Sunday, December 26, 2010


END OF YEAR CLEARANCE SALE in my Etsy Shop - Just enter coupon code YEAREND2010 upon checking out for a 15% savings. This is an additional savings on top of the already reduced Holiday Sale items. Help me clear out the old and get ready for the new year!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday SALE!

Well, thank you all who took advantage of my Thanksgiving Weekend Sale! It was very successful. So much so that I decided to have another sale for today only as it's Cyber Monday. Pick up some great deals on selected gnomes, cats, crowns and even a few wands. All items can be found in the CYBER MONDAY SALE section in my etsy shop and are marked down by $2.00 each.

Thanks again for all the support which keeps my little shop running. It may be a small business but it means so much to me to be able to contribute to my family's well being. Have a lovely week everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

SALE at Simply Playing

Hello All! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. To celebrate and share I decided to have a sale in my etsy shop Simply Playing. Etsy is now offering coupon codes for shop owners as a way to promote a sale. This way you get your discount right away instead of as a refund through Paypal.

My coupon code is simply "Thanksgiving2010" for a 10% discount on everything in my store! So, if there has been something you've been eyeing now is the time to buy! Enjoy this shopping weekend everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding Balance

Like most mamas I have many roles that I play: I'm a mama, wife, daughter, homemaker, toymaker, artist assistant and school volunteer. Whoa, what a mouthful! Lately, I've been having trouble balancing all these identities. With the holiday season coming quickly upon us the toymaker in me has been taking over rushing to get more magic wands and crowns made. What I've noticed recently is I let all my other roles fall by the wayside trying to accomplish just this one task. Putting housekeeping aside, letting my mother (who lives with us) cook the meals, passing by my husband in the evening as we try to get stuff done, telling my son I'm too busy to play etc. This last one I acutely felt as Sam said the other day "Why don't you play with me Mama?' - ouch!

Sam is and will be our only biological child. We're hoping to adopt, but with the bills left over from our infertility treatments that's on hold. We worked so hard to have this wonderful child and I'm telling him I don't have time to play because I'm making toys for other people's children. Hmm...doesn't sound quite right. So, I took a step back and reevaluated all the things I do which make me me. The one I'm most proud of is being a mother. I'm sure this is true for many of you as well. It was literally the hardest thing I've ever accomplished, but I need to remember it's ongoing and didn't just end with the birth. Sam doesn't require 100% of my attention 100% of the time to be a good mama to him, but maybe a little more would be a good idea.

So, I sat down with pen and paper to draw up a plan/schedule for myself. There simply was not enough hours in the day to do everything to the extent I would like to do them. So, I dropped out of one of the Waldorf School Holiday Fairs I was going to sell my work at and decided just keeping up with etsy, at least for this year, would be enough for the toymaker in me, I talked to my mother about splitting the meal preparation so as not to take advantage of her help. Trying to spend more time in the evening talking to my husband, not just focusing on what I can get done in that quiet time when Sam is asleep. Keeping my volunteer and assistant work within the time frame I've allowed for them as both could easily take as much time as I could give them. I even decided that a little mess in the house is o.k., but daily, not weekly, management is needed.

Sounds so easy on paper, but it's still a struggle. I'm glad Sam awakened me to my tendency to go overboard in one direction. Like in meditation, it's that constant reminder to come back to center that's important, not just being in the center, because life happens. What do you do to keep yourself balanced in your life?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yarn Along and Handmade Holidays

I found out about this Yarn Along from Tonya over at Plain and Joyful Living, but it originates from Ginny of the blog, Small Things. It's a simple picture to share the books we are currently reading and what is on your needles. These are both pursuits that I enjoy especially knitting during this dark colder time of year here in the Upper Midwest.

I'm currently, or I should say still, knitting a striped scarf for my husband for Christmas (hence this also being my Handmade Holiday post). It was supposed to be his gift last year, but seed stitch seems to take me an inordinately long time to knit. My husband does not like wool as he says "It's itchy!" so this scarf is a test of the supposedly non-itchy merino wool. The owner of Linden Hills Yarn and Textile Design LTD remarked when I told her of my dilemma that what my husband is reacting to are the "barr" hairs (the hairs that make the wool fuzzy) that exist in most wools. So, she recommended the Karabella brand's merino wool, and I have to say it is certainly soft! Dan and I choose colors we both like so if the scarf does not work out for him it will then pass on to me. I'm hoping it doesn't itch and he loves it as I plan to secretly make him some fingerless mitts to match as well.

Reading time is something that is hard for me to find time for, hence I have been "reading" this book for quite awhile and I'm still only 30 pages into it. The book is Homemaking as a Social Art - Creating a Home for Body Soul and Spirit by Veronika Van Duin. It talks a lot about rhythm, relationships, artistic environment, caring, self development and more. The Spiritual side of this book is taken in most part from Rudolph Steiner's work, which is how I stumbled across it at our Waldorf School.

I'm hoping to have both finished this book and scarf by Christmas. I just need to eek out some time here and there. How and when do you find time to read?

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Dragon and Halloween

Here's my little red dragon getting ready for the Halloween Walk his Waldorf School hosts every year.

The Halloween Walk or "Friends in the Forest" is a Spring Hill Waldorf School holiday tradition. It's a lovely magical walk through the Baker Park Reserve woods here in Minnesota. The path is lit only by jack - o - lanterns and candles which the kids and families of the school carve. Along the way he met many characters starting with Mother Nature who talked about safety in the woods as her pixies and sprites can leave rocks, roots and sticks in the paths. Next, was Mother Goose sitting by a fire needing help with her rhymes. The kids really loved shouting out the answers to the familiar stories. Then we saw a play about two sister rivers needing each other to have the strength to flow into the sea done by the 4th and 5th graders. Next, was another short play about the North Wind and the Sun. We learned that gentle persuasion is better than force as they both tried to get a traveler to take off his cloak and sit a spell. A shadow puppet theater was next along the path in one of the little cabins sprinkled throughout the woods. Two wonderful mothers put on the story of the Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow and gave the kids a cookie as they left to discover who else they might meet in the woods. This next play confused Sam a bit as it was Jacqueline and the Bean Stalk and not Jack and the Bean Stalk. Why this switch in genders? Well, the eighth grade class is made up of all girls and only 1 boy who wanted to play the chicken who laid the golden eggs. What happened to the goose - I don't know.

As we continued on our walk we ran into a very confused Scarecrow who didn't know which way we should go and told us a story about fire safety as he was scared of fire his being stuffed with dried leaves and all. We then saw a play about 2 stars rescuing the sun prince who had been turned into a dragon and another play with King Arthur and Merlin the Magician both set off by fire light. Next, it was inside again to another cabin for a puppet show of a Native American story about how strawberries came to be told with beautiful Waldorf needled felted table puppets. Lastly, we came to Mother Earth as she was weaving her blanket to keep all her children warm over the winter months. Two stars came out to sing to us and they passed out wooden necklaces to the children, with a moon and a star burned into them, to remember their magical night walking in the woods.

We then went back to the main lodge where our walk began to enjoy some friendship, hot cider and popcorn. Sam wanted to go on the walk all over again, but as it was already way past his bedtime we had to say no to his sweet request. What amazes me most about this Halloween walk is how the children are completely drawn into the plays and puppet shows even though some of the material is in language they are not familiar with. They just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy running to the next production. Sam also enjoyed finding the pumpkins we had carved along the way pointing them out with pride to his friends.

I really feel The Friends in the Forest walk was the best way to experience the holiday in an imaginative, non scary way, which is just perfect for little ones. What events do you go with your children to celebrate Halloween? Although, it wouldn't be Halloween without a bit of neighborhood trick - o - treating. Sam and Dan went out for about an hour teaming up with some other kids, or "new friends" as Sam says, along they way. He was very excited about how much candy he received, but was even more excited about the Halloween Fairy who exchanges a gift for all that candy. Of course Sam kept a few pieces to enjoy, but tonight we will leave out the rest of his candy stash by the back door for the Halloween Fairy. I wonder what she will bring?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review and Giveaway

I was approached by Laura who writes the New Age Mama blog about having a review of the toys in my etsy shop Simply Playing. Laura reviews all sorts of products and usually hosts a giveaway along with the review. I sent her out a heart wand, knitted play crown and a gnome doll for her young daughter to try out. Thankfully, she really liked all of them, especially the gnome (because really who doesn't like gnomes?) and wrote up a lovely review. The good news for you is she is hosting a giveaway for one of my Golden Star Rainbow Magic Wands! Just visit this link to her blog and find out the many ways you can enter to win. Good luck to you all!

A Time For Puzzles

The days are getting pretty dark here in the upper Midwest. Not much light to play outside after dinner, so what to do? It's the time to bring out the puzzles! Sam has really gotten into working on puzzles - even by himself! If you have an only child you know how rare the "Mama come play with me." broken record turns off. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with my son, but it's such a pleasure to watch him get COMPLETELY engrossed in play.

We have two different kinds of puzzles - wooden and paperboard. The wooden ones are beautifully made by the people living at Community Homestead in Osceola, Wisconsin. Community Homestead is a non-profit rural community living and working with people with special needs. They sell there wares at Sam's Waldorf School's Holiday Fair in winter and May Fair in the Spring. The puzzles are painted with watercolor so the wood's grain shines through the color. I find them just breathtaking! Here are the two Sam has so far.

This one with the fairy in the boat I usually pair with reading Elsa Beskow's book Peter in Blueberry Land. As Peter takes a ride in a boat that uses a leaf for a sail with the Blueberry King's sons.

Sam received this puzzle for his birthday after we stayed a weekend at Farmer's Inn in Viroqua, Wisconsin. I find it fun to have memories tied into the toys Sam plays with as it makes them have more of an alive quality.

Then of course there are the paperboard puzzles form Ravensburger. While not nearly as atheistically pleasing as the wooden ones, they are of very good quality and available in many different difficulty levels to match to your child's ability.

Here is Sam at his "desk" putting together his 60 piece Ravensburger dinosaur puzzle. He's learning about doing the edges first and then filling in the middle. Although, sometimes he just likes starting with the T. Rex (his favorite dinosaur.)

It really is fun seeing his mind work to figure out what piece goes where. And best of all, it's a great quiet activity before bedtime, which for us makes the transition all the more easy. What puzzles do your kids play with?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Many Moods of Sam

As many of you know Sam is my 4 year old son; my one and only. He is who I started making toys for until there were just too many gnomes in the house (it's still a contention in our house if there can EVER be too many gnomes.) Then I started making toys for the rest of the world by selling them in my etsy store Simply Playing. One of the items I carry is knitted play crowns, and I've tried using Sam as a model for these crowns. This is not an uncommon practice, using your our child as a model, but I feel I don't quite get the results others do. Simply put, Sam does not want to be a model. I have to bribe him with a little screen time of Thomas the Tank Engine (not very Waldorf of me I know.) So, our photo shoots are a very quick affair with lots of direction and not a lot of listening. But, I feel it's important to give the buyer an idea of how the crown looks on a child, not just laying flat on my counter. What I'm wondering is should I use his photo for my main picture (this is the only picture that is shown to the viewer on etsy until they select that item and see the other detail photos) or should I use the flat crown photo? Here are a few pictures showing the many moods of Sam to give you an idea of what I'm working with:

Are they endearing to others and not just his Mama, or do they just look unprofessional? Her's the flat only crown photo for comparison:

Which photo would draw more people in to look further? I've tried posting a mix of the two types of photos, but I can't tell the difference. Let me know what you think.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Peace Wand

I had a special order request this week at my etsy shop. She wanted a peace sign wand in colors to match her daughter's Halloween costume. How could I refuse such a fun project!
Here's a few pictures on how it turned out.

Overall, I'm very pleased and now just have to wait to find out what whether my customer approves. I'd like to try making more peace wands but in green and yellow felt with blue stitching. What do you all think? Should I carry these as a regular item?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Wonderment is our local natural toy store. It resides in the Linden Hills neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Imaginative toys are stocked there in abundance: Ostheimer wooden animals, marble runs, natural wood dollhouses and simply lovable Waldorf Dolls. They even have a dress up section now complete with my felt wands and knitted crowns. Yes, I've gone wholesale!

I met one of the owners at my son's Waldorf School's May Fair Celebration. Lisa was one of the vendors selling her lovely wares - mainly wooden swords and crossbows to the 2nd grade boys who were ready for action! I occupied the table next to her selling my plant dyed wool felt wands, knitted crowns, gnomes and cats. We got to talking during the lulls and she said she'd love to have my wands and crowns in her store. Needless to say I was thrilled!

So, now you can find my handmade items in my etsy store, or at Wonderment if you happen to be in the Minneapolis area.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm Back

Hello Everyone! Sorry to have been absent for such a long period of time. My life with my family took over as it is wont to do, but I'm back and gearing up for the holidays by making lots and lots of wands.

I've kept to the same shapes, but have started adding new color combinations to hopefully have something for everyone. Making wands is such fun for me. I love pretty much every part - from trying to get as much cut out from a piece of felt as I possibly can, to wrapping the dowels with yarn, sewing all the pieces together and finally stuffing and gluing the shape on top. My son already has 2 so my only option after I gave one to every child I knew was to sell them. This is my first Holiday Season having them listed in my etsy shop and I'm excited to see how they sell. Here's a few pictures of my latest creations:

I'm also thinking of making a red and yellow star as well as my yellow and blue one. I did try a clover shape this last spring, but it really didn't sell well so I decided to discontinue that style. If you have any suggestions on something you'd like to see in a wand please let me know!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knitting Doll Clothes

What is the best thing about having a new waldorf doll? Making clothes for him of course! Yes, with the completion of my Waldorf doll kit from Weir Doll and Crafts I had a nice new albeit naked doll. This kit came with patterns for making clothes, but alas I am unable to find it in the pile on my desk. Did I let this deter me? Did I take them time to sort through this pile of detritus? No, I simply made up a toe up sock pattern of sorts with some fingering weight yarn I had on hand.

They are a bit on the pointy side, but cute!

These socks fit just perfectly and with this success under my belt I wanted to knit more. So, I jumped unto the internet to Raverly and looked up free doll clothing patterns. Waldorf Mama has a great cardigan pattern for free on her blog, but it was for worsted weight yarn. Then I found this cardigan pattern made for the lovely Bamboletta Dolls from Pixie for Purls that I could use the same fingering weight yarn I used for the socks. I omitted the button as Sam is not too dexterous at using them yet, and I didn't want him to become frustrated and then mad at his doll. The sweater took a little longer than I thought, but with size 2 needles what did I expect?

Here's Lamby in his whole ensemble.

I still had lots of yarn left over so I created a hat as well again making it up as I went along. Starting with size 2 double pointed needles I cast on 80 stitches and knit in the round. I began with the same rib pattern as used on the cardigan then just good old garter stitch the rest of the way. I decreased ten stitches every so often (didn't keep too good of track to write out specifically) just checking the fit periodically until I had 10 stitches. Then I decreased to 5 stitches and knit for a number of rows to make the knot on top. I wish I would have knit for longer before my first decrease, but otherwise I like the elfin look it gives Lamby.

You can see how the hat decreases a bit to rapidly in this side shot. I love the knot!

Now, I just need to dig up those patterns to make pants and a shirt. I found a fun remnant of fabric at this really funky fabric store in NE Minneapolis that I am excited to use. The fabric is a cream background with red, green, blue, and yellow diamonds arranged in a pattern like you might see on a Harlequin costume. I just need to find the time to sort out that massive pile of stuff...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Waldorf Dolls

Wonderment is a fabulous toy store in Minneapolis that caters to the Waldorf family. They often have classes on making toys too and by far their most popular is making Waldorf Dolls. After struggling with a kit, taking a class that was canceled half way through I decided to try this class. It was wonderful and as the store owner predicted very empowering. Eight women sat down at 10:00 am on a rainy Saturday morning knowing zilch to ending at 4:00 pm that same day with a finished 16" Waldorf Doll. It was so amazing the transformation of cloth, wool and thread to this little person with a personality all his own. I made mine in the image of my child with auburn hair and hazel eyes. I purchased an outfit from the instructor to get him ready to give to my son Sam who was, with Daddy, picking me up (life with one car can be tricky) at the end of the class.

The class doll is in clothes and the kit doll just has a hat so far.

I was tired and in a bit of a daze as 4:00 pm hit and I heard a little voice behind me say "Mama?" I turned to Sam and showed him his new doll which he immediately hugged and said "I love him." Wow! I was so pleased my hard work and effort elicited this response - what more could you ask for?

With my new knowledge under my belt, as well as those few extra pounds (where do they come from ? Certainly not chocolate!), I decided to tackle my half made doll kit. So, today I made my second doll. He too is a boy but with blue eyes, Sam's request, and red hair - no clothes yet. What a wonderful feeling to know I could make this doll on my own! An old half completed project now finished and useful - hurray!

Getting the eyes right was so much trickier than I thought, but I'm pleased with the end result.

Sam is loving them with that special boy love of hugs one moment and wacking him on furniture the next. I hope they hold up to such affection. He named them Sheepy and Lamby. Kind of fitting when you think of all the wool used to make them yes? I'm off to make them socks now - wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gnome Pouches and a Personal Note

This idea came to me watching my son Sam's Waldorf Kindergarten class. The children in the class are given a "little one", a small doll, from their teacher when they turn 5. The children then get to sew a bag to carry their "little one" around their neck. This way their doll can go on adventures with them and be close to their heart. It really is the sweetest thing to see both boys and girls playing with these doll; although the boys vehemently say they are not dolls but little ones.

So, here is my version for carrying - what else but - a gnome! The pouches are made out of plant dyed wool felt from fellow etsian mamajudes same as my wands. The bag portion measures aproximately 3 1/2 inches x 5 inches and the chain is 17" long. Sam tried them on for me but I haven't gotten him to hold still for a picture, but they sit at chest level with the gnomes hat coming almost to his chin. I decorated them with a rainbow so that no matter what gnome you choose it will match, and frankly can anyone have too many rainbows? Of course then I had to use my lovely bulky rainbow yarn to finger knot a chain for the bag. Sam is so eager to finger knit, knit and sew it's hard for me to keep telling him soon you'll learn this in Kindergarten, as he really isn't ready yet. He is just such a boy of action he wants to do, do, do not just watch. I think of these bags for gnomes, but they could be used for other dolls, or treasures, or maybe even secret messages!

On a personal note our In Vitro Fertilization or IVF prodcedure was not a success. I'm coming to terms with the fact I won't be pregnant again, but it was hard for Sam. He really wanted me to be pregnant and to watch the birth (he loves to hear the story of his birth - sliding out of mama into the water.) We'll now focus on adopting from the Philippines (my husband Dan is 1/2 Phillipino himself.) I find myself hoping to adopt siblings so Sam can have the brother and sister he wants to complete our family. Looking towards the future is good right now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Gnomes have been my focus in my etsy store for some time now. This past January I added wands and crowns for some more variety of imaginative toys. But, still something was missing. I've always wanted a counterpart for the gnomes - elves seemed too similar, mermaids too different and fairies too delicate for knitting. Then Mamajudes on etsy had a sampler of plant dyed doll hair yarns (mohair and boucles) for sale and I thought maybe I could give fairies a try.

Here are my first attempts

I used the braid around their head to help keep their hair sewn down.

In these first attempts I used the body from my standing gnome to start. Then sewed on hair instead of a hat and felt wings in place of a knitted cape. I gave them symbols on their chests to give them an identity and to balance the color and texture of the wings. So, there is a love fairy, sun fairy and a good luck fairy (you'll notice they are similar to my wands.)

Here is the "love" fairy, but she could also be a bleeding heart flower fairy.

You'll notice here that I sewed felt to the bottom to completely enclose
the fairy and making it more child safe.

I'd love to hear comments from all of you on how successful these fairies turned out and any improvements or changes I might make. Once an idea occurs to me I find it hard to see other possibilities that's why your comments really help me in refining a toy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Back

Well, it's been a bit of a long absence for me in the blogger world, but now I'm back. I spent most of May doing 1 of the following 2 things: planning for Sam's School's May Fair and undergoing IVF treatments and holistic support therapies for having another child. Needless to say life has been a bit stressful.

First off May Fair. I was in charge of getting vendors to sell their wares at the event; finding artists and people who reflex the Waldorf School Philosophy. Here are a couple of my favorites. Community Homestead - a community of people who make beautiful watercolored wooden puzzles as well as all the tables, chairs and desks in our school, Wonderment - a local shop with all sorts of Waldorf inspired toys (bow and arrow sets were a big seller for her with the second grade boys), Universal Pants - is a woman who makes these fabulous pants that are cut on the bias and look good on everybody! And lastly me! Yes, Simply Playing made an appearance selling my knitted cats, gnomes and crowns as well as felted wands and rainbow window stars.

Here's my "booth" on a table in the early childhood classroom.

The day didn't go as planned. It was to be as an outdoor event, but we had a dilly of a thunder storm come through. So, just about the time everyone was set up we had to move everything inside. The vendors set up in the classrooms while the food and crafts were in the Social Hall. It was all a jumble, but cozy, and everyone rolled with it very well. The sad part was there was no May Pole Dancing at May Fair, but we did have a queen, the green man, pocket people and many fairies flitting about the school. The day was truly festive and a coming together of community. For us it was a family affair as well with my selling crafts, my mother giving fairy card readings, my dad being a pocket person and Dan helping out with all the vendors setting up and breaking down. Sam was left to his own devices from time to time, but the community held him well which was wonderful to experience.

Gnomes anyone?

As much fun as May Fair was with pony rides, tug of wars, raw food, baked treats, crafts, jump rope making and shopping, I'm glad all the work has come to a close. It's our last big festival of the school year as next week will be the closing and graduation ceremonies for Spring Hill Waldorf School. What a joyful way to begin summer!

Back to my 2nd distraction for the month of May - IVF (in-vitro fertilization.) My husband and I went through IVF many years ago to have our son Sam who is now almost 4. Sam did not want to be an only child and I loved being pregnant so we thought we'd try another round and see if we could be successful again. We're in the waiting period of watching the embryos develop before they are transferred back into me. I'm completely excited and wanting to fast forward another 2 weeks. But, at least I am now done with Mayan abdominal massages, acupuncture and 4 shots a day of follicle medication. I'll keep up the wheatgrass and green drinks through the pregnancy and the 1 shot of progesterone goes through the 10th week. This is probably way more than any of you want to know but it's so all encompassing right now I feel the need to talk about it. Wish us luck and you'll be hearing about the pregnancy soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I took two photos in this last week and their similarities really threw me.
Take a look for yourself.

A lovely tulip growing in my front garden

Sam's new shoes which he picked out all by himself.

Well, that's all I have for you today. Make it a great one for you and others!

Monday, April 5, 2010

It Was A Happy Easter

We hosted Easter this year at our small house in Hopkins. I was wondering how to fit my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Cousin's Wife, Cousin's Kids, Brother, Sister-in-Law, Niece, Mother, Husband and Son into our little living and dining room. The weather gave me the solution. As it was 65 degrees and sunny we hosted outside! It was truly a gift as MN often will still have snow this time of year.

Sam, Anya, Chase and Mia (hidden behind Chase) playing in the playhouse.

Mia playing so sweetly in the sandbox

My mother's planting table became the buffet, lawn chairs plus 2 folding chairs gave the adults places to sit and the combination of Sam's picnic table and his inside table and chairs gave spots for all the kids to eat. What was the best was that the kids were happy the whole time. They started out with an Easter egg hunt, then played in the sandbox, on bikes and cars, in the playhouse, on the tire swing and lastly the BIGGEST hit of the day (have you guessed it yet?) ...drum roll please...BUBBLES. What is it with kids and bubbles? The wind practically made the bubbles for them which delighted young Chase who is only 2. They must have blown bubbles for over an hour having my mom refill their bubble trays with "bubble juice."

The bubble hour of fun!

Anya blowing bubbles on my purple scillia.

The food was fresh and oh so delicious! The ham was a nitrate/nitrite free Beeler's Ham, lovely bright veggies consisting of green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots and red peppers, sweet potatoes with pecans, a salad with avocado, onions and strawberries, fresh fruit and rolls. With cheesecake from Trader Joe's and cupcakes from my kitchen for dessert. Everyone left sated and happy with doggie bags (don't you just love getting leftovers from a holiday feast?)

I have to say it was one of my all time favorite Easters even including the get Easter where my Dad wrote poems as clues for us to find our Easter goodies that were hidden all over the neighborhood at an early 6:00 a.m. I think it was the kids who made it so great for me. Watching their joy at finding eggs and their laughter when playing with one another. Kids really make a holiday a holiday don't you think? How was your Easter?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Signs of Spring

A few signs of spring are poking up in our garden. It's so exciting to see new growth after the long winter of bare branches and piles of snow (I do like winter, but it does go on rather long here.) My mother, a gardener by trade and hobby, is so excited to get into the yard and start digging - something - anything!

purple Scillia flowers just about to bloom

This is a bulb garden I received in a pot last spring which I replanted whole and I'm excited to see how it blooms this year

We have a large prairie garden out front and a shade and vegetable gardens in back so it's a lot to care for by myself. But since my mother moved in with us late in 2008 it's been a pleasure to have someone else to work besides in the garden. Dan just doesn't have the time with a job and his own business to run on the side. We usually just ask him to do a big job here and there. For instance this year we need lots and lots of mulch for the whole yard which means many trips to the city public works for free mulch.

Virginia Bluebell leaves just starting to poke through the soil

We have lots of cutting back of old growth to do out front as well as a hedge of hydrangeas. The shade garden just needs to be raked and the vegetable garden soil needs to be turned and prepped for planting. Sam likes working in the vegetable garden the best, digging in the dirt and planting seeds. Last fall he planted lots of wheatgrass that we need to now turn over or dig out.

Tete-a-Tete Miniature daffodils giving off just a hint of color

Today is sunny so I'm hoping to get lots done before we have to go to a family birthday gathering. Sam's hankering for a walk to I'll have to end here. I hope you all have a great day and are thinking of gardening too!