A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Monday, February 28, 2011

weekend wonder

This weekend seemed to blow by quickly.  Even though Greg was home for an extra day (We got another dumping of snow on Friday so he worked from home) it still seemed so fast, I can't believe it's Monday morning.  I am not complaining of course, we had fun; Corey had basketball games to play:
We traveled north for a tournament, which of course means time to craft in the car:
working on napkins
We had dinner with friend who have possibly one of the cutest babies in the world, a lovely home, and chicken tortilla soup so good my husband insisted I try my hand at it last night (it was tasty but not as good as Meghan's)!  Molly scored these great hand-me-down clogs while we were there. 
so cute, I wish they fit me
And finally there was time spent playing in the snow while I played with the camera filter on my crazy phone.  Check out these pictures that look like they are from the 70s!

Hope your weekend was filled with fun and family!  Off we go now to start our school week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Moment

Once again joining Soulemama for This moment: A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
sanding viking swords
 for a tour of amazing moments check out soulemame

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I'm lovin' right now

Life is good.  The house may need some cleaning, there is laundry to fold, dogs to walk, bread to bake, projects to finish (both crafty and much bigger house projects), but life is good.  My family is amazing and I am thankful.  We have some great friends and neighbors, for this I am thankful.  Amidst all the chaos, bills, work and general business that most of us deal with there is this wonderful foundation of love, caring and support.  Spring will come (after at least one more good snow storm), our garden will be plentiful, the sun will feel warm on my face and the mood will shift from snuggling next to the wood stove to planting and longer days before we know it.  A new baby will be born to my baby brother and his wife, for this I am beyond joyous!  So life is good, I am smiling this morning as I think about things that I love, nothing special, just some things I'm lovin' right now...

Like this sweet picture of baby Molly I came across recently...how is it that she has grown so fast right before my eyes???
early 2001
I love this diagram of a garden gnome...I don't even know which child drew it (according to the picture it was Arthur Weasley) but come on...this is cute, so cute I had to hand it up in the kitchen.
I love this breathtaking colorway from one of my favorite yarns malabrigo   it's called Indiecita and it is so yummy!
Then there is this luscious pile of fabric that I've been looking at all week just begging me to be creative.

I love how sweet my babies are when they sleep...then,
and now...

other things I'm lovin' on right now...milk paint (I want to paint everything with it), and this cinnamon-raisin bread recipe (I use half whole wheat flour).
Getting lost in blog land is a blast (even when I get nothing done) there are so many creative people out there sharing their ideas and lives with the world.
I guess that's enough for today:)  Enjoy your day and find something to be lovin' on right now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Science experiments

We had a messy fun time yesterday with a "guest student".  The kids have been excited to try this non-Newtonian fluid experiment also know as oobleck .  What fun is all I can say! 
This experiment really blew everyone away, I have to admit it was pretty darned cool.  You can see it here in the pictures just dribbling from Corey's hands like slime.  However if you ball it up in your hands or tap on it with your fingers it's solid...very strange and cool.
love the face you can "see" him saying "Cool"

rolling a solid piece
 This entertained the kids for a great deal of time and was sooo easy to make, it's nothing but cornstarch and water!  It is pretty messy for sure, but worth the clean up.  I love that they learned so much while having so much fun.  Our friend Theona was thrilled to participate with the big kids and really enjoyed the tactile portion of just feeling the goop in her hands. 
 Of course the girls adding some food coloring just to spice things up a bit.  I found this great natural food coloring called India Tree last year.  It's made from concentrated veggie colors.  The colors are wonderful for icing and cookies etc.  My one complaint with these is that they expired quickly.  I understand it's because they are not full of all kinds of chemical preservatives.  But, they were quite expensive and I only decorate baked products every so often.  We did of course use past the date on the box and never had a problem.  I guess this just means I need to figure out how to use the veggies directly to color in the future...hmmmmm....another science experiment?
In the end it was a fun afternoon well worth the mess and I'm sure they will want to make it again.  I however will be looking for more fun and messy science to try.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A shirt repurposed and a busy weekend

We were quite busy this past weekend.  I was at the hospital, Corey had a basketball tournament and a birthday party to attend, Molly had a Harry Potter slumber party to attend and a college basketball game with friends.  She did all this after ending up in a sling thanks to a shoulder injury during gymnastics Thursday night...
getting the news that nothing is broken
Greg of course was responsible for carting the two of them around to all these events while I worked. 
Corey's team won one and lost one, Molly had a blast and the Bowdoin girls basketball team did great!
So as you can imagine last evening after getting home none of us had much energy to do anything.  Greg and the Corey watched some All-Star NBA stuff (very special treat) and Molly and I got to work with the sewing machine (I had to do something useful).  Greg recently lost a few of his "good shirts" for the office to an ink pen in the wash.  I've had a hard time just getting rid of them, I knew there could be some purpose eventually.

 I've seen a few different recycled men's dress shirts on the web including this one over at mesewcrazy
 which was too cute to pass up.  so after a brief planning session with Molly we got to work.  I haven't bothered with a tutorial here as there are many already on the web and I can't take credit.  I've shown what I did to make it my own. First I started measuring miss Molly but quickly decided that using a shirt that fits her well as a guide would be quicker.
getting the right fit

  I found some sweet fabric in one of the "bins" and used that to make a bit of bias tape for the edging...not sure if this is the "technical" way to go about this, but if you haven't figured this out already I tend to "wing it" a lot (it usually works).  I love the two fabrics together.
homemade bias edging

  Next I did two rows of a basting stitch to gather the bottom of the shirt to match with the top which was much more narrow. 

a simple basting
I double checked with Molly on 3/4 length sleeves and then held them up to her one good arm for and exact length.  I laugh at the word exact here as I'm pretty sure one arm ended up longer than the other, but wow the end result was cute!  I'll post some pictures of her wearing it when she is out of her sling, but until then here is what we ended up with.

 I am quite happy with this results and am for sure in a sewing mood today.  Hopefully I'll have another fun project to post tomorrow.  In the meantime here is another little quicky knit I came up with on Saturday evening.  I'll be writing up the pattern soon and posting it on Ravelry in the next few days.

gotta keep the ears warm here in Maine, the snow keeps coming and the winter drags on...

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Moment

Joining Soulemama for this Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A day of creativity

This morning I decided that we needed some sandwich bread and immediately set out to making some.  I LOVE the dough hook on my kitchen aid so much!  I know that lots of people love the feeling of kneading the dough themselves and while I appreciate that and often do if the kids are baking, when it comes to just getting some sandwich bread in the oven my kitchen aid rocks!

I fall back on my favorite cookbook King Arthur Bakers Companion this book has never led me astray (with the exception of biscuits, but we won't go into that OR blame the book).  I feel that this book has truly helped me to become an excellent baker.  I wiggle the recipes around a little to get just what I want but it works.
As the children got up first the boy and much later the girl (who stayed up too late reading) it was sweet to see them both just start creating.  Not a word from mom about what to do, they both just started in.  Corey first got very busy with a needle felting project he's been talking about for a while.  In the end he was truly thrilled and surprised by his results.  He kept adding and adding with pride to his play mat without any assistance.
the dinosaur pjs...again

almost finished

a bridge for the gnome to walk

an itty bitty gnome
Molly joined in for a bit, but then while the bread dough was on it's second rise it seemed time to move on to a wood project started earlier in the week.  We had these wooden eggs from the local unfinished wood store with nothing special in mind.  After seeing some painted eggs on etsy and out there in blog land I had an idea.  We got out the wood burning tool (something new to our house that we are loving) and the water color paints, voila:
practicing with the tool

final touches

There seems to be a combo of Harry Potter and Hobbit influence here...loads of fun.

anyone else been up to any creating???

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finishing things up

I love starting a new project.  I find that I am often thinking up something to make, milling around an idea in my head while in the process of working on something completely different.  Herein lies the problem.  I love starting a new project, and yet somehow, finishing them can sometimes be a challenge.  It's not that I get bored with what I'm making, or dislike it somehow.  I just get excited to start something that's been cooking up in my head.  Or something one of the monkeys is begging me to do.  I have a beautiful sweater almost done for Corey made from his favorite malabrigo !  All that is left is the arms and I don't dare to even look at it for fear it will be too small before it's even finished.  As far as unfinished objects (or UFOs as some call them) my cup runith over.  knitting is probably the worst, but there are lots...take for example:
crocheted goodness
Not one but two crocheted baby jacket/shirt things from sock yarn.  The last one got me going I guess, this yarn is crazy zauberball purchased at my local yarn shop.  It's so fun I just had to give it a try.
Then of course is the lovely spring cardi I'm knitting up for my sweet neighbor's 3rd birthday next month.  The cool think about this pattern is I'm writing it myself.   Another kick I've been on lately.  I've tried it on her recently and can't wait to see it finished!
This my friends is a bucket-o-heads!  Disturbing as that sounds I have an overwhelming amount of dolls in the various stages of making for the etsy store.  I do love making the waldorf dolls and I'm proud to say that over the past 10 years I've gotten very good at it and sold many just through word of mouth.  Every few months (especially around the holidays) I get a call from someone I don't know saying "hi I got your number from so-and-so and I hear you make dolls".  It's very flattering I must say, and I'm always happy to make someone a custom doll, but I need to finish these babes so that they can be loved by someone.
the pond
the tree stump
 And of course there are the playmats.  I started making these felt sweeties (much larger) a few years ago and just this fall got the idea to make smaller ones that could be added together to make ones own little fairy/gnome/whathaveyou village.  These things are ready to go, I just keep thinking about finishing touches...
I did finally finish Molly's felt vest.  I got the great idea to needle felt around the edging from Michelle over at mainelyhome (thanks Michelle) and I'm quite happy with the results!
I'm sure that there is some amount of insecurity with finishing a project, it never seems quite good enough, or sometimes I find it hard to charge money for something I made (silly I know). Therefor  I am joining Erin over at Bluebirdbaby for a year of choice and I am choosing now today to begin the new project of finishing all of my UFOs.  I don't know how long it will take (or how long it will last) but I will try as I know I can.
I know I am not alone in this addiction to starting new things...what have you got started?

Monday, February 14, 2011


Being that today is valentines day I thought it only appropriate to write a post about love.  Not the "meaning" of love, but what love is to me, things I love...not a complete list mind you (that would be a long and frequently changing post), just some random thoughts:
I love my husband!  I love that after being with him for 14 years he still surprises me. I love that when I see him play guitar I still get "the belly feeling".  I love that with the birth of each of our children I fell in love with him all over again in ways I cannot possibly put into words.  I love that even though being "on the road" with the band for the last week he had the time of his life playing music, recording music and playing more music, he slept better in his own crowded bed (full of children waiting for dad)than he did the whole time he was gone. 
I love my babies.  I love that they are each their own individual people with thoughts, opinions and ideas.  I love that my boy still crawls in bed with us at night.  I love that they both slept in my bed the whole time dad was gone.  I love catching a glimpse of Mollly singing into a hair brush in front of the mirror just as I did at her age. 
I love that when kids in Maine go to the Common Ground Fair the best "ride" they go on is riding cardboard down a big hill while live music is playing.

I love the choice we have made to homeschool our children.  It feels right and good.  I love that this time together has brought the two of them closer.  I love that when they are taking a break from school work and giggling together in the next room I can let the break go a little longer because that sound is just too beautiful to stop.
I love wool and the sheep it comes from.  I love the way it feels in my hands, and the sound of clicking wooden knitting needles.  I love the idea of someday having a farm with a few of my own sheep.  I love that my kiddos share in this dream.

I love that I whipped up a cute little jacket from some sock yarn for my new niece or nephew in a day crocheting.  I still love knitting more, but the instant gratification is nice.
I love that Molly now wants one for herself.  I love sitting next to the woodstove in winter knitting.  I love the change in seasons and how every one has a special emotional feeling attached.  I my veggie garden weeds and all.  I love the overwhelming smell of lilacs for those few short days in spring.  I love that a weekend camping trip 6 years ago turned into an week long annual tradition with our good friends that we plan for all year long.
I love that our kids would rather go to see Mayan ruins than go to Disney World (yes I asked them). 
I love creating. 
That seems like enough love for one post though I could go on...what do you love?