Friday, December 19, 2008

to the lone star state + see you soon

they are as soft as they look :o) i'm tempted to make a blanket out of this wool, though i'd surely be cursing the whole long way

We're starting to wrap things up around here at the homestead and devon industry cottage...time to switch gears and attempt to relax a little :o) I do find that hard to do most of the time.

a very satisfying stack of dotty scarves - whew!

And before we can do any of that, we have loads to accomplish including getting a jump start on the rest of our laundry/mudroom/back entrance (are we really doing this Jared?), finishing up the Christmas presents I've been making, planning and packing for our flight/week away, getting Phylo ready for his stay at the 'mart, and seemingly a gazillion other things that surely can't all be accomplished in just a couple of days.

'when times are tough, stay close' gocco prints - in the shop in '09

'when times are tough, stay close', detail

I officially think we're a little nuts to be working on another house project right now, with it pouring rain (and much more on the way) and with so much else to do. There, I've said it - I would really like to ditch the projects, sleep in, and make pancakes. Pretty please??

Before signing out till the New Year (I may pop in before then...), here's just a few etsy faves to leave you with (it is Friday).

And thank you to everyone who purchased items from my shop in 2008 - you are so wonderful and I very much appreciate your support!!!

etsy faves of the week:

See you in 2009 :o)
xo, devon

Thursday, December 18, 2008

sweetest time of year

Literally. We did our part last night and whipped up a bounty of buttery, sugary treats - coconut/pecan, red sugar sprinkled, dark chocolate and choc. covered espresso bean thumbprints, and jimmy sprinkled 'pretzels'. It was fun to bake with Jared :o) We stayed up a bit late and are totally wiped today because it wasn't a great sleep night for the Bird (she never gives us a memo ahead of time so we can expect it).

But we must keep on keeping on :o) There's felting to do (in 40 degree weather, oh yay!), packages to wrap and ship, some major clean up around here, then packing and getting ready for our trip to Texas for Christmas (Jared's parents). Please send good thoughts our way...never flown with a baby before and I'm already nervous! It's insane how much stuff we have to bring!

Have a sugary sprinkled day with a chocolate chip on top :o)
xo, devon

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

joining the farm

Plums from Live Earth Farm

Yesterday we officially joined the Live Earth Farm CSA (consumer supported agriculture). I actually signed up on the wait list (yes, there is always a wait list now!) back in October. The farm is in Watsonville, and it's completely organic. I'm beyond excited!! :o) I'm happy too that I don't feel like I dragged Jared into this - he seems pretty cool about the whole thing. Basically it's $31/week for 33 weeks, plus a little more because we'll be getting a half dozen pastured eggs (much better than those supposed 'free range eggs') every week too. That means there'll be no more buying random produce at the grocery store - we'll be getting everything from Farmer Tom from Watsonville. It still seems pricey, no? The thing is, we've come to realize that cheap food isn't really all that cheap and paying more for good, organic, sustainably raised food is a huge step in the direction of taking responsibility for our resources.

What our fruits and veg will come in - we're getting the larger sized box on the right

I don't think I've mentioned this before but last August on our way to the beach we were driving through acres of farmland - lots and lots of strawberries. Strawberries - yum! - right?? We'd already heard how strawberries are super highly treated with pesticides and had been eating organic berries for a year plus (which look/smell/taste remarkably better). But then, as we were making our way down the last couple straights before the coast we saw them actually applying the pesticides! Well, we ended up driving right through their pesticides... There was a farm worker on a tractor, completely suited up in a haz-mat suit with a respirator and he was chugging along soaking the ripe strawberry fields. There were clouds of pesticide floating all over the field and across the road. It was SO gross. To think that we're expected to eat fruit that has been coated in a substance too dangerous to even expose your skin to is pretty ridiculous. I simply don't see why this is OK.
A pretty shot of the farm in Watsonville (all the farm/fruit pics are from the LEF website)

And because of this and other observations, we've decided it's better for us to buy organic whenever possible. And we're fortunate enough to have access to this CSA. It starts in April, with strawberries :o) - and leeks, and garlics, lettuces, etc., and runs through November where it'll finish with pumpkins, potatoes, winter squash, etc. They also provide tons of recipes, a newsletter with what's up on the farm, and some fun activities that I'm sure we'll look into now with our Bird. Too bad we have to wait till April!

The wood fired oven they built at the farm...we're planning one for our own backyard as well! Currently reading 'build your own earth oven' and 'the ultimate wood-fired oven book'.

Last night we were hit with pretty low temps and awoke to a frosty looking garden out our bedroom window. It's not felting weather, nor is it a good time to prime and paint doors, but I have both those things on my agenda. Hope that sun keeps on shining.

Our own little strawberry patch, coated with a sprinkling of frost this morning

Have a lovely day everyone :o)
xo, devon

ps: This morning while I was pouring coffee and making oatmeal, I turned around to find a panicked and quite upset Mbird with one of her wood toys stuck completely in her mouth!! I popped it out and gave her this little sun plush. Geez, now I see why nearly all toys need supervision with babies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

happy day

We had a rough-ish weekend...Miranda went on a sort of nursing strike, there was stormy cold weather (read: unmotivating for projects, etc., weather), and the time just seemed to slip away from us. Happily I got my scarf order done - Kaelee, your scarf is on its way! :o) And we managed to get to Lowe's to check out doors and windows for our laundry room reno.

But you should have seen us Sunday night...we had just gotten home from Lowe's/Whole Foods (WF's burritos are the best quick dinner! - way better than deliver pizza) and Miranda hadn't nursed for hours... I was a bit of a wreck about it at that point. I had held it together all day, but was starting to crack, and I sure was getting uncomfortable! I pumped while eating my burrito with one hand, and Jared scarfed his down (have you ever seen this guy eat??). Then we descended on Mbird like two real bird parents - shoving bottles and sippy cups and spoons into her mouth. She was SO hungry! We'd pull the sippy away and she'd flail her arms for more, more, more! She's never taken a bottle so it was quite the drawn out process...Jared sqeezing the sippy to squirt milk in her mouth, me spooning milk as carefully as possible with most of it dripping down her shirt. We just kept going & going until she settled down and wanted her toys again. We felt so much better knowing she had something in her stomach. I don't know exactly what pushed her into the 'strike' but it could be many things - teeth coming in, her recent immunizations, having just moved into her room for the first time on Saturday, me being gone for part of the day, really, too many things. She's been so much better today thank goodness, and hopefully the nursing will stay on track. I'm shootin' for a year, but days like the last two make it seem like a tall order!

Jared popped in today for lunch and to drop off a Home Depot haul of goods for the laundry room. A half hour lunch with Jared is like a shot of adrenaline you didn't know you needed :o) Mbird received countless tickles and 'barrel rolls' and Phylo got chased all over the backyard (and loved every second of it), and we unloaded 16 2x4 studs, and our future back door (single french blank - needs primer, paint, hardware, door jambs, and everything else needed to hang a door. No, we don't seem to do anything the easy way!!).

I generally think Mondays are pretty great most of the time - they have so much promise and I typically can squeeze a lot into the day (or so it seems). Speaking of, I better get to the finishing work on my scarf orders. They're not needle felting themselves unfortunately.

Here's a shot from last week with what I finally resorted to in order to get some work done:

Yes, that's a little bit of a pout. And it was a good 30 minutes of blissful felting to the sounds of the "rainforest" ;o)

xo, devon

Friday, December 12, 2008

tagged, plus etsy friday

'the tree climber' - detail of the print in my shop

I was tagged by Laura. Here are 7 random things about me:

1) I open and close all the curtains in the house every morning and evening. Phylo usually tags along and peeks out the windows, and nowadays I carry Mbird along with my routine, too. There's just something that feels right about opening and closing curtains at the beginning and end of a day.

2) I could happily live off fruit. I especially miss the fruit I grew up with in Panama - mangoes, roseapples, papaya, bananas, pineapple, monkey plums, guinups, oh my gosh my mouth is already watering and it's stinkin' December with no fruit around!! I think it's ironic that we bought a house with practically an orchard in the back. We had to lose the persimmon tree and a pear tree, but kept two apple trees (grafted with multiple varieties), a huge apricot tree, an orange tree, an avocado (that produces maybe 2 a year!), and a fig. We brought with us a lime, lemon, and dwarf peach tree. Oh, we have a very large cherry tree too - fabulous cherries!! Okay, enough about fruit - sorry.

3) As a kid I wanted to be many things 'when I grew up'. It started off as a 'little boy who climbs coconut trees' (obviously something I must have seen??), then a milkman (hmm), then a veterinarian (which stuck till early high school), then I wanted to major in creative writing and 'do something' with that, and finally in my senior year of high school while applying to colleges it struck me that I should pursue art. For some reason I had overlooked that I was good at it and enjoyed it and that there were several other professional artists in the family. Sort of a 'duh!' moment for me actually :o) When I got accepted into RISD, I fully committed - which now, thinking about it, I can't imagine not being an artist and making stuff.

4) My favorite colors of late are blue-green (not quite aqua and not quite turquoise, but with a bit of gray mixed in), chocolate brown, yellow ochre, and rusty barn red. I'm dreaming of painting our house with some combo of these colors.

5) My best friend from when I was 9 years old set me and Jared up during our senior year of high school. She let on that I may be interested in him while he was dropping her off after school at her house and I was standing on her doorstep (we lived next door to each other and only a block from school - why she needed a ride home I don't know...lazy). I saw Lucy turn to Jared and say something, then he looked at me with this stunned expression. I had a feeling what was going on and I'm sure I turned beet red. I remember thinking I'm going to kill you Lucy! But then it quickly became thanks Lucy!! :o) We've been together for over 12 years now. :o)

6) My mood is directly connected to the sun...when it's cloudy out I tend to be a grump, or at least less motivated.

7) I'm a huge NPR junkie! While working I have the radio on constantly, or I play podcasts from my computer. I'm sure Miranda will eventually find the 'off' button on my radio or will want to listen to other things, though I'm secretly hoping she likes it :o) I'm tagging these super folks:
miss mommy
the charlie
hash benedict
of paper & thread

The rules are basically:
1. Link to your tagger and post the rules
2. Post 7 random facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 friends at the end of your post and link to them (oops! i tagged 6...oh well)
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

OkAy...just a teensy quick etsy friday love for ya... :o)

Mohop cherry wedges (can you believe these shoes???)

xo, devon

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santas and Snowmen and Bears, Oh My!

image by emily shu via flickr

I've been taking long walks at dusk lately with Miranda and Phylo. It's a lovely time to be out for a walk - for many reasons. First, naps are over for the Bird and I'm sometimes out of ideas for entertainment - she loves being outside and on walks so it's perfect for her. Second, the resident neighborhood squirrels (and there are TONS of them) are mostly tucked away in their trees which means a much more peaceful walk. Poor Phylo's nose has been on high alert these days as it's the 'gathering' season (you wouldn't believe all the holes the squirrels have dug in my veggie beds and pots!). And after a while I get tired of all the looks from people thinking I'm abusing my dog as he erupts in high pitch yelps. I tell you, I have no more embarrasment bone left in me - Miranda can do whatever she wants - our lil' hound has already fulfilled it.

But what I'm loving these days is all the change in light - the darkening of the days (which I normally complain about), the gorgeous sunsets - lots of pink skies lately, and the growing number of houses that are all decked out in Christmas lights. Every evening there's another handful of houses to admire - some super pretty and well thought out, and others well, you know, they have great intentions! I'm typically not a fan of the big air inflated santas and other creatures (someone around here had a huge inflated turkey during Thanksgiving week!), but last night I saw a house with 3 huge figures that were doing their little air dance and thought Mbird would love to look at them.

The figures were sort of eerily bobbing up and down - they were probably 6' tall or more each. There was a Santa, a snowman, and a teddy bear type creature, and as they rose they would illuminate and you'd hear the soft whoosh of air push them upward. Then the light would fade and they'd bow toward the ground again. They were on different timing so there was quite a play of dancing and lighting up and whooshing sounds. I thought, too fun! - she'll love this! As we approached, Miranda started to take them in and stared at the big Santa as he stood up and filled with light and air, then flopped back over, then watched the snowman go next. It was so cute! About then was when I heard a strange non-whooshing sound - more like a soft grrrrrr.....! Then more grrrrrrr's....., and then I felt Phylo pressing his body against my leg. I looked down at him and all his fur was standing on end, his eyes intently focused on the huge bowing Santa in front of us. Grrrrrrrwoowooowooo!!! Grrrwooowooowooof!! The poor guy has apparently never seen a 6 foot tall air filled Santa before! It was hilarious...Miranda lost all interest in the lawn figures and just stared at Phylo as he began to dance nervously around, woofing, and growling, and looking at me all concerned. As we moved away from the house and toward home he continued to glance behind him, 'grrrhuff'!, hair still on end. I wonder if he thought the Santa was going to follow him home? :o)

So today is another felting work day for me...and Mbird just woke from a really short nap. I wonder how she'll feel about watching me felt all day while in the ergo or moby. I've got to try it at least. And I'd better finish this and go get her - she's still talking happily to her mobile and her bunny Aachen but it only lasts so long!

A lovely Thursday to you & hope you can get out for an early evening walk too - it's worth it! :o)
xo, devon

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

lots of dots...super soft dots

Just about to head out for MBird's 6 month check up and more dreaded immunizations...have a tiny moment to share some shop news.

I've been felting scarves again this year :o) It was sort of a love/hate thing for a while, but now for some reason I've been really enjoying making them. So, I'm offering made to order dotty scarves (from ever so luscious merino wool, and some with silk blended in) in my shop. They take between 1-2 weeks to send out (because ya never know when the Bird will nap and let me work. It's usually closer to one week though). And they are really quite lovely if I do say so myself :o) The price is especially yummy at only $40...who am I kidding, I need to ask more for these! Anyway, if you're interested head on over to my shop, pick one of the fab colors, and I'll make you a super gorgeous and wonderfully soft and warm scarf that every one will want to know where you got it from!!

Okey doke - enough shameless offering of my goods.
I'll be back later to share 6 random things about me - I was tagged by Laura of Creative Whimsies.
And naptime is just about over methinks.

Have a lovely day all :o)
xo, devon

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Half Year Birthday!

I can see why people go on about 6 month old babies...they are really fun :o) And funny, too. Our Bird is a delightful little being and we are eating up every minute. Happy 6 month birthday to you!!

After 6 months, here's what we see so far...

You're very observant and love to watch everything around you

You're very vocal (!) and laugh, squeal, blow bubbles, and pant

You're no lightweight! You're about 20 pounds and so tall - good thing your mama's strong!

You're physical & love being tossed in the air, tickled, and snuggled

You're very curious (and still nursing lying down on the bed because you're SO distractable and have to know where every little sound comes from...)

You let go of mama's hair when I ask you :o)

You're cuddly (hugs and more hugs - oh thank you!)

You're into animals (Phylo's not too happy about this, Sanguine surprisingly is & seems to really like you!)

You're mesmerized by movement (you can lay quietly for SO long just watching your straw Panama mobile). And you love to watch us working, or watch Phylo race around the garden - nothing seems to thrill you more :o)

You love to scratch things (you scratch your fingers on your sheets as you settle into sleep)

You're not as afraid of baths anymore, and riding in the car is a little better, too

Books make you SO very excited! When we show you books or read to you, you babble and blurb and flail your arms. You've done this since you were barely 3 months old

You love walks...we walk every day carrying you in the Ergo. You hold onto my arm or my fingers and you barely flinch when Phylo spouts off at the squirrels

Your first mimic was of Phylo yelping at squirrels - quite hilarious, and so fitting :o)

You're so special to us and we can't imagine life without you!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Friday! Etsy gift ideas for Christmas (or fun things just for you!)

So many lovely things on Etsy these are some of my favorites as of late, and a couple of beauties (like Whitney Smith's pottery below) that I've been ogling for a long time!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows from Whimsy and Spice
* unfortunately, they've temporarily closed shop because they received TOO many orders!*

I'd post more...lots to post about actually - my gocco prints came out amazing last night!, there's new fun stuff about our Bird, and some pics of original paintings coming together. But I have to get outside ASAP and work on scarf felting while Miranda is still sleeping. The sun is finally peeking out and I'm all cozied up in a sweater so the chill won't get to me. Besides, did you know that wet felting is actually quite physical?? Yep, you can really get some steam going.

Have a lovely Friday all and check back soon for the updated shop items and other goodies! :o)

xo, devon

Thursday, December 4, 2008

100 Millicents

Just got these cuties delivered from the printer and I love 'em! They're 'thank you' postcards for YOU when you purchase something from my shop :o) On the front is my 'Millicent in the Citrus Garden' print with my logo and the back carries an appreciative note. Shoot, you could even trim off my logo and frame little Millicent on his own - not that you would, but you could :o)

Now I'm off to clean up the laundry space (and do awfully huge loads of laundry...later), continue working on my new gocco print (check the shop soon - thinking of doing limited edition frameable postcards, and finishing some little pen & ink (luma dye - yummy) originals. Tomorrow I'm going headlong into dotty scarf felting (cross your fingers for more good naps from you know who!).

Have a lovely day of course!
xo, devon

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And what a week it was :o)

t was a totally lovely Thanksgiving day (and week) for us here - hope yours was memorable and marked with great times as well :o)

Jared's mom arrived Friday to help me out while Jared would be in Germany for work. Jared left Saturday morning. He got in a few last snuggles with the Bird before heading out.

Sandi and I had a fun few days on our own :o) She and Miranda warmed up to each other and began a neat little relationship. Sandi was always available for playtime, we went for long walks, and had a terrific afternoon in Palo Alto one day when I had to drop off product at a shop. The ride home from Palo Alto was another we'd probably rather forget!

On Wednesday Jared's dad arrived, then Jared! I missed him so much, it was such a relief that he was able to get back on time and not be delayed by the work project, or any airline/weather holdups. After happy hello's and hugs we got down to business and headed out to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods with lists in hand. Apparently we got the last turkey at TJ's! :o)

Here's some pics from the week...

We did lots of this:

Hanging around the kitchen doing 'stuff' on the iphone (I'm the only one who doesn't have one so I get to make fun of them and their unnatural appendage-like connection to the things).

And plenty of this:

Menu for the day was Turkey (roasted, with butter), oven roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, red potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, and sweet carrots), pecan cornbread stuffing, my special cranberry sauce, pickled watermelon (from Sandi - yum!), challah rolls, and for dessert pumpkin cream pie and chocolate pecan pie (to die for...).

We enjoyed lots of this:

And had funny moments like this:

We started some of this:

Wouldn't you like to lose a side of your house? It's actually our laundry room getting a lil' makeover. We moved the laundry hookups and plan to replace windows and the screen door with a french door. The open space you see in the pic is now (just freshly done before this blog post!) a solid wall - all framed out and ready for stucco on the outside, and all drywalled, primed, and ready for paint on the inside (during Mbird's first nap tomorrow hopefully). Doesn't every one tackle home improvement projects over Thanksgiving?? :o)

And ended our week with more to smile about than when it began:

Alas, it all has to come to an end right? It's back to work and such, but it's okay :o) I've got lots of fun things cooking for the shop and I've definitely got my hands full with Mbird and finishing the laundry room and getting started on scarf orders. And besides, Christmas break is right around the corner! :o)

xo, devon