Archive for the ‘House and Farm’ Category

Snow & Then Some

October 30th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

We hurried & we scurried yesterday in preparation for the big October snow storm to hit. Yesterday we did our best to button things down, bring in the wood, ready the farm animals, find the garden hoses buried in the snow, dig out the toys, put away the lawn furniture, prepare for the prospect of loosing power for several days — all the boring chores of November packed into one day.

The snow came down in thick sheets, for hours and hours it piled high. The snow piled up over 2 feet high!!

Snowflakes didn’t flutter they seemed to race from the sky.  The power wavered but luckily stayed with us.

After spending most of Sunday shoveling out from under the thick blanket of snow I headed out the door for a ski. Trudge trudge trudge…. a bit to thick to call it a ski but it’s always so peaceful to be in the woods after a big storm.  The oak and ash trees have not yet lost their bright fall leaves, Winter snow piled thick into the crooks of the tree’s, and the woods rustled with sounds of Fall. So odd and wonderous to have the two season blended together.


October in New England

October 28th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

We interrupt our regular programing to bring you -


Snow in October, well I never?

With all these weird weather patterns I can only wonder what the year might bring.

I am hoping for a day at the lake in March!!

We Do Cloth

October 16th, 2011 by zoe 5 Comments

Around here, we do cloth. Don’t even get me started about how much I love cloth diapers especially these!!  My sister actually packs her own paper towels when she comes to visit, which kinda cracks me up. Cloth napkins at the table are lovely. BUT, setting the table with a new round of napkins for each meal was proving to be a washing CHORE.

This post from Amanda over at SouleMama proved to be just the sort of big family table advice I needed to find  balance. Napkin rings — huh, not something I would have ever thought of…. but you know when each family member has their own special ring they can use a napkin for more than one meal and it really cuts down on the washing. Plus, children love rituals and jobs.  I love having them be part of the household by setting the table and helping prepare the meals. Win Win!

I had a bit too much fun finding antique napkin rings on Ebay. After way too much computer lusting…  Oliver my jumper has a kangaroo and Emmett my little bird has a chick. Big Dada has a very plain classic napkin ring,  just they way he likes it. I am still on the hunt for my own napkin ring identity —- out in the studio I have a bit of silver that might evolve into something perfect, someday.

Oh, and I did not make these napkins, I splurged and bought them at Target. I really hate ironing and the thought of making all those mitered corners makes me cringe! I am a big fan of no sew fringe edge napkins made with Kona Cotton fabric which can be found at just about any fabric store. Elmers our local breakfast joint uses single layer raw edge napkins and they work just great.  And if you missed it, here is a little tutorial I shared a few weeks back for a super quick school lunch napkin using the same technique.

Click the Captain Crafty project sheet, save to file and print.

Painting Upholstered Furniture!

October 4th, 2011 by zoe 8 Comments

Sometimes, partly due to my  Pinterest addiction, I get super caught up in the beauty and esthetic of things.

Yes, it’s inspiring to see so many cool things.

Yes, it’s a blessing to have access to so many beautiful images, places and spaces.

But sometimes I have to remember to just stay real — yes I can buy a white sofa, but NO I can not expect that sofa to STAY white. Yes, I can gussy up my house – but, NO I will not be able to give it an effervescent glow seen in the latest design magazine nor can I erase the evidence that two four year old boys dominate the interior design landscape around here!

I am always inspired by beautiful design and totally heart the latest  Styled online magazine, drool! I just try to make sure the inspiration is inspiring me rather than immobilizing me.

To keep myself in check I only buy fabric or supplies for ONE project at a time. No, I don’t have a fabulous stash of gorgeous fabric waiting to become several new quilts. And no, I did not buy every single color of glitter & chalk board paint from Martha Stewart’s updated craft line when I was buying the fabric medium for my latest project. Trust me, I wanted to!  But, aside from the simple truth that I can’t afford it – I also try not to overwhelm myself.

Obsessions are great if they propel you in the right dirrection and don’t make you (too) crazy! Speaking of obsession, I saw this tutorial and just HAD to try painting an upholstered chair!

Obsessed? Stay up all night painting a chair – crazy obsessed!

Here is what I started with …..

and after about $14 in paint, and a couple hours here is what I wound up with.

The arms  need another coat of paint and I’m still contemplating sewing a new cover for the cushion but overall I am crazy psyched with how it came out!

For the most part I followed the tutorial at Hyphen Interiors.

I did need quite a bit more paint because the color change was pretty dramatic. I bought one 6 oz. bottle of Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium but if I were to do it again I would buy two. Also the fabric was a textured pattern so I found myself misting the chair with water heavily to get the paint to completely saturate the grooves in the fabric.

Who would have thought you could paint upholstered furniture!











Apple Pie and Pancakes

October 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Holy cow am I busy right now. Still,

I manage to get into a bit of mischief because whenever I am supposed to be doing something I inevitably have SO much fun doing … something else.

It’s been a week of perfect pancakes and apple pies.

Sewing, sewing, sewing and more sewing while sitting on my newly painted and upholstered chair.

Sewing and sewing some MORE under the light of my newly painted and hung studio light, a gift from my talented  friend Carla Caruso. So much better than a bare bulb!

Scheming about when to harvest the grapes from the grape arbor and turn them into Grape Jam.

Oh, and having a bit of fun with Modge Podge.

I hope in all your busy busy you find time to get into a bit of fun mischief too!

Out in the Backyard

September 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We live in a tiny little town, what it lacks in population it makes up for in pride.

September brings apples, fall leaves and …. The Ashfield Film Fest. Yocals young and old are invited to create a 5 minute film that celebrates life in our little village. Entries are judged and awarded prizes at the big film fest shindig held in the old town hall.

This little film was done in our backyard and my little guys definitely steal the show.

You Don’t Have To Go To Colorado

It’s a big backyard. We bike, run,  ski and snowshoe there.

We make the most of this country living by adventuring right out the back door. Over the years the Mr. has built several miles of trails that wind through the woods with a few bike stunts too! Trail building around here borders on obsession, now our friends and neighbors have started to build trails and link them together. We love living in the woods and try our best to enjoy all it’s adventures.


My boys have been hiking out there since they could walk. Now they ride their “run bikes” on the trails and get into the action with the rest of us. I think these bikes have been their favorite toy for the last 2 years and I can’t say enough about how fantastic balance bikes are for little ones. There are lots of brands out there to choose from – wood ones, metal ones, super posh designer ones. My boys ride Strider bikes and they have worked out wonderfully for us.

Everywhere we go folks ask us about them and now all their little friends have them too! Some of the features we really dig about these particular bikes is they are super adjustable so a 2-year-old and a tall 5-year-old can ride them, they are metal and can take a rain storm without worries and they are CRAZY light making them easy to maneuver for small kids but also helpful if … your little rider has a full throttle melt down miles from the car and you wind up having to carry their bike(s)! I am not super into product pushing but we seriously LOVE these bikes. Even now that my boys ride two wheelers they still use their Strider bikes for trips to the skate park, mountain biking and fun at The Kingdom Trails pump track.

So many trails, so much fun to be had in the big woodsy backyard!