Entries categorized "outside"

up north......

We headed north last weekend and spent some time on the farm.....  

We cleared brush and hauled brush. It was damp and chilly, and we hiked the old logging trail to explore and warm ourselves up. Everything was a lush green and full of blossoms. Lots of little creatures on our many walks, so many blackberries and carpets of oregano. It's really something to watch the whole piece of land wake up after winter. Slowly, slowly we're getting to know her a little more....

We brought Maggie along for the first time, which was the perfect thing for the kids. Somehow she manages to keep the peace between them when they start squabbling, and if one is reading a book in the camper (needing alone time) and the other wants to wander, they can always take Maggie. She's truly the best "kid" dog I have ever had. It makes up for her hound tendencies, because as we were packing up to head home she wandered a bit too far, giving us all a good scare thinking we had lost her. Hound dogs and their noses, I tell you.....

Lunar

Camper

Green

Pink

Snail

Daisy

Oregeno

Strawberry

Magnolia

Purple

Toad

Blackberry

Dragonfly

So many creatures joined us for our walks it felt like the forest had arranged a spring welcoming committee. Every other step one of us was saying "oooh, what's this". If anyone overheard us they'd have gotten a good laugh at our over excitement.

Each time we head up - amongst the work - there is a moment where Joe or I stand in the middle of the field and say to each other.... can you believe this? We both keep saying no.

xo,

s

 


keeping up

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My youngest is a mover and a shaker. If homeschool had yearbooks he'd be voted as most likely to take things apart or maybe most likely to be hanging upside-down from a tree branch. When he learned to read, it was with his legs flopped over the back of the couch and the rest of him twisted sideways to see the book I was sharing with him. Usually his antics make me laugh. It's the blessing of being the baby in the family I guess. This time of year though, he tends to get himself riled up to the point of driving his teenage sisters a little batty. More often than I care to remember someone is shrieking at him.... and usually for good reason. Sometimes I ignore it and let them settle it themselves.... sometimes I get involved and play mediator.... other times the only answer is to give the girls some quiet time and take the boy outside. I tell my mom he's like a puppy, he needs to be run! (These are literally my father's words coming out of my mouth!)

So run we do. Over the creek and through the forest. The tables turned with him on a mission and me looking at every little thing. He wants to make it to the water. Stomp over the bridge. Chase the dog. Throw sticks through the last bits of ice. Move, move, move. I'm bumbling behind, wondering if those last shrooms were turkey tails or not. And talk! He talks the whole time. Rarely needing an answer from me, but more so just needing to voice all the things in his little mind. I listen to talk about Legos, his recent obsession of the Simpsons (even though he's never seen an episode), his confusion about why people litter, and his wondering about fairies in the woods.

These days it's a mix of becoming for him. I see him figuring out how he fits in this new world of being a big kid. Flitting back and forth between the two as his siblings did before him, as all kids tend to do around this age. I remember our rock days, and I hang onto these last bits of little as much as I can. The over exuberant hugs, the magic, the messes, his rare need for help, his nightly snuggle under my arm while I attempt to knit.... all of it.

It's been said a million times over, but oh how time flies....

xo,

s

 


winter beach wandering......

Gooseberry island

Frozen sea spray

Frozen sea

Sand & boy

Sea kelp

Winter beach walk

Magic

I've lived near the ocean since I was twelve. Well, aside from that quick two year tour in the midwest... but even then we lived on Lake Superior.... which will fool you a bit as trying to be an ocean. I know the smell and sound of her by heart. And while sitting at the beach in the sun is lovely, my true love is walking along the shore. Even better, standing at her edge before a storm. Watching the waves pick up... hearing the wind whip around... the sound of the water crashing onto the rocks and then the sudden sucking noise as it quickly returns to the sea. It's powerful. And since becoming a mother, it always reminds me a bit of birth.

We drove to our favorite beach this week after a good snowstorm. I made the kids wear their new long underwear and packed us all snacks for the way home. We had to park outside the gate and walk in. The cold wind almost surprising after a car ride in a toasty warm car. We huff and puff down the trail and then slip off the side to get a break from the wind. As soon as their boots touch the sand the kids are off. Their usual squabble is replaced by a combination of vast space between them or the two of them shoulder to shoulder looking at creatures in tide pools. Ebb and flow....

They must be so cold, Sophie says. Quickly putting a hermit crab back into the water.

Dad, tell me again why the ocean doesn't freeze, Luke asks. 

We walk and walk. Our bodies warm. The gloves come off and jackets get unzipped. The salty air fills my lungs and kisses my skin.

The kids wander ahead of Joe & I, and we begin to talk. About our plans. The farm. How to get from here to there. How long will it take to save enough money to begin building. Can't we really just build a tiny house and rough it? Would the kids hate us forever? Will there be for four or six of us  by then, how can our big kids be turning 18 & 20 this fall? Is he sure he is opposed to goats? (I'm slowly winning him over on the last one.) I'm a planner, a dreamer. I need details and goals to motivate me. Joe is pragmatic, steady. I'm thinking of what dairy goats would suit us best and he's thinking about fixing up his parent's old tractor so he can keep the front part of our property cleared until we build. I like to think we make a good pair though.

Will you miss this? I ask him. Will you miss being able to hop in the car and drive thirty minutes to one of the most beautiful beaches in New England?

He is slow to answer. I think about all the years he has spent on a ship at sea. His entire career interwoven with boats and salty air. My sailor boy. And then I think about all the reasons we chose the woods over the ocean. It wasn't an easy decision, but it feels right. It feels like us. Still, I wonder, will I miss it more than I think?

I look forward to visiting, he answers. 

And then Luke yells to us, something about icicles at the beach being salty. I am eating the ocean! He shouts. I have a taste. Cold. Salty. Me too, I tell him. 

 

xo,

s

   


home again, home again.......

Oakleaves

We're getting settled in here at home after our trip.

The warm sunshine was amazing. The time with friends even better.

I spent so much time laughing and talking and just being with those people I love so dearly.

The kids did the very same.... staying up way too late and falling asleep in piles of blankets and pillows like puppies. 

The day we left, heavy fog hung in the air and the deep blue morning sky was framed by the silhouette of oak leaves. I stood in the driveway, looking up, feeling so grateful my heart could burst. (picture taken with my phone)

It was magic. Our hearts are full.

Happy weekending to you.

xo,

s

 


well, there's snow.....

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It's doing it again right now.

Snowing.

Thank goodness Joe built a plow. (Out of a riding mower without a mowing deck and a plow blade - both given to him by people moving). He taught the girl how to drive it and this last storm she scooped snow to the edge of our ever shrinking driveway and he shoveled it over the berm. 

I'm actually not sick of it, the snow, which I hate to admit because I know a lot of you are. But the truth is, it doesn't really cramp my style. Only one of the kids gets snow days. So does the man, but that's kind of a sweet deal. It piles up. I get a workout from shoveling. I need that workout, believe me. I need the motivation to get out there. Work to be done does that. Except when the guy gets a snow day and he says I should spend the day in the studio. And so I do. There was that one part where the roof had to be shoveled, and the enormous icicles entangled the outdoor lights I had forgotten to take down, and we used a dozen or more buckets of hot water (which I sent out the second floor window to Joe who was on the roof) to melt a huge ice dam threatening to damage our roof. That part was a little crappy. 

But the rest of it? The garden is under nearly three feet. Dogs wade belly deep to try and find their beloved sticks. We are all bundled in layer upon layer to keep warm. Extra seeds get tossed on top of the snow for our forest friends and to our chickens. The bees quietly buzz away. Snowflakes on your nose. Kids playing in a hammock and flailing themselves off into the fluff. As it starts falling again, I can stand still and watch for what seems like forever. A little in love, a little in awe. I'm convinced it is one of the last magical things as a grown up as I watch it flutter from heaven to the earth.... yeah, I'm still kinda digging it. With soul and biceps.

xo,

s

 


a good nor'easter.....

So late last week I wrote this whole blog post about winter having failure to commit. I think I said something like if it wasn't going to snow, it could just forget about being winter and let spring come.

The following morning before I posted it, Joe sat chuckling over the weather forecast while I sipped my first cup of coffee. It seems winter had read my mind, and had just a little bit of snow in the plans....

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I think we got around 20 inches or so. It was hard to tell because the wind blew SO much that we had 3+ foot drifts in some spots. Like the entire back porch! The big kid, Joe & I spent around 5 hours shoveling. It was insane. And beautiful. And we've enjoyed playing in it. 

Today I stayed in the warm studio, tidying, while Joe & Sophie built a snow cave. I laughed at my teenagers..... peering over the balcony at the icy house construction below. In bare feet! And shorts! What is it with kids this age? They crack me up. Meanwhile, I am in the study in wool socks. Slippers. Layers upon layers of fleece. Cozy.

There is soup simmering on the stove for supper and I didn't even make it. The best kind of dinner, right? The snow cave builders are just coming in with smiles and rosy cheeks. Two whole snow days! Such a treat.

Thank you winter.... sorry for thinking you weren't going to come through.

Hope all of you are cozy.

xo~
s

 


new year

new

new

new

new

new

there is magic in capturing light. those mystic rainbow hued orbs. i know they are reflections of light on glass, but sometimes i like to think of them as something more. and perhaps they are.....

cheers to new beginnings, fresh starts, and hearts filled with hope and wonder and light.

happy 2015

xo,

s

 


to the sea......

We made a trip to our favorite beach.

I love the off season out there. It's quiet and we usually have the shoreline all to ourselves. Sometimes I dream of living in a little cottage, walking distance to a rocky beach falling into the sea. Just like Miss Rumphius. 

(You know, before you get all serious and consider how expensive waterfront real estate is. Or taxes in coastal New England.) 

This fall has had some unusually warm days here and there and the kids took full advantage by playing tag with the waves. Water always recharges my spirit. The man's too. Makes sense since he's a pisces and I'm a capricorn, stubborn goat with a fish tail. hmm.

Enough random babbling though, why don't you join us for our walk.........

 

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

to the sea.....

 

xo~
s

 


DIY Summer Camp

DIY Summer Camp

Last summer the kids and I had a whole lot of fun using this DIY Summer Camp E-book for inspiration. I was very honored to be interviewed by the editor of the e-book, Liz of A Natural Nester, about our experience. You can read the interview over on Green Child today. 

I printed the entire camp out last year and placed the pages in sleeve covers inside a three ring binder. This made it extra durable, which is awesome because we plan to use it again this summer! If you're looking for a way to bring a whole lot of fun to your summer..... take a peek. The line-up of camp counselors is pretty impressive! 

Sarah of Imagine Childhood, Kara of Simple Kids, Ashley of Small Measure, Debi of Go Explore Nature, Liz of A Natural Nester, just to name a few!!

xo~

s

ps ~ if you're visiting from Green Child, welcome! I hope you stick around and have some summer fun with us!

pps ~ those are Luke's hands holding a bucket of freshly picked blueberries from our favorite spot to visit.... we picked over 50 pounds last year!

 

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

meeting heather ross.......

Back in January my sweet friend Tawnya surprised me with an email : "Surprise, we're going to meet Heather Ross for her rooftop workshop in Manhattan. Happy birthday to you and me!" I couldn't believe it. I probably have an (embarrassing) amount of sewing posts over the years crushing on her fabric. All of her books. And drawer full of out of print fabrics. Ahem.

So... after m-o-n-t-h-s of waiting the weekend finally arrived and we headed to the city. We spent an entire day with other HR fans on her rooftop in Manhattan. Crafting (I made the boat diorama of our family). Laughing. Hanging out with a super talented group of illustrators from NYC. Eating delicious food and having *the* most amazing champagne ever. (Lemons & Champagne, wow!) It was totally a crafty girl's dream come true. Heather is pretty much the sweetest thing ever..... totally down to earth, funny, kind. I sat next to Annabel and we chatted while we painted, me having no idea who she was but totally inspired by her kids sewing classes. Turns out she's got two fantastic sewing books out there for kids, totally worth taking a peek at(super cute bikini doll up there is her creation) I'm still swooning over the whole event.

Attendees were gifted a charm pack and copy of her new book. She had a special price on her prints... and you know, what better place to buy the print you've been in love with for months than on a rooftop, right? So, Foxy should arrive next week or so. I bought a copy of Crafty Chloe for the kids.... they both loved it and we've read it at least four times in the last two days. A-----n----d............. I bought a copy for you! Well, one of you. See that signed page in the second to last photo? Leave a comment here for  chance to win it. I'm also including a selection of prints from the magic Heather Ross drawer in my studio. You have to let me pick, but you can let me know in the comments if you want boy, girl or anything from the stash.

Winner will be drawn Friday. Good luck friends!

xo,

s

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comments are closed, congratulations Brienne! You are the lucky winner!!