Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Building Up My Store

We have been working lately at building up the store. Not only here online, but the physical store as well. I really like this little store and I hope to really grow with it. Here is the start. A 16X10 ft shed build for us by an Amish man. It is small, but there is so much potential for growth! The possibilities are so exciting to me! I love that I can grow my business right here, while homeschooling my children and involving them in the process of it. I get really excited when they have these bursts of ideas for what they think would be good for the business and then it grows with a little piece of them in it. Here is my attest picture of my store.
store pic2
The snow is providing some interesting challenges for us. I have been wanting for weeks now to get the sign in the ground, but the ground is just too frozen to get a good hole dug. But then, we got s bit of snow dropped on us, and when my husband plowed the drive he made this pile. I decided this would be the perfect way to place the sign... for the time being of course. If we ever thaw, it shall then find its permanent home in the ground.
I invite you to have a virtual look around the inside. Trying to create as much natural displays as we can. Thanks to my creatively talented husband, I have some very unique pieces. to hold my wares. Like this baker's rack that feels to me like it could go into a fairy's kitchen.
Or this stump turned into a display table. We let the little shop gnome set up home in it.
In all, setting up shop is such and enjoyable experience. I feel as long as the atmosphere represents who we are, we shall always enjoy what we are doing and everyone who comes to visit will feel that as well.

Cold Snap!

What to do when you are in the midst of a cold snap? Nothing to do but hunker down and create! I have to be honest here. I don't mind at all days like this. That is, as long as I don't HAVE to go out for anything.
So then, what kinds of projects to work on while we hibernate? Well, the first thing is this dress, which I am going to call the Patchwork Princess dress. I am bad at coming up with names for the things I make. It is quite sad. I see in my mind the things I want to make, my hands create them, but that is where the creativity ends. Giving things a name and marketing them, is so not my strong suite. It is usually something like... rope basket made with twine... Yup! Conveys the message of what it is, but it just doesn't sound very fun. But, that is not the case with this dress. As I am sewing along on it this morning, I am thinking to myself, a patchwork dress fit for a princess. Hence, The Patchwork Princess. If only all of my projects inspired a name like that. And it is bright and colorful, and hopefully it encourages Spring to show it's lovely face.
dress 035(3)
I love using the peasant dress pattern in the book Little Girls, Big Style. There are so many things that you can do with that one pattern. This is going to be the skirt portion of that dress.
While I take a bit of a break from this dress to ponder what fabric I want to use for the top, I believe I will get my loom warped for my next weaving project. I can't decide if I an going to do a table runner or a set of placemats. Hopefully it will come to me by the time I get to it. There is this yarn though that I am just itching to use, an I am sure it wants to be one or the other of those things.
Well, I am off to enjoy the rest of my hibernation day. Hope you are finding something warm to keep you from going stir crazy as a shut in (if, indeed, you are a shut in. If you are somewhere warm, enjoy that!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weaving Loving Intentions


Ever have an idea for a project that you get so excited about? But then, after you get started on it, it seems like you just may have bit off much more than you could chew? That is how my latest work in progress has been for me. I wanted to make a baby gift for a dear friend of mine. Something handmade that could really be useful. So I decided to weave her a baby wrap. Now, up until this point, my weaving experience has been limited to place mats, cloth for bags and scarves. In reality, I probably should not have even considered such a task. But, I did. I went and bought all the colorful cotton and wool yarn to get started on it and then I got to the warp.. which took me nearly 5 hours! I was ready to give up then, but I had too much into it at this point to do that. So, slowly but surely I got to weaving on it. I had about a week that I had so many frustrations that I refused to work on it, simply because I feel like I am weaving my intentions for this new little life and the family it is coming into, into this wrap. I could not stand the thought of the babe being wrapped in frustrations. So I left it alone. Came back to it and since then, things have moved right along. Day after day of weaving in loving thoughts and wishes of good health and so much more for this baby.   I have about 4 yards of the 5 yards done, and I am getting so excited to take it off the loom and see the finished piece, and I am even more excited to give it to my friend once she welcomes her new babe into the world!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Our Fairy Garden Grew

     Once upon a time, there was a beautiful tree. There was a little girl who played in its branches and sat in its shade to to read her stories and dream of adventures. Her mama would watch with love as she played and dreamed. But then the little girl grew up and had kids of her own. And one day, some people came along and told her mama that the branches were too high and bothered the electric wires so the tree must be cut down. This made her mama sad. She loved to look out at the tree and remember her little girl playing there, and she wanted to keep some of it, so in protest she got them to leave it a nice tall stump that she could decorate and still enjoy the memories. She decorated the tall stump every holiday and it brought her joy, and her daughter and her children would come and help and that brought her so much joy. 

      But then one day, the mama grew ill, and later passed away. This made her family very sad. But something magical happened the next day. Her family looked out at the tree and it was growing branches! Such beautiful full branches sprung from this tree, it was so full of life and waiting for kids to play under it once more! The daughter and her husband and kids moved into the house and just like their mama, they played around this lovely tree, until one day those people came back to cut the tree, for its branches and grown too much again. This made their mama and papa sad, but they were determined to keep the magic of the tree alive. They used their magic to turn the tree into a giant mushroom, and the children once again played and rested and had adventures around the tree. But then.....

Then the fairies started moving in. They have turned the tree into their home and all around the tree is their village

With a playground, and fairy market and the village square

fairy girl playing in the sand box
and the village well..
around to the beach
and more houses started popping up

All guarded by the giant frog

and now that the fairies have touched it.... the tree is once again full of life!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

So, I have had a couple extra children staying at my house for a while. Two three year olds to be exact. And there is something I have learned about 3 year olds.... they LOVE mac and cheese. They would have it every day if they could. But, I like variation. So I have challenged myself to discover new ways with some of their favorites, to keep them eating and to keep my husband and I sane. Here is my newest variation on mac and cheese. I am sure I am not the first to come up with this idea. Most likely if I Google it, I will find several versions of the same idea, but we had fun coming up with this so thought I would share how we did it. Today's mac and cheese variation is Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.

First thing's first. Cook your macaroni and your chicken. I think you know how to do that, right? Yeah, thought so.I won't bore you with the details. Chop up the chicken. Once you get that taken care of, combine them in a 9x13 baking dish, along with 2 cups of your favorite cheese. Like this! (note, I jumped the gun and took the pic before cheese, but you still get the idea, right?)


Now that that is combined, we are going to make the sauce for it. You start this by melting the butter in your sauce pan. Once that is melted, you need to wisk in the flour. Now, if you have never made a sauce like this let me warn you... Have the milk right handy before this stage. Unless you have an awesome partner at your disposal (thank you Super Husband) that will run and get the milk for you so you don't burn the butter/ flour mixture. Once those are combined, wisk in your milk. Keep wisking until it thickens. At this point is where I added the ranch dressing (or blue cheese depending on your taste) and the hot sauce. I am not going to tell you how much hot sauce to add. I would say that is a personal taste preference. But if you ask me, the more the better! If you ask the little ones in my house, I don't believe they would agree with me.  So this is what you now have.

Did I happen to mention yet that you need to chop up celery? Well, you do. And if haven't done so, I guess now is a good time to do that. Pour the sauce over your mac/chicken/cheese mixture. Make sure it seeps down in real well. No need to really stir it in, just jiggle the pan a bit to make sure it coats well. Now top it off with that celery you just chopped up and a handful of cheese ( that is an official measurement, right?)
Pop this baby in the oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake it for about 20 mins. Enjoy!

                                      Buffalo Mac and Cheese

                              3 Chicken breasts
                              1 box of elbow macaroni
                              2 ribs of celery   (see a pattern here? Breasts, elbows and ribs??Lame, I know)
                              about 2 1/2 -3 cups of cheese of your choice (I used Colby jack)
                              4 Tlbs butter
                              1/4 cup flour
                              2 cups milk
                              1/2 cup ranch
                              1/4 cup- how ever much you love of red hot sauce

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Michaelmas Celebration

 After 10 years of homeschooling, we have recently found a group of families that homeschool and parent in the same kind of ideas that we are trying to bring to our own family. We have been so very blessed to be able to come together with this group weekly for a circle time with the younger ones. The children are able to play in nature and listen to beautiful  stories and create and sing and just. be. children.
 This past weekend our little group got together and held our Michaelmas celebration. At our previous circle time we prepared by having each child decorate a paper bag however they wished.

Then, on the day of the celebration, the mama who was hosting the gathering put the bags together to form our dragon. After some free playing time, the children gathered to hear a story about dragons. Then they listen to the story of Michael and how he slayed the dragon with his fiery sword.

The kids all went off to find something that they could magically transform into a sword. For they had a task that lay ahead of them!
With sticks in hand, they repeated the magic words that turned them into swords. Just in time too, because around the corner a dragon emerged! Our brave guardians fearlessly fought the dragon.

Our victors emerge with their trophy!

And then sent him to the fiery pit forever! (Or at least until next Michaelmas... )

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beautiful Waldorf

    Waldorf. When I think of this educational philosophy, I can't help but think of beautiful childhood. Simple. We have been on our homeschooling journey for 10 years now. The last 6 have been inspired by the Waldorf method. I am no expert on it. I have not even come close to being as much of a purist that I would like to be. I have not yet been able to completely get rid of the tv, or those wonderful gifts of plastic toys that so many well meaning people have gifted my children. Yet, what we have been able to incorporate into our lives, have simply made it beautiful. Especially how our children learn. Today I had to reflect on this as my 6th grade son was working on his geometry lesson. The other children were so drawn to what he was doing, that they all did one of their own. I know that my little princess, who is 7, is not in the same place in her life that this is for her, nor is my little man who is only 5. This is where I say we use Waldorf as an inspiration. Homeschooling 4 children, the younger ones are bound to want to have a taste of what the older ones are doing, I mean, seriously, when you see something so beautiful, you would be intrigued as well wouldn't you? And I let them work on it. And we also do the stories that speak to each of them. And when they grow older, they will redo these lessons they are sharing with their older brother, because at that point, it will speak to them in a whole other way. And in my opinion, that is perfect for us. Today, as with many other days,  I realized that we have been so very fortunate to have been lead to this way of teaching our children. My 6th grader would not be so into his math lesson had the results not been so captivating. I doubt he would be coming to the table with so much anticipation if I were just handing him worksheets. Funny how the things we are looking for tend to find us and just seem to work....beautifully!