Happy Halloween


Today we're celebrating the beginning of our most favorite week of the year!  The end of the harvest, remembering loved ones both past and present, and snuggling in, for the darkening of days are upon us.

Tonight we're spending the evening with friends for some tricks, treats and scary stories read by Gordon Grice.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween!
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Gratitude

As updates of Sandy roll across my news pages this morning, I can't help but take a moment to step back and be grateful for all I have in my life right now.







Right now, I'm grateful for...

* warm food in our bellies

* a safe place to sleep

* creative, satisfying work

* celebrating with the extended families we adore

* the last of the golden leaves on the maple tree


What are you grateful for today?




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Giveaway




Good morning, friends.  I'm just popping in to let you know that a few of my fellow artisans and I over at NaturalKids are having a HUGE giveaway this weekend!  (Do you see my DRYER BALLS up there?)  You can find all the giveaway info here.  

Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  

p.s. Did I mention that the giveaway is HUGE?






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Isn't That Cute (and Yarn Along)





(Levels of cuteness.  In this order.)

1.  Luke.  Duh.

2.  A custom crown for a special little girl.

3.  Baby slippers. (It's looking like Wednesday of next week for the release date!  I'll keep you posted.)

4.  Cable decreases.  (I know they aren't that cute, but I'm still excited to show you!  Last night while watching Harry Potter with the boys, I realized I didn't know how to decrease cables.  Now I do.)

What have you been working on this week?


p.s.  I'm joining in with Ginny this evening.

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Homesteading


Homesteading:  A weekly account of our journey to becoming off grid homesteaders.  Our path will be long as we are only paying in cash and our funds are very limited.  Mike and I have no idea what we're doing so we'll be learning as we go.  I know we'll make mistakes and that's ok.  It's all part of the process.  

We would love to read about your homesteading experiences, so if you'd like to share your favorite resources, tips, funny stories, recipes, books, website or even just a photo from the week, please leave a link in the comments.

* * * * *








We have had the most fun this weekend up north, enjoying the warm autumn sun.  We spent our time making gluten free pretzel rolls as well as ordinary sandwich bread.  I couldn't find my bread pan, so I used a star pan instead!  We ended up just ripping pieces off the bread and slathering them in garlic butter.  Luke spent most of his days hanging around in the tree fort, and Cole enjoyed sleeping next to the fire.  I also finished up another pair of slippers for Luke and have started a pair for Mike ( Pattern is almost ready!).  He asked for leather soles, so I cut and tooled a piece of deer hide we had in the scrap bin.  I think it's going to work out nicely and he'll be able to wear them outside.  I may even add some to the bottom of Luke's pair, because he wears them everywhere, too.  I love that they look like shoes, don't you? 





We also have another exciting bit of news to share with you!  We have been working on our first family project for the shop!  The kids have been hiking through the woods with us, identifying trees and picking just the right fallen branches and limbs.  Jake has been helping to cut them into manageable pieces.  And Mike and I are cutting slices, sanding, drawing, wood burning and finishing the pieces.  It has been such a rewarding experience to get to this place and I hope that we'll be able to add more items like this to the shop as time and the children's interests allow.  You can find all of the new tree branch ornaments and necklaces here.

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week, I hope your weekend was fun, too!


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Back Online

Well, after much begging and pleading from everyone, we're back online in the house now.  If we weren't a democratic family, I alone would act as supreme ruler, and the internet would be banned from the premises forever.  (Un)Fortunately, my homeschooled children came up with many well reasoned arguments why we needed to have it in the house.  The vote was four to one.  I reminded them how much more fun I was without the distraction of Facebook.  And Pinterest.  And emails.  "Remember all the fun crafts and road trips and meals we cooked together?" I asked.  They just looked at me with their one raised eyebrow (it's a thing they can all do, except me), and then I realized the internet problem was with me and not them.

During our time off, I was amazed that most of my daily work, both business and personal, could be finished in about an hour at our evening trip to the library.  I was writing blog posts at home on paper. Editing photos ahead of time.  Social media was kept to a minimum.  Mindless surfing became nonexistent.  Everything was organized and efficient.  Then at the end of my hour, I was done.  I could shut the computer down and know that I didn't need to look at it again until tomorrow.  It was incredibly freeing and I was afraid that if it came back into our house, I wouldn't be able to follow my same self imposed rules.  We'll see.  So far, so good.  I have high hopes, and lots of knitting to distract me!

Here are a few of the projects I finally had time to finished over that last couple weeks.  Most just needed something as simple as buttons or darning in ends.  Many of them are samples for patterns I'm working on and some will end up for sale in the shop.  Either way, it's so rewarding to be able to empty the work in progress basket and get many of the patterns ready to go off to the editor!
















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Ordinary Days



My favorite days are the ordinary ones, filled with hot tea, a good book made just for me (thanks Gordon), and some secret scroll making.

What are your ordinary days fill with?
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Homesteading


Homesteading:  A weekly account of our journey to becoming off grid homesteaders.  Our path will be long as we are only paying in cash and our funds are very limited.  Mike and I have no idea what we're doing so we'll be learning as we go.  I know we'll make mistakes and that's ok.  It's all part of the process.  

We would love to read about your homesteading experiences, so if you'd like to share your favorite resources, tips, funny stories, recipes, books, website or even just a photo from the week, please leave a link in the comments.

* * * * *







The neighboring farmers harvested corn this last week.  Mike and the boys had fun raiding the empty fields collecting leftovers to share in the bird feeders.  It's quite entertaining to sit in the tree fort and watch the animals scurry about getting ready for winter.  The chipmunks fill their cheeks so full of corn that their heads become almost as big as their whole body!

We also cut up a young birch tree that fell during a late summer storm.  I've been letting it cure in the woods for several weeks and plan to use it for buttons, along with some other fun holiday items we have in the works.  If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen several ornaments in the works.  We hope to have them all ready to share with you next week.  

I'm also excited to share with you our free quarterly newsletter we're working on getting together. {much slower than expected}  Each issue will be a seasonal wrap up of our homesteading progress, along with some of our favorite homeschooling projects, recipes, a free knitting pattern and a selection of our newest products.  By signing up for the email list, you will also be the first to know about new items in the shop and any discounts or giveaways we'll be offering! 

What fall projects have you been working on this week?

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Autumn Drive


Hello, friends!  We're just popping in for a quick update.  Our time away has taken us through the hills, to enjoy the last of the fall colors here in northern Wisconsin.  We're also still enjoying limited internet access, but will be back in this space tomorrow for a homesteading update!

Wishing you a lovely start to the week~
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From My Journal

From my journal: October 3, 2012

It's only 7:30 in the evening and already it's dark outside the kitchen window.  What happens to time and days and weeks that go so quickly from steamy hot summer days to the breath of fresh air that is autumn.  I completely missed September and I'm a little frustrated with myself for not noticing more.  For getting caught up in the unimportant details that don't fuel my soul.

* * * * * *
Today, I noticed.  

Today, we cooked a meal together.  And washed dishes together.  And took time for our own needs.

Today, we decided to disconnect the internet in the house for a few weeks.  To only use it at the library for work.  To regroup and find ourselves again.  To read.  To be creative.  To play.




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