Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Secret Messages To My Girl

Sometimes I have good ideas, and good follow through. Especially when they involve my favorite things...sketching and loving my kids. Laurel has started keeping a sketch book like me, she calls it her idea book. And sometimes when she's not paying attention I flip through the pages and hide notes and sketches for her to find later.

(hey, I may have bad follow through on EVERYTHING else, but this I can do)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Deep Dark Secret....

You want to know a secret? I google "Alpalca farms for sale" nearly every week. Sometimes I look up just "farms for sale" or "sheep farms for sale." It just depends on my whacky mood. Sometimes I comb the country, sometimes I look in specific Hood River, Oregon (drool).

I want to live on a farm with my family. I want a family cow. I want a fiber-growing-animal that I can spin into homemade yarn that we dye ourselves. I want to drink the milk and cream from our own cow. I want to make our own butter and cheese. I want chickens and a huge garden. I want cherry trees and apple trees and goats. I want my daughter to have the horse she wants. I want my son to be able to run wild and free without worrying about traffic or bad people.

Can you guess my deep dark secret?

Yes, it's true...I want to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Thursday, March 22, 2012 is da bomb

I have never ordered fabric online. I like to walk through the fabric store and touch, and see and smell (yes, smell...I like the smell of a new bolt of fabric) all the fabrics. But, here on my island (it's mine, didn't you know?) the fabric choices are limited and a little pricey. (though I was able to snag some Amy Butler for $5.99 a yard a few months ago)

So I finally took the leap and spent my birthday money on some gorgeous fabrics. Technically I shouldn't have...wasn't I going to use up scraps this month?

(I think I read that somewhere...tee hee)

But I bought the fabric anyway, and I can't wait for it to arrive. Plus, as I was checking out I decided to open another window and google coupons...and guess what? For doing nothing other than that I got 15% off my whole order. You know what that means? I have $13 more to spend at Amazon and MountainRoseherbs when I buy my natural beauty product supplies...woo hoo! (spent and spent...can't wait till boxes start arriving!)

This is what I bought!! I have visions of curtains and pillows and quilts and stuffed animals!! (thank you Pinterest for all the lovely inspiration)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prelude to Awesomeness

Since this is Spring Break we've done what all normal families do. Schedule the entire week as if we're homeschooling to test out the waters.

What, that isn't what everyone does?!?!

Ok, I understand most people go somewhere. They take a vacation, they breath and relax. But honestly, I feel more relaxed than I have in my adult life. I have learned that the more right decisions I make in my life, the better I feel. (And I'm feeling pretty good right now.)

So far we have scheduled in swim lessons, art time, writing, reading, math, cooking, snuggling and tons of crazy free play. I have never seen these two play like this. The TV has been completely off, and the result is that I am currently watching a war between the Indians and the Valentine's themed stuffed animals. (the Indians are trying to steal the smallest V-day puppy dog and everyone else is preparing for battle)

It's amazing watching them use their imaginations nonstop, and it's great to NOT have the ugly external influences of the public school that we've been fighting since the beginning of the year. (ie girl bullies...I had no idea they existed in Kindergarten) I will be sad to see Laurel go back to school next week, and waiting the 2 long months to have her back full time is going to seem like FOREVER. But on the other hand it means my Luke-only time is dwindling, so I will be occupied with really taking advantage of every second.

This (above) was a nature-project that Laurel came up with herself. She collected the nature items, she decided on a theme and she directed everyone on what to do. She also has been teaching her brother; who can now write the whole alphabet, his full name and any other words she directs him to write. I had no idea how quickly homeschooling would take root. It's like we've been doing it for years, and yet it's only been a few days.

As I was looking back at pictures over the last year I noticed a kids being great friends and explorers. It made me realize that maybe we've been homeschoolers all along...we just didn't know it yet.

I can't wait for summer!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Holla Homeschooling Peeps

That's right parenting gangstas...I am joining the ranks of the homeschooling nation. I am so excited about this choice, but it wasn't one made lightly or quickly.

I will be homeschooling a 1rst grader and a part-time preschooler. Laurel and I already have a list a mile long with all the things we want to learn. Plus, here in Alaska (maybe everywhere???) there is a yearly stipend to cover curriculum, internet, supplies and guitar (SQUEAL). Cost was originally a hindrance to us since we do choose to live well within our means (ie frugally). But in the end the decision was made for me, by my bones. I've said before that when I know what I'm supposed to do I feel it in my bones (IN MY BONES). And if I choose not to do the thing that my bones know is right---I throw myself off balance. I become angry and cranky, because you should always do what you know to be right!! Seriously folks, listen to your bones.

We are ready for this challenge...I have visions of hiking, beach combing, guitar playing, bread making, knitting, sewing, reading, gardening and of course learning. I'm looking forward to stuff like this:

Damn it feels good to be a Gangsta.

(People who aren't familiar with the song...please don't be's just a joke. Oh man, I've probably already scared off the conservative homeschooling crowd. Ah well, it was bound to happen sooner or later)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Crafty Chemist

I renamed myself. No more Maggie Blue. It makes sense, I'm a chemist, I like to craft...The Crafty Chemist...but, alas (and not a surprise) it's already taken on ETSY. In fact it's taken twice, TheCraftyChemist and CraftyChemist. Oy. Ah well, I'm pretty attached to MB's more than a store, it's my alter-ego.

be's a little strange to have so many chemist-turned-crafters, right?

The reason for the change is that I've been messing around for years on the internet looking at recipes for handmade body products (lotions, scrubs, etc). My interest first arose when I decided to get pregnant with Laurel. I switched over to Alima for my makeup, natural soap for washing and jojoba oil for moisturizing. But now that I'm in my mid-30s that doesn't really cut it. (those under-eye bags are getting too baggy) Once in a great while I'll remember to use my homemade body scrub, which of course is ridiculously easy to make and works well. But I'm ready for a more regular skin care regime, since I neither want or can afford the chemical laden stuff from the store...I will try my own.

More recently with the help of Pinterest I've been able to collect recipe after recipe for a variety of body lotions, body butters, deodorant, lip balm, etc. And I am ready to jump in and try some out. Since I ACTUALLY earned some money today working part-time I think I will put it towards an initial investment in some of the basics I will need. Coconut oil, shea butter, some more essential oils, etc. I've heard that Mountain Rose Herbs is an awesome resource from many people, so I think I will start there and try out some recipes. I'll let you know how they turn out.

click on the pictures to take you to the posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goodbye Georgia Dreams

We officially sold our house in Milton. Our farm. What we thought was our forever dream. And while I don't regret our change of plans, that doesn't mean that we don't mourn the loss of this once all encompassing dream of ours. To our farm, our house plans, our camper and our goats...we miss you, we think about you often and remember the good times.

The nightly bonfire (the time I almost set the tree above on fire), catching fireflies in mason jars to light our camper, the garden that we built and planted, and to Eugene and Goatie Goatie...we loved it all...except the Kudzu and recurring Poison Ivy.

We took a loss on the house overall, but I can't consider it that way. We formed ourselves as a family throughout this project. I could never trade in the memory of living together in the camper. The kids cuddling up in the their bunks every night, and never being further than 20 feet from them. I will never forget the spring demolition work Jon and I did together...that's the stuff good marriages are made of (thankfully we didn't kill each other).

I know there were a few naysayers out there about the Milton project, but here is the truth...if you aren't trying to live your dreams...if you aren't willing to forgo fear and commonsense to do what you know in your bones is right, then you aren't living.

So here's to the living we've done, the living we're doing and the living we will do until the day that we die. And here's to my husband for doing it with me, without you none of this would have happened. I know you say it's me, but it's not me...I may have the dreams but you make them happen. We make one hell of a team...for reals.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Cleaning (time to use up some scraps)

Not that our weather is in any way spring like...but still, with March having begun it feels like spring cleaning time to me. So I started with the mudroom/craft room/piano room yesterday (aka the dumping grounds for EVERYTHING). Since a lot of what I was picking up was fabric, I thought to myself that March would be a perfect time to try and use up some scraps. I keep seeing "stashbuster" pins on Pinterest and so it's time to make use of some of these old scraps.

Project 1: Luke and I made this quick cloth cover for a can that I have been saving. I hemmed the edges and added a quick applique leaf and he glued it on with craft glue. A super quick project that I will soon do to the whole collection of saved cans---in an attempt to finally organize the kids art table.

Project 2: Today I started a quilt. This quilt that I started has no rhyme or reason. It has no plan, no purpose and no timeline. This is a new thing to me. I like fast results, I like to think about and design what I do. This is a freeform project in which I will sew on too-small fabric scraps randomly until something begins to take shape.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Don't tell anyone, but he's really Superman.

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