Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Week

Easter week was so, so busy!  I actually managed to get a good bit done.  We even made it to the 6:30(AM!!) sunrise service at church.  Here's a little montage of our week, if you will.

Knit Acorns

I finished about a million acorns.  Okay, it was like 15.  But still.  That giant one counts for at least 10 right?

Oliver and S Ice Cream top with Brownie Goose Sailor Shorts

I made this Easter outfit for Chickadee.  The top is an Oliver and S pattern (Ice Cream Dress) and the shorts are from Brownie Goose on Etsy (Sailor Shorts).  Both patterns were fantastic, with easy instructions and they came together amazingly well.  For the shorts, I added pockets following this tutorial.  The only modification I made was to make the front of the shorts a little wider.  Best of all Chickadee *loved* it! 

Back detail.

Pocket trim.

Staple Dress

I made the Staple dress for myself.  It looks great with the belt.  Without?  What do you think?

Staple Dress

Yeah, not so much.


We made some Italian Easter bread.  I used a challah recipe from my "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" cookbook. (Thanks again Peggy!)  The eggs are a lovely, natural blue from a local farm.  Danger is putting on the egg wash.  Such a great helper!


And we grew our Easter grass.  It grew so fast!  It's actually still growing.  We're going to cut it soon for smoothies.  The kids and I had a great time growing our wheat grass and Chickadee even "homeschooled" a bit without knowing it, even though we're officially finished with our school year.  She was measuring five blades of grass a day and then averaging how tall it was and how much it was growing each day.  She is not a fan of math so the fact that she thought this was fun was truly worth it!  This is definitely a new tradition. I hope your Easter was as wonderful as mine was this year!

Friday, April 11, 2014


Ah! The welcome sight, sounds and feels, of Spring!  So refreshing after that long, cold, bitter winter we're recovering from.  Of course, with Spring comes Easter.  Yay!  

This year, I'm trying to get away from plastic eggs, plastic grass, plastic baskets full of candy, and junk in general.  Hey, I grew up with all of that stuff and I turned out just fine.  This year I  just want something more. . .lasting. 

Of course it wouldn't be a proper Easter celebrations without baskets full of goodies.  I just had to figure out what I felt was "good".  Here's what I came up with.

First, the baskets.  These baskets are from a company in Africa, the proceeds go to help mothers raise their children and make a better life for themselves and their families.  They are called blessing baskets.  I got mine from Bella Luna Toys.


I like that the baskets are so vibrantly colorful, the swinging handles, and that they are so versatile.  I also like that at the bottom of each basket is the artist's name and assigned number.  The kids and I were able to go online and track our basket.  From when it was made to when it shipped to our house.  The kids thought that this was incredible!  

To fill the baskets, we're growing wheat grass in pots to nestle our goodies in.  That way, after Easter, maybe even long after Spring, we'll be able to "mow" our grass and use it in smoothies for some extra nutrition.  Two good things in one!

Next, I needed eggs.  Trying to abstain from the cheap, plastic, throw-away kind, I found painted wooden eggs on Etsy.  Mine are from a wonderful seller, The Indigo Forest.  She has lots of lovely Waldorf-inspired stuff.  

Easter Eggs

While I was there shopping, I also picked up some little felted geodes and a couple of play silks that the kids have already made good use of.  Everything came in it's own little muslin bag which was wonderful.  



This week, I'm working on making several little knitted acorns.  Ideally, I'd like to make at least a dozen or so for each child.  All different colors of course.  We'll see how many I actually get done.  I have two so far.  


Of course, I would be remiss to not include a chocolate bunny in everyone's basket.  Especially mine!  What great things are going in your Easter baskets this year?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Here is what I'm working on today.

A smattering of this. . .


A smittering of that. . .


Nestled in between schoolwork, house cleaning, lunch, and dinner, hopefully I can squeeze a few more hours of sewing in.   Right after the previously unscheduled bath Danger needs.  Right now. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

What a Quilt Wants

It has been such a joy to participate in the Cheer Circle of do. Good Stitches for the past two years.  I love seeing the creativity of the other quilters and stitchers in our group.  I just wanted to take a minute to share my Cheer quilt from October that I finally (almost) finished. I love the bright, random colors.

 October Cheer Quilt


It took awhile to figure out how to quilt this one.  At first,  I thought I would do organic, straight(ish) lines.  But, the darn quilt wasn't cooperating.  Or maybe I wasn't cooperating with the quilt?  Whichever way it was going, it just wasn't working for me.  Or the quilt. 

What the quilt really wanted was to be hand stitched.  I balked.  Too time consuming.  Too aggravating. I have to buy more pearl cotton. Wait, shopping?  Okay, that one's not so bad.  But still. Hand stitching?



Really, I love hand stitching.  I love the rhythm of it, the meditative quality, the simple pleasure.  But. It does take more time than machine quilting. Still, the quilt was begging.  So, I finally caved.  In this case, it was totally worth it.  I am really, really happy with how this quilt turned out. Now, it's ready to be bound and sent off to Project Linus and into the hands of a totally deserving kid.

I'm so happy that April is my turn to quilt again!  These are my blocks so far:

Cheer Circle April Blocks

So exciting! Those deep, saturated greens mixed with the low volume prints that are so versatile, just make me happy today.  The colors scream SPRING!.  And I am so ready for that.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


You never really think about your thumbs.  At least I didn't.  Turns out, they're pretty important.  Unfortunately, I learned how important when I couldn't use my right (dominant) thumb.  Let's just say it involved a tiny rotary cutter, a slip, my thumb, and four stitches.  I won't gross you out bore you with the gory details. 

So, there was no sewing, typing, dish washing, or any other fun (or not fun) thing involving the use of my thumb for awhile.  Fortunately my stitches were out a couple of weeks ago and I'm finally able to catch up.  Phew!

Just in time to get my bee blocks sent off to the March quilter from the Cheer group.  And in time to finish my Cheer quilt from awhile back.  I did get some lovely fabric in the mail to make my block.  Want a peek?  

Low Volume Fabrics
From the top: 
  Mini Mustache in Black and White, Sprinkled in Morning, Suvi in White, Line Leaf in Khaki, Maison in Nite, Graph Paper Garden in Charcoal, Little Blomster in Mist, Pearl Bracelet in Taupe Pearlessence,

I've needed some low volume fabrics for quite awhile now and just haven't gotten around to ordering any.  I was searching for the perfect already-made bundle but it wasn't happening.  There are some lovely low volume bundles available, they just weren't calling my name, if you know what I mean.

  Then one day, I opened the home page over at Hawthorne Threads and there was an amazing group of low volume fabrics.  Ah! Perfection!  I ordered several half yard cuts and promptly made these blocks for my March assignment.  

Cute, right?  

April is my month and I'm so excited!!!  I've chosen to do the popular X & + quilt in fresh, springy greens.  Like so:

I can't wait to get all that happy mail.  I promise to share the goodness as they come in this time.  Until then, watch those thumbs. . .

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Homeschool

Homeschooling is not what I expected to be doing.  Pretty much ever.  But, here we are in the thick of it.  Our journey so far has been hilly, rocky, tumultuous, scary, and wonderful.  This year has been a constant work in progress.  I'm trying to blend a classical education with a Waldorf philosophy. Don't laugh, it can be done.  Maybe not by me, but someone.

I recently started reading "Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children" by
Sharifa Oppenheimer.  It's the only parenting book that didn't make me feel like I am doing everything wrong.  It has been such a joy to read so far because it emphasizes what I've been doing in our home already. Especially the idea of having rhythms in your everyday routine.  That is definitely something that I've been striving for.    In this book Sharifa Oppenheimer illustrates how to raise young children within the framework of the Waldorf Philosophy. 

I became interested in Waldorf education back when my little Chickadee was, well, little. I really became hooked when I learned that they teach knitting in school.  First or second grade I believe.  That discovery led me, all these years later, to research some more (it had been awhile), mostly so that I could use some or all of this way of educating in our own homeschool. 

In the beginning of "Heaven on Earth" Oppenheimer suggests keeping a journal so that you can see progress as you journey through her ideas and suggestions, following the Waldorf tradition.  I plan to post here every Saturday in lieu of a handwritten journal.   I think it'll be fun.


Homeschooling with his busy box.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Early April Fools' Day?

Seriously people, this was the view from my back door on Tuesday. 

Isn't this March?  Springtime?  END of March even?  Why the face?  I can't believe that it's still cold enough for snow. At least I can look at my lovely pile of fabrics to cheer me up. 

Anna Maria Horner Voile, oh, so buttery soft!

See? Don't you feel better now too? 

At least the snow is all melted again today.  It's still frigid outside, but it's sunny and bright, reminding me that good days are coming.  Promise!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Working From Home

I am in love with fabric.  That's probably not news.  Lately I've been dreaming about making quilts with it.  Lots and lots of beautiful quilts.  There are so many wonderful new fabric lines that are calling my name.  But.  What has been taking up all of my time these days is my tiny little Etsy shop.

It started very slowly.  It took over two months before I had my first order, but suddenly I feel like it's exploding.  Well, if you can call a few orders a week exploding.  I feel like it's busy because my stock is so low in the shop and my sewing time is so limited nowadays. I've also been selling outside of Etsy which is wonderful.  

Of course, it's not just the making that makes running an Etsy shop so busy.  As any small business owner can tell you it's the paperwork, the bookkeeping, the marketing, the ordering and setting up that eats away at your day.  Combined with working from home (while homeschooling), it can be pretty crazy around here.  And I tend to feel a bit overwhelmed a good bit of the time.  I feel like I'm always behind on something, the housework is neglected more often, the laundry piles up, schoolwork needs to be done and graded, and there is never enough time to sew.  Or take a break.  Although sewing would be a break....

All in all, I feel lucky to be able to have a little shop while still at home with the kids.  As a former owner of a brick and mortar yarn shop, I can say that there's certainly less commitment and less risk with an online store.  There's virtually no overhead cost.  We have to pay the rent anyway.  I already had all the equipment that I need.  My only start-up costs were the initial Etsy fees and a few supplies.  Not too bad for a burgeoning business. 

So, what am I making these days to sell?  My original goal was and still is, to sell quilty things,  quilts of all sizes, pillows, maybe some cute little dresses.  What I'm actually selling is g-tube covers and belly bands.  These are not things I ever thought about making.  Heck, I didn't even know what those were until my sister-in-law asked if I could make them for my niece.  Here, take a look.

My aim is to make something that is comfortable, useful and beautiful for the people who need them. I only sell the things I have already made.  I will take special orders, but I don't want to run my shop that way.  It's much less stressful for me to just package up an order and drop it in the mail that it would be for me to struggle to find time to sew on busy days or during especially hectic weeks.  I like this flexibility.  

The income isn't great.  I'm still at the point where every dollar I make goes back into the business.  I'll never get rich with this Etsy store or buy a fancy house.  Eventually, I am hopeful that I can bring in a little extra for my family.  Maybe save up for that trip to Paris for Chickadee's 16th birthday, still far enough away that it's not terrifying.  And between now and then, if I can make things that help out just a bit, that's pretty satisfying.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sooo. . .

Finally!  I finally got a new card reader for the new camera.  Now I can share all of the crafty things!  Yay!

This post is picture heavy, so prepare yourself.  Seriously.  Go get a cup of coffee, tea, wine whatever and settle in.

Okay, ready?

H's Monster

C's Monster

R's Hat

Chickadee's Hat

Gnome Houses.

I's Duffers.

A's Bitty Bump Sweater.

S's Camo Hat.

All of these gifts were made between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  YIKES!  That was some crazy knitting time.  There are a few things that aren't here yet but only because I haven't had time to take more pictures.  

Thanks for spending some time with me today.  I hope that your holidays were simply wonderful, and wonderfully simple.