Monday, February 23, 2009

February Blooms

Not much is blooming outside just yet , but Vivi has been hard at work making spring indoors. I love that shade of purple, it reminds me of a crocus.

She walked me through the steps to making a beautiful, happy flower.

And as soon as she was finished she ran off to the garden to pick an aromatic bundle of fresh herbs. It seems that more than one of us has spring fever!

can't you just smell the fresh sage and rosemary?

Vivi is prolific when she is on a roll. She is completely self-directed and self-sufficient in her creativity. Next project she did today was a button tree, which she found in a library book called Crafts for All Seasons by Kathy Ross.

And the most recent project for today, Vivi made a bride and groom from craft sticks. They are so charming. The bride has tiny flowers in her wool yarn hair, and a dress made from a doily. I feel so inspired by her whirlwind of craft making!

And the latest news from my busy six-year-old pixie? She pulled her own tooth out! She had it tied to the doorknob with floss, and out it came. This girl is fearless! Three cheers for the Vivienne! The tooth fairy visits tonight!

I have been keeping busy knitting my Peace Fleece scarf. The colors are just what I need. It is an unusual scarf pattern, knit lengthwise in garter stitch with rolled edges. I am half-way there. I am getting better about completing projects that I start. The next thing on my list is to work on my nature table, and update the one in Vivi's classroom. I am thinking it will be a scene of Mother Earth and the root children, inspired by the Siblylle Von Olfers story.

And my last bit of bloom that arrived in the mail from etsy today. The sunny orange is just what I need for a little extra late-winter good cheer!

wishing you bright, blooming winter days...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still winter...

artwork by Marjan van Zeyl

I feel like an old bear, still in hibernation. On the one hand, I like the cozy dormant life. I feel that a lot of good seeds of thought begin in the duldrums of winter. And yet, I feel so eager for life flow to burst forth and carry me into the days of lengthy sunshine. I want to feel the earth in my hands, to take in all the is green. I love how lush it gets when the rain comes and wakes up the plant world. It is heavenly compared to the dry barren silence of winter without snow.

Here I find a glimpse of spring.

In order to refresh my inner life, I decided to work on a little corner of our home, and breathe a little energy into it. I moved the play kitchen into the real kitchen, and tidied up the shelves, organized the pantry of felted food and little tins, wooden plates and mini tart pans. This sweet little play space has been neglected for months, and I didn't really understand why it had fallen out of favor. But my, how it got noticed again after I gave some love to it! The kids flocked the little area and started playing up a storm! I am so glad that the little Salvation Army stove and sink are being loved once again.

Vivienne had the same idea, and worked diligently to start an early spring nature table.

Jasper's artwork (with a little help from sisters)

Why complain? I have plenty of work to do, plenty of projects to complete before I want to spend every spare minute outdoors. I love wearing my cozy slippers and sipping cups of tea. Spring will be here soon enough.

still the season for knitting!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wonder balls and more, oh my!

Here is what arrived for the girls today from Grandma. And this comes after their Grammy and Grandaddy sent lovely treats in the post just yesterday. Not to mention all the sweets from classmates, and Easter dress (seen above) from Auntie Rose.
You may be wondering why this ball of yarn looks a bit odd. It is a most delightful German tradition that I have loved since my own childhood. A wonder ball is a skein of wool that is wound in ball, around many small gifts for the recipient. It is made as incentive to get knitting accomplished with a twist of intrique and fun, which is especially nice for a new knitter. Many kinds of lovelies can go in a ball, from sweets to hair clips, stickers, jewelry, figurines, stones, and other small delights. Usually in the center is the most special gift, perhaps a silver charm or ring. Mia pulled out her needles and got started right away.

The idea is to open the gift as they naturally unravel. Of course, for some, the wait is unbearable! Here is Vivienne with her very quickly unraveled ball of wonder...

And can you believe another package was waiting to be opened? It was the Christmas in February package that our dear friends Cy and Lindsley have made into a tradition. They fill it with an electic mix of vintage style and lovingly thrifted treasures. As well as some sort of yummy, in this case, the Thai spice cashews we love! Thanks, guys!

Jasper wearing the new Gardening kneepads for a hat and new apron, too.

Mia's completed scarf, which she decided to finger knit and knot together.

Many thanks and lots of love!

Sweet day

What I love about Valentines day...

Is the sweetness of saying i love you

with handmade chocolates

or french toast with whipping cream and raspberries (thank you, honey)

heart shaped cookies

sweet notes with frilly embellishment

smiling faces and happy bellies (not too much sweet though)

~hugs and kisses and sugary wishes~

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monkeying Around

We had fun with the monkey theme for Jasper's party. What started it was finding this cute little party kit from Martha Stewart on sale. I don't like to go crazy with a particular thing, but it is fun as a starting point. He was so very grateful to have a real party that was all about him! It was very cute.

Since monkeys and bananas seem to go hand in hand, I made this heavenly banana cake from this awesome food blog. I doubled the recipe which made a little more than three dozen cupcakes. Yummmm. They were light and delicious. Thank you, Caroline!

The girls helped me to make up some goodie bags. We made a batch of vanilla scented yellow play dough with a bit of glitter mixed in. I found a few healthy treats, pin wheels, and rainbow colored pencils with cute little monkey toppers. The one year old guest got a felt ball with a monkey face that I had fun making.

The kids were having such fun playing outside in the gorgeous 60+ degree weather (Yes, in early February!) that I didn't need to have any activities other than eating cake and playing pin the parrot on the pirate. Nothing to do with monkeys but I couldn't resist!

This cute little monkey travelled all the way from Denmark. It was crafted by Cuddlet, this etsy seller. I love the way it looks and the fact that someone made it by hand.

Another favorite birthday find came from a this etsy shop, Olliekate. They are two lovely local mamas who also have a wonderful blog! Jasper is hopefully soon to get his own bedroom, and this pillow will look so cute on his big boy bed. Even the reverse side is gorgeous. For now, it is staying in the living room where I can enjoy it!

And one of my favorite books for Jasper is called Too Big by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire. The illustrations are beautiful.

Yes, my boy really is a monkey! Check out his tail. :)

There is so much to be grateful for! Jasper's Grammy and Granddaddy and even his Uncle John and cousins came five hours to attend the party. It was one special day for a sweet little monkey.

May all your pin wheel wishes come true...