Sunday, April 11, 2010

My sincere apologies, plus Fiber Alley

First of all, I've been neglecting this space. Some things are shifting here in my household, and I'm finding myself gone a lot more of the time. This is good and bad in a way....good in that I'm able to reach some goals I had set for myself...bad in the fact that all creativity, crafting, and making of almost all sorts has come to a screeching halt. We did do a cool easter craft that I'll blog about soon, and a little bit of knitting here and there has been going on, but that's about it. No completed projects have been crossed off the list...which makes me feel restless, but I'm just tying to keep my head above water right now honestly. It's hard to be gone from the household so much, when I've been right here almost everyday for so long. It'll be okay though, and possibly short lived, so I'm rolling with it as best I can.

Now on to happy things.

This weekend was the annual Fiber Festival. I am lucky enough to live in a place where this is just a few short miles away from house one time a year. This event is fabulous! The Fiber Festival is a gathering of all kinds of fiber enthusiasts, knitters, spinners, rug hookers. There are vendors of all of the above crafts, tons of yarn, fiber, raw wool, spinning wheels, you name it is there. And live animals to boot. Goats, angora rabbits, sheep. So, so fun if you are into this kind of thing.

And what's so great is that a lot of the vendors manufacture their own yarn. So they own the sheep, shear the sheep, process wool, dye the wool, spin the wool, then sell it at the fiber festival!!! It is such an art, and their is so much beauty at every turn, I can barely keep my eyes in my head. Can you believe the gorgeousness? Kinda makes you wanna reach out and touch it huh?

I also was able to meet a the designer of this fabulous pattern. It's called Summit and you can find the FREE pattern here. And I saw the finished project, the one made by the designer in person. This is ABSOLUTELY going on my to-do list right away. This pattern kinda makes my head spin, but it's beautiful....I just kept staring at it, and I love that color, I'm thinking mine might me close to that color as well.

And my girl got to hold a baby angora bunny. It was THE softest thing I've ever felt! And really tiny under all that fur. That had them for sale...but we didn't come home with one.

Have a happy week everyone! Hopefully, I'll be back soon!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunshine on her shoulder makes me happy

Yay! Spring is here!!! Or it's supposed to be anyway. Yesterday was the first official day of spring and the past few days have been super nice and warm.

I love spring. I love the new beginnings, the start of warm days, a little (or lot) of rain, the smell of the earth, emerging life from the ground. Hip, hip, hooray!!! Spring is such a special reward for enduring the endless qualities of winter.

We got new baby chicks this weekend, they are so sweet...and not scary. Why do I get terrified of them when they get bigger? My girls are loving them, they are checking on them constantly and holding them, it's very sweet.

I've started plotting my garden layout. And we are getting fruit trees this year!! I'm so excited...this is something we've always wanted to do, and never got around to, but this is the year. Oh! And blueberries! We are planting blueberry bushes also. We go through blueberries like there is no tomorrow. My little one eats them like crazy, it will be nice to have a lot in the freezer eventually. I'm guessing they take a year or two to produce?

I took these pictures of my sweet on a warm sunny day last week. I can feel the sun just looking at them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good and good for you

My people love granola bars. Love them. I like to make them myself, that way I have control of the ingredients and can make them healthy. No additives or preservatives, just straight up goodness. I've actually made these 3 times in the past week...they are going over like gangbusters!

I've been through several granola recipes through the years, so I kinda tweaked them all together and this one is definitely a keeper. This makes a nice chewy a traditional chewy granola bar you would by at the store. Except 1000 times better.

Granola bars

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used almond butter)

6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. pan,

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter , liquid sweeteners and water. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (You have to press really, really hard for this to pack correctly. Like really hard. I even take it out of the oven and press again after it's baked for about 20min.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too.

*I use Almond butter unless I have freshly ground peanut butter on hand.

*As far as fruits and nuts, the sky is the limit. I use raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dried cherries, currants, pecans, coconut, and I always put chocolate chips in mine. Gotta have the chocolate.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


One of my resolutions this year was to make a quilt. I am always in awe of people who make quilts...and like everything else the past few years..I kinda feel like if I just jumped in, I could figure it out. So far that philosophy has worked with photography, knitting and random sewing projects.

So recently I've had lots of extra time on my hands...(or hand as it were) so I've been summoning up the courage and today was the day. I don't have any quilt how-to books in my possession so I really just kind of jumped right in and went for it. I knew I wanted to start with a 12 inch square so I got out my cutting mat and rotary cutter, and some bits of random fabric I had. And since this was just for practice, I didn't worry about the color scheme, I just used whatever I had smallish pieces of.

I cut out pieces in different shapes and started fitting them into my 12 inch square. I did it! It really wasn't that hard. I am literally the worst cutter in the world. I can't cut a straight line to save my life, even WITH a rotary cutter. But I just kept trimming and squaring up and it worked great.

I decided after I had my square sewn together to go ahead and make a slipcover for one of my couch pillows. They are getting pretty raggedy and could use a new look. My pillows are 18 in., so I knew I would have to add a 3 in. border around my square. I used some natural linen I had lying around to frame the square, and I think it looks great! I can never get enough of linen I think it is my favorite design fabric.

Next, I made an envelope back with two colors that were on the front patchwork part.The cover actually ended being a little bit too big, but I think that's because my pillow has lost a lot of it's fluff. Oh, I forgot to take a picture of the back...ooops. I'm so happy with how it turned out for my first time.

It actually came together without a hitch. Which NEVER happens for me, it was almost too easy..hmmmm. I am going to make another one since I have another pillow on my couch which now needs covered. I think it looks perfect on my window seat. Don't you?

Now I'm going to start scouting fabric for my real quilt. I think I want some bold colors with linen sashing and I'm not sure about the backing yet. Feel free to comment on any new fabric lines that you are loving. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Radio girl

I am a radio girl. I listen to the radio almost all the time, in the car, while I'm working, and I have one on in my kitchen at all times. In this age of computerized music files, mp3's, itunes whatever else I still prefer the radio. I love music obviously first and foremost, but I love the conversation as well. I love me some knowledgeable dj's. Those are few and far between these days with all the practical joking and hy-jinks that go on during a typical radio morning show...but I listen to a privately-owned station who specialize in lots of independent artists....I love that. I love branching out into new music territories. Now don't get me wrong..I love my classic stuff too, which they also play, so it's all good. :)

I'm also a fan of talk radio, I don't get to listen to it as much as I'd like to, but I do like it. And I'm not talking about Rush Limbaugh, or any other political rhetoric.......good grief no. I'm talking about cooking segments and book reviews, the kind of stuff that is on NPR. Good stuff indeed.

Call me old-fashioned....I'll take my radio, over your ipod. I'm sorry shuffle just isn't the same...I don't know who Apple was trying to fool. ;) I just love the element of never know what's coming next!

Oh...and raise your hand if you used to record songs of the radio onto a cassette? Mix tape anyone? Yeah....I thought so. ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Healing nectar

It's been a week since I maimed myself. 8 days actually, 7 days since my surgery. Oy. I can't believe I had to have surgery. It seems like time has passed in slow motion. Crawling by. I'm able to do a little more now, not much but a little. Even though this whole experience has been miserable, I am thankful for a few little things. 1. Good friends... I've had a TON of food cooked for my family and delivered to the house, thanks everyone. 2. Time....lots, and lots and lots of down time. I've been able to read at least 957 books to my littlest one, and play lots of board games with the other two. (the kind of games you can play with one hand that is..) 3. attitude has been a huge part of this. Sure I've had my sobbing moments over not being able to hold a broom in my hand..(what?) but overall those have been few. I've been trying to eat lots of healing things to speed this whole process up, if that's possible.

Green smoothies are my life blood. Well, along with coffee, who am I kidding? I drink one of these every day of my life. I've had a few people ask for recipes for green smoothies, but there really isn't one. Just make a fruit smoothie and throw a bunch of green stuff in it. Seriously, don' t be afraid to mix it up. My favorite combo is fresh pineapple, banana, spinach, kale or swiss chard, and a big handful of flat leaf parsley. But I use everything, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, mango, apples, kiwi, any fruit at all in any combination. And you can really use any combo of greens also; spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsley, cabbage. I prefer the milder tasting ones myself, but I try and put about 1 1/2 cups in my batch.

A lots of times I'll add some seeds also. Like flax, or hemp or chia...whatever I might have on hand. Also I add bee pollen, honey, coconut oil...whatever strikes my fancy. I usually end up drinking the entire pitcher over the course of the morning and lunch.

It's so energizing and fresh to drink this everyday. And honestly, once it gets warm, I don' t even drink coffee...just my smoothies.

I added these to my daily food repertoire about 2 years ago. My mom was diagnosed with a rare disease and actually died from it around the same time. I've been spurred in the direction of healthy living ever since she was diagnosed 6 years ago. This is just one of the many preventative food measures I make now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

aaaaaand CUT!!! Quite literally.

So it seems everything has come to a screeching halt. I managed to injure myself pretty seriously over the weekend. So much so that i had to have emergency surgery, and now I am re-cooping one-handed for who knows how long. I'm so upset with myself....because I did something I know better than to do.....I now cannot do the simplest of things. Like hold a broom, put my socks on, or even do my daughter's hair.

I know all things happen for a reason, and that God is in control of everything so I'm trying to embrace this time and find the purpose in it but it's VERY hard. You know how it is for moms we are in control of's hard to let go of that and relax. I am thankful that I have 3 very attentive nurses who are waiting on me hand and foot. (no pun intended)

So for now I'm camped out on the couch with my laptop watching movies. I'm planning on reading too, so if you have any good book rec's send them my way. The worst part of all this down time is that I can't knit!!

Oh, and here is a tip...make sure your can openers work correctly. ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I do not love......

It's been a week since my V-day 'I love...' post, and all this week I've been thinking about things that well, I don't so much love. Most of them are funny, not to terribly deep, and I thought it was kinda nice to have the contrast. Because if you know me at all, you know that this is how I roll....

So without delay, the list.

I DO NOT love.......

poison ivy

paper cuts

gravel roads


cats mating beneath my window at night

flat tires


snapping green beans


adverse reactions (see above)



car repairs

people who aren't good listeners



government holidays


biting dogs

falling down steps

following sewing patterns

closed minds

dream squashers


pop country music

middle of the night phone calls


rodents of any kind

ice cream

earl grey tea



dead batteries

hair plucking

reckless drivers


canceled plans




putting my hands in the toilet for any reason

soap scum

late fees


lost keys

unreturned phone calls

flooded basements

stampeding horses (or really any stampeding livestock)


being without my mom

I love making these lists. Maybe I will make it a theme and make one every week...hmmmm. Feel free to copy this and make your own. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I love......

the Father

music, music, and more music (this category needs another post to itself )


making something out of nothing


Star Wars movies (but only the original 3, not the newer ones)


iced tea

early mornings

expensive coffee


nag champa

making bread

the smell of my kids' hair

vintage pyrex

thrift stores


fresh herbs



reality tv

coca cola

Green and Blacks organic milk chocolate

drinking through a straw

outdoor concerts


fresh eggs

gas stoves

vintage sheets



the radio

wood floors


going to the movies


the different smells of each season

cloth napkins

homemade gifts

photo editing



When Harry Met Sally



maple syrup


the smell of cigarette smoke on a hot summer night (not a smoker...just like it, okay?)



health food stores

fresh ground black pepper

ear candles


the warm spot on the bed after my husband gets up


Ray la Montagne

the 70's

vintage anything, really

garage sales

green smoothies

picking strawberries

seeing my kids when they first wake up in the morning

the smell of a skunk


rocking chairs

front porches

station wagons



the smell of grass


sea salt

baby lips


natural fiber clothing

silk screening

old barns

high thread count sheets

.......and much more to come.

Happy Valentines day everyone.......I saw this idea on another blog and loved it.....feel free to post your own I love list too!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cute girl, cute hat.

Love this hat, the yarn, the pattern. Love. So simple and slouchy, and hippie cool. I made this for my best friend. This hat is so every way. It is 100% wool and has the perfect amount of slouchiness, and it's super warm. It's being modeled my my oldest daughter....I love this picture of her. I think it's my new favorite.

Look how pretty the self striping yarn is.....I'm loving these colors together. I can't wait to see this on my friends head. I guess that's one good thing about all this arctic cold weather....more time for handknits. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The strike is over.

My chickens have been on strike. A month long strike. No egg laying, not a one of them. This is typical with chickens I know...during the winter especially. But our chickens have never done that before this year...they've never had a strike period, not in the 3 years we've had them. It's been kind of a bummer coming back from the barn everyday empty-handed. But not today!!! We are back in business! I LOVE gathering eggs. There is something wonderful about finding eggs inside the chicken coop. Even though I'm scared of the chickens(I know, right?) I love getting the eggs. There is something so beautiful about those earthy brown colors.....gorgeous!

So thank you dear chickens for picking up the was about time. I feel like I should make a frittata or something in celebration, but I won't because as of right now, I only have a dozen. Gotta wait and see if they are gonna keep up the good work, they can be fickle.......

Monday, February 1, 2010

Inspired life.

A conversation with an old friend got me to thinking about what inspires me. I thought about it all night and even a lot today. I don't think I can count all the things that inspire me. It's limitless really, every where I look I find inspiration. Color, nature, people, family, animals, music, morning, night, other specific times during the day. And funny weird things too...I could go on and on and on. I have a tendency to focus on the negative a lot....not something I like about myself to be honest. But, trying to view things through another lens often makes me think differently.
Creative people REALLY fuel me. A. Lot. I love the different ways that creative people view the world, it makes ME see things in a different way. My children are good at that also.

Eventually I would like to come up with an exhaustive list of inspirational things for me. I think that will take a while. But for now, something really simple that made me look youngest's tights that she wore today. She was so proud of them, it totally changed her mood the entire day....all because of rainbow colored tights......

Happy Monday everyone, what will inspire you this week?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kittens and Mittens

Actually there are no kittens in this post, but there are a LOT of mittens. It seems like mitten knitting has been where it's at for me the past few months. I started in November with Bella's Mittens. I was still in a giddy post New Moon viewing phase and just HAD to make these. They are beautiful, I used an alpaca yarn which was less than ideal for these mittens and my coat because they shed like crazy, and the cable definition is kind of lost...but they are crazy warm. I think I read somewhere once that alpaca is 60 times warmer than wool.

Next up on the mitten circuit are the Give a Hoot mittens for my oldest daughter. I had decided that I was going to knit mittens for both of my girls to put into their christmas stockings. That didn't happen, because of those colorwork mittens I blogged about yesterday...I ended up finishing those on Dec. 24. Both girls got their mittens the week after christmas so everybody's hands are nice and toasty.

My oldest daughter loves owls. So these mittens are perfect for her. I made them out of an inexpensive nylon blend (that way I won't wanna kill her if/when she loses one or more). They are the perfect size...if they weren't pink I would be stealing them.

And lastly, Hope's mittens. These turned out so cute! They are 100% wool. I've been saving this particular skein of yarn for almost three years....why? I'm not sure...I guess maybe because it was the first quality wool yarn I ever bought right after I had learned how to knit. I bought it at a yarn festival in 2007, and because I had just learned how to knit...I did not save the tag or any info about the yarn. So I have no idea who made it, dyed it, nothing. I decided to break in out for Hope's mittens because it's got such a great mix of colors and it matches her coat. I have quite a bit left over so I will probably make her a hat as well.

And I'm still not done...I've got several patterns I'm wanting to try out for myself. Just call me a mitten knitting fool. Say that 3 x's fast.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I promised myself that I would blog more. Umm, yeah. So today is Jan. 28th...nothing like getting right on it is there? I need to blog...I have so many projects that need documented for one thing, and little interesting tidbits I need to share about also. So please bear with me while I get my ducks in a row...again. I need to freshen up this blog....which will take a little bit of time I'm sure, after all I've not even posted in almost a year! That will change, I solemnly vow.

I've got FO's to share woo hoo!!!!! Since it is after Christmas and all things have been gifted it is safe to share.

These mittens were my bff's christmas gift....the one I got finished on time anyway. Chevron Love mittens from Knitterlythings. I anticipated this being a fairly quick knit...and it really wasn't. This was my first foray into colorwork...and even though I was really only knitting with two colors at a time, I was having to carry all eight colors up the mitten....I kept getting it tangled..ugh. Not fun. I did devise a strategy on the second one though...I got a shoe box and cut holes in it for the yarn to come through, then put all eight balls of yarn in the box and knit it like that. It helped some, but when you are working with that many yarn balls, there IS going to be tangling. Even though they were difficult...I think the payoff was worth it....they are gorgeous!

Next up, Mod Cables hat. Who knew that cables were for more than just looking pretty cool....they really keep your head warm!

10 days ago I had all four wisdom teeth removed...ugh. I'm still recovering but this is what kept me busy the first couple of days I was lying around on the couch. This is knit with Cascade Venezia I believe...(I lost the yarn label) It's super squishy and the color is beautiful.

Yay! I did let's hope I can keep this up...blogging I mean. I have lots more finished projects to share.

Oh...and feel free to leave me a comment. :)