Monday, June 10, 2013

raw cashew cheesecake

raw cheesecake
we are celebrating colden's teacher's birthday today and made our favorite raw cashew "cheese"cake. it is super easy, and always enjoyed. (plus, i always make it differently and it always turns out delicious.) the original recipe is here, but this time i used: 2 c. cashews, juice of 3 lemons, 1/3 c. honey, 2-4 tbsp vanilla, 4-6 tbsp coconut oil. or something like that. so, i barely followed the recipe at all, i guess. i put berries on the bottom of a silicon muffin tin, followed by the cashew cream, and popped it in the freezer. yum! happy birthday!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

more summer fires

we have wood to burn from our neighbor who had to cut down her apple tree, and from a big tree we bought that lived in downtown portland. there is something especially lovely in burning some locally-grown portland trees. with all of our log beds we also have plenty of bark falling off all over. we're collecting it for our summer fire pile (along with plenty of cardboard, feedbags, and spent popsicle sticks).

Friday, June 7, 2013

this moment

a b chalk

Thursday, June 6, 2013

this place

gonzy's eater
the cedar trees in our yard host this little bird house and feeder. i just noticed the little squirrel table and chair says, "gonzy's eater" on it. my neighbor has told me stories about when gonzy and his wife lived in this house, and filled the yard with garden. we keep on planting too.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

stone crafts

strawberry stones
azalia and i are collaborating on some fun stone projects. marc suggested i save them for a special solstice gift, and i thought that was a wonderful idea. but i do have a hard time keeping presents a secret, just like my five-year old.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

making medicine

lemon balm
our patch of lemon balm has grown quite well this year. we've been harvesting it and drying it for tea-making. so, i figured it was about time to make some tincture! i just did the "folk" method, which involves; cutting up the plant and packing it tightly in your jar, covering it with alcohol (everclear in this case), and letting it sit for a bit. my herbal medicine making book said fifteen days, but i remember my teacher saying four to six weeks. i think i'll try to let it infuse as long as possible. it should be especially potent from little helping hands.
lemon balm tincture

Monday, June 3, 2013


we had a poster board kicking around, so we got out our magazine stash and began cutting and gluing away! we do love a good mess.

Friday, May 31, 2013



There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. 

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

- Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape from the brooklyn bay

Thursday, May 30, 2013



marc made this perfect little slingshot for colden...the right stick was trimmed, rubber bands placed, and gold duct tape added. in truth, i am a little glad colden hasn't really begun using it in earnest.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

pinterest dinner

i have noticed that my pinterest 'to make' board, includes very few (or perhaps absolutely zero) projects i have made. i set out to change that this week with a few items from my 'food' pinnings. the peas were very simple (and i need simple!) sauteed in butter with garlic, and that's it. mmmm.
this 'popcorn chicken' was also pretty simple, but did require some forethought for someone with little kids. cutting the chicken and covering with coconut and spices, then getting it in the oven 40 minutes before everyone is hungry. well, it was worth it. we really enjoyed these, dipped in barbeque sauce. i always admire people with meal plans and menus, but i'm just not there. baby steps.

Monday, May 27, 2013

mask making

i uncovered this from our closet the past weekend; my face cast from college mask-making. the kids were happy to pry and scrape the ten-year-old clay off, and to rediscover those little plastic clay tools kept with it. (also pictured: colden's golden duct tape bandage.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

soap carving


Thursday, May 23, 2013

walloping wallaby

finished wallaby
i may be over the knitting hump! i finally finished the wallaby sweater i was working on for colden, and it even fits! with room to grow. yes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

clothesline days

impromptu clothesline
our clothesline fell down, with all of these towels on it. since nothing is growing on the fence yet - it was a perfect spot to transfer them. marc and i put the clothesline back up, just in time for everything to get a good downpour. i think they like it.
in the rain

Monday, May 20, 2013


colden made this at school (with help from his amazing teacher). i love it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

happy birthday papa

happy happy
we made this sign back when the weather was sunny, in anticipation of celebrating marc! happy, happy birthday!
happy day

Friday, May 17, 2013

box jail

box jail
this box jail includes a hole in the top for smuggling markers to inmates.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

happy knits

happy yarn
i needed some yarn to finish colden's sweater, and was lucky enough to find a store in town that had it in stock (i could see their catalog via their website). how great is that? greater still, they had an awesome shop, with a perfect children's play area to boot. azalia chose this purpley blue by the fibre co. i couldn't resist.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

bug house

bug house
we recently acquired a bug house from etsy. just in time to catch this little guy on our ceiling.... (don't worry, he wasn't anywhere close to how big he appears in this photo!)
spider guest

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

piggy paint


azalia painted her own toenails. it's piggy paint.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mother's day


Friday, May 10, 2013

this moment


Thursday, May 9, 2013

grapevine fence

vine fence
i was able to give our new bed a nice new fence made of old grapevines. seems to keep the dogs out, and looks so much nicer than the plastic barricade!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

tie dye

tie dye shirts

i've experimented with natural dyes, but i've never tie-dyed before. i bought this kit for the kids for christmas, and we gave it a go this week. i figured it would be the perfect stain-hiding summer wardrobe. i had an absolute blast, but it was tricky for the littles to not touch the dye...they had more fun spraying the finished items (shirts and silks) with the hose. i love how they turned out!
tie dye silks

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

shoe planters

flower shoes
marc had these worn out shoes; too worn for goodwill. i had spring planting fever, and.... well i couldn't help myself. they're marigolds. the next thing i knew, i saw a sign down the street advertising a kids craft class....shoe planters. really! perhaps i am not the only one.

Monday, May 6, 2013

fennel water

fennel water
we planted some fennel on the side of the house last year after reading that it doesn't grow well with others. then we basically forgot about it until we harvested some seeds in the fall. it is still going strong and producing bulbs too! i was inspired by a friend to write lovely things on our water bottles, and then, i hit upon the idea of putting some fennel stalks in there too. i keep it in the refrigerator for a refreshing summer tonic! fennel infused water! the kids like to chew on the stalks too. i have also heard of making fennel syrup....any fennel favorites of yours?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

fabric fence flags

i managed to make these little flags over the weekend. they are six by twelve inch rectangles, folded into squares (size based on the amount of the fabrics i wanted). i sewed three sides onto a piece of hemp twine. i love them and will enjoy seeing how they weather. thinking of making some more little burlap ones the kids could draw on....wouldn't that be fun?

Friday, May 3, 2013

this moment


Thursday, May 2, 2013


radish ants
the ants have been eating my radishes. almost every one of them has little (or big) bite marks and ant trails.
radish harvest
so, i harvested them all with azalia, and planted lettuce there instead. hopefully the ants don't like it as well.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

may sunshine

sun making

happy may day! we had lovely may day celebrations, and got to spend the day outside enjoying the sun. we even took the opportunity to do some afternoon backyard crafting; making some decorations for our fence with fabric scraps and bamboo. (pretty sure i got this idea from twig & toadstool.) 
fence decor
the tie dye knit fabric wasn't quite as easy to work with as the lovely yellow sheet. it kept twisting and only showing its unprinted white side. as you can see, our little privacy fence is rather see-through, so we thought we might hang some pieces to make it feel a little more cozy. i'm thinking some fabric flags might be next in line! tra-la! it's may!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

new beds

new bed
the absolutely incredible weather, the grocery store's insane plant deals, and pure spring fever - all have conspired to compel me to plant, plant, plant. marc built this gorgeous raised bed out of logs, and colden and i planted carrot seeds and some bachelor's button (edible flower!) starts. considering the number of tomatoes i have purchased...likely some will be moving here. sadly, the dogs think this is the perfect landing pad for jumping over to intimidate our chickens, so i have a big plastic fence around here now. it is kind of ruining my backyard photos, but hopefully it will preserve my seedlings!

Monday, April 29, 2013


we were really inspired by this ted talk, and decided to follow up on the opportunity to grow our own mushrooms. i ordered the pearl oyster variety from fungi perfecti. they noted that these (among many) are easy enough for kids to grow. sure enough, they have already yielded 5 or 6 big mushrooms, and there are probably already more ready and waiting in our garage.
they grow right out of the plastic bag they come in - under another plastic bag 'humidity tent'. all you need to do is spray them with water. you may also hang them above your sink since that is an ideal moist environment. since the instructions indicated that they need to be cooked before eating, we sauteed our first mushrooms in butter and had them on pizza. so delicious!
oyster mushroom
after the bag has produced two flushes of mushrooms, we can mix its contents with wheat straw or newspaper, spread it outside under our trees, and see if they decide to make some more! they say it can take awhile, but the prospect is very exciting! i may try some pink oysters next! (my apologies to the mushroom-averse. they are so good though. really!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

this moment

homegrown salad

Thursday, April 25, 2013


wish jar
i had to make a dandelion wish jar (after seeing it on pinterest, of course). colden was excited to collect wishes (and a buttercup), and this thrifted jar was just perfect for it. the only thing is, they do kind of smush each other as they stack up!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

little light

beeswax candle
here's our little handmade candle addition to our table mesa.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ice pops

orange pop
in anticipation of the gorgeous weather, i bought a new ice pop maker. i love it. i have been freezing pops in our big ice chest, setting in a casserole dish. first, i made a batch of pineapple-banana pops (loosely following this recipe). then i made just plain frozen orange juice and yogurt pops. soooo good - like a creamsicle, you know?
strawberry banana
there is a local pop maker (sol pops) that offers a delicious sugar-free banana-strawberry pop that i was inspired to try to replicate. i added yogurt to mine again (mostly to get my blender to mix the frozen berries and bananas). yuuuuummmm!
then i had to go for the fudgesicle. i am proud that they are actually kind of healthy too - all organic, containing; coconut milk, cacao, peanut butter, honey, and some vitamin c powder for good measure. i foresee a lot of icy delights around these parts!

Monday, April 22, 2013


picked yesterday from the wooden shoe tulip festival...
and here today.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


we made these littles 'mesa's at our wednesday playgroup - each stick and stone to signify something we are working with....our favorite is the 'singing' stick. we've been singing it little songs... and sometimes it sings to us too! the candle holder is shaped from salt and earth, and temporarily holds a beeswax candle - next wednesday we get to make our own!