Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tin Can Knits?

On my knitting post binge, here is a gift from Tin Can Knits (which I love!).  They have a learn to knit guide with free patterns...which are all most gorgeous and earthy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Need Sock Yarn Advice

Sock Yarns....  I am hoping to hold a knitting session down here to teach some people how to make socks.  Which sock yarn do you like?  Do you have a favorite?  I've narrowed it down to these 3.  Feel free to make other suggestions.  I need it to be affordable and beautiful as well as ethical.  Much love!

Jojoland Melody SW Fingering Weight

Malabrigo Sock Yarn

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years Knitsolutions

Here it is!  My 2015 Knew Years Knit-olutions!  A glorious (and ambitious) list of all that I plan to knit this year.  Go Go Go!

The Simple Baby Pullover -

Hot Water Bottle Cover -

Aviatrix Hat -

Calm Cowl - 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Baby Girl

We had our baby girl in a birth pool by the light of a candle.  It was a romantic birth.  It was a triumphant birth with a great team of attendants!  The house was full of rejoicing and we couldn't cease to be in awe ourselves. 

Here are a few pictures of our first moments together.  Baby Completely was 7# 14 oz, 19.5 inches long.  She is named Madeline Reina Skye Young.  What a sweet and majestic thing she is!

 Still in the pool, first minute of contact.

What a great midwife!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall-time Home Freshener Craft

This is a great fall-time craft to do with your kids!  These 'cookies' are decorative ornaments.  They make great gifts.

They are naturally preserved with cinnamon and are additionally scented with essential oils, making them the perfect all-natural air fresheners.  The only other ingredient is applesauce!

We arranged a playdate and brought the camera along to document the fun.  Here is the recipe...hope you enjoy it!

  • Grind up apples (without cores, but we left the skins on which leave a nice textured and varied appearance in the final cookie).  We used about 8-10 apples.  The applesauce we used is home-ground and raw.  If you use store-bought applesauce, prepare to bake the cookies longer and add more cinnamon as it has a higher water content.

  •  Add cinnamon and stir very well until the texture is like a play-dough.  Not crumbly at all, but not too soft.  It should be somewhat firm when squeezed into a ball.  We used over 2 cups approximately of cinnamon.  You can also use other spices like nutmeg, allspice, clove, ginger, etc.

The formed balls:

  • Roll between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper.  Roll about 1/4" thick.  Make sure it's not too thin!  The thinner the cookie, the more fragile the cookie.

  •  Select shapes and press cookies.

We let each of the kids make 3 cookies.

  •  Bake around 200 degrees for 2 hours or until the cookies are fully dehydrated.  They are cooked low and for so long because you don't want to burn them, only to evaporate the liquid in the applesauce.  This will give you a nicely preserved cookie which will not go bad.  These smell so good while baking!
  • Use a straw and poke a hole in each cookie where you'd like to hang the string.  You have to suck a little to get the plug out, but make sure you don't inhale it!

  • Attach a piece of string to each.

  •  Drop a few drops of clove, cinnamon or any spicy scented oil that you would like to freshen your home with onto the cookie.  Here we are spraying the cookie with essential oils (this is thieves oil).  

Then hang your cookies around your home.  They look awesome in windows!  The cookies will last a very long time.  This is an old folk craft and is so practical.  We had a lot of fun getting together and the kids loved it too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eric Carle Love

Etienne loves Eric Carle books.  The first book he ever took interest in was Mr. Seahorse.

Naomi wasn't really into Eric Carle books so we never spent too much time with them.  Since Etienne's infatuation, I have grown to share in his adoration of these books.

And we also learned that Etienne calms right down for his naps despite the stimulating colors and pictures of Brown Bear, Brown Bear...

So we take it everywhere we go!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Naturally Crafting! pt. 1

Education is massively important to us...Even if our 'school time' turns out like this...

When thinking of kids education models that I have seen, I never enjoyed craft supplies, craft ideas, the thought of nasty messes and cheesy projects.

Since Naomi has become of learning age a few years ago, I have found some things I love about teaching little kids, working with them and most recently, naturally crafting!

A big part of my belief system is that all things should be done as local and as natural as possible.  Cutting corners and going the 'easy' route does not appeal to me and even demotivates my creative spirit.

Two years ago, we began playing school with Naomi.  Mostly we read books and made drawings, sang songs, played music, ran around, etc.  Last year we began to study Waldorf schooling methods and I fell in love with the book Seven Times the Sun  (Book Information Can Be Found HERE).  We fell in love with finger-plays and also began to study Montessori methods of teaching as well as reading A Child in the Family by Maria Montessori (An essential read for any parent).

In our schooling last year we collected natural plants and flowers and pressed them, making Thanksgiving cards for our friends and family (I still have a few to send out...woops!).  We worked with 100% wool yarn and knitted with huge antique knitting needles while singing.  etc....  We played piano and sang as loud as we possibly could, improvising songs and learning Elizabeth Mitchell songs and folk songs from around the world, in more languages than one....Naomi often played her pink ukulele and the violin.

This year I am thankful to be inspired to delve deeper into a natural way of crafting and education.  Over the summer, while being involved in a kids program, I got so tired of seeing throw-away and junk materials being used.  People do these things because it's 'easy' to order and kids know what to do with them.  I am SO guilty of doing this myself in many kids programs I've been in charge of over the years.  I left that event determined that there is not only a cheaper way, but a more beautiful, more natural, exciting way to get the kids involved in a closed-system of crafting.  Crafts you'll want in your home.  Ones you won't want to throw away.  Beautiful crafts with meaning.

They create the craft supplies, then they create WITH the craft supplies.  We use inexpensive sustainable materials.  We re-use, recycle, up-cycle and honor a very real system of creativity within us.  This is a nourishing and deeply gratifying approach to crafting, and for once, I am excited about arts and crafts!

Here are some great links I've found recently: -  Lots of great craft projects, mostly natural materials, wholesome season-based homeschool curriculums, etc... - Many homeschooling resources, beautiful website, printables, crafts, natural minded... -  Great website!  EVEN YOUR GLUE CAN BE MADE AT HOME!

You bet I will be spreading these resources as much as I can to people who I know who help to plan children's activities.  Please do this as well.  Don't let your kids hate art like I always did because of the cheap, nasty art supplies that are normally used.  My deeper senses have always told me to stay away from them.  Now I can't stop thinking of crafting!  Give me some wool, beeswax, hemp, wood, even natural watercolors!