Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Oscar turned 2 today.  He woke up to a house full of balloons, which he is still obsessed with.  We had a sweet little party for him outside, unbelievable 70' weather for March 31 in Wisconsin.  While I usually try to get a few handmade gits for my kiddo's nothing this year really jumped out at me.   Thankfully I have extremely loving and creative friends who gave him the most thoughtful presents, including an Oscar Hotdog shirt ( the party theme) and a felt book where he play his very own mr. potato head.  I did make hats using that weird foam sheets,  our buddy Cyrus is modeling the viking version.  A bean bag toss & cupcakes rounded out the morning.  An exhausted little boy is napping now and will wake to a new balance bike.  Oh the places he will go.   

Thursday, March 25, 2010

cook book organization

We tend to cook three meals a day in our kitchen, so our cookbooks got a lot of use.  My Joy of Cooking is looking a lot like my mom's, broken binding and sugared pages. But they were getting a little overwhelming lately, normally piled on top of the fridge looking as if they might fall at any moment.  So this is my little fix up.   I like that we can still access our books when needed but the clean space above the fridge makes me calm. 

in the morning

A quiet moment,  before the cereal and lost socks, boots & a sword, no one is awake. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

liquid gold - homemade maple syrup

A few weeks back I posted about taping the trees in our yard, another experiment in our urban homesteading.
I'll be damned, it worked !  Now credit is givin where credit is due, Todd did about everything, except digging the buckets out of the dumpster at my work.  A friend had the taps, after the initial tapping of 3 trees in our yard & 8 across the street we yielded 35 gallons of sap.  Which boiled down to about 1 gallon of syrup. 
here's a good link if you want to do it too!

  A bunch went to the maple syrup festival yesterday, where families could come and see the whole process.

Besides having pancakes I also made a Maple Cheesecake for guests last week.  Ironically I forgot the sugar but the maple syrup provided enough sweetness for everyone.
After giving pints of homemade syrup to those who helped we have about 10 left over, now we have to make that last until next year.   Do you have any favorite things to eat with maple syrup?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Snippits v.2

I'm participating in a collaborative art piece put together by my good friend Elizabeth, and you can too! 
Here's my response to her words. 

Tin Pail by Elizabeth @
You may need an explanation for this one.  When I read Elizabeth's second snippit I first thought of the buckets hanging on our trees outside collecting sap, an easy response to her collaborative project.  But than I saw my husbands shoes, the shoes he bought for our wedding, the nicest ones he has ( no judging ! )  These have been worn a lot lately because of the losses our family has had recently.   Elizabeth's words made me remember that early morning phone call, a quiet voice saying those heavy words ' he's gone.' 
a somber response I know, but it's real for me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

back on the porch

It's that time again,  to get these two rambunctious kids out of my living room and onto the front porch.  I'm realizing this is an annual event.   A great time to purge, tidy up and give new energy to old toys.  It's also a perfect opportunity to gather toys to sell at this event.  So out with the old and hopefully not too much new.  This year I've added a larger folding table so we can have meals out here and I can work while they play (yeah rite! ).  I've also added an art box,  I've seen them at friends houses and loved them.  My two are not the most art orientated guys, but maybe this will be a good way for them to explore on their own because I realize that I am the one who ruins art time.  ahhhhh, anyway.

More art from me coming soon I hope.  I have some embroidered covered buttons I'm finishing and I'm taking a screenprinting workshop this weekend and I have high hopes it will result in a whole new direction.

I hope to post about Elizabeth's 'Snippits' project this week too.  Check it out, a great idea to get the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a quick project

I bought this old cheese mold last summer in hopes of using it to store root vegetables.  As it turned out this was not a very good potato bucket.  So it sat, like so many other items, in our basement, a treasure trove of cool old things.    Well, it just got elevated to first floor status, as my knitting box.   The overflowing basket of yarn & needles  in the wardrobe was getting to be too much.  So I made a quick cloth lining, organized all my yarn into one place and popped the top on.   Now I can knit in my favorite chair and have a place to put my coffee. 

ahhh,  if only all projects could be this quick & satisfying. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Carhartt coveralls,  a spring must.  Found this pair on accident at a thrift shop, I'm not sure what we would have done without them.  The boys have been outside much much more these days.  I'm starting to feel OK with the fact that we're not that into winter outdoor play, so we're making up for lost time. 

Spotted the first snowdrops in my yard today, thrilling.

At my in-laws place, a majestic crumbly old barn.  I feel like a kid again exploring each corner, looking for treasure but finding a surly barn cat. 

Sap, hoping to get lots of it.  It's our first try at collecting maple sap from our yard & across the street.  Feeling very optimistic that we may get 1 gallon of our own syrup. 

but that would mean that we would need 30 gallons to boil down.    maybe we should change it to a 12 oz. jar?

chickens scratching up the yard, unearthing our spring for us.  Hope you're having a good spring-ish week. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

finally finished with the february lady

whoa !  finished, and in February no less. I am shocked and thrilled that I actaully knit this! As many of you know this is the February Lady Sweater found on Ravelry and on flint knit's blog.  I found the instructions well written and once I got that gull-lace pattern down I could probably knit it in my sleep. I used peace fleece and thanks to Beth and Molly for helping me select this perfect color.  Ohh, what's next???? But I think my knitting season is over, and onto other projects.  Maybe homemade maple syrup???? A gnome collecting apples??  stay tuned folks