Grammy + Papa’s Treehouse

When I mentioned the tree house on the sea here, I wasn’t kidding around 🙂

My parents house sits on stilts on the side of the mountain overlooking the ocean. It is one of my children’s favorite places to be (and mine too!) We do our best to get up there once a year for a visit. Sitting on the porch or inside to watch the sea is just perfect.



Rainy

looking out at Cordova on a rainy day



flowers

mom’s flowers on the deck….



Zipline

the zipline…. one of the kids favorite things!



Bridges

bridges through the trees leading to the house



Treehouse

view from the zipline



The house is hardly viewable from the road since the majority of the trees were left intact. Even the deck was built around the trees. I love that. The zipline is a favorite past time. The girls especially love it. I love hearing the squeal of delight from the forest as they zip down the hill. The kids can play hide and seek for hours out there or walk down to the mud in low tide and look for treasures…… this year Miss Ten and her friend got their boots stuck and had to get some help from me and a few passing strangers to dig their boots back out of the mud. Surely a funny memory for years to come….. too bad I didn’t bring the camera when I ran down to help them 🙂

Thanks mom & dad for another fun trip. I can’t imagine how quiet the house is without the whole lot of us there!

And a thank you to all my readers…… I’ve loved all the comments lately on the nature photos I’ve been posting from our Alaska trip 🙂 For those of you who have just found this site….. I hope you stick around…..

For now, I am getting back to playing “kitchen” with my kids and drinking too much coffee on this lovely Sunday morning. 

See you next week!

Wildlife

Here is our collection of wildlife photos from our trip. I (and the kiddos) all l-o-v-e seeing the different animals that live in each place we are living/vacationing. And if you can imagine how "quiet" a mama and her four babes are while frolicking through the woods and along the seashore……. you can appreciate how thankful I am for seeing any wildlife! I do believe Miss Six sang her way through each and every hike…… at the top of her lungs – ahem. 

otter raft
Red Salmon
Sockeye (red) Salmon (cool life cycle info here)
sockeye trio
Sockeye (red) Trio of Salmon
Immature Bald Eagle
Tundra Swan
Did you ever wander how a swan itched it's beak?? 
Tundra Swans
Tundra Swan
Be sure to check out the links attached to the Tundra Swan & Immature Bald Eagle text to hear what they sound like, very cool. I may visit this post and play the Eagle sound when I miss Alaska…… one of my favorite sounds…… when Miss 10 was four years old we lived in Sitka, Alaska and she would make a sound very similar to an Eagle to "call" them to her. It was great……
See you tomorrow for my last day of Alaska photos…….. featuring "the treehouse" my parents live in 🙂

scenic

Firstly, I would like to say that after two days of flying, we are h-o-m-e. It's always such a good feeling. I am loving watching the kids settle back into their regular rhythms. My dear sweet husband was very busy while we were away…… so I'll have some house updates to share next week…….. but for now I'll share the last few bits of Alaska goodness.

Today I want to share my top three favorite scenery photos……..

Sheridan Glacier
clouds over Sheridan Glacier
out the road
a little bit of blue skies
Pipeline Trail Lake
one of the many lakes at Pipeline Trail
Happy Weekending to you all! 
And swing back by if you can because I've got two more days of Alaska photos to share with you over the weekend.

The Net Loft

One of the really wonderful things about visiting Cordova is going here……….

Hemlock yarn

hemlock yarn

Hanks of yarn

multi hanks

Buttons

buttons

Solids

more yarn…..

the net loft

the net loft

Ribbon

ribbon

Alaska

and more yarn…….

Upstairs upstairs

Spinning

spinning

First yarn

my first yarn



When I first lived in Cordova over ten years ago The Net Loft was truly that. A fine quality craft and yarn store nestled into the loft of a fisherman's boat shed at their home 6 miles out of town. The owner Dotty Widmann comes to Cordova each summer with her family and her husband commercial fishes. Her first tiny store was only open seasonally. But The Net Loft moved to town a few years back and is a much larger store and offers scrapbooking, loads of gorgeous yarn, needlework items, lovely gifts, classes for all ages and much more. It is open year round now, much to the delight of all the crafters in Cordova. You can look around in there for hours! Best of all though is the happy knowledgeable knitters and crafters that work there. And no one minds if you want to sit upstairs, make yourself some tea and knit in a quiet beautiful place….. the picture windows overlook the harbor…. it is truly serene up there.

On Wednesday evenings knitters get together for a few hours and visit upstairs while knitting. I got to go while I was here, all by myself, such a treat! (thanks mom & dad for wrangling the littles) I really had a wonderful evening with the ladies. I even met a fellow blogger/knitter/crafty mama. She is also a designer and you can some of her work here. Dotty made us tea and lemon shortbread. Yum. I was mesmerized by Dotty's spinning and she let me give it a try…… I made my first little piece of yarn…… which looks nothing like Dotty's beautiful spinning! But it was certainly fun.

I have a nice little bag of goodies I am bringing home from The Net Loft…… like that Hand Maiden skein in the first picture……. oh my, I do love this store!

Tidepooling

A day at the sea……..

Trio of stars

sea star trio (we found them like this)

Crab

feisty crab, he may be small but he's got spunk!

Starfish

sea star

Hank starfish

tidepooling dog

Urchin

sea urchin

hands

treasures on rocks

starfish

miss six's sea star

friend's urchin

our friend's sea urchin

ten's starfish

miss ten's sea star

friend's starfish

our friend's sea star

Tracks

bird tracks

Mamas feet

mama's sea star

three's boot

mr three's boots

It was a minus low tide, meaning the water goes out further than usual, so we headed to look at sea creatures. We met up with friends at the beach and 7 kids were slipping and squishing through mucky mud to find their treasures. As you can see, a great day was had by all. Of course no sea critters were kept (or hurt) by our adventure…… just a lot of fun exploration.

Outdoorsy (again!!)

We spent some time the last few days hiking "out the road". Cordova is an isolated community, meaning that you can't drive anywhere. If you want to visit another town you have to go by air or by sea. However, there are 50 miles of "road to nowhere". The final destination is beautiful Child's Glacier and the (multi) million dollar bridge.

The Million Dollar Bridge was damaged in the earthquake of 1964. When it was originally built in 1908, it cost a million dollars to build. It led miners out to a copper mine. Mining has come and gone here and now the town relies heavily on a good fishing season. A few summers ago the bridge was restored to it's former glory, leaving some of us (like myself) missing the picturesque old fallen bridge. It is a little easier to cross in your car now, though I am not sure where it is you are going…. the road ends a few miles after you cross.

We didn't make it all the way out to the glacier this year, but we did drive out the road to get out of the drizzly weather in town and enjoy some fun hiking. One of our favorite hikes is Pipeline Trail. The 3 mile loop is constructed of boardwalk and bridges to take you over the muskeg. Mr Three loved walking the planks and hiked mostly himself…… but when he was finally tuckered out he got to ride on mama's shoulders.

Getting out the road to let the kids run is always a perfect outing. Lots of space to run and play and Mom & I get to follow them and chat. Good stuff.

Free

running free

Puddle

puddle

Stop picking

riding on my foot while I pick berries

Hiking kids

on the trail

Forest

in the forest

miss ten's boots

boots – by Miss Ten

Carry me

Mr Three on my shoulders

Berryboy

blueberry boy

pipeline trail

everyone on the trail

Flower

pretty little bog flower

Trailhead

trailhead

last day of picking

blueberries

Oldtree

nursery tree in the woods

another rock day……

As I began this post, I realized I had posted a similar day like this awhile back (here).

It was just (another) one of those days. 

For the girls… 

for my mom….. 

for me…. 

and especially for a very strong willed three year old boy. 

You know the kind of day where everyone is grumpy, the ATM doesn't work, and you have to leave the grocery store with a screaming tired toddler under your arm……….

So we bought lunch to go at Baja Taco and headed out to the beach to throw rocks. We had it all to ourselves. Just perfect.

It was high tide and seals were coming in to eat pinks and chums. They kept their distance but watched the kids play in the cold water. I am always amazed at my children's draw to wade in the water, no matter how cold it is.

We ran in the rocks and got wet and cold. 

And everyone felt better.

Cold very cold water….

Bootboots full of water - just one of those days…..

Seals harbor seals

Bridge Miss Six & Mr Three

Bird seagull

Happy Weekend to you!

It’s a Wrap……. (a bit of a tutorial)

We had a few days of rainy weather……… so Mom & I finally gave in and rented a movie for the kids and took on a crafty project.

Mr. Three was in need of some R&R due to a yucky cold, so it was good timing to relax, hang out and sew together. Inspired by the book It's a Wrap we found at the local fabric shop, Mom & I both made wrap bowls. We made small basic bowls, but the book shows a lot of great oval, square and other fun shapes too. They were really fun (and easy) to make. I have grand illusions of making some from all my beloved Heather Ross scraps at home……. big baskets to hold toys and library books…… lofty goals, yes, but that's what goals are for right?

So here are some photos of our very fun crafty~rainy day event. Truly, it's a bit a tutorial too since it shows most of the steps in making these super fun shabby chic looking creations!

Fabric

my beginning fabrics, both by Amy Butler

Base coil

base coil

Beginning sides

beginning the sides

Sides

sides are growing

Wrapping

wrap & pin….. again and again and again…….

Color change

adding a stripe

Mine

finished (mine)

Moms

Mom's

Hat

And if you're feeling spunky, you can even wear it as a hat!!

Vacation Thrifting

If you aren’t a thrift store junky. This post may convert you.

I love everything vintage and old, but truth be told sometimes vintage and old isn’t quite the best match when attempting to clothe 4 kids. I do brand name shop at thrift stores….. buying second hand well made items that I know will last through the much abuse my sweet babes can dish out! That being said, my first choice is always handmade. So, to come across a second hand  AWESOME handmade goody…….. well let’s just say it made my whole darn day!! 
I a-d-o-r-e Copper River Fleece. Last year my kids all picked out jackets for their birthday gifts and I even blogged about Mr Three’s Christmas blanket here. I have far too many items I refer to as “Jenny’s” (the owner and creator of Copper River Fleece) Her items are very fairly priced and made to last. So when Mom and I pulled up in front of the local Salvation Army on our way to the grocery store…….. and I looked into the front window to see a “Jenny” jacket proudly displayed……. my mom and I both flipped our lids. 
“Oh my gosh do you see that!?!” we asked each other.
“We have to be here tomorrow when it opens” says mom.
“5 minutes before at least” I say.
“I think it will fit Miss Six perfectly!!” says mom.
Next day we get there at exactly noon and the jacket is no longer hanging in the window. 
“Go in and check” mom tells me.
I do, and come out with the jacket (it was on the counter, it was waiting for me I swear!!) at a fraction of it’s new price…… it perfectly fits Miss Six. SCORE!! And it’s a perfect water resistant jacket for the mild winters (if you can even call them winters!) in Louisiana. Plus somehow being in a thrift store without three to four children in tow and getting to look a little closer than usual makes random goodies hop in your basket.
thrifted coat
Mr Three in his Copper River Fleece and Miss Six in her (thrifted!!) Copper River Fleece ~ 
Mr Three’s hat here and Miss Six’s borrowed hat here both made by the mama!
Like two handmade felted bowls and a sweet red little kitty/fox creature. Love them. 
thrifted goods
So, all that being said……. find your local thrift store and take a peek. Visit regularly. And one day you too will come across some sweet little treasure. Aside from being *green” thrift stores usually also do a LOT to support your local community. Check yours out!!
(And if you, or a little person in your life is need of a jacket, consider a handmade from Copper River Fleece just email them for kid goodies, they aren’t on her website. And please let them know Gypsy Forest sent you their way.)

Outdoorsy

Is outdoorsy even a real word?? 

Well, real word or not….. I've enjoyed being outdoorsy when the rain lets up enough for us to get outside. The Eldest headed to Kodiak for the week visiting some family friends….. so we've had lots of girl time with Grammy, us gypsy girls and of course Mr Three. (He doesn't seem to mind hanging with the ladies!) Every chance we get we're heading out to scope out cool mushrooms, pick berries and just enjoy being outside.

Coastal Alaska is a wet rainy place and believe me each sunny day is like the first day of spring! We enjoy every last bit of it. And since I'm out of words, I'll just share the photos from our last few outings. 

Strong

Miss Six and Mr Three

Mushroom

cool mushroom

Mushroom closeup

closeup

Moss

moss

Log

log

Log & Moss

I guess I have a thing for cool logs?!?

Cute boy

my little sasquatch

mom & me

self portrait of mom & me 🙂

mossy steps

mossy steps

Slug

banana slug

Daisy girl

my flower girl

The above jacket has a fun story, which I will post about tomorrow. 

Happy Monday All 🙂