LEGO play

Just a couple more photos from our Sunday morning. (You'll notice the pajamas are the same.) I love the light that streams into the playroom on winter mornings. And I love the focus he puts into his LEGO building. 
LEGO play
LEGO play
Behind Walter is a little sneak peek of our playroom re-do. I'll share more as soon as it's a little more finished.


Starting seeds

We decided to start some seeds indoors this year. I usually buy tomato and pepper plants from the farmer's market in the spring, but it seemed like a fun little experiment grow them ourselves. Plus, we're all getting a little antsy for spring around here, so we're getting a head start with some plants on the kitchen counter.
Starting seeds
Starting seeds
Starting seeds
Walter filled the pots with dirt and when he was done he cleaned up. Without my asking him! I admit I've been on a little cleaning rampage lately. I'm happy to see it's rubbing off on someone.
Starting seeds
Starting seeds
We planted the seeds and stuck in makeshift plant markers made from masking tape and toothpicks. 
Starting seeds
Now we wait, a little impatiently, for something to grow. 
And, yes, we plant seeds in our pajamas. Don't judge. It's Sunday.


February traditions

This house is starting to have some familiar scenes around mid-February – Valentine flowers and birthday cake. A little sweetness in the middle of a cold, wintry month. 
Cake and flowers
36 candles


Farm report

Winter on the "farm" is a little slower than summertime, but there's still lots of activity out there. The chickens are laying well. We're getting 4-5 eggs a day from our seven hens. I think I may not have announced to the internet the tragic end of the eighth chicken. Poor Charlie Shortino disappeared a while back during a day out in the yard. We assume she was taken by a predator of some sort but we had nothing but a pile of feathers as evidence. Right after the incident we confined the girls to coop. But lately they have been getting some supervised outings so they can explore the snow and peck at the bits of grass that are peeking through.
Chickens in the snow
Chickens in the snow
Walter is still an excellent chicken catcher, but mittens make the whole thing a bit more difficult. Don't worry. This awkward hug was quick and Love was not harmed.
Chickens in the snow
Our more mysterious creatures, the bees, seem to be doing well. We don't check on them often, assuming they are taking care of themselves. Today was warm enough to take a peek and this is what we found:
Shivering bees - Ramona
Ramona is full of bees! According to what we've read, (Ok, what Kristin has read. I'm lazy.) the queen starts laying again in January to build up the hive. Looks like Queen Ramona has been doing a great job of that. That big dark spot is all bees.
In comparison, here's our weaker hive, Beezus:
We only saw one live bee, but the hive was still humming. There's definitely activity in there, but we may not know how much until we inspect the hive in spring.
The seed catalogs have arrived and garden plans are in the works. We are all looking forward to the snow melting and spring to come.


It's a quilt

This quilt is done! And it only took me a week. I had no idea it would go so quickly. I probably did it all wrong by real quilting standards, but it looks like a quilt to me. A cozy, cheery, little, lap-sized (or Walter-sized) quilt. My scraps have never looked so good.


Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm a day late here, but really, is it ever too late to spread the love? We spent a quiet night at home, just me and the boys. I made chocolate-covered Oreos for my Oreo-loving Valentines. And I made them cute – for me. :)
Valentine Oreos
And a little gift for me from the boys – Walter agreed to get his picture taken and Nate agreed to work the camera. Yay!
Valentine Walter
(I know, the art table behind us is messy, but we've been busy making valentines! There are paper hearts all over this place...)


A peek into the sewing room

Since the success of the art table organization, I decided to tackle my sewing room. It doubles as a guest room and it is a collection point for all kinds of junk. I could barely walk in there, much less sew anything. I've spent a good portion of the last two weekends cleaning it up, cleaning it out, and organizing supplies. And just like Walter at his art table, I found things I didn't even know I had. Like this zebra, tucked in the bottom of my scrap basket, just waiting for some stuffing. I don't remember when or why I abandoned it, but I finished it up and it quickly settled in on Walter's head, like so many projects before it. 
Sorry, he refused to stop drinking water while I took that photo.
Also in my scrap basket: a ton of scraps! Imagine that. Scraps and a clean workspace led to the start of a quilt. I've never made a quilt before. It won't be big and it won't be fancy, but it's already been so much fun. Walter helped me piece it all together with the rule that no two of the same squares could be next to each other. An excellent project for a four-year-old.
Quilt squares
The sewing started today and is going pretty quickly. Another weekend or two and I just might have a quilt. As long as I don't abandon this the way I did the zebra. Keep me motivated! Hold me accountable!
Presser foot
Piecing together
I don't have before and after photos of the room, but I have a few bits and pieces to share. 
Blocks and beanbags
Bucket o' ribbon



I am surrounded by people who make stuff. My family, the family I married – all makers. Woodworking, quilting, welding, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, crocheting… an endless amount of making here to inspire. 
In case that's not enough, and in case any of you makers need more inspiration, take a wander through this amazing site: Those Who Make. In their own words, "A carefully curated collection of videos + interviews of Those Who Make."
These videos are beautiful, covering every type of making you can imagine. From boats to sea salt  to dudes who make jeans to handmade bread baked in handmade clay pots. And so much more. I have to warn you, you may end up spending more time there than you planned. 
Browse a while. 
What would you like to make? 



Over the past couple of months, one of my favorite spaces in the house had become one of my least favorite spaces in the house. The art table. It looked like this:
The before
ALL of the time, it looked like this. I'm all for getting messy when it comes to art, but I'm also all for cleaning it up when you're done. 
It never got cleaned up. 
But it's not Walter's fault. The more art supplies he got, the messier things became. It's hard to clean things up when there's not really a place to put everything. So I made a place to put everything. This was such an easy fix, I can't believe it took me so long do it. One trip to the thrift store and I found this cute wooden tote.
Thrifted tote
$2.00. And it was red. Perfecto! I used some wide mouth jars and a few tin containers (found in the dollar section at Target) and just like that, the supplies were organized.
Organized supplies
Organized supplies
The best part – when Walter saw it, he could suddenly find things he didn't even know he had. 
Trying out the new paints
New paints
Because it is for art
He spent all day at that table. And when he was done, it was all cleaned up.
The after
Grampa built the art table and chairs, and cleverly put storage areas under the chairs  for paper, coloring books, etc. The oatmeal container holds crayons.