brunchy sunday

Good friends of ours came to the house for Sunday brunch.


We ate heartily and played two rounds of Go Fish.




I almost skipped baking our favorite coffee cake, but Tom insisted. Twist my arm.


It came out rich and eggy with the perfect amount of crispy, sweet topping. We ate it warm from the oven. It got me thinking: if Sunday could transform into a single bite of food, maybe this would be it. Or, maybe apricot jam and tangy goat cheese on toast? No need to choose, I suppose.

It is raining. I think I'll make soup and be cozy today.
And, fold laundry. Forever.

Oh, and I know I mentioned it on Saturday, but I now tweet on Twitter: @redbirdcrafts. And, there is a new Twitter situation in my sidebar.

Happy Monday.
xo e

tweet tweet

I joined Twitter. You can follow me here: @redbirdcrafts (I'd love it if you would!)

Other that that, it is such a typical Saturday night. I'm folding laundry and writing. Thinking. Pausing. Folding more laundry (where does it all come from?)

Looking at dust puffs floating around the room. Thinking about vacuuming, but still sitting. Still folding laundry. Eating chocolate. About to watch a movie with Tom. Under a quilt. With the cat.

I like Saturday nights.

xo e

a royal birthday

Chick turned six, and she wanted to have a royal celebration where a few of her friends came dressed as queens, kings, princesses or princes (or anything royal-ish). One of her friends came dressed as a woodland messenger of sorts.

The children made crowns, listened while I read from some royal story books, and then they played a royal storytelling game.

They each chose three story starters from the basket and were challenged to draw pictures and write a story, which included all three ideas. There was some giggling and lots of quiet thinking.

Chick's three story starters were: telescope, mushroom, and a present. Her story was about a girl who lost her present, which was a golden ring. There were some twists and turns, and the ring ended up being discovered by the use of a telescope (of course!). The mushroom was magical and intertwined in there too somehow. Since working on her story, I've noticed lots of other little makeshift books and stories popping up at home.

Tom and I have been finding that we, too, like to dip our hands into the basket o' prompts. It is fun to be surprised, and we end up telling tiny dinner tales.

Happy weekend!

xo e
* treasured *

Each Wednesday I post about some sort of treasure I found during the past week. It might be thrifted or found on a walk or whispered in my ear or discovered on a dark shelf in the basement. Something. Anything that makes me feel lucky and thankful. It doesn't necessarily have to make its way home with me - it just has to be noticed. The idea is for it to cost very little and feel very big. After all, this isn't about acquiring new things; it is about paying better attention to the world around me.


If you discovered a treasure this week (a new friend, a snow fairy, a fancy dish at the thrift store, a bird's nest) please do share it, as well as any links, in the comments section below.

*****
Birthday treasures for Chick and me.

pancake dinner
new markers
and, a new super powerful (on clearance) pencil sharpener.
all pencils in the bucket were perfectly sharpened in around ten minutes. kazaaam.


fresh bulbs

I'll post later in the week about Chick's royal birthday party.

xo e

sneak peek



More on this little rainbow burst of color after the weekend.

For those in the northeast, join me in my search for tiny patches of grass this weekend. The patches will probably be matted down and brown and sparse, but if I can see actual grass, I'll be happy.

For those in places where trees are now blossoming, smell a bud for me.

xo e
* treasured *

Each Wednesday I post about some sort of treasure I found during the past week. It might be thrifted or found on a walk or whispered in my ear or discovered on a dark shelf in the basement. Something. Anything that makes me feel lucky and thankful. It doesn't necessarily have to make its way home with me - it just has to be noticed. The idea is for it to cost very little and feel very big. After all, this isn't about acquiring new things; it is about paying better attention to the world around me.


If you discovered a treasure this week (a new friend, a snow fairy, a fancy dish at the thrift store, a bird's nest) please do share it, as well as any links, in the comments section below.

*****


Earlier this week (or late last week), my friend Maddie and I were talking about ways to swim in the deeper waters of our creative processes. She mentioned a few books that she was reading, and while I was talking to her, phone wedged under my chin, nose running steadily (I'm all about honesty! I'm getting over a really bad cold), I slid to my bookshelf and plucked peomcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge off of it.

I was 21 the last time I read this. I was writing a poem a week for my writing class, and I was probably sleeping on some patch of grass somewhere with a tub of couscous and a mug of tea planted by my feet. The pages are a bit yellowed. Time has passed.

When I read through the pages that I had marked up and folded over, I was pleased with my 21 year old self. I would totally still underline the part about the hollow tree and the squirrel furniture.


I am still me. My path makes sense. Deep breaths.



xo e

kid rocks!



Here is a little sneak peak at our Valentine making festivities today. Chick made 22 (+ 3 for her three classroom teachers) love rocks, and Mouse made two for both of her teachers (plus a bunch of extras to use for her "rock show").




And by festivities, I mean two peppy kids happily gluing hearts onto rocks while two tired, sick parents sip tea and cough into tissues. Laundry really isn't my thing, but this yucko virus has made me fantasize about washing every single germ off of every single piece of cloth in our house.

Enough about germs, though. To me, Valentine's Day has always felt like a big splash of bright paint that pools into our grayish, powdery, white, winter world. I really do like celebrating a bit with notes and hearts and tiny tokens of love. It makes me happy.

Sending love.

xo e
* treasured *

Each Wednesday I post about some sort of treasure I found during the past week. It might be thrifted or found on a walk or whispered in my ear or discovered on a dark shelf in the basement. Something. Anything that makes me feel lucky and thankful. It doesn't necessarily have to make its way home with me - it just has to be noticed. The idea is for it to cost very little and feel very big. After all, this isn't about acquiring new things; it is about paying better attention to the world around me.


If you discovered a treasure this week (a new friend, a snow fairy, a fancy dish at the thrift store, a birds nest) please do share it, as well as any links, in the comments section below.

*****

I found sunshine on a plate on a partly cloudy day.

I also found three mustard yellow Fire King ridged mugs and a little plate with pink flowers. The plate and mugs were from my local thrift store.

The oranges were a gift from my dad who used the rest to make braised orange chicken for all of us to eat. So, I guess I also found dinner.

My family found an uncomfortable cough, but that's not a treasure.

xo e

thank you and a flower power ring

Flower power ring.

In an earlier post, I think I mentioned that I made rings with flowers as well as with the felt and wooden hearts. I found a pack of paper flowers at the craft shop, and I sewed them on with needle and thread - just like I did with the heart rings.

Big thanks to Emily at Saltwater-Kids and the folks at Parent Map for linking to my Valentine's Day heart magnets from last year. Take a peek at Saltwater Kids clever heart shaped warm pack for scrapes and bruises. Such a sweet candy-free idea. Then, head over to Parent Map where they feature a whole bunch of bright cheery Valentine's Day projects which use repurposed materials.

More thanks to Not the Office Type for linking to my Story Stones in her post about making her own sweet love rocks.

And, even more big thanks for the kind and comforting thoughts and memories you wrote in response to the post about losing my Nanny Ruth. In the midst of my sadness, I feel so lucky to be connected to beautiful people like you. Honest! I really feel that way. Thank you, dear friends.

I think it is going to snow again. But, what's new?

Happy Friday.

xo e

conversation Love Rocks!

Love rocks! Just in time for Valentine's day. These conversation Love Rocks! have a heart on the front and a witty (or just plain sweet) message stamped on the back. Make your hearts skinny or bubbly or teeny tiny or really big - each rock ends up with its own little personality.

I used both fabric and paper with some Mod Podge for the hearts and a black stamp pad and mini alphabet stamps for the lettering. It is best to first fix your heart onto the stone with Mod Podge. Then, after the heart is dry, stamp the other side with your word(s). Once the lettering is dry, you can give that side a coat of Mod Podge as well. I chose to leave the lettering side plain (no Mod Podge).

One last little crafting note: I used a VersaCraft ink pad for the lettering because I use this ink pad for any kind of printing that is on a material other than paper (like fabric or wood). Since rocks are not paper, I went the VersaCraft route. This does not mean that another kind of ink pad won't work. You'll just have to try a few different kinds of ink pads and rock surfaces to see what works best. I recommend letting it dry overnight, and then, the next day, giving it the smudge test where you rub your thumb over the lettering.

Now, about that elephant in the room. I live in the northeast where we have over three feet of snow on the ground and a seemingly endless amount of snow days. I'm so sorry if you don't have any stones to work with. If you don't live in a climate where rock collecting is possible and you don't have some extra stones kicking around your house, then just collect some stones this spring and save 'em up for next year. Or, just make some spring rocks when the time comes: a big sunny sun with "you melt my heart" or a tree with "don't ever leave" or a flower with "pollinate me." That last one was a little sassy, right?

Make a few, put them in a little muslin sack, and give them to someone you love.

They might make nice paper weights?


This is definitely a fun kids craft. Chick cut out hearts to use for a whole bunch of love rocks! for her friends.I'll share photographs of those closer to Valentine's Day. Older kids can do the lettering as well as the cutting and gluing. You might even want to nibble on candy conversation hearts for inspiration: love bug, u r mine, sweet talk.


Maybe make a few tiny heart rocks with magnets to give as little magnet sets. Maybe?

love rocks!
heart rocks!
you rocks!

xo e
* treasured *

Each Wednesday I post about some sort of treasure I found during the past week. It might be thrifted or found on a walk or whispered in my ear or discovered on a dark shelf in the basement. Something. Anything that makes me feel lucky and thankful. It doesn't necessarily have to make its way home with me - it just has to be noticed. The idea is for it to cost very little and feel very big. After all, this isn't about acquiring new things; it is about paying better attention to the world around me.


If you discovered a treasure this week (a new friend, a snow fairy, a fancy dish at the thrift store, a birds nest) please do share it, as well as any links, in the comments section below.

*****


My Nanny Ruth passed away last week. She was 91, and lived a beautiful, full life, but when you love someone as much as I love her, there is never enough time. Oh! how deeply I miss her already. This past week has been blurry and kind of dreamlike. It seems impossible that we've lost her - that I won't see her sparkly, warm eyes again. I've been comforting myself with reminders that she will always be present within me, and that I can see her in my daughters' red hair, their smiles, their compassion. I also take comfort in knowing that Nanny was a journalist and archivist; we have boxes and boxes of letters, invitations, awards, notes, cards, drawings, and journals. She and my Papa Joe drove on a long cross country trip, and every single evening she wrote in her journal about that day's adventure. One day, Tom and I plan to RV camp our way across the country following in their exact footsteps.

And, she kept a "baby book" for me. Get this - her last entry was in 2010! Hello, treasure! The best part is that within the 34 years of her detailed accounts of my life are little love messages reminding me to be happy, to stay close with my family, telling us how much she loves us. She is comforting me now, even though she is gone. That is so my Nanny.

Everything that was hers, everything she touched and looked at and loved, everything she wrote and doodled, everything I remember about her are my treasures. There really are so many.

xo e

p.s. Check out the gold peace sign that she is wearing in the above picture. My Papa Joe wore that every single day under his shirts, and when he passed away, Nanny wore it.