Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kissy Kissy

I know it's a lot of pictures of Claire... but seriously! I mean, with a pucker like that how could I not post all of them? And did you see that sweet little wrinkled nose? Oh my.
Oh and in the latest news... She has a tooth! Just one pearly white (sharp!) tooth.
And now folks, I'm off to kiss my baby!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday ~ a new doll and more wooden toys

Here are a few of the toys I have been working on over the past week when the kids are in bed :-). My stock of handmade Christmas presents for our Handmade Holiday is growing!

This little Waldorf inspired doll has her under things made, but she still needs a dress! (I put the pint jar in the picture for size comparison...) I was going to give her purple or black eyes, but Rodrigo thought she should have aqua colored eyes to match some tiny aqua colored highlights in her woolly hair. I just love her huge ponytails with her big white bows.  I hadn't really planned on making Claire another baby doll... but once I had made her tiny head I couldn't stop myself, it just felt right to make her! Maybe I'll find a new home for her, but she is really cute... hmm...

Her lacy undies!

Playing hide-n-seek!

Mama and Baby Skunks... aren't they adorable!!! So far they are my very favorite wooden animal I've made! I used a wood burner to outline the details then I painted them with water based non toxic paints.

 A trio of hedgehogs, with wood burnt details and lightly painted. All of my wooden toys are sealed with a handmade organic beeswax wood sealer, made from local beeswax and organic cold pressed coconut oil.

 Four friendly snakes...

I have lots more wooden toys drawn up and ready to make... I am having such a great time doing this! I think everyone on my list just might need little wooden toys or Waldorf dolls for Christmas, don't you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our backyard barnyard... or, they multiply like rabbits!

Yesterday I mentioned that we live in a very understanding neighborhood. When we moved to the United States from Guatemala a few years back and started looking for a house to buy, the one thing I knew that was important to me was finding a place that had no restrictions against things like having a clothesline to hang out our wash.
But especially important to me was NO Restrictions against Chickens! This year we have lots of chickens! 24 chickens to be exact! I love my little flock.  Most of the time they have free run of our entire backyard. Any time they see me walking through the yard they all flock around me and follow me everywhere, hoping for a handout!

(This is our little tiny bantam rooster... isn't he a doll? He is smaller than all of the hens, even the other bantams!)
Fluffy chicken butts! I love fluffy chicken butts!

Last week we went to the Tennessee Valley Fair. We saw lots of farm animals that I wanted to bring home to live in our backyard. But while my neighbors don't mind the chickens running around our yard (or the farm fresh eggs we share with them) they might not be too thrilled with a flock of sheep or a herd of goats out there! Those kinds of animals will have to wait until we have our farm. (soon... I keep telling myself...soon!)

But I've always loved the rabbit show there. After we came home from the fair the first day I told my husband that I wanted to get a pet rabbit. He suggested that I put an ad on craigslist saying that if someone had a pet bunny that they no longer were able to care for we would take it in. Well, less than 24 hours later this is what we had...
and this...
and these three adorable bunnies that someone abandoned behind an office building where brought to us as well...

And lastly the one bunny my darling husband bought for me the last day we went there... she's a Jersey Wooly Rabbit. I had been wanting a wool rabbit for a while now, and he found her there and bought her for me! She is such a sweety! (Someday I am going to learn how to spin and knit... but for now I'll just harvest her fur when it's ready and let someone else spin it)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This last day of Summer...

On this the last "official" day of summer my two youngest boys decided to have an impromptu pool party in an impossibly small kiddie pool! The weather here has been hot, hot, HOT for the past week. With more hot  weather in the forecast for the next week. But that lovely cool Autumn weather is on it's way. And for now we are enjoying this last bit of Indian Summer here in the foothills of East Tennessee.

It has been a good Summer. We have played, hiked, swam, picnicked, relaxed, worked together, explored, and created all summer long. We are ready to embrace the changes that the Autumn will bring to our home, though so many of the things that define our family remain the same throughout the passing seasons. We have begun school again during the past month, Fall foods have begun to make an appearance in our diet, my kitchen counter (and floor) is crowded with yummy pumpkins and squashes. We are looking forward to going camping in the mountains when the woods are all gold and red and orange, and to attending the many Fall Festivals this area is famous for in the coming months.

We have been making plans and working towards selling our home (in a very understanding neighborhood :-) more on that tomorrow!) so that we can find ourselves a "real" farm. Things are going very slowly in that direction, but things often must move more slowly in a family with very young children. Having a baby again in our family is so wonderful, but it is a big adjustment from those days when it was just the boys. Everything takes a bit longer to complete.

All said we are happily bidding farewell to Summer and eagerly anticipating the coming of Autumn!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WIP ~ Toys for Baby ~ Handmade Holiday

I've been working on Claire's little Waldorf inspired baby doll this weekend. I am pleased with how she is turning out so far. She is a wee, little thing measuring only 9 inches (23 cm) tall, because she is the first baby doll for my wee, little girl. I still have to figure out how I want her hair. Since I've never made a Waldorf doll like this before I've been doing lots of research on the internet trying to figure out how it needs to be done! I am trying to decide whether the doll needs hair that looks something like Claire's hair in color and possibly texture, or if I should try to do something totally different. I was given some lovely black curly wool (not yarn... it's actual sheep's ringlets!)  but I can't figure out how to hook them into the doll's head. Plus they are deep, shiny black... not at all like Claire's soft light brown wispy curls. Or I have another pretty wool yarn that has light brown, pink, auburn, and orange shades running through it. It looks like something I would have loved for my doll's hair when I was a little girl... hmmm, choices! Oh and I have been looking locally for a nice soft brown wool yarn that matches Claire's hair and I've yet to find one I really liked, so that option is totally dependant on me actually finding something that I like enough to buy.

I've also been busy drawing up some little wooden animal designs. Rodrigo helps me sometimes in the evenings to make them. I cut them out on the scroll saw and he sands them. I really like the little wooden hen (pictured with the baby doll) and we have a whole flock of chicks for her in the works! I've also mixed up a nice beeswax polish to finish them after they are painted with non-toxic paints and/or enhanced with wood burning.
Here is a herd of hedgehogs hanging out on the sander, waiting to be finished.

I'll try to start some of my projects for the boys' Christmas presents this week, and I'll post about them next weekend (hopefully). I have so many ideas! My Christmas-Idea Binder is getting more and more full!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Tennessee Vally Fair

One of the yearly traditions that really marks the changing of seasons and the coming of Autumn for our family is the Tennessee Valley Fair.
We love to watch the livestock shows. The careful preparation that goes into getting their animals ready...
My favorite contestant was this little Mennonite girl, her lamb was nearly bigger than she was! But she handled him so well. We could tell she really loved him and had worked a lot with him, he followed her lead perfectly and did every thing she asked.

Claire enjoying the sheep show with her Daddy. Maybe someday we'll watch her in the show ring!
Matthew and Ethan had a chance to try milking a cow...

Then we visited the petting zoo... I loved these little piglets! So cute!!! If only they would stay that tiny! Ethan was letting them nibble on his finger.
Claire loved the donkey. She wanted to stay there and pet her all afternoon! She giggled and squealed every time the donkey touched her fingers. The donkey seemed to really enjoy the attention as well coming close so Claire would rub her velvety nose.

Logan was thrilled to see Emus there. Ever since he was little, he has talked about getting emus one day. He still insists that as soon as we get our farm, he wants to save up and buy himself some!

Of course, no trip to the fair would be complete without riding a few of the rides on the Midway. :-)
A giant fun-house Kaleidoscope...

My brave baby boy rode this all by himself!

Up! Up! and Away!!!
The three musketeers, I love watching them enjoy doing all sorts of things together! Sibling love and loyalty is very important to us! We try to always encourage our kids to be each other's best friends. After all, friends are wonderful, but they may come and go throughout your life... a brother is forever!

What a great day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

18th Century Trade Faire

Every year we try to attend the 18th Century Trade Faire at Fort Loudon. This year we went on Sunday afternoon and got to wander through the vendor's stalls and  get a glimpse of what 18th century life must have been like in the British fort during the French and Indian war.

I especially enjoy seeing entire families taking part in the reenactment. Many of them are fellow homeschoolers, who spend at least one weekend a month reenacting 18th century life at the fort, or travelling to join other 18th century Faires. I'd love to join in the fun... I wonder if I can convince Rodrigo to play along? Hmm... would he rather be an English or Scottish soldier, a native American... or I wonder what other part he could play? I don't think many Guatemalans were involved during that conflict ;-) The boys have told me many times how they would love to dress up and go "camp out" with all of the other families. So would I! But mostly I think it's because I could dress up to my heart's content, plus I really do love history. It's kinda my thing.

Check out this adorable little native American!
A very talented pair of jugglers. They are brothers who travel from faire to faire preforming for a living! Their sticks are on fire, but it's hard to see it on all of them in the picture.
Matthew and Ethan really enjoyed the show!

While we were exploring the fort I rounded the corner and found Ethan perched atop a cannon in deep contemplation.

Maybe next year we can participate, but even if we only join in the fun as spectators I can't wait until next time!
Related Posts with Thumbnails