29 February 2016

Mama Collaborative


I am so excited, pleased, honored and proud to be announcing the grand opening of Mama Collaborative!
A couple of months ago I was invited to join a group of extremely talented and creative mother-artisans in a virtual community of support.  Together we’ve quietly been working behind the scenes in preparation for our shop to open in early March.
It has been so inspiring and exciting to watch what these women have been making!  For our first stocking we had kind of a loose spring theme.  Stop by our shop tomorrow!
Here are the wonderful women behind Mama Collaborative:

Melody: A yarn obsessed, homeschooling mother of five, aspiring designer and artisan of life. Her creativity and children run amuck in a messy house and untamed garden, in a wild wood, on a mountain in New England. Melody blogs at

Kim: I am a homeschooling mama to one, a writer, nature lover, dreamer, foodie, lover of all things handmade, and a creative doer. I am happy to be here with these other inspiring mamas.  Kim blogs at

Melanie: Home school mama to five in New England. We spend our days together creating all sorts of things, attempting to garden, reading good books, and observing the natural world, where we draw much inspiration.

Tonya: So happy to be working with these other women to share our creative pursuits. As a mom of seven children, I find joy and beauty in the daily ordinary of raising a family, keeping up with our homestead dreams, and helping to run a family business. Tonya blogs at

Jules: Hello, I'm Jules and I'm delighted to be with these inspiring women. I am a mama, a wife, and a shepherd who loves all things woolly. We are raising our three kids on a farm in BC, trying to make as much of our own food, clothing, and furniture.

Elizabeth: Mama to three unschooled boys :: Tiny house living :: Off grid homesteader :: Lover of wool :: Maker of natural goods :: blogs at


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23 February 2016

first boil (and a new bonnet)

Adam spent the day boiling yesterday, with the help of our friend Mark.  He made about 4 gallons of syrup, which I'll can up today and post in our etsy shop!  

Fenna had the sweetest little hand-me-down bonnet when she was younger and I wanted to make another one like it (after her 'rose aux joeus bonnet' went through the washer and dryer and I haven't been able to block it back to size successfully).  I used the 'fresh bonnet' pattern, but did fewer increases so it would be snugger to her head.  I also added a longer rib band along the bottom to make it more snug.  It fits well, though she doesn't like it tied tightly around her chin. 

Joining Nicole today...

22 February 2016

it's started

Because of a late dinner and meeting at church on Saturday evening, we ended up collecting sap in the dark.  I put the kids to bed and went out with Adam and two friends to gather under the moonlight.  It was one of the best sap runs we've had in years, more than 250 gallons.  The following day was the same!  A great start to this season.  This year we have about 275 buckets and about 25 taps on lines (on the few steeper areas of our woods).

We also celebrated K's 12th birthday yesterday, though he'd prefer to not have a birthday photo posted.  Maybe this sweet one from 12 years ago will be ok. ;)  

15 February 2016

a cold, bright day

It is finally very cold here...normally this is typical for several weeks in January, but this year it feels shockingly cold, coming after such a mild winter.
I am so thankful for our woodheat (and for Adam waking several times a night to load the stove).  It is the only heat we have, but we are fortunate to have a cookstove in addition to our woodstove.  We use both when it is so cold.

One of our sows farrowed three days early, during this cold snap.  A pig's gestation is so short that each day early affects the outcome of the litter greatly.  We lost the whole litter.  Maybe if the weather was warmer, they would have fared better, but in any case, it is upsetting.  

The sun is shining brightly today, our walls are covered in valentines and the kids and I are readying for a visit with my parents (meeting up in the finger lakes of New York).

11 February 2016



This year we decided to make seed packet valentines.  I ordered some blank seed envelopes from etsy and the kids worked on special artwork.  I printed their artwork small enough to fit on the seed packs and they filled them with flower seeds.  

I love all of the details on M's valentine artwork.  

Tonight we're working on donuts in the heart-shaped donut pan I bought on impulse (and super sale) after Valentine's day years ago.  Treats for story hour tomorrow!  :)

05 February 2016


February is always a restless month for me.   Maybe it's this warm weather we've been having, or the anticipation of sugaring, or the restless kids who are more and more reluctant to homeschool.  

Last week, we paused our afternoon routine to join Adam outside.  A neighbor wanted some trees taken down, so Adam and a friend cut them down and began stacking them logs for next year.  We lit a fire (and then Micah worked on making his own) and sipped tea and piled brush.  

This week, the warmth and the rains meant flooding all over the farm.  The kids got out their winter tubes and floating around.  It was a very wet, very fun afternoon.  We hoped a freeze-up would make a good ice rink, but it seems to be draining before a good freeze comes.

I am even out of the rhythm in the kitchen.  (Pictured are some biscuits that F helped me with--flat but tasty).  What foods have you been making lately?  I need some inspiration!  

We bought many of our syrup bottles, which wait stacked in our mudroom.  
And the seed order at work (the co-op where I work) came in this week...that's a sign of spring-right?

03 February 2016

for nana

I finished my Nana's "happy birthday throw" this past weekend.  Getting a good photo of bright pink is similar to getting a good photo of red.  Each picture looks like a slightly different color... but the blanket is bright pink with purples and smaller flecks of a rainbow of colors.  Perfect for her new room in the Alzheimers care home.  (My mum described her room as very plain right now--so the kids have been busy coloring pictures for the walls).

I've been imagining knitting her a big hug the whole time I've been knitting.  I hope she can feel it when she wraps up in it. 

Joining Nicole this week.