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November 2011
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December 2011

and I'm off.....

and I'm off......

 

By the time you read this I should be in the air.... headed to Seattle. 

For a week. By myself.

MYSELF! (I still can't believe it!)

Joe has threatened to get on here and post while I'm away. So if you notice posts about things like oh, the specific gravity of beer or varieties of hops... it's not me.

This evening I'll be met by one of my dearest friends and I'm sure we'll be catching up and swapping stories of the past 18 months of our lives over a cold microbrew. And I'll be meeting her husband to be.... the very reason I'm headed to the northwest.

My heart is so filled up with love and excitement for this occasion. I'm reflecting on how good it is to see your friends find true love..... getting all misty eyed at my own sweet man and gosh I've gotten sappy with age. Life is lovely and beautiful, truly.

So my bag is filled with wool socks and fleece to keep my southern wimpy self warm and of course there is this pillow....

 

and I'm off......

 

The heart pocket is to hold a little something special, the ribbon to hold their rings, a little something blue embroidered to celebrate their day, and the button is from my grandmother's stash who coincidentally was also married on New Years Eve and enjoyed 67 years of marriage. {something old, blue & new} It's a wonky little handmade bit of love.... but I think it's just right.

See you all in a week....

 


in the thick of it......

in the thick of it

In the kitchen at this moment:

 

*ten pounds of organic peppers from our farm waiting to be sliced & diced and frozen, the last of the season in December! (which I bought for one dollar a pound!)

 

*the beginnings of tea for rehydrating a kombucha scoby (wish me luck!)

 

*this book & the beginning of simple farmer cheese on the stove with local goat's milk

 

*sourdough starter waiting to be fed & turned into loaves of bread which we have been loving devouring... recipe soon!

 

*an empty basket that has held a bounty of local citrus (gifted to us) grapefruits, navels, satsumas, meyer lemons and clementines.... amazing!

 

*a box with a fungus! shiitake mushrooms that we'll soon be growing right there on the counter.... a gift from my mama

 

*an empty bottle of one year old homemade barolo (red wine) I see a realio-trulio wine cellar in our someday house.....

 

Is your kitchen bustling? Are you trying anything new? Do share.

 

{ps ~ Nourished Kitchen is having a super end of the year sale.... 30% off classes, menus & e-books. I shared a little about them here, follow a link on the right and enter the code : SUPERSALE if you're interested~}

 


in between....

good

 

I'm enjoying this little bit of in between.

Letting the house be unkempt while we play with toys. Slowly pulling the bits of Christmas down and yet still loving the magic of the lights on the tree and excitement of Santa's visit to fill those stockings. Eating the last of the best ever sugar cookies.... so happy that I made a triple batch of biscotti. Love, love, loving this dal. Grateful for sweet kids who pooled funds to buy their mama these and chipped in to help buy their dad a banjo. (and laughing at our girl who thinks daddy should be able to learn the banjo part of this in a few days! oh my.)

I stepped away from the camera this Christmas. In fact I didn't take one single picture on that day. Do you ever feel like you view life's precious moments through a lens? I needed to put the lens down. And speaking of slowing things down..... we  didn't make any gifts this year. It's true. I've no list of handmade show & tell posts to share here. There was candy making and cookie baking and such.... but the whole season was just, well, chill

To be honest I missed the bits of our handmade.... we supported a few handmade makers, it's true. But I was happy to miss my own handmaking. Amidst the very busy days of all that we regularly do, I enjoyed the break from the busy-ness of holiday making. I think it will return this coming year..... perhaps even in the summer months when we're hibernating indoors escaping the heat. Ahhhh, to be prepared far ahead of time, now that would be glorious. But sometimes not doing something makes you remember why you loved to do it in the first place.

Right now, I'm going to make some tea & help the littlest ones build another epic marble run and listen to some good guitar tunes. I'm mindfully looking for stones in the coming days before I embark on this project. And I'm hoping a few things align just so and make this bit of goodness possible.

Wishing you all some very cozy and chill moments in the days ahead...

 


a little bit of magic....

Happy Christmas eve, eve....

one benefit of living here in the south is the ability to do something like this...

 

lights

 

lights

 

lights

 

lights

 

Winter camping with friends, just days before Christmas.

It was Joe's idea to bring the lights. Pure Magic.

I'll be back in a few days... wishing you all a lovely bit of celebrating.

{ps ~ last night was wonderful. Thank you for all your sweet hellos yesterday.... xoxo}

  


letting go

letting go

 

I didn't grow up celebrating solstice. It's something that fell into my lap a few short years ago. We have some simple treasured traditions that we hold dear to us and carry out each year. As the kids have grown, and truly as I have grown, I was in search of something more. Something bigger. I wasn't really sure what that something might be. Sometimes though, when I'm really listening, the universe drops an answer right into my lap. Just the thing I was looking for.

Something bigger. Beautiful. Inspiring.

I'm feeling deeply reflective and truthfully a little shy to be throwing my heart out on my shirt sleeve {or blog post} like this. But maybe your looking too. Maybe amidst the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays you need something more. To awaken your hopes and dreams for the new year, to ground you just where you are. 

Pixie has shared a wonderful Mother of all Releasing Ceremony in her space. This woman's words make my heart sing.... Tonight we'll be making our own bundles for our solstice fire. We're preparing to free our hearts of any shadows, anything keeping us from being our full beautiful selves, anything holding us back.

We're letting go.

With love, happy solstice....

 


family

I hope you all can imagine the beautiful chaos of getting six people to smile and stay in one place long enough to snap a few photos. I'm almost always the one behind the lens. I really, really love that we're all in these. With heartfelt gratitude to my friend who snapped these pictures. She's sooo good. And I know this is the best gift I could give to my mama (spolier alert, but that's okay.)

{and yes, these were last week. green grass? that's Christmas in the south for ya!}

 

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Happy Holidays to you all~

 


the hope quilt

When did this quilt begin? I suppose I finally pulled the pieces out of the stash a few months ago. The top was sewn up sometime in October and then it sat around waiting for the quilting which I did in November. I know I've been sharing little bits along the way here and here

And now it's done. Done!

The fabric I purchased here and it's from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley. It's lovely, isn't it? That Denyse has certainly got an eye for color. I cut out 8 inch squares of a few favorite prints and sewed them up. The border & backing are linen and I made bias tape from scraps for the binding. This was time consuming, but I am so glad I did it. I also love the little strip of patchwork color along the back. (inspired by looking at far too many quilts on pinterest!) The whole thing measures about 4 by 5 feet. Just the size for leaving over the back of the couch. The linen contrasts so nicely with the cotton... though it was wrinkly to work with. I ended up with a few puckers in the quilting which I almost seam ripped until Joe came to my rescue with one of his let it be bits of talk. So it's be-ing... just as it is. I didn't follow a pattern, though this book is quite helpful for quilting basics.

It's simple. I needed simple to finally jump over my big quilting hurdle. Little ones I do all the time here, true. But big ones? Patchwork ones? Hand sewn binding ones? I was afraid it would end up in the not finished pile I have. Please tell me a few of you also have one of those piles? C'mon, I won't tell anyone.

You want to see a few pictures right? I was so hoping you'd ask....

 

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A happy little hope quilt.

Are you working on something these days?

 


just good

We just got in from a 9 hour road trip to pick the biggest boy up from school for winter break. My oh my that is a whole lot of driving in one day. It is however the perfect opportunity to finish up hand sewing the binding on a quilt! As soon as we arrived in the door, the last of the ornaments were placed on the tree, including the star. Which is the job for only the biggest boy.

As I sip a cold beer and type these words, I am listening to all four of my children laugh and talk down the hall. Gratitude does not begin to cover the feeling in my soul.

Before I forget to tell you all (again), I had the honor of being featured in an interview over on Clean. Rachel is an inspiring mama and writer and I'd love for you to take a peek at the interview and of course drop your name in the hat for a giveaway! 

Also, the shop has been updated and has some beautiful new fabrics in it.

 

just good

 

And now, there is a cute guy with a guitar on my patio. He's singing old Pearl Jam songs under Christmas lights. I can't quite think of a place I'd rather be.

Have a lovely evening~