Thoughts at the end of 2012

Hello Friends!

I feel like such a long time has passed since I’ve sat down to write.  It’s been a very busy holiday season, as I’m sure it has been for you too.  My little girl turned five (!), we celebrated each week of Advent with a beautiful and magical community ceremony, we had a delicious Christmas Eve dinner, we received the joyous news that our close friend had a baby, and we had visits from several dear friends.

And then things got quiet around here.  And it got very cold.  And we got pretty sad.  And homesick.

Sure, we could have easily picked up the phone to proactively get to know some new acquaintances, but it just seemed so daunting.  It’s hard to get out of a funk sometimes.  I had a few big girl tantrums and cried a bit.  I jumped into new projects (magic loop!) and tried to focus my energy in a positive way.   But it is hard to write a blog post about feeling sad!  I try to be authentic with my writing, but I also want to hold the intention of focusing on the the beauty and joy that exists in my life. Such a balancing act.

At the beginning of 2012, Brian and I set a guiding intention for the year: Be Bold.  It has played out in many ways including moving across country to Missouri and beginning to write this blog.  Over the next few days, I’ll be setting intentions for the year ahead and remaining open to any guiding words that come to inspire 2013.  I’d love to hear what sorts of intentions you are setting for your year.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for sharing in my life through this blog.  Some of you I know intimately, some of you I’ve only met across a computer screen, but it brings me great joy create this blog, and I appreciate your taking the time to read and respond.

Until 2013!



In the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy, it has felt somewhat trivial to imagine sitting down at this computer to share crafts or stories about my children; like everyone else, I’m just trying to make sense of this senseless tragedy.  Yet when I think about the ways in which I bring peace and joy and love into the world, it is through creativity.  I love to create, to share my love of the arts with children, and to teach others how to engage with their creativity.

These days, it seems like I am doing nothing but creating.  We are blessed with a Winter Solstice baby; on Friday, Ella will celebrate the return of the light AND her fifth birthday!  I’ve been hard at work on her handmade birthday gifts and also a few Christmas gifts  (which I know I will not finish in time – the sweet Little Oak knit sweater, for instance.)

After making a birthday crown for Everett, I was really inspired to do the same for Ella.  I roughly followed this tutorial for sewing guidance, and did a lot of hand stitching and free-form cutting.  I’ll share a better photo on her birthday, but here are a few details:

Crown1 Crown2

Ella has some very clear ideas about her birthday party, for instance, she wants 5 kids to attend since she is turning 5, but my own parameters are this: simple and sweet.  I’m imagining a craft, a story, cake, and a very short treasure hunt.  Weather permitting, I think these little gnomes will be hiding outside, waiting for their new human friends!

Gnomes1 Gnomes2

(If you’re interested in a little tutorial on how to make these little gnomes, let me know.  They are really fun and easy to make!)

What kinds of crafting are you up to this week?


***Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On!

Girls and Dolls

There has been a lot of crafting going on this week, as Ella and I decided to make some dolls.  I took a great introductory dollmaking class last year at the Eugene Waldorf School, and used my notes from that class, and the book Making Waldorf Dolls by Maricristin Sealey to guide us.

Ella was able to stuff, sew, and embroider the face of her doll (the red one) by herself, and the hair style is all her doing!  She also really enjoyed stuffing the body and arms.  I helped out with the rest of the body and all over stitching.

Can you tell how much she loves these dolls!

Dollmaking1 Dollmaking2

What kind of crafting have you been up to this week?

*Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams!



The past month has been very much about taking in: walking the land, learning new trees (by bark alone, no less!), trying to figure out where to buy raw milk (I MISS my goats!), when to till the garden (some say do it now, others say wait for spring), touring other communities, and thinking about how to piece together our own homestead.  It’s exciting, invigorating, overwhelming, and exhausting (but mostly just plain exciting!).  Sure, I’ve been knitting, yes, I’m even taking on a sewing project (this pattern), and dreaming of a few other crafty adventures before the holidays, but mostly I’m just digesting.

It feels so unnatural to me (a total doer and planner) to just sit back and absorb.  To take in knowledge, without the opportunity to really do anything about it right now.  I feel like a puppy who is being held back by a leash – I just want to jump, dive, leap, lick!  I want to plant fruit trees, dig a pond, erect a strawbale home, and harvest from a new garden TODAY!  But, alas, winter is coming, and it really and truly is just time to sit by the fire, read, learn, knit, and dream.

Admittedly, there have been a lot of baby steps taken the past few weeks: dozens of native trees have been ordered (Missouri has an amazing native tree nursery with trees available for under $1 a piece!), daffodil bulbs have been planted, and heck, I have library cards in two towns!  So I try to be gentle with myself, and to find a healthy balance between wanting to do, do, do, and being okay with just taking it all in.

Wishing you a whole lot of dreaming time today!