December 27, 2013


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


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! 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 (:
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