Saturday, March 31, 2012

'NO to Enbridge' Pipeline Protest


Today we were radicals and joined in with fellow protesters at the Comox 'Our Coast, Our Decision' rally against the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline :)


There was an amazing turnout with people coming in by the bus loads from all ends of the island, Vancouver, Powell River, Quadra and so many more.

Pipeline Protest Mosaic

We had a great time cheering and singing, listening to the speakers and checking out all the fun signs people brought.

Ta'Kaiya Blaney "No to Enbridge" Pipeline Rally

One very special speaker was 11 year old Ta'Kaiya Blaney who is Sliammon First Nation. She created the song Shallow Waters in the youtube video below last year to bring about more awareness to the pipeline and you've got to listen to it. It's really good! I didn't know that she was going to be speaking but I'm glad that my son who is only two years older got to hear her speach as she is such an inspiration that being so young she is accomplishing and doing such amazing things.

I'll leave you with one last video tonight of all of us singing along today with Tina Filliponi :)

PS. if you are reading this via email you will probably have to hop over to my blog to see the youtube videos.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wet Felted Easter Eggs ~ Tutorial

Wet felting easter eggs

Easter is just a hop, skip and a jump around the corner so today we got down to some serious crafty business and made some felted Easter eggs. I know that many of you probably know how to wet felt already but just in case you don't I thought that I would share how we did it :)

I love wet felting with the kids. It's such an easy activity and what kid doesn't totally love playing in the sudsy soap and water! So out came my stash of wool rovings and a couple of plastic easter eggs that I've been hanging onto for these kinds of projects and a couple of hand towels to soak up any puddles of water that might appear *grin*.

wet felted easter eggs mosaic

We started by stretching out some plain, undyed wool batting that would become the inner layer of our eggs. I really like to use the plain wool batting as filler for my felting projects because it is SO much cheaper to purchase than the smaller dyed rovings and you can use a lot of it without worrying about using up your stash of the good stuff.

Winding the wool batting around our plastic egg as tightly as we could we continued to add layer after layer, alternating the directions of the pieces with each new one added until it was about three times larger than it's original size and then we added a final layer over the white using some pretty pinks and blues to give our egg color. Make sure you create a good sized ball of wool because it is amazing how much it shrinks during felting :)

wet felted easter eggs mosaic2

Next it was time to get down to the business of felting all that wool together. With the cold water running we dribbled a little of the water at a time over our ball of wool until it was nice and wet. It's important to treat your wool very gently at this point because the wool shifts really easily. So with a generous amount of dish soap on our hands we gently started to pat and rub our egg.

Working our hands around in circles all over the egg we gently agitated the wool until we could feel it starting to become a little more firmer beneath our fingers and then we started to alternate with cold and hot water to shock the wool fibers even more to help them knit together nicely. If you haven't tried this before you will definitely start to feel a difference. The fibers on the surface won't slip around as much, it will start to shrink up smaller and you will be able to rub at it with more pressure the firmer it becomes.

Do not worry if it seems like your wool looks really giant and sloppy over the plastic egg inside! My kids rolled their own eggs this time and I thought they would never shrink down but if you look at the above photos you will see how giant my daughter's egg was when she started and how small it was in the last photos. I did help her out at the end to really rub and squeeze at it firmly and I can't say enough about shocking it with some really hot water and then plunging it back into really cold water again all while rubbing it firmly. It really does help it to tighten up more quickly :)

wet felted easter eggs mosaic4

When we were finished felting our eggs we wet felted a couple of little yellow chicks using the same method as above minus the plastic egg inside and then I tossed both the eggs and chicks into the dryer to shrink them up one last little bit and dry them.

The kids could hardly wait to pull them out of the dryer to see just how I was going to get the plastic eggs out from inside of them *grin*. With a sharp pair of sewing scissors I cut a jagged opening across half of the wool eggs so that they looked like they were hatching open and popped out the plastic eggs from inside of them leaving a perfect hollow center where we could now tuck our little chickies inside...


but not before we needle felted on their eyes and beaks :)

wet felted easter eggs mosaic5

All finished and ready for playing with!

There was peeping and cheeping and chickies popping out all over the house all afternoon *grin*.

Wool Felted Easter Eggs

I hope you have fun making some of your own Easter eggs and chickies :)


PS. Looking for more crafty ideas or inspiration? Pop over to Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday and see what others are up to :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Catching Leprechauns

Rainbow Cake

The children and I set out to catch a Leprechaun today with it being St. Patrick's day and all *grin*. And what better way to catch a tricky little leprechaun than to bake a rainbow colored cake and make him think that there was a pot of gold to be had!

I had ran across the fun idea for this cake over at Not Martha and we set to work making a batch of homemade regular yellow cake batter using this recipe as our backbone, modifying it with less sugar and using yogurt whey for the milk, and then splitting it up into seven different bowls so that we could add all the colors of the rainbow.


Just under an hour later our rainbow cake was out of the oven and cooling on the window sill so that it would be ready in time for dessert after dinner :)

Leprechaun Trap Cake

No sooner had I put our cake on the table, set the trap with a mountain of gold coins and erected our 'come and get the gold' signage for our leprechaun, we had one climbing the ladder to steal our pot of gold!

Leprechaun Trap

But we were much to crafty for him! He fell straight into our trap...

Rainbow Cake

and we got both the gold and the cake *grin*.

Hope you had a fun St. Patrick's Day to!


Sunday, March 11, 2012


The Ring Leader

Did you remember to spring ahead this morning? I didn't! *grin*

Our day started with my usual lighting of the woodstoves, making sure everyone got breakfast, puttering around the kitchen tidying up, planning for lunch and today I popped on a pot of bones and veggies for chicken soup. Just before we reached lunch which was now past lunch I realized that I was truly running an hour behind. I had joked on my twitter page that I had been living in the past all morning but the truth of it was that I never caught up with the time today!

So I decided that I was not going to set my clocks ahead today since I simply just could not catch up!! That's right I had my own personal time zone for the entire day and tomorrow we'll catch up to the rest of you LOL. I swear sometimes it's a good thing we live in the sticks where we can march to the beat of our own drum *grin*.

Hand warmer

We've had quite the run of weather to with sun, rain and snow flurries and sometimes they were happening all at the same time. The temperature in the shade today was just above freezing so the kids had to do a lot of running and jumping to keep warm but when they realized that just wasn't working for them they came up with a new plan to help keep themselves warm....

Chicken warmers!

I bet you didn't know that chickens make great hand warmers *grin*. The kids would run into the pen, pick up the closest chicken, tucking their hands around their warm fluffy bodies and warmed up a bit. Plus the chickens just loved the extra attention :)

Would you like some soup?

In payment for providing warmth for their little hands my youngest two collected pine cones from the mugo pines in our front yard and blades of grass to create a soupy treat for the chickens. You've got to love their imaginations! The chickens weren't to keen on their treat but did pluck out the odd blade of grass for a nibble :)


Before my husband left for work on thursday he had been a busy boy demolishing my old clothesline stand. It had been getting pretty rickety and rotten and he knew that I really wanted a new one so he finally tore it down. I can't wait for my replacement stand. The warmer days are just around the corner and I can't wait to get the laundry out to air dry again. For now though the scrap lumber has been stuffed in the back of our horse trailer so we can haul it down the the bottom of our property for a big bonfire when he returns :)

Making Yogurt

I've been making a lot of homemade yogurt to. It is sooo good! I just have to remember to make sure I put it on in the evening so it's ready for our granola in the morning :)

How was your weekend?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Heart of our Home

Real Life

My kitchen, the heart of our home.... and if I'm completely real with you it's also a mess :)

Yup, it isn't always perfect around here. The sink is full of dirty dishes, I've covered most of the counters with stuff as I grind wheat and make bread, the little guy is raiding the utensil drawer for flippers and other tools to make playdough cookies with, there's playdough crumbles all over the carpet, and if you missed it there's a gingerbread cookie jar up in the top peaking out that just never made it away after christmas. And believe it or not this isn't even as messy as it got today! LOL.

Fresh Flour

I've been getting back into my breadmaking groove after taking a bit of a break and the wheat berries have been running through my nutrimill double time. Six cups of berries creates about seven cups of flour ready for baking bread, muffins, pita pockets, tortillas, cookies and more. Any extra flour left over is stored in a glass one gallon jar for later use.


Hard red spring wheat berries milled into soft fine flour with every part of the wheat's goodness still there.


My favorite bread recipe rising in the warmth of the preheating oven.


Lunch was a little late as we waited for my oldest son to come in from stacking wood in the woodshed but the aroma of fresh bread and the sight of giant sandwiches waiting for his arrival washed away any tiredness. Plus I made sure his was extra big :) This mama knows what makes her growing boy happy *grin*.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yarn Along ~ Cowl Love

A post of my current read and what is cast on my needles ~ Inspired by Ginny over at {Small Things}

Yarn along ~ Cowl

I'm a little late getting my yarn along posted this week but I couldn't pass up sharing how the cowl I was working on for my daughter turned out :)

This was seriously the easiest project to complete. It took me two evenings while watching tv to knit it up and I probably could have done it in one but I wanted to stretch it out a wee bit. If you can knit and yarn over then you've got this pattern licked with your eyes closed *grin*.

Yarn along ~ Cowl

My daughter just loves it :)

The soft acrylic yarn I chose is perfect for snuggling her nose into without any itchies and it matches her winter coat perfectly. You can find that pattern and all the yarn details on my ravelry page here. I did not block it like the pattern indicates so it kept its wavy appearance and also definitely kept it tighter for fitting her small neck. I think I'm going to have to make one in turquoise for myself!

I forgot to snap a photo of the book we are reading right now so I just have links to share but we have just finished up the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan for our homeschool book club and we all loved it. There is so much action and if your kids are into Egyptology they will thoroughly enjoy this book. This is the first book in the Kane Chronicles so we are looking forward to getting a copy of the second book from the library to find out what happens next :)

Hope you had fun knitting up a storm this week and I hope to get over to see just what you've got on your needles!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Notes From The Garden

Tomato Seedlings

All of my tomato seedlings I planted February 10th have finally sprouted and are really starting to take off. I was a little worried when only half of the seeds sprouted in the first couple of days after planting and even a week later many had not yet broken through the soil. My seeds are quite old but they all finally popped out of the dirt and their true leaves have appeared. In the next couple of days I'll get them transplanted into larger containers, burying their stems deeply so new roots can grow where the stem is now covered.

Garden March 5th

The last four inches of snow that fell last week has finally melted and I can get out into the garden and start digging again! I can't complain though. The freezing and thawing helps lift the soil and loosen all of the weeds making the job so much easier :) I'm about half way there. Little by little I'm getting it done *grin*.

Seedy Saturday

This weekend was Seedy Saturday and I found all sorts of goodies :)

There were loads of organic and gmo free seeds, mason bee cocoons and their houses, potted plants, fungi plugs, fruit and nut trees, seed potatoes, worm castings and bins, informational seminars and booths and so much more! I love seedy Saturday. I came home with new sprouting seeds, all my favorite salt spring island seeds, garlic heads for spring planting, organic seed potatoes, some really interesting magazines from the Certified Organic Association of BC and more.

Now I just have to map out my garden plan and figure out what I want to start next :)

If you're curious about what other gardeners are up to right now check out Ginny's garden journal link up and I'd love to know what you are planting, digging or dreaming of right now to *grin*.