Saturday, February 28, 2015

No Surprises

Surprises? Sorry.
Self Sanctuary
Stitches and Stories
Silver screen on the small screen
Soul salve

Salutations this splendid sundown.--Kate

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rainbow Loom

One of my favorite things is learning a new craft. I think I mentioned that there is nothing I will not try. On one of our frequent trips to the local craft store my daughter discovered the rubber band bracelet loom. She is as big a fan of art and craft making as I am and she loves jewelry. So this product definitely caught her eye. It was also on a special feature sale which caught mine.
We bought it before all the chaos began so unfortunately it sat for a while. Finally this week I pulled it out thinking it would be a great way to involve my daughter for an hour or so. Little did I know that it would keep her engrossed for the whole day and 15 bracelets would be the result. These will be the thank you gifts for her "Frozen" Birthday party. This of course was her idea.

So once again we have a new crafting hit on our hands. (All we need, another crafter filling up the house. Okay to be honest I completely love it.)

Many blessings to you this fine and fun night.--Kate

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fighting Siblings

My two children love each other. My oldest talks about when she and her brother are married and they live together in a castle someday. (Talk that is only charming at this age.) My youngest follows this big sister everywhere, always likes what she likes and wants to do what she is doing. My two children really truly love each other.

My two children like each other. My oldest does an excellent job watching out for her little brother. I often hear her inviting him to join her on some adventure or another. My youngest is constantly seeking advice and approval from his big sister. He really likes to be involved with what she is doing. My two children really truly like each other...until they don't.

My two children fight like cats. They yell and push, then they sass and cry. Little brother is great at pushing big sister's buttons. He is stubborn and will not listen to "no." He is the one who likes to do the pushing or pouncing, or even just sticking his feet on her to annoy. (This is very reminiscent of my relationship with my own brother when we were younger.) She likes to yell, take things away and then close doors in his face. (Which he has not yet learned how to open.)

I know that siblings fight, but they seem to be having more tough days then good lately. I sat down the other day to reflect on what has been going on in our life lately that may be contributing to their sense of unrest. I realized that our life has been a bit out of sorts and unpredictable for the last 6 months.

It began with a lovely family vacation in September. Then October and November were back to back months of family visiting. I also started a very large and laborious sewing contract mid November. The beginning of December was our own trip for an early Christmas with family, then three days after returning my mother became unexpectedly and severely unwell. She was in the hospital until the new year and I spent that time running from the hospital to her home, to my home, trying to take care of her, my children, her pets and my sewing contract. (this was the worst time for my kids.) In the new year my mother moved in with us to continue her recovery. Through the Lord's blessing and my mother's own strength and determination. She was finally able to move back to her home. (I joked with her that she must feel like a kid finally moving out on her own.) Also my husband has been taking on more responsibilities at work. All of these events of the past six months have been lovely or necessary in their own right, but I think they have created an instability in my babies. Unfortunately the next three months look just as upended. There are birthday parties and more visits from family and holidays. It is looking like all good things, but the unrest these, out of routine events cause is far reaching and long lasting. I know that life is filled with out of routine moments. The problem is my poor kids have not been allowed the needed rest and recovery that usually comes between those special or unexpected moments.

They of course do not consciously know that they are fighting more, whining more, crying more and feeling adrift. I on the other hand do. I know that their behavior is not just normal child development and the guilt of it is eating me up. I feel like I am failing them. I am suppose to be their guide and safety. Teaching them how to weather or enjoy the unexpectedness of life. How to have patience and provide care for each other when everything goes a little upside down. Every time they fight right now it is a immediate reminder of my own limitations. It is like daggers to my heart.

So for now each day is baby steps of providing stability and routine for the kids. I feel like the next three months is as much a time of survival as it is a time for celebrations. Come June though I am closing the doors and shuttering the windows, metaphorically of course. It will be a time to regroup as a family, a chance to rediscover our rhythm. To be in charge of our own schedule. I am not so foolish as to believe that there will not be unplanned moments, that is life after all. I just think that if we are a little more aware of our desires as a family and making sure we plan time for recovery that we will be able to face the unexpected with unity and strength.

My two children love each other, better than that my two children like each other. In the future though when they fight I want it to be normal childhood development stuff and not out of worry, fear and confusion because things have gone sideways in their family life.

Many blessings to you this fine thought-filled day.--Kate

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Using Up the Scraps.

I have a strong passion for finding new or beautiful things to use in craft and sewing projects. I also have a hard time throwing away things that I think I may be able to reuse in some creative way. As a result I have nearly as many rescued/recyclable items in my projects stash as I have new.

A few of my old projects had fabric waste that were to small to be used at the time but too large for me to be okay with throwing them away. One project had left over scraps of organic cotton materials. From them I was able to make a pretty good pile of Mama's Milk Pads and Baby Bum Wipes.

My problem now is that I do not need them. Both of my babies are weened and my youngest is working hard on being potty trained. So any mamas out there who need these lovely items, or anyone who is soon to be attending a baby shower where the mama is looking for reusable organic items? If you have an interest or a need for these items please send me a message.

Many blessings on this fine evening.--Kate

A Breath of Spring

We have been most fortunate in our Spring-like February. There are signs of green life popping up all over. When the wind does not blow there is a warmth in the air, and I am almost certain that I heard a flock of geese returning from the south the other day.

So of course with all these small promises of fairer weather and fragrant blooms it is hard not to catch a mild case of Spring Fever.

I've been having a blast lately checking out craft and sewing books from the library. Pouring through them looking for inspiration and new projects. I found these little cuties in a quirky, fun, DIY book by Mary Jane Baxter titled,  "Chic on a Shoestring."

I fashioned my flowers from outgrown clothes and some old buttons. I am not yet sure what I want to do with them, (except fluff, fuss and play with them,) but I will post it here once I figure it out.

This really was a fast, fun project. All hand stitched so it is a perfect take with you craft.

Many blessings to you this fine night.--Kate

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chicken Wings

I have made this yummy recipe several times on chicken wings and legs, but most recently we tried it as a marinade for a whole chicken we then oven roasted. It turned out divine.

Chicken Wings

-4 lbs Chicken wings
-1/4 c Fresh Lemon juice. (The first time I made this recipe I did not have lemon juice so I used 1/4 cup vinegar. So now I use 3 Tbsp Vinegar and 2 Tbsp of the Lemon Juice.)
-1Tbsp ground pepper
-1Tbsp garlic powder
-1Tbsp onion powder
-2tsp salt
-2tsp Thyme
-1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (one of the times I made it I substituted Cumin-so good.)
-1/4 c unsalted butter. (melted)

*Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a large bowl toss wings with lemon. Add spices, crushing the thyme between your fingers as you go. Add melted butter. Stir mixture thoroughly. Arrange in a single layer on the sheet.
Cook 20 minutes then rotate sheet and flip wings. Cook 10 minutes more until browned and cook through.


When we cooked the whole chicken we made a mini Thanksgiving meal out of it. So we served it with a cornbread stuffing, yams and green beans. It was a wonderful meal.
**If you choose to make a whole chicken and just use the mixture as a marinade make sure that you follow the directions for cooking a whole chicken. The cooking temperatures and times here are just for making the wings.**

Many blessings on this fine brisk evening.--Kate

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Builders for Eternity.

“Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.”

--R.L. Sharp