« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

rainy day shop update


008rotate 024rotate

A few things will be landing in the shop this afternoon, sometime after 2pm sounds about right. I've just begun cleaning out my studio from the holiday mayhem and realized I had made several bags in early December that never did find there way to Etsy. I took these photos a few days ago when it was bright and sunny.  I have a few other things to put in the shop as I've most recently been busy with hand stitched wool felted items. But no opportunity to photograph those things today...


...bleck! Actually, yum for tea drinking  and hanging out with Emily. Impossible for photographing wool shop goodies... but do look for these bright sunny bags later on today! Have yourself a cozy day.

Update::: some pretty funky technical difficulties are preventing this update right now... check back soon, Thanks!!

A New Gig

009rotateI've been meaning to share with you all the new job that has come into my life recently. I mentioned here that I began teaching yoga again a while back. It's been wonderful, and exciting, and different than teaching here in my own studio - but wonderful, yes. Very much so. The studio owners asked if I'd manage one of their studios as well as take on a few more classes. So that is my new gig I've been hinting around about lately! It's very new for me, and quite a different vantage point for this yogi, but what a growth opportunity. So now I teach five classes a week and take care of the studio administrative responsibilities which for the most part are handled completely on my own schedule, which you can imagine for this busy homeschooling mom is the only way it would work. I can log on to their computer system late at night in my jammies and take care of client/staff info and details. It's sooo good. This promises to be a journey of growth and evolution that is just what I needed right now.

Thank you for such kind words about our friends returning home on my last post. Tonight is the night!!! As I write this I can see the lovely young couple that has been house sitting for our friends pack up their car across the street. I wonder where they will be going from here, I feel kind of bad that we didn't get to know them better. Right now I am off to get some housekeeping done, finish a couple of surprises and bake a few things to leave as a welcome home gift for our friends.

One more thing... you must try this salad dressing! I've been trying to incorporate more nutritional yeast in my diet with the vegan thing and all... this dressing is so creamy - holy moly, it's amazing! Cheryl always has the best recipes, check this one out soon, you'll love it!

Anticipating the Return of Friends


Can you tell where our hearts have been lately? A bit of an edge for this mama who tries to keep things in the moment... here we are daydreaming and Emily drawing about summer which is nowhere in sight.

Things have been buzzing around here lately. A good kind of busy, my new job (which I will share in the next day or so), a new curriculum for the second half of the year and fresh energy to explore new things, homeschool yoga that I'm teaching, other homeschool science and swimming activities, and planning the arrival of our dear friends and neighbors to return from a four month sabbatical in Israel next Monday. This is a pretty big deal for us, mostly for Emily and their daughter Arielle. Would you like a brief history?

Five years ago Emily and I were having a "playdate" at Merle's house. We rented a house in another town and knew them through the school that both of our girls attended. Emily is an only child, so is Arielle. They are six months apart in age. Merle and I were sitting on the expansive, winding front porch of her beautiful Victorian home. I commented that I admired the Craftsman house directly across the street, that it was a style I'd always loved. To which she said "You know, I think it might be for sale soon. The woman spends most of her time in a new home near the shore... she's never here." A year went by... Adam and I began seriously looking to buy a house as law school was wrapped up and out of the way. At the time the market in our area was seriously discouraging for first time home buyers, interest rates were great as were lending packages, but the prices? Oh my, total seller's market... our dreams of hoping to find just a bit of land in the country were extinguished pretty quickly. In a million years you could never have told Adam he'd be living in a "city" (a depressed mill town really), he grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We looked for months to find something that would allow us a taste of country living... nothing. Then we were at Merle's house again, this time Adam was with me and we were in the middle of making full price offers on several houses that we didn't even really like, none of them were accepted  - people were paying over asking price pretty consistently at that time. The house across the street still stood empty. I walked over and peeked into the breezeway at the front door (a tiny peek of it in the picture above) and I needed to go inside. Adam couldn't deny his curiosity, that's one beautiful door...

The house was still not on the market, but not lived in either. I got the owner's number and called her the next day. She said she would like to sell the house and showed it to us a few days later. We loved it, we bought it. Adam couldn't believe it, but we did.

But this is really about our neighbors... they are such good people. Emily and Arielle have the most inspiring friendship, in the four years we've been here they have had one argument -  they were six at the time - and they were wise enough to ask an adult to mediate as they came to a resolution, very Montessori.  During the time they've been away, Emily and Arielle have formed a sistership via the internet. It's a pretty big deal - of course as any decent ten year old club would have, there are plenty of "laws and codes." It's serious business, when Emily meets someone new now and they ask if she has sisters or brothers she says "Yes! I have a sister, she's in Israel right now."

Merle and Jeremy (Arielle's parents) are just the coolest, kindest, brightest folks to know and we feel so fortunate to have such friends right across the street. Our arrangement is very reminiscent of days gone by... there is vanilla and sugar borrowed, extra loaves of bread and batches of cookies baked and run across the street, lots of front porch chatting, dinners, desserts. The best is when they sit on their front porch steps with guitar in hand and sing folk songs. They are such a blessing to us and we've missed them  terribly these last four months!


Arielle prefers to ride a scooter over a bike. Emily has been saving her allowance for a long time now (since our anniversary when she spent two months of saved allowance to take Adam and I to breakfast), and purchased this new ride just in time for Arielle's arrival. She's pretty excited and has been riding all around the house, inside, everyday. Which makes me realize that Emily has learned to ride all things inside the house. A two-wheeler at age five, roller blades at age six and now this. How can we resist when these new toys seem to come into our life at the holidays and everything outside is covered with snow and ice. It's really a practical solution. Really. Don't look too closely at the wood floors...

My mind is completely wandering this morning. When I sat down to write I was going to share about the new curriculum we are using and answer some questions I've gotten recently about homeschooling. Another time? I guess right now I'm just really excited about the return of friends.

Maybe I'm better at keeping things in the moment than I thought.

From the Quilt Lady in Northern Maine


I think if I continue with the pace I'm on, all that I have to share from the holidays will be just about complete by mid-summer.

This incredible quilt does not belong to me, though that is my bedroom in the photo... the quilt was given to Emily by my mom and dad for Christmas. I immediately asked Em if I could borrow it, I've got such a thing for blue and green together lately - and this chartreuse with the funky mod flowers I pretty much am head over heels for. There was a tiny glimpse of it revealed in a post here , which my mom of course read. The next time I was at her house she gently commented that she had seen my new quilt on the blog... I of course quickly tried to defend myself... "oh, yeah - I'm just borrowing it - we haven't switched Emily's bed yet." Right...


There is an older lady in Northern Maine who makes these quilts, her daughter helps her now as Bernadette is quickly advancing in years. I've mentioned a little about her and these amazing quilts here . The way she whips the quilts up with the softest cottons, new and old is overwhelming to me and inspiring at the same time. She never uses batting or an inner layer of any kind. And the backs are usually a bed sheet. Because they are thinner than traditional quilts it's so easy to throw in the washing machine, no worries there. Anyway, back to the quilt that I stole from my daughter... my mom wasn't really buying my defense and asked me if I'd simply like a quilt for myself. Upstairs we went to the guest room where her abundant stash of quilts is kept. She almost always pays a visit to the quilt ladies when in Maine, and always finds at least one (usually several) to take home.

Here is the one I chose. It's not entirely "me" but was the most "me" of the collection and I love it so much, for reasons beyond the fabric colors and combination. It's funny, the top quilt says "Heather" all the way - but I love them both exactly the same. Does that make sense? I bet you all get that.

Thanks mom,  now Emily can have her gift back!

Not Your Typical Waldorf Salad

002This is a wonderful breakfast or anytime recipe. I took a cooking class years ago with a friend at Wild Oats and this is one of the dishes that was made. I don't have a cookbook or chef to give credit to, it was just handed out on a sheet of paper. I've shared another recipe from that class here, both are excellent.

Traditionally Waldorf Salad has mayonnaise in the dressing. For me, vanilla (soy) yogurt adds such a better flavor and makes me think this could pass for a summer dessert. Or any season in my book... seriously, if you take a bite of the apple with dates alone, it tastes just like a caramel apple. This also keeps well for a few days in the fridge so you can make a large batch for the weeks lunches. 

Waldorf Salad

3 cups apples, chopped
sprinkling of lemon juice
handful of walnuts, chopped
handful of dark raisins (I used jumbo flame, organic - beautiful!)
handful of golden raisins (mine were a little dry so I let them sit in warm h2o for ten minutes)
handful of celery, chopped
handful of dried, pitted dates, chopped


1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt  (you could use regular yogurt)
1/4 tsp. fresh nutmeg
1 TBS. sweetener (I used maple syrup)

In a large bowl toss apple with lemon juice. Add celery, raisins, walnuts and dates. Blend dressing ingredients in small bowl, add to apple mixture. Gently combine until salad is coated with dressing.

Enjoy this recipe, I hope you like it. I hope your kids like it too!

Snow Day Crafting

The snow's coming down pretty hard out there...  so hard that branches keep falling which makes playing outside a little dangerous. I think we'll take a walk up to the university later, open sledding hills with no trees, much safer. Other than that there isn't a whole lot going on... I'll teach tonight, there's some quiet crafting that may result in a tiny shop update next week. Lately I've been wanting to make things that don't require the use of my sewing machine, only my hands and some non-electric tools. It's just a little break I need after months of machine sewing for hours most days of the week. My machine is loud, it can really get to you after a while. Snow, hand sewing, maybe some beading, and yoga.

I really love the quiet of winter. 


Ipod Cozy Tutorial


I made myself a little something the other day. It isn't much but it was one of those things born out of necessity and completed start to finish in under an hour. I have many things to share from the holidays still, gifts that were handmade by us and by others - but I still have no photos of most of those things - for now I revel in the quiet crafting of January in a south facing bedroom flooded with passive solar heat...

It was so simple . Would you like to make one?

- Cut out two wool felt rectangles, one being 1 1/2 inches longer than the other. Mine were 3.5 in x 6.5 in and 3.5 in x 5 in.  You could adjust the size as you'd like for your Ipod, I don't like my cases to be so tight they fit like a second skin. I also wanted my earbuds to easily fit inside. Just be sure to cut one rectangle 1.5 inches longer.
- Place them on top of one another and from the top corner where the shorter piece meets the longer one, start blanket stitching your little heart away. Go around the entire case finishing where you began. If you work with embroidery floss (3 strands) a little bit longer than arms length you should be able to go all the way around without running out.
- Choose a button that is approximately 1/2 inch. Make a button whole by snipping with very sharp and pointy scissors the right size opening on the extra length of the bottom felt rectangle. Better to start a tad small and make it bigger if needed. You could blanket stitch around the button whole if you'd like, I did not.
- Find the placement for your button that works for the hole you've made and stitch it on. 

You're done! Slip in your Ipod to test out the new pouch, then remove the Ipod, select your favorite play list, find a comfy spot to chill, and happily admire your work!  Children like making this project also. Wonderful for hiding and protecting important treasures.

I hope somebody out there enjoys making this, the blanket stitching alone makes it worth it. I love the meditative aspect of this stitch, I hope you do too.

Happy day to you all!

You're Great!

010rotate Yes, you. You're great! I had a yoga related lunch meeting yesterday (I cannot wait to share all this super yoga stuff with you!) and one of my fellow teachers stopped mid-conversation and looked around the table telling us each individually "you're great!" Not something out of the ordinary for this girl, she's always full of wonderful positive affirmations for people. Who doesn't love that? It made me think of all of you, those who left such honest and kind comments here the last couple of days, and those who quietly read and sent a few good vibes instead. All were felt and so appreciated. Have you ever written a post and in hindsight thought, "oh dear, that was something..."  I'm kind of feeling that way. Still, you're great!

So... New Years Day. We followed Emily's plan and welcomed a new tradition into our lives. It had a ceremonial quality to it which I really liked. We opened all of the doors and several windows, and we waited. For fifteen minutes we held the space as 2007 was released from our home and 2008 was invited to stay.  In preparation for this Emily had gone around the first floor and lit all the candles, which were many. I know her intention was to make our home feel special and pretty for this transition, but as we sat there, each of us soaking in the experience, I couldn't help to  notice the symbolism around me. In just fifteen minutes our home was so cold you could see your breath, just as if you were outdoors. The candles flickering in all of the rooms to my holding back tears self represented warmth for the year ahead. We all felt this new tradition pretty deeply and it is one that we will welcome each year.            


We collected our sappy selves and stayed in for the rest of the day. It was a snowy, rainy, damp, raw, southern New England kind of day. We thought we might head out with Grandma's envelope of gift receipts in hand and tackle a few Christmas exchanges... but staying in, reading new books, making carrot ginger soup, and having a little jump-a-thon was much more appealing. All participants were of course required to proudly wear their contestant number on their chest.  Please watch for overhead light fixtures!

This year is feeling pretty jazzy already.
I have never used the word jazzy before... see that? New beginnings.