Lazy Summer Days and Mermaids

When I was a girl living on Sunshine Mountain we had a great watering hole under a bridge where we spent lazy summer days! We would take our bikes but mostly had to walk because it was a very steep down hill and then up hill. Pushing your bike in that midsummer sun would always make you question the logic of bringing the bike, but once you got to the bridge you didn't think about it anymore! The trees over hung on both sides of the creek, and it was this beautiful canopy of leaves that blocked the hot sun and made the light dance on the top of the water. Most of it was shallow, but under the bridge, the bigger boys had dammed it up, so that they could dive off the bridge. In the deepest area where we swam there were large rocks we would sit on and pretend we were mermaids. A recent customer asked me if I could make some wooden mermaids like my fairies and it took me back to this wonderful memory.

Here is what I came up with...

These wonderful little girls are ready to swim and play. I love the magical feel they have and how the playsets are developing. All sisters and a mommy at a size that is just safe for baby/toddler age. Rhyme and Reason are twins with Story and Verse being the youngest. The lovely mommy is Song because she sings sweetly to her girls at night! The stories are developing in my head and over taking my dreams at night, I hope you like them as much as I do!

One World One Heart Giveaway

And the winners are..........

Theresa Norris


Cindy Hesse

.... my boys loved getting to draw the name from the bowl. It was great getting to meet other bloggers and I can't wait for next year!

Getting to Know you.....

As you may remember from my list of Etsy items we got for our kids for Christmas, there was this lovely doll bed made by this wonderful lady on Etsy. Karen is the owner of the shop, . I wanted to start having some personal knowledge of the crafters that I love, and I thought you my readers might like to come along. I want to know more about their crafting but also what GREEN means to them. Here is my interview with Karen...
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am married to a wonderful man who is not only my best friend, but my beacon. We have 5 grown children combined with 3 wonderful grandchildren. We live on 13.3 acres on the McKenzie river, where we live a simple life.
Have you always lived on a micro farm?
For the most part. My mother was a gypsy, and we traveled a lot. But we always lived "simple" -- never in a hurry, no stress, no hassles.
What do you grow and/or raise on your farm?
We have 2 large gardens; adding a third this season. We also have an orchard with 2 pear trees, 2 plum trees and 8 apple trees but only 7 now produce fruit. We live 30 feet off of the river so we catch a lot of fish and we are hunters as well. I would like to have a goat and some chickens in the near future; the goat would be as a pet and friend to our black lab "shadow".
Do you sell your extra produce?
We don't sell any of the produce; we give it away. This is why we are adding another garden area, to help our friends and family. I am unable to eat the meat from the deer I hunt, so I also donate that to family and friends. It is such a wonderful feeling to share the fruits of my labor. I think, if we all would just help one person in need, there would be no hunger in our world.
What do you wish you had known when you started out farming?
That there is no 9-5. LOL! Just kidding, I wish I would of paid closer attention to my dad. He is close to 80 years young and is still farming. He is full of information that I could of tapped into long ago.
What are your thoughts on GREEN living, and what does your family do to help protect Mother Earth?
I love Mother Earth, and I can honestly say that I do something everyday to help my "footprint" get smaller. I think our society has become lazy or maybe just comfortable, but neither one is good for our children's future. Plastic lasts a lifetime in our landfil. Cigarette butts leak toxins into our earth. They take up to 12 years to decompose. I teach our grandchildren and our children to leave this earth better then we found it; that it is on loan to us.
Have you always sewn and crafted?
I have always crafted and sewn. We always make our gifts and still make our gifts. My grandchildren know that we don't buy gifts. We not only make something for each other but we make for other children. We had so much fun this year picking names off of the giving tree and making baby beds and doll diapers for little ones who would have no gift.
When did you start on Etsy?
April of last year I joined etsy. The creator of Horse & crab creations on etsy happened to be the person that came out to fix my phone line and she was kind enough to tell me about Etsy.
What would be your best tip for someone starting out?
I always tell people to start small, everyone can cut down on and recycle paper products, plastic. We can all be mindful of what we place in the trash. Share, trade, barter, clean out and down size your closet. It doesn't take much to make a big difference.
What tips do you have for moms?
Enjoy the moment, they grow so fast. Our children won't remember the Nike shoes or the designer jeans but they will remember all the times we weren't there. My goal in life is to live to 130 years of age in good health and great spirits. I am blessed to be able to grow and hunt for most of my food, I don't have a cell phone. We have one vehicle, I up-cycle, re-purpose, and I love to barter. I don't like to buy new. Heck I don't like to spend money at all. When it is my time to go to a higher place I would like to be remembered as a kind, loving, simple lady that was not only blessed by mother earth, but a blessing to mother earth. As my dear granddaughter Kelea said to me one day "Grammy you're a hippy!” Oh yes I am. :) and I wouldn't change it for anything.

Tea Time

Tea Times offer you and your children a break from the fast-paced demands of parenting, homeschooling, and household chores. Everyone sighs as they settle into their chairs, tea cups or mugs in hand. Stopping to enjoy cup of tea ( hot chocolate or apple juice or even water from a tea pot is nice) creates the perfect time to share a poem or a story. Tea sandwiches and a few cookie treats (known as biscuits in England) make it a special snack and break to your midday. When you share poetry with tea, your children create a connection between sharing and rest, while creating memories. We really have the kids with us for such a short time.

Once everyone has his or her tea and food, reading or storytelling can begin. Use this time to read a favorite series of books. Kids of any age will want to stop in their day and share this time with you. It is a great way to teach manners and proper etiquette. Tea time can be fun and educational. 

This Month for tea time try....
Sun Strawberry Jam 
    When strawberries go on sale, it's time to make sun jam, a delightful taste of summer made with solar energy to enjoy any time of year. A very GREEN thing to do. Although it requires patience to prepare sun jam, it captures the fresh flavor of the strawberries. This is a great recipe to do with kids. 

    Things You’ll Need:
    1 1/2 pounds ripe fruit
    1 cup sugar
    2 tsp lemon juice
    Stainless steel saucepan
    cheese cloth
    Sterile glass jar (with lid)

    How To:
    Wash the fruit.
    Cut it into thin slices.
    Mix all of the ingredients together in a stainless steel saucepan.
    Cover and let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
    Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil.
    Boil for five minutes without stirring.
    Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
    Pour the cooled fruit mixture into a glass jar.
    Cover with chesse cloth and tie with string to allow the moisture to evaporate.
    Set the jar outside in full sunshine or in a very sunny window for three to eight hours.
    The jam is ready when it has thickened.
    Last seal it tightly. Store the jam in the fridge.