a handmade gift exchange

I was invited to be part of a simple handmade gift swap this year, and let me tell you this idea is genius.  7 mama’s and papa’s with a cumulative of 13 kids are each making a little something for everyone.  At the end we exchange gifts and all the children are left with 13 perfect stocking stuffers or tiny gifts for the holiday season.  The idea is to spend less than 5 bucks total and to not make a gift so extravagant it stresses you out.  I was in.

I intended on making finger puppets that were a little more exciting than the ones I created… but so is life… and this is was the result.  Now children all over Vermont can play a good game of cat and mouse.  I gave my boys a sneak preview of the project to see if they were entertaining enough to pass on and it was a success!  So, regardless of how I feel about the way the “cat” turned out… the boys minded not a bit.


Do you do any gift exchanges?  Any handmade crafting plans for the holidays that excite you?  I LOVE making gifts for the holidays.  It is something I honestly think about all year.  (Yes, I am aware of how lame that sounds…)  Miles is at an age now too where he can get into it as well and it feels great to have a partner in crime!  I will be honest, I have even guilted Lee into feeling the crafting spirit.  It is upon him I assure you.  The other night when I came home from knitting, I walked in to see a look of exhaustion and trails of pink and black fleece.  With scissors still in hand he told me he had cut out the fabric for almost ALL of this years gifts.  I was impressed.

Now just because I can’t figure out any other way to plop these photos into this post…

SMILE!  (This is the lovely look Rowan gives you upon request for a smile…)


We woke up to a fresh dusting of THIS!


And just for the cuteness of it…


And now we are off!  Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house we go!!!  Thanksgiving day is almost here!  Our ipod is stockpiled with sparkle stories and Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker too.  I have not packed a single item otherwise!  So, off to work!

owl house

It seems I fear no mess, and with the hours indoors longer than we are used to, it is becoming very evident.  


Miles and Lee constructed this “owl house” this weekend, with Miles in full operation of the drill and hammer.  Their pride was bursting.  We painted it and decorated it with determination soon after.  It really doesn’t take much effort to keep a four-year old and a two-year old content.  The part that is difficult is being settled with the idea that things are not going to be neat.  Things are going to be quite the opposite.


It seems I am have come to terms with this.


my favorite kind of mess

Sometimes I get extremely tired of the constant swirl of disaster around here.  By this I mean my children’s tendency to need to play with their whole body causing a tornado of debris to fly behind them at a constant rate throughout the day.  Plain and simple, it’s a mess.  When whining to my mother about my woes, she reminded me that when I was little it was similar.  Yeah, yeah I thought.  But then she brought up a really good point.  The projects.  The crafts.  The experiments.  My inclination to create didn’t start as an adult, I have always been a soap making, worry doll wrapping, jacket sewing kind of girl.  (I have never been all that good at any of my hobbies mind you, but I always enjoy the process)  Needless to say, this habit of mine was (and is) not one of organization.   And while I have gotten a bit more diligent in the cleaning up process, it is still an effort.  I can only imagine what the remains of some of my projects looked like as a child.

Either way, this is the type of mess I suppose I always expected as a mother.  The dumping everything out everywhere you go variety wasn’t on my radar, and I am still learning to be tolerant of this seemingly destructive mess making technique.  But today, I got my wish.  I had a sit down and craft day with my boy.  Let me repeat that a SIT DOWN and craft day with my boy.  Yes, that’s right, he sat down, listened to sparkle stories while his little brother napped, and needle felted.  It was so fun.  And this was his creation.

IMG_7611 IMG_7612 IMG_7624I joined in on the fun too… Scary Fire Woman

IMG_7627 IMG_7628 IMG_7632

Pretty cool if you ask me.

preserving leaves

The easiest and most pleasurable way to preserve the color of fall is with beeswax!  I found my beeswax at a farmers market.  When you buy it unfiltered in bulk it is very inexpensive.  You will not be lacking in projects that require beeswax either.. think salve, lip balm, candles, and so much more!  Use a double boiler to heat it up, preferably a second hand one, for it will forever be the beeswax pot.  Wax is no easy task to remove.  Once it is good and melted bring it outside, gather up the most spectacular leaves you can find and dip!

IMG_7116 IMG_7117 IMG_7120 IMG_7122

One dip is all that is necessary, any more and it’s too thick for the colors to shine through.  There are many ways you can display your leaves.  We made a mobile and intend on making a wreath as well.  A few grape vine wreathes and a few yards of yarn is all that you need!



It was a lovely fall day!

this moment

{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.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.