March 5, 2015

My favourite!

Aside from the barn chores, the cold winter days have pretty much kept us inside this entire winter.
Mostly, we all fight over the rocking chair that directly faces the wood stove, and when I am lucky enough to claim it, I work away at my needle felting in that cozy, wonderful spot. With tea, of course! Winter does have its perks! 
I actually found the rocking chair in the barn, and it is already quite rickety and well-loved, so we'll be fixing it up in the springtime, but for the time being it is helping all of us to make the most of this extremely frigid winter. Jude draws there, and Isabella knits and reads books there. Ollie asks me to sit there when he is upset, and I will rock and cuddle him until he is his usual cheery self again. I of course indulge in needle felting while sitting in that spot, but I also seem to sit there every morning after the flurry of breakfast has settled to drink my first cup of tea (:

March 1, 2015

New line of Chicken Aprons!

I have designed a new line of Chicken Aprons and they are now for sale in my shop.

Available in small, medium and large sizes, they will fit any chicken (:

Please visit to check out my sets of 3 or five aprons, as well as individual ones!

February 21, 2015

Snow cave

We have had tons of snow this year!
The snow plow has gone by our driveway so many times that we ended up with a snow mountain, so Jason hollowed it out for the kids. Good times!

February 16, 2015

A visit!

 On the wall of my parent's kitchen..

Jude discovered Grandma-Jude's old roller skates and put them to good use!

Jude loves to draw wherever he goes. Grandma-Jude gifted him with a great big sketchbook and he filled so many pages while we were visiting there!
Jude decided he was going to sleep beside the orange in the picture come nighttime. He thought he was so clever and funny to do such a thing! Ollie copies everything his big brother does, so naturally he conceived to bring a clementine to bed the following night (-;

A simple breakfast of rye toast with cheese, applesauce and tea in a place where I had no early morning freezing-cold barn chores to do! This in itself was quite a treat for me.

I taught my Mom how to needle felt, and we sat for the entire morning doing so. It was very peaceful.

This is My Mom's cat Sumo. She is really quite the character. Amarook the dog always seems to evade the camera!

I made this little sheep and then gifted it to a good friend later that day (:

It has been quite a time since we made the trek down to my parents' house for a weekend visit. Now that we have moved, it takes two and a quarter hours to drive there but for some reason it didn't feel unpleasant or boring on the trip there or back. The boys were remarkably well behaved both times, thank goodness! We don't have a lot of car-ride perks, Just some gluten-free crackers and a bag of books!
For some reason, Ollie didn't make it into any of the pictures. He does seem to be running fast all of the time, rarely settling in one spot for very long. Poor Bella caught a 24-hour flu and so had to stay home with Jason who is working on some paintings. Such a talented artist he is! I will post some pictures soon (:

February 11, 2015

The past two weeks.

Isabella has been knitting! She first learned when she was eight years old, but lost interest shortly thereafter. Now that she is 14, she has picked up right where she left off and has been knitting herself some slouchy hats, and also secret presents for an upcoming birthday. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see her engaged so devotedly in handwork again! Creativity in all aspects seemed to wane the longer she attended traditional school, but something wonderful has happened since moving to this new house of ours; We have all been confronted with newness, uprootedness and change of course, but with the newness comes a sort of freshness. A new start. And so she knits! And my mama self rejoices!

This is our squirrel-friend who shares the suet cakes we hang for the birds. He has a huge scar across his body; who can know the trials he has endured? In that vein of thinking, we are glad he found his way to our bird suet to help him get through this brutally cold, dark and snowy winter.

Ollie, sitting by the window in the late afternoon winter light.

Jude, sitting by the window in the late afternoon winter light.

Jude made this 3D town/highway by drawing cars, roads, trees, buildings and cutting them all out while remembering to leave tabs at the bottom for gluing. Jason did the actual gluing part. Jude was very proud of his creation (:

Jude's very favourite activity in the whole world right now is sitting in my rocking chair by the fire and drawing inventions in his sketchbook. It is the first thing he goes to after waking in the morning and the last thing he does before bed..I remember having the same unsatiable creative hunger when I was a child. It's so beautiful to watch your children unfold.

This would be our muscovy drake with the very worst luck. A week or 2 ago he somehow managed to snap off five bloodfeathers from his wing so we brought him inside the house, gave him a bath and then Jason pulled out the remaining feather shafts. We are new to ducks but we learn fast. We have to! Injured animals don't wait until you are are actually prepared to pull their injury stunts! 
I strolled out to the barn a few mornings ago to do my (normally) calm chores and found the same drake with five broken bloodfeathers on his tail this time. The duck house looked like there had been a bloodbath in there and the other 10 ducks were covered! Not the most pleasant way to begin my day, I can assure you. Jason wasn't home this time, so I brought the drake inside and put him in the bathtub while I gathered my supplies (pliers, towels and cornstarch to stop bleeding). I sat down on the floor, wrapped him in a towel, pinned him under my arm and then pulled the remaining feather shafts out. The poor guy. Like the time before, I let him rest on the bathroom floor for an hour or two after that ordeal and brought him back to his friends in the barn when he appeared to be his perky self again.

Spanish omelettes in the making. I have a dear friend who was born and grew up in the Basque region of Spain and she taught me how to make these wonderful and delicious omelettes. Her husband's grandfather lived to be 100 years old and ate a spanish omelette every single day for lunch!

Gluten free sugar cinnamon buttermilk donuts! These were SO good!

Jude and Ollie, being themselves in our cozy, warm living room (:

Little boys in rocking chairs (:

I knitted a quick hat for Jude. I made the broomcorn broom behind him as well, come to think of it. I guess it's pretty apparent which colours I am loving right now!

This was amazing. And it looked delicious after it was baked, but sadly it didn't last long enough for me to take a picture! At any rate, it's a gluten free deep-dish chocolate chip cookie cake, baked in a cast iron frying pan. You need things like this to help you stay cheery and sane when locked into a Canadian winter for 6 or 7 months, believe me (-;

January 30, 2015

January food

After our move here, I was pretty spent. It has been nearly two months and in that time, I have been feeling  an overwhelming lack of motivation to do anything even slightly domestic. The laundry was piled sky high and the kids were obviously hungry but still I couldn't bring myself to cook or bake. They ate lots of toast and fruit, cereal, cheese and crackers and yogurt...It's intense being a full-time mama, trying to get settled, unpacked and sorted while managing a small business and a farm and feeling completely exhausted and just wanting a bit of quiet and stillness but never, ever finding it. But then all of a sudden, something lifted and just like that, I woke up a few mornings ago and I was actually awake, finally. When that happened, I made chicken noodle soup, butternut squash soup, two loaves of corn bread, and an apple crisp. Everyone was happy about that. The chicken soup came from our own free-range hens, the corn bread from our heirloom red flint corn, and the butternut squash soup from our own gardens (:

We have been eating the corn bread with Jason's yummy homemade strawberry jam, pairing it with soup.

And for a totally naughty-but-worth-it lunch, french fries. So good. We ran out of the delicious potatoes we grew last summer but these were still yummy.

This is breakfast. Every morning we all have a bowl of oatmeal with honey and tea. Lately echinacea has made it's annual appearance as sore throats and little coughs announce themselves. Jason and I add ground flax to our oatmeal, and Ollie and I love diced apples. 

And for dinner tonight..probably french fries again, and salad (-;

January 19, 2015

felted fellows!

I tried needle felting for the very first time yesterday!

I used some washed wool from Teapot and Magpie and made a little barn owl for Jude and a gnome for Ollie. I had no idea it was so fun and I am thinking I may become obsessed! It is such a cathartic practice, manipulating this soft, beautiful fiber, and made even more special to me knowing that I am using the wool from my very own sheep (:

January 2, 2015


The past month has been very, very full, of newness and change and everything in between.
On December first, we woke up for the very first time in our new home.
It took three (very intense, grueling, emotional, exhausting) days to do the actual 'moving'. We rented a 24 foot truck for a couple days, and had four bush cords of firewood to transport, so we took that in our first load. The second load consisted of our house/barn/garage contents. For the month prior, I had been diligently visiting the dump with a loaded car, getting rid of as much 'stuff' as possible..but we still had so much. It's no wonder I suppose, with a family of five people, six sheep, a goat, dog, and a cat. And in the final week before our move, we (reluctantly) took in 11 unwanted muscovy ducklings as well. There has been much muchness! 
In between the first and second truckloads, a kind neighbour came by with a homemade sheep crate on the back of his truck, and we managed to get four sheep plus Talulah (the pygmy goat) in there for the first ride, and the remaining two sheep took the second trip, and they all arrived safely to be happily set up in their lovely new barn (: 
There was so much to do in those final days of moving, that Jason and I literally had tears in our eyes on occasion, feeling that there was simply too much to accomplish - We hardly ate or drank, and just kept going and going and going. Thank goodness for the angels who came to help us - My Mom and sister watched the boys and scrubbed the old house for us, packing up odds and ends and keeping things as sane as possible - and on the day when we hauled the firewood, two local friends - who started out as egg customers - happily offered their services. We got those four bush cords out of the truck and neatly stacked in the garage, all hands working together in bucket-brigade fashion. It was actually very lovely, a very positive experience. 
Upon returning, we all began loading up the truck with 'everything else'. The four of us worked until 10 that night, and we sent them home feeling VERY grateful for all their help..There was still so much to load, but Jason and I thought we could do we started early the next morning. Hours later, we realized we were pretty much doomed. We were racing against the clock as the sun would set at around 4 or 5 pm..I had to leave in between the loading to get the sheep delivered too. Jason was basically doing it all by himself and it was awful. It started to rain..and then our friends showed up again to help us! It was nothing short of a miracle. They were exhausted and sore from helping us the day before, but they came anyway. They said they knew we were in trouble; They had moved before, just the two of them, and they knew how hard it was and just wanted to help. Can you comprehend how wonderful this was? The four of us worked and worked and worked, and by 10 pm that night had moved everything to our new place. They went home, and we drove back to get the kids - My Mom and sister took our cat to our new house while we dropped the truck off an hour away. While I tucked the kids in (it was so very late), Jason drove back to the old place, gathered any leftover items not accounted for, the dog, and the goldfish, and rolled in about 4 am. He slept the whole next day. We waded through a sea of boxes, everyone cranky because of the exhaustion and mess and chaos..But we got through it! I unpacked those boxes like you wouldn't believe, and within a week our house looked quite nice. 
We have celebrated Isabella's 14th birthday, as well as our first Christmas here. We all love our new home, and it is so warm and cozy! The woodstove is amazing! The quiet of the surrounding woods is enchanting, and overall we are just very content and happy (: We are blessed. Life is wonderful! A gift! 

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