Friday, April 30, 2010

one small change update!

I really think it is so great what Suzy has done by organizing this project, I sure am slacking on my posts though, the fact that it is the last day of the last month of the official project is motivating me to manage a little update here...

(random unrelated picture, just because, although actually, that is the corner of a bread bag I recently made, yay for no plastic!)

In a way I feel like I cheated, all of our vegan changes (non-vegan changes I should say) were happening anyway, but at least I was inspired to write about it too. (Rather than linking to my other posts I can just tell you, click on "vegan" in my side menu and you will find my small change posts there...) So many people have asked how it's going, how it tastes, how we feel... Well, it is all going well, though still moving a bit slowly sometimes, the girls love everything we eat, I feel super great about using these good simple foods as I prepare meals for my family each day, Jason has his heart completely into the changes, but is a little slower at adjusting to the taste of things. Because let me tell you, anyone who tries to say that Earth Balance is just the same as butter (we've heard it often) is absolutely totally wrong (in our opinion), at least if you haven't tasted butter in more than 15 years. It's not that he doesn't think things taste good, and it's not that he thinks the vegan substitutes taste better, it's just that it's such a strong, different taste, or it's a taste that give you weird childhood memory flashbacks, (happened when we tried real yogurt for the first time!), so we are adjusting, but enjoying it, feeling good about it. Eating a lot of good food in general, Jason brought home our first fresh greens of the season from the farm the other day! (Though as you may have heard, I won't be milking any goats this year, there was quite a bit of goat sadness this month, but the goats are now off to a new good home.)

I guess I did write about something other than our vegan choices, still food related, all about that awful packaging! We sure have been doing good on that! We have used our cloth bags and jars every single time we have been grocery shopping. There was only once or twice I got caught off guard, needing to buy bulk spices and not remembering to bring and empty jar or little bag to re-use. And we bought graham crackers. Cause Jason and I hadn't had them since we were younger, and the girls never had, and they were really yummy, but now we of course need to learn to make our own.

There was one other area of small change I hoped to work on, another popular one I think, laundry! I told myself I would get the laundry line hung by the first day of spring. Oh so bad, it was not, still is not, but in my defense it is hardly feeling like spring yet either! Soon, I promise, I'm trying!

I also have been wanting to make our own laundry soap for a long time now. I have explored some recipes but if any of you happen to have recommendations please do let me know.

I had other thoughts on laundry, mending, etc, but now must leave the computer and head towards the sewing machine... Goodnight!

(one more unrelated picture, I never showed you our April/Easter nature table, and since it is the last day of the month...)

p.s. I think there is one change that is biggest of all, that we have all contributed too, and that is raising our children to be more aware, considerate, caring, loving of the earth and it's inhabitants. We are making a difference today, and they will continue to make a difference in the future!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


(May images from past years, we're not quite there yet!)

We really need to get out into the forest!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday (but what is it??)

Some weekend sewing did happen, completed two little projects, and on the left here you can see a peek of another something special I have been working on, I even finished it yesterday after taking this picture. Well, after taking the picture and then sewing it together with one piece backwards, and then taking it apart and sewing it together again, backwards again! taking it apart again... this is my own pattern, something I have made twenty or thirty times, at least I won't make that same mistake again, hopefully...

So what else can I tell you about the project on the left? Nothing, it's a surprise!

All the fabrics I used on these pieces are vintage feedsacks combined with organic cotton. Oh vintage feedsacks, love love love, the prints, the colors, the history! I am so in love. Love love love. Get the picture?

The blues are not a usual color choice for me but I like to do that sometimes, challenge myself to use colors that are different (as in, not pink.) But what is it?? I was thinking of it as something like a tea trivet, a little place to set your teacup perhaps, or a small flower vase, but I do not think trivet is the appropriate word. Coaster? That word is not appealing to me, but maybe that's what it has to be. Not a potholder, cause it has just a thin layer of cotton batting, and a bit small, about 5 inches. Must have a name, cause I had so much fun making it, and want to make lots more...

You can expect me to be sharing more vintage sewing love here soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

weekend discoveries

I taught the girls to play hopscotch this weekend. Is that bad that they have never played before? We rarely go to the park either. Always to the forest though! And plenty of hopping around anyhow.

It was nice and sunny when they asked if I would show them, a good use for the out of place square of concrete at the foot of our front steps, but by the time we even finished drawing the squares the dark clouds were moving in. Still a bit of time for play though, they loved it of course... The rain did come and wash it away, but they drew it again, and then it rained again, and then they drew it again, throughout the weekend.

I discovered this too, you may have to look closely to see, drawn on the board, hopscotch for fairy house people, of course.

Chloe discovered a deer's face on this big rock. Do you see it?

I discovered this pretty little broom waiting to sweep the front steps.

And I admired this wild rose growing with the Oregon grape in the flower bed.

The most exciting discovery of all...

the first blooming dandelions! This was a much celebrated moment!

Though Chloe looks pretty excited here too. I have no idea what she is looking at.
And now you know that I still have not pulled that super tall mullein stalk out of the garden bed.

We were all so happy to spend some time working on the garden when it wasn't raining. Our garlic is coming up, the chives are growing super fast, and we planted some first seeds, kale, mustard greens, and some lettuces. We have a little overwintered spinach experiment going on too, hopefully that will be growing well soon. Growing. Happiness...

And one last special picture... Chloe had the camera, the storm was coming, we were about to go in, she took this picture just as the first flash of lightening lit the sky. And then we hurried inside! And it rained and it rained and it rained. And it was so very nice!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

looking for greenness, finding beauty...

It seems lately that my schedule has become something like... work all day for four days in a row, and then have three days off. Three long, wonderful days. Enjoyed. Appreciated. Full of lots of good things like family story times, sewing, cooking lots of good food, being outside!

When I finished working this afternoon I ran outside as quickly as I could, joining Jason and the girls who had been out there all day long. I was determined to find some greenness in our slowly wakening landscape...

I would say that the clover is probably the greenest thing out there at the moment. How happy I am that we have this everywhere!

And our little seasonal creek has quite a bit of greenness in it too.

The creek is most certainly one of my favorite parts about spring here. To hear the sound of that water flowing over the rocks! I grew up near oceans and rivers. I miss them so very much. This little creek makes me very very happy.

I visited our hawthorn and saw that though still tiny, it's buds are so full of color, the green trying to come out. Not that you can see it well in this blurry picture, still I liked it, love our hawthorns!

Love this child...

who really is blooming herself.

And this little one, who is becoming a little less little.

These two sweet girls, who make our world so much more beautiful every day.

Wishing you all a weekend full of beauty and love!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Why is it snowing? Why can't it be rain?
I do realize that you all most likely do not have an answer to my questions...

You know it's a chilly morning when this is how you find the cats...

Friday, April 9, 2010

~ this moment ~

Since I have been collecting moments it seems like a nice time to join this inspiring little project created by the wonderful Amanda Soule. And since April is also Children and Nature Awareness Month, (Lisa has a great outdoor challenge happening here), I thought this picture was appropriate, even if it is 5 years old, we were off to a good start...

Wishing you a beautiful warm weekend full of happy moments!

Monday, April 5, 2010

happy moments

I have been collecting moments. Throughout the weeks, and especially happy weekend moments. I have quite a lot, time to start sharing...

The pictures of Chessa and her grapefruit are what prompted to me to start playing around with the collages. This set could have have included many, many more pictures. (I also love this photo Sara took on the weekend. The apron of the dress has red embroidery along the bottom and Chessa is wearing shoes that match.) Chessa has been wanting to wear this dress every day lately, but it ends up very dirty very fast. (The dress is not handmade by me, a passed down gift, but this is one of my favorite styles of dress to make. Would love to do all that embroidery too!)

And of course there are many happy outside moments!