Monday, November 25, 2013

fabric fever

yes, there has been more sewing.
i have wanted to make one of those fabric banners for quite a long time now. i have made paper banners before... i made a little tutorial here. the fabric banner has been on my list for years though, and now that i finally made one i can't stop laughing at myself. it was so EASY!!! i always knew that it would be... so that wasn't really too much of a surprise... but none the less i put it off for years. silly me. i am now very excited to make more of these fun little banners... maybe for every room in the house? at least every bedroom. i have cut fabric and started sewing on another project though... and i will share that one soon. it is special for my layla bee. i also plan to cut the batting for my first honey bun pouf over this next week. yes, fabric fever indeed. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

as the days grow short

  • i love these beautiful foggy mornings... there is something mysterious and magical about the mix of fog and vibrant fall trees.
  • we are so close to the shortest day now and once again i feel it's effect on my family.... everyone tired and a bit more irritable this time of year... i'm glad we have lots of holiday celebrating to get us through.
  • i have been consistently working on one creative project or the other... it feels so good.
  • my creative spirits have been giving my children a pull to come work along side me on some projects of their own.... we are all falling in love with the stamp making.
  • the christmas spirit is catching in this house and will soon be spreading like a wild fire.
  • i never thought i would be one to play christmas music before thanksgiving... but i surprised myself this year with a yearning for old bing crosby... nothing gets me in the christmas spirit like "have yourself a merry little christmas".

if your interested in stamp making the book that we learned from is in the reading section of my sidebar... it is called "making an impression" and if you click on the picture it will redirect you to amazon where you can look inside the book and read reviews... it is a very inspiring book.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

calendar art

i save calendars.

every year i always buy a new (or more often a few new) calendars... all with beautiful art. i also always buy plain black or white frames any time i see them on a good sale. the pictures in the white frames were from my 2012 calendar... layla's room had barely gotten started but i knew that calendar would make beautiful art for her room. we had a lot of fun deciding how to cut the pictures. i had different plans for the large black frames but maiko decided to cut up his current calendar. the small ones in the front are from our ecological calendar... which i love. it has four panels... equinox to solstice... solstice to equinox... it shows the moon phases... tide changes... constellations... and my favorite part... the changing amount of daylight. anyway, i'm sure i'm not the first to think of this... but i am excited about the way it's working out. i am also excited about the nicki mcclure calendar that i haven't even started on yet.... and the fact that taproot is issuing a phobe wahl calendar for 2014... oh yes, i am all over that one. 12 phobe wahl prints... in black frames... gallery style in my living room... love it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

some late season apple pressing

we pressed apples last weekend. the weather was beautiful... it did not feel like november. grandma patti and papa chuck came to visit from the valley and brought around 18 boxes of apples with them. we all juiced them together with grammy and grampy's apple press and ended up with around 12-14 gallons of juice (even with all of the sampling).
i can't help but feel a little guilt in my neglect of our own apples this year. i only picked one little box. luckily grampy was pretty on top of things and picked most of the apples and pressed them with my children. we drank all of that juice fresh (and there was a lot of it), but of course four kids can put away a great deal of juice.
anyway, back to last weekend. we strained all of the juice through cheesecloth and poured a great deal into gallon jugs and the the rest into a large pan for pasteurizing. papa and grandma preserve their juice by pouring it into gallon jugs and freezing them... quite genius really.... they said it stays very fresh tasting that way, and it is quick. i plan to bottle ours (if we don't drink it all first).
one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh apple juice is in a wassailish cider way... simmered on the stove top with a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, a few allspice berries, a few cardamon pods, and a vanilla bean (broken into pieces). you should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local natural foods market.... and you don't have to have fresh apple juice to enjoy this. it is fabulous on a cold day to just leave it on the stove. you will know it is ready when you can smell the spices.

Friday, November 8, 2013

two little girls and their farm

i took these photos in the beginning of october... on a day that felt completely summer. we took a little walk down to the barn for some hay (to spread in the chicken coop i had just mucked out) and i actually remembered to grab the camera. i love it when i remember the camera. usually we get to the barn and then i think of the camera. it's a typical jenny move... remembering something at the wrong time... i'm known for it. 
for those of you that have never seen our home... well... there it is. the shop (where matt works) is to the left behind the apple trees. the shed in the back of the house is pretty run down but i have some pretty great "someday" plans for it. the little lean-too thing on the back of the shed is the chicken coop. the big window in the middle of the house is where my kitchen is, and the window above that is maiko's bedroom. and those big trees on the west side of the house are the ones that scare me every time we have a big wind storm. 
i'll never forget the first time i fell in love with this house. someone else was living in it... a couple was renting it from mark and lisa.... and for some reason i was walking by at dusk. there was a lamp in that big kitchen window and there was such a great glow from it. the warm glow from the house complemented by the sunset on the water took my breath away. i love this home.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

pressing forward

it feels so good to finally be making steady progress on this project of mine. the cutting is getting a bit daunting, but i am almost completely finished cutting the fabric for four large honey bun poufs (aka awesome floor cushions). the bad news is that once i am done cutting fabric i have to start cutting batting. i have decided that i will cut the batting for one pouf at a time though... then sew that pouf... then back to batting cutting. i can't wait to get to the sewing... i am really missing the hum of that little machine.
i am also very excited to be using this "desk space" of mine as it was originally intended to be used... as space. space for projects to be left out and available whenever i have a moment to devote to them. it is kind of amazing the difference it makes. suddenly a half an hour on a project between finishing homework  and starting dinner is plenty of time to make real progress.
aahh... progress.... it's a beautiful feeling.
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