Thursday, December 29, 2011


A little late, but sincere as ever... Here's hoping your celebrations this season, whatever they may be, have been full of joy, warmth and light.

I'll share more soon, but for now, I'm returning to my spot buried under blankets on the couch, waiting out this nasty virus that's got me down.

Here's to a happy, healthy start of the new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

in the making

Strands of lights... pencils, paper and glue... yarn and needles... dough and batter... pots of stock and plates of muffins... gathered odds and ends... fabric, thread, ribbon and a whole lot of imagination are all busy in the making of these days.

What's in the making for you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

homemade ornaments

These lovely little ornaments are one of our favorite holiday crafts. Using homemade playdough, cookie cutters and presses the kids create simple ornaments to give as gifts and add to our tree.

Play Dough Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp oil
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and place in a heavy pot. Mix the water and oil together before pouring into the flour mix. Whisk to combine and heat over medium-low heat, stirring as the mixture thickens. In a few minutes, you will have playdough! Press a bit between your fingers to test the consistency. If it's still too sticky, stir and cook a little longer. Separate into as many pieces as colors you want to make. Roll the dough into a ball, make a well in the middle, add your food coloring and knead the color into the dough.

Once you have your dough colored, you can get to work rolling out the dough and cutting the shapes. Using a small point (such as a toothpick) make a hole for stringing the finished ornament.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for one hour. When the ornaments are cool, you can decorate with glue, glitter, paint, ribbon and more.

Once dry, they're ready to add to your holiday cheer!

Friday, December 9, 2011

back at it

Well, hello there. A few weeks go by and, what do you know, it looks like the holidays are upon us!

We've been enjoying plenty of holiday celebrations these days, with parties and holiday faires all around. The winter festival at the farm is perhaps my most favorite of all... warm meals cooked in the farmhouse, woodsmoke in the air, Father Christmas at the cabin. This year's celebration was even more enjoyable as the kids and I were invited to join in the fun -- authentic period costumes and all.

Daniel's post was at the wood workshop in the upper barn, helping demonstrate the old fashioned toys made by a talented woodworker at the farm.

Sophia and I were in the farmhouse, where the kitchen was full of busy hands making a traditional Christmas dinner. In the parlor, carols were being played on a pump organ (Sophia and Daniel even played a few) and the tree was being decorated with ornaments and strings of popcorn garland.

When the work was done and the visitors gone, we all settled in to share the warmth of the farmhouse and the results of all that busyness in the kitchen. Really, it was the culmination of a good year in many ways. Among the dishes served were leeks fresh from the farm garden, pork roast from the autumn's butchering, apple cider pressed from the apples we picked together on a cold, rainy fall day. Around all that was the comfort of the friendships that have grown in this place.

This season is full of so many reasons for celebration and reminders of gratitude. I'm looking forward to sharing more of them with you here in the coming weeks!