Sunday, September 28, 2014

in the meantime

Hello there! I know I disappeared for {this moment} on Friday and for Gratitude*Sunday today. I've been working on something behind the scenes in this space and it's gonna be awesome! In the meantime, I just wanted to pop by to say that I'll be back soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

first grapes

Yesterday we harvested our very first grapes here. We've been eating one here and there, checking to see if they were ripe yet. With the rain some of them started splitting. Yesterday morning's taste test revealed that we had a bunch that were ripe, sweet to perfection, and ready to harvest. We brought in a big bowl full. There were still many more clusters than needed to ripen a bit more, so we left those for later. We've been dreaming of having these grapes growing here for a long, long time. (And some of you long time readers have heard them mentioned over the years.) When we fell in love with our neighbor's grapes, we brought some starts home. I've tried quite a few grapes in this area and while I love so many of the different varieties, these ones are my favorite. They are purple concord grapes with crunchy seeds inside. They are just so darn good and having them in our own backyard is simply wonderful. Waiting for these first grapes, this first year, made them all the sweeter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

yarnalong: onto the hood

...Joining Ginny's YarnAlong, sharing what I'm knitting and reading...
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...Knitting...
I'm now working on the hood! It's been fun watching things come together and I'm excited that it's looking like an actual sweater at this point. All of my knitting focus has been going into this sweater to get it finished in time for Bracken's birthday. 

...Reading...
Still reading 'The Gift of Fear.' I would definitely recommend it, but I would also give the warning that it is very graphic and some of the stories are hard to take. That being said, I feel it contains a lot of really valuable information and I'm really grateful it was recommended to me. 

How about you?
Knitting? Reading?

Monday, September 22, 2014

on my birthday

Every year loved ones ask me what special thing I'm going to do for my birthday. I usually ask them the same question on their birthdays. (You probably get asked the same thing on your birthday too.) Some years I feel like I need to go somewhere, do something... different than the normal day-to-day. And that was my first thought when I was thinking about my birthday this year, to go somewhere. But I had a feeling that what I would need and what our family would really need that day would be to simply just be home. And I was right. We did so much running around last week, more than usual and then our market day ended up being another very emotional one for me. So what I really needed on Sunday was a healing home day. A day to let my nervous system relax and to be with my family. Last week I told Jeff that for my birthday I wanted to have a "home projects day." We've had a long list of projects around the house that have been getting put off and had been hanging over us. We ended up getting some of them crossed off our list yesterday and it felt great. 

My mom was the first to call and wish me Happy Birthday in the morning. My whole life my mom has always loved to be the first one to do that for my sister and I on our birthdays. Then she precedes to tell us the story of our birth. It's a tradition I enjoy because it always makes me feel so loved. When Bracken woke up I was on the phone with my mom and told him she had just sang me Happy Birthday. Bracken started crying. I thought it was because he was tired and hadn't gotten enough sleep since we had such a long day the day before (and I'm sure that was a big part of it.) But then, through tears, he expressed that he had wanted to sing me Happy Birthday. So Jeff and Bracken sang me Happy Birthday while he was still crying a bit through the whole song (which honestly sounded pretty darn cute) and then that cheered him up a bit. We hung up the birthday banner. I felt spoiled by the delicious meals that Jeff made throughout the day (but I feel that way a lot, he's a really good cook.) Bracken got out a candle for me and decided he wanted one too and that Jeff needed one as well. I ended up hauling firewood for awhile, with Bracken playing near me and Jeff finishing a project in his shop. Bracken found a piece of twine on the ground and announced that he was making me a birthday present. He wove some flowers into the twine and then hung it on the garden gate. It was very sweet. Later I spent Bracken's entire nap time reading my book, which was a wonderful gift to myself. My cousin surprised me and called. Every facebook message and comment on my blog made me smile (Thank you!) Hearing the voices of loved ones on the phone and being with my two loves at home were the greatest gifts of my birthday. With each familiar voice on the other line, I felt deeply grateful for that sound. I really needed to be surrounded with that love yesterday. Last night I walked over to my bookshelf and got out the 'To My Daughter, With Love: A Mother's Memory Book' that my mom gifted me years ago. I read it aloud to Bracken, showing him pictures of his great grandma and telling him the stories my mom wrote in the book. He giggled and giggled when I read the part that I went through a cross eyed stage when I was a baby, he thought that was so funny. It was good medicine for my heart to read through it and I thought perhaps it would be a good tradition to start, to read it every year on my birthday.

There were a few mentions that this is now the last year of my twenties. I joked with my dad that I'd have to hurry and get all the "partying" out of my system before I turned thirty. But really, I got tired of that when I was a teenager. By the time I turned twenty I was already done with partying. I'd rather be gardening. Or knitting.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

 G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
*
If you would like to join us, see below. 
Our gratefulness feeds one another. 
*
~
*
 
Throughout the week I've felt grateful for:

...The two little lemons on our lemon tree that make the three of us so happy.
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...Getting a surprise package from my grandma with some fabric she found in her basement and thought I might like to make fabric buttons with. Bless her heart.
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...The fact that the noise we heard downstairs in the night wasn't someone trying to break into our house (thank goodness), but a rodent under the floorboards. Unpleasant, but a much better alternative.
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...All of us scrubbing the kitchen cupboards and Jeff cleaning the kitchen floor until it practically shone.
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...Feeding my loves delicious breakfasts. Always feels good to nourish those we love.
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...Bracken helping me tie buttons on cards so I could get my button orders mailed out before his naptime.
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...Jeff's idea to tie something on the roof of our car when we ran errands in town so we didn't have to unload the whole car from market and then load it right back up again when we got home.
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...Seeing a sign on our drive that said: "Wanna Feel Rich? Count Your Blessings." It was very timely with the conversation we had just been having.
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...How much Bracken loves loves dancing these days. Constantly asking me to put on the music, while he creates his costumes and practices balancing things on his head- like tamborines.
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...Productive mornings with cooking, cleaning, dishes, sweeping, laundry. Love to start the day that way.
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...Breakfast with collards and garlic from the garden.
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...New discovery: melon with a little bit of salt sprinkled on top. Yum.
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...The sound of the first raindrops on the roof. (Was it just me or did Oregonians everywhere let out a little sigh of relief?) The weather has been enjoyable, but it's been so dry and some rain is very nice.
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...Giving Bracken his very own roll of tape, since he's always asking for the tape we package orders with. Though it didn't last for more than a few days, it made for lots of inventive creations and entertainment.
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...All of us going out in the garden in the evening and harvesting green beans together to have with breakfast the next morning.
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...Watching Bracken with his friends, having so much fun while they chased each other around a tree and played tag. 
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...The sweet handmade birthday gift a friend gave me at market yesterday, it brightened my whole day. (Thank you Heather!
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...Help and support in challenging situations and knowing who I can count on.
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...Turning 29 today!
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You can read more about the inspiration for Gratitude Sunday here

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Like to Join Us in Gratitude Sunday?

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If you are a blogger, click on the blue button below to add your link.
When adding your link...
Link the URL to your blog post and not to your main blog URL.
In your blog post, include a link back here, to this current post, so others who would like to join can find us.

 .
Or..
Share your list (whether one or many) in the comments below.
..............................................................................................................
..................................
  .
Whether your week flowed smoothly or you had a rough one, taking the time to focus on what you're grateful for always makes things better and will bring you a happy heart!
.
What have you felt grateful for throughout your week?
Share with us below!
Gratitude Sunday

Friday, September 19, 2014

{this moment}

...Joining Amanda at SouleMama for {this moment}...
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

photo shoot : behind the scenes

 Photo credit: last two pictures by Autumn Noah Lea.
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 Last week we did a photo shoot in the park with a bunch of our new earrings and some necklaces too. I took over a thousand pictures that day! (I'm still organizing and sorting them.) Bracken liked the swings, made himself a fern crown, and enjoyed some watermelon (and offered some to our models.) We even got some family pictures at the end, with Bracken just wanting to make silly faces as usual. Here is a little peek behind the scenes. More soon. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

yarnalong: joining the sleeves & the gift of fear

...Joining Ginny's YarnAlong, sharing what I'm knitting and reading...
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...Knitting...
I finished knitting both of the sleeves for Bracken's sweater. When it came time to join them I got a bit confused, but eventually figured it out. I'm making progress! Though this is technically my second sweater, the first one was knit in one piece and then stitched together up the sides, so the construction of this second sweater is new to me. It's empowering to learn new things with my knitting.

...Reading...
In the comments from Saturday's post, three of you recommended the book 'The Gift of Fear' by Gavin De Becker. I had a feeling I really needed to read it so called the library and was happy to hear they had it. They put it on hold and Jeff picked it up for me after his physical therapy appointment. Right when I held the book in my hands I got goosebumps. A chapter in, this book is exactly what I need to read right now. I'm so grateful for the recommendations, thank you!

How about you?
Knitting? Reading?

Monday, September 15, 2014

learning curve (the laser)

We've been pretty excited about something around here. Not long ago a bit of unexpected money came my mom's way and she shared some with my sister and I and saved some for her retirement. It was such a huge blessing for all of us. My sister and brother in law needed a working vehicle. And Jeff and I needed to get some tools to help us in our business. I wrote before about Jeff's sciatic pain and also briefly mentioned his tennis elbow. Basically Jeff and I knew that hand carving and hand wood burning constantly, day after day, was not sustainable for his body. He couldn't work his body like a machine any longer because it was taking it's toll. So, with that in mind, Jeff and I talked a lot about what tools would be most helpful for us. Jeff did a lot of research. What he really wanted was a laser machine. At first we were both a little bit resistant to the idea. We love all the energy he puts into each and every piece, making them so special, the essence of handmade. But the more we learned about laser machines and the more we talked about it, the more it felt like the right decision for us. First he looked for lasers made in the United States, but the ones we needed were way out of our price range and as far as we could tell all of the parts were made overseas anyway. He found one overseas that was exactly what we needed and also in our price range. It was delivered in a giant crate to our house. (Our neighbor had to help Jeff lift it onto a table.) Jeff immediately started working with the laser and figuring it out. The one downside was that the manual was very poorly translated, so he's pretty much had to figure everything out for himself. It's been quite a steep learning curve, but he's done an amazing job of figuring things out (a lot of experimenting mixed with some research) and has been creating the most beautiful things. It's completely changed our business in such a short time. Jeff's elbow and wrist that were in so much constant pain have now had time to rest and recover. What would take him days and days to create before takes so much less time to make now. And he still sands each piece by hand, spends lots of time on designs, sets stones... basically, there's still a whole lot of handmade love in everything he makes. Only now he can have the help of a machine to create his art rather than using his body like a machine.

Above are some recent earrings in our market booth that he used the laser to burn the designs in the wood. Both Jeff and I have been having so much fun coming up with new designs, getting out our paper and pens and drawing away. Before I used to draw the words on every single one of our inspirational wooden magnets by hand and then Jeff would woodburn them. Now I can put a lot of time and energy into a single design that we can burn over and over again with the help of the laser machine. Jeff has been able to copy some of his old scrimshaws and burn them into wood. Many of our designs are original creations by us, but some are not (like some celtic knots and the flower of life design shown above, for example.) Jeff has been really inspired by old wood cuts lately. (The 'All You Need Is Love' hoop earrings were inspired by my mom. When I told her Jeff was making wooden hoop earrings, she said that she would love a pair with that saying on them. I drew the design with her in mind and the first pair was sent to her for her birthday. Her creative idea brought those earrings into being.) Today I just showed earrings, since that's what he has been making the most of lately, but he's been making lots of other things as well. I can't begin to say how grateful we are for our laser machine (thank you mom!) and what a difference it has made for Jeff's work. It feels like the beginning of something wonderful, it opens up so many new possibilities for us.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

 G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
*
If you would like to join us, see below. 
Our gratefulness feeds one another. 
*
~
*
 
Throughout the week I've felt grateful for:

...More sunflowers blooming in the garden in different colors. And still seeing bees all over the place.
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...Our electricity being back on when we came home from a town trip. Always nice when it's not out for too long.
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...The breakfast Jeff cooked for us on his little camp stove on that morning.
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...Trying new things. And then being glad we did.
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...A surprise package in the mail with some sweet gifts for each of us from my mom's summer travels. Jeff said it was so fun to get things from different parts of the world.
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...Listening to music on our drive. Why do I forget to do that? Every time I rediscover it I'm glad.
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...Two days with a bit of sewing. I like that it's slowly becoming part of my routine again.
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...Gifting some plant starts to a friend. Over the years we've contributed quite a few plants to each others gardens. 
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...Communication to clear things up. 
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...Exploring an area with walking paths and scenic views. Always fun to see new places.
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...Harvesting, gathering, and all the abundance this time of year brings.
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...The warmth of the sun. To still be soaking it up. And drying our clothes in it.
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...A headset on our phone to keep my hands free to fold laundry, do dishes, clean, or just take a little break and knit.
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...Getting a little better at asking for help when we need it and then appreciating the help we get so much.
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...The moment Bracken and I saw Jeff drive up the driveway after being gone at market all day. Only a day I know, but we missed him like crazy.
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...Homemade chicken soup for dinner and Jeff and Bracken gathering the finishing touches in the garden: parsley and basil. 
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You can read more about the inspiration for Gratitude Sunday here

.

Like to Join Us in Gratitude Sunday?

.

If you are a blogger, click on the blue button below to add your link.
When adding your link...
Link the URL to your blog post and not to your main blog URL.
In your blog post, include a link back here, to this current post, so others who would like to join can find us.

 .
Or..
Share your list (whether one or many) in the comments below.
..............................................................................................................
..................................
  .
Whether your week flowed smoothly or you had a rough one, taking the time to focus on what you're grateful for always makes things better and will bring you a happy heart!
.
What have you felt grateful for throughout your week?
Share with us below! 



Gratitude Sunday