June 2011

learning all the time and hands on around home, into the forest and wildflower meadow, to the beaches and parks and first berry pickings of the season. more and more please.

green grass grew all around

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i rushed the ice cream season

a dragon

hoppy's new style

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eating the stash

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not really picking

gorgeous bohemian yellow

gifting,sewing,woolens | Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

awhile back i was in a local fabric shop picking up some bamboo fill and instead came across these prints that made me think instantly of my friend J and her growing belly. i had no plan whatsoever but i picked some up for the stash and waited for an idea to come. you know how that is right? maybe i’m totally off about these colors but as far as i know Jodi from reading her blog and peeking through photos of her home, lifestyle and family, these colors and prints fit my mind’s idea of her – gorgeous bohemian yellow. initially i thought i would make something for herself but as the many coordinated fabrics piled up to be quick change trousers i decided her soon to be born babe would be the recipient of gorgeous bohemian yellow quick change trousers. in the end i love them on my own babe. i hope they are as sweet on hers.

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for J i’m sending her the super soft alpaca cowl that i worked on during my hours in the parent room;

rainbow knight party wip

artful projects,celebrations | Monday, June 27th, 2011

so Little A has been planning his birthday party since the day after his last one. he has talked about it endlessly and changed his mind on theme a bazillion times but rainbows and knights have been pretty constant so we’re going with that. it’s been fun planning and sometimes more than a tad overwhelming but he’s really into it…i’m guessing this stems from his love of magic treehouse books and history? “you know like other times and other lands” he says… anyhow, it’s been ‘project birthday’ all around here these days.

we’re making a pinata and filling it with treasures and treats, based on this little tutorial;

dragon pinata step 1

we opted on extra layers of colored tissue paper rather than painting and “Dob” still needs scales, wings and maybe fire;

 

party

without spending too much i wanted to fill it with less treats and more treasures. Little A destashed his sticker collection, we sewed up parchment bags and filled them with yogurt raisins, chocolate blueberries, kosher jelly beans and dried cranberries. we also tossed in some gold Canadian coins, colorful foil wrapped barley candies, wee viles of glitter and i don’t know – it seems like a lot. i think the dragon’s belly is full;

pinata goodies

in the night i’m up sewing drawstring gift and storage bags for some of the Ostheimer castle pieces Little A’s been wishing for (and i’ve been saving for) this past year. also i think it’s my own tradition to make birthday pants and this birthday Little M gets a matching pair since Little A loves for them to match;

drawstring toy bags

birthday pants

maybe he’ll wear them with the rest of his ‘get up’ – the shield is from a thrift sale 2 years ago, the sword i purchased on line some time ago as with the bamboo chain link hood and the rainbow play silk was Stacy’s good idea. it’s so funny for me to see him play up this role…ah my near 7 year old is changing right before my eyes;

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...knight...

much of our planning goes on while Little M naps but he’s in on some of it and playing up the dragon role quite willingly;

his laughter

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for the cake – Little A peered over my shoulder one day and caught sight of some of the rainbow cakes i’ve come across on the web. i was only flirting with the idea of actually making him one but now i’m committed. From the reviews i’ve read the color gets a lot of wow but the flavor not so much. For me a cake’s gotta taste yummy right? and not too sweet so always with reduced amounts of sugar. i’m modifying this yellow cake recipe as i’ve done for past birthdays. also i’m adamant not to use commercial food coloring and so recent experiments have been to find colorful foods in all the shades of the rainbow;

rainbow...

blue (blueberries)and indigo (blackberries) – these were much more colorful on the inside;

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green (spirulina) and yellow (carrot) which i was planning to use for orange so now what?

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we’re open for more suggestions for orange and violet and we’ve resolved that red will likely be more pink with pomegranate juice. looking forward to next weekend….

looking to his brother

brothers,day to day,playful | Monday, June 20th, 2011

…each to the other for giggles and inspiration.

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wild rose

also known as Nootka Rose (thanks Krista!)

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it was sooooo good to get out early. Little M slept as we strolled. Little A gathered more salmon berries to munch on while i gathered wild rose buds and petals. it was different picking them in the morning than afternoon – the bees were surprisingly much more active.  Little A and i came prepared with thread and needle to string ourselves a strand of rosebuds (thank you again Krista for the idea);

threading rosebuds

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they really are pretty and pink;

strung

wild rose

with the petals we distilled rosewater.  13 years ago, i dabbled with Rosemary Gladstar’s Correspondence Herbal Course and learned to make all sorts of salves and tinctures and rose water! i remember the batch i made back then made my skin feel sooooo soft and i’m hoping this batch works the same. from memory, here’s how we made it;

. enjoy your outing and gather wild rose petals when they are dry and in full bloom.

. at home you will need a large pot with a rounded lid ( i used a canning pot years ago and a cast iron pot with a glass lid this time), a clean brick or flat stone (i’ve used both), a heat safe bowl and some ice cubes.

. place the brick or stone in the center of your large pot, fill the bottom of the pot with rose petals no higher than the brick. add enough water to just cover the petals and just barely covering the brick (i think i used distilled water in the past but i used filtered tap water this time). place your heat safe bowl on top of the brick.

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. invert the lid on your pot and fill it with ice cubes. Boil and then simmer the rose water. the steam rises, condenses when it hits the icy lid, flows to the center of the lid and drips into the empty heat safe bowl resting on the brick.

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i admit i’m not sure how long it will last. i used mine up pretty quickly in the past. i think if you add a spoonful of alcohol that it will keep much longer. we’ve stored ours in a dark glass bottle in the fridge to be used as a refreshing facial spritz on hot summer days. now i feel like making more to have on hand for more kitchen experiments ie. rose water ice cream.

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