Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flower Muse

We woke up to a beautiful spring morning. The kids ran out of the house straight away to collect little posies. I love the little wild violets and even the common dandelion, I have a fondness for. These pretty little blooms inspired me to work on my easter eggs. I plan to work on improving my easter crown (a wreath might better describe it). It is a family tradition from my mother's side, and I adopted it as my own last year. The eggs are strung by wire and hung from the ceiling with a ribbon.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Making Spring

Yesterday the kids started to paint easter eggs. I am so glad that I bought one of these nifty egg blowers. This little tool makes it so much easier to get the egg out of the shell. We had a play date with some lovely new friends and the kids used watercolor paints to make their designs. I also found some Bic permanent markers in pastel colors which worked quite well.

After lots of egg blowing, I decided to make a quiche for dinner. This recipe was what I had on hand., and it turned out very tasty.

~Preheat oven at 425 degrees and bake whole wheat pie shell for 10 minutes (I used a healthy premade organic variety)

~Combine approximately 6 eggs, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup grated cheese (I used a colby/cheddar mix), about 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper, and 1 2/3 cup whole milk. Add a sprinkle of black pepper, a dash of sea salt, and a tsp of oregano (or other herb of choice).

~Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Set shell on cookie sheet and fill, then carefully place on the middle oven rack. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until center is somewhat firm (no liquid), but still a little jiggly.

I also got to visit Vivienne's classroom today for some spring crafting. It was such fun to see the kids excited about making things with me. I read Mother Earth and Her Children, based on Sybille Von Olfer's Story of the Root Children. It is an amazing book, the illustrations are photos of this gorgeous quilt inspired by the fairy tale. Vivi and I both still prefer the classic book for the translation, but each book has it's own beauty. We made butterflies out of wool roving, based on the project that I saw in the Spring '08 Living Crafts magazine. If you have not seen this magazine, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I have enjoyed every issue. I also brought some modelling beeswax to make other little critters and flowers, and the kids loved it. They enthusiastically warmed the wax in their hands and made all sorts of delightful creations. It was such fun to watch them play with these gifts of nature. I feel so grateful for being able to share my love of handwork with these darling children!

~these were my samples that I shared with the class. Now the branches are filled with cheery wool butterflies in the classroom.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!

Here is part two of our family weekend. We stopped by the Columbia Zoo on the route home. It was our first time there, and the kids enjoyed their adventures. Favorite things were the lovely carousel and souvenir zoo coins (you put a penny in, turn the crank and out comes a zoo coin). Jasper loved the little train and seeing the alligator. I enjoyed the spring blooms, a few weeks ahead of spring in the Mountains. Redbuds were open, dogwood blossoms, tulips...

We picked up sanwiches and cookies at the Cloud Nine Market and had a picnic. Vivi and Jasper were pretending to be root children.

~round and round they go~

~enjoying the turning of season~

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trip to the Sea Shore

What a rare treat it is to travel to the coast for a long weekend. We got to tag along with David on his business trip. I loved taking in the fresh ocean air and dipping my toes in the cool ocean water. The kids braved the cold and frollicked in the waves for hours. Jasper was "surfing" as he stood on top of his boogie board in the foaming edge and looked on toward the real surfers in their full suits. He caught the gentle rise of water and held steady as it passed beneath his feet. Mia and Vivi loved hunting for seashells and made friends with other little girls, jumping waves and holding hands together. Day two was windy and much cooler, so we played in the (somewhat) warmer waters of the pool and flew kites at sunset.

~ with gratitude for sandy toes and brilliant sunsets~

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Little Bit O'Luck

My sweet Vivi has quite the eye for four leaf clovers. As she headed to her violin lesson, she spotted one! It must be extra lucky when you find one on St Patrick's Day! It makes up for my lack of preparations this year. She was so pleased. It is sitting next to my new favorite Elsa Beskow postcard.

I felt rather lucky the last time I went thrift store shopping. I found a whole stack of interesting books, real cowgirl boots for Vivi, a Liberty of London toilette bag (i heart their fabrics...), and this cute little boy smocked romper. I am not so sure how this looks on my boy, (it is a bit fancy)but the details are so cute, I figure that I could at least make it into a quilt square some day.

And here is my sweetie pie, wearing her new creations. She crafted the bow with her needle and thread, a bit of fabric scrap and a hair clip. She made a drawing of a girl on white felt, using pastel permanent markers, then cut around it and stitched it to a white blouse in my mending pile. Then her piggy tail holders are cut from bits of fabric-covered elastic from the legs of baby bloomers (in my scrap pile). She secretly created (I should wonder when the house is so quiet...)and then proudly came to show her lovelies.

I completed the nature table for Vivi's classroom, and the Peace banner was made for my friend, Sonya's blessing way. Each woman created one with their wish. It was a beautiful celebration. I always feel so honored to be able to nurture other women who are mothers.

wishing good luck and many joys

Monday, March 9, 2009

Early Spring Delights

This morning was special for Vivi who made a small discovery in the yard . She found the very first daffodil to open. It really is beginning to feel like spring around here. Of course, having temperatures in the 70's helps quite a lot. The girls are pleading with me to pull out the short sleeve shirts and flip flops. Over last weekend, Vivi and I got in the dirt and started planting carrots, radishes, swiss chard and lettuce mix.

I also found a few sweet little crocuses peeking out of the fallen leaves. These lovely blooms got me inspired to work on some pretties for the nature table. I took the daffodil and made up a pattern by looking at the shapes of the leaves and petals. I sewed a pipe cleaner into the green stem to give it some flexibility.

I also pulled out my favorite craft book, All Year Round, and used the instructions to make a sweet little snowdrop flower fairy. I still need to make her a snowdrop on a stem to hold.

Jasper enjoyed the pretty posy that Vivienne picked for our neighbor.

And last but not least, I have to share my lovely Book Club evening. This month I had the honor of hosting these beautiful, amazing women for a potluck Cuban meal. It was inspired by our book, Hemmingway's Old Man and the Sea, a classic that most of us had not visited since high school. Yum! I am still thinking about the food. Roasted acorn squash with cilantro and ginger over a bed of greens, beer braised black bean stew with pork, fresh red snapper baked whole, plantains both sweet and fried, rice and beans, empanadas, and cuban flan for dessert. It was an incredible meal and delightful company, as always.

~with gratitude for lovely flowers, friendship and good food~