m loads the kiln at work on wednesdays. he's gone long hours and i miss him so. tonight he got out a little bit early and i started pouring the wine and prepping the fritatta for dinner. but now it's more than two hours later...we decided to forego dinner to work in the studio. we're suckers for getting stuff done.
we sat down to do our february playlist for you all. we entertain quite a bit. we love company. we love cooking. we love talking. we love it all. and we love putting together the perfect little playlist for when we have people over. this playlist was what we would play during dinner.
i found Rdio.com today and i am in love. it's the most perfect (and easiest!) way to share music with you all. so here's our playlist! (subscribe to hear the whole thing...it's wicked easy!)
mark and i goof around late at night in the studio. we're working on a whole bunch of ukulele duets (can't wait until he breaks out his harmonicas and plays with me...he's goooood!).
this is one of my favorite songs. this was a practice take, but we thought it was so funny that we didn't want to change a thing. we're not great, but we have fun. i put it on the blog's facebook page first, and it was decided it MUST go up on the blog. so here it is...our silliness...
One of her favorite songs. She is silly. I love the bouncing foot! Happy Tuesday!
It was a hot one. A really hot one. And yesterday was hot too.
I swam in the ocean three times yesterday (mind you, we live in Maine and ocean water is freezing) and today we packed up dinner and headed to the lake for a picnic and a dip.
We spent the day in our bathing suits, going between the shade in the backyard with glasses of iced tea and inside where the air seemed just a little bit cooler. The little one plucked away on her ukulele, serenading me during my snack time clean up. We picked fresh herbs from the garden to make a frittata for lunch, served over our greens and some homemade dressing. We ate outside on the picnic table under the shade of the umbrella.
Tonight we retreated to the lake, with my bag packed full of bucheron, salmon, and peas from the garden. The little one almost learned to swim, we played water tag, and watched the clouds roll in.
We returned home for an ice cream cone and the excitement of a thunderstorm. I rushed to get the laundry in, the chickens settled, and the yard toys picked up from a day of play. The little one fell asleep in an exhausted, hot heap on the bed with the lightning flickering around her.
It was a good day. Tomorrow another adventure will be underway! How was your Wednesday?
Oh, and if any of you are wondering how to get the shape of the giant beach bag, just go to my tutorial page here and follow the corner directions for the "everything bag". Easy peasy!
Today we set to work making our spring nature table. We had to move it from its original location because Kiwi took over the ledge (who can blame her?!). So we nestled it right on top of the boxes in the play corner. We cut some forsythia branches and brought them inside to watch them bloom. Then we made some wee felted eggs and a little paper basket for them to go in. A bigger basket for the little one will follow later this week! I'm sure more spring treasures will be added in weeks to come, but we were limited on this chilly, rainy, and snowy day with nature's treasures.
We spent the morning doing our baking. Up until now, we've been baking something different on each baking day. I wanted to simplify the whole process even more and create more of a familiar rhythm too. I decided baking a loaf of bread each baking day would be a familiar routine, with tasty results! Sasa had a great recipe for bread that we tried last week, but we've been on the hunt for something a little squishier. So I turned to Carol Fenster and found a great French bread recipe. I mixed up a big container of gluten-free flour mix, and the little one and I set to work this morning. The verdict? Soft and squishy and amazingly good. Almost both loaves are gone already!
And a day wouldn't be complete without a concert from the little one. The above is her playing at a "restaurant." She has c.d.'s for sale as well. (See the white thing on top of her case? A handmade c.d. cover!) Oh, and even though she's playing "old time fiddle music" that's still a violin she's holding. "Not a fiddle, mama!" Oh okay, sweet one. Whatever you say.
Oh, the excitement! Ever since her buddy came over with a violin two months ago, the little one has literally begged me non-stop for her own. She even picked up her ukulele and one of my knitting needles and pretended to play. She has played that ukulele/violin for two months now, everyday. I thought maybe the interest would begin to wane, but oh no...she's become more insistent. After seeing some other little ones put on a concert recently it was all she would talk about. So I searched and searched and luckily the universe provided us with a teensy tiny violin just her size. And a teacher to go with it.
Six days before we were scheduled for the violin pick-up and first lesson, she woke Sasa and I up twice in the middle of the night asking for it. We then made a handy dandy violin calendar so she could mark off the days until it was the big day.
So today was finally the big day. We celebrated, we had a "Happy Violin Day!" breakfast. We dressed extra special for our violin lesson. (She wanted me to make her a "violin shirt and pants" this morning an hour before we had to leave!) And we told everyone in town (for the fiftythousandthtime) that we were going to get her violin.
And she ROCKS it. Seriously. I mean, she had a good grip on the uke, but honestly...it's like she's played before. She carried it around with her all day: to the bookshop, to the bank, to the co-op, outside to play, upstairs to bed. She won't let it out of her sight.
The zipper on the case is broken, so we made some fancy bands to put around the ends to hold it closed. (Purple, of course.) Next violin craft on the list? A lesson bag for her music books! And a violin shirt and pants I suppose...
What an exciting adventure this violin thing is! I'm sure you'll be seeing more soon!
We had another full day today. January and February are always the months where I take it easy, not taking on too much, slowing down, and just settling into home and sinking in to the small moments of our day which are so very ordinary, but so very special. These next two months are really going to be crazy. With house renovations officially in full swing (final kitchen color here), walls being knocked down, carpets and linoleum being ripped up, and finding myself in a crazy I really need to be out thrifting mood means that my normal down months will be packed tight. And that's okay! There's still time to enjoy the small moments, and between yesterday and today there have been so many!
Sunny days just warm enough to hang clothes on the line. Nothing makes me happier than hanging clothes on the line, especially when the colors just pop against the snow!
Morning baths in the sink. Gotta love it! I used to do this all the time as a kid. Add a tea set to the mix and you have entertainment for over an hour.
Trips to the yarn store. The Noro was chosen for that sweater vest I keep talking about, and the little one picked out the purple Peace Fleece for a sweater coat to match Purple Violet's. Too cute! I can't wait to get started.
And the little one has discovered a new passion. She has been loving the violin ever since we took her to a little string concert a couple of months ago. She turned her Ukulele and magic wand into a violin and bow today. She played the "violin" for hours, imitating perfectly the other musicians she saw playing. She even brought it in the car and into the co-op, performing for cans of tuna and the cheese case, humming a little tune as her bow gently passed over the strings. Too cute for words. It made me so happy to see her so passionate about something. She seemed in her element..like she had done this so many times before. I can't wait to see where this takes her!
I hope you all have a happy weekend! We're off on an adventure tomorrow. See you soon!
It seems like it has been months since I was able to play the piano. I missed it so much. I found an old upright in great condition on Craigslist and went down to play it. I fell in love with it, so a week later we picked it up and brought it home! It seems like it was made for this house. I've been having a blast practicing and I look forward to teaching again soon.
And my winter goal of learning the guitar is going quite well. I think I may even be able to sing and play at the next open mic night in February! (Maybe I'll even put a video up on YouTube!)
I hope you're all enjoying the weekend. We're heading out for some snowshoeing!
Pancakes and pianos? Yes, that's all I've got this Monday morning. It's that time when we're deep in mid-winter: the light is lacking, the photographs feel uninspired due to the lack of light, there isn't a whole lot of outdoor exploring, our daily routine is becoming a tad mundane, and well, it's cold and it's Maine in late January. But nevertheless, things have indeed been going on here. Perhaps I just feel they aren't "blog worthy." So if this post comes across as a bit of hodgepodge, let's just roll with it, okay?
You can bet that on at least one of the weekend mornings blueberry pancakes will make an appearance. The little one knows exactly what needs to be done to get these pancakes on the table and is always willing to help. She does the stirring, the blueberry eating, the batter testing, and always tries the first pancake. Since we are gluten/dairy/egg-free, we use this mix. It has cultured buttermilk in it, but the little one seems to tolerate it fine. It calls for eggs, so we use this egg replacer.
On Saturday we made a trip to our favorite local bookstore and found this fabulous wooden piano on sale. The little one has taken to climbing up on the real piano and stomping on the keyboard with her feet. So we thought this "Schroeder-sized" piano would keep her attention diverted. She adores it.
She either has to have that fancy black shoe on the top, or a book of music which she thumbs through until she finds just the right piece to "play." I really don't think I've ever mentioned her intense love of music. I would even go as far as saying it's in her soul. Anything that produces a beat will get her up and moving. She started conducting out of the blue when she was 10 months old. She'd never seen anyone do it before. Yesterday she successfully sang "Twinkle, twinkle" never missing a pitch. Of course, words were not included, just some cute humming. But boy, we were so proud. I wouldn't be surprised if she figured it out on this little piano before too long.
And I have to leave you with this gorgeous sunset from last night. Isn't it amazing?! The entire sky was a mass of pink and orange. So very beautiful.