Just dropping in for a minute...I wanted to let you know that I would be taking a few days off from blogging. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, burned-out, and spread too thin (which always happens this time of year)...lots going on here this week at Front Forty Farm, and I feel that I need to really focus on my kids, my husband, and my home. I hope to be back next week feeling refreshed and ready to start sharing again. I can't wait to show you some projects I have recently finished. Take care, have a lovely week, and see you Monday!
February 28, 2014
I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a 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."
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."
Leave a link to your "moment" at SouleMama
February 26, 2014
As part of my late-winter-get-ready-for-spring purging, I tackled my five littlest ones' closet. They all share one closet that was built into our new laundry room...rods for hanging things on one side and shelves on the other. They each have one shelf and a basket for socks and underwear. Everything five little ones need for clothing is all in one closet in the same room as the washer and dryer. I love our new system, and it really helps me keep track of the little ones' clothes and keep them to a minimum. Over the course of the winter, though, they have outgrown quite a few items, so I decided it was a good time to pass on what we didn't need and make a few things that we do need. After cleaning out the closest, I found that Little #9 only had one pair of pants that still fit her. Although she loves to wear dresses, it's nice to have an extra warm layer to tuck under them, especially on chilly days like today. I pulled out my favorite pants pattern, Anna Maria Horner's reversible Quick Change Trousers, found in Handmade Beginnings. Here are three I made for one of my little men a while ago.
I love the pink fabric with white elephants. I purchased it quite a while ago on etsy and have been saving it for just the right project...the elephants are Little #9's favorite too. The butterfly fabric was a remnant from a dress made for Little #6 a few years ago. The pants sewed up quickly, both were done in two hours...I like projects like that these days. Little #9 couldn't wait to wear them and had to embellish with a tutu and a big flower in her hair.
The next items on my list of sewing are a few spring dresses and tops. I have been drooling over the Citronille patterns, especially Marie, Suzanne, Selma, and Solveig. I love the simple, classic lines of these French patterns, and the possibilities are really quite endless. I may just have to take the plunge and order a few.
Linking up with Nicole.
February 24, 2014
King of the Hill...does anyone remember playing it as a kid?
Snow, snow everywhere. We are buried in it. Earlier this season I had placed a bench under my bird feeder for standing on when I filled it, and it is completely buried. I filled my bird feeder this past weekend, and the top of the bench was level with the snow. With so much snow everywhere it's hard to imagine working my hands into the warm garden soil or walking across the green grass in bare feet. Oh, the lovely days of summer and the tasty garden greens...
After surviving on stored root vegetables all winter long, our ancestors, here in the north, craved the leafy greens of spring. They would harvest the tender, young dandelions that sprouted up everywhere almost as soon as the snow melted. Dandelion greens served with butter, salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar was a staple of our spring diet when I was growing up, and my mother still harvests those bitter greens that sprout up around her yard each spring. What I wouldn't give for a big bowl of dandelion greens right now!
I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was filled with the usual...work on the addition, a little more decluttering, an emergency run for hay, knitting, game playing, feasting on stacks of pancakes, and, of course, Downton Abbey.
My daughter was my photographer again. She was in the mood for taking photos this past weekend, and she captured a number of great moments. I had such a laugh when I saw the ones of the cats battling for the coveted spot on top of the snow bank...I just couldn't resist sharing them. If you would like, you can check out my daughter's photography page here.
February 21, 2014
Instead of sharing one "moment" this week, I thought it would be nice to share my daughter's photos of her walk through the woods after one of our snowstorms. Intrigued by the lichens found on the trees, she compared them to snowflakes, each having their own unique shape and design. I love how she found beauty in something so common and overlooked.
|Rabbit Tracks in the Snow|
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
February 19, 2014
Construction has begun again on the addition. We have had to take it in phases. The first phase, consisting of a laundry/sewing room, library, and two bedrooms on the second floor, is complete. The next phase is to finish two more loft bedrooms, which is actually "third" floor attic space that is being converted to bedrooms. The final phase will be the addition of a mud room and a small porch. Last winter as Hubby was framing one of the upstairs bedrooms in the addition, the idea came to him to break into the existing attic and create space for two more bedrooms. We spent an entire day cleaning out the attic, purging things that we should have gotten rid of years ago. It felt good to get rid of an entire room's worth of junk in preparation of turning that unused space into something useful. One room is in the attic space of the new addition, and the other room is in the attic space of the existing house. They are small with little or no wall space, cozy, tucked up high on the third floor, under the eaves...a perfect getaway for teenagers. Hubby has a week home with us, so he has been working on putting tongue and groove pine on the ceilings, giving a comfortable, cabin-like coziness to these two rooms. I'm so excited about putting unused, possibly wasted space, to good use. Although the rooms are tiny, they will give my teenage daughters a place to call their own, a place they can retreat to. Being a member of a very large family is a blessing and has its many advantages, but, at times, one does need an escape. Going from cramming twelve people into three, rather small bedrooms to having seven bedrooms is quite a luxury. The kids have learned tolerance from the closeness of sharing a room with three sometimes four other siblings, and I am grateful for that, but I will gladly accept the blessing of added space.
I found some lovely inspiration rooms that I have pinned to one of my boards on Pinterest, and I wanted to share them with you, but I wasn't sure if I could post them here on my blog (copyright issues...not sure how that all works yet). I'll give you the links instead. One of our rooms has skylights in the ceiling, like this inspiration room (just not nearly as big). How soothing to lie in bed and gaze up at the stars!
The second room we are building is similar to this inspiration room. I love the wood on the wall around the window and the simple, vintage, cabin-like feel to it, with one window between the eaves and very short knee walls, and how would you like to wake up on a snow day in either this room or this one?!? I think our reclaimed space will be perfect for giving two of our children some space of their own. I look forward to seeing how they personalize each space.
February 17, 2014
With two storms last week, another coming tomorrow, and sleet and rain expected for the end of the week, we are really experiencing winter's longevity. Although we are all longing for signs of spring, we've decided we can't beat it, so we might as well accept it. We hunkered in, yet again, and busied ourselves with the cozy things of winter.
Although my new sewing room is almost completely set up, my fabric is still in boxes in the basement, making working on new sewing projects a bit difficult. I have some ideas for spring sewing swimming around in my head, waiting to be implemented, so I decided it was time to tackle those boxes. Almost a year ago I had purchased these, after seeing this idea of folding my fabric into neat little bundles and storing in a filing cabinet for easy viewing and access. I grabbed a large box of fabric, settled down in front of the wood stove with a cup of tea, and started folding. Before long the little ones came in to see what I was doing. They had fun playing with the scraps that I set aside for quilt making, and Little #6 even had a lesson in sewing, making her first dress for Buttercup, her stuffed horse.
I worked on my Scroll Lace scarf and gave Little #5 and #6 their first knitting lessons. Little #6 still has a ways to go; her little fingers are so tiny, but Little #5 picked it up very quickly. He chose a chunky brown I had in my scarp basket and wants to make a scarf for himself. He diligently worked on it for a couple of hours last night while the rest of us watched the Olympics, and he wanted to work on it again as soon as he woke up. Since we are taking a week off from our studies, he will have plenty of time to knit this week.
Hubby and I also started a bit of de-cluttering. I recently started reading Clutterfree with Kids, and we have been inspired to clean out the house, sheds and barns. Although I am a very organized person and have tried to keep the clutter to a minimum, I realized that so much of my time was spent organizing, reorganizing, and reorganizing again...over and over again. I would make or purchase storage units, containers, baskets, and shelves thinking that would be the end of it; my clutter was organized; I wouldn't have to deal with that "stuff" again, but no...that is not how it works at all. It's a constant battle of cleaning and organizing. After talking with Hubby, we have both decided we want to free our lives of the clutter of material things, which will mean less trips to thrift stores and goodwill, getting rid of things that may be a bit difficult to part with, and changing our focus. We aren't going to extremes...I wouldn't say that we are even going to be considered "minimalists", we just want to take a look at what we have, get rid of what we don't need, and be mindful of what we purchase or bring back into the house. We both want to be free of the constant cleaning and organizing...in the house and in the barns...and we want to focus on what is important. Hubby cleaned out his drawers and closet (this was actually one of his Valentine's gifts to me) and was able to donate four garbage bags full to the local thrift store. I also contributed a couple of bags by getting rid of magazines that I thought I would read again (yeah, right) and a number of toys. We are already feeling lighter. It feels good to take advantage of the time inside and get things in order, so that in a few months we can move freely into my favorite part of homesteading, gardening.
I hope you all had a great weekend, and to those that are snowed in, I hope you are able to find ways to embrace the rest of this winter season.