A Week in the Wilderness

A week in the wilderness allows ample time for...    

...eating giant gooey marsh mellows all day long over a crackling fire. {the boys measured and the marsh mellows are four times the size of their standard sized counterparts}

...late night casts into the lapping lake waters.

...snuggling under the twinkling of the stars, and waking early to the refreshing, crisp air of Spring by the lake.  

Somehow the mountain of after camping laundry doesn't seem so bad when I think of all the fun we had making such a mess!  I hope you had a beautiful week, too~

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Frolicking in the Woods

We're off frolicking in the woods for a few days!  We'll see you back here next Monday with lots of new goodies to share~
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Gardens and Such

I'm just really not the kind of girl who does well with timelines, deadlines, or any kind of being on time for that matter....  I always think I can reform myself by creating lists and schedules but mostly it just makes me feel guilty for not getting things done in a timely manner. 

This space is no exception...  I much prefer a natural rhythm to writing, art, and life, and hope that my posts will reflect the pure serendipity of our lifestyle.  


A break in the clouds prompted a quick trip to the co~op for a bale of straw to cover the garden beds.  

Spreading of the straw quickly turned into a game of nest building.

We even managed to plant all of our tomatoes that we started from seeds here {we're just a little proud of our plants}

My new lens also arrived from Photojojo, so I tried to capture a few photos before the rain drops returned.  ~*this is so much fun*~

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of unscheduled happiness!

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All in a Day's Work

So this is how it went this week:
~Woke up and threw in a load of laundry.
~Helped the kids with breakfast as they each rolled out of bed.
~Checked in on Jake who is sick with strep throat.
~Did another load of laundry
~Drew out a pattern for men's sized pants/shorts
~Another load of laundry
~Made cheese wraps for the boys who were famished from jumping on the trampoline all morning.
~Check on Jake, who's still sleeping
~Played Memory with Luke
~Cut out pattern and fabric for a pair of men's shorts while Luke wrote a list of things we needed from the store.
~Read with boys on the couch
~Yep, you guessed it... more laundry
~Lunch time {I can't even remember what we had}
~Chase dog around the neighborhood because someone left the gate open.  I'm sure this looked hysterically funny from an outsiders perspective, but we have one stubborn dog who loves squirrels.
~The L word
~Sew and finish shorts
~Start dinner {Green chili stew}
~Thank goodness the laundry's done
~Clean up dinner
~Make a batch of cherry tea soap
~Tuck kids into bed
~Sit down to Knit {my favorite part of the day}

...at least there's never a dull moment.  What's your favorite part of the day?
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Hemp Makes Me Happy

Hand dyed hemp fabric makes me so happy.  Besides the fact that I LOVE hand dyeing anything I can get my hands on, this batch of hemp/organic cotton fabric evolved out of necessity.  My boys and I are a little picky about the clothing we wear. {Luke's pretty much go with the flow, but the rest of us have Taxtile Sensitivity}  They don't want things poking them like seams, buttons and zippers, and there has to be a certain degree of softness, durability, and functionality. 

As a family, we made a pact for the year that we'd only buy used clothing from thrift stores, but this sensitivity has come to a degree that handmade clothing is the only way to go.  So the guys and I sat down and they gave me a list of qualities they wanted in a pair of pants/shorts:
*Elastic waist {not too tight or too loose}
*DEEP pockets for rocks, shells, and the occasional worm {Note to self:  teach kids to check their own pockets before wash day!}
*Fun earthy colors
*Fabric that was soft, but wouldn't rip if you got caught on a branch running through the woods {I'm guessing that one came from experience!}
*Fabric that would dry quickly

The choice of fabric was easy.  Hemp/Organic Cotton.  I've written about the benefits of hemp in this space before, but it really is the most amazing fabric on earth.  Hempfarm is also a great source of information about this misrepresented plant.

I'll be stitching up lots of shorts for these boys of mine this week, and I also plan on offering them up as a Custom Made to Order in my shop at the end of the month {because I know my boys aren't the only kiddos who have trouble finding eco~friendly, comfortable clothing}

Since I was dyeing fabric anyway, I mixed in some vintage linen napkins I found recently at a garage sale!  They were perfect for our picnic at the park yesterday!

What features do your kids look for in clothing?
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Wild Edibles

Wild edible food is a main food group year round at our house, but the Spring especially is a time for abundance, as the young shoots and buds are usually the most flavorful and pack the most punch in terms of nutrients!

Right now we've been snacking on these young pine cones from our Norway Spruce.  Their texture and size are similar to the wild strawberry, but with a sweet nutty flavor.

If you are a little skeptical to try eating the cone, you could also try pine tea.  Rich in vitamin A & C, the tea is an easy way to build up your immune system, or to be used as a treatment for sinus and respiratory ailments.  It's also anti~inflammatory, making it beneficial in treating ailments such as menstral cramps and head aches.

To make the tea, pour a pint of boiled water over an ounce of fresh chopped pine needles and steep for two hours.  The kids like to add a teaspoon of honey for a little sweetness, but it really is good all on it's own.

We're also looking forward to foraging for cattails, nettle, asparagus, and leafy greens.  What wild edibles have you been enjoying this season?
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Shepherd's Harvest

It's tradition.  Every Mother's Day we head on out to the fair grounds and stomp through the cool wind and mud at Shepherd's Harvest, our area's local fiber festival.  Animals, live music, demos and classes, textiles, and sweet yarn as far as the eye can see.....

One of my favorite parts of the festival is picking out a beautiful sheep and watching the farmers shear the fleece for me to take home!  I was only planning on watching this year, since I'm still working on a dreamy gray and brown Jacob along with an Icelandic fleece I purchased last year, so I waited until the end of the day to venture over to their barn. I watched Jody's skirting demonstration, played with all the fiber laying around, talked tales of spinning, and came home with this giant fleece that's a BFL mix.
I know I said I wasn't going to buy anything, but do you want to know how much I paid for this giant fuzzy fur ball, that's already been skirted and picked a bit???  $10.  Yep, ten american dollars.  It was one of her last sheep of the day to be sheared, and she asked did I want to take it home for a good deal.  Well, twist my arm why don't ya.  She also threw in a bag of Suri Alpaca, just because.  {Note to self; send Jody a thank~you note and some yummy soap!}

I also pulled the Mother's Day card to get my boys to smile all at the same time for the camera.  Thanks guys!

I hope you all had a beautiful Mother's Day weekend~
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The Art of Writing

Cole has been enamored with the art of writing since he first put pen to paper, always writing in bubble letters or creating pictures within his words, so it came as no surprise when he asked to learn the graceful lines of cursive.... in calligraphy.

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Nature Notebook

Nature Notebooks.  We have many.  Filled with inspiring photos, sketches, project ideas, observations & dreams that we never want to forget....

If you'd like to share how the natural world has inspired your life this week, please leave your name and your link in the comments below for others to find and enjoy! 

Please feel free to add my Nature Notebook button to your blog, so that others may find it and share their inspiration! Just save the button to your desktop. Then add it to your blog as a photo gadget and link it to http://thesittingtree.blogspot.com

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Shades of Gray

I picked up the most amazing herringbone wool skirt at the thrift shop last week.  Soft, subtle shades of gray in a wee herringbone weave.... it's to become a pair of pants for Luke this fall.  Of course the pants will need a handsome gray cabled sweater to match.  

Dyeing gray yarn to match is not as easy as it seems, though.  My charcoal dye tends to result in a soft smokey blue tint and when painted over natural cream wool, revealing a hint of green undertone. Not suitable for my cabled sweater, but wait... the yarn's a perfect match for my layette sketches I drew a few weeks ago!!!!   A modern bib, bonnet, and booties in a classic stormy gray.  I LOVE when everything works out, even in a round about way.  

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