Tuesday, April 30, 2013

new beds

new bed
the absolutely incredible weather, the grocery store's insane plant deals, and pure spring fever - all have conspired to compel me to plant, plant, plant. marc built this gorgeous raised bed out of logs, and colden and i planted carrot seeds and some bachelor's button (edible flower!) starts. considering the number of tomatoes i have purchased...likely some will be moving here. sadly, the dogs think this is the perfect landing pad for jumping over to intimidate our chickens, so i have a big plastic fence around here now. it is kind of ruining my backyard photos, but hopefully it will preserve my seedlings!

Monday, April 29, 2013

mushrooms


we were really inspired by this ted talk, and decided to follow up on the opportunity to grow our own mushrooms. i ordered the pearl oyster variety from fungi perfecti. they noted that these (among many) are easy enough for kids to grow. sure enough, they have already yielded 5 or 6 big mushrooms, and there are probably already more ready and waiting in our garage.
pearls
they grow right out of the plastic bag they come in - under another plastic bag 'humidity tent'. all you need to do is spray them with water. you may also hang them above your sink since that is an ideal moist environment. since the instructions indicated that they need to be cooked before eating, we sauteed our first mushrooms in butter and had them on pizza. so delicious!
oyster mushroom
after the bag has produced two flushes of mushrooms, we can mix its contents with wheat straw or newspaper, spread it outside under our trees, and see if they decide to make some more! they say it can take awhile, but the prospect is very exciting! i may try some pink oysters next! (my apologies to the mushroom-averse. they are so good though. really!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

this moment

homegrown salad

Thursday, April 25, 2013

wishing

wish jar
i had to make a dandelion wish jar (after seeing it on pinterest, of course). colden was excited to collect wishes (and a buttercup), and this thrifted jar was just perfect for it. the only thing is, they do kind of smush each other as they stack up!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

little light

beeswax candle
here's our little handmade candle addition to our table mesa.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ice pops

orange pop
in anticipation of the gorgeous weather, i bought a new ice pop maker. i love it. i have been freezing pops in our big ice chest, setting in a casserole dish. first, i made a batch of pineapple-banana pops (loosely following this recipe). then i made just plain frozen orange juice and yogurt pops. soooo good - like a creamsicle, you know?
strawberry banana
there is a local pop maker (sol pops) that offers a delicious sugar-free banana-strawberry pop that i was inspired to try to replicate. i added yogurt to mine again (mostly to get my blender to mix the frozen berries and bananas). yuuuuummmm!
 cacao
then i had to go for the fudgesicle. i am proud that they are actually kind of healthy too - all organic, containing; coconut milk, cacao, peanut butter, honey, and some vitamin c powder for good measure. i foresee a lot of icy delights around these parts!

Monday, April 22, 2013

tulips

picked
picked yesterday from the wooden shoe tulip festival...
wow
and here today.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

mesa

mesa
we made these littles 'mesa's at our wednesday playgroup - each stick and stone to signify something we are working with....our favorite is the 'singing' stick. we've been singing it little songs... and sometimes it sings to us too! the candle holder is shaped from salt and earth, and temporarily holds a beeswax candle - next wednesday we get to make our own!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

chicago

Monday, April 15, 2013

beanbags

beanbags
i upcycled these from a corduroy blazer. i could eek out 4 1/4 " squares of material for enough to do just these. (i had already used the sleeves for pants!) two have different edging stitches. (which merely made them wonkier, i think, so i made the rest straight-seamed.) one is also stuffed a bit more, but the rest we weighed out to 2 oz. of pinto beans each. we made sure to put lots of love in as well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

egg glamor shots

naturally dyed eggs
here are our eggs, displayed just so upon the wheatgrass. i think the photo actually makes them look quite a bit prettier than they may be. starting with the yellowest (turmeric with stamps) and going clockwise; there's onion, more turmeric, barely blueberry, blueberry (with white crayon), hibiscus tea (with blue crayon), and red wine in the middle.
penciled eggs
and here we have the colored pencil set, also neatly arranged for posterity. thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

easter grass

sprouts
a dear friend gave us some wheatberries to plant for natural grass. i loved planting them in a clear container because we got to see the roots so well as they grew.wheat grass
i left them outside to be rained on and grow that way, and then i brought them in to watch their progress. they were lovely on our table and our mantle. the kids each planted a little glass while i planted this big one. we got to plant some more at our playgroup on wednesday, so another batch will come soon. what lucky, lucky chickens!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

cedar catcher

cedar
this week azalia and i attended an outdoor playgroup one morning. we made this cedar and wool wreath, and enjoyed our time together in the forest...baking in a cob oven, stone soup, and lots of song. it was absolutely lovely.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

greens

nettle
a few weekends ago, we harvested some stinging nettles with friends - ours became soup. we were hoping to go again, but couldn't make it this past weekend. dandelion greens so instead we harvested some backyard dandelion greens. we combined them with nuts, cheese, olive oil, and garlic and.... voila, pesto!

Monday, April 8, 2013

loop loom

loop loom
did you have one of these as a kid? i did, and loved mine. i've had this one for colden for awhile and thought he might finally be interested. he helped with a few, made a color pattern, and played with the loom, but eventually he wanted to come up with innovative things to do with the loops. i made this quick and pretty potholder. so far i am finding it pretty functional too. maybe i will just play with this toy for awhile...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

bunny bread

bunny buns
i saw this idea for making bunny shaped rolls with kitchen scissors, and thought, why not? (although i did sort of think they looked like demented cats.)
baked bunny rolls
they look pretty rabbit-like, wouldn't you say? (okay, maybe a bit catty.) tasty rolls, whatever they were.

Friday, April 5, 2013

this moment

068

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ashes

028

last week, the kids and i had a fire in the firepit, and i was excited to show them how to draw with the burnt pieces again. colden was the one who noticed the white ashes could be used as well, and i couldn't help but draw this. i haven't been knitting so much, or reading so much, nor am i able to write and post in real time. but what's the saying... all in good time, right?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

easter treasures

120
we were so blessed to be able to attend a magical easter hunt, and this was our contribution. small glass rainbow crystals as necklaces, affixed with twisted christmas ornament hooks. i actually took pictures of the other little treasures, but there were just so many... aromatic play clay, fabric bundles of birdseed, plastic eggs filled with shells and glass beads, wool eggs, stones wrapped in yarn, tangerines (sun eggs!), bunny and leaf pins, and a very special tiny origami rabbit - with an itsy bitsy felt egg. not to mention the other treasures we were fortunate to share - good people, beautiful weather, flowering trees, delectable food, song, poetry and fellowship. (oh, and the kids would want me to mention the trampoline.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

egg-perimentation

not silk
i wanted to share the many, many, many (many) egg-dying *attempts* made over here, and, well, what we have learned. the 'silk-dying' (above)...... so, turns out, it wasn't silk (and didn't work), but at least i have a pretty picture.
leaf imprint
i also attempted the 'leaf imprint' technique, using chlorphyll as a natural dye....now it seems that the actual chlorophyll from the leaf did transfer a bit, but the dye, not so much. (and yes, i broke the egg.)
one of the trickier things going on with the whole egg-dying scene this year was the fact that we used blown-out eggs. (it was my first time doing this, so, woo hoo, success!) but also, required a lot of finagling to get the buoyant things to stay under their dyebath. the above egg was stamped, then soaked in tumeric.
i remembered onion skins turning out pretty well, so i did that too. (it wasn't quite as spectacular as i remembered. but still lovely!) i even used both yellow and red onion skins to see if there was a difference...can you tell? (the bottom one is red.) i also had some luck with blueberries as a dye, plus we used watercolors and colored pencils too. though the colored pencils were more fun for the adults, and kind of hard for the kids to really manage.
040 and when the eggs inevitably broke, we just did what any crazy person who blows out and colors eggs would do - we planted seeds in them!

Monday, April 1, 2013

happy birthday lola

Happy 8th Birthday Lola!
eight (or, marc said 56)