Thursday, October 28, 2010

{this moment} - her Halloween mobile

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

Don't forget to enter the autumnal giveaway!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday & a giveaway!!

Several months ago, I decided to make my kids each an article of warm clothing for Martinmas, in the spirit of St. Martin sharing his cloak with the beggar. (I can't claim originality on this idea. I fell in love with Grace's Martinmas knits last year.) I've been working on felted slippers for the boys for a while and those are all finished and ready for Martinmas. Elizabeth's Martinmas knit began it's journey with me back in July while I was in my bread making class. I'd finish a panel, then work on something else for a while. Eventually, I ran out of yarn and needed an extra skein of the begonia pink. Finally, a little over a week ago, Elizabeth's sweater seams were sewn and her buttons attached...but I just couldn't wait until Martinmas to try it on her!

So you get an early preview...and I have to come up with a quick-y Martinmas knit for Elizabeth!

First, I just have to show you these gorgeous Indonesian-made buttons that I found on etsy. I love the delicate and simple flower design, and the fact they matched the brown trim on Elizabeth's sweater just perfectly!

All of the adjustments I made (or issues I had with the design...ahem, button placement) can be found in my ravelry notes. (Friend me on ravelry if you're a knitter!)

Overall, I think the "Libby" was a perfect fit for Elizabeth (almost 10) with great sleeve and sweater length.

A sweater you can hang upside down in, now that's a cozy knit!

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been playing around with a few autumnal patterns that I found online, and you get to benefit from it! This giveaway includes 3 knitted leaves, a knitted, stuffed acorn, and a felted rock. All of the items are from scrap yarn (all cotton and wool) and stuffed or felted with wool.

You might choose to decorate your nature table, cozy up a nook on your porch, or use them for an autumnal table centerpiece.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post. To earn an extra entry you can become a new follower or blog/tweet/Facebook about this giveaway (just be sure to leave me another comment with a link, if appropriate). I'll draw a winner on Monday, Nov 1, at noon. International entries welcome!

I hope these little bits of autumn will be able to brighten someone's week. :)

The winner (as drawn by is #34:
gardenmama said...

the sweater is stunning joy! what warmth a love elizabeth is surrounded by! the giveaway is amazing, it would be incredible to win!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

practicing for Halloween

because everyone wants to be a Mad Scientist on Stilts, right?

come back tomorrow for WIP Wednesday and an autumnal giveaway!

Monday, October 25, 2010

more autumnal happenings

I'm starting to have a hard time figuring out how to title these posts. If I just title all of our weekend posts "a mish-mash of autumnal activities" from here through the end of November, would that be a cop-out?

We spent part of Sunday afternoon working with tissue paper to make our Martinmas paper mache lanterns. I've been wanting to make these since I saw them last year on Dawn's blog. They're so warm and sweet looking when lit, although I must admit that they seem like more of a fire hazard than the jar lanterns we used last year. If you're looking for some inspiration, Our Little Nature Nest has several links for tutorials of various lanterns.

For dinner, we had this lovely root vegetable soup. Local root vegetables appearing at the farmer's market are such a signal of autumn for me. This is one of our favorite family soups for this season.

Root Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
5 large carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium beets, peeled and diced
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1 large rutabaga, peeled and diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart vegetable broth
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
1 heaping tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in stockpot or dutch oven then add onions and saute until tender and translucent. Then add other veggies, broth, 1 qt of water, garlic, and herbs. Bring to boil and simmer together for 20-30 minutes until all veggies are tender.

The soup, as much as we love it, began to play second fiddle when these sweet potato biscuits came out of the oven. If you don't know the blog 3191, you should check out some of their amazing recipes.

But the kids were really in it for the dessert. They saw me earlier in the afternoon working on these gingerbread skeletons, as well as some gingerbread jack-o-lanterns, and they couldn't wait to get their paws on some creepy gingerbread. (I used this recipe from Family Fun, which is intended to make a Gingerbread Train, and I subbed 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour for 2 cups of all-purpose.)

Did you know that those gingerbread men were hiding such a cute skeleton under all their usual three-button garb?


I finally took an official picture (with a steady tripod instead of my elbows) of our carved pumpkins. Clockwise, we have an owl on a branch, Finn's little jack-o-lantern, a gargoyle, side-by-side skulls, and a roaring werewolf. Quite the collection, no?

I hope you're enjoying this season as much as we are. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

my favorite things...

raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright coppers kettles and warm woolen mittens,

heart-shaped sweet potato pancakes

7 pints of pumpkin for freezing

supervising tiny pumpkin carving

"Daddy, I'm a pumpkin head!"

tracing pumpkin patterns

cutting the first lines

last carving touches

an apple galette when the carving is done

a collection of pumpkin porch lights

Friday, October 22, 2010

autumn fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

An evening full of autumn fire, s'mores, running around the backyard in the fading sun, cooling temperatures and throwing a glowing frisbee. Could this be perfection?

{this moment} - basking in autumn

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

an apology to my children's teachers

Dearest teachers to all my darling children,

While I believe that my children are probably the best behaved children in your respective classes on their good days, I regret to inform you that there may be a wee bit of wiggly-ness and general hyperactivity today.

You see, the whole thing started with a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at Elizabeth's school (so maybe Elizabeth's teachers will be more quick to forgive?) for which I was approached to bake a loaf of sourdough. I promptly agreed, of course, and presented a lovely Sourdough Honey Spelt loaf for the soup and bread luncheon.

Upon working on this lovely loaf, I realized that I would have another rather large blob of dough that needed to be formed into some variety of bread which would be consumed by my family. Since we are currently well-stocked in sandwich bread for the week, I assumed that I would make a loaf to freeze...until the most delicious idea struck me.

Why not surprise my children with a batch of fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast?

And so I set about rolling the blob of honey spelt dough into a large rectangle and then I thought to myself, am I really going to fill my children up with butter and sugar before sending them off to school?

Yes, I believe I did. I tried to be a somewhat responsible parent by spreading the dough with a layer of almond butter first to temper the sugar shock that might be delivered to your classroom door this morning.

But please, if it seems my children are walking on the wild side this morning, accept my humble apology. I'll try not to make this a habit (unless there are more teacher appreciation luncheons which leave me with a blob of dough that I'm not sure what to do with).

Now I'll let you get back to teaching my hooligans children, while I consume the rest of the cinnamon rolls so I'm not forced to apologize again tomorrow.


the mother of the children with the sugar-crazed look in their eyes