Tuesday, December 23, 2008

shots from the shop...

and some gingerbread cookie makin'...
and a little one who turned two...
how can life move so fast?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

this is sooooo important!

read it and act on it! moms like me depend on the things we create in an effort to improve the quality of our kid's lives and fulfill our creative side. some even (gasp)depend on our handcrafts for a living...
i'm all for more strict safety laws on mass-produced goods, but for those of us sewing lovely little cotton apron dresses and felted teddies? not so much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

like a day without sunshine...

my camera has fully s*** the bed, y'all. but never fear, along came my hubby and posed an even greater dilemma... my new camera. it's big, it's purty, i know it was wicked expensive, and frankly folks, i want my crappy camera back. i swear, i won't complain that i have to listen to that beep while it tells me my "card cover is open", because in my heart, i'll know its really not. i won't moan about carpal tunnel syndrome induced by having to hold the usb plug in place while i upload 700 photos. i will embrace the fact that using a flash outdoors in broad daylight could be fun. work with me, this monster scares the bajeepers outta me. but i digress... i simply meant to post and apologize for the lack of pics lately and to tell you that business has been great. people have been soooo supportive! a woman came today from the local paper to photograph us, too! guess what? she had a nikon d60. guess what else? that's the camera i have now. does that make me a professional? expect pics soon! also- a big thanks to pinecone and chickadee of portland for sending a huge hunk o' unbelievable clothing and paper goods, no questions asked! we love 'em!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

absentee blogger

i have been undoubtedly m.i.a. i'm not gonna kid myself and say that the world has been worse for the wear without me to bitch about my kids, life, business, etc. so much has changed so quickly around here that sometimes i can't seem to wrap my feeble sleep-deprived brain around it. really, i confess, it's a pipe-dream manifested. for as long as i can remember my drive to create and share my creations has been a force to be reckoned with. there are days where i can hardly function for the NEED to create what is swimming in my head is so urgent (ocd, anyone?). there's a beauty and a cross to bear and finding that balance, as with everything, has been my challenge.
and then this karmic little shop space came to pass... and i could'nt say "no". luckily, my dear friend, kim, could'nt either. so off we go, on a brand new and crazy adventure. i am excited, exhausted, scared and anxious. i do, though, know in my heart it was meant to be. our response has been soooo positive in this community and in the extended etsy community that i feel we will just grow and grow.
i'm taking over the world, y'all. starting with this:


it's gonna be great. check it out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

fall in the air (aka "why are my kids so sick?")

the school year is here, we've finally transitioned into the "montessori way", and the leaves have turned and begun their descent groundward(i know i made that word up, it even looks funny). last season we had the occaisonal cold and a few bouts of tummy upset, but NOTHING like the crud that has crept around thus far. my kids have been "under the weather" literally since school started. i've hit a wall with this. my breaking point? yeah, it's here, it's now, and oooohwee is it gonna get UGLY.
i can come down fairly hard on myself in the parenting department. ever since i decided i wanted to stay home with my kids i have viewed it as my "job" and come at it whole-hog...surprised?
health, hygeine and happiness are my mission (impossible)on the homefront. these bouts of rundown, chronic crap are my nemesis. my kids don't eat crap, they get to bed early, get excercise and fresh air, and take multi-vitamins, fish oil, and vitamin d DAILY. where have i gone wrong? hopefully, new school, new kids, new germs is the culprit, not some horrible oversight in the mothering department.
this too shall pass.
if not, and this blog lapses longer than two weeks time, please come pull me out of the corner.
that said, we did get out briefly for some lover-ly maine fall leaf frolicking.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

sometimes i make stuff

posted some new things in the etsy shop. i've been sooooo bogged down lately. i feel as though i'm barely above water sometimes and the other time i'm just floundering around. i'm at a crossroads for sure, putting tons of new ideas and stuff out there into the world and getting really positive feedback has been wonderful and well, scary, to be frank. i'm getting close to where i want to be with owning my own business and creating and selling and all that and its giving me the heebie-jeebies. i feel like its now or never and the what-ifs are getting the better of me. with holiday craft shows, loads of custom orders, and new business props on the table i'm questioning everything. will i be gyping my kids? at what price will the fulfillment of my dream come? will i have to lean on my husband for extra time and favors, thereby cutting into his time for his business? will i fail my customers? will i get tired of producing and become uninspired once the goal is attained?

and i wonder why i can't sleep? any advice? c'mon folks, help me here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


so much change

every day

stretching our wings


Monday, September 8, 2008

the kickoff

our kids started at a local montessori school this year. we are ecstatic so far, and have only the highest hopes for their continued adjustment and happiness. both phil and i are "sporty" types under our somewhat crunchy facade (he more so than i, but i was quite the all-out athlete in school where he still needs his weekly hockey fix). despite our excitement at the new environment for the kids, i could almost see phil throw up in his mouth a little bit when they told us they did not have a phys-ed program or a sports program. so, being the forward-thinkin' mama i am, i volunteered us (suckers) to start a soccer program 2x a week after school.
why do i think i'm qualified to do this? what makes me think i can come up with anything fun or motivating for these children to do? why am i stretching myself so thin always? what the hell am i doing blogging when i have 20 minutes before i have to leave for our first practice?
like i said...

Friday, August 29, 2008


i have stated many times in the past years that there seems to be a growing trend towards having a new baby every two years. it seems everyone in our circle of friends adhered directly to the "two year rule". having such a unique family (having my oldest daughter and my stepson be 8mos apart was a lot like having twins for a while so we waited until they were 4 before connor came along and connor was 5 when olivia was born)i always thought that i'd rather have a lobotomy than a 2 yr old and a newborn. it just seemed so hard.

okay y'all, i get it now. not that i'm thinking of having any more anytime soon (then a lobotomy would be in order) but i'm seeing where the urge to reproduce again stems from. over the past few months my baby has stopped being a baby and i think it's so clear and almost painful to watch this time around because she's so very much the baby, her closest sibling is almost 6 years older!
i find myself lately wanting to do all those things that parents do as their babies become more and more like little people and less like babbling mini-humans. i watch her sleep, i smell her soft (and oh -so -sparse) baby hair, i cry when she ballet dances with her big sister, i kiss her toes, listen to her sing, and rock her to sleep whenever she'll let me (she's a slippery little bugger). phil and i joke she'll have to go to kindergarten with a note in her lunch box reading," please excuse olivia jane at lunch today, she will be going home to nurse". i just can't get enough of this kid, you guys. she's moving out of babyhood and on to independence and individuality and it pulls my heart in so may ways how she needs me soooo badly one minute, and can't race away fast enough on her radio flyer the next.
our lives are hectic and in constant motion around here, and with 4 kiddos its easy to feel like you are missing something that someone is doing. my goal is to try harder to celebrate the NOW with my children. being the ocd personality that i am, its easy for me to be more of a human doing than a human being. olivia brings me back to center. back to the place where i need to be.here.now. and hug and laugh and cherish a just watch.
what an amazing and crazy thing to be able to create life and know that this being is not ever really your child at all, but her very own person, entrusted to us by some magical, mystical thing. i will watch you grow, olivia, i will let you be you and thank you for giving me so many opportunities to reflect on the true meaning of life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

solar shower... the final frontier

so here it is, minus a few small things that need minor tweaking. the hubby broke her in last night, but sorry guys, those pics are for me only! haha...

i think this(picture directly above) is my favorite part. i had some scraps left over from boarding up the sides (yes, folks, i did that. i dragged scummy old boards out from under one of our outbuildings, cut them and screwed them on)and i made this shampoo/soap shelf. the holes drilled thru the sides will have hemp strung through them to create kind of a net so the items don't fall out. it's the little things that make a girl happy, ya know? i'm also thinking of putting the curtain on the inside, but it was blowing so much yesterday that logically it seemed better to have it outside. this is where hubby steps in and asks me why don't i just weight the bottom? oh, yeah.

whaddya think? i'm really interested in getting some feedback or comments on this project and here what other families are doing to be a bit more green... i'd love to share it with my family.

Monday, July 14, 2008

building an outdoor shower (semi tutorial) part deux

this is what the sky looked like yesterday in the morning. apollo was not being a cooperative fellow ,to say the least. but by 10 it was sunny and the wind was blowing a gentle 25 miles per hour (or so it felt). regardless, we started our project. i'm an "instant gratification" kind of gal, and i'd been waiting weeks to cash in on some of the hubby's time. i finally had him, and he wasn't gonna slither away...

we also recruited some strong young fellas to do the grunt work (seen here spreading out the drainage rock over the weed barrier) unfortunately our older daughter got herself a case of the stomach ickies so she couldn't help, but she was bummed, being a real die-hard junior environmentalist-

these fir beams were salvaged from a house my husband's crew rebuilt (note to ladies: if you are a diy kind of gal, you can't do better than to snag yourself a carpenter/woodworker in the way of freebie slave labor and materials. just a thought...) and we cut them to size (about 71/2 ft) and leveled them, and braced them, and did it again when they blew down (almost severing said carpenter's foot)

we then notched the tops of the posts in order to fit the top frame into place (yes, that is my youngest son, he's been chopping dovetails that would make bob vila jealous since he was about 3)

we re-set the posts and fit the top frame and cross-braces (notice: you must be wearing just a carpenter's vest contraption, have tattoos, and flexy muscles to perform this task)

then 2 more beams to span the top and set the watering can between (screws in the handle

barrel went up and was strapped w/ ties (winds were gale-force by this time)

and the "plumbing" was installed ( black short length of hose from barrel spigot , on/off tap between, and then into watering can)
the effect is sooooo cool! it's still not quite done- needs siding (insert neighbor's sigh of relief here), a pallet/ platform floor, and of course, a linen curtain (which you can find in my shop, too, excuse the shameless plug!) i'm sure finished product pics are to come...

the day looks like this today(look familiar?)

so action shower-shots are not in the forecast... but rain is!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


we try around here to be as green as possible. we have our shopping totes (how many times do we get to the store and i say, "oh my gosh guys, i left them home again") and our recycling bins ("WHY IS IT SOOOO HARD FOR YOU ALL TO WALK OUT TO THE PORCH WITH THIS CARTON? 10 EXTRA STEPS COULD HELP US SAVE THE PLANET, BUT NOOOOO...) we try to shut off lights and appliances religiously (i call my husband the lightswitch nazi) and i always hang our laundry out when the weather is nice. for a big ole family, i think we are leaving a relatively small footprint. except when it comes to showers. no matter how ya slice it, summer is sweaty, the pool is chloriney, there is dirt to be played in, ponds and oceans to be swum in, and that makes for A LOT of dirty people. my whole being also shudders to think that someone may get into those crispy-clean sheets with icky body and feet syndrome (yep, that pesky ocd thing just won't leave me alone). soooooo... we're goin' solar, baby! i've been begging for an out door shower forever and i found this great article while searching the net http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues/90/90-6/Edward_Shultz.html and thought it would so work for our family. we have an adorable little cottage (one room and a loft, potty in the great outdoors) and i think that having a shower out there alongside it will be great for guests, of which we have many. i can't wait and i'm gonna post about the progress... so stay tuned, crunchy people!

phase 1- getting our shit together...

awesome rain-catcher barrel found at local hardware store (plans called for 2 aluminum trash cans, but this is already plumbed w/ a spigot and is a nice thick, insulated plastic)

most excellent hillbilly-chic copper watering can to be used as shower head

digging and sod-transport devices (also known as shovel and baby's wagon as wheelbarrow is infirm)

top layer of sod removed and prepped for gravel and landscape barrier for base of shower

misc. plumbing supplies (okay, i have no frickin' idea how this will be assembled but having utmost trust in hubby's mechanical abilities, it'll work)
teaser- next post: sweaty shirtless men assembling shower under my watchful eye... it's gonna be good, ladies.

Friday, July 11, 2008

tough life

last night after a marathon baseball game at mima and papa's (okay, the last half consisted of dragging one another through the grass by the wiffle bat) i had some itchy, sweaty, grubby kiddos to contend with. and a cranky baby. well, that cranky baby went right to bed as soon as we got home (praise be) and it was time to de-funk my big kids. what better way than a dip in the pool? by the light of a lovely rising moon, no less...

as a kid i always remember my aunt as being one of the very important people in my life. some saturdays, we'd just get in the car and "go". whether our path led us to a nature reserve, yard sale-ing for treasure, or the glass museum, it was always 10 times more fun than just saying, "okay kids, let's go to the glass museum!".

and so they swam. while my happy little jack russell "nell" loudly and contentedly attacked her ball (which is her match in both size and weight, but she won't chase anything but soccer balls) and the mosquitoes buzzed and that lovely moon continued to rise to the tune of summer and children and LAUGHTER in our home again. last night i understood a bit better the concept of "letting go". my ocd tells me to "SHOWER THOSE KIDS AND GET THEM STRAIGHT TO BED. THEY'RE RUNNING THEMSELVES RAGGED!SOMEBODY'S GONNA GET SICK!" but my heart is beginning to tell me things like," be spontaneous, liza. they'll remember this beautiful night and tell their children when they have them. maybe they will even be inspired to let their own children do things out of the box... just because. listen to the laughter!"

and laugh they did. by the light of the big, maine moon.