Saturday, June 30, 2012

fruit cake

Yesterday we celebrated S's birthday.  He's a big 7 year old now, and no longer a kid, he informs me. (he informs me of this change in status yearly, apparently he feels it bears repeating)

Since it was far too hot to bake, and my kids looove fruit anyway, I decided to make a cake based on some I had seen on Pinterest.  The kids helped.  And by helped, I mean they ate fruit while I made the cake.

The boy said he was glad he had such a healthy cake because he wanted some extra brain power.  He might need it for all the wishing he did.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

sanity is learning something new

I needed a little sanity break so I met some friends in town for some gab, apple crisp, and new-skill-learnin'.  Rhonda showed us a pattern (we kind of freestyled it), we picked out our colors, and got to work.

I haven't done any beading before so I didn't quite know what to expect.  The repetition of stringing the beads was nice, it required enough focus that I felt "in the zone", but could still carry on a good conversation (at least until the string knotted and Molly the knot-untyer extraordinaire had to come to the rescue).

I was pretty slow.  I think it took me an hour to get these first few rows done. (maybe not, but close)

My teacher reminded me that it wasn't a race, but you can clearly see who was bringing up the rear.

Happily, we all finished and were able to proudly sport our new bracelets.  I'll tell ya, I have a whole new appreciation for you bead-stringers out there, this was time-consuming work.  I think I can also see how it could be kind of addictive too.

Sanity restored and I have a cool bracelet to boot.  That's a pretty good way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

Have you done any bead stitching?  Have you taken a class to learn a new skill lately?  What do you do to coax your sanity back from the brink?

Happy Thursday, all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

a major de-stash

One good thing to come from a flooding basement is the sudden need to de-stash one's somewhat out of control supply pile.  My so-called workspace has had so many plastic bins of materials in it that I'm not actually able to work in it.  As I was lifting bin after bin out the basement window it became clear that I needed to do a purge.  I have more buttons and felt than I will ever use in a lifetime, so I'm offering them up in my shop at incredibly low prices.

If you, or anyone you know, has wanted to work with 100% felted garment wool or tinker with vintage buttons, please have a look at the supply section in my shop HERE.

Thank you!
now, back to the basement with me...

Monday, June 25, 2012

a duck named Goose

Meet Goose.

A month ago I put some of the duck eggs in the incubator and have been misting them with water and checking their heat and humidity several times a day since then.  Their hatch date was last Wednesday, but they didn't hatch.  I thought the three eggs were goners, but in the midst of the flooding-basement saga, Goose began to pip. 

Unfortunately he pipped at the wrong end and was basically breech in his shell, coming out butt-first.  Except that he wasn't really coming out.  After he pipped a hole, he stayed in that spot for a good 12 hours.  The inner membrane was starting to dry out, making it more difficult for him to make progress.  Fearing I would lose him if I didn't intervene, I carefully chipped tiny bits of shell and white membrane off over the course of the next 12 hours, giving him a larger opening from which to escape.

It took a long time, and a little more chipping off of the shell, but eventually escape he did!  He was completely exhausted and weak.  His eyes were still closed and he was attached to his umbilical cord for quite a long time.  I really didn't think he was going to make through the hatch, and I had my doubts he would last the night once he was out.

I was wrong.

It took him some time, but he dried off, stood up, and has been running around like a wild man since.  He still doesn't like his crumble, but he's been eating boiled egg and drinking.  We'll keep working on the crumble.

For someone who had such a rough start in life, he seems pretty advanced.

I mean, just look how good he is already at hide and seek.

And that whole smiling thing?  A natural.

Happy Monday, all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

no chanterelles, but no matter

A few days ago I went for a bit of a crawl through the woods in search of chanterelles.  I didn't find any, but of course had a good time anyway.  Anytime there are mushrooms to look at, I'm happy.(click on the photos to seem them close up)

This guy faked me out more than once.  I saw that color and got all fluttery in my stomach, but alas, not a chanterelle.

I saw a few oysters, which are edible, but the bugs had gotten to them first.  Maybe next year I'll catch them.

Coral mushrooms are so cool.

I love these tiny and delicate ones.

It looks like a fairy dropped her umbrella.

I saw three large clumps of these and from a distance thought they were a maitake or a cauliflower fungus, but no.  I believe these are polyporus umbellata.  The bugs beat me to these also.

I like how this one is poised on the stick.  So graceful.

Uhh... okay.  I haven't ID'd this yet, but I'm guessing it's a type of coral mushroom as well.

Back in my yard my kids found this teeny guy.  This is one I've wanted to see for years and here it was right out my door.  It's a birds nest cup fungus.

See those black "eggs"?  They're part of the fungus.  It looks like there had been two more inside there at one time, and once full it would look like a little nest.

The wild strawberries are ripe and I had a little (emphasis on little) snack out in the woods.  I felt lucky to get them, my kids can sniff out a wild strawberry a mile away and mow them down like small grazing animals.

Wishing you all a good weekend.  I hope you get to sneak a little sweetness and wonder into yours.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

find the mudpuddles

Yesterday was a tough day.  The rain has been unrelenting and we spent most of the day moving water away from the house and out of the basement.  A series of irritating, somewhat exasperating events had us all on edge and occasionally in tears (me anyway).

When the rain let up the first thing the kids did was head to the puddles.  From the back door I heard my husband say "honey, get the camera".

Kids really have the right idea sometimes, don't they?

When life hands you rain, find the mudpuddles.
And jump in them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I heard through the grapevine that the chanterelles were starting to show.  Coincidence that I made this little chanterelle out of the bedstraw-dyed wool a few days ago?  Hmmm...

I think today I'll don my headnet and brave the mosquitos and rain, and have a little crawl through the woods.

The real things are much tastier than the wool variety.

Monday, June 18, 2012

an interview and giveaway with me on Handcrafted Travellers

I'm so flattered to have been interviewed today on the Handcrafted Traveller's blog.

Please stop over and leave a comment to win this naturally-dyed textural wool stone I made.  The wool was dyed using strawberry leaves, and the cotton thread was dyed using red cabbage, red onion, creeping charlie, bedstraw root, and chokecherry bark.

Read the interview HERE.

good luck!

from the weekend

With the rain we've been getting, the mushrooms are starting to pop. (click on the photos to see these closer) I haven't noticed any edibles, but I was super excited to spot this stinkhorn in my garden.  It will emit a stinky slime that encourages flies and other insects to land on it.  When they fly off, they carry the mushrooms spores with it, spreading them in the process.  Sneaky little mushroom.

Awfully strange looking, isn't he?

The lilacs decided to give flowering another go, though rather half-heartedly as there are only a few of these tiny clusters of blooms.  That's okay though, I love the smell of lilacs and am happy to have even one more sniff of them.

Beneath the tall grass and invading raspberry brambles there were some beautiful lilies. 

My nasturtiums are trying to escape their fence.  Probably because we keep eating their friends.

The yarrow has come up everywhere this year.  It's such a useful and lovely little herb.  It can be dried and used as a medicinal tea or mascerated when fresh and used as first aid, like a styptic.

Daisies.  My favorite.  I pulled these from the roadside a year or two ago and planted them in my yard.

I'm not a big fan of spiders but I thought this guy was pretty cool hiding in the leaves.

The bees have been busy.

Check out the pollen on that guy's legs.

Today looks to be pretty grey so I'm glad I got a chance to capture some of these colors this weekend.

Have a good week, everyone.


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