Friday, December 28, 2012

Moments from the Week

Christmas morning

Playing outside

Playing inside

Assembling the hockey nets

Playing hockey

Wondering when we will skate again after all the snow

Keeping the chairs down to keep the little one safe - she is such a climber.

Sarah helping with the lemon yogurt cake.  She is wearing the Plain Vest I knit for her.

Wishing you lots of beautiful moments in the coming days,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Knitting and Reading

See the beautiful pink knit blanket?  Thomas' girlfriend, Sam, knit that for Emmy for Christmas.  She is an avid knitter!

I finished up a few Christmas projects and am happy to be starting fresh on some ideas.  The two projects cast on in the picture above are scarves.  I found a nice simple pattern that I really don't have to count or keep track!
Here is the pattern:
Cast on 22 stitches
Knit 2 rows
Here is the repeat -
Row 1:  Knit
Row 2:  Knit 2, Purl to 2 stitches from the end, Knit 2
Row 3:  Knit 2, Knit 2 together (3 x), Increase 1, Knit 1 (6 times), Knit 2 together (3x), Knit 2
Row 4:  Knit

Using a heavier worsted weight yarn (peace fleece) and size 10 needles, it knits up quickly.

I am reading a Wendell Berry book of essays - Home Economics.  Berry is one of my favorite authors and we are excited to have become friends with a family from church that agree and 
are sharing their library with us.

Looking forward to sharing projects and books this coming year with the Yarn Along at Small Things.

Warm wishes,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a beautiful Christmas.  There is so much beauty to be seen and appreciated if we just take the time to look.   
With love and peace,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Morning Pictures

Sarah (age 8) took these pictures this morning -

Wishing you a day filled with blessings,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Maple Walnuts

This is a delicious quick gift to make.  For gift-giving I filled some older canning jars I found at a yard sale this summer for 25 cents each.  I doubled this recipe and it filled three pints.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter (we only had salted and it was fine)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse salt (I just used sea salt)
2 cups walnuts (6 ounces)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer (mixture should be frothy), about 3 minutes. Add walnuts, and toss to coat using a rubber spatula. Cook, stirring, until sauce is syrupy and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Transfer walnut mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread into a single layer. Bake until walnuts are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack. Stir, and let stand until cool and hardened, about 30 minutes

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just Holding On

to the simple joys of watching my children playing while praying for the parents that won't be able to again.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Stocking for Emmy

I found a naturally colored wool blanket at a thrift store for $3.00 a few weeks ago and have been hand dyeing sections of it.  Using some of the green wool, some vintage lace a neighbor gave me, some fabric in my stash and some of our handmade hemlock buttons, I sewed Emmy a stocking.  I did make a mistake by not figuring out how to sew it properly so I could fold over the top section which resulted in the stocking being  longer than I would have liked. 

What last minute projects are you working on?

Warm wishes,

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Nolan, our second oldest, turned seventeen on Tuesday. 

He requested CD's of some of his favorite groups - mostly Christian rock and rap.
His (girl) friend joined us in the celebration and surprised him with his own ping pong paddle as they have very competitive matches. 
His brother surprised him by joining us for dinner - a quick trip home from college.

Nolan has grown so much over the past year in terms of maturation and I feel blessed to be a mom of two young men now.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knitting and Reading

On the needles are two Christmas gifts - a plain vest in a size 7/8 for Sarah and a simple ribbed hat in black for one of my men.  Into the mix just to keep things interesting, I have started to make granny squares of some yarn that I dyed - some plant dyes and some low impact acid dyes.

I know that God led me to this book- Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth.   When reading the description, I did not know that it was based on one family's journey to a simpler life based on their findings in the Bible.  This is just what I needed right now.  I have a tendency to ebb and flow with organized church.  We go every Sunday and generally, of course, I love the people, but  meeting others that have similar values as myself in terms of caring for God's creations, well that is rare.  I have been thankful to come across other Christian simple living types through the blogging world, however.    The author of this book has started a nonprofit called Blessed Earth - a faith-based, environmental nonprofit organization.  I am eager to learn more about this nonprofit and to work my way through her book and will share more here on my blog.

Joining in with Ginny today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boxes and Boxes

Make great building blocks!
This was the most we have shipped on one day.    Looking forward to some slower days ahead.

More importantly, I would like to direct you to this post at Small Things.  I have been friends with Lisa for several years now and know that she is a sweet, giving, and kind person.  She and her family now need our help.  If you feel led to give, please do.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 10, 2012


Sarah asked me last night if she could make her own patchwork quilt.  I, of course, started reciting all of the reasons why right now would not be the best time to start such a project.  But, first thing this morning, in Sarah fashion, her requests were repeated and how could I not help her get started.  

We were out of candles for our advent log and Abraham helped me dip some more beeswax tapers.

A quick little ornament inspired by a pinterest pin.

Sanding wooden blocks, cutting out pictures and then coloring and gluing to make a little nativity scene.

And Abby has been needle felting.

What are you making?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Today I am

wood burning, finishing and packaging birch branch ornaments

keeping the busyness in perspective - that the orders will slow down soon and to be grateful for the much needed business

sometimes failing at this - miserably

thinking about how wonderful it will be to browse the seed catalogs after Christmas

finally saying yes to the hundreds of requests to "can we please do the gingerbread men now?"

thankful to the family friend that gave the gingerbread making kit to the children

remembering that all of the sweetness is just a special treat and not to worry too much

grateful that Emily is much better, but feeling badly for Abraham as his body works on recovering now

boiling water with eucalyptus drops to help with the congestion

thinking lots about all those that have to struggle so much more than our family and coming up with ideas to do what we can

admiring my new shipment of yarn from Peace Fleece - their new rustic colors are just beautiful and their new blends of wool seem softer to me

dreaming about what I will knit with the new yarn and looking forward to having more time to do so soon

loving our chalkboard quote 

what are you doing today?
warm wishes,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sun Catchers

Abby, our twelve year old daughter, has been busy making these beautiful sun catchers.  They truly add a bit of sunshine to these darker days of December.

She is excited to be offering a few of  them for sale in one of our etsy shops.

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yarn Along!

Happy to be here this Wednesday - somehow working to get through one minute at a time during this super busy season.  We are blessed to be busy with our business, but knitting truly helps to keep me sane
through it all.

I am finishing up a Plain Vest for a customer in a Peace Fleece brown wool with beautiful flecks of color in a size 3T.  I also just cast on a Plain Vest in a size 7/8 for Sarah for Christmas in Peace Fleece lavender.  I know she will love it.    Here and there I am working on finishing some more gnome dolls in Peace Fleece naturally dyed wool yarn.  I really like the soft colors of the hand dyed yarns.

Reading has been nearly non existent.  However, I do attempt to get a few pages read before falling asleep.  Emily is getting better and I am so thankful that we have been able to get a bit more sleep each night.  The new issue of Taproot has arrived and I am hopeful to make myself squeeze in a bit of time with a cup of tea to get at least an article or two read.  I did glance through it and had to stop myself from casting on for that beautiful knit blanket.  I have a bad habit of having far too many projects going on at one time.

Do you have any suggestions for some quick knit gifts?
  Looking forward to all of the sharing today with Ginny.

Warm wishes,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Natural History Museum

The sign on the door.

The collection box for the admission fee of 50 cents with a sign in sheet if you want to know about museum updates.

Feather collection, rock collection, and even an owl skull.

Sarah set this up yesterday and today she is in the process of creating an art gallery:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Simple Traditions

Finding a tree on the edge of our property
Giving the clippings to the goats
Enjoying the bit of greenery inside

My words may be few as I nurse a little one back to health, fill and package our orders, and work to squeeze in some holiday crafting and baking.  I hope to at least share images, though, as we enjoy this beautiful season.

Warm wishes,