Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Art

Summer Journal:  Keeping it short and sweet for this busy season....

I've been trying to encourage a bit more art here, particularly for the oldest child, as its something he always enjoys, but rarely chooses to do on his own.  Sometimes just putting out the art supplies are all they need, other times it takes me sitting down and doing a project myself to inspire them (will have to remember this when it comes to writing!).  
                     Zinnia, acrylic on canvas, by Juniper

   Green, acrylic on canvas, Kale   (doesn't this totally look like trees against sky?)  

                       "finish the picture project"  Warren Buffet, by Jasmine (and the New Yorker)

                     Robot Girl, collage, by Wylie

 Just a few days after doing the "finish the picture" project (which the kids had a great time with--more kid art than you'd care to see here) Mimi gave Juni this fun "Fotoplay" coloring book, which is full of awesome finish the picture projects.  I love when a new idea keeps popping up all over the place.  

This book is pretty rad, as evidenced by this page---the Gracie cat even looks like our Gracie.  I'm sure she would totally dig a crazy party hat!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In the Garden

The garden has been really enjoying these hot days with rainy nights.  And, the kids are at a stage this summer where I find I can head to the garden for an hour at a time here and there, once or twice a week--which is huge compared to previous years.  Everything-- aside from the broccoli, which is always an epic failure (epic is the new favorite word at our house, particularly among the 9 yr. old set) is looking good, very few pests, and yet I still feel like we're not getting much food.  I think it has to do with learning to plant things closer together in our raised beds, and learning to feed/mulch things at the right time to give them a boost.  Even so, things are looking really sweet around here, and most days we are eating kale, cucumber, zucchini and snap peas.  When our garden falls behind the farmers market fills in nicely.  
                              Peas climbing the arbor--these will be pulled out later this week, 
                              and replaced with a fall planting.   
When I said we weren't getting a lot of food, I was discounting the kale--of which there is a mini forest.  The stuff is thick and tall and growing!  I've frozen quite a bit, but still need to keep at it, before the cabbage worms take their toll.  For now they are mawing the brocolli, which I'm happy to provide as bait seeing as though it never grows for me anyhow.  A friend told me she just puts her kale straight in the freezer sans blanching.  Well, I jumped online and read enough (one site) to convince me that she had the right idea, so that's what I did too.  The soaking and picking for worms still takes some time, but the job is way more pleasant on a hot summer day without having to steam up the kitchen. 


These photos are all from last week, and since then I've planted fall crops of lettuce, tatsoi, parsley, and spinach, between the onions and beets, beside the peas, and in any other little space I could find.  The greens all germinated in two days--such a difference from spring planting.  If I can stay on top of things, I'm hoping we can eat from the garden straight through to snow fall.  

Eat your greens!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Its truly summer here as evidenced by my absence in this space, not to mention the sun burns, dirty feet and tired children.  In an attempt to not avoid this blog altogether during these busy months (when I rarely find the time or desire to sit in front of a screen) I'm borrowing an idea from Elsie Marley (who is full of terrific ideas--check her out) and going short for the summer.  Quick glimpses and short sentences about what we've been up to.  Here goes:  

Lots of greens, snap peas, and calendula from the garden.  A bit of zucchini, some cukes, and baby carrots on the way. Beets and beans are sparse this year unfortunately, but we'll savor what we get.   


Wylie's been soldering and creating, and we're scheming up some plans for a homeschool electronics club.  

Finally got that chicken fence up and rotating about the yard.  

You can see how well its working....hmm.  Maybe they're meant to be electrified for a reason.  

Hydrangeas and nasturtiums are out, but we never got around to planting cosmos.  I'm really missing them.  

Lots of swimming has been happening this week, since every day for the past 6 days or so has been near 90's.  Its so good.  

Goofy kids, enjoying the screen porch....

My new short(er) do...

Foot ball on the lawn after dinner...

Taking advantage these cool (in more ways than one) concrete floors that keep our house comfortable even when its scorching outside.  And a bit of summer reading.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Juni's Room

Last December, the day after Christmas, Juniper moved out of the room she'd been sharing with Kale and Wylie and took over the guest room/Wylie's room  (Wy had some of his stuff in the other bedroom, but never slept there).  I was sure I had blogged about the switch and taken pictures, but I can't seem to locate it so no before pics for you.  Either way, while it was quite sweet with her doll furniture all set up, and bed made tidy, it wasn't really her room.  It had been hastily painted with leftover paint from the mudroom.  The curtain was an old stained one from Rob's bedroom in high school.  So, when she mentioned she'd like to paint her room, I was all for it.  

Juni and Kale primed with rollers, I cut in, and then the following morning we added color.  A week later I got around to the curtain, and well, the closet doors are still waiting to be hung, but you know how it goes. 

I debated for a while about letting her choose the color all on her own, or weighing in with my opinion, or choosing a tamer hue once I got there (and playing dumb if she recognized it wasn't quite what she'd picked).  But, in the end we both fell in love with this color, "Cloudless" by Sherwin Williams.  After painting two walls I had a hunch that her room would feel like an empty swimming pool if we did the entire room chlorine blue.  So, we picked a pale, gray color, "Evening Shadow" to off set the blue a bit.  

Then we primed a set of three old canvases we had, painted them in the gray, and Juni and I added a flower garden (of her design).  Its pretty sweet.  

At the fabric store she chose the second pattern she looked at.  It was a surprising choice for her--but one I love.  I'm thinking of doing a matching one for the boys (who still have an old blanket hung over a rod to block out the morning sun.)  

We never did get around to patching the two holes in the drywall, but a couple strategically placed pictures did the trick, and when I mentioned I'd have to get a hammer to remove the nail in the wall above her bed, she chose another solution, with a sweet little self made sign.  

Welcome to Juni's new blue room. 


                      closet doors waiting to be hung...


 We love it.