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Archive for December, 2011




There was some serious making happening over here in the sparkling days leading up to Christmas.  The merriest kind of making.

There was the stitching and glue-gunning of felted acorn and little clothespin elf ornaments.  I was delighted that Eli wanted to join in.  Really I think it was the lure of the glue gun, but he quickly got swept up in the fun and the two of us cranked out enough little ornaments to bestow upon family and friends.

The jams and relishes that were processed during the height of warmth and sun and tangerine-colored nasturtium vinegars were dressed up pretty with tags and twine.  Strawberry, blueberry and raspberry jams were given.  Along with delicious Roasted Beet Relish made in the weeks of farm boxes overflowing with beets.  I used a recipe from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook and would gladly make it again.

And my salve… my salve!  This month I made the first batch of salve that I’ve made in many years.  I was so excited by this batch because I was able to include oil extracts of my own garden’s comfrey and calendula.  It felt extra special.  I added cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax and some drops of essential oil and oh my, is it ever a dreamy combination.  We’ve already dived into some here and it’s been amazing on diaper rash (that would be Soren’s), weird face rash (that would be Eli’s),  cracked, weathered skin (that would be mine) and fingers that got a bit grated with cheese grater (that would be Jeff’s).  It’s already a hardworking family medicine in our house it was so fun to share.

I hope your holidays have been merry and that you find many more beautiful moments to relish in as the new year creeps in.

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My sisters and I have been after my dad to open up his own Etsy shop for some time.  He’s always been a tinkerer and woodworker and creator of unique and wonderful things.  He’s been retired for a few years now and so his workshop has seen a lot of action.  He always has something new to share with us.

Running an Etsy shop is not at all a fun or realistic possibility with dial-up internet.  And so my dad has continued to tinker away for his own enjoyment.  Recently though, there’s been talk.  Talk of high-speed internet.  Talk of shop names.  Talk of things to be made.  It’s all very exciting.

In the meantime, I’ve been so excited to collaborate with Dad on this sweet little calendar.  I designed the pages with a collection of my favorite designs from 2011 and Dad came up with a rustic and lovely birch wood display stand.  The wood is cut from the woods behind his workshop (happy woods, woods that I grew up in) and sanded smooth and polished with a little beeswax polish.  It’s woodsy and rustically beautiful.  Just the thing for my favorite designs.

It’s winter solstice.  We’re spinning back towards the sun again.  And as 2012 sneaks its way in, I feel like this little calendar is a retrospective of my work and loves over the past year and a mantra of good things to come.  I’m eager for many more interesting and wonderful collaborations down the road.

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I love snipping a little bit of this and a little bit of that to decorate my holiday wreath.  It’s the ritual of gathering a little bit of green.  And boy do I love those green things in the middle of deep winter.  The balsams and the boxwoods and the hollys.  They pep up our winter landscape that would otherwise look so bleak.  Anyway, clip-clip and snip-snip and my plain balsam wreath got some added color and texture.   Some moss made it’s way in this year.  It was found during a run one morning as I pushed Soren in the jogger past a mossy stonewall.  Somehow a few good chunks of the lush green stuff had wound up in the middle of the sidewalk and well, isn’t that what the pockets on those jogging strollers are for?  Picking up little bits of nature that wants to come home with you?  I thought so.

Fortunately now my door is decorated with these bits of nature.  A lovely holiday nod to those gorgeous greens that remind us that even in the wintry depths of New England, there is life!

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{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}. There are no words to this Friday ritual. Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}. There are no words to this Friday ritual. Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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There is so much making associated with this season.  Much of it falls into the work category, it’s true.  There are many orders for holiday cards and gift tags to be fulfilled.  And I love all of it.  I really do.   But there is also the making which falls into the personal category.  My own gift-making and decorating.  And wouldn’t I be a big liar if I didn’t say that these things are the most fun of all?

I’ve had a bucket of felt balls and a bucket of acorn caps sitting in my studio for weeks now.  Today with the “help” of some tiny hands and my trusty glue gun, they were transformed into a whole bunch of little Christmas tree cuties.  I’ve made these little felt acorn ornaments before and I’ve been eager to make more.  As I was making this time around, a handful of clothespins (doesn’t everyone keep clothespins in their office?) got a little too close to my glue gun and a whole bunch of acorns jumped on.  Or something like that.  These are my new favorites now.  They clip right onto those fragrant boughs and add a whole lot of handmade charm.  They’d look real cute clipped onto a pretty package too.  I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure I can part with them.   When I was little, our family ornaments were largely homemade.  My artist uncle had painted up a whole lot of clothespins as toy soldiers in various colors and they made up a good portion of our tree’s adornments.   As a result, I have a particular fondness for the rustic charm homemade ornaments.  And isn’t it nice when something as simple as a Christmas tree covered in clothespins can make you feel all warm and cozy inside?

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…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}. There are no words to this Friday ritual. Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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