special weekend moments

::  birthday celebrations for a lucky mama!  ::

::  a visit to the pumpkin patch ::

::  pumpkin carving and roasting seeds  ::

::  A and B designed jack o lantern  ::
::  little lanterns softly glowing around the house!  ::
There has been so much excitement in the air!  A birthday to celebrate, a visit to the farmer's market to find the perfect pumpkin, lantern making, costume designing...it's a busy time of year full of creativity!  I'll be back tomorrow to share the children's costumes and tonight's celebrations!
Have a safe and happy Hallow's Eve!
~ joey ~

maple popcorn

Oh my goodness......if you love caramel popcorn but are like us and don't have the right sugar, a candy thermometer, etc. then you must, must, must try this!!!

1.  Pop your popcorn.  Salt to taste.
2.  Melt a bit of butter (or in our case Earth Balance spread)
3.  Add a tiny glug (that's a measurement right?!?) of maple syrup and mix well.
4.  Pour over popcorn and stir to coat.
5.  Let us know what you think!......good eh?!
6.  Repeat step 1......!!

~ joey ~

generous people

One of the many blogs that I frequent is Imagine Childhood.
It is an incredible source for inspiration,
knowledge (I learn something every time I visit!)
and supplies to feed the hungry minds of my children.
We prefer a "hands on" learning approach
and science/nature and art are
right on the top of our list of favourite things to study!
This week Imagine Childhood is offering an incredibly generous giveaway
that includes TWO gift certificates to their wonderful store
so I had to share this with all of you!
Click here to enter your name.
I won't go into all the details as I'm sure
you'll want to see all of their wonderful photos
as you read about it!
If you haven't been before, you are in for a treat, it's so inspiring!
Good luck!
~ joey ~

{this moment}

Inspired by soulemama and waldorfmama...

This week I am thankful for:
* this vegan, nut free, grain free, sugar free apple pie that my husband has made me twice(!!) while I'm on a very strict food sensitivity diet.
* the sunny days that we've been having (this week's forecast - rain!)
* the gorgeous colours of autumn

What are you thankful for this week?
~ joey ~

handmade cards

For as long as I can remember I've been making homemade cards.  My Mom would always keep the cards that I made in a box and every so often I'd pull them out and have a good laugh at all my spelling mistakes and wobbly drawings!  My parents referred to them as "Joey Originals".

As an adult I continued to make my own cards, partly due to the cost of store bought cards but also because it allowed me to steal a few minutes (or an hour!) of creative time!  The last time I counted I discovered that I make about 80 cards per year!  (Add up the number of cards you give per year, you'll be shocked too!)

What I love the most about handmaking cards for our family and friends is the creative challenge to make a card that suits them, and not just make a card that I like!  The card below perfectly suited my Dad's sense of humour!

When I look over this group of cards I can remember who each card was made for, what the occasion was and how it was perfect for them at the time.   And thankfully some recipients are drawn to similar things that I like in a card - natural materials, meaningful messages, something different about it that says handmade.

Others (like the kids) love bright colours, humorous cards, or to see their name or age on the front of the card.

When someone offers me some of their materials, I like to make a little card of thanks so that they can see how I use the materials and how much I appreciate their generosity.  You may also find that when people discover that you make your own cards, they offer you their extra papers or envelopes when they clean out their cupboards.  This was the case with the card below.

Sometimes the card co-ordinates with the gift that we gave along with it.

There are so many reasons to try card making...
* they are quick to make
* you can try out new methods and techniques that you've seen
* you can repurpose materials (junk mail, cardboard, embellishments off other items, fabrics and yarns, thin metals, clear plastic windows, photographs, that pile of school paintings(!), etc.)
* you can use natural materials (sticks, shells, sand, leaves, seeds, pressed flowers, grains, bark, beeswax, natural dyes)
* it can branch into other creative projects like making your own envelopes (which I'll do another post on), making your own papers, watercolour painting, photography, etc.
* you can easily incorporate other craft techniques (knitting, beading, quilling, painting, stamping or embossing, embroidery, quilting, etc.)  
* you can do it with your children or as a family. 

 and finally....
* a collection of homemade cards or a cardmaking kit makes a wonderful gift!

When my children see me being creative they immediately want to get involved or copy what I am doing.  Creativity relaxes, re-centers and re-focuses my spirit.  I think that it is SO important for children to see their parents doing things that instills joy and balance to their lives! 

I hope that I have given you some ideas and inspiration to make that next card a little more personal for that very special person!  You never know who else you may inspire and it's like including a little bit of you in the envelope! ;o)
~ joey ~



wee witches - tutorial

I made my first wee witch last year during a time when I was making a lot of peg gnomes for my kids.  One day I looked at the gnome hat and thought if I add a brim I'll have a witch's hat....and so she was born!

Here's what you need to make one yourself!
~ black felt (I have used wool felt)
~ wood peg body - 2.25" tall (you can buy them here)
~ grey roving
~ black embroidery floss
~ silver embroidery floss
~ quick drying white glue (like Tombow)
~ black paint
~ white chalk, embroidery needle, scissors and paint brush

Print pattern, cut out pieces and trace onto black felt with white chalk.

Cut out pieces.

Wrap the rectangular piece (top left in photo) around the peg body and stitch together with black embroidery floss.  I've used a blanket stitch.

Fold the triangular piece in half and stitch together with black thread
(again I've used a blanket stitch)

Stick your finger into the hat to make it more cone shaped.


Cut a small X in the centre of the circular piece.

Place cone on top of felt circle and stitch with black floss to form the witch's hat.
I used a running stitch for this.

Cover the top of the witch's head with glue, place the roving and glue down hat being sure to angle the point towards the back of her head.


Blanket stitch with silver floss around the edge of the cape as shown.

Wrap cape around witch and stitch together at neck with black floss.

Using the handle end of the paint brush dab 2 eyes onto the face.
*I personally like to leave the face as neutral as possible so that the kids can make her happy, sad, surprised, etc. depending on what they are playing.

She's done!  Enjoy!

She's such a quick little project and I think so sweet!
Just a few materials are needed and it's so forgiving...black felt with black stitches hides everything! ;o) so it's suitable for every crafter of all ages.

For those of you that decide to make a wee witch I would love to see a photo of your creations!!
What I love the most about tutorials is seeing how each person puts a little bit of themselves into their project!  Using different materials (ie:  colour of floss, felted wool, etc.) and different facial expressions (or lack of) can totally change the personality of your project!
Hope you give her a try!
~ joey ~

thanksgiving weekend (a bit belated)

During this past glorious Thanksgiving weekend we took Granny for a stroll along a nearby path that runs along the shore in front of a housing complex.  Part of it is man-made with bridges and cement pathways but we were busy enjoying the feel of the warm sun on our skin as we watched the maple leaves float by!

::  floating leaves  ::

::  Admiring the tree's reflections  ::

::  off on an adventure  ::

::  he loves to make his mama's heart jump!  ::

::  ....and then makes it swell as he sits quietly reflecting  ::

::  so peaceful  ::

(For those of you who know us, I bet you didn't expect to see a turkey on our table!  tee hee!)

The kid's decided that our turkey was very happy that he was invited to a vegetarian's Thanksgiving dinner but of course he was too stuffed to eat anything!
groan...I know we all have a very odd sense of humour around here!

So in our house our family tradition is to write out what we are thankful for, set a very simple table and eat as many locally grown seasonal foods as possible!  This weekend usually marks the last opportunity to enjoy local corn on the cob but thankfully we are still able to enjoy potatoes, squash, onions, green beans, broccoli and salad greens!

And this should be where I insert a photo of the grand feast but I completely forgot to take any more photographs...so sorry! :o)

So I will leave you with a photo taken the other day that made us all rush outside to see
and reminded us all again how thankful we are to live on such an beautiful planet!
~ joey ~


happy thanksgiving!

To all of our Canadian friends,
wishing you a wonderful warm holiday with your family and friends!
I am thankful for:
~ my family and friends
~ good health
~ being surrounded by so many forms of creativity
~ all of nature's gifts
~ being able to live a simple life

~ joey ~