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Third Clue

Posted by on 21 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: animal crafts, needle-felting, winter

This little guy:

Felted Mole

I’m curious to see if his species is recognizable, or if I need to try again?

Second Clue

Posted by on 20 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: animal crafts, needle-felting, winter

Your second clue is this little guy:

Felted Mouse

I hope you all had as wonderful of a day as I did.  What a beautiful moment in history.  What a brighter future for our children!

Chile Llama Farm

Posted by on 12 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: family, friends, gardening, local food, winter

My friend Melissa and I made habit of frequenting the little farmer’s market that opened near her house last spring, and our favorite vendor is Kevin, a very kind, helpful and talkative man whose small-scale farming operation is called Chile Llama Farm.

The end of farmer’s market season here has been rough. Although our freezer is stocked full enough to eat vegetarian chili once a week and pesto twice a week until next July, we miss the vast quantities of fresh veggies we had at our disposal from May-early December. Here’s a one-week haul from our CSA last summer (and that’s not counting our additional veggies from Chile Llama):

Farmer's Market Haul 6/28/08

After New Year’s, I called Kevin, and he said he had enough lettuce and spinach for our two families to come out and pick our own. We were thrilled and drove out to see him on Saturday, which dawned a beautiful, cold and sunny day. The following pictures were taken by Melissa and her husband Christian.

Our girls had a wonderful time eating “candy carrots,” as the organic gardener Elliot Coleman calls them. In winter, the carrots that are still in the ground freeze, and their starch turns to sugar. I’m afraid the girls didn’t leave any for Kevin!

Harvesting Candy Carrots

Candy carrot

Lucas was mostly interested in playing with the rainwater collection containers and other farm gear, but also tried his hand at picking lettuce.

Little man

Chile Llama lettuce

We had a wonderful time, enjoying the moment, but also enjoying the ripple effect of our children knowing where their food grows, and the wonderful, fresh, organic veggies we’d be eating over the next few days. (Tonight’s dinner was pasta with raw cherry tomato sauce out of our freezer, fresh Chile Llama spinach sauteed with garlic and Chile Llama greens with a vinaigrette dressing. We also roasted Chile Llama beets for tomorrow, one of our little ones’ favorite foods.) It was just a wonderful, beautiful day.

Future farmers

More fun with friends

Fun with friends

Right about this time of year, I start getting the urge to sit down with seed catalogs and plan our garden. And in two months, we’ll be able to start planting! But tonight, I’ll be working on the Valentine’s Day Countdown Calendar. It’s coming along nicely, but I may have a couple of late nights to have it done by Wednesday!

Winter Nature Table

Posted by on 06 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: nature table, winter


Our winter nature table is a little barren compared to our autumn one, but I guess that, too, is a reflection of the season.  Mia, my four-year-old, helped me spread the wool snow through the branches of our little tree before excitedly calling her Dada down to see it.  That night, before going to bed, she told him spreading the snow in the branches had been her favorite part of the day, a gentle reminder how valuable the little things can be.



Below the tree, there is a beautiful crystal candle Michelle gave us years ago, along with a little branch of holly.  Although it’s out of season, I kept the salvia I dried last summer in a small vase; the muted gray-green and purple seemed to fit winter better than the other seasons.

On the next shelf, Mother Nature should be wearing a dark brown cloak for winter, but the cloak and the other root child must be hiding somewhere in the playroom.  I made the Mother Nature doll from a pattern out of this wonderful book, and the root children were adapted from a pattern in that book as well.

From the fall nature table, I kept the little felted hedgehog we picked up at a Waldorf school fair and the little sphagnum moss tree Mia made at the botanical gardens.


Little felted gnomes, also from the Waldorf school, inhabit the next shelf, along with a sheep I made and the Winter book in our beloved, beautifully-illustrated seasons series by Eva-Maria Ott-Heidmann.

The bottom shelf has an assortment of winter books.  Mia loves books, and we have quite the collection, but she was overjoyed to find the winter ones on display.  She spent the afternoon bringing me one after another to read to her.  Unlike Mia, for whom a book would stop a full-blown crying fit when she was as little as two months old, Lucas hasn’t shown nearly as much interest in books.  So it was to my delight that he brought me The Mitten and had me read it twice in a row. At 18 months, he’s still not really saying anything, but he sneezed along with the bear and then cackled, pleased with himself.

I’ll post a little bit about our winter books in the next day or so. Some of them are beautiful classics from my childhood, others are just sweet stories to share on a cold afternoon like today! We’re planning a trip to the library this week, so if anyone has any wintry recommendations, we’d love to hear them!

If you haven’t been over to Big Sister Handmade today, Michelle has some great new posts up! I had better get to work on that countdown calendar!  Thanks for visiting!

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