Friday, June 27, 2014

~ Knitting the Princess Fiona with Swans Island Yarn + A Giveaway ~

Hello friends. Boy is it hot. An impounding sweltering melting plastic kind of hot.
Rain. We are having a week of heat mixed with clouds and quick/hard rain showers.
You know, the kind of hard sudden rain showers that have you running outside ripping all
of your three loads of washing off the line; you and all the washing are dripping wet; and then
the sun comes back out hot. Yeah, that.

I was lucky enough to be selected as a test knitter for the ever so gorgeous PRINCESS FIONA
by the talented Amy Miller. I am a wee bit behind (( ahem )) as the pattern has been live for a week (or two) and has gotten all of the attention that it so deserves. It is a mighty fun knit and a very comfortable wearing sweater indeed. I do believe its my favourite fitting knitted sweater !

'Princess Fiona'   -  pictured and modeled by its designer Amy Miller.
Photo courtesy of  Amy Miller Knits.
My own Princess Fiona finally has (almost) one sleeve finished !
Still nursing a bruised and very sore finger , my knitting is slow.

I chose the most delicious yarn for my sweater. It was my first time using the beautiful Swans Island Organic Merino Yarn ( and I might have ordered more already, oops).  I am using two skeins only for my sweater! So there is awesome yardage, but the feel ? Oh my gosh. It is spun with a thread of
Alpaca,  making it lightweight yet warm , and oh-so-soft. Like Cashmere soft. Amazing stuff, you've got to check out this yarn.  They also sell beautiful wraps, scarves, and blankets !

Swan's Island Organic Merino Yarn - shown in the colourway 'OATMEAL'.
Photo courtesy of Swan's Island Website.

You can purchase Amy Miller's patterns wholesale here at Deep South Fibers.

Want to win a copy of Amy Miller's

Princess Fiona Sweater Pattern?

Put your name in the draw by using the Rafflecopter below.
Make sure and leave your email or Ravelry UserName so I can contact you .
When my sweater is finished I will be back to show you and I will announce a winner ! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Solstice

 Garden Journal - 

Hello dearest people, I took a little walk this (hot) morning on Summer's Solstice 2014.

What a wonderful season it is, after all of that *cold and snow* - this green lush world has
rewarded us so kindly with a hot and relatively wet growing season. There is nothing more
rewarding as a human being than to cultivate the soil ,  plant a seed , and eat a meal.
The 'Wildwood Pumpkin' is taking off - look how its grown in just a few days !

Compost bin materials in the background - from salvage in the shed.

Corn dolly , anyone ?

Aren't these silks gorgeous. 

Corn tasseling - Look I caught two tiny bees in flight - enjoying themselves on this summer's solstice. It's too hot for that, I think , little bees. =)

Hello beautiful zinnias , coming up from last years seeds left. 
So very happy to see you again this growing season.

I found 'wild' Jerusalem Artichokes growing at the edge of our woods. 
I love them so , it reminds me of my shared garden with my dear friend
Sarina on Nowhere Road.
The tubers can be dug up , cooked and eaten.

A grand lover of the wild and colourful Mushroom - 
especially ORANGE !

What beauty there is to be found in Nature.

Happy Summer Solstice everyone.

(two pictures that refused to not be in this post, ok have it your way guys) 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hello there

Oh, I believe it's summer. A really nice one thus far. 

Time to fill up the swimming pools , use all of mama's organic lemongrass dishwash soap down the slip' n slide , ignore all of the bugbites , enjoy summer library time and icecreams with Nana , plenty of slow smoked meat and hammock resting time , lazy afternoons and evenings and mornings and weekends , laughter of children and water squirters and admiring twinkling fireflies at dusk. It's what summertime is all about.

Never mind the fact that I nearly chopped off my index finger with a pineapple lid this evening and Jackson says as I am on the mend " so does this mean that you cannot knit?" .... don't say it Jackson, I utter in reply, don't say it.  A loud silent grin eminates the room. It wasn't smiles there for awhile, but we survived it. (Hence this late night blog and no bedtime knitting boo hoo!!!!!!)

My darling middle child is going to bed tonite with his very first wiggled out milk tooth tucked under the pillow. I tell him during the day what a big (HUGE) thing this is; for it is a moment of great change so Rudolph Steiner teaches. The beginning of body changes; a gateway toward entering a new era for him and his learning development. He is just one month into his 6th year of life, and loving his 'Magic TreeHouse' books, all things superhero, loves guns-arrows-bombs-swords-shields-ropes-and his cowboy boots. He often goes into the yard dressed in character. It is darling. I love him so.

My finger is killing me. There is no knitting for me tonite. I am finishing up a testknit for Amy Miller's Princess Fiona (pattern has been released, here). 
I suppose I could show you a few pics of what I have so far. One sleeve to go now, and I will be back with a pattern giveaway ! It is a fun knit and I am sure you will love knitting it. And, no more pineapple cans for me. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Today I am writing to you about the  Fort Magic Building Kit !

Since this wonderful kit arrived on our doorstep, my children have become enthralled with building forts, houses, animals, submarine pods, letters, teepees and more.  It has encouraged our older kids (aged 8 and 5) to sign off of the electric gadgets each day and build something together. What do you want to build today?  An outside igloo ! A magic forthouse ! An alien invading mars outside of our spaceship pods ! A tatoo parlor ! A puppet stand !

My boys are thrilled with this Fort building kit.

What a wonderful open-minded toy !

 FORT MAGIC  is a creative children's fort building kit. 
It comes with different shaped building sticks and heaps of connectors 
enabling the user hours of fun !
I do highly recommend this kit !

The The kit includes :: 382 building pieces, a large colourful workbook full of instructions for multiple builds, a large mesh bag with velcro for easy no fuss storage, a large bag of clips for fabric coverings.
Note the kits do not currently come with fabrics, however I do hear some are in the makings !
We used playsilks, capes, bedsheets, and mama's fabric to cover, and the clips provided are easy to use.

Here are some things my three children (and their parents) have had fun making ..

So what are people saying about Fort Magic Kits ?
View some Customer Photos & Reviews HERE.

Fort Magic has won AWARDS !

Do you want to own a Fort Magic Kit ? 
Note, they have a 30-day money back guarantee and a full manufacturing warranty on all the parts!

You can learn about these kits on the Fort Magic Website
and you can connect with Fort Magic on FacebooktwitterPinterestInstagram, and Youtube.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

For a chance to win a Fort Magic fort building kit, valued at $199, explore the Fort Magic Website then come back here and leave a comment about something you like or something you learned. After you leave your comment, make sure to click the Rafflecopter box telling it you left a comment and want to be entered into the giveaway! Giveaway includes shipping and is open through  to June 30 to all readers in the US and Canada. Good luck! 
Disclosures: This is post is sponsored by Fort Magic. The Fort Magic fort kit for kids was sent to us for free to try out and review. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014



Feeling very inspired by watching " Back to Eden " -
a 1hr40 free gardening video seen by clicking on the link.
((Edit - woops here is the direct link, although the other link was cool too )) ..  Back to Eden Film.
It talks about irrigation + fuss free gardening by using what's all around you, including common sense. Mulching heavy with pinestraw, spent hay, winter's leftover leaves, bark, and wood chips. We are excited about this, oh ho ho. Our back garden bed is growing potatoes and a few tomatoes and peppers. We are also going to put in some Watermelons to run down the ditches back there. That bed was dug last year, but the big garden bed at the front has probably never ( in the last 50 years) been worked for growing. It is heavy on the clay and full of rocks and we are working on things. It will improve. For now, it is growing corn and sunflowers - scattered rows thanks to the local fat greedy birds. Also carrots. Also a row or two of cotton, both green and white. The Wildwood Pumpkin has taken off ! It and my three winter squash and 2 Tennessee Melons are all looking promising with tendrills twirling and flower blossoms rising up. Oh, the garden. 
Note to self = sow those tomato and pepper seeds earlier next year.. ..

We also have a big heavy nonchalant deer who meanders in a I don't care kind of a fashion quite regularly. I do believe he did said wandering some wee hours into the night once this week and bit off half of a large stalk of my Blue Corn. Watch it daddy deer - I like you in Winter's stew :)

The pesky ants have been a problem in our potato beds. We did the grits scattering trick last week and did notice they were carrying the grit pieces back to their little nests. We are not sure if the "explosion" part worked, as it was an underground activity and probably not something a human would hear or anything. Johnny was reluctant to believe that cornmeal or grits would cause an ant to explode. I'm not so sure about it myself, but I am sure that pouring hot scolding water on them would not be in the best interest of the potato plant they seem to have befriended. 

I tried to grow all of my food plants by seed this year, I like to buy organic and non- treated and GMO and Hybrid Free and all that. I am so suspecting when I go into the Home Depot and see their corn seed packs and the Tomato Plants. My tomato seedlings, are quite terrible looking at still one or two inches compared to store ones , I am not so sure that I will get the first tomatoe off them this year. Slow buggars ! I have such high hopes of lots of preserving this year. 

It is nearly dark on a cloudy rain free day. It just may rain late tonite , and I hope it does. 
Do ants hold their breath when it rains? Do they somehow stop up their little ant holes ?