a cool bug + the ladies are growing up…..

Firstly, Luke wanted you to see his bug. Sometimes he randomly requests for things to be blogged. This bug was one of those things. 

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

 

Now for another ridiculous chicken photo-shoot….. Turns out, it only gets harder as they get bigger and faster. Always worth the giggles though…..

 

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

lace winged wyandotte

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

easter egger

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

most of the flock (that's a welsummer in the top left, her sister is directly behind her)

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

our four easter eggers (seen previously here)

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

Luke's favorite one in the front (previously here), we were so surprised she ended up being white. Luke had his heart set on a white chicken named Moonlight and there she is! The other black and white chicken was the darkest of the four easter eggers as a chick. I think these chickens are so fun because their feather color is the first surprise and then their egg color is the next. Most likely blue or green…. but we'll see in a few more months.

 

a cool bug + the ladies are growing up.....

*The Look* (an easter egger)

 

I've got a bit of painting to do with the coop, so I'll be sharing it next week (wait until you see my creativity + power tools, good stuff!) But it's finished! I am so glad to have them out of the studio/apartment. I do miss their evening cooing in the corner as I was sewing or writing in the evening though…. such as sweet little noise. 

In other news…. Joe has been clearing trees in the back all summer to make room for garden beds. He's cut down eight maybe? We had several enormous piles of brush/branches, so we rented a wood chipper for the day. The big boy, Joe, & I hustled to get the job done in time to return the chipper for a half day rental fee. We made it with about two minutes to spare! Now we've got four small piles instead of four giant piles. Joe has been spreading the wood chips in the forest paths to help with the mud. I think we'll keep some for paths between raised beds in the garden too.

We got three cords of wood delivered this week. Which reminds me…. I need to share a picture of our wood stove insert. It's a beauty….. I'm kind of in love. Knitting, fire, snow falling outside…. it sounds pretty wonderful. 

What other random bits do I have for you……

Oh yes, the big kids have had a great start at the local public high school this week. Hard to believe these two are in 9th and 12th grade. They ran out the door this morning for the bus at 6:50 giggling and laughing and racing. So much like they did as little kids years and years ago. They haven't been to school together since 2nd & 4th grade, so it's really sweet to see them doing this together again. Mostly though, I am glad to see my big girl be so excited about this new part of her journey. I wasn't sure how the first few days would go and she's having a ball and staying true to herself all in one. It's really the most a mama can hope for, you know? I think we have a lot of fun ahead of us.

I'm planning our first week of home school this weekend… I'll have some bits to share on that next week. Including an outline for an Education Plan if any of you would like that resource.

I guess that's all for tonight. I think I caught you up on everything here.

Off to make some tea and maybe start a bit of knitting….

xo,

s

ps ~ you have one more day to enter Linda's generous giveaway here…. good luck!

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

This week's share from the farm included:

 

cherry tomatoes * 8 pounds of slicing tomatoes * eggplants * cucumbers * radishes * potatoes *

beans * carrots * beets * onions * arugula!! * savoy * parsley

 

I brought home twenty pounds of tomatoes this week and every bit of it has been turned into salsa. I've got a gallon fermenting on the basement stairs. Similar to Rachel's recipe here, minus the whey because I read you can do it with just salt. I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

On the menu this weekend, grilled white fish smothered in salsa. 

Speaking of Rachel's salsa, her regular canning recipe has been my go-to for two seasons now. Minus the sugar and cumin. I added a half tsp of chipotle to the last batch. It's a super delicious thick salsa. So good!

The last photo proves that my children have not yet tired of Kettle Pond's amazing sweet cherry tomatoes. Those little orange ones are the best. They devour them every week.

This week….. I would love for you guys to share a link to a great seasonal recipe below. C'mon…. tell me what you're eating….

I've got a ton to tell you tomorrow…. I'm really going to show up here, I promise. I know it's been quiet. The big kids started school Tuesday and things have been so busy the last week. Like, ridiculously crazy….

Awesome friends in town-learning to run a wood chipper-building a chicken coop-first day of high school-getting ready for this-making education plans to submit to the state for the younger two. (Seriously, I did run the wood chipper and use more electric power tools in the last week than in the last ten years.) Yep. That kind of busy.

See you soon.

xo,

s

 

mindful monday

mindful monday

*summer 7*

 

————————————————————————————————————————————

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

*for the rest of the summer i’ll be showing up here in this space with an image of our summer days….

mindful monday summer moments…. will you join me? there’s even a flickr group to share photos here.*

 

this will be my last summer inspired mindful monday post….. fall is peeking in!

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed picnic blanket

I originally shared this project with Rhythm of the Home over three years ago. I actually can't believe it's been so long! We still use this picnic blanket a *ton* every summer. It's made several road trips and adventures with us and I thought it was time to share it here with you…..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Materials Needed::

2 or more vintage cotton sheets for squares (the halves of two twins is sufficient)

1 re-purposed twin flannel sheet (or new) 45 inches wide (or 3 yards)

3 yards linen for backing, 45 inches wide

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler *optional*

*wash & press all fabric (if flannel is new, you can skip the washing & pressing)

{this is also a great project to make with fat quarters of fabric!}


vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Cut your sheet fabric into 25 squares measuring 14×14 inches. I chose 5 prints and cut 5 squares of each. I use a rotary cutter + ruler for this task.

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Lay your squares out to choose a pattern. It can be random too, I just like to see it before I sew. If you're pressed for space just fold each square up so you have smaller pieces to lay out. (as shown)

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Sew your strips together one row at a time from left to right. Trim or square up the edges and then sew the rows together from top to bottom. Press the seams open as you sew your squares & again as you sew the rows together.

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Next, lay your fabrics together in a sandwich as follows : patchwork top right side up on the bottom, linen backing right side down in the middle, flannel backing on the top. Pin edges.

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Leaving a six inch hole to turn the project right side out, stitch around the entire blanket with a 1/2 inch hem. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and ending of your sewing. Turn the blanket right side out, be gentle with the opening. Press the edges.

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Topstitch the blanket with a 1/4 seam.

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Now you can leave the blanket as is our add some ties for a quilted feel. I used embroidery floss and "tied" the layers together at each square edge. See the yellow thread in the picture below….

 

IMG_4484

 

Now you have a picnic blanket to last for years to come! 

 

vintage patchwork ~ a repurposed project

 

Enjoy~~

 

xo,

s

 

csa share :: week 11

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

This week's farm share included:

tomatoes of all sizes (two pints of cherries + 8 pounds of slicers)

dandelion greens

savoy

chard

basil

red onion

carrots

radish

cucumbers

peppers (bell + hot)

*plus I picked up 40 pounds of paste tomatoes at $1.25 a pound! 

 

We had a good visit with my mom and we're getting back into our groove as a family of six. The big kids are registered for public school and start next week. 9th and 12 th grade! I can't really beleive it. The school is known for having a great drama department and Jade was really excited to take drama as an elective. And art, of course. I think the big kid has decided to take psychology and an extra science class as his elective. Night & day these two of mine.

But, back to the food….

Local summer food happenings in my kitchen::

*giant delicious heirloom tomatoes eaten like apples by my kids, sliced with a bit of salt for Joe & I.

*The kitchen will be full of salsa making all day today. some traditional stuff and I'm trying my hand at a half gallon of this…. have any of you made fermented salsa before? I have only eaten it. it's really delicious in that tangy sour way that fermented foods are. I'm hoping the kids like it.

*roasted tomatoes, garlic + onion blended with a bit of veggie broth makes a delicious tomato soup. we like ours with a bit of shredded sharp cheddar on top. and red pepper flakes, of course.

*this frittatta

*making this today too (from last week's eggplant)

*one pan pasta

 

What's yummy and local in your neck of the woods?

 

mindful monday

mindful monday

summer 6

“clickberry clackberry….. pick me a blackberry


————————————————————————————————————————————

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

*for the rest of the summer i’ll be showing up here in this space with an image of our summer days….

mindful monday summer moments…. will you join me? there’s even a flickr group to share photos here.*

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

 

new flag banners in the shop!

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

new flags in the shop!

 

These are the first of a few different styles of flag banners to come! This has been such a fun project to work on over the last few weeks. The idea came months ago, but it just took some time to make its way to the shop. We love the way they look around our house, fluttering in the summer breeze. They are perfect simple celebration decor and really beautiful for everyday too. The two layers of silk have extra good fluttering and of course they are sewn to last.

Ocean Blue, Wildflower Pink, & Traditional Prayer Flag colors are now in the shop!

Also, all orders over $60 ship for free in the US now. Use the code “SHIPFREE” when you check out!

Happy Weekending to you!

xo,

 

csa share :: week 10 + summer food……

Firstly….. thank you all for the sweet words yesterday. I'm always a little uncertain when baring my soul like that…. and you are always so sweet & fill my heart up. Seriously awesome. Thank you~

Secondly, Monday was one of those rough days. We had a ton of things to get done, Joe got in a fender bender on the way home from work. Scary but no one was hurt. He & I ran a zillion errands and arrived home totally exhausted at 8:30 (then tackled building a bed for the big kid, it was a long night!) Needless to say, there was not a speck of sunlight to get a lovely photo of our share this week. Instead you'll have to settle for this::

 

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

 

This week's farm share included : 

. lots of tomatoes . cucumbers . the last zucchini . potatoes . onions . salad mix .

. eggplant .yukina savoy . peppers . kale . sage . basil . oregano . 

 

But hey, don't leave yet, I do have something worth sharing today. A few simple dinners inspired by our farm shares. Easy, fresh, delicious, summer food. Enjoy…..

 

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

*the* zucchini fritters. we love them. like really love them. especially with my new favorite summer salad : gently steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes & cherry tomato halves tossed with a generous amount of garlic scape pesto and a bit of olive oil & sea salt. amazing. really.

*

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

 grandma karen's "cruddy tomatoes" : fresh diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, sea salt, fresh mozzerella + pasta. summer flavors at their finest.

*

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

lastly, this : roasted tomatoes, chick peas, and sauteed kale. a bit of garlic and sea salt. sprinkled withfreshly grated asiago and some red pepper flakes. because really, red pepper flakes are awesome on everything. 

*

That's it for today. I'll be back Friday with some shop news and some link love and hopefully a great photo of blackberries after we find a local place to pick/visit while Grandma is here!

Happy local eating to you!

xo,

s

 

on a serious note…..

tuesday

 

I don't know how we got here.

We thought of ourselves as good parents and the big boy as a good kid.
But despite our best of intentions, things began to unravel. Without casting blame on anyone, because really that does no one any good…. I can tell you this: My dear friend Nancy in the roughest hours said to me in a gentle loving tone…. why not you. And she's right. Hard things happen to the best of people all the time, so why not us.

There is no time to try and make sense of something that does not. It just is. So instead you carry on, pick up the pieces and try to keep doing the best you know how to do.

In the midst of selling and buying our home, of moving, of having our family in different places….. everything we knew fell apart. We made the swift decision to pull him out of school for the rest of the semester and send him to the only constant we had in that moment. Grandma & Grandpa's (my parents).

It is an act of love and humility to ask for help. To take a much needed break. To step back and reassess and try again. I left Louisiana with tears in my eyes for a hundred reasons. One of which was not knowing what was to come for our family.

Being a parent is tough sometimes. Being a teenager is tough too. And here we are….. nearly five months later. He spent the last few months working 40+ hours a week at a fish cannery, throwing fifty pound boxes of fresh fish around. We all got a much needed breather. In pictures I have seen his smile return and his shoulders bulk up with muscle. I have heard the boy I know return to his voice over the phone. I have held hope so tightly in my heart I thought I might crush her. 

I wanted to tell you all so many times…. I just couldn't find the words. Or perhaps the bravery.

In a few hours we'll drive to the airport to pick up my mom and the big boy. Tender hearts turning a page. Walking this bumpy road with love is the only way to do it. It's the only thing to get you through the roughest of spots.

Love, love, love my friends.

Wish us luck.

xo,
s

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

I'm joining a sweet and talented group of folks today as part of the Backyard Art Camp I shared with you awhile back……

The idea behind the series is to share a project based on, or inspired by, a favorite artist. I completely *adore* Ms. Geninne Zlatkis and our rock art is inspired by her incredible talent. If you've not visited her blog, prepare to be awed and lost for pages and pages. Geninne is so prolific in her work and best of all, inspired by the natural word she lives in. Her art is truly stunning and I swoon over it on a regular basis. I just purchased her recent book a few months ago on printing and it is as wonderful as expected. The kids & I sat with it and discussed the lines and inspiration of her work before we decorated our rocks. Sophie was especially in awe of her bird & butterfly drawings…..

Our river rocks were collected in New York on visits with family and they are very precious to us. The kids each chose a rock to decorate and then we got busy sketching ideas and rough drafts onto paper with the sharpie markers I bought for the project. Geninne creates her art with ink (amazing) but I though the controlled application of sharpies would be a less frustrating medium for little hands.

 

::River Rock Art::

fine & regular tipped sharpie markers (metallic ones are really fun)

some precious collected smooth stones

blank paper for pre-rock decorating sketches

 

process…..

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

The end result was a trio of really beautifully decorated rocks. The kids were both really happy with the outcome of their art, which is the best kind of thing you can hope for when you do a project together. Art is usually more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants event around here. Sitting down and talking about ideas, design, and sketching rough drafts was certainly out of the ordinary us….. I'm really grateful things turned out happy at the end. Sometimes young artists get frustrated while in process, especially when comparing their work to a super talented artist. (This was definitely the case with the younger of my two students.) I kept reminding him that everyone has a beginning, even the most amazing artist had to learn how and try, and try, and try again…..

Here's a list of the great Backyard Art art projects shared so far:

found object art-inspired canvases decorated with nature walk treasures with me 

   * picture and art books to get the creativity flowing

   * pointillism inspired paintings with something other than a paint brush with buzzmills.

   * christo-inspired backyard decorations with fabric scraps with crafting connections

   * kiddie kandinsky art with my life at playtime

   * henri rousseau-inspired mixed media installation from  the crafty kitty 

   * Graphite and Collage Figure Art inspired by Lisa Congdon and Jaime Zollars with  Miranda Makes

   * exploration & art from simple things notebook

 

And here are the contributors sharing in the coming days:

   * courtney from mon petit lyons

   * carla from small + friendly

   * sanae from sanae ishdia

   * jennet from feathered nest studio

   * tara from girl like the sea

 

Enjoy & Happy Creating!

xo,

s