Thursday, January 26, 2012
i just wanted to show off a few of my newest bendy dolls! i've already started on the Valentine's fairies!!
These are so sweet and fun to make. The wings are heart shaped. :)
These ladies are available on my FB page. (the blond is reserved).
i'm working on putting together a few play sets as well! i will be making a pink, red and white fairy to match the Pegasus. Watch for more Valentine inspired bendy dolls and crafts this week!
Congratulations!! i will email later today. You will have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen! Thank you all who entered!!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
i recently stumbled across this fabulous website called My Eco Girls. MyEcoGirls.com is a mom-owned shop that sells 100% cotton and organic t-shirts that carry great messages and let your little ones make a statement! They also carry t-shirts for mom, recycled jewelry, organic lip balms and more.
The Eco-mountain shirts are made with non-toxic organic reactive dyes, water based chemical free inks. They are 100% cotton grown in the U.S.A. with one of the highest Oeko-Tex Certifications!
The Eco girl Statement tees are 100% organic cotton. They have great messages like 'Give a hoot, don't pollute' and 'Eco girls rock!'
The My Eco Girls mission is to help educate young girls on the importance of their true inner beauty & strength. Sending out this positive message helps them make eco-smart choices beautifying themselves as well as our planet. With the realization of true beauty & strength they can accomplish anything & everything!
With each purchase you are in turn helping many different charities which are supported by My Eco Girls eco-friendly suppliers!
My Eco Girls is also having a contest to find a 2012 Inspirational Eco Girl!!
Is your little one an eco-inspiration? Does she love to garden, or recycle or pick up trash?? Enter her picture on the My Eco Girls facebook page for a chance to win $100 in store merchandise! Be sure and check out the official rules and contest details here.
My Eco Girls has generously offered one reader their choice of t-shirt.
Entry is easy!! 1. To enter, Visit MyEcogirls.com , then come back and leave me a comment letting me know which t-shirt is your favorite.
Be sure and include your email so i can contact you if you win!!
2. "like" Myecogirls on facebook. Leave me a comment with your FB name!
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7. Share the giveaway post on FB or twitter. Leave a link in your comment! (can be done daily)
8. Enter the MyEcoGirls 2012 Inspirational Eco Girl contest on facebook. 5 entries. Leave 5 comments letting me know you entered, with your FB name.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
On Friday he took cupcakes to school for his class. We printed up these awesome Harry Potter house flags (from Bakingdom.com) to put on the top of each cupcake. He randomly picked a cupcake for each class mate, and yelled out the house name as he handed them out. Tee hee.
My boy requested a Hogwarts Castle cake for his birthday. i am good a lot of things. Decorating cakes is NOT one of them. ha ha. Honestly, it came out a lot better than i thought it would. It was lumpy and lopsided. i made fondant for the first (and last) time. As soon as i put it on the cake, it began to dry, crack and wrinkle. It was the most unappetizing thing ever, it looked like a pile of elephant skin. :) However once i added the windows, and used the edge of a knife to make bricks it started to look slightly better. i added the green vines to cover an area where the cake corner had begun to fall apart. For the details i just used a ziplock bag that had a corner snipped, i really need to get myself some decorators tips. i really think that if i'd had some i could have improved the look of the cake a ton.
As much as i want to be that mom that throws awesome parties, i am not. i do not like parties, especially in the winter, inside my tiny little house. So as an alternative to a birthday party we allowed him to invite a couple of his friends bowling. My husband took them (hee hee) , and then they all came back for cake afterwards. The kids thought it was the coolest cake ever, and didn't seem to notice that it was lumpy or lopsided.
It has all gone by so fast, like the blink of an eye. What an amazing journey it has been so far.
Happy Birthday my beautiful boy!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
A around 2 weeks ago Speckles the hen went missing. She is our only Speckled Sussex hen and lays beautiful large brown eggs. She is one of the domestic hens we purchased as a chick from the local farmer's Supply store last spring. Although she a domestic hen, she has always had an independent wild streak. She has never hung out in the pen with the other domestic ladies, or even connected with my free ranging flock of English game birds. She has always found a way to escape out of the pen, and spends her days scratching around the edge of the woods alone. She is notorious for hiding her eggs, so we are always keeping an eye on her to figure out where she is laying so we can still collect eggs.
i've honestly been very surprised that we didn't lose her yet. There so many predators here that our free-ranging birds typically get picked off during the fall. This year we lost 3 roosters in two days. :( Our remaining rooster hasn't really stepped up to 'head' rooster yet, and he often hangs out in the coop and leaves my free-ranging ladies on their own. My speckled hen would be easy prey to any predators that are hiding in the woods. her only defense, her feather patterning gives her some camouflage.
So when i first noticed she was missing i wasn't that surprised. It had occurred to me that she might possibly have a nest hidden somewhere, but because of the time of year it was much more likely that she'd been taken by a fox or hawk. i looked around for her in the places she typically hid her eggs, but didn't find her. It always sucks losing a hen.
It was a few days after this that my husband was moving the hay in the shed, and found her!!! :) She had made a nest of the backside of our hay roll.
She has a nice clutch of eggs, and has been incubating them for around 10 days now. :) We are really hoping to be hatching out chicks around the beginning of Feb. even though it's really the wrong time of year for new babies. It has been pretty cold out, and i'm not exactly sure my rooster has even been doing his job...so there is a chance her eggs are not fertilized. If she is able to hatch some out, she'll be a first time mother. The chicks will be a cross between Speckled Sussex/English Game.
We didn't have much luck hatching out peeps that last year, and so i'm really hoping for some new peeps!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
These hearts are basically just two of the 'wings' overlapped. The look so lovely in the window with the sun shining through them.
These folded paper crafts can be made using kite paper, or tissue paper. i usually use tissue paper, but for the tutorial i'm using construction paper because it's easier to see the creases.
Start with a square of tissue paper, it can be any size. i used 2 1/2" squares.
First thing you do, is fold over diagnally, so that the opposite corners meet. Repeat this with the other corners so you have an X on the paper.
Now bring on the corners in to the center line, and crease. Do the same thing with the opposite corner. i use a bit of glue (washable glue stick) in the center to hold them in place. It should look like the picture above.
Now you are going to fold over the bottom edge so that it lines up with the center. i marked it as a black line so you can see what i'm talking about. You are going to bring that solid black edge, over to the dotted center line and crease.
Click on the picture to see it better. The first image is what i described above. i would put a dot of glue down to hold it in place, and then you are going to do the same thing on the other side. It should now look like the center picture. Then you fold down the point at the very top, just a little. So it has a more rounded look.
Repeat the process so that you have two identical pieces.
That's it! Easy peasy, but very cute!!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
i really enjoying trying out new products from Tropical Traditions, and then getting to offer them to my readers. Last month, they sent me a tub of their organic Shredded coconut to try out!
Tropical Traditions 100% natural Shredded Coconut is made from organic dried coconuts in the Philippines that are grown with no fertilizers or pesticides. This premium dried coconut contains no additives or preservatives, and is not sweetened. Unlike most dried coconut on the market, our dried coconut products are not treated with sulfates to keep them white. They are a great addition to recipes and baking. The Shredded Coconut is a cut very small, it isn't like the shredded coconut you see in most stores. It is great for baking, breading, turning to coconut milk and no-bake snack recipes. We made some tasty coconut crusted tofu, coconut cookies and tried out several no-bake cookie recipes.
i recently came across this recipe on the Natural mommies blog and wanted to try them. i really like that these are quick and easy, packed full of protein and taste great. You can really play with the ingredients in these. My kids loved them and thought they were 'junky' treats. They had no idea they were actually pretty good for them.
Chocolate Protein Balls
-1/2 cup Coconut Peanut butter (or regular)
- 1 cup Whole oats
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2- 3/4 cup almonds, pecans, other nuts or seeds. (ground or chopped small)
-1/3 cup raw honey
Mix ingredients together really well in a large bowl. i coated my hands in coconut oil, and kneaded/mixed them by hand. Then let them chill for about 30 min in the fridge. Now, coat your hands again in coconut oil and roll them into little balls (large gumball size). Store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
Tropical Traditions website has an entire recipe section for their coconut products, including some really yummy looking recipes using the Shredded coconut. They had several similar versions to the protein balls listed above.
Can't wait to try it?? You can purchase Tropical Traditions Shredded coconut here.
You only have to complete one to be entered, but may do all three for extra entries!
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Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product. i was under no obligation to review it, write a positive review or host a giveaway in exchange for the free product. All opinions are 100% mine.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
The kids have been making fairy houses again. They started this one on Dec. 22. This time, instead of of making our usual simple houses the kids decided to make a Fairy Grand Hotel.
Although the picture may look like nothing more than a pile a wood to the untrained eye (or those without imagination), the kids had a detailed story to go with the creation. The watering can was part of the 'fairy shower' in the bath house. It also had a toilet, hot tub (made from a turtle shell) and steam room. They had a amphitheater with seats made from hickory shells. They even created an all-you-can-eat buffet that had acorns, berries, hickory nuts, various seeds, and a few green leaves.
My girl created this and said it was a Japanese temple. She arranged the peach pits as seats.
On Jan. 1st we hiked through the woods, and Sage gathered moss to bring home to the fairy houses.
This weekend we've had gorgeous weather!! Almost 60 in January?!? We spent the days outside swinging, exploring and working on fairy houses. My girl added lots of moss to the fairy hotel.
She brought out some of her fairy bendy dolls, put them to bed in the soft moss. The kids created the fairy grand hotel without any help at all. i was totally blown away by it, and all the little details they added. It was difficult to capture it in the photos, but it was really a very impressive fairy house!
"Know you what it is to be a child?...It is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear, it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its soul." -Francis Thompson
Saturday, January 7, 2012
These were inspired by a My Little Pony seahorse i had a kid. Does anyone else remember those? i quickly decided these are super fun to make, and so darn cute i had to make a few more.
i also thought it would be fun to offer them in sets with matching mermaids. :)
i'll be selling these for $25 a set and will be making many other colors. i just love them!!
You can expect to see more new items this year. Now that the holidays are out of the way, i'm feeling super creative and motivated to create some new designs and finally get my Waldorf dolls finished and for sale. Yes, really!! :)
i'm also working on simplifying my dragon pattern so that i can offer a few for sale. The last dragons i made were fun, but they took an insane amount of time to complete. i'm also looking for ideas on some more critters and creatures i can make to go with my bendy dolls. Would love to hear your ideas!
If your interested in a mermaid sets i'll be posting them on my FB page for sale. i'll also have more available next week. :)
Thursday, January 5, 2012
My first lesson of 2012, is that this shrub next to my house is called a Pieris Japonica. It is sometimes called Japanese andromeda, or Lily of the Valley shrub. It is also the only plant on the list of Plants poisonous to goats that is classified as Extremely toxic, rather than just...ya, know...toxic.
i learned all of this on the afternoon of Dec.31st. i had put Delilah out on a rope to graze in the yard. i do this often, since the pasture isn't fenced yet and their actual pen doesn't have a lot of browse. i keep break-away collars on them, so that they don't accidentally hang them selves if they get tangled or startled. Both goats learned pretty quickly how to break-a-way if they saw something just out reach that they wanted to eat. So it's not that unusual to walk outside and have a missing goat. Typically when Delilah gets off her line, she goes into the shed looking for hay and grain, or wanders back down to her pen. They never really go too far from their food source, so i've never really worried about it too much.
However, on Sat. evening she got off her line, and came right to the front door. So i walked out and tried to walk her back to her pen. She immediately took a couple bites of this shrub that was off the side of the deck, and let me chase her around it a couple times. i realized i was going to need a bit of help to get her down to the pen, so i ran inside and grabbed some corn chips to lure her down. It worked.
When i came back inside i glanced at the scrub i had seen her nibble on, and decided i'd better look it up to make sure it wasn't poisonous. It was. It was not just a mildly toxic... it was listed as extremely toxic. Most of this info i read said that she only needed to eat .1% of her body weight to be poisoned. Ugh.
So i started researching what i could do to treat her at home, it was of course a holiday weekend. i'm pretty sure it's a written rule that my goats only get sick on holidays. Our last goat emergency was over Labor day. So, i calculated about how much she would have to eat in order to get sick. .1% of her body weight was about 16 grams of the plant. i used my kitchen scale to see how many leaves that would be...and i was fairly certain she had not eaten any where near that much. However, i didn't know if she'd eaten some before i found her at the door, or while i was inside to get the corn chips. i watched her for a few hours, and she seemed to be fine. So i went to bed, knowing there really wasn't much i could do but wait.
In the morning, i woke early and went out to check on her. It was immediately obvious that she was not 'fine'. She had green slime/foam/vomit all around her mouth. Her eyes were dull, and her coat was all fluffed up. She kept squatting like she was trying to urinate, but nothing came out. When i walked into the goat shed, i saw dried vomit all over the walls, bench and floor. My poor girl had had a really rough night.
Searching online, i really couldn't find a lot of clear information. Most pages said to administer Toxi-ban and take the animal to the vet immediately. Since it was New Year's day and a Sunday not only were all the vets closed, our local farm store was closed as well. So i began looking online for other options.
On the Goatworld site, i came across a list of goat tips which included Judy Muska's recipe for Poisoned goats.
If you do not have toxi-ban on hand-
1 pint water, 1 tsp
Ginger. ½ tsp
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. molasses
1 tblsp. Epsom salts
give entire mixture to an adult goat, for a young or small goat, give as much as you can comfortably get down, give slowly, don’t get into lungs.
i had all the ingredients to this at home, so i made it up and began to administer it with a needless syringe. i do not yet know how to drench a goat, and although the process was tedious giving her just about a tbsp at a time, i was still able to get most of it down her.
i began searching again online for suggestions, and really didn't come up with much. Toxi-ban is basically just activated charcoal, and i knew we could get that at CVS. One of the problems with vomiting/diarrhea is dehydration. Many site said to give the goat an electrolyte/ pro-biotic solution once the vomiting stops. i had used up my last pack of pro-lyte plus when she was sick in Sept. and forgot to replace. So i had Kenan pick up some some Gatorade.
i couldn't really find much info on the correct dosage of activated charcoal to give. Most website online said to use the dosage info from the toxi-ban...which i didn't have. The charcoal came in caspules, so i opened them up and added about a tbsp or two of water (i later read that mineral oil works well too). i gave her two capsules which was the recommended dosage for people. Again i administered it with a needle-less syringe. Just squirting a little inside her cheek, and letting her swallow before giving her more. i was really nervous about getting it in the lungs. i also gave her a few ounces of the Gatorade the same way. Then left her alone, as to not cause her any more stress and kept an eye on her.
i was still pretty confident that she hadn't eaten very much, and was having a very mild reaction. When i google goat poisoning online, most sites have a huge list of symptoms and many people describe their goat as lying on the ground screaming in pain, vomiting and having convulsions. So i knew we were really lucky. Although she had been vomiting, she never 'went down' she continued to stand up, and be alert.
A few hours after giving her the charcoal/gaterade. i noticed she was out nosing her hay. She wasn't eating...but looked like she really wanted to. She was pushing it around with her nose, nibbling a little with her lips. i also noticed that she was still squatting like she had to pee, but this time i saw a little urine drip out. That seemed like a good sign, and told me that she is still dehydrated. So i gave her a few more ounces of Gatorade.
i went out to the garden and picked a bunch of the leafy greens that i thought might get her eating again. i pulled the old broccoli plants which still have leaves, several of the kale, some leaf lettuce, wild onions tops, comfrey and swiss chard. Green leaves are supposed to be easy to digest and healing for sick goats. i have also read that goats will eat comfrey for tummy aches. Again she began to nose it all, nibbled and swallowed a tiny bit of the comfrey and Swiss chard.
i was starting to feel like she would be okay. i left her to rest and went about my day...which was pretty much playing outside with the kids on the new swing set. :)
After a few hours i checked on her and was thrilled to see that she was eating again. i filled her water bucket up with steamy hot water, and added a couple TBSP of molasses, and she must have drank half the bucket as soon as i gave it to her. By that evening, i knew she was going to be okay. Four days later, and she is completely back to herself....trying to break into to the chicken coop and yelling at me every time i walk out the door.
So that was my very first day of 2012. It was not the best start to a new year, but it could have been much worse! Starting the year with a dead goat would have probably given me a negative attitude for the rest of the year. Instead, i'm starting this with a lot of gratitude. i feel incredibly lucky and blessed that Delilah did not eat more of the plant. i feel more confident about my ability to treat her at home, although if she had been poisoned worse it may not have made any difference. Then again, maybe it would have. So i'm really trying to look at it as a positive thing...a lesson and learning experience.
i posted this quote last New Years, but i love it so much i had to post it again.
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
― Neil Gaimen
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
However, last month both of my grandparents ended up hospitalized for various illnesses, and my father broke his foot. So my parents were unable to make the trip up from Florida, and we once again spent the holidays alone. Both of the kids were very disappointed, as they always love time with Nana and Pap and we just don't get to see them very often.
i completely spaced it and never got a picture of our tree with all the gifts under it. It really looked very lovely. After all the gifts has been handed out, there was one large box that didn't contain anyone's name on the tag and instead said "open last".
It only took them a minute to figure out the next clue, which sent them to the old oak tree.
We had a total of 12 clues. Kenan wrote out all the rhythms and riddles that led them closer to their treasure.
"If you like swings and you like to slide,then you would be wise to look between the paths where the wood stacks lie to solve clue number #5. "
"You have done so well to find clue #12 The mystery is almost at it's end.
Look in the clearing near the fairy garden to see how your fun will begin!!"
Since there was no way we would be able to build and hide a huge wooden swing set the night before xmas, we gave the kids some of the most obvious part...the swings, tire swing and the slide and printed up a picture of their new swing set. It only took them a second to realize what it all meant and they were so excited!!! Sage was begging Daddy to build it right now so she could swing. :)
It took Kenan a few days to get it put together, not because the construction was complicated....but because he had to level the ground first. We decided not to put it right next to the house where the old swing set was, but instead move it off to the side of the yard where we've been working to establish an outdoor play place. This area was quite rocky and a bit sloped so it took a bit of work to get the area ready. Once that was finished, the swingset went together quickly! We're going to put a border around the area and then put down a bunch of mulch. So it should really look nice this spring!
i hadn't realized it before, but the new swing set matches our house perfectly!!! Our house is wood-sided with an identical red cedar stain, and it has a green metal roof...that matches the canopy, slide, swings etc perfectly! It's truly a beautiful product and looks like it was custom built to match our house. :)
The quality of this swing set is incredible. My husband (who is not easily impressed) was very impressed with it. :) While building it he commented several times on how heavy duty the hardware was and how 'solid' the whole thing seemed. These sets are built to be played on!!
My only complaint about our new swing set...is that my daughter now breaks down into tears every time i tell her she has to come inside. :) Yesterday we played outside until it was almost dark. when i told her we had to come inside she said between sobs, " i just can't stop thinking about the swing set. It's just too much fun!!! "
Our beautiful wooden swing set is made by Kid's Creations LCC.
You can check out their website here and connect with them on facebook here.
We really could not be more pleased with our new swing set. The craftsmanship and quality of their swing sets is outstanding. i also really love Kid's Creations commitment to safety and the environment, that they are USA made, and the story of how they got started. Truly an awesome company!!
Again, i just need to shout out one more huge THANK YOU to Jeff Snell and everyone at the Kid's Creation company. You have truly made my kids year!!!