GATHERING STRENGTH

It has been 10 years since I had a really good visit with my dear friend, my painting easel. AND, it has been 10 years since my first child was born. It's no coincidence that my easel has been in the dusty corner of my shed for these past 10 years. In this time I have...

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PIONEERING OF THE SOUL

Sometimes I find myself wondering "how did we come to walk this path...out in these high hills, surrounded by dirt, removed from the green landscapes and comforts we grew up knowing"? My husband and I left our families some twenty years ago, left our homelands and all...

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VALENTINES SEED BOMBS

Hey, when was the last time you heard of using a bomb for a good cause?  These earthy seed bomb beauties are the answer.  They are fun for kids, and adults too!   What you will need for this project: Scrap paper or newspaper, Wildflower seeds, A blender, A fine mesh...

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PERPETUAL CALENDAR

New year, new calendar! What fun my daughter had creating this perpetual calendar.  This finished calendar now hangs on the wall in our homeschool room. Here's how to make your own.First draw 5 different sized circles on large paper by tracing round objects.  Just go...

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BURIED TREASURE

Pink quartz scattered at our feet, we walked up the rocky hill.  Past the old tree house, criss crossing between junipers and piñons, we made our way through the golden autumn light.  We had been on a hunt for piñon pine resin, or cured pine sap, found on the trunks...

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QUINOA RICE CRACKERS

This recipe came from an attempt to copy a favorite cracker that we buy a lot called "Mary's Gone Crackers". These crackers have no flour, and only a few simple ingredients, including two super foods, quinoa and chia seeds. Wonderful with goat cheese or by themselves,...

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A Second Grader’s Portfolio

I have had some requests to share work from our Waldorf-inspired second grade home school.  I became much more comfortable teaching this year, and because of this and the wonderful subjects we studied, we had a lot of fun! In the second grade traditional Waldorf...

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MEREDITH WOOLNOUGH~ A REVIEW

Every once in a while we come across something so inspiring, that we have to pause and take a moment to take it in.  This happened to me when I found the art of Meredith Woolnough. It is difficult to successfully mimic mother nature's beautiful organic motifs, and do...

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HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

  I have been working on this recipe for a while and I finally feel like I have found a great balance of flavors.  It is very mildly spicy, so my can kids eat it.  This recipe makes a good quantity, you will have enough to to save in a jar for many taco nights to...

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LIKE A CAVEMAN

Well sorta like a caveman...only a little more sophisticated. My most recent love has been painting stones.  Lots of stones. They are everywhere, these sweet little stones... I seem to be finding since I began my love affair with adorning these natural beauties. The...

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HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

We thought we would make heart shaped marshmallows for Valentine's Day this year.  Did they turn out to be light and fluffy?  Not exactly, but they did have a yummy flavor, and with practice I believe we could master this recipe adapted from Epicurious, even at our...

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SAINT BRIGID, KEEPER OF THE HEARTH

PRAYER OF SAINT BRIGID Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us, Lady of the Lambs, protect us, Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us. Beneath your mantle, gather us, And restore us to memory. Mothers of our mother, Foremothers strong. Guide our hands in yours, Remind us how to...

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THE PIÑON PILGRIMAGE

One September, when my first born was just a baby, we started noticing masses of cars parked on our roadside.  Alongside the cars were people crouched under trees with buckets in hands.  They seemed to be doing something very important, but a mystery to us. We came to...

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HAPPY MARTINMAS

"I carry a light within me A brightly burning flame Though dark may try to win me It ever shines the same It guides me through uncertainty It warms the wintry weather And brings to every burden The lightness of a feather"...

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BEING MADE WHOLE

From time to time we are asked to face something unexpected. When this happens, we are often made to look at uncomfortable realities. Last week I was told that my grandmother may not live more than a few days.  If I was to see her, I had to make a decision to leave...

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FLOURLESS PIZZA CRUST

This recipe will make 2 medium size pizzas, with very thin crusts. Here are the ingredients you will need for the pizza crust: 1 large head of cauliflower 2 large eggs 1/2 - 3/4 cup goat cheese (or cream cheese) 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese (optional) 3 cloves minced garlic...

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FIRST GRADE, A REVIEW

The end of our first year homeschooling, and what a year we had!  Happy to say we fared well. Here, our weather tree is a symbol of our journey. We started in September with a bare tree on a very clean blackboard, which you can see on this blog post. Leaves were...

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DIY CLOTH BABY WIPE SOLUTION

Here are the ingredients you will need to make your own cloth baby wipe solution: 16 oz apricot oil or almond oil 16 oz liquid castile soap (I use lavender scented) calendula flowers (found in bulk at herb stores) First you need to infuse your oil with calendula.  Put...

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HOW TO MAKE A FELT STRAWBERRY, WITH PDF PRINTABLE PATTERN

As promised, I will be posting my felt food tutorials, with printable PDF patterns. I thought we would start with the cutest felt strawberry! For strawberry you will need: red and green felt red, yellow and green embroidery thread embroidery needle wool roving or...

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HEART PATCHES

Anyone have some holey jeans that need some love? Here are some love patches to solve your woes. Simply cut out some hearts, add some sweet sweet stitches, and a little bit of love.  Now patch up those brokenhearted jeans with a little love.  Happy Valentines...

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PROMISE OF THE RAINBOW

My children come to me each day and hand me a rainbow. They beckon me to come. The path has been paved, they know the way. We can choose to go. The chasm of popular culture, the badlands of everything-at-our-fingertips right here and right now, is there as well, every...

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DIY WATERCOLOR PAPER LANTERN, WITH PATTERN

These watercolor paper lanterns are easy and fun to make.  Children will love to watch the light dance and glow as they carry them through the dark night. First start with 2 sheets of watercolor paper, 11" x 14" in size.  Soak them for 10 minutes and then use...

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FIRST GRADE HOMESCHOOL

Well, we officially started first grade homeschool today.  What fun!  "Big" kid circle time games include clapping, stomping and using beanbags to learn numbers, letters and poems.  Learning verses and songs through movement.  Beginning our year with form drawing, an...

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FELT FOOD

Fried eggs anyone? Or maybe a fresh fruit platter? For my four year old daughter's birthday last week, I made her some felt food to add to her play kitchen.  You would be impressed by the meals she cooks up in there.  Her creatively prepared food could rival some of...

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FLOURLESS PROTEIN PANCAKES

I love trying less processed, real-food versions of traditional recipes, but the rule in my kitchen is...they MUST also be yummy.  If not, why bother? These pancakes are delicious and are a welcome change to old fashioned pancakes, which taste so good, but leave some...

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HAPPY DAD’S DAY

Just thought we would share a few ideas for Fathers Day gifts. Love on paper Take You Ridin in My Car massage shirt Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful daddies out there.  How we love you so!    ...

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ODE TO PARENTHOOD

Lately I have been feeling like a marathon runner.  With three children under the age of 7, life is full!  Very happily full, but full nonetheless. Much of my day is spent preparing meals, cleaning up messes, doing dishes and laundry, along with sprinklings of damage...

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SIGNS OF SPRING

Finally, after a long winter, signs of spring are popping up through the leafy remains of last autumn. Grass baskets have been planted with our homeschool group. Following my Mom's tradition, the Easter Tree has been decorated, with freshly dyed eggs to add to the...

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ROASTED BEETS

I haven't met a girl who doesn't like beets.  Is it the blood red color, the earthy flavor, the sweetness?  Who knows?!  But, what I haven't met is a man who likes them, or I don't know of many anyway.   You can try this experiment too, I bet you'll get the same...

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HOW TO WET FELT A PIECE OF FABRIC

For valentines day we decided to make felt heart garlands. First we needed to make a piece of felt. This is one of the finished pieces we made. It is about 1/2" thick. To begin, you will need a selection of wool "roving". It is basically fluffy, un-spun, dyed wool...

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GRASSHOPPER SMOOTHIE

Ha, got your attention! I make some version of this smoothie a couple of times a week for my girls and me.  We love it because it is packed with superfoods and greens!  Ok, grasshoppers aren't one of the ingredients, but we like to pretend that they are because that...

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HOW TO MAKE A FELT MUSHROOM HOUSE

This is the finished mushroom house, which my girls got for Christmas this year. First, you will need a concrete tube.  Cut the tube to be about 8" high with a hacksaw.  Then, draw the doorway and windows.  Use a serrated knife to cut these out.  Cut pieces of ribbon...

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CROWN OF SANTA LUCIA

Through the brightness of Saint Lucia, light and hope are celebrated on Santa Lucia Day. This holiday marks the longest night of the year, as well the beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden and many other countries.  Light, on this long dark night, is celebrated....

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LANTERN SPINNING

This year for our home school lantern walk, we made paper mache lanterns.  We blew up balloons, then covered them with colored tissue and crepe paper, which had been dipped in a water and glue mixture.  After they were dry we punched two holes in them and strung them...

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HANDMADE TYPOGRAPHY

I recently worked on a project for a friend's website where I created a bunch of handmade letters. His logo had a collaged look before, but he wanted a more funky hand-made update. This was one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on.  Each letter became an...

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DRAGON BREAD

As part of our home schooling each year, we make dragon bread for Michaelmas, decorating the monster with dried fruit and nuts.  We like to use pumpkin seeds for spikes! Michaelmas is celebrated in honor of Saint Michael, who was known to have slain a fierce and...

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STAR CHILDREN

Upon a recent trip to a nursing home to visit family in Oklahoma, I was struck by the very visceral memory of experiencing a nursing home as a child.  The fragility and hopelessness.  The masses of elderly souls in the hallways, bent over, sleeping in their wheel...

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PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

I have not ever forwarded someone else's blog post, but this story is too amazing to not share.  For all you ultra sensitive parents (like myself), brace yourself, then go and give each of your children a big...

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OUR LITTLE BABY BIRDS

Two enormous ponderosa pines tower dutifully over the back corner of our home.  I have always thought of them as our guardians, poised tall and firm throughout strong winds and heavy snows, protecting our humble home. It was under these trees where my daughter found a...

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HOW TO MAKE A TISSUE PAPER ROSE

First find a sheet of colored tissue paper and fold it into a 2" - 3" square.  Any old wrinkled tissue paper will do, in fact the more wrinkled, the more character your rose will have.  Next, you will need to draw a freehand flower shape, with about 10 petals, onto a...

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PALOMA GRACE KUNZ

An angel was brought here to us last week.  A soft pure spirit.  Warm and wet, placed upon my pulsing stomach.  Her peace untouchable. As she is held in our arms here on earth today, her spirit seems still to hover, at times, in another realm. Each day though becoming...

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NEEDLE FELTING MAGIC

I wanted to make a keepsake gift for our coming baby and decided to design this blanket.  I bought a soft merino wool blanket and needle felted the design onto it. Needle felting is a process where wool roving (or batting) or wool yarn is attached to a wool surface,...

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MYSTERIOUS LIFE

The soft snowy afternoon light streams in through the window as I read to my two girls, one under each arm.  We stop reading to watch the baby move, the shape of my belly taking on strange forms, like some alien being inhabiting my body. We laugh as tears fill my...

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CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

My great grandmother made each of her 14 great grandchildren a felt pieced stocking. Each one was came from a kit, but was hand stitched, embellished with beads and sequins. These served as an inspiration for my own children's stockings.  It is not my style to use a...

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HOMESCHOOL TREASURES

The decision of educating our children crept up on us. When our first daughter turned three, we were faced…

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APPLE BOUNTY

Beautiful soft autumn day; listening to sweet banjo and fiddle play as we pick apples from the orchards at the Santa Fe Community Farm.  Warm sun on shoulders, warm laughter from the children, bobbing for apples as we pick the fruit. Fifty five pounds of apples...

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MOTHERHOOD, THE FIRST FIVE YEARS

For my daughters' birthdays this year I made them each a birthday crown.   Made of felted wool and embellished with tiny seed beads, these crowns were stitched of love, a little elbow grease and some tears. As my older daughter neared her fifth birthday, I began to...

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PLANTING HOPE

To the garden we wander,                             the soil moist with dew.                               We come this spring with open hearts renewed.   All heartaches forgiven, all winter's travails absolved.  Spring becomes for us a channel from which to draw new...

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SPRING BUTTER

Spring is finally here.  Birds have come out to sing, fruit trees are in bloom and cows are grazing in fresh green pastures.  What could make this time of year feel even more joyful?  Making home made butter, of course.  This is one thing that is so simple to make and...

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DYEING FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

It's dyeing day at our house and the colors are inspired by Saint Valentine's Day.  The palette: hot colors, shades of love: pinks, corals, and peaches.  Into the pot go old faded shirts, uninspiring shades of pillow cases and some jammies that needed a love boost. In...

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FELT FLOWERS

My newest obsession: felted flowers!  I made these pincushions for Christmas gifts in  December and fell in love with felt.  I love the soft earthy texture of real 100% wool felt.  I love how it feels to cut and work with.  I love that the edges can be left raw,...

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NEW BLUE NIGHTIES

For Christmas I made two flannel nightgowns for my four year old.  One was for her, and a matching one was for her rag doll, Charlotte.  Brilliant, I thought, when I came up with the idea.  Sofia has had mostly two piece pajamas all her life.   She deserves a...

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JOSS PAPER!!!

This beautiful Joss paper, or Spirit Money, which is usually made of bamboo or rice, is burned by the Chinese as an offering to ensure that the spirit of the dead has abundance in the afterlife.   I hope they won't mind if I use their Joss paper for a few projects in...

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PAPER MACHE LUNA

This year for Halloween my 4 year old daughter said she wanted to be "La Luna" (the moon!).    Since she was able to talk, she has always called the moon "La Luna, My Friend".  She has had a loving relationship with Her Friend and always looks out for her on any given...

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THE OLD HOMESTEAD

My great grandmother, Thelma Muskrat Lee, was born and raised in Oklahoma on what is now called the Grand Lake of the Cherokees.  This is where my great grandmother and great grandfather met and lived out their lives.  They lived on this land before there was a lake. ...

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SOFIA’S LOVE QUILT

Almost 4 years after passing out blank quilt squares to family and friends, my daughter's "baby" quilt is finally finished. Before the birth of my first daughter, I decided that I wanted her to have a community quilt.  I wanted her to have a tangible reminder of...

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A DREAM OF A LIFE

Arriving in the dark night in Rincon, Puerto Rico, I was greeted by the silhouette of two sand palms standing majestically side by side.  My skin soaking up the moist tropical air, I took in a very deep breath.   The night was anything but quiet, abuzz with the...

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DEAR SUE

Dear Sue, How you are missed                                        You were like a mama to many of us            with your soft guiding hand                          With your wisdom you lit a path, so that  we could see what was already there With such a gentle way,...

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THE MAY POLE DANCE

May flower crowns in plaited hair, the young girls watched admiringly as the older children danced around the May Pole.  Ribbons of pink, blue and yellow being woven around the pole ever so skillfully as the warm May sun shone overhead, finally warming our shoulders....

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SPRING CHILD

A tulip unfolds it's petals                          The grass is sprinkled with dew                    We watch with hopeful eyes                        as sprouts push their way up through the  cool earth Where does spring find its courage?         Where trees have...

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ELSITA MORA, A REVIEW

Rarely in life are there people who touch you so deeply that you are utterly stunned.  This happened when I first came upon the work of an artist named Elsa Mora, or "Elsita".  This incredible woman, originally from Cuba,  is the definition of an artist to me, with...

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SOAKED GRAINS

I am not traditionally one for mixing sweet treats and "health food".   It always seemed like an oxymoron to me.  Often healthy treats are laking in flavor and are just plain plain.   If I am going to indulge on a treat, I want it to give me something back.  I do love...

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LEARNING TO PAINT

As I sat down to paint with my three year old the other day, a great shift had taken place in her sensibility. Circles, lines and shapes were appearing, where only scribbles existed last week. Seemingly effortlessly, her hand would create groupings of abstract shapes...

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UNASSUMING OBJECTS

Why is it that when I see a piece of bare wood, it calls out "paint me"? Not just "paint me" a simple color, but "decorate me... elaborately and colorfully". This not only happens with wood or furniture, but with bare walls, doors and other unassuming objects. This...

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ROASTED GARLIC WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD

Heading in the direction of handmade gifts this year, off to the kitchen I went to make my holiday goodies. I decided to make an artisan mustard as one of my gifts to give away. This mustard recipe is delightfully spicy, tangy and a little sweet, with a texture that...

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A NEEDLE AND THREAD

These days I find myself returning to simple forms of creative expression. As a child I learned to embroider and cross stitch. I would spend hours in the craft store looking over the colorful pallet of threads, painstakingly deciding which colors to choose. Which...

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IN MEMORY OF RAUL UGALDE, 1980-2010

Raul was the kind of spirit who would light up the room, light up the world. His love was actual and pure. His beauty infectious. His embrace came with an ease we are unlikely to see from any other. His creativity spun a thousand webs. With his passing we are left...

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FEAST OF ST. MARTIN/MARTINMAS DAY

Saint Martin is known most for cutting his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. In many countries, St. Martin's Day or Martinmas celebrations begin at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of this...

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LAST HARVEST

Watching my daughter’s face light up as she pulls a carrot out of the ground, I am reminded why we keep a garden, year after year. The pride and pure joy are overflowing. There is no greater gift I can give my children than to teach them to grow their own food, from...

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