Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Little Doll Maker

So, my funny little lady started preschool on Wednesday, and I did indeed feel terribly weepy and nervous with thoughts like... "how could I ever let my little girl go off into this big strange world on her own?" But she did okay, and she wasn't alone... lots of lovely kids and a teacher and aids that seem very nice, and also a new imaginary friend. "Ella Korea" is her name. She lives in the white house next door and also somehow at my parents house and she is their daughter. She has pink hair and two braids and a very long pink flower petal skirt, and she is a Native American, and also somehow Oona's big sister... and Ella can do anything Oona can't do and fix anything Oona can't fix. An amazing friend and big sister to have... if only she was real!

There were a few rough spots the first day and so we celebrated with homemade orange ice cream and made a corn husk fairy. Oona has been asking to make dolls a lot lately, so with some help, we used are own tiny corn husks to make this girl. The corn husks were small because I keep having to pick the corn early as some little critter has been helping itself to it. Anyways, we dried the husks hoping to make a family, but only had enough for this one girl. Oona did the painting with watercolors, and Mama not so skillfully put it together.

This doll making fascination came about one day in the garden. She said she was going to work in Daddy's workshop, and so I asked if she was going to repair instruments (that's what Daddy does), and she said "no, I'm going to make dollies... glass dollies." As glass dollies were a bit beyond our skill level, we compromised on clothes pin and corn husk dollies. I  have no idea what's next for our little doll maker... perhaps paper dolls?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mermaid Family

Oona: Mama, can you make a mermaid tail for Little Oona?..."
Me: Ok
Oona: And Mama and Dadda and Little Elsa...
Me: Um... Ur... Ok

 Moral of the story: be careful the contracts you enter into with your children... they may take far longer than they have any right to

*The good news is that the little family can take off their tails whenever they like.

Joining in again with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams. Have a project? You can too!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Into the Woods

A gift for a small friend... another reversible apron.

Signs of Autumn spotted on our last camping trip...

Oh yes, now you've made a mess, time to switch sides!

Last week there was lots of time spent in the inside world sewing and dreaming of projects to come as the rain poured down outside. This week , the forecast is just right for adventures! I'm sure they await down leafy paths, in small clearings, by thickets of blackberries, under the moonlight and next to babbling brooks. See you soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

34/52 Mossy Perch

"A portrait of my girls once a week, every week in 2014"
Elsa: before her first haircut, touching every bit of the Earth around her
Oona: sunshine and moss... what more does a child need?

Lately I've been trying a practice called "Earthing"  (something we all do from time to time)... simply put, it's walking barefoot on the Earth. I don't know if the science behind it is right, but it definitely feels good, especially when done mindfully... just like sitting in the sunshine for a few moments... stepping on the raw dirt or sand seems to energize you! Read a more detailed explanation about it here! I think I'm going to try lying out on the grass with the girls today for a little while if they'll sit still... perhaps the beginning of a simple meditation practice for them.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Change in the Air

All summer  long I've been telling Oona that she'll be starting school in the Fall. Of course that is technically a lie, but school as a child is often symbolically linked with the start of Autumn. Unfortunately, Fall started very early for us this year with all the rain, so it's felt like Fall since the beginning of August. I hope she's not too confused by all this. Those big gorgeous sunflowers outside our door are saying, "Welcome Autumn! Come anytime you like!"

 Anyhow, back to school clothes around here are mostly going to be of the handmade variety, I suspect. The first request was for a good twirly skirt. Yes, it must have a good twirl or it's simply useless! Thankfully, skirts are quick to whip up. I'm going to make a matching blue blouse to go with it, and then she'll have a very Wildwood first day of school outfit.

Weather permitting, we're going to have one last summer hurrah before our big girl is off to school. My, these early years pass so quickly!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunny Weather List: Moose and Mushrooms

Sunny Weather List: (a little bit of sunshine no matter the weather)
- seeing a cheeky moose while driving who gave us the raspberries
- nature walks with the girls
- collecting food for Oona's imaginary deer friend
- giving Elsa her first haircut
- making homemade veggie burgers today (recipe to come!)
- grand plans for making corn husk dolls with Oona
- harvesting the first potatoes and corn
- crocheting mermaid tails for dollies
- coffee with foamed milk
- hearty breakfast of omelets and home fries (yes, potatoes and many veggies were from the garden)
- homemade almond ice cream
- visiting friends in Montpelier
 - sewing a little something for Oona's first day of school
- baby sleeping in my arms

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gifts from the Garden

Garlic, herbs and mint hanging to dry, endless green salads with beautiful flowers to garnish, cukes that need pickling, freshly dug potatoes and pulled corn, bright orange and red tomatoes for sauces and omelets... yes, even though I'm sure our harvest could be improved, we feel lucky to have so much goodness coming from the Earth! I love to be able to make so many delicious homemade meals.

Years ago, we gave up on store bought pasta sauce to cut down on all the extra sugar and preservatives, and we've never looked back. Today I wanted to share with you our no fuss pasta sauce recipe, which is also great on calzones and pizza. It's quick and easy, and a zillion times better than anything on the shelves. This is usually enough for one box of pasta.

Wildwood Tomato Sauce:
- 4 to five medium tomatoes (Roma are good, but we often use the equivalent weight in cherry and sungold tomatoes... any kind will work... choose your favorite!)
- half a medium onion diced
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic
-teaspoon fresh basil chopped
-1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
- handful of baby spinach
- splash of balsamic or apple cider vinegar (optional)
- spoon of honey (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for cooking

In a frying pan on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil and honey until onions are translucent. Adding the honey now gives a slight caramelizing effect. Next add the spinach and fresh herbs and cook a few minutes. Now add your chopped tomatoes and all other ingredients to the mix. Simmer for five to ten minutes, and then puree. You can leave it a little chunky if you like or blend it smooth. Poor back in the pan and let simmer on low for another ten to twenty minutes to let the flavors seep in. It doesn't have to cook for hours to taste great! Make sure to taste test it to see if you need more salt or honey. Enjoy! (We usually start the pasta water right before making the sauce, and they are usually finished around the same time.)