Friday Finds, NaturalKids Style..

I know that the NaturalKids team is all about kids, but really.  May I please have all of these items in grown up versions?

Who doesn't want a real acorn kitchen?

This girl's got style.  
I just might have to make a pair of knit overalls for myself!

And knit those overalls with this amazing luxurious yarn!

Just because.

Don't forget to act like a kid once in a while, and have a great weekend~
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How to make a waldorf doll...

You are allowed to laugh.  I give you full permission. It's a good thing I don't make my living sewing, or we'd all starve to death!  Mike and I got a good laugh at the floppy head and misshapen body,  however, she is loved.

Cole and Luke sat next to me mesmerized as I stitched and stuffed two pieces of tea stained t~shirt scraps to make a little body. While embroidering the last stitch on her green eyes, my sweet little Lucas danced around the room asking if he could name her Ali and keep her for himself.

My instinct was to refuse, keeping her locked away until everything was finished.  Alas, my five year old reminded me of the most important lesson in life, it's not about being perfect, it's about loving one another and being loved.  I am loved~

*For the pattern, I used Simmy's fantastically generous tutorial for making Ali.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on my first doll, so I tea stained an old under shirt for the body, and stuffed her with some wool fleece I had on hand.  I've spun up some gorgeous chunky tan alpaca for her hair and hopefully I'll have some more pictures to show you next week!

~Peace & Love~
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Hand Dyed Yarn...

The last batch of my hand dyed yarn sold so quickly, I thought I'd try to get a few more up for you tomorrow.  Each skein is approximately 100g/220 yards and OOAK colors, never to be reproduced again!  Here's a sneak peek, inspired by our backyard birds of Wisconsin::

Kirtland's Warbler...


Purple Finch...

Check for updates on Facebook as to what time I'll be posting on Etsy!  Enjoy~

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Gluten Free Zucchini Bread...

You know it.  Zucchini season.  Squash coming out your ears.  You can eat em' fried, pickled, raw, baked, and my personal favorite, shredded.  For zucchini bread, of course.  Here's the best gluten free zucchini bread recipe I've come up with::

3c shredded zucchini
1 2/3 c sugar
2/3 c vegetable oil
2t. vanilla
4 large eggs
3c gluten free flour mix (find that recipe here)
2 1/2t. xanthan gum
2t. baking soda
1t. salt
1t. ground cinnamon
1/2t. ground cloves
1/2t. baking powder
1/2c. chopped nuts
1/2c. raisins

1. Move oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans with shortening.
2. Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins.  Divide batter between the two pans
3. Bake 8" loaves 50-60 minutes, 9" loaves 70-80 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.
4. Loosen sides and remove from pans to completely cool, about 2 hours.

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To dye for...

Really, what else needs to be said about these gorgeous new colorways I've created using low~impact dyes and 100% sustainable virgin wool!  

The first is named, Carnival, inspired by a series of photos I took of the boys at our local small town summer festival.  

From the hot pink cotton candy that melts on your tongue, to the bountiful array of produce and fresh cut flowers at the farmer's market; I wanted to celebrate this time of year when vibrant color is transforming all around us.  

The summer goes by so fast here in Wisconsin, that I never want to rush the warmth away, but I long for my favorite time of year when the forest evolves into a peaceful extravaganza of color!  My second colorway Autumn Splendor, carries a more muted palate of teal, avocado, plum, rust, & golds to warm you against the cool autumn breezes.

Look at all those amazing transitions!  No two stitches will ever be the same ~

I've split Autumn Splendor into approximately 50 gram hanks (worsted weight) and will have them for sale in my shop sometime Tuesday afternoon.  This size hank would be perfect for the Luna Sweater or if you're like me, just to leave laying around the house and admire!

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A river runs through it...

Hope you're staying cool this weekend~
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Dog days of summer...

Heading out of July and into the dog days of summer, here are a few items from NaturalKids that will remind you to enjoy the heat and sun while they last!

Picking fresh garden flowers...

Sailing across the open water...

and Dancing under the stars...

I hope you're taking a little time out to enjoy this all~to~short summer season.  Stay tuned next week for a tutorial on how I made my very first waldorf doll, along with some adventures in spinning, a new sweater pattern I've been working on, and a few other surprises!

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My dog ate my blog posts...

Yeah, I finally have an internet connection that works!  It appears that the dog chewed almost all the way through the phone line.  No, this isn't my lame excuse for not blogging all week, although I'm amazed at how much I accomplished with such limited computer usage!  I'm really glad to be back in this space and share with you what I've been working on...

I sketched this sweater a few months ago thinking it would be wonderful to have a simple sweater pattern with sleeves of a different texture.  On paper, it looked amazing, however, now that I have it knitted up, I'm not so sure.  It's still a beautifully constructed sweater but it doesn't have that defining contrast I was hoping for.  Maybe a different stitch or maybe even two different colors?  Oh well, back to the drawing board~

I also had time this week to dye up some yarn that has been singing to me on the shelf for far too long...

What have you been working on this week?

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Christmas In July...

Christmas in July... The answer to all your pre holiday worries!  Every year I vow to start my holiday handcrafting earlier than December 1st, and while I always manage to have the best of intentions… well, you know.  

This year I'm making it easier than ever to get a jump start on your holiday gift giving with free shipping on your entire order through July 22, 2010!!!

For a limited time, I'm also offering a listing for hand knit Doll Sweaters and Longies made ~ to ~ order!

The fabulous NaturalKids Team is also part of the Etsy~wide Promotion and you can find many participating shops here::

Happy shopping~

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Happy 5th Birthday, Luke...

My baby turned 5 today, and apparently I'm no longer allowed to call him my baby anymore.  Well, we'll see about that...

After losing twins to an ectopic pregnancy, we were delirious with joy to hear his little heartbeat coming from the ultrasound machine.

At the end of the eighth month, I ended up with pre~eclampsia and on strict bed rest in the hospital for almost a month.  Born at 12:01 a.m.  and weighing only 5lbs, we were so relieved that it was finally over and everyone was healthy.  Amazingly, the pre~eclampsia disappeared within an hour of pushing him out!

I can't wait to see where life's journey takes him this year...

Happy Birthday, Baby!

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Things I Love...

It was a wonderfully slow day with good friends who reminded me of all the little things I love...

The eyebrow.

The feathery blond hair.

And bare feet in the sand.

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Carnivals & Cotton Candy...

Well, I'm officially alone for seven days with two small children.  I already miss my guys, (they're fishing in Canada with my dad and brother) and they've only been gone about 12 hours.  What better way to beat the blues than a parade, a carnival, and a giant bag of cotton candy! 

Cole was so excited to ride the train, 
but quickly changed his mind when I couldn't ride along too.

Oh, and after pulling out the neck twice, I decided that the sweater from yesterday is definitely going to be bottom up!

Hope you did something worth celebrating today~

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