Saturday, July 26, 2014

at the barn

 A week in review (visually) at my Mama's barn... flowers, food, and play for my girl. Lots of writing and photographing for me... and good food too!

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, July 21, 2014


This weekend was filled with good food, music, flowers and birthday celebrations. Who could ask for more?! Pin It

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

diy stables and barns

This is the summer of the craft (popsicle) stick! It began a few weeks ago... my daughter discovered several instructional videos on youtube for diy stables. Her growing toy horse collection definitely needs proper housing. Initially there was a lot of white glue involved, snipping sticks with scissors, and frustration for both of us. She needed a lot of help, and the directions all seemed to be very specific and over involved. Then I introduced my girl to the wonders of a hot glue gun! And the building adventure truly began... independently. I gave her tons of safety rules and tips. But while I sit beside her doing my own work, she creates without any assistance. A great feeling for everyone! What we both love about the process of glue and sticks is the unlimited possibilities. She creates her own rules and learns as she makes. Collaborations with friends were inevitable, so stable making is now a part of every playdate as well as solo time! Below are the most recent horse homes. My daughter's in on the left, her "building associate's" on the right. They both used duct tape for hinges and rainbow loom chains... for chains.
Some supplies for stable making:

  • craft sticks
  • glue sticks
  • glue gun
  • white glue
  • cardboard
  • duct tape
  • yarn
Recently Michael's sent me a very generous gift card. They must have heard that I like to make stuff! On a recent trip to town, I stocked up on summer crafting supplies. Thanks Michael's, what a wonderful surprise that both my daughter and I are putting to good use! Of course, I got more sticks... they come in every size imaginable these days. And a new glue gun! Some cork seemed like a good idea too. I'm going to set it all out this morning as an invitation to keep going!

Tips and thoughts on kids and glue guns:

  • Teaching children to use real tools gives them a sense of pride and fosters independence. 
  • Know your child's abilities and working style. My daughter is a very careful and responsible 91/2 year old... perfect time for this tool.
  • Use a small low temperature glue gun if possible. The size is just right for smaller hands, and the glue is never too hot.
  • Explain the dangers of hot glue, nonetheless, and remind them over and over about not touching the tip.
  • If a little glue touches skin, show them how to run it under cold water. With a low temp gun, this hasn't been necessary, but still a good thing to know.
  • Teach them to ALWAYS unplug when not in use.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

parasol lighting

 My mom has a wonderful collection of vintage parasols. Remember them from years ago when she first moved in... check this post? Well, they've just been waiting for some fun. Suspending them under the living room track lights was just the party they've been waiting for!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

four free favorites

I've been very aware that some of this week's very best activities were quite free. Can you think back to some of the things you enjoyed most this week? Any of them not cost a cent? I'm sure at least one of them did... nice to acknowledge the moments that don't have a price tag, but are worth quite a bit.

1. Picking wildflowers. Who needs a florist when you can go in your own backyard (or country ditches, as is the case for the lovely bouquet above).
2.  Creative pursuits with supplies on hand. I'll share more on popsicle stick stable/barn making soon. It's our summer rage.
3. Foraging for berries in the woods. Blackcaps are having a wonderful year!
4. Freshening spaces by using old favorites in new and unexpected ways. Full post coming on how my mom suspended her parasol collection from the ceiling yesterday.

Have a wonderful weekend filled with priceless moments!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

barn table lamp

 We are spending a ton of time with my mom at the barn. Once again she is transforming the space and coming up with innovative projects using what she's got on hand from her fascinating collection of  retro and rescued pieces. She had bought several vintage factory molds a while back. She found them visually exciting and wanted to display them or put them to use some how.  And so she did! Two are strung with wire and suspended from the ceiling. Another was retrofitted onto a stool as an end table with benefits.
 step 1: find the perfect stool
 step 2: cut a piece of masonite to size and screw to bottom
Step 3: place mold on top of stool
Note the fabulous cup holders and perfect base for a lamp!
Step 4: Set up a lamp with interesting lighting components like a cage light and an old metal basket.
Leave it to my mom!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Cucumber Coolers

Nothing quite like a warm summer evening and refreshing drink on my mom's deck. I don't drink many cocktails and by no means am an expert at mixing them- however this was a winner. And has been on repeat mode. It seems to spell J*U*L*Y*!
It's hard to go wrong with cucumbers, mint and lime!
I used this recipe with simple syrup instead of sugar, but stirred (vigorously) instead of using a shaker... 

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Monday, June 30, 2014

june into july

June was filled with my children's very full event schedule... busy and wonderful! But even before the calendar page is turned, I feel the sweetness that comes with my favorite month of the year. July is all about slow and easy. This particular summer still holds a lot of plans... but the molasses moments (you know the ones!) are already seeping in. We're drawing in the quiet stillness of evening light, we're eating food picked with our own hands (or Grandma's as it may be!), we're not jumping to get up... but letting ourselves sit. Really sit. Telling stories. Laughing. Until we cry. Eating outside. For every meal.  We're wearing big sunglasses. And walking around with wet "just went swimming" hair. We're watching things grow. And bloom.
Farewell June. Hello dog days...

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Favorite summer breakfast: thinly sliced radishes on buttered (gluten-free for me) toast. Sprinkle on some course sea salt and freshly ground pepper... delicious and delightful!

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Monday, June 23, 2014

rescued container garden

My mom has arrived for the summer, and we're reveling in the magic she brings to our days. "Grandma's barn" has come to life once again with good food, fun projects, constant art and old fashioned play… all of our favorites. 

When she realized that there was still time to plant vegetables, my resourceful mama rounded up repurposed planters to create a container garden on the deck... hoping to evade the deer that forage in the woods out back.   An oversized antique funnel (great drainage!)  in an umbrella stand houses basil… 
  A vintage washtub holds a tomato, a cucumber and a zucchini plant…
 Out in the original barn trough chives and mint (that the deer disdain) come back every year... now they're joined by jalapeƱo peppers.
 This old mailbox turned on its side is the perfect deep spot for potatoes!
 Chicken feeders, that flank each deck post, now grow herbs and nasturtiums.
No need to go to a nursery and buy expensive planters... there are lots of possibilities at flea markets and tag sales if you're willing to rescue and reuse.
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