Thursday, January 28, 2010


Lately I've been noticing moss. I've always loved moss - so tiny and intricate and soft and smooshy. Plus it is always the perfect color of green. Did you know that you can buy about a million moss-themed things on etsy? Well, you can - here are a few of them:

This Irish Landscape Terrarium by Wee Green Spot comes complete with a tiny wool felted sheep. Too cute!

Simple Sweet Design is selling custom hanging moss initials - doesn't that look so cool against the white wooden door?

April Hiler Designs makes this to-die-for moss ring bearer pillow. Wouldn't this be perfect for an outdoor wedding?

And I think I've found my next pincushion - from the Daily Pincushion. Mossy WITH FLOWERS! Adorable.

I'll leave you with this totally adorable Moss and Mushrooms Wool Kimono for baby by Little Seedlings. I'm picturing my little guy all wrapped up in this - so cute!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The other morning (and I'm using that term loosely... 4 am counts as morning, right?) I was awakened by my four year old standing silently by my bed staring at me. (Why is that one of the most terrifying ways to wake up?) Anyways, he informed me he had had a scary dream, so I scooped him into bed with me, hoping he would fall back to sleep. After lying there for a few minutes he told me "I dreamed a white bird flew into our house and stole all of our fabric." He heaved a terrified sigh and fell quickly asleep, safe with his mommy. Of course, then I was scared. Just in case, I decided to replenish my stock. Here's a picture of some of the great stuff that should be arriving here soon courtesy of Fabric Shoppe.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I'm so excited to finally have these in the shop and be able to show them to you. I've been working on these fabric garlands for a while, and spending even more time trying to take good pictures of them. I LOVE how they turned out, plus they are really fun to make. My entire hutch is buried under a huge pile of fabric strips waiting to be turned into flowers.

I've finished a few garlands in different colors and fabrics but haven't had enough good outside light to photograph them. As soon as the sun comes out I'll get them listed in the shop! Can't you picture one of these hanging in a little girl's bedroom? (I, of course, can only imagine what it would look like, since all we have around here are boys, boys, boys.)

I hope you like them - lots more coming soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Week in Review

Last week, which started so well with victories in laundry land, turned into a bit of an exercise in survival. The crazy storm caused a power line to snap - I know this because I almost drove into it as it whipped around in the air like some crazy spark-emitting snake - and resulted in us having no electricity for two days. No big deal, we thought. We like camping, we can do without TV, plus we love soup.

Everything was going along fine that first 24 hours without power until we went to bed and realized that a one-year-old can not keep himself warm in a house that has dropped in temperature to 35 degrees, even if he is wearing 3 layers of clothes. Even if he lays curled up with his mommy who is also wearing 3 layers of clothes he can not get warm enough to fall asleep. This is not a funny paragraph - I was actually scared and angry and realizing REALLY fast how fortunate I am to have everything I do have. We survived the night just fine once we got into bed with Moses, who is freakishly warm at night. (For the record, daddy volunteered several times to lay with baby to warm him up but I was afraid that he would accidentally crush him and not even realize it in his deep sleep - he's almost done the same thing to me a few times.)

So on the morning of day 2 without power we threw in the towel and went to my in-laws' house for some warmth, a shower, etc. A cozy night there caught us all up on sleep and we woke on Friday morning ready to go on our mini vacation to Twain Harte, where we heard it was snowing. While Brett got some work done, the boys and I dashed home (the power was finally back on but it was cold as an ice box) packed our snow gear, filled up the car, picked up daddy, and drove 3 hours to the mountains.

It was snowing and it was gorgeous! We unpacked everything and spent an hour sledding down the driveway until it got too dark to avoid crashing into the cars that had been snowed in on the road. We went into the house, changed out of our wet clothes, sat down to eat dinner, and... the power went out.

And I, who am typically up for anything, especially survival-type adventures, began to behave uncharacteristically. First, I cried (and deep down I honestly believe only sissies cry about things like the power going out). Then I said a very high-maintenance and demanding thing in a borderline-crazy tone of voice: "I will not stay here if the power is not on. I refuse to do another night with a freezing cold baby." This behavior caught Brett off-guard, and even though he totally wanted to stay and "all sleep right next to the propane fire place" (ahem - carbon monoxide poisoning anyone?) he knew there was no reasoning with me. So after going outside for about an hour to do whatever it is men do when confronted with an impossible, high-maintenance, sissy of a wife, he came back in and repacked EVERYTHING we had brought by candlelight, reloaded the truck, and drove us 3 hours back home. Bless his heart, he didn't even roll his eyes at me.

After unpacking again in our now-warm house, we ended up having a very nice weekend. We walked around the property surveying the damage from the storm, which is where these pictures came from. I learned a lot of lessons over a few days of having no electricity - it has happened to us many times before, but never in the dead of winter and never with a little baby to care for. I am so grateful for the easy life we have, even though we live more simply than a lot of people I know. I am humbled to have so many things and live in such comfort while so many people in other parts of the world (and right here even) have so little. It is also just nice to be home. I hope you all are well and looking forward to a nice (warm) week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Proud Moment of Domesticity

I've never been particularly good at cleaning. Admittedly, I've never been very good at any of the things I spend most of the day doing - cleaning, cooking, buying groceries, keeping children out of trouble... but cleaning is definitely my nemesis. Especially stains. I've been known to sew a patch onto an article of clothing to hide a stain rather than try to get it out. Also, I've always shied away from bleach because I don't understand it and it stinks, so my whites just get dingier and dingier until I throw them away or turn them into smocks.

Recently, however, two of our more beloved white items got stained and I couldn't bear to give up on them. Moses' "fancy shirt" had an unfortunate incident involving post-church donuts. And my new tunic had an even more unfortunate incident involving baby vomit at a Chinese restaurant. I gave them a normal washing and they both came out stained. Determined to do something about it but sure that the lazy side of me didn't want to, I put the shirts on the couch where they would annoy me until I figured it out. Unfortunately, I tend to be pretty passive-aggressive, so I ignored my not-so-subtle attempt to get myself to tackle the stains, and the shirts sat there for about a month. Today I gave in and busted out the Borax, which is the only cleaner I have on hand other than regular old laundry detergent. I made a paste out of it and scrubbed those stains for a bit, and what do you know - they came out. I am very proud of myself! This ushers in a whole new phase of life where my husband and sons won't have to walk around wearing clothing with random patches or strategically placed stickers covering ignored stains.

I highly recommend this Borax stuff. We've been using it as a water softener in the dish washer and washing machine and it definitely makes a difference - no more hard water deposits on everything. It is cheap and you can buy it a Target or the grocery store.

And while we're talking laundry, I also recommend these, also available at Target. They bounce around in your dryer and soften things up while keeping the clothes from getting wadded up into a big soggy ball. There are similar laundry balls available on etsy and I plan on getting a set of those soon. How about you - any laundry secrets to share?

Friday, January 15, 2010


It is late Friday morning and the little guy is taking a rare early nap while big brother is having a "big day" with Grandpa. So here I am, having just pieced a lovely little quilt, with time to blog at a normal day-time hour. Thinking ahead I realize that we have NO plans tomorrow, nowhere to dash off to, which means a leisurely breakfast with daddy and plenty of coffee after that while the boys play on the kitchen floor. It is one of those moments where I feel so full of contentment and joy with the little life I have, so grateful to have this wonderful family and live in this tiny little house in the "country." I hope you have a chance to enjoy the little things in your life today, and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slowly but surely

I've added a few more touches to Moses' bedroom - handmade items that I LOVE and am so happy to have hanging up. These are two little patchwork pictures I made a long time ago right after I received my first sewing machine (Brett gave it to me the first year we were married) and discovered my love of making things with fabric. No planning went into making these - it was kind of like sketching, but with scissors, fabric, and a sewing machine. It's nice to have them up for my kids to enjoy.

Then there is the needlepoint that Brett's mom made for him when he was a kid. Isn't it adorable? So colorful and full of things that the boys love (Titus points to the little car every day). I like thinking of Gail sitting on the couch pregnant with Brett and sewing this after the two older boys had gone to bed.

I'm always so impressed by the detail involved in needlepoint - I can picture the time that went into each little stitch, each choice of color. And it is so cool that I have this from Gail as well as one from my own mom (still need to get that one hung up!)

I am not totally confident in my interior decorating ability, but it is nice to see Moses' space evolving into something that is beautiful as well as functional. Having these handmade things up is such a nice way of passing on history and tradition. I can tell that even at his young age these little things are special to him because he knows the people who made them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Patchwork Ninja

I love it when sewing time coincides with playing time. AND I love it when tiny precious scraps find another use before making their way into the trash.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Soup Night

This winter I am doing soup night once per week. It is a great way to use up those lingering vegetables that used to go bad in the fridge, as well as the noodles and random pieces of meat left over from previous dinners. I always start by sautéing onions and chopped mushrooms in the pot with some olive oil, then just start throwing stuff in. Last week I used some zucchini, left over breakfast sausage, BBQ'd chicken and half a can of white beans that was in the fridge. Once that is all softened and sizzling, I add chicken stock, some spices (haven't yet gone wrong with poultry seasoning and some basil) and let it simmer. Of course, the longer it sits there on low heat, the better it tastes, so I try to get the majority of the soup done during nap time. Right before we eat I throw in noodles and let them cook for a bit. The best part is that it always tastes good, no matter how random the list of ingredients!

Of course, a sprinkling of Pecorino jazzes the whole thing up. This is my latest obsession - seems my stomach can handle it since it is made with sheep's milk instead of cow's.

Always yummy and the perfect way to wrap up a cold (I know you non-Cali's are laughing at me) winter day. How about you - any good soup recipes? And ingredients you swear by?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What keeps you up at night?

We seem to be back in that "what-can-I-possibly-do-to-prolong-bed-time" phase. There are the usual "I need more water" and "my blankets are all jimbled up" and "I just have too much energy in my body"... There is the always creative "I had a bad dream," spoken literally minutes after I've left the room and with a smile on his face. Then there is the vague yet considerate "I just had a scary thought that I can't tell you because it might scare YOU." But tonight we heard the most creative excuse for why he can't go to bed yet: "I just keep farting and farting and I can't go to sleep." And then we heard ourselves saying, "Well, just go back in your room and fart in your bed." Now there's a sentence I never planned on saying.

"Winter" on the Farm

There are so many beautiful things to see outside right now (and we are constantly grateful to live where "cold" means putting on a jacket before leaving the house and very rarely changes our outside-play schedule). I find that when I go out with my camera I happen upon things I would not otherwise appreciate or even notice. I hope you are enjoying you winter!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cutest. Fabric. Ever. !

One of my favorites so far. I want to wallpaper a child's room in this! (Hop on over to the shop to see more pictures of this little blanket.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Well, in spite of all my New Year's resolutions to be more productive, get things done in the morning, and so on, today was one of THOSE days. You know the days I mean - one of those days when you not only drop off, but also pick up your 4 year old from preschool wearing a crazy thrown-together sweat outfit, having not showered or even washed your face. (Of course you make sure to say "that was a fun RUN, wasn't it baby?" plenty of times really loud so everyone will understand why you are covered in sweat.) One of the days when you go to the grocery store specifically to buy 2 packets of Kool-Aid mix in order to make play dough for preschool and leave with drain-o, coffee, syrup, and Gatorade ... and no Kool-Aid. One of those days where the naps do not line up correctly and you find yourself plopping the baby down in front of a bowl of dangerous but fascinating buttons, hoping he doesn't choke and die while you frantically mop the kitchen floor. One of those days when you shower at 2 pm, throw on whatever happens to be in the dryer that fits, don't even register the concepts of "hair" or "makeup," only realizing that you STILL look like a maniac when your husband returns home and does a double-take when he sees you.

Of course, it was also a day when I had almost 2 whole hours with my oldest to do puzzles and paint pictures and talk about the day. A day when the baby clapped his hands for the first time and gave even more hugs and kisses than usual. A day with hours and hours of time spent outside, wandering through the pastures, climbing trees and crawling in the grass. A day that reminded me that what I look like and what I clean and what I have to show off at the end of the day are not at all important. One of those exhausting, embarrassing, unproductive, beautiful, fun, wonderful days.