If hand-made = love, this child goes beyond being adored, she’s downright worshiped.

My parents were supposed to stay with us for the weekend to help celebrate, but my mother became suddenly ill and couldn’t travel.  My father still came for an abbreviated visit and we manged to work it so that my mom could take part in the day through skype.  Hence the “talkin’ Me-mom tv!”

Her darling lamby!  Dear Melanie agreed to make that little lovie for her.  She has been a very happy addition to our home.  I found my sweet little violet contentedly “nursing” her earlier.

I’ve been admiring the work of Little Edith’s Knit since Seraphine was wee, so when she released one of her playsuit patterns in English, I just knew it had to be her birthday sweater.  If you are at all inclined towards baby lust, do not click through to that site.  Just trust me on this one.  It was also made from Swish DK, in “Carnation” this time.  The bonnet is a pattern I’ve been working on and hoping to send to test knitters soon, shown here in Reverie ‘Melon’.

How can it be that this tiny little love of mine is two already?!?  It’s all going much too fast for me.

KCCO

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spring awakening

Spring here does not explode in a brilliant burst of colorful blooms.  For us that comes much later.  No, spring on our mountain, in the woods, emerges slowly.  It is a subtle, moody, almost brooding affair.

The world exists mostly in shades of grey and worn, dull, weathered brown, bringing the details that in other seasons go unnoticed into sharp relief.  The bright green of lichen and flecks of moss, emerging from a long snow covered branch.As the world warms, we slacken our brisk pace, stopping to take in all the minute details.Details: Lichen and Moss- machine and hand embroidery on wool felt with a gunmetal grey base, hung on an adjustable leather cord.

♦ ♦ ♦

The snow melts and as it recedes the creeks swell up over rocks and ledges, only to come cascading back down.

Details: “Cascade”- Hand embroidery, applique and needle felting on and with wool felt and cotton velour, with an antique bronze base and fixed 28″ leather cord.

♦ ♦ ♦

These ferns are evergreen.  You see them in the spring, sprawled in great rings, pressed flat to the ground where the snow of months past held them fast.  It is still early yet, but after a time the fiddleheads will start appearing, poking their way out of the mud and slowly unfurling their delicate fronds.Details: “Unfurl”- Hand embroidery on wool felt with vintage cotton ric rac accents and vintage button closure.

♦ ♦ ♦

All three were inspired by our woodland walks and all three are now available for purchase through our shop.

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Just in time for Easter…

Our Spring Celebrations collection is going live today!  We’re stocking the shop with everything you need for a beautiful and unique hand-crafted Easter and/or Equinox celebration.

   I’ve been having fun making these little hand embroidered pendants.  They remind me of sweet fancifully decorated eggs.  Each one is on a ribbon long enough that it can be worn as a necklace.  They are also perfect for decorating an egg tree, nature table, basket or just about anywhere!

Just click the title above each set to see the listing!

Little Lamb:

It’s hard to say for certain, but she may just be my favorite.  The colors are softer in person, more muted and delicate.

Bird’s Nest:

This one has a great textural quality. And the color combination ended up being just gorgeous.

Ladybugs:Inspired by the one I found climbing my bedroom curtain.  The first of the season.  Spring is coming folks!

Small Rainbow Pendant:

So cheerful and bright!

And the large Rainbow:

Just beginning to peek out from behind some needle felted clouds.

One little Frolicking Bunny:

In fun girly colors with polka dot ribbon ties.

And the Chick:

The kids say he looks rather disgruntled, but that’s just a part of his charm.  I say he’s all the cuter for it.  And several of them have claimed him as their favorite, so I can only assume that they concur.

There are going to be so many wonderfully tempting treasures added to the shop over the next couple of days!  Do stop by and check it out!  And be sure to order soon so that we can make certain all the loveliness arrives on time!

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Week in the Life, Sunday

Him: knitting

Her: making a friendship bracelet

I have paint colors swirling through my mind.  Our favorite paint company is going out of business and I frantically (before it all sold out!) picked out colors for our next several projects.  It’s just arrived and I’m amusing myself by painting a swatch a day so I can see each color in place.  Today’s selection is “Delicate Peach”.

We had tuna salad for breakfast, which contained “Q-mummers” (cucumbers), one of my favorite baby words at the moment.

This is what life really looks like here right now!  Always food in progress, always dishes in progress, clothes drying, the latest projects unceremoniously scooped from the dinning room table and dumped on the ironing board- which never seems to get put away, boxes of next-size and season up kids’ clothes sitting about, waiting for me to finish sorting them, people everywhere; hectic, cluttered and full.

Goodies in progress for the shop.  One of the things keeping my hands so full of late.

I managed to leave the house wearing all clothing I like!  Of course, we don’t have a full-length mirror, so photos of myself are uhm, educational.

A day of gathering supplies: for the shop, for upcoming birthdays, for home improvement projects.

He wants to sew himself a shirt.

Out past nap time, poor little love!

Back home with our bounty for the beef and veggie stew that simmered in the crockpot the whole time we were away.

Iain secretly bought Mairi Rose the tiny sewing kit she had been coveting.  So sweet.

Beautiful fabrics, each one intended for something different, looking very comfortably harmonious all together.

Stopped in at Goodwill, hoping to find a bunch of mugs and bowls.  We’ve broken so many lately.  All it yielded was a single specimen to add to my collection of random, mismatched, floral pottery mugs.  And this little enamelware bowl!

Which I quietly packed away, along side a tiny 25-cent pot.  One to serve Seraphina’s birthday treats in and one as a gift to add to her kitchen set.  Three dollars well spent (including the mug).

Later in the evening our dear neighbor stopped round with a gift.  And inside…

Just what I was needing!

Homeschooling these days takes place at all hours, on all days.  The older boys are preparing for an important presentation.

Complete with very stylish pointers!

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Mama Collaborative

I am so excited, pleased, honored and proud to be announcing the grand opening of Mama Collaborative!

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a group of extremely talented and creative mother-artisans in a virtual community of support.  Together we’ve quietly been working behind the scenes in preparation for our shop opening on March 1st!

I have to tell you, all week I’ve been watching drafts of listings piling up and I am just gobsmacked.  The beauty created by these women is mind boggling.

For our first stocking we had kind of a loose spring theme.  If you are looking for little toys to slip into Easter baskets, fresh accessories to wear for an Equinox celebration, decorations for your nature table or supplies for you spring crafting, look no further!

Email Address:  

*A note to gmail users: with the new gmail layout the newsletter may be delivered under your “promotional” tab.  You can drag it to your inbox so that future newsletters, full of crafty goodness, will be delivered directly to your inbox.  

You can also help us to get the word out by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram.  And please do stop by our shop on Tuesday, March 1st and see what all the fuss is about!

And now let me introduce you to my partners!  I suspect you’ll recognize a couple of them as some of your favorite bloggers…

Kim: I am a homeschooling mama to one, a writer, nature lover, dreamer, foodie, lover of all things handmade, and a creative doer. I am happy to be here with these other inspiring mamas. Kim blogs at www.motheringwithmindfulness.com

Melanie: Home school mama to five in New England. We spend our days together creating all sorts of things, attempting to garden, reading good books,and observing the natural world, where we draw much inspiration. www.ourashgrove.blogspot.com

Tonya: So happy to be working with these other women to share our creative pursuits. As a mom of seven children, I find joy and beauty in the daily ordinary of raising a family, keeping up with our homestead dreams, and helping to run a family business. Tonya blogs at http://www.naturalearthfarm.net/blog

Jules: Hello, I’m Jules and I’m delighted to be with these inspiring women. I am a mama, a wife, and a shepherd who loves all things woolly. We are raising our three kids on a farm in BC, trying to make as much of our own food, clothing, and furniture. www.alittlecraftynest.com

Kris: I am a mama to four and farmer’s wife who loves all things handmade. We live on a small farmstead in Vermont where we attempt to grow most of our food and raise veggies, milk, eggs, meats and maple for our community. http://www.oldgatesfarm.com/

Elizabeth: Mama to three unschooled boys :: Tiny house living :: Off grid homesteader :: Lover of wool :: Maker of natural goods :: blogs at http://www.thesittingtree.net/

Taisa: I am a mama to three, living in a cabin in the mountains where we homeschool, make stuff and grow a weedy little garden. I am delighted to be joining these amazing, creative mamas in this collaborative. http://heartfullearning.com/

Kirsten: http://littlepennycress.blogspot.com/

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A Giant 10th Birthday Post

When I promised extra posting this week, I did not anticipate the wind storm that took out our internet access.  Sorry about that!

Sweater first? “Reversible Revelation” in Wool of the Andes Superwash, color: “Brass Heather”.  As the name implies, it is, in fact, reversible.  There is no right side.  Each has it’s own distinctive look:

This seemed like an excellent idea for a kid who often can’t be bothered with paying attention to what way his clothes go on.  At least for my benefit anyway, since he doesn’t really care if it’s inside out or not.  Hey, he’ll happily walk around wearing just one shoe, while I look on cringing.

The waitress at the college town, hipster, juice bar made a fuss about his “fashionable” ensemble; mama-made pants and sweater, topped with his spiffy hand-me-down brown cord blazer.  Dapper.

Food: This year we decorated gingerbread houses, instead of his usual gingerbread men. Autoimmune Friendly Gingerbread with Creamy Maple Frosting, made fancy with dried fruit and what we call “Yam Creamies”, which I’ll talk more about some other time.  We’re still on the intro diet and not supposed to be consuming sweets, but I made an exception for his birthday (and ended up with several people up half the night with belly aches as a consequence.  such is life.)

And now, the big, top secret project!  It pretty much all worked out as planned. In under three hours, while he was at said juice bar, followed by the music shop with my dad, this space…

became this…

The only part that didn’t quite work out was the light fixture.  I accidentally ordered a plug-in fixture when I meant to get one to wire in.  There are no outlets in that hallway.  But otherwise, somewhat miraculously, everything came together exactly as I had planned.

Both a space to work and create as well as a place to read and relax, plus extra storage besides, was asking a lot out of this petite 38″ x 66″ space.  The window seat has a hinged lid, with lots of storage space underneath, to help lighten the load in Iain’s attic bedroom (hence the boxes in the “before” photo).  I tried to work with what we had as much as possible.  The valence-hung on a rod my neighbor was getting rid of- and the divider curtain were both made from fabric I had on hand.  One of the pillow covers was fashioned from an old work shirt of Steve’s.  My sister painted those sweet pandas several years ago.  I’ve just been waiting for the right place to hang them in this house.  I love how the painting perfectly picks up the colors from all the pillows.  I’m ashamed to say it was an afterthought that just happened to work out brilliantly.

We managed to frame the window seat and build the stool with scraps of lumber from the basement.  We adjusted Ana White’s X-Bench plans to fit the space and finished it with some leftover General Finishes Milk Paint in “Persian Blue”.  It tucks all the way under the $20 cleaned up Craig’s List desk to save space.  A couple of old items refreshed by mingling with a few new accessories and just like that, he has his very own cozy nook crafted out of an area that was previously unused space.  Pretty nifty, that!

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Sewing Pattern Giveaway: Leotards and Swimsuits

Hello, hello!  We have been sssoooo busy.  The snow is receding, our trees are all tapped, and we are up checking for lambs several times a day.  Could spring really be coming?

I will be posting more this week.  I will, I will.  We’ll have a right good catch up.  I have such exciting news!  But until then, anyone want some sewing patterns?
I’m getting real about which patterns I’m actually going to use in the future and these didn’t make the cut.  My local fabric store was giving away out of print patterns and I must have gotten greedy.  The truth is I only ever use the same leotard pattern over and over again.  I don’t really need these.  They are all leotard or swimsuit patterns.  Five are girls sizes 4-7, one is a woman’s XS-XL.  Some of the envelopes are a little beat up, but all of the patterns are complete and unused.  Send me an email (upper right corner there) or leave a comment if you are interested!  There will be more patterns of various sorts coming soon!
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