Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bud the Blackberry Gnome





With Virginia's berry picking season upon our doorstep, I received some much needed crafting inspiration. I am happy to introduce to you all, Bud, our blackberry gnome. His job, according to my 4 year old daughter Deirdre, is to guard the berries from 'pesky animals' whom 'take more than their share of the blackberries'. He also keeps the 'unfriendly insects' at bay- as well as 'helps the berries ripen up just right'. 


I made him using 50/50 wool felt. I find that using blends is easier to embroider, after using 100% wool felt for awhile. His blackberry hat was made using french knots. His cloak and outfit were made using Wee Folk's pattern and a running blanket stitch. 






The blueberry bush and cherry tree behind him were made by myself last summer. If you're interested in how I did it, I wrote an article for Rhythm of the Home magazine detailing the process. Bud now resides on our Spring/Summer nature table. I plan on also making him some other berry friends to keep him company! If you'd like to read about our blackberry picking trip last year you can find it here


Summer is still officially a month away, however we are having days up into the nineties already. With a tiny baby, I am finding it hard to enjoy the outdoors as much since she can't wear bug spray or sunscreen yet. But I am making do. I set up our back yard porch (which is just a large paved area surrounded by our plum tree and fairy gardens) so that my older kids can play out there alone. 


Now when I say alone, they're really not alone. They just think they are! I am actually right next to them, since our living room sliding glass and screen door opens up right out onto the porch.  I can and hear them as if they were in the next room, yet they're outside. I have a mud kitchen, wading pool, chalk, art supplies, trucks, a table and chairs, our fairy garden, and some riding toys all out there for them. And once Brynna is asleep, I then set her in a cradle near the door inside, so I can hear her, and then join Deirdre and Jonas outdoors. Let's just say this set up has been a hit on both ends. Now they don't have to wait for me to stop nursing to go outside. 


Plus I think that this little bit of perceived independence helps build their confidence and let's them play a bit more freely. Jonas and Deirdre have been working out their sibling squabbles more on their own out there too, which is nice. 






I will post some photos of our porch soon, behind the star is a glimpse. I lost my camera for a few days but I've found it again, yippee! Oh and yes, we've been making Waldorf window stars over here. Deirdre and I are addicted! 


I also am starting up my craft for the 'Bits of Goodness' Wizardry World themed swap I joined. Thank you Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts for introducing me to this group. I am making 5 wooden Hungarian Horn-tail dragons and 5 golden eggs, as inspired by the Harry Potter series. I hope they turn out well. 


Until next time, 
Nicole 


Daily Verse or Quote:

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


– Matthew 18:2-3 (NIV)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Farm Girl Sewing and Garden Updates



This week went by in flash. These three kids keep me on my toes for sure, but I don't mind. I am loving this new busy full life of ours. 

I did however get to steal away a few hours in my sewing room during nap time. I was determined to sew something for Deirdre since as I was sorting out seasonal clothes and I saw that she grew out of two of the dresses I've made for her- which really saddens me. 

But thankfully Mommy can sew more and I had some very cute fabric on hand to sew something for my farm girl. I especially love this fabric because we own a Dominique hen, who is black with white polka dots. The result was the above dress. I used Oliver and S's free pop-over sundress pattern. You can find the link to the pattern here.

I think I can now say that I am past being a beginner sewer. However this dress was easy. It took me two hours from cutting to finish. I highly recommend it as a beginner project. It is even easier than a pillowcase dress. I even sewed in some ribbon to the dress yoke for some added flare. 


Above you can also see our new family rhythm watercolor chart. The kids helped me paint it. So far it is working wonderfully for us. I was inspired by Becca's chart here on her blog, Chocolate Eyes. 

I hope you all had a great week too. Below is an update on our fairy garden. It is coming along nicely. Now all we have to do is keep the deer out! 

Cheers, 
Nicole 

PS: Does anyone know of any good summer craft swaps going on? I'd love to join one. 






Friday, May 11, 2012

The Beginning of Our Fairy and Gnome Garden

The Fairy Side



My Herb Garden



The Gnome Side

This week has been happily filled with lots of outdoors time. I finally felt peppy enough to get to work on my herb and summer gardens. That also meant Deirdre and Jonas got to work on their part of the gardens too- for the gnomes and fairies of course!


The gnome and fairy part of the garden are works in progress right now, but so far we're off to a great start. Deirdre and Jonas helped paint and seal the wood gnome cabin and fairy house. Deirdre chose the flowers and plants too. 

I wanted their gardens to be incorporated into my gardens as well. First, I did it this way so that we could do our gardening alongside one another. Second, I wanted their play gardens to not only be fun but also productive. So Deirdre chose to grow cucumbers, strawberries, and white squash in her gnome and fairy garden (Jonas was only interested in the pretty orange marigolds and gazania)! 

We also set up a garden journal to track our gardens's development and any wee folk activity. I am going to have to help our local gnomes and fairies stage some interesting garden scenes for DD and Jonas to record (as you can tell I am having lots of fun with this project too!) I can't wait to show you how the garden evolves over the next few weeks. The kids have got big plans I tell you! They're drawing their inspiration from my fairy pinterest board. Once we're done, I will enter the contest going on over at the Magic Onions with Donni. Her blog and work is so inspiring. I just love her! 

We also managed to lose a tree in a thunderstorm this week. But fear not, my husband took to the tree like a giddy school boy with a chainsaw. As a result we not have lots of firewood and the kids got some new log chairs for their mini-wood playground! Also my wonderful husband made from shipping palates some garden boxes, a compost heap, and planters for us. Oh how I love him!






So I hope this post finds you well. We are all well, especially Miss Brynna. I cannot believe that she will be a month old in two days. Ah the passage of time- what a blessing and a curse. 



Until next time!
Cheers, Nicole 






Thursday, May 3, 2012

A New Rhythm and Baby Bunnies

Ah hello my long lost friends! It feels like forever since I've been back in this place. I've been blissfully enjoying my newborn baby and soaking in all her sweet goodness. Maybe since she is my third baby and most likely our last, I finally realize how fleeting babyhood is? The newborn stage is so short and really one of my favorite stages- so it is so wonderful to sit back and cut out the rest of life's busyness. 






However really with three children now under five I am finding it is a bit impossible to really get a lot of rest. But I don't mind since my recovery has been fantastic and co-sleeping helps a lot with getting better sleep. While this labor was much longer than my others and Brynna's pregnancy had a lot of ups and downs (primarily my hyperemesis), it is so surprising just how great I feel. I mainly attribute my feeling so well to my lovely OB who really made sure I had a great delivery as well as the placenta encapsulation that I had done. I highly recommend placenta encapsulation and if you're interested in more information this site will answer all your questions. Also if you're local to Hampton Roads I can connect you with my encapsulation specialist- her site is here! Again I could go on and on about how great I think encapsulation but I guess it can be summed up for me by the simple fact that at four days postpartum I did not physically feel like I had a baby at all!


But on to the fun stuff :) Before and after delivery I have still been crafting and sewing. I finished with the help of my mother-in-law Brynna's Beatrix Potter quilt. I also completed knitting the oat fields and baby chicks for the knitted farm swap I am participating in! I also have a bunch of fun sewing projects lined up as well as the beginnings of a fairy garden. 






Baby Brynna continues to just amaze me. She is such a calm sweet baby. Really she is the perfect baby for a Momma with a two year old boy! Jonas and Deirdre are smitten with her and life goes on just as it did before with no jealousy issues that I can see. 


I am just so excited to get back into the swing of things but at the same time I am also happy to embrace a totally new family rhythm for my new family of five. I am so very blessed. 


Always, Nicole 

PS: the day Brynna was born, we woke up to find a litter of baby bunnies in our bunny hutch! Hoppy Peter and Brownie welcomed two babies into our growing home. I think it so neat that they share a birth day with Brynna and that her nursery is bunny themed to boot.