The last Decade….

Inspired by my Cajun Pal…….


In the last Decade I have::

*lived in 6 different houses in 4 different states in 5 different cities on the Atlantic Ocean, Prince William Sound, Pacific Ocean, Lake Superior and Gulf of Mexico.

*given birth to two of my four babes

*spent more than half of the last decade pregnant or nursing wee ones

*brought home the best puppy ever

*educated myself about whole food living and drastically changed the way I (we) live and eat

*converted many others on the above topic

*felt inspired to live a more simple life

*learned to knit & sew

*become a lover of all that is vintage and antique

*celebrated a ten year anniversary with my stud muffin

*learned to go with the flow

*become the mother of a teenager

*started writing again

*added a cat to the chaos… Sid needed a fury pal you know!

*finished up the last of my "20's"

*never gotten better at saying goodbye

*felt so very "full of life" with people…. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends all over the place…. we've all gotten busy with partners and kids and life, but when we get that rare chance to chat, it's like no time has passed…. I love that


Anyone else??

     

Solstice Jams

Let's see……..

The girls got nightgowns from vintage sheets & pillowcases….. I had to make the straps shorter (see the photos down further) but other then that they came out super cute.

The mama made herself some lounge capris from two vintage pillowcases…….

The littlest boy got space jammies……

The biggest boy got linen lounge pants……..

And the Daddy got some groovy linen lounge pants too…… I loved the way these turned out…. the first clothing item I've ever sewn for Joe. Just a basic pj bottom that I added a side panel and a bottom cuff to so they would look extra groovy. I also made them with drawstring waist. And can I brag say that being able to customize these pants in between a size medium and large for a perfect fit for the daddy made me feel like I was pretty darn cool!

A whole lot of cozy "new" things made for all those people I love…. and I was very happy to add the mama and daddy to the tradition this year too!

If only the photographing of the goods went as well….. uhm…. yeah…..

it went from silly….

solstice jammie photo shoot 

to sillier……  

sillier 

 to silliest….. 

silliest
   

to just plain giving up…….. yeah I know when it's time to throw in the towel. 

or camera.

time to give up 

The only cooperative subjects to photograph on solstice were Joe's groovy linen pants…..

joe's
  

the cuff

 

I do love the weathered look of washed linen :)     

I did (a few days later) manage to get a decent picture later of most of the gypsy family members in their solstice jammies…. though I am starting to notice it is getting harder and harder to get a group photo of us all! I guess I need to finally master the art of remote photo shooting…..

reading
   

most of us
     

And, on top of all that fun, I snapped this photo while the star was getting placed on the tree…… can I please stop feeding the teenage boy in my house?? Because every time I take a photo lately I am completely blown away by how tall he is getting. He's only got about 2 inches to go to catch up to his dad…..

too tall 

Please tell me someone else had this kind of fun while trying to take some group photos???

        

a little bit of handmade…..

Are you read for some handmade holiday bragging 🙂

We really do strive for handmade gifts around here. I used this tutorial to make these journals for the kids. The only tweak I made was adding a strip of elastic on the edge so the books would stay closed. I love the way these turned out, especially because when they need a new book, we can just swap out the cover. The tutorial was easy to follow too.

journals
 

Mr Three got half way through opening gifts and then spent the better part of morning in his wild outfit made by my good friend Tawnya (love it, thank you!!) writing in his new notebook. "It's my work mom, just leave me alone" he kept telling me. How stinkin' cute is that!

mr three working
 

Inspired by a friend of mine, I made Tasha Tudor's Blueberry Coffee Cake for Christmas morning. So very yummy. Thank you Dotty for the idea, I think this might become a new tradition at our house too!

blueberry coffee cake 

I am looking forward to reading what you all made over the holidays too! 

   

Monday Bites ~ Rosemary Bread

I hope the holidays were very magical and merry and full of yummy things to eat and good company your way! It certainly was here 🙂 I've had many requests for this recipe, and I think many of you will enjoy it. It sure accompanies a bowl of warm soup awfully well. 

  

bread making
 

This Rosemary Bread has been a new favorite around here. I'm going to have to pick up another Rosemary plant though, because my once overgrown shrub is shrinking quickly outside!!

I adapted this recipe from one I found in my new bread machine manual. My mom is SO my hero….. she gifted me with a fancy new bread machine for Christmas. I haven't had one in years, and I must come clean….. I opened it early!! It came with a packing slip, so I knew what it was, even though it was gift wrapped. When things got SUPER busy the week before Christmas I opened it up and simultaneously made bread and solstice jammies. My oldest kids kept teasing me about being a "cheater bread baker". Until they realized fresh bread was baking daily (by hand or machine) and then their mouths were so full of bread and butter they forgot to tease their mama any more! The second recipe I made electric style was this Rosemary Bread, which was so amazing I just knew it was perfect for gift giving.

Mom, thank you. You're the best. And it's all Joe's fault, he made me open it, I swear!

Rosemary Bread

(this is my adapted 2 pound loaf recipe for a bread machine. see the notes at the end of the recipe for an acoustic version)

1.5 cups of warm water

1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)

2 tsp salt

3 cups white flour

3/4 cups wheat flour

3 TBSP fresh rosemary (or 4 tsp dried, I used fresh)

2 tsp yeast

     

*put the ingredients into your bread machine in this order. press start. go sew something. 

         

~to make it acoustic, and I must say it is best this way, double the above recipe, except for the yeast, you only need to increase that to a total of 3 tsp. mix together the water and yeast and let sit until bubbly. add olive oil and salt. stir. add wheat flour. stir. add rosemary. stir again. add white flour one cup at a time until the batter is too thick to stir. turn the shaggy dough onto a floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough holds its shape. let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled. punch down and shape into 2 round loaves. place on oiled baking stones and cover for another rise, about 35-45 minutes. preheat the oven to 450. (that's not a typo, just do it.) place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven to steam up the oven. cut a few slices into the bread tops and place in the steamy oven. check on the bread every 15 minutes, when it looks nice and golden, turn the temp down to 375 and continue baking for about 15-20 minutes longer until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. total baking time will be about 40-50 minutes. when I turn my oven down, I also take the bread off the stones and remove the pan of water so the bottom browns nicely. 

add butter and enjoy. 

  

rosemary bread & butter
     

      

1 Day ’til Christmas

incoming and outgoing……

from friends 

  

to friends 

  

to my mom
  

flour sack wrapping
  

cockroach humor
  

more funny presents
   

fresh rosemary bread
  

gifts for local friends
  

fresh bread all wrapped up
         
 

Feeling ::  grateful for gifts from friends and family……

Sending ::  handmade goodies out to loved ones.

Delivering :: fresh rosemary bread in flour sack wrapping "paper" and mulled wine kits to local friends.

Laughing :: about the cockroach humor on the gifts under our tree. (do we really have 4 years of this bug humor to look forward to?)

Missing :: loved ones far away.

Wishing ::  you all a magical holiday.

Happy :: to have met all the other mama's through the 12 days of Christmas 😉

Much Love to you all!

~The Gypsy Mama & family

 

2 Days ’til Christmas ~ Cookies

And the baking begins……….

IMG_1956 

  

IMG_1942
 
     

Mormor's Chocolate Cake Cookies and The Gingerbread Cookies were both from other bloggers. I used coffee instead of water in the frosting recipe for the Chocolate Cookies. For the gingerbread I reduced the flour to 2 cups and used half white and half whole wheat pastry flour. My kids LOVE both of these and they are sure to be gone in no time. Thank you for sharing your recipes ladies!


Other friends playing along in the 12 Days 'til Christmas here.     

3 Days ’til Christmas – Our Solstice Celebration

The buzz in my house refuses to let me forget that Christmas is only 3 days away…… there are a whole lot of excited people around here. 

Here's a little peek at last night's solstice celebrating……..

solstice treasure hunt 

          

looking for clues
     

solstice booty!
     

playing
     

solstice soup
      

danish rice pudding

                 

dancing in new jammies

        

mama made beeswax ornament 

         

decorating
      

playing with the kids 

  

A treasure hunt to find some new games….. yummy soup….. rice pudding…. handmade ornaments and jammies…. a board game with the oldest kiddos after the littles were tucked in to bed.

A fun evening.

    

4 Days ‘Til Christmas – Applique Fool

Sorry I'm late today….. I've been bitten by the applique bug……

This project started simply enough, to cover a stain and a hole on some t-shirts…. and I guess I got a little carried away……

applique patch
 

Singing birdies….

birdie patch
 

Reverse VW's……

reverse applique vw
 

Solstice Jammies……

solstice jams
 

Winter Pillows…..

winter pillow
 

Birdies on flour sacks……

flour sack birdie
 

Trees on flour sacks……

tree flour sack
 

oh my!

   

Be sure to swing by Kyndale's to see who else is playing along in the 12 days 'til Christmas.

Oh yes, and there's a lovely giveaway going on over at Imagine Childhood!

  

HAPPY SOLSTICE FRIENDS!