Wednesday, April 16, 2014

yarnalong: spring eggs & chick days

...Joining Ginny's YarnAlong, sharing what I'm knitting and reading...
I purchased Liz's Spring Eggs pattern awhile back and I've been looking forward to knitting them. I planned on knitting a bunch of spring eggs, but I'm thinking I'll just knit a few this year and add a few more each year. That's much more do-able for me right now. I had some tiny balls of leftover worsted weight yarn from Brambleberry Yarns and they are making the loveliest little eggs! When Bracken woke up from his nap today, he helped me stuff the first egg with wool. We added some lavender buds in there too. I'm making another one for his friend. I love making a little project for Bracken to enjoy and using up leftover yarn bits to boot!
Picked up 'Chick Days' from the library. Read it for the first time last winter. Wanted to flip through it again. It's fun to see what's happening week by week with our chicks. I've been looking through the book with Bracken and reading aloud, since there's lots of pictures in it. And he loves pictures of chickens. He keeps asking for more "chicken book!"

How about you? 
Knitting? Reading?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

how to make living spring baskets

 Last year our friend Alex showed me some fun spring baskets she made for her boys for their Easter Egg hunt. She learned about them from the Waldorf School and she explained how she did it. I was excited to make some for this year. I intended to start the project early so I'd have time to share this with you in case you'd like to make some for your egg hunts (though wish it would have been sooner, so you'd have ample time to create them for your festivities.) This is a great hands on project for children to help with. Bracken and I started ours last Tuesday and today, a week later, they're ready for use. I love these cozy, green nests for the eggs.
 Step One: Pick your baskets. I picked two that we already had around the house. I had gotten them from the thrift store at one point. If I would have gone to the thrift store and chosen some for this specific purpose, I would have chosen baskets that were more rounded and not as upright and squarish.
 Step Two: Line them with aluminum foil. Little hands love to help with this.
 Step Three: Spread a layer of dirt.
 Step Four: Spread wheatgrass seeds generously across the surface. (I used up the last of what we had. I could have used even more to cover the entire surface.)
 Step Five: Cover seeds with a layer of dirt.
 Step Six: Water. I chose not to poke any holes in the aluminum foil to let the water drain out because I wanted to use these baskets again in the future. I didn't want to ruin them. Without drainage, I was afraid that I would over water them though, because I tend to do that. Jeff lightly watered them every day when he watered the other wheatgrass he had growing. He had a good suggestion: spraying them with a spray bottle would keep them moist without the worry of overwatering.
 Step Seven: Watch them grow! We put our baskets in the window and watched for them to pop up. I don't remember when we first saw signs of green coming up, but it took about a week until the grass was as thick and ready as we wanted it to be.
 Step Eight: Place your eggs in your green, grassy nest and enjoy! (These are some harboiled eggs I took out of the fridge right before photographing and they were wet with condensation.) We haven't had our egg hunt yet, but I placed some eggs in the basket today to show how they looked all tucked in there. These natural colors from our hens are wonderful on their own, but we plan on dyeing some as well. If the grass gets too long for your liking (it grows quickly) than you can take some scissors and give it a trim.
Bracken came over while I was taking pictures to give it a test spin (complete with spider man rain boots and colorful elephant pants.) He's delighted with these grassy baskets! And so am I.
I think this could be the start of a fun spring tradition...

Monday, April 14, 2014

a book sale & a sunny market weekend

 On Saturday morning, Jeff finished getting our display set up at the Saturday Market while Bracken and I headed over to a nearby book sale. We needed to go park the car anyway and I wanted to check it out. Our friend Taylor told us about it the week before, telling me there were used books- many withdrawn from the local library- for good deals. At first, I didn't want to spend any money so dismissed the idea of going, but she told me that there were children's picture books for only one dollar each. Every single day Bracken wants Jeff and I to read books to him and asks us to read the same ones over and over. We love snuggling up with him reading books. But sometimes we get a bit tired of reading the same ones. I've been thinking for quite awhile that it would be nice to get some new books and ones that we really enjoy. Some books we read just because we have them, but not because they are particular favorites.
We located where the book sale was. Taylor gave me some good advice about timing, saying not to go too early because the lines would be crazy long. We arrived about 9:20 in the morning since that was the only time we were able to go that day. I hoped it wasn't too early. The book sale opened at 9. I was told there were people who had arrived at 5 in the morning and the line just kept growing until it opened. When we arrived, there was still a line, but it was moving quickly and it didn't take us long before we got in. I realized, while standing in line that I had forgotten to bring a bag with me, to hold our books. People in line pointed to the giant piles of boxes and said: "That's what those are for!" When we got inside, I was amazed at how many books there were! We located the children's books section. I started flipping through. We were only able to be there for a short visit, so I looked for beautiful illustrations mostly. I didn't even read through our picks while we were there. There wasn't time. After we had seven books picked out, Bracken said "all done!" It was a bit crowded and chaotic for him and he wanted to go back to the Saturday Market (which seems less so because it's outdoors, I guess.) For not much money at all, we were able to come home with some new (to us) books. Bracken was so excited and ever since has been asking us to read his "new books" to him. We have some new favorites now.
 This sign was hanging up downtown. Someone told me this sale happens every year. I can't wait to go next year! I'd love to spend some more time there. Jeff wants to check it out next time too.
 Coming over to capture Bracken's face against the car window as we unloaded our car in the morning.
 We wanted to get back to market from the book sale quickly because we were expecting visitors. My dad and his wife, Dorrie, came up to visit us for the day from southern Oregon. The morning was overcast, but it didn't take long before the sun came out and warmed everybody up. The weather was sunny and beautiful, they couldn't have picked a better April market day to come. We walked all around the farmer's market and the Saturday Market. Bracken got to ride around on Grandpa Bob's shoulders and make silly faces.
 Later in the day Jeff taught Bracken how to blow paper wads with a straw. He made little tiny paper balls out of a napkin, put them in the straw and sent them flying. It delighted Bracken to no end, who had never seen that before. I was happy about it as long as they were all being aimed at the bushes, which they were.
 Bracken was quite happy with his new found skill and Jeff started holding up his hand for Bracken to aim at.
Bracken was so exhausted by the end of the day. We went to get the car, while Jeff watched the booth, and ran an errand. On the way back from our errand to the market, Bracken fell asleep in the car. Jeff and I packed up the booth and loaded up the car and he stayed sleeping the whole time. He woke up on the ride home after Jeff had gotten out of the car at Morning Glory Farm to buy some bags of frozen blueberries. He has a sixth sense about blueberries and knows just when some are nearby.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
If you would like to join us, see below. 
Our gratefulness feeds one another. 
Throughout the week I've felt grateful for:

...Our very favorite huckleberry bush, by the house, covered in tiny pink and white blossoms. Considering how much we enjoy eating the berries, we love to see those blossoms!
...Therapeutic laughter. Especially when it's really needed.
...Waking up to sunshine.
...Bracken's delight watching the chipmunk that has a house in the roof of the woodshed.
...The hens not needing to fight over the nesting boxes anymore, now that we have plenty for them. 
...Rugs hung out on the line.
...Waking up before Bracken most mornings and reading for a bit before he awoke. A treat I savor.
...Having fresh garlic in the house again. No meal is the same without it.
...Bracken's excitement when he caught a butterfly in his hand.
...Coming home from time in town and reveling being out in our yard in the sunshine.
...Dropping off some books at the thrift store. (And a little less clutter in the house!)
...Watching a line of chickens following Bracken. And the entertainment our chickens continually bring. 
...My sister calling and telling me exactly what I needed to hear at just the right time.
...Bringing in firewood at twilight and the sound of the river being more pronounced, as the world is quieter that time of day.

You can read more about the inspiration for Gratitude Sunday here


Like to Join Us in Gratitude Sunday?


If you are a blogger, click on the blue button below to add your link.
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Link the URL to your blog post and not to your main blog URL.
In your blog post, include a link back here, to this current post, so others who would like to join can find us.

Share your list (whether one or many) in the comments below.
Whether your week flowed smoothly or you had a rough one, taking the time to focus on what you're grateful for always makes things better and will bring you a happy heart!
What have you felt grateful for throughout your week?
Share with us below! 

Gratitude Sunday

Friday, April 11, 2014

Giveaway from Sponsor: Sweet Skins

   Sweet Skins
organic apparel
Simple wearable fashions in hemp, organic cotton & eco-fleece.
  Dresses, skirts, shirts, pants & underwear.
 Today's giveaway is brought to you by Wooly Moss Roots Sponsor- Sweet Skins. 
We first met Mira, the magic behind Sweet Skins, at the Eugene Saturday Market. We often set our booth up near her when we were first starting out. I loved her clothes right away. But I loved them even more once I tried them on and experienced how amazing it felt to wear them! One thing about me: when it comes to clothes, comfort is at the top of my list. I like to feel comfortable in what I'm wearing. Sweet Skins definitely won me over with that, but then I fell in love even more with how beautiful her clothes are and that they are made with environmentally friendly fabrics. (So much lovelier to wear against the skin.) Not only are the fabrics she uses better for the earth, but in my experience fabrics with hemp last much longer. The evidence shows how much I love my Sweet Skins- I have favorite tees that I have literally worn to rags because I wore them continually for so many years. (In a different fabric I'm sure I would have worn them out much sooner.) When I was pregnant with Bracken I was afraid I'd have to put my Sweet Skins away for awhile, but I was happily surprised that there were so many favorite pieces that I could still wear. (A few dresses I wore all the time, with comfy leggings underneath.) Sweet Skins clothing is flattering, flowing with women's natural curves. Every time I see someone wearing Sweet Skins, it looks amazing on them. On a personal level, Mira is an inspiration to me. A mom to four, a creative spirit, and a world traveler. She is doing what she loves and it shows. Once you wear Sweet Skins, and experience the bliss of her clothing, you'll want your entire wardrobe to consist of it! 

You can stay in touch with Sweet Skins on their Blog, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter.

I'll pass it over to Mira now and let her tell you more:

 Tell us about yourself and your business:

Mira: I pretty much dragged a husband and three kids out to Eugene to start my clothing line and sell it at Saturday Market.  I didn't really know about organic fabrics until I moved here. My line was started with conventional cotton, but we switched to hemp and organic cotton in the first year.

 What do you love about what you do?

Mira: I love running Sweet Skins because it makes my life complete. I have 4 children, the first one at 18 and the last one just now, at 40. While I am hopelessly in love with being a mommy, Sweet Skins makes my life complete. Designing clothing give me a creative outlet. And running the business side of things keeps me sharp and pays the bills. 

 What inspires your creations?

Mira: I am inspired by the women who wear my clothing. I absolutely LOVE seeing real woman try on my designs and blow their own minds by looking so fantastic in such simple pieces. It's all in the cut, and in really understanding women when designing. It's about woman feeling good and it showing. And I must confess, I do feel a bit of responsiblity to bring 'fashion forward' to the earth mamas.

 For today's giveaway, Sweet Skins is giving away a Tank Tee, their signature simply elegant tee, in any size and color available. (Shown in these two pictures.)
In addition to the giveaway, Sweet Skins is offering 15% off when you use the coupon code: SWEETWOOLY at checkout. The coupon code will be good through April.
International entries are welcome. 
The giveaway will be open through Thursday, April 17th and the winner will be announced in the widget below on Friday, April 18th. Winner will receive an e-mail with the happy news. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecoptor widget below. You can earn up to 30 entries. (Leaving a comment on this post is not mandatory since a few of you have told me you've had a hard time getting it to work, but it will give you extra points.)

Thanks for the giveaway Sweet Skins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway