December 27, 2013

Pippin!


Woolly Pippin is a bit of a dork, I have to say. Just look at him!
Oh, but he is so cute, I wish he would let me throw my arms around him and squeeze him! 
He's not much of a snuggler though, but when he was a wee baby lamb he loved to be picked up and held; he always settled right down when he was in my arms, and his first few nights with us he cried unless he was sleeping right on my chest.
Now that he is grown, he will tolerate my petting his cheeks and ears if he is very content and sleepy, and if I kneel down low, he likes kisses on the lips - no lie! He has always been a kisser, not a hugger (-;
He is such a fine, handsome fella, and he makes me laugh nearly every day!
Sheep are the best. They really are.

December 26, 2013

A handmade Christmas


We had so much fun this year, making gifts for one another!

From the top: Jason built this covered wagon from vintage wagon parts (wheels, axles, handle), reclaimed wood and some newer wooden pieces for the top arches. I sewed the cover from some canvas we had left over from art school (:

Bow and arrows: Jason made the bow from green twigs and paracord. The arrows he made from green twigs and birch bark.

Wooden snakes: My Dad gave us a bunch of wooden wheel segments with holes drilled in the centers, so Jason strung them together with leather cord and I painted faces on them.

Mullein-Beeswax torches: We saved the stalks from our mullein plants. When dried, Jason cut them into parts, dipped in melted beeswax and made me a whole basket full of 'candles'!

Wooden hen pull toy: Jason designed this so that as the hen rolls along, it lays a wooden egg! He cut and assembled the hen and I painted it (:

Arrows (close-up)

Toy cars: I drew some car shapes on reclaimed wood, Jason cut them out with the jigsaw and Jude painted and then drew onto the cars. This was Jude's gift to Ollie (:

Covered wagon again, this time with happy kids inside!

Super-hero puzzle: Jude has been obsessed with being a super-hero, of course with Ollie as his baby superhero sidekick, so I made an illustrated puzzle of the two of them in their superhero gear (-;

Isabella also made the boys some puzzle blocks and I made her and my sister both hand-painted pendants. Jason made me a cool picture to hang as well - one of me and Teapot together, mounted on a piece of barnboard and sealed with an epoxy-type resin. Very cool. We also gifted Mom and Tash some beeswax ornaments made from some cast-iron moulds Jason found in a dilapidated century building, and he crafted an antique cupboard door into a chalkboard/bulletin board with an antique railway tie to hold a piece of chalk and two old nails holding a length of wire for attaching pictures along the bottom. Difficult to describe but utterly wonderful. He made me the same thing for my birthday (:







Happy holidays (:


December 21, 2013

making!


Isabella made these awesome ornaments!

I was very impressed. I had borrowed my Mom's wood burning tool, hoping to make a few things this holiday season, but it was Bella who ended up using it.

Jason and I are SO busy here, making-making-making gifts for Christmas. We have been working on things in stolen moments, but now that the 'big day' is so quickly approaching, we have put the creativity into high gear; Jason is spending time with the little ones while I work upstairs in my (until now, pretty much unused) studio. It has been odd delving into so many creative projects after not doing anything for so long, but I very quickly found a flow and have accomplished much in a short time (:

Between us, Jason and I have created a covered wagon for the kids to play in, a wooden pulley painted toy hen that lays eggs, a hand-illustrated puzzle, painted wood slice pendants, and 2 wooden toy snakes. I have a couple more ideas too, that I hope to get to but we shall see (:

December 19, 2013

Ah, brotherly love (:


See Ollie peacefully eating his snowball, but wait! What is Jude going to do with his?
Boys are hilarious (-;

And in case you were wondering, they were inside our old, moss-covered silo (:

December 15, 2013

It's cold.


Here is a picture of my mom, walking in the pasture with Ollie and Jude.
We went out hoping to find her a nice little Christmas tree to bring home with her but the wind was so sharp, the kiddos needed to come back inside and warm up. 
It is so very cold here that our pipes froze. This has happened before; it gets so friggin' cold here!
On days like these I wonder what I was thinking when I left northern California! But then, the lifestyle we lead here is so full and rich and very much an outward expression of the inner spirits of Jason and I, so in this way there is no comparison (: 
We had fun when we lived in CA; we went somewhere scenic every change we got ~ museums, ethnic restaurants, street festivals, national  parks and many, many beaches, new towns and cities, etc, etc, etc...but there is something about waking in this wonderful little farm in the forest, in the quiet of this place, that completes me more than all of those other lovely experiences, and that is the simple fact that I am building this life, not just sampling. It is hard work, and I get mighty tired and overwhelmed but I LOVE it. 
Each morning when I wake in our cold, old farmhouse, I make the kids breakfast, put on the kettle for tea and then go straight out to the barn to let out the chickens, the sheep and the goat, get them food and water, etc.. and as freezing and miserable as it may be, I always linger there with them for I love them so, and I love to be in their space. I actually very much enjoy barn chores too.


December 11, 2013

13 on this day.



13 years ago, at 8 o'clock in the morning, I brought into the world a girl-child.
The world was covered in snow; it had been falling-falling-falling all night long.
It was beautiful.
It was also one of the most profound, most sacred, most joyful times of my life.
Much has changed since then. Lots of change, lots of growth. Lots of life.
She grows, I grow, and I am amazed that she can be so tall now, and that it seemed to happen in the mere blink of an eye. 13 years old. To have a daughter who is so clever, creative and kind, I am blessed.
A winter-child, she walks barefoot in the snow and smiles.



December 7, 2013

This week I made..




From the top: 


Simple kale pizza with cheddar cheese and a spelt crust

Quinoa salad with chickpeas, dried cranberries, kale and a balsamic dressing.

Squishy spelt ginger cookies.

I also made, but did not photograph, a spelt chocolate cake. I just made it for fun, no birthdays attached! But..my Bella's birthday is coming next week so there is more baking to come!


December 4, 2013

We love this time of year!




With the very first snowfall this year, I secretly started playing holiday music. It was only November, after all! Then Jason took Jude out into the woods on the very last day of November and came home with this amazingly beautiful Christmas tree, and between the five of us, we had it up and decorated by the end of the night! It is the best one yet I think. I have loved all our trees, right back to the spindly redwood in a pot that we had in our California apartment (: But with a large tree comes a need for more ornaments, and what better way to adorn such a beauty than to do so with ones' own hands! Jude and I have been busy. We have made yarn-wrapped stars, spools and sheep in the past week, and I also made a bunch of stamped mushroom ornaments. Jason sliced an orange and hung those on the tree. Isabella made one of her famous happy cupcakes on cardstock-type paper and sparkled it up with glitter glue. So far, this tree is being treated very nicely indeed (:

Next, gingerbread (:

December 2, 2013

Ollie and his very own chicken


Here is Olllie with his special chicken (: She is very sweet and always lets him 'catch' her, even though he is obviously very slow, clumsy and toddler-ish. I think she likes being held, although I don't know why; I'm sure Ollie squishes her pretty hard! But he is so very fond of her, and when he sees her he exclaims with much excitement, "Mine! My chicken!" It is so wonderful to see (:

November 28, 2013

smudge


When I was growing up, my mother burned wild sage in our home.

In each of my dwellings since then, I too have burned the sacred sage, even setting off the fire alarm in our city apartment a couple times (oops!). When we drove across country from Ontario to California six years ago, I gathered sage from the roadside fields of New Mexico and Colorado, two bags full, and bound them into smudge sticks once we returned home. They were lovely!
I am nearly finished my very last bundle; there are just a few sprigs left. It was actually one of two I had given my Mom as a gift, but she felt them too special to burn so she saved them all these years until she finally gifted them back to me. I suppose I can't just pop out and drive a few states over to find the good wild stuff anymore, so I am hoping to start growing my own in the spring, right here on my own land.

Whenever we are having a particularly difficult day, for whatever reason, I smudge our home and peace is restored. It cleanses the spirit in the most profound way; what a wonderful gift!
On this day, which also happens to be Thanksgiving in the USA, my gratitude flows freely for the sacred sage which has traveled with me through my living all these years (:

November 27, 2013

Oh!

 Last week in front of the barn:


This week in front of the barn:


Hmm. I think it's winter!


November 26, 2013

All three of my lovelies (:


^__^

This photo was taken a few weeks ago, as can be witnessed by the beautiful bits of green. Now all is brown, gray and white as winter leaps in at us. Yesterday Jason and I wrapped the firewood porch in plastic and hauled all the toys into the garage for the winter.

Aren't my lovely ones, well, lovely? I suppose the lambs are about 8 months old now, and though they may look like sheep, they are babies really. They are so sweet. Never has anything brought me so much joy as these guys. And Talulah too of course! She is hilarious, a great goat-y friend (:

November 19, 2013

Beautiful Teapot


Ollie loves soup!


This picture was taken last night, when Ollie was eating his birthday soup.
Of all my three children, this guy is the first to really love soup, which is good because we need to make a whole lot of it this winter; there are piles and piles of squash from the garden just begging to be made into soup!
Ollie's 2nd birthday was very, very mellow, but that is the way we all like it anyway (:
Jude and I started making Ollie's cupcakes (chocolate spelt) first thing in the morning. I mean, seriously first thing - Before tea and breakfast even! Ollie was still asleep and we were able to get everything measured and mixed before he even woke up. Of course they were excited as anything at the existence of cupcakes, so once they were baked and iced, we all had one. It was morning (:



Then, we played. A normal day for the most part, although Isabella stayed home from school so that was an extra bit of excitement. Ollie spied her straightening her hair and asked if she would do his too, so she did. And then she straightened half of Jude's hair before he ran away, and then they wanted their nails painted, so we did that too. (:
When Daddy got home from work, we ate dinner (soup and quiche) and then the cupcakes. I made a bunch of simple  drawings and taped them to toothpicks for cake-toppers, just basic designs that Ollie could identify, all animals. He had two presents which Jude was more than happy to unwrap for him. A good helper, hmmn?



And of course, everyone was so excited, and a bit wired because of the cupcakes, that they ran around the house screaming and being wild until they crashed, much later than a usual bedtime (-;

And so it is, my baby-love is 2.


^--^



November 18, 2013

Ollie is Two!!


Two years ago on this very night, Ollie came into the world and oh, we were so happy!
He is a spirit bursting with joy and love. We adore him so!
Today he is two. Hooray! Happy birthday, dear child, my beautiful, wonderful boy (:

November 13, 2013

love


Sweet little guy, doing sweet little guy things (:
Ollie is almost 2 years old,although I have no idea how that happened!
He brings me so much joy, that I often find myself stopping whatever I am doing to take a deep, much-needed breath and, with a bit of a happy tear in my eye, marvel at his wonderfulness. My sweet baby-man (: 


November 10, 2013

the things that make me smile (:


Isabella came up with this fun idea for a drawing; illustrations of all the things that make you smile, or at the very least, make you feel happy inside (: The top one is mine...


And here is Isabella's, in process. I have always loved to make quick little drawings, so this was very fun (:


November 8, 2013

The most recent of our creative escapades


Painting with a bingo dabber. Is that what you call them? At any rate, both boys made at least 10 polka-dot pictures, dotted their hands, the table, their cheeks...I have since tucked the bingo dabber away for a little rest!


Making fire extinguishers out of logs! Jude has been very dedicated to fire safety as of late. He and Ollie both have a fire helmet, but we had to get really creative when it came to obtaining an extinguisher (-;


Tempera paint in a freezer bag. Jude thought this was pretty awesome, Ollie not so much. The bags did not break open despite all the boy-play they endured! Woo hoo!




Good old-fashioned drawing. Jude draws every day, and for longer and longer periods. Here he is perfecting his axes and hammers! He is a big fan of chainsaws, rockets and laser shooters too (-;


More drawing! This is Santa's scroll (:


And here he is drawing a ninja, dressed as a ninja (:


^__^



November 6, 2013

Golden Eagle on our land




This magnificent bird came to our homestead yesterday and ate one of our hens. He is a golden eagle, a rarity, and also considered endangered. He allowed me to take pictures of him. It was dusk unfortunately so the pictures do not do him justice. He was huge, and he flew from the tree in this photo, swooped over me and landed in another tree, one that faces our main living space, so that everyone could peer out and get a good look at him. 
I consider a visiting eagle an amazing gift, but I hope he intends to carry on his journey soon.
The chickens are all locked up today, and will be for another few days. 
I saw him first thing this morning in the tree overlooking our living room and heard his screeching deep in the woods today so I know he is staying near for another delicious chicken meal.

November 5, 2013

Recent food around here!


Getting ready for applesauce


Butternut squash soup


Carrot cake with cream cheese icing made all pretty


Roasted garden tomatoes, ready to be made into soup


Homemade spelt bread


Spelt bread french toast


Slightly overcooked but amazingly delicious quiche


Ground cherries grow here!


Cherry cream cheese coffee cake


Wild apple sauce


The cure-all for tough days: popcorn


Acorn squash roasted and all ready to be made into lots and lots of soup


Wild apple slices dried in front of our wood stove 

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