these boots.

“These boots were made for walking,” or rather, they were made for gardening. Greg and I purchased goulashes for Dhara before she was born — it was one of those store credit purchases.  I originally wanted a red British pair, but we ended up with some paisley blue ones.

We put them on the Dhara-girl for the first time last week so she could help her mama out with some gardening.  She was a wee bit wobbly at first, falling after taking her first step, but after a little practice she was just fine.  We couldn’t have picked a better morning for planting my germinated seeds and seedlings from the farm.  Both mama and baby tromping around in the soil with their goulashes on! Dhara loves being outside; she especially loves sticking her fingers in the dirt — I think I can foresee a future for my little gardener.

we have alot of fun with her

to the farm.

We recently paid a visit to our local farm to pick up seedlings for our garden.  I love the fact that these little guys grew in soil local to our garden — making it easier for my plants to thrive + grow.  With so many choices the farm had to offer, we finally came home with spinach, red peppers, green peppers, all sorts of hot peppers, eggplant, white eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, cucumber, zucchini, rhubarb, cilantro, parsley, mint, lavender, basil, and some strawberry plants.  Talk about new territory for me — I am on a mission.  I would love to make some fresh strawberry and raspberry jams and do some canning this year.  The last time I made strawberry jam was like 10 years ago — I really need to revisit this tasty task.

Although I won’t be using my own strawberries this year because I recently learned from Silka that after strawberries plants are planted, you should pluck all the sweet little flowers off before they turn into fruit so that the next year you have an abundance of strawberries.  So, I’ve been snapping off each one of those little white flowers and handing them to Dhara, while believing in faith that next year I will have more strawberries than I know what to do with!  This year I will have to go strawberry picking at Larriland with the Dhara-girl.  Let’s see how my grand plans pan out!

so many choices!

my beloved strawberry plants

leafy greens

loving the fan

loving the wide open spaces to frolic + play

until next time…

mama day 2011.

Sometimes I look at my daughter and I can’t believe that she’s mine, or even that I’m her mother.  Why would God trust me enough to entrust this special little person to me?  How is it that this is my second Mother’s Day?

I say all of this with a heart full of gratitude, I feel so blessed.  I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but I never knew it would feel like this — this intense love, care, concern, worry, wonder, joy and again, love, love, love.  While there are so many more feelings that swirl through my mind + heart, love precedes them all.  So amazing how as a mother you can somewhat fathom the Father’s love for us.  He’s given it to mother’s especially — the ability to love so unconditionally, so wholly, and so fully, so much so that we give up our lives for this love, so much that it hurts.

Being a mom has really challenged me to live life and live it with no regrets.  I’ve made many mistakes in my 29 years and I have a long list of regrets, but I don’t want them passed onto my daughter.  I want her to have the example of a mom who lived a real life — being honest about my mistakes, outspoken about my faith because it is our life, and preparing her in the lovely ways of being a virtuous girl, woman, wife, and mother.

“Suddenly, through birthing a daughter, a woman finds herself face to face not only with an infant, a little girl, a woman-to-be, but also with her own unresolved conflicts from the past and her hopes and dreams for the future…  As though experiencing an earthquake, mothers of daughters may find their lives shifted, their deep feelings unearthed…” Elizabeth Debold and Idelisse Malave

I love reading the mama blog, Resolved2Worship.  She is so honest about her faith, her mistakes, her children, her joys, and her Jesus.  It’s so refreshing to see people who really truly live out what it means to be a follower of Christ.  What she writes here nicely sums up my heart:

“A daughter’s need for her mother is biologic, and it continues on her whole life. Not only was my mother’s body the source of life for me but it was her face that I looked to, to see how I was doing.  By seeing my mother’s eyes and experiencing her response to me, I learned crucial first lessons about my own worth.
 I’ve no doubt my daughters look into my eyes searching as well — watching my response, determining their worth.

The art of mothering these girls is to teach the art of living to them.  Even more importantly, it’s to teach them where real life comes from: Life in Jesus Christ.  I am still learning.  I am still growing.  With all my heart I want them to know we’re on this journey together – to become more and more like Christ.  To humble ourselves and recognize our great need for a Savior.  And to rejoice in His unconditional love, His undying acceptance, His great sacrifice so that we might know eternal life and live our lives as daughters of the King.

Along with encouraging femininity in my daughters and enjoying all things lovely and beautiful, more than that, I talk with them about what true beauty is: INWARD, THE HEART.”

“May motherhood never be merely defined by our chores, or duties, our responsibilities, our discipline, our fears, our failures, our schooling choices, our rules, our regulations, our busy-moving about, or in something so crazy as the amount of children our body might happen to produce, or not produce.

Let it be defined by the passion we pour into discovering who our children are.  Let it be defined by the willingness we have to be where they are, do what they are doing, love what they are loving.  Let it be defined by the knowing and comprehending of the undeserved blessing we have in just being by their side.” [source] [2010].

sheep + wool.

yes, that’s me pretty much nose to nose with a sheep

I’ll try to contain myself and give you the short version because I can literally go on and on about sheep + wool — collectively, sheep + wool, or individually, sheep, or wool — if that made any sense to you at all.  Because it makes perfect sense to me.  : )

So with my husband on a men’s retreat, and my daughter whisked off to a baby shower with my mom and sister, I headed to the Sheep + Wool Festival on the most beautiful warm/breezy day we’ve had this year, with all the windows down, The Band Perry playing loudly in the background, open country roads before me, and my camera in tow.  I only had to drive about 7 minutes because the festival was practically in my backwoods.  Ohh the joys of short drives!  [It usually takes me 40 minutes to get anywhere!]

beautiful hand loomed textiles

Upon reaching the fairgrounds that morning, the place was almost packed!  I didn’t realize how big of a crowd this festival would gather.  I later learned that it’s the biggest in the nation with people coming near and far to see 40 different breeds of sheep, sheared wool, yarns, spinning wheels, looms, garments, and books on various fibers and spinning techniques.  I’d never before seen so many people walking around with bags and bags of roving.  Oh goodness, I was in heaven.

bags and bags of freshly sheared wool

my heart tends to migrate to the browns, greys, creams + whites

beautiful spinning wheels + looms

It felt so good to take my time and slowly walk through each stall — taking everything in and seeing what beautiful things each vendor offered.  There were 250 vendors, mostly farms, selling all things sheep + wool — really amazing stuff.

The food vendors sold pretty much everything lamb — lamb kabobs, lamb gyros, lamb burgers, lamb wraps.  The lamb wrap was super delicious!!!

big juicy pieces of grilled lamb — sooo good  

blade shearing competitions with shepherds from all over the nation to clip, fleece, energy-free, with hand powered blades

With so many vendors selling luxurious roving and yarns, it was so hard to choose anything, but I did end up with a few treasured items.

two skeins of this beautiful variegated yarn in rustic colors.  with it, I plan on knitting up Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket for Dhara this fall.

two huge cones of super fine organic yarn.  I’ve been hunting for this stuff, so I was overjoyed when I came across it at the festival.  with it, I plan on using it to weave wispy cotton baby towels on my lap loom.

a ball of silvery grey roving from a purebred Jacob sheep.  with it, I hope to spin some yarn with the turkish drop-spindle Gregory got me for Christmas.  hopefully this leads to a full-fledged spinning wheel down the road…

All in all, the festival was pure joy for me.  I was so inspired — I just want to start spinning wool and weaving now!  It was really nice adventuring on my own — I rarely get that anymore.  But I must say, I still missed the hubby and baby girl and wished they were with me to enjoy what I so enjoyed.

“Baa Baa Black Sheep,” here’s to starting tikes early!

this + that.

Shop Update.

I’m in the process of sewing pieces for the shop; however, I ran into a snag — I’m all out of Susie Mey clothing labels.  Ahhh!  I’m hoping my shipment arrives soon! Stay tuned for some quaint little baby things.

Sheep + Wool Festival.

It’s tomorrow, yaay!  I’ve literally waited 2 years to attend this!  Soooo looking forward to meeting and seeing shepherds in action, hand-spun yarn, spinning classes, folk + bluegrass music, the sheep to shawl contest, etc. Maybe I’ll even get to shear a sheep, who knows!?!  : )  My festival experience and photos to come!

The Little One.

She’s been feeling under the weather these last 2 weeks.  Last week was a fever and really painful ear infection — poor girl almost had to go to the emergency room because of the pain.  This week it’s been a bad cold, congestion and coughing. One thing that does makes her feel better is watching Dave and the Giant Pickle. As parents, Greg and I are at a crossroads regarding having a TV in the home.  We are not much TV watchers, so we don’t feel like we’re missing anything.  But when it comes to our kids, we’re not sure how much TV we want our kids seeing.  I don’t know how practical it would be to not have a TV — it’s possible, but practical? While most things on TV are not child appropriate, there are educational shows/videos out there which are age appropriate.

We’ve been particular about Dhara watching purposeful TV if she does watch TV– thus far, the only thing she’s seen is Dave and the Giant Pickle — which to us has biblical significance [David + Goliath].  She’s watched it over and over.  While it does give me a break to get things done around the house, I want to be disciplined about how much TV I let her watch.  These are just some thoughts I’ve recently been mulling over since she’s at an age that she can watch television.  Any thoughts would be appreciated from parents “who’ve been there, done that”. Sorry for the low quality photos, these are from my cell phone.

dhara + her vintage patchwork quilt cozy up to watch a video

reusable grocery bag.

Project 4: Reusable Grocery Bag.

Another Home Ec project completed!  After recently making a tote bag for Heather, I knew I wanted one for myself for those Tuesday trips to the library with my girl, or a trip to Roots Market — this reusable grocery bag is the perfect size for children’s books, or for fresh fruit and veggies if you prefer to use your own shopping bag at the grocery store.  The outer fabric is a sturdy vintage cotton canvas I picked up at a thrift store a couple years ago.  The inner lining is some good ol’ linen — the project didn’t call for an inner lining, but I thought I would go ahead and add one to sturdy the bag and for visual appeal.  I’ve been incorporating linen into more of my work as of late because I love it so much.

I really do love the vintage/urban blend of the bag.  Although I do have a hang-up when it comes to handmade handles, I dunno, just never liked handmade cloth handles.  I think for a future tote bag project I may want to add leather handles instead — just my own preference.  I’m also really pleased with how the inside of the bag turned out — I love the X joints on the handles, and the seamless look of the linen against the vintage fabric.  My past Home Ec projects can be found here (pin cushioncloth napkins, drawstring gift pouch).

a few of our favorite books — ABC’s by Charlie Hopper, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, and two 100 year old versions of Little Women and Riley Child-Rhymes from my dear hub for our 3 year anniversary last year

drawstring gift pouch.

Project 3: Drawstring Gift Pouch.

For my next Home Ec project I made a medium sized drawstring gift pouch. Instead of wrapping a gift with paper, I created this pretty pouch that acts as a bonus gift and reusable bag!  The main part of the pouch is made from a reproduction french provincial cotton and the upper band is made from linen.  For the drawstring I used twill tape which more or less feels like ribbon.  My past Home Ec projects can be found here (pin cushion, cloth napkins).




filled with cloth diapers

I used twill tape for the drawstring

freshly cut dogwood blossoms from our backyard woods