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July 2013

June 2013

sponsor spotlight ~ armadillo dreams

Today I would like to introduce and share a bit about Gypsy Forest Sponsor Armadillo Dreams.

In their words : We are a husband & wife business located in Redmond, Oregon. Armadillo Dreams makes waldorf inspired high quality handmade wooden toys. We have handmade wood toys for kids of all ages. All of our handmade toys are made from natural organic materials, friendly for little hands and handcrafted with love! We believe it's important for children's toys to be handmade toys that they can dream, imagine and play with. 


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stephinie ~ tell us a little about Armadillo Dreams, your toys, and who you are...

Hi! I'm Dustin. My wife Amanda and I own and run our handmade wooden toy business, Armadillo Dreams. We create baby toys, toddler toys and kids toys. Everything we sell is made from natural materials, is friendly for little hands and is handmade with love! We believe it's important for children to have high quality, natural, simple waldorf toys that they can dream, imagine and play with.

We have two children, Lucy and Lincoln. We operate out of our home, which is located in beautiful Redmond, Oregon. We love being able to be at home together as a family! You can learn more about our family and follow our adventures through our blog Wild Armadillos. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for daily specials, sales, news and giveaways.

We have been selling through our Etsy shop since 2010. Just this April we also started our own website, which we are really exited about! The sales from our new website benefits our family a lot more directly. We will always have our Etsy shop though, since that is where we got our start and due to the number of fans we have on Etsy.

 

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stephinie ~ what is your favorite toy in the shop right now?

Dustin ~ Being a Pacific Northwest native, I really enjoy our Bigfoot set. He is a fun legend in Oregon! Here he is…

 

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stephinie ~ running a small business and raising a family is busy work, how do you & Amanda find balance in your days?

Dustin ~ It’s a balancing act for sure. Fortunately about half of our work can be performed inside our home at our dining room table, so we can work and be with our kids at the same time when we do have to work. We take every Sunday off as a family day, so that we always have at least one day a week when we can count of being together as a family. We also try to fit a lot of our work time into nap time and evening time after our kids go to bed (while still leaving some time for us at the end of the evening). We’re night owls, so it works well for us.

 

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Armadillo Dreams is generously offering a super fun sumer themed play set to one lucky Gypsy Forest reader. Leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite toy from their shop is for a chance to win this camping set. Good Luck! (you can see my favorite set here) 

 

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The winner will be drawn next Friday, July 5th!

Armadillo Dreams is also offering an awesome coupon code for Gypsy Forest Readers! Use the code "gypsy" to get 15% off your order through July 15th. Armadillo Dreams also offers free shipping for orders over $100. Be sure to use the code at their new website

Thank you Dustin!

 

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congratulations to Cassandra who said "I love the farmer set with the animals! I bought this last Xmas for my nephew, and he loves it."

 

Thanks again to Armadillo Dreams for hosting a lovely giveaway and to all of you for taking the time to get to know a small business!

For information on sponsorship, see here.

 


my miriam.....

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

my miriam.....

 

Finally. My Miriam.

I actually finished this sweater back at the end of April.... but goodness it's taken me forever to make time to photograph it and share it here with you.

I really can't say enough good about this sweater. After two months of wearing it, I can tell you it's my favorite. The first thing I reach for on a cool morning. It drapes beautifully.... it's comfy.... and the color? I'm smitten. Totally a grey girl here.

The pattern is Miriam by Quince & Co. I have heard so many good reviews about Carrie's patterns and this one was easy and beautiful.... just as I hoped it would be. The yarn is the incredibly delicious Orion in Jackie's Pewter colorway. (there isn't any in the shop now, but I know she would be happy to dye a custom order if you love it too ~ she's good like that!) I actually fell in love with the color of yarn before I found the sweater! I left a few notes in Ravelry, if you're interested..... but I really followed the pattern to a "t". Which is actually very unlike me. I usually mess with something at least a little bit.

Have any of you knit up something new lately? Share a link so I can take a peek.....

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

I'll be back here tomorrow afternoon with a sponsor giveaway!

xo,

s

psssst..... Jackie updated her shop this afternoon, she has 8 skeins of this yarn ready to ship!

~also.... thank you to my honey for snaping these photos~ 

 


csa share :: week 3

csa share :: week 3

 

csa share :: week 3

 

csa share :: week 3

 

csa share :: week 3

 

csa share :: week 3

 

csa share :: week 3

 

I'm a little late in getting this together this week. We had a thunderstorm the afternoon we picked up our share too.... so the photos are a wee bit dark.

This week's share from the farm:

2 bunches chives

1 bundle sage

garlic scapes

3 zucchini

2 summer squash

2 zephyr squash

2 heads magenta lettuce

2 chinese cabbage

1 green cabbage

2 *huge* bags sugar snap peas

1 bunch swiss chard

1 bundle savoy

1 bunch dandelion greens

1 bunch mizuna

1 bag beets

2 heads broccoli

1 bundle kohlrabi

(our summer share averages out to $32 a week)

 

Some ideas:

grilled cabbage with spicy lime sauce (we tried this, it was delicious!)

garlic scape pesto (you could sub dandelion greens for the chard too!)

garlic scape aioli

green smoothies

garlic scape soup

chili dusted kohlrabi fries

 

Storage bits: I mentioned last week that I keep my greens bagged. I use grocery sacks. I reuse them again and again. While I usually bring my reusable bags to the store, I do occasionally forget and so we've always got a few hanging around. The last picture shows a paper towel, folded in half and placed on the side of the head of lettuce. It works like magic to wick moisture from your greens.... avoiding soggy lettuce. If it gets saturated, just swap it out for a new one. I suppose you could use a cotton cloth too.... though I have not tried. Scapes, squash & cabbage go right in the crisper drawer. Beets and peas are bagged. I've had no trouble getting my greens to last 7-10 days this way. When I make a salad, I use my salad spinner after washing the lettuce and even torn/cut leaves stay for 3-4 days in the fridge easily.

The guy and I are off on a grown-up date in a few minutes to price inserts for the fire place. It's a cool rainy day here too which means I can *finally* (hopefully) get a photo shoot done for the sweater I finished in late April. ahem~

Have a wonderful day!

xo,

s

 


just this......

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

just this......

 

:: unpacking, guitars hung on the wall. possibly my favorite art. also, reminds me of my sweet lafayette peeps who also have guitars hung in their living room. miss you a+i~

:: a new to us chair.... which goes so nicely with the other new to us furniture in our house. $17 at the salvation army. chartreuse. metal brads. *love*

:: so many shades of green.... finally fell in love with one. 

:: him. home. have i mentioned how much i like this guy? maybe once or twice?

:: new clay. a new clay shop. good messy fun. sweet little pots.

:: we are outside so much. sweltering good summer heat. oh how i've missed really awesome summer weather. sprinklers. cold beer with that guy. swinging in the hammock. good stuff.

:: a new coffee maker. the old french press finally gave out. beautiful + delicious.

:: working again. it's been so many weeks (months) but it feels good to create. to make. i dyed up over 150 silks in the last three days. new projects in the works. slowly filling my heart up in that way that only making can do.

tell me, what is the ordinary that is filling your days? the little things? 

do share.....

 


sunset storm......

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

storm

 

I love the rain.

I fell out of love with it from time to time when we lived in coastal Alaska. Sometimes it was tough when on day 46 you woke up again to clouds and pouring rain. The sunny days there were worth every drop though, truly. You pacific northwest folks know this. But here? It's just right. Often enough to keep everything beautiful and green and not so often that I don't love each little storm that rolls through.

If there is ever a time that I feel completely vulnerable and connected to the earth.... it is when the sky suddenly darkens and the thunder starts to rumble. When rain suddenly spills from the sky in heavy buckets. I can't explain it really.... but I just feel alive and connected to everything. Maybe it's the wanna-be-hippie in me or something... but it's deep rooted.

Can't you just feel the fresh start when the sun comes out after the rain? When every drop of water is transformed into bits of glittering light. The bit of hope in a soft rainbow. Oh I love it.... I really do.

 


csa share : week 2

csa share : week 2

 

csa share : week 2

 

csa share : week 2

 

Last week we picked up our first share of the summer season from Kettle Pond Farm. It was *huge*. Seriously. The summer season runs 21 weeks and a full share works out to be about $31 per week. For the amount of beautiful organic produce we receive, I can honestly say it's a bargain! Plus I feel great about supporting an awesome local farm. Win-win, right?

 

So, here is what was in our week 2 share:

3 large bunches of broccoli

3 large heads of lettuce

2 bags of mixed salad greens

2 bags of snap peas

1 bunch of russian kale

1 bunch of kohlrabi

1 bunch of garlic scapes

1 farao green cabbage

1 bunch leaf fennel

1 bunch yukina savoy

1 bunch par-cel

2 bunches scallions

 

The eggs I purchased extra for $4. But I had to show them to you, because you know.... farm eggs are so totally delicious. Fried eggs and sautéed greens. Yum.

Now.... you might be wondering what we do with all that green stuff. It makes my salad a day goal happen easily. I do rinse and salad spin the lettuce mix and place them in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Lettuce heads get placed in a plastic bag with a paper towel too. They stay fresh for a week this way. Maybe longer, but we try to eat up everything before we head to the farm on Monday because otherwise I would need another fridge to hold all this green booty.

Kohlrabi is our new favorite! Good roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper. One of my readers suggested sprinkling it with parmesan cheese the last few minutes of baking. We are definitely trying that this week. It is also yummy with the outer layer peeled and then sliced to eat raw. Delicious with hummus, in salads, and this soup looks so good!

Aside from lettuce & cabbage, I toss lots of greens in our salads and smoothies. Last night I minced up par-cel and scallions to season some turkey meatballs. And even though it isn't in this weeks share, I did pluck a bunch of dandelion greens from the "bonus" box at the farm. While I could eat these sautéed with chickpeas and garlic.... the little kids don't love this as much. But, on a whim I added an entire bunch of dandelion (stalks removed) to a batch of pesto and tossed it with pasta. They devoured it. Sneaky good, right?

The cabbage and savoy might make their way to stir fry. Or some coleslaw. Sautéed cabbage with sesame oil & bragg (soy sauce) is also delicious. Savoy is good in salads too.

Fennel, scallions, scapes & par-cel will be adding some flavor to our dishes. Just chop and sauté with whatever you already have going on. I think Fennel would be wonderful with potatoes & snap peas in a cold salad. And fish too. I've been getting red salmon reports from my mom and *dreaming* of grilled salmon. She's visiting in August..... so hopefully that dream will be a reality very soon.

So.... tell me what you're eating local. Extra points if you share a link to a favorite recipe.

 


morning . noon . night

morning . noon . night

 

 

morning . noon . night

 

morning . noon . night

 

morning ~ new succulents in an old left behind container

noon ~ meal sized salads from the last of our csa lettuce

night ~ maggie, at the end of every day

 

Happy Monday Friends~

xo,

s

 

ps ~ kohlrabi roasted + raw with hummus are both winners! thank you~~~



ten things that make me smile right now....

ten things that make me smile right now....

 

ten things that make me smile right now....

 

ten things that make me smile right now....

 

1. an apartment suite that is clean and ready for guests, done in mostly hodge-podge miner family style. which is my very favorite way of doing things. it still needs fresh paint, but who has time to look at that when the outside is so green and pretty.

2. unpacking the craft supply box to dig out a fresh journal in preparation for this class. it's just what my heart needs right now.

3. a tiny bit of sun today...... such a great break from the rain we've been having. (8 inches already this month! it's pretty soggy here.....)

4. lots of salads this week from our first csa share. so. very. good.

5. simple sweet fox buttons. swoon~

6. just 4 weeks until we pick up a box of eight little peeps.

7. picking up the notebook and pen after a very, very long break. like visiting an old friend.

8. a sweet call from my cousin.... just to check in on us.

9. a daddy playing mario cart (on a hand-me-down game system) with his kids. because sometimes the hippy mama has to compromise. and you know what? it's all good.

10. this and this are on the menu for next week. hopefully with some local strawberries. so yummy~

 

Tell me....... what's making you smile in your little part of the world?

Also, who knows what the heck to do with kohlrabi?

 

Happy Weekending~

xo,

s

 


home......

home.....

 

Thank you so much for all of your sweet words about our friend.

These last days have felt so heavy.

I don't really know how else to explain it.

I left the kids with family in New York and flew to meet Joe in Louisiana. We attended services for our friend and then drove north to collect our family and head home. I have never felt more grateful for family, for the ability to call at a moment's notice and have my children (and 5 animals) received into loving arms. Not worrying about the kids a single second all week while I stood by Joe's side. I could never express my gratitude with words, it is too great. Truly~

As for now, we just take small steps forward. We support our sweet friend who lost her husband. We hope that each day the fog lifts a little more and the sun comes out.... that each sunrise might make for a little more peace in so many hearts filled with sorrow.

It's hard.... and so heavy. And healing takes time.

As I type these words in a quiet sun filled corner of my house, two little ones are laughing and playing in the backyard. My sweet man is napping on the couch after a long day of yard work. The wind is rustling the leaves outside..... almost sounding like soft waves on the ocean. The smell of summer mixed with a pot of chicken soup on the stove is making my heart feel full.

It's always so good to be home.

xo,

s

 


lost......

Untitled

 

We've lost a very dear friend of ours unexpetedly. He was young, funny, handsome and very loved. I'm stepping away from this space for awhile to support my family. Please hold us in your thoughts and hearts.

with love,

stephinie