Friday, July 29, 2011

It all started when....

How many times do we look back on our lives and think "It all started when..."? Well, I can already see that comment coming true in our lives and I'm excited at the possibilities...

It all started when....

My first interested came when my Grandpa passed away. I know that sounds sort of odd but I can remember all of my Uncles standing in the garage deciding who wanted what of his tools. A few of them took a tool that they remembered him using or something like that but then there was a lot that they all decided could just be gotten rid of. Even at seventeen, I remember feeling this urge to hold on to it, to try and carry on a tradition I had otherwise never had any interest in. I remember seeing his work bench with wood parts already cut out and in progress for some bird feeders... it still makes me sad at the thought that he left something unfinished...I've often thought about those bird feeders and how I should make one like it just for some more closure.... maybe to prove to myself that I did it...

I'm so glad that I spoke up that day, and asked to have his scroll saw. I still to this day don't know why I did and then went on to feel bad for years because it sat in a box being unused. It would sit for about 6 years until I met my husband. Now I think it's pretty cool to think that a grandpa I wish I could have known more and my husband that I adore, would come together to teach me how to do wood working. We both come from a long line of "makers" and now we are both learning more and more so that this work of art isn't lost on our generation and so that it gets passed on to another one.

Well, if you've been following me for very long at all, you know that I am big into making childrens' toys... puppets, play food, and in the recent years... wooden. I've dabbled with the scroll saw, somewhat enjoyed the band saw and now fallen in love with wood burning!! I've had one of those junky ones for a few years, and it has served it's purpose well however I've been feeling lately like I needed to step it up a bit.... enter THE ad in the paper... THE ad that would change my toy making forever! :)

I was actually going to this sale in hopes of finding some woodcarving tools for my husband . The ad said that they had wood working tools but I figured it was a long shot at best. DH is always teasing me about why can't I find him good deals at yard sales! The tools I tend to find at yard sales are usually either way over priced or completely worn out and not worth the money... But still, I keep trying... and boy am I glad I did!!!

The girls and I went to the sale and showed up to a carport and cover porch FULL of old men going thru table after table of misc tools... now I'm not completely helpless when it comes to tools, but this was so overwhelming and packed that I decided just to ask. And wouldn't you know, they had just sold their nice wood carving set complete in a nice carry box?! I could have just cried.... until they directed me to the corner of the porch and said they thought there was some more up there... so there I am, in a skirt with two little girls in tow weaving in and out of old farmers etc (we were getting some pretty funny looks) to go find these other tools... not only did I find a set of carving tools for my hubby but I also opened an old plastic case to find what I was pretty sure was a more professional wood burning tool!!!! I asked one of the other guys shopping there just to be sure and it was!!!!!!  I went up to the guys selling it to ask him a question and he was a bit hard of hearing... instead he answered back... I'll take $20 for it! I thought I was going to fall over as I gripped it a bit tighter! lol

And so my newest obsession, uh I mean adventure, in wood burning began!

These were my first attempt at making peg dolls... I made one for each of my girls and they love them!! Now I am hooked and have been crafting up a storm!

We are big fans of Anne of Green Gables so I had to make Anne and Gilbert! :)

My friends saw my postings on FB and have been making requests for custom orders too! What fun!!

I'm having fun with the new challenges and my list to make keeps growing and growing...

I later found out that the wood burner and other wood working tools that I bought, had been used by an old lady that passed away. I had the chance to go in her wood shop and see some of the projects she had made... they were amazing in details, the kind that take your breath away. She too left a few projects unfinished... but I have a sense of awe... at the idea that these tools went from one crafts woman to another... and I'm proud to keep these traditions going... both for a lady I never met and for a grandpa I dearly loved...

Traditions are priceless...

Another moment in the recent past that has left a last impression on me and gave me the courage to try my hand at wood burning came from one of my VERY favorite fellow bloggers, MamaRoots! It was her article in Rhythm of the Home that first game me the confidence to try... just try to create something as beautiful as hers... not that I will ever be that good... but I tried and I loved it!!!

And bit by bit I am learning and getting better!! :)

I am just loving the learning process involved in working on wooden toys. I came across this post and thought it was really great! So if you're interested in making wooden toys... let me be the first to say... JUST DO IT!! Take the leap... cast your fears of messing up away... and see where the adventure takes you!!!

Someday you'll be able to look back and say "It all started when..."

Friday, July 22, 2011

19 Books!! Enter now!!

I can't even begin to explain how giddy I am at the idea of winning this giveaway!!

Valerie over at Jump into a Book is having a giveaway of 19 (yes you are reading that right!!) Elsa Beskow books!!!!

We have only read them from the library and absolutely love them!!! My girls would flip to actually have them in our school room!!! I'm crossing my fingers BIG TIME!!! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Surviving the school year...

I don't know about you but I LOVE school supplies! There is just something great about having that new box of unused crayons or the notebooks blank and ready for the unknown... Yeah, I know, I've thought about this way too much... I actually get giddy around this time of year, although it seems like the supplies are coming out earlier and earlier every year.

My advice for surviving the school year with ease?

Start early!!

Every year I tend to wait till school is in full swing... if you wait that long you are too late. There won't be any fun notebooks left or good deals on glue sticks (and everyone knows that those are golden in our house!) so my advice to you is to start early... the stores are all getting out those cardboard bins of crayons and pens and glue sticks and right now they have them dirt cheap or even free with great coupons!! All that creative goodness.... go get some! :)

While you are at it, check out MasterLock on Facebook!!

I wrote this blog to enter a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lavender fields

Well, once again we have been off on more adventures than I can keep up with writing about! Perhaps some day I will get caught up with sharing them with you! Our next round of family, AKA Grandma, arrived and we were off again exploring!! :)

This week found us at our first soccar game (yes I'm officially a soccar mom!), the farmers market and a local lavender festival too!!

Just a short drive from the nearest town, you will find the sweetest little lavender farm Mountain Meadow. From what I understand, this is only the second year of doing this festival and it was small but not too small and not so crowded (you know how I am about those!) that you couldn't enjoy it! :)

They had an antique car show....

 Crafts for the kids to make...

And then of course... there was lavender!!! :)

It was a simple outing, nothing flashy but we so enjoyed it!! After sampling the lavender icecream and lavender lace cookies... we came home with some lavender ready to bake with and two pots ready to plant!! I see more lavender goodness in our future don't you!? :)

PhotobucketIt's another week and another chance to mingle!! Stop by Mingle Monday and see what new blogs you discover!! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Calender confusion

Is it true? Can it be? Is it really July ALREADY?! Where did June go? It feels as tho it just started and we had so much to do... and here I go waking up and it's already July!!! Is anyone else feeling  this summer flying by? I guess this is a good time to reflect on what we did in June, enjoy the memories and move on to another month full of fun and family!! :)

On one of the few sunny days we've had, we went exploring in the "big city"....

... and realized why we like living in the country! lol I'm so glad we had family in that wanted to see the sites because I don't know if we would have explored like this if they hadn't been here! Altho we enjoyed seeing something new, we realized it's just not our scene...

So we found a slower pace adventure....

and had THE MOST AMAZING meal I think I've ever had!!

And decided that this is the best way to see the big city....

from a distance! lol

No really, we did have fun exploring and even got to find THE COOLEST little toy store... the girls were in heaven and I must admit, I found it to be pure bliss too! :) As we were fighting our way thru traffic to get to the market, I spotted this sign...

.... and just knew we had to make it back to that little store!! While we waited to meet back up with our family, the girls and I snuck off ...

And proceeded to just giggle our way thru the store, yes... me included! lol The toys in that store were exactly the kind of things I want my girls to play with. Well made and open ended for the most part. This display just wowed us all and we just had to add some of this food to our toy kitchen! (As if we didn't already have enough!) Plan Toys is one of my very favorite but until now I've only gotten to see their toys online! Seeing quality toys was such a kick!

When all was said and done, we came away with a small bag of treasured wooden fruit, some watercolor pencils and an adorable eraser for our new chalk board! If you ever find yourself in downtown Seattle, this little store is a true gem....and probably the closest thing to Mr Magorium's that you are ever going to find!! And if you don't know who Mr Magorium is... go... right now... follow the link to Amazon and buy it!!! It is one of the best movies I have EVER seen!! Really... it's a must!!! :)

I have been hearing about Pikes Market for who knows how long and couldn't wait to see them throwing the fish (why? I'm not really sure, it just seemed cool!)

It was cool to see once, but man was that place packed!! After walking thru all that mess of people I was SOO ready to retreat back to the car!! lol That is... until I saw this....

I tried to get the whole front of the store in the picture but was having trouble with crowds etc. This little joy of a store is known as Market Spice and for me... made it worth the walk thru that mass insanity of people crowded into the market! lol The girls and hubby seemed to enjoy it just as much as I did! We got to look thru all the tea pots and coffee goodness and then we hit the motherload! The girls were just giddy at the wall of gallon + jars full of teas~ Oh how I wish I had taken a picture of that!! Really, it was just a little bit of heaven and a much needed calm after all those people! Did I mention there were alot of people in the market that day? lol Yeah, I think we fit in to the country life just fine! ;) So... after much deciding, we came away with a brown bag full of a sampling of teas and a few fun new spices to try too. Hubby picked out "Gunpowder"  ( go figure) and was disappointed... however the girls and I picked out "Raspberry splash" and "Blue berry delight" that were really yummy! I even got a special tea called "Seattle Surpise" in hopes of taking part of another fun summer swap coming up ( more on that later). And our favorite of all was the "Princess Grey"... it was SOO good and a new favorite in our house! I'll be ordering it in bulk this winter! :) And you can too!!!

Wow! I knew we were busy in July but holy cow were we busy!! All of the exploring in this post came from just one bunch of family visiting!! lol A week later we got another round of family in and the week after that we got more!! lol... I think I'm going to have to break this down into another post before you lose all interest in reading more! :)

At least now I know why the month is a blur... July isn't looking much calender is a mess of activities and rescheduling already but I wouldn't have it any other way!

How is your summer going?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't you just love finding a new favorite blog? Or "meeting" someone on a blog that you just know you cold be friends with? Well today is your lucky day then!! Stop by Take It From Me and start meeting of new friends! :)