ticky tacky

celebrations,crafting,parenting | Thursday, October 30th, 2008

that’s what i think of most holiday decor. Where do people store all this crap?! and why? it’s so ugly and plastic. i anticipated a little more taste for the season in my beautiful big nut tree lined neighborhood streets but no, this and a similar set up are not too far apart. it sucks. it totally sucks.

tacky by you.

The other day i was out walking with friends and kids and one little guy was so scared of everything. Day of the Dead celebrations could very well encourage one to overcome their fears. Instead we have stupid Halloween fright nights and candy hauls. it bugs me. As a friend expressed the other day, “it’s so generic” and tragically so.  i spent one October back east and the yards were decked out but it was so much more creative with bales of hay and corn stalks and handmade scarecrows. it was so much more seasonal.

i’m just going to go back upstairs to my room with a view and take in the season’s natural beauty.

room with a view by you.

i’m going to burn my eyes on all those colors and then i’m going to come downstairs and get all crafty with my little one. We’re keeping it earthy. We’ve flattened a huge stack of beautiful fallen leaves, covered some favorites with packing tape to “preserve” them, trimmed, hole punched and hung them in our front window. Our wee chestnut folk and leaf monster fairy may greet some trick or treaters. We’ve chosen pumpkins for each step (though we miscounted and so we’re minus 2). We’ve got some colored corn cobs and gourds. Though it’s not much in comparison to the yards in our hood i feel it’s quite overdone.

leaf monster fairy by you.

pumpkin minispumpkin headdecorating

scooping goopdecoratinghappy halloween

As for the candy, well i was nauseous buying this stuff that i wouldn’t give to my own kid but it’s what they’re coming for right? oh and we do want them to come. We love to see the costumes. it’s all very exciting. i’m expecting a couple hundred kids. i can’t give them all organic treats nor do i think they would appreciate or even notice it. For our own small group we have fruit bars, freeze dried corn,  organic lollies and jelly beans, chocolate covered goji berries… for the masses we have kit kats, rockets and other freaky treats. My little one might decide to go door to door. He’s not sure yet. We’ll cross that bridge as we come to it.

nasty candy by you.

From Joanna, we have the loveliest gathering bag at the ready for a spontaneous trick or treat over at the neighbors.

acorn bag by you.


i fell asleep early and didn’t wake to mix the dough to rise in time for Tuesday morning’s bread baking day and so we made simple biscuits instead, substituting spelt flour because we love it and currants to make them cute. The fun Halloween cutters and the token sprinkle of sugar made them cookie enough for our group of littles.

messy work by you.

biscuits by you.

yum. by you.


note – the day’s feature costume, “red apple rock star” was heavily influenced by the Beatles and other performers (we’ve been enjoying some record shopping).

red apple rock star by you.

pete seeger by you.

it was such a  gorgeous day today and i’m afraid this sun and warmth are nearing an end. i do love that crunch of leaves beneath my boots. sigh. Autumn you’ve been so good. i think i love you.

autumn leaves by you.

weeeee by you.

oh and a recipe…well it’s basic biscuits really.

2c flour (the original recipe calls for unbleached white flour but i substituted 1 of the cups for spelt. i have tried whole wheat in the past but it’s really too heavy)

2tsp baking powder


there’s no call for sugar but i often let my son sprinkle a teeny tiny token of it some brown or cane sugar because he loves the idea of sweet and will more likely eat something that has “sweet” in it.

i don’t really measure the butter but in my books it has to be butter because butter is good fat!! got that all? good for you fat. so i cut it in cold and keep in mind that the less handling the flakier the biscuit. i haven’t got a pastry blender despite it being on the “to get” list for ages so i use a fork.

make a well and add 1/3c milk (i’m loving our raw milk. mmm good for you too.) mix it just enough to bring the flour/butter mixture together.

dump it out onto a floured surface. pat it together and cut out your shapes.

what am i forgetting? oh right, brush the tops with milk so they look all shiny and brown and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 mins. eat them hot with more good fat butter. coffee is always good at this time too.

the nutritional value is piddly really but they’re warm, comforting, easy to bake when you forget to let the bread dough rise overnight,  my little one loves them and  they’re better for you than a cookie and if i can pass this off as a cookie, well then put them on the baking list.

mail to squeal over and links to follow

beautiful people,gifting,shop | Monday, October 27th, 2008

i’m so spoiled.  Sara from A Little Sprout sent me the sweetest package this weekend. Seriously, the packaging was as exciting as the contents. Little A and i both took our time admiring the stitched paper bag wrap, the stamp, stickers… so beautiful, so fun and so very exciting.

mail by you.

Indeed i did squeal  and then again. Check out these sleepy heads.  Little A and i are both so in love with our new little friends. The removable shoes were pretty darned exciting and A immediately scooped Charlotte Bear’s reversible smock for his claimed plush bear (yet to be named).

1 for him 1 for me by you.

reversible smock by you.

Slowly things are coming together in our home. Charlotte Bear is a perfect match with the little bear print i purchased ages ago from Emily at The Black Apple . i recently framed it with the intention of cozying up the spare room but i’m keeping these gals in the living room indefinitely. i want to see them everyday. smile.

mantle by you.

cute cute cute right?

charlotte bear by you.

Also finding a place in the new home are the wool felted pebbles gifted from Claudia a long while back. i admire them daily but have been a total slacker in posting them here. One is offering some lightweight to our heavier beach stone door stopper, the others are amidst Little A’s play things, the crane more specifically. They are really lovely and, by the way,  aux petits oiseaux etsy shop is now open.

door stopper by you.

Claudia's felt pebbles by you.

Lucky me to have such talented flickr and etsy friends to gift exchange with.

yellow grey and brown

sewing,shop | Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

i like these colors a lot right now. maybe you do too.

Scarf - grey leaves and that good kind of yellowScarf - grey leaves and that good kind of yellowLittle Yellow polka dot scarfLittle Scarf - yellow and greyLittle Scarf - yellow and greyWaldorf Wool Felt Crown -  matryoshka and flowersMatryoshka Doll - LenoraWaldorf Wool Felt Crown -  Hedgehogs and Apples

in the shop.

Tuesday is bread baking day

i’ve been reading my old Tassajara bread book and feeling inspired to get back into the bread baking. i’ve had my eye on these since i took a tour to the grain room at our school to see the mill that they use for their breadbeaking. Then last week Alistair came home with a cast iron hand mill that i’m super excited to crank the wheel on. We just need to anchor it to a heavy wood block and away we go. Ready or not spelt berries… Little A loves the spelt bread we bake at school  and, since i will soon and regularly be taking care of another wee one in my home on Tuesdays, i thought it would create a good rythym to include her in our weekly bread baking. it’s quite something to see the little ones getting into it; first drawing pictures in the dry flour with their fingers, then kneading the dough and working it into creative shapes just their size. so fun. for all ages. oh and yummy! Hopefully the novelty of eating so much homemade bread will wear off by next week because i’m super full. Oh and that little guy in front – that’s “Super Boy” He designed this bread baking costume on a whim.

Tuesday is bread baking day by you.

bakedbread baking

bread baking by you.

Spelt Bread Recipe from our Waldorf school;

8 cups spelt flour (freshly ground)

3.5 cups warm water (i used tepid water)

1 tsp. yeast

2 tsp. Sucanat sugar (i used honey)

1 tsp Himalayan salt (i used some other sea salt)

2 tbsp xtra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly ground flaxseed ( i omit this for lack of some but i’ll try it another time)

First dissolve the sucanat and yeast in a cup of warm water and add it to the rest of the dry ingredients + the rest of the water and knead. For added benefit, you can add a bit of whey or yogurt. Leave the dough rise for at least 6 hours. Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour (every oven is a bit different).

So those were the directions shared with me.  The first batch i halved the recipe and used warm water. The 2nd batch i used 3/4 the recipe and used tepid water. i liked the 2nd batch best. i’m certain there will be variations and experiments. Happy bread baking. Serve it up warm and buttered. Delicious.

This post is late for Tuesday but that’s because i’ve just spent hours eating cakes, drinking late night coffee and chatting with a friend.  We decided that if we were going to be nice mommies in the AM that we had better get to bed and so there i go. sleepy.

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Copyright © Ella Pedersen 2007, 2008