Thursday, July 31, 2008

Slow and Carefree Summer ?

My resolution for the New Year was not to fill up the calender.(My husband laughed at me when I told him that. ) I swore off booking everyday with a play date or an event this summer. Past experience has proved that it doesn't make for a relaxing summer (though most of the time it's fun). We had success at the begining of the summer. Not so much now. We have so many things we would like to do before school starts in four weeks.Visit friends & family, go to the beach, head up North, visit a museum or just get stuff done around the house.( Last on my list)

We have spent many days of doing nothing this summer though. Shorty has been able to spend countless hours in pretend play with his best friend that lives next door. Our yards are such that we can watch the children play easily.

We took pictures of the boys backpacks hanging in the tree recently. We loved what it represented. Children that enjoy the outdoors. Running, riding, and jumping around instead of ; inside on the couch with a video game in their hands.


Tomorrow we go to The Castle in The Clouds. Hope there is no rain. Shorty was disappointed we didn't get their last week. I will post pictures of the estate and the nature trails that surround it.

Hope all are having a great summer!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Etsy and Craft Fairs

Hello everyone,

In a few weeks I will be offering post cards in my Etsy store. Here is an example of some of the pictures I have chosen. You can view my photo stream at:

I will be offering them as note cards and pictures that are on canvas with gallery style side edges. I hope to in the next few weeks take more pictures. If you are interested in any pictures let me know. The post cards are going to be around $2 to $3 a piece plus shipping and handling. I also hope to have my art work made into postcards and regular size cards in the future.

I'm working towards a web sight where you would be able to buy directly from me. I will be excepting Pay Pal and Money orders. You can read about my shipping and return Policy on Etsy .

Speaking of Etsy, it is a wonderful sight. I could spend hours checking out everything. How about making this Christmas a handmade season. Each piece is made by a person with passion and love for what they do. Can't find that in a big box store.
All items on Etsty are hand made, Vintage (over Twenty years old), or items you use to make crafts. You could make your own Christmas presents. I love getting hand made things for my birthday or Christmas. My best friend shops all year at different craft fairs to find the perfect gifts to give to family and friends.

The craft fair season is starting around here. This weekend Kingston is having Kingston Days on the plains. It's like an old time country fair. On Saturday they have an art show, local artist sell and demonstrate their talents. A great place to find up and coming artist.
The League of Craftsmen will be holding their annual fair this weekend through next weekend (Aug 2-10). They are celebrating 75 years . This the best of the best. They are all juried craftsman/craftswomen.
The event takes place at Mount Sunapee Resort, Newbury , NH
A beautiful drive no matter which direction you come from. Route 93 to 89.

Another big craft show is The Rockingham Craftsmen Fair. For the first time this year it will be held in Stratham, NH at Stratham Hill Park. It takes place Saturday August 2, 9-3.
All the crafters have been juried . They also put on a fair towards Christmas.

Check out a craft fair in your local area and connect with the talented people that are in your own backyard. Your local newspaper usually is loaded with different events happening in your area.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Pick Your Own Farms

< Today we went blueberry picking. This is our third trip back to The Monahan Farm this year.
Our goal is to try and pick 40 pounds of blueberries. So far we are at 15 pounds. We have a long long way to go. It doesn't help when Shorty picks one, eats one, and then picks one.

He came up with a good method that helped move it along. He cupped his two hands together and I would place a bunch in his hands, he would place them in the bucket and then we would repeat. He felt like he was being a big help and we were able to fill the buckets quicker.

I think he had a slight tummy ache after eating those blueberries. Hopefully we will be able to go again sometime this week.

A great tip I was given to freeze them is, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. After take them out and put them in some kind of freezer container.

Tonight grandparents and great gram came over for dessert. We served Raspberry Turn Overs. The raspberries came from Monahans. I made a dozen or so turn overs when we picked the raspberries few Weeks ago. They are easy to make and freeze well. The recipe is below. I got the recipe out of Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book. I have modified it a little for our family.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie

  1. 2 cups of flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 2/3 cup of shortening ( I like to use butter that is local)
  4. 6 to 7 tablespoons of water

Double this recipe to make 8 turn overs

Stir together flour and salt. Cut in the shortening till pieces are pea size.( You can use two knifes or pastry blender to combined the two).

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture: gentle toss with fork. Push moistened dough to the side of bowl. Repeat using 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture is moistened. Dived the dough into 4 balls ( 8 if you doubled the crust recipe) . Put the dough in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Raspberry Filling
  1. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  3. 5 cups of fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries

In a large bowl stir together the sugar and flour. Add raspberries. Gently toss until all the raspberries are coated. If using frozen fruit let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes .

Roll out each pasty ball into a circle. Dough should be smooth before you place the filling on top. Place about 1/4 cup of filling on each pasty . Fold in half. Press edges of Turn Overs with a fork. Mark slits on top with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet or flat cooking stone.

Place parchment paper on rack to catch any over flow. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Cook in a 375* oven for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Frozen berries will take longer to cook. You can tell when they are done by looking at the crust. It should be golden brown. The juice that seeps out should be thick.

You can also cook these on the grill (I used a couple mini cast iron skillets). Grease bottom on pans.Place two Turn Overs in each pan. Have grill on low. The temperature should be around 300*. You do have to keep constant watch when it is on the grill. If it is cooking to fast, move to part of grill that doesn't have any flame. The heat will cook the turn over. Use a metal spatula to lift around the Turn Over as it cooks. This keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

You could use almost any fruit in this turn over. Raspberries Turn Overs just happen to be my husband's favorite. My son & I love apple. Can't wait for apple picking season.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Preview Of Products for Etsy

I know it's been about a week since I've added anything to my Etsy store. I'm working on new products. Here is a preview of what will be coming. They are not done and I have a few more things to add. They are the actually drawings and not a print. These will be sold as book marks. I have protected them with a glossy spray, so the pencil and ink won't smudge. They will have a ribbon on the top that complements the drawing. I hope to add them to my store some time this week. I also hope to have postcards and cards of my photography and art work made up soon. Let me know what you think.

Stay Tuned & Have Fun!

Mountain Biking in New Hampshire

Today was a day to head out to the woods and ride some dirt roads and single track. My husband and son's thoughts are, the muddier you get , the better. Shorty was very proud that his whole back side was splattered with it. We started out on a dirt road, then found some single track trails. Lots of hills to go down . Unfortunately, we had to go back up all those hills. It was all worth it though. Awesome trails!
We were at Pawtuckaway State Park. You can access this part of the park in Deerfield. It's off Route 107. Turn on to Reservation Road. The road is a dirt road that forks. Their is a sign at the fork that says the "fire tower" (pointing to the right).Take a right at the fork and find any place along the side to park. The road twist and turns many times. Sometimes you will come across low areas that are washed out after a heavy rain. Not a good road for really low cars, though over the last few years they have done a lot of road work to make it passable.

In this park you will find hiking trails, dirt roads, single track, streams, marshes, beautiful forest, and the Boulder Fields, they are a popular place for climbers to practice their climbing techniques. These giant boulders were left behind during the last Ice Age.

Things to bring when are mountain biking:

A back pack filled with the following items:

  • Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tube kit
  • Tools to repair bike
  • A energy snack
  • Camera
  • Extra Clothing

It's a good idea to ride with a buddy. If you do ride by yourself make sure you let someone know where you will be riding and when you plan to be back. You can bring your cell phone but don't re lie on it. I know most places we hike & bike there is no cell towers.

Grab the children and start riding. With gas prices going up, bike sales are going up to. If you are looking for a bike it is best to go to a bike shop. Your bike will be better fitted to you or your child. Quality is everything when it comes to a good ride. Expect to pay around $100 and up. A bad fitting bike will discourage anyone just starting out. The technician will adjust the bike for proper fit to you. Shop around and do the research first. I know some shops will do free maintenance on your bike if you buy your bike from them. You might get a better trade in if you deal with the same shop over a long time.


If your new to riding start out slow and easy. There are many trails in New Hampshire that are labeled easy. Check out NEMB ( New England Mountain Biking ). They have chapters all over New England. They hold events for all riding levels. The latest was at Bear Brook State Park They had family rides, advanced rides, and offered clinics for women riders.

The Olympics this year will be debuting BMX. My son has been doing this for a few years now. We have noticed an increase in the amount of riders. We have seen a 4 year old girl to a 63 year old man race. It's truly a family event. Everyone cheers and supports all the riders. Their is a track in most States. New Hampshire has Rye Air Field Skate Park in Rye and Whale Back in Enfield. Our track lets you have your first race free. After that you have to pay for a NBL licence. Then at each race, you can pay just for points or trophy/ points. About $12 to $15 a race.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nature Walk

Today we headed up north to go to The Castle In the Clouds. We had a late start. We arrived there after many hours of detours, due to Tornado damage & car accidents on the highway. It was to late to venture out on all that The castle has to offer, so we are going to try it next week. Stay tuned.

However we did end up on some of the prettiest roads in New Hampshire. Route 25 through Ashland, Meredith, and Moultonborough. I will be going back up in the Fall to take pictures. The scenic roads are sprinkled with old historic homes dating back to the 17Th century. Stone walls, roving hills, and giant maple trees added the final touch to the picture perfect roads.

We ended up in Tamworth at Lake Chocora. The lake has been photographed thousands of times through out the years. Especially in the fall when the trees are at their peak. The Bluegrass band Nickle Creek filmed part of their video, The Light House Keeper, at the lake.

We ate our picnic lunch, Shorty swam, and my mother & I took in the great view while relaxing in our lawn chairs. After Shorty was done swimming we went for a nature walk on a trail that follows the lake. It wasn't very long, but we took our time and explored the environment around us. My mother had been on that trail about 50 years ago with her father. She said she was around shorties age. We saw many signs of wildlife. Scat from deer, feathered nest, and many insects. Shorty brought along his nature journal so he could record and draw what he saw. A Daddy Long Leg had tried to hitch a ride on my shoulder when we were heading back to our car. I'm glad I'm not scared of them. Though if it had been a snake my feet would not have seen the ground for a mile.

Even though the day didn't end up the way we had planned, it was fun. My son got to spend some quality time with his grandmother and mom.

I was able to get some pictures of my Art & Nature class I taught, from our wonderful children's Librarian. I want to thank her for letting me post them.

I'm looking froward to this fall's art classes with the children. I've even had a few mothers interested in taken my class.
Have a Great Night & Have Fun with Your Family!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Art & Nature Classes

The art & nature class I did at our local library was a hit. I would have posted pictures but I think they got deleted some how. I will keep looking for them. This is the example my son did for the class. It's a Foxglove Flower.
The children had a great time. They were so excited to be drawing outside and investigating everything around them.
I provided clipboards, paper, pencils, magnifying glasses, oil pastels, and all the material to frame the finished pictures.
We started the class with discussing artist that were also naturalist. I set up books to give the parents and children ideas to read. They were biographies, craft ideas, outdoor projects to do with the whole family, how to draw and paint books.
I set up examples of leaves, flowers, and other nature items from outdoors. After the children looked at them on the table, we sat down and looked at each item up close. We looked at shape, texture, and color.
After passing out all the materials, we went outside and explored our environment. The kids looked at bugs, leaves, flowers, and cobwebs. We drew outside for about 40 minutes.
After we went in we pasted our pictures to construction paper, attached it to a wooden stick with satin ribbon. Their art work is now ready to hang.
My goal is to encourage more families to get outside and observe their environment around them. If we make a connection with our children to their environment then they will connect to it as adults and be future stwerards of our Earth. Statistic say that less and less children are going outdoors. This is so sad to hear.
Lets get the kids off the couch and into the outdoors.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Eating from our harvest.

Tonight we ate our first red potatoes. We have never grown potatoes before, so this was very exciting. When we first planted them, we had put them upside down. Yesterday we had our first tomato. My son was so excited to go pick it off the vine. He helped plant it, weed it, and pick it. We are teaching him that his food just doesn't show up at the grocery store.

Red potatoes in iron skillet on grill.
  1. Quartered red potatoes (One per person)
  2. Quartered Vidal onion
  3. Dash of sea salt
  4. Cracked black pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  6. Fresh herbs ( thyme, rosemary or your preference)

Toss all the ingredients in an iron skillet. Make sure all the potatoes are coated with the olive oil. Place on low flame on grill. Stir occasionally so the bottoms don't burn to the pan. Potatoes are done when they are soft and have a caramelized look.

We also have been picking our own fruit at the local farms. He helped me pick 35 pounds of strawberries, 4 pounds of raspberries, and so far we have only picked 5 pounds of blueberries. The first day we went out he stated to me that "This is fun. I thought it would be boring" .

We gave Shorty his own section in the garden. While right now he's not into weeding it the way I would like, he is learning how to grow his own food. I spent my life watching my grandparents plant their own food; they canned, froze and stored it. My mother and I had a huge garden that we maintained.

I sent my mother home the other night with some of my homemade bread and and freshly canned jam. She called me that night and told me she thought I should put it in the fair this fall. She loved it. She asked where I learned to cook and I told her it was from her. Her answer back was, you never wanted to help. I told her that I liked to watch and now I love to cook . So all you moms out their that think your children aren't paying attention to you, they are. And in their own sweet time they will do it .

My hope for my son is that by watching how we gather and make are own food, watch our carbon foot print by recycling, reusing, and reducing that he will continue it in his own life and someday pass it on to his family.
Words of my grandparents ring true today more then it ever did when I was growing up. They grew up in the depression and knew how to save and live on less. I think they would be very proud to see how I have passed that on to my family. My 83 year old grandmother gets a kick out of the fact that I went and bought a cloths line just like hers, hers has been up for more then 30 years. My mother still goes over to her house to hang out her sheets.
I did have to use the dryer today because laundry was getting backed up and the weather hasn't been that great. Does anyone else feel the guilt when you go back to the easier way of doing things. It happens I know.
Well enough ramblings for now.
Stay tuned for more recipes, ideas for the family and other fun stuff.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dumbledore Costume/ Make Believe Play

Last summer when the last Harry Potter book came out, we decided that he could stay up and get his book at Midnight. Water Street Book store had an event that went from 10 to midnight. He really wanted to dress up as Dumbledore. So I pulled out the sewing machine and started stitching. I draped the material on him to make sure it fit. I had a lot of fun putting it together. And as you can see he had a great time posing for pictures. He used the costume for Halloween and make-believe play around the house. He still tries to get in his costumes I made him three years ago.

Summer is truly a magical time in a child's life. These are memories as adults that we hold on to and cherish. Dress up the kids in some fun costumes and have a play outdoors. Have a campfire and toast marshmallows, chase Dragon Flies around the yard, or just pull up beside a tree, kick your shoes off and look up at the sky.

Have a magical summer.

Check out my Etsy store. I just added some new items. I also added more pictures to Flickr.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Afternoon,

What a beautiful day in New England. I'm able to work on my blog today and Etsy shop because Shorty is with his Nana. She's has taken him to the ocean today and will take him to one of our favorite lakes up north tomorrow.

Candy, staying up late, and spoiling them rotten I think is the privilege of a grandparent. They don't have to worry about all the everyday mundane stuff. PURE JOY

There was an interesting tidbit on the local news the other night. New Hampshire attractions up North are more busy than they have been in years. Most of the visitors were from New Hampshire. While a lot of people in this state leave to go on vacation, outer staters are flocking here to our playground in our own backyard. I know in the past when we have been in the White Mountains we are usually the only one with a NH licence plate while the rest are outer staters. I'm glad to see this year more people are sticking around here and enjoying the abundant adventures that are available here.
Hope you check back often. My blog is full of eclectic musings about life and ways to bring fun to your family and friends.

New Items added to my Etsy Store

I know it's been a few days since I last wrote, my goal was to write everyday. I'm trying to balance creativity and the business part. I am a self employed hairdresser part time. I don't think I would know what to do if I didn't have a least three or more things going on in my life.

I added a few pillows to my sight tonight. Let me know what you think. They are perfect for summer. I think they would look great on a hammock. Kick your feet up and put your head back. Hope everyone is having a fun summer. I know we are.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Good Morning Everyone,

Getting out in Nature really inspires my creative process. Being on the computer this much has fried my brain. Before I started my blog and my Etsy store I only went on the computer every other day. Now I can't seem to get off of it. I love reading about other people that have the same interest as myself.

It's a great day to grab the kids and head outdoors. We are so lucky where we live. We can be at the ocean in 20 minutes and the mountains in a hour. The area is full of state parks and public open space. So much to do and you don't have to spend a dime.
A great idea if you have a canoe is head to your local lake and bring a picnic. We pack the canoe and off to an island or open space along the shore . Shorty and I will swim while my husband fishes. It makes a great day of family time. As you can see from the photo you can see Shorty is fast asleep as we row back to the boat ramp.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good morning!

Today I wanted to share an idea about entertaining from home. My mother was teaching me the art of entertaining when I was a little girl before it was hip to be a homemaker. With gas prices today who can afford to go anywhere. My mother has always taught me to make lemonade when you have a lemon situation. Maybe now families will spend more time together.
We would go along the sides of the road gathering wildflower to put in old crocks and glass vases. She would put them through the house and leave some for the picnic table. Everybody would bring food and there own drinks.
These days my family does this with our kith & Kin (Kith means friends). Check out how we arranged the plate to make s'mores. A favorite.

Make a fire pit in your backyard for free.

1-Dig a hole wide and deep enough to hold a few pieces of wood. The fire department said that you have to be able to step over it. So no huge circles.

2-Make sure that there is no grass on the outside of the circle. We put About 4 inches of stone around the fire pit

3-Gather rocks around your yard. Place them on the outside of the circle and on top of the stone gravel you put down.

4- Call your fire department and get a permit.VERY IMPORTANT. They will come out and inspect it. Each town and state is different so call ahead before you go and build it. It would be very disappointing to have to take it apart.

5-Gather your Kith & Kin, food & drink, and great conversation.
6-Don't forget the marshmallows.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Check out these whimsical finials. These are the first of many fun products that I will sell in my Etsy store.
They would be a great addition to a childs room or brighten up any windows in your home.
Hope Everyone is Having a Magical Summer

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hey there,
This my firt time blogging. For me to chose one thing to talk about is almost impossible. I have so many thoughts going on in my head. At this moment in my life I have started my craft business back up and will be on ETSY soon (KITHANDKINSTUDIOS). I taught my first art and nature class today. It was great to see the kids so excited about looking at nature up close. I'm waiting to see if I got into an enviro class that runs for 12 weeks. I also work part time as a hairdresser and make-up artist. I look forward to talking to others that enjoy crafting, gardening, cooking, sewing, painting, photography, and many other things. If any one has advise about selling on ETSY that would be great.
Have Fun