Friday, December 31, 2010


it's a girlcolden kissing azalia
newborn pixie pose
thank you a million times over for all of the lovely and sweet comments on our new baby girl!!! we have seriously been eating them up, and genuinely appreciate each and every one. hope you all are experiencing multitudes of joy - now, and into the new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy christmas!

Azalia Sparrow Friedman
born at home on christmas eve
azalia sparrow

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

happy solstice

more happiness to come - hopefully in the very near future. apparently our solstice babe has another date in mind.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

weekend fun

rainbow window star
cinnamon applesauce ornaments
bear ornament
above and below - photos by marc
belly and tub set up
hope you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

more merry-making

i still have lots of things on my to-do lists, but i recognize that the baby could come whenever it so chooses. this means i have to be okay with letting the lists slide. packages are either mailed, wrapped, or left to the fates as to whether or not they will be finished. i have been able to eek out a few more things though...
unfelted elf slippers
these have now been through the wash once - a few more times, and then i am hoping to sew a little leather on the bottoms.
and this came together overnight! i have some better shots of colden modeling it, but isn't this photo festive? on the list for this weekend: a 'practice' filling of the birth tub, and maybe some last belly pictures? i am really hoping the baby will be born on the solstice (yet i am trying to remain open to the mystery). all *positive* wishes and thoughts welcomed and appreciated!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


in my craft showing, i finally got it together and put all my tools in this handy basket. i'd had them scattered around the house according to project type: sewing things together, knitting/crochet things together, and then the inevitable - scissors in every high up and forgettable spot all over. the handy bandanna tie allows me to leave it on the floor safe from little hands too.
top tray
i tidied up this top tray before taking a picture. in working, it sort of becomes a jumble. but, at least it is all together where i need it! and it sure does look pretty now. i tagged it all up in flickr if you're curious about the details of what's here.
i did not make this underbelly area look pretty for a photo, but usually i would try to have it organized with pieces of felt, yarn, recycled wool stuffing, and other projects-in-progress. then i'd add in anything else i might need: pens, hole puncher, extra paper for signs, etc. it has really helped my tendency to craft all over the place! and it gives the illusion that i am organized. do you have any tricks to keep it together?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


pinecone weights

leaf pendulum

cuckoo clock

i had forgotten how gorgeous this cuckoo clock is. after colden was taken with my parents' cuckoo clock on our visit to iowa this fall, they promised to send me 'the old one'. i thought it would be fun to save for one of our holiday-type gifts, and i'm completely taken with it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

pillowcases for solstice

solstice pillows
i love the tradition of solstice pajamas, but this year we really needed pillows. long, long ago, i saw tara mention that she had gotten a toddler pillow for her daughter on etsy. i knew we wanted non-foam pillows, and i found these amazing handmade pillows filled with buckwheat hulls. (totally brilliant - including a zipper to remove hulls for comfort/washing.) when grammy asked what was on our list, i asked for these, pretty please. when papa asked what was on my list, i asked for a solo date to the fabric store. i was also inspired by lisa's daughter kayla and her pillowcase making. (she made it look so easy! i actually found these instructions very helpful.) these will be a solstice eve gift for all of us, and i hope more pillow case making is in my future. maybe even pajamas. if you are feeling the handmade holiday crunch, don't forget to rely on other makers out there!

Friday, December 10, 2010

beeswax candle winner!

priority mail

congrats to meryl! funnily enough, chose #1 as the giveaway winner! thank you to everyone who entered. i especially loved reading the myriad of ways you all enjoy beeswax in your homes! thanks for taking the time to leave such thoughtful messages. and meryl, please e-mail me your address {byhandathome - at -} so you can receive your candles! we're off to the forest this weekend in search of a tree! hope you enjoy similarly festive outings and merry-making!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

yarn along - tentative projects

tentative projects
i am almost done with the tam i mentioned in my last yarn along way back when. and i have cast-on half-heartedly for a couple other things. the brown yarn is intended to be for these elf slippers, and the purple a baby surprise jacket. but what i'm really yearning for is a gorgeous little skein of something new for some tiny baby booties. there's nothing like baby toes for motivation!

p.s. don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Monday, December 6, 2010

beeswax candle giveaway!

i'm so happy to share a special giveaway here today! if you've seen our yule log, you may be wondering just where i found those sweet little beeswax candles! when we were married, i searched for all natural beeswax candles for our ceremony, and found them at bluecorn naturals. with their perfect honeyed aroma, and fantastic staying power, i've been hooked ever since.
not only did they burn all night long at our wedding, they've been the only candles we've used in our home ever since. we light one every night for bedtime stories, and we even use the ceremony lights for birthday candles too!
I'm very serious about my candle
bluecorn naturals has graciously offered a set of ceremony lights to one of my readers (within the u.s. only). just leave a comment here before thursday evening, and i will announce the winner on friday! i'd love to know what special uses your family has for beeswax! wood polish? leaf dipping? modeling? do tell!

p.s. for an extra entry, become a fan of by hand at home and leave another comment here telling me! if you already are a fan, thank you! just leave two separate comments!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

weekend catch-up!

thanks for sticking with me despite my week-long absence! i was completely consumed by preparations for the winter faire all week! (and for that little baby on-the-way too!)
more gnomes
the faire had me smiling all day long. it was so wonderful to be in the presence of such amazing people and glorious art! i happily bid all my bearded gnomes adieu! (which means i will need to make a few more for my boy!) i will update my etsy with a few items, but i imagine i will be closing up shop pretty soon...
baby blue set
i've unpacked and hand washed all of colden's woolies; hand knits, sweater pant longies, and diaper covers! i am excited to add these long-ago knits to my ravelry page too. all are lanolin-ized and ready to go. wool on its own is naturally anti-bacterial and can absorb a ton of wetness without feeling wet. soaking with lanolin gives an added layer of warmth and dampness protection. plus, it creates a natural soap when leaks occur, so it doesn't need to be laundered after every time it's worn. perfect for babes.
half of these recycled longies are newly sewn, and the other half were worn by colden as a wee little one. they will look much better on a babe than in the bathwater, so you'll be able to see them in all their splendor then too! i've also been meaning to share a new belly picture. this morning i scrambled around for something to wear to a wedding this afternoon... who knew i'd still be able to fit into that prom dress?
37.5 week belly in prom dress
if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the winter edition of rhythm of the home (here's my piece!)! they are also hosting an incredible giveaway on their blog which ends today! i am giving away one of my woolly mistletoe there, and tomorrow, i will share a special giveaway here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

pixies and fairs

newborn pixie and solstice sweater
i finished up that baby sweater i've been showing off! (ravelry link here, and lots more ravelry links to follow). and i will show you a finer picture of it modeled in not too long. in the meantime, i also knit this little newborn pixie hat, modeled by the rocking horse.
golden pixie hood
this reminded me that i wanted to knit colden that stella pixie hat. but even more, i remembered all of waldorf mama's gorgeous gnomey hats. i love this even more - it is a scarf and hat in one. plus, it is easy for him to put on himself, with no ties to mess with. the pattern was not too far off the newborn version i just made. i used blue sky alpaca's silk/alpaca blend, which was a dream. it is perfectly soft for a child and such a close fitting hat. it is terribly cute with the knit hoodie.
otter and decaf
i had a wonderful time at the craft fair, and sold two of everything, just about. isn't that funny? i also made (and sold) a last minute otter. i've made another one of those and i'm crafting away for the upcoming cedarwood faire this weekend. saturday, december 4th, 10 am - 4 pm, cedarwood waldorf school 3030 sw 2nd avenue, portland oregon 97201.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

cinnamon bread

cinnamon bread
my gramma and my mom are big bakers. this isn't a thanksgiving recipe per se, but if my gramma was in town for thanksgiving, this bread would probably be there too. my grandmother copied her favorite recipes into a small binder as a gift to me for my wedding. well, her favorites, and her mother's and my mother's, so a whole traditional little cookbook.

gramma's original
cinnamon bread

1/2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 eggs + 1 yolk
2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. soda
4c. flour

mix in separate small bowl:
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

blend first six ingredients. divide batter between two loaf pans. sprinkle generous sugar mixture over batter. cut in with a knife. if you run out of sugar mixture, make more.

bake at 350, 50 minutes

1/2 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. honey
1/2 c. sucanat
3 eggs
1 banana
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp. soda*
4 c. flour mix**

3 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sucanat

(i baked for closer to 80 min, but my oven runs a little cool i think.)

*i used extra soda because of the honey, i've read you should use 1 tsp. extra per cup of honey.
**we've been mixing an 'all-purpose' blend according to shauna's instructions here that say to make a blend of 60:40 - starch:whole grains, by weight. i used a mix of tapioca, arrowroot, and corn starch for starches. plus some white rice flour. then i used an equal mix of sorghum and brown rice flour for the 'grain portion'. then i used 20 oz. of this mixture (@ 5 oz./cup flour). i hope that makes sense! you can just as easily substitute your favorite blend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a little craft fairing

first little craft fair
i almost literally have six of each: mice, mistletoe, jingle balls, gnomes and trees. okay, seven on those last two. i'm scootching in on some table space of a friend tomorrow at the village school craft fair from 10-3 (7654 n. delaware avenue for locals!). i'll put my etsy shop on vacation mode while i'm there and those four little birds will come along too. maybe i'll even have six by this evening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

zippers and woolly worms

zipper bag
after i asked about wool sources in portland, i got a lovely e-mail suggesting i check out the mill end store annex. they didn't have any wool, but they are located very close to the pendleton woolen mill store. now this, this was literally a kid in a candy store scenario. they had a huge rolling bin full of zippers for $1/bag! colden played in the bin and helped me pick out some good ones.
like, a hundred good ones. i inquired about wool for stuffing and they brought out some tufted, cloud-like, gorgeous wool for $3/oz. (yipes!). i balked at the price, and was led to their favorite stuffing material: woolly worms. 50 cents/lb. i bought almost 5 pounds.
woolly worms
colden didn't play in that bin, but i did! as you may have guessed from seeing my last post, these woolly worms were not destined for stuffing. something took hold of me, and i had to crochet them immediately. and now we have the perfect rug for in front of the sink! so, i guess i have to go back to the pendleton store for more! oh, twist my arm!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

yarn along - crochet

yarn along - crochet
i hope to share more about this project later, maybe even tomorrow! but for today, i wanted to make sure i actually joined in the yarn along properly!

Monday, November 15, 2010

naturally dyed playsilks and a woolly gnome

naturally dyed playsilks
i've been wanting to make my own naturally dyed playsilks for a long while, and i finally seized the moment this weekend! marc helped me too, and he took these play silk photos. i used alum as a mordant and weighed the five playsilks i bought, plus some felted wool balls for another project. it was around 8 oz., so i used 2 oz. of alum (i read here to use a 25% ratio). after dissolving in hot water, i put my materials in the pot and left it to soak overnight. for the dyes, marc helped, and we didn't keep track of measurements. the dyestuffs simmered for probably around half an hour each, and then the silks soaked in the pots for a long while too. from left to right in the above photo are: beet (homegrown), onion skins (collected from many months of eating), marigold (homegrown), turmeric (purchased), and oregon grape berry (harvested this summer and frozen). i put them in these jars of vinegar to soak overnight.
naturally dyed playsilks on the line
i just love how they turned out! left to right: oregon grape berries, beet, onion skins, turmeric, and marigold. i am very excited to get our indigo pot going again and try some overdying for blue + yellow = green combinations! (it's probably not a huge deal, but indigo isn't really suited to pregnancy, and since our pot fizzled, we're just waiting til later to get one going again.)
woolly finger puppet gnome
so, what became of those felted balls you ask? a light dip in the beet dye juices, and some recycled sweater adornment, plus a little beard. this little guy is a finger puppet...
standing woolly gnome
and he can stand on his own too! more of these to come! our handmade holidays are underway! what are you working on?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

belated yarn along

yarn along - baby sweater
almost finished with the baby sweater! nothing like a yarn along, to keep me at it! of course the finishing always takes the longest...

p.s. a very big thank you to amy of magpie patterns for the giveaway of handmade home!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

pricing rainbows

still sewing away, and finishing all sorts of little projects. i'm excited about selling some of my crafts at the annual winter faire held at cedarwood. just one hurdle. pricing.

rainbow ball
here are some formulas i've seen lately:


Cost Price (Labor + Materials Cost) x 2 = Your Wholesale Price

Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

rainbow jingle balls

i timed myself making these rainbow jingle ball and it took 40 minutes per ball. using $12.75 as an hourly wage based on the guidelines for trillium artisans, i'd charge $8.50 for labor. then, i used .50 worth of yarn (but i guess i didn't include the cost of jingles or wool - maybe another .50?). so, for just labor + materials, the ball would be $9.50. that's without, um, "overhead" and "profit". one of these formulas suggests my wholesale price should be $19.00. or the other, perhaps $38.00 "retail"? i can't see anyone paying that much for a jingle ball! i'd love outside input, if you have any thoughts. they'll be in my etsy shop and on my craft show table, as soon as i can figure out what to charge.

Friday, November 5, 2010

currently sewing

sewing - an otter and trees
i've been sewing this week - here's a peek: trees and an otter.
here's a closer look at a couple finished trees. i blanket-stitched the bottoms on, after stuffing them with wool scrap. i think these would be adorable perched on little 'trunk' building blocks to create a forest playscape.
i've promised to make colden a stuffed friend, and he has requested a fox. i'm still working on that one. but i got the sudden inspiration for an otter.
otter with parts
here you can see his legs a bit better. now i just need to find a good source for cheap wool or cotton stuffing. any ideas?

p.s. some pages changes for those of you on readers: i added a list of links i've recently starred in my google reader in the sidebar. and i've added some bird ornaments to my etsy shop, also seen on the sidebar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

books to welcome baby

baby books
a work-in-progress for the babe within - this sweater (seen here). we checked out some children's books from the midwives today. these were my favorites, especially the top one: we have a baby. it is very simple and positive, and colden loves it. i've been waiting for hello baby (also known as welcome with love) from the library for months now, ever since i saw it recommended by another mama for its home birth story. all the places to love is just so so so beautiful - both the pictures and the story. it brought tears to my eyes. runa's birth and our water baby are also about home births and give some great details about process and how things happen. i thought some other expectant mamas might appreciate these, and i couldn't resist joining works-in-progress wednesday in light of ginny's post today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

wee wallaby

nearly done
i had lots of knitting time in our recent travels, and i've proudly finished this wee wallaby! i tried it on colden a few times in the making, and ended up adding an inch on the body and the hood to stretch it a bit. it's quite snug!
wee wallaby
i already have yarn for the next size up, but i also haven't really knit a thing for the babe-to-be! and i am updating my shop for winter time craft fairs. i'll have some recycled wool ornaments in there by the end of the week if we can find a spot of sun for photographs. are you feeling the fullness of the season too?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hiking hats

marc's crocheted cap
we took to the trails this past weekend, and hiked to falls creek falls with family... providing a great opportunity to document some quick crocheted caps i've made! in the migrating hat tradition; this one was for me, but has adopted marc.
orcas crocheted cap
and this one was for marc! he requested a cozy fireside cap while we were on orcas island this summer. there just so happened to be a yarn store...and this bulky wool... sooo, after an afternoon's hooking- voila! (the hat also just so happened to prefer my head.)
belly hike
i do love seeing belly photos, so here's mine - 31 weeks! and i am especially proud that i hiked (1.7 m and back) with that 30 lb. boy on my back. surely, just as impressive as the waterfall, yes?