Finally, using up some of the tiniest scraps of wool left over from our ornament making at the preschool I created a little winter scene inspired by the crazy amount of snow we had this year.
This is so small, I hope you can see what it is. I stitched a penny in the base to give it a little weight. It is just a tad larger than the coin.
Also, a big thank you to Sarah for spending the day with us yesterday. Sarah always fills our lives with so much light that there is a little withdrawal after we part...Julen keeps singing the "Sarah song...."
She surprised me with this sweet doll that she made...
Squeezing in a last minute post to say good-bye to February. It was a busy month for me, so little posting went on here.
It started out to be such a cold month. That made our outdoor play time very short, if at all.
Nicer weather and now healthy boys really have me looking forward to spring.
The kids at the preschool are feeling it too. I love this winter garden some of the kids made with blocks from our large puzzles.
Nice even rows of plantings, each got a turn to "water" with our special watering can.
The preschool kept me very busy this month. We start registration for fall in February and we were booked meeting parents, talking about our program and showing off our school. We are so pleased that we already have a full house for September. For our second year of being open, we're pretty thrilled about that. The hard part is we had too many sign up, and I hate to turn anyone away.
I made some new friends this month after joining in with Bethany's swap idea.
They were the perfect little stitching project while watching the Olympics.
I also jumped in Nicole's card swap making more heart cards. This time I needle felted a mix of wool, hand dyed mohair locks, sari silk threads and angelina into a scrap of burlap. I think they turned out quite pretty.
And a close up that shows off all the pretty fibers.
It's almost March and I just can't wait for it to get here. First I get to see my dear friend Sarah who is probably on her way here right now...and then the fabulous Sonya with be flying in to do an exhibit at (one of my favorite places) the Textile Center. (Congratulations Sonya!!).
So, good-bye February...you were sweet but oh-so-cold!
Last weekend Jen hosted another one of her fabulous pARTy's. It is so great for my soul to spend an evening with other women who have a passion to create. And I love that I can actually sit down, and start and finish a project in one evening. Doesn't happen too often with two young boys always within arms reach. This time we made these sweet and colorful pocket organizers.
If you're not familiar with Jen's work, she creates beautiful books and albums and journals and cards. Just peek around her etsy shop and you can see. She is a master with paper and I always love to learn her techniques. Like this binding of the organizers pages...just brillant!
We also made paper wreaths.
These were quick and fun. Kind of reminded me of the felt ornaments I made a couple of years ago...but no sewing! Read about her inspiration behind creating these wreaths and her very clear instructions on how to make these here. Also, Anna made some beautiful ones that you can see here.
It only seems appropriate to round out my absence this summer with school posts.I really jinxed myself good last spring when I wrote “I hope to be back here next week sometime.”Oh well.Summer just got a hold of us good over here.With Pool Monday, Play date Tuesday and Thursday, Beach Friday, trips to the cabin and the farm, visitors from out of town and my teaching summer camps at the preschool, we were quite busy.
And with all this cuteness in my life, how could I possibly not be distracted?
So now we're in full Fall mode. The boys got new sneakers,
Peanut started Kindergarten,
we've got a new group of wonderful children at the preschool,
and I made my annual trip to the State Fair. This year I got to go with the sweet and always charming, small fox.
It could be my imagination, but I don't think we've had many sunny days lately. I've had things to share but hate to photograph without nice light. It's been very gray. I took this shot out the window from the back of my house.
No sun yet.
So. Here's what has been going on.
Last week I attended another one of Jen's fun pARTy's. It feels so great to get out and have adult conversation with some very interesting and very talented women. And I always love going home with a finished project. This time she taught us how to bind books. These are so great. With removeable paper, this is one book I'm sure to write in.
Last week my super package from Sonya's mushroom swap arrived. She has to be the best swap hostess. Ever. She was so organized and so top notch communicating with everyone...she should do it for hire. I got such a great variety.
These were made by Lara, Adrienne (wood turned Walnut morel! I'm amazed), Alison, Sonja and Mary. All are so unique and so lovely. And I got a bonus on Monday when two more arrived.
One darling redcap from Rachel (who's mushrooms were thought to be lost in the mail so I offered to send her an extra one of mine) and the perfect morel from Sara (we did a little swap on the side). I've got quite a collection now.
And finally, here's what we made at the preschool last week.
Simple, yet sweet little pinch pots. The kids were so pleased with their work. I'm lucky to have a sister who provided me with the clay and even fired them in her kiln.
I've been completely spoiled rotten lately. So much love and generosity has come my way and boy do I feel like one lucky woman. I celebrated my birthday last week and although I was quiet about it here, I received many email wishes thanks to my dear friend Jen who sent so many friends my way when she wrote such a sweet message to me in this post. And to accompany such a lovely wish on that day, this sweet gift arrived in my mailbox from her.
"Spend some time with me." I love that. And boy Jen, I sure wish I could right now.
My sister is really good at spoiling me. She's been doing it my whole life. I'll never forget my eighth birthday when she took me out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Fuji-ya. It was such a huge day for me. She must have had her driver's license already, but for some reason we took the bus to the restaurant downtown. I felt so special. And so grown up. And I will never forget such a unique treat. (Don't worry Sistah, I'll leave out the part about how it was snowing buckets out when we left the restaurant and I was completely unaware you hitched us a ride home from strangers. Don't worry, you said, they're just some nice people from church...get in the car. I felt like a princess not having to go home in the bus.) This year was no exception. She showered me with gifts.
Another gift I just have to show off since Shari doesn't have a blog is this beautiful purse.
Silk and wool. Lined with cashmere and velvet. I don't know whether to put my phone and keys in the bag or just use it to keep my hands warm.
And speaking of silk and velvet, I treated myself to one of Jackie's beautiful embroidered cuffs.
It actually arrived ON my birthday...I love, love, love her work. Check out her shop here.
And yesterday when I saw Jen, I could hardly believe my eyes when I unwrapped this beautiful gem from her.
Jen does such incredible work and this is a piece I will treasure forever. And how appropriate given I am a pisces. (Her photo is so much better.)
Finally...lucky, lucky me. I got to have a "bring-a-blogger-friend-to-work-day" on Tuesday. Dear, sweet Sarah was in town again. She willingly wanted to join me at my school. Actually, it was perfect. We had plently of time to catch up while the children played and I enjoyed a little break as she did (what she does so well) story hour.
What an energy boost she is. She lifted my spirits and brought smiles for all the children. Her humor and laughter is completely infectious. I loved sharing this part of my life with her and now my school holds the memory of her visit. What a special day for us all. Check out the beautiful photos she took of my boys. She also came bearing gifts. Some delicious smelling candles came inside one gorgeous bag that she made.
I almost cried. All the pretty fabrics, most of them vintage. And her sewing is quite enviable. One day I keep telling myself. One day I will learn how to run that sewing machine of mine.
...these perfect mini photo albums that Jen makes. Just the right size for photobooth photos, which we seem to have a lot of.
She sells them right here. At three bucks each they make the best stocking stuffers. I couldn't resist all the beautiful colors and got one of each.
I fell in love with this beautiful yarn last month and knew I had to give the scarfette a try with it. It's a gift for a very special someone, but I think I should have enough yarn left over to make one for myself.
I'm still loving making my ornaments. Good thing as I have quite a handful to make yet. These are needlefelted hearts, once again using my favorite angelina fiber to give them some sparkle.
And our new favorite thing in the house...the lamp I made at Jen's pARTy over the weekend. Such fun! I love how the lamp looks one way when the light is on and another when it's off.
With so much to love I can almost ignore the below zero temps we're getting slammed with. Hope you're staying warm!
(Edited to add that the yarn I used for the scarfette is yearling mohair locks plyed with a silver thread. It is by Garden Party Fibers and can be found here.)
We celebrated Martinmas a little early at the preschool. We decided the day before Halloween was a good day to do our lantern walk. We started with a puppet show.
And then passed out the lanterns the kids made at school last week.
It turned out to be an unusually beautiful and warm day. We managed to get the lanterns lit just as the sun disappeared.
The kids were so darling proudly carrying their little glowing lanterns along the path by the lake while singing. It was so magical, so peaceful and sweet, I only wish I had taken some better photos. A huge thank you to Sarah who provided me with lots of inspiration for the lanterns and the music.
More autumn fun over the weekend was a call from dear Anna inviting us to join her and her family at the arboretum. I was thrilled...it was such a gorgeous day and I couldn't wait to see first hand the beautiful playground for children I saw on her blog.
My head was spinning with all kinds of ideas of how we could transform the yard at the school. My favorite was the elf home
But then there was the outdoor theater.
The cave and the pincone umbrella.
Anna's photos are so much better, check them out here.
At the pARTy last Friday night, Jen taught us all how to make these spectacular mobiles. She was incredibly organized and is such a wonderful (and patient) teacher. We each got our own packet of supplies and all community items were carefully labeled. Good thing, because after a glass of wine (or two) it's easy to get a little careless. But Jen's a pro, she knows what she's doing and she's done it before and I certainly hope she'll do it again.
It had been a looooong time since I had been out without my boys. It felt great to have uninterrupted adult conversation, meet some new and fascinating women and create a beautiful piece of artwork all in one evening.
Thank you dear Jen, I hope we can do it again soon.