At long last I am actually writing this post. I have dreamed about this for almost as many years as I have been authoring this blog. It is with great satisfaction I can finally say–and mean it–The birthday book is done! 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays
I have told my husband and the kids so many times “the birthday book is done” that it started to loose meaning. Draft after draft, after frustrating small-tweaks-here-and-there draft, it is really truly completely, no-more-to-do done. I invite you to to pop some champagne for me… no not really, I can do that myself, but geez luize, it is good to put this one on the shelf and say fini! 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays
It was a project my good friend Robin and I started back when the kids were little. We traveled through so many stages of our lives and I have lived in five houses since we started. I guess I like to move! Or it has just taken a long time and finding the place that is home takes a long time too. 
But anyway, enough about that, here are some of my favorite images from the book:

Filled to the brim with step-by-step instructions for making original gifts, favors, cakes, wrapping, decorations and games, BIRTHDAYS: HANDMADE, HOMEMADE is interwoven with stories, photographs, illustrations and anecdotes. We invite readers to pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea and spend the afternoon making and creating. Our goal is to offer inspiration on how to make a birthday handmade, homemade and your very own.
Readers will love the creative ideas that make this book so personal and tangible. Projects range from fast and easy . . . Dinosaurs in real eggshells, to more timely and in depth . . . Dining table forts. Young parents and do-it-yourself enthusiasts will find endless help onhow to prepare and execute a homemade birthday party.
At a time when it seems like families are trying to take back just a bit of their own and blogs hum with self-reliant know-how, this book is a great jumping-off point for those aiming to leave commercialism behind and bring it all back to the ones they love. 
Birthdays: Handmade, Homemade is available online. 
crafts, chidren, homeschool, birthdays

Hope everyone is enjoying summer!


P.S. I have one copy to give away, so if you live in the United States and would like to enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. I’ll pick a name at random and post a winner Sunday July 23rd.

Raw Spice Bar… A Givaway!

Hello to everyone that I seem not to be writing enough to. It’s been such a busy time, but I want to catch everyone before the holiday season takes off. I still will be posting more trip pictures, but I want to tuck in this post in because I have a GIVEAWAY to host!
Raw Spice Bar, which I have written about before, is a super fun monthly mail subscription, spice boutique. I was offered a sample subscription a year or so ago and liked it enough to actually order my mom the subscription for her birthday. All the spices come with recipes and are sent in little, single recipe-size packages. 
Thanks to Sarah at Raw Spice Bar, I can offer one of my readers a free three-month subscription!
To enter, please post in the comments below what your most go to spice is. I would say one of my most favorite for savory cooking is freshly toasted and ground cumin.
Also, I recommend checking out their shop:
Last day to comment will be Friday November 25th. 
I will post the winner by random selection this weekend. Thanks for entering!
Sadly this has to be for US residents only.
                                                                                Cheers ~

P.S. Double your chance to win by sharing this post on your blog or in social media. 
Please post a link to your share with your comment.

Raw Spice Bar… a giveaway…

I am very excited to offer a giveaway from Raw Spice Bar. I was recently contacted by lovely Rebecca, who sent me the most wonderful spice blends. She said Raw Spice Bar is an innovative spice subscription where you receive a package of three freshly ground spice blends each month. The cool part too is they include recipes for how to use the spices they send. I have to admit I loved the chai blend so much I added a dash to my tea… 
Thanks to Rebecca, I can offer one reader a two-month subscription for free. To enter, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite spices are. I’ll start with I love cardamom!
This is a delicious almond-chai cake my sweet-potato of an eleven-year-old surprised me with…
                                Cheers, and I’ll draw a winner at random next Sunday.
                                                             ~ Marica

~ Jessica Edwards is the winner of this giveaway! 
Please contact me with info on where to send your spice subscription ~

2Hands2Tails… a giveaway!

Dear Country Mouse,
I found the neatest artist, Annalisa Bollini, through Etsy. She is based out of Italy and does the most wonderful unique art. I love it! Her shop is called2Hands2Tails.  I think Alena would be inspired too, so please show her these pictures…

textile art, blogger, italian artist
I contacted Annalisa to ask if she would offer a piece for a giveaway for our readers. She happily agreed. So, if you’re reading out there… Check out Annalisa’s2Hands2Tails shop and then mention which piece is your favorite in the comment section below: blooming fish, ice cream forest, the lion horse, mosquitonkey or snail bird. Winner will receive a print of their favorite listed. 

Drawing for the winner will be held on April 25th.
       Anyway, I miss you lovely Country Mouse!
                City Mouse

Oh Sweet Monday, and a giveaway…

Good morning lovely Monday world. It is my day off, the pie truck is closed and I have the whole day to do as I wish.  I am learning that on these days away from the truck I tend to have such high hopes for getting things done that I often feel frustrated come evening. It is not that I want to do ten million errands, it is that I want to work on so many projects that there is no way to fit them all in. How do I choose where to start? I am getting better at this weekly pattern—at least I see it, and am not so crushed at my lack of ability to create it all.  But there is still that rise and fall every week…

This is where my dilemma in loyalty gets split. Pies or books?? Clean house or take a nap. I used to hear people say if you want to do something well you have to give it a hundred percent. I always want to so many things all the way, I couldn’t settle for just one. Years ago I read Brian Eno’s biography and was forever inspired. He was a musician of course, a producer of some of the most amazing bands, a painter, involved in politics and he had children when he was young. This is the stuff I want to hear—you can do it all! Or at least he could…
As the holidays are nearing, I am excited to offer a giveaway of my first published 
children’s book Oh My Sweet Baby 
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
 Please leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. If you post this 
giveaway elsewhere, state the link and you will be entered twice.
Drawing will happen December 16th.
                                                                         Cheers ~

Noticing that…

Autumn officially arrived today. Not by the calendar’s standard, but the cooler air 
and sudden burnt orange colors showing up everywhere has made it official…  
 It has been happening on and off for the last few weeks, cooler mornings and 
then sharp swings back up to hotter spells….
 I’ve been waiting for the change…
 I can only handle so much heat, and this summer was far more extreme then I had expected…
 I’ll miss the sun flowers…
 And Echinacea, that the people who lived here before us had so thoughtfully planted…
I’ll miss all the flowers…
 But I’m ready for the shift… Are you?

Thank you to everyone who entered my book giveaway! I’m happy to announce Maria Simon won.
                                                                                Cheers to Everyone ~ 

Oh My Sweet Baby

I am so excited to show everyone my first children’s book—PUBLISHED!!!!! 
It feels amazing to finally have a chance to hold in my hands, my very own work. 
A few weeks ago I called a good friend who manages a bookstore, to ask if he would consider carrying my book on their shelves. His response was “of course,” and “congratulations on completing a project.”  I loved this because his words fit my feelings so exactly. The most exhilarating part of my book being published, is the fact I have a totally finished, completed, ready to go, chunk of done. I kept pushing through, telling myself; once it is completed you will feel no guilt toward the longtime tucked away pages of this creation. I have so many tucked away creations, as I believe so many of us do. This one was started, I’m guessing, seven or eight years ago. It was inspired by my babies and my love of babies, and their sweet mothers, the old fashioned kind of mothers, who had so many children and all of them would follow her around, and on and on and on. 
Anyway, setting humbleness aside, I am proud to finally be done and published. 
As a little fun way to get a flurry around this publication, I am offering a giveaway of this book.
To enter, please leave a comment. If you wish to be entered twice, link to this post on your own blog, Facebook, or twitter and post that link in your post here. I will draw the winner at random on September 15th.
Thanks to all you lovely readers!!!!
                                  Cheers ~
To order, you can find it at the usual, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, or at the publisher’s site.

Giveaway Closed. Thank you for participating.
Maria Simon is the winner.

It’s been a year . . . pumpkins . . . creations . . . and a GIVEAWAY . . .

 Oh my gosh, it has been a year exactly!!! October 30th 2010 was my first post . . . 
And here we are, full circle round the sun and many more posts to go . . . This has been fun thus far. I love having somewhere to put bits of my days, which after turning into a post feel like a completed, tied in project. I love having the faraway people I have gotten to know, even if it is only a glimpse into their worlds. I love writing often, and not just in scribbles on random bits of paper, tucked in my pocket or my bag, rarely to resurface. I take residence in this Wasabi Honey Bee domain, and I like it. 
It is a space to keep track of the things I do, and to share them with people who have the same continues desire to make make make things . . .
I love when I receive comments, it is so satisfying and reassuring . . . 
And I love taking pictures . . . Sometimes so many to just get that one perfect shot . . . 
Other times hundreds not to get even one satisfactory square of moment captured . . . 
I thank you to all the readers and friends who come by this space,
 and I would like to offer a giveaway.  
A completely autumn package including
              Earrings, made by my dear dear friend . . . I will be telling you more about her soon.
              Decorative puppet, as you see above.
              Cookbook, written by my mother and illustrated by me. . . 

                                   with so many wonderful holiday recipes 

             Warm winter hat, you saw the beginnings of in a recent post

To enter please leave a comment on this post. If you link about this giveaway I will enter you twice, and if you feel encouraged to follow this blog, I will even add you again. 

Last chance to enter will be November 5th 
I will be posting the winner here and on the most current post on November 6th 2011 

The winner of the Autumn Package is:

For now, thank you and best wishes . . . 
                                                            ~ Marica    

The Hundredth Post . . . favorite links, and a giveaway . . .

Well here it is. A hundred posts down the road into blogland . . .
I have to say, it has been fun all along. I love the blogs I have found and enjoy the camaraderieship that high technology, usually my evil nemesis, has offered. Due to the fact we are all obviously on our computers while we look at each-other’s chronicles of best lived life, I thought I’d link to some of my dearest finds. These amazing pockets of creation are merely a click away, and I recommend the time spent checking them out:
As to the giveaway . . . A couple of years ago, my mama put together, or better said, finally complete putting together, a cookbook. It was a trek of a journey to get it through the publishing house and out on shelves. I was very involved, illustrating each page, testing and retesting recipes, and sharing the triumphant enormousy of getting published. Due to the fact Wasabi Honey Bee is so intermingled with cooking, I thought it very fitting to offer readers an opportunity to win a copy of this book. I am actually putting three copies up for grabs, so there can be three winners. To enter, leave a comment on this post by midnight (Pacific Standard time) July 30th . If you link back to this post on your site, I will double dip you in the drawing. 
Winners will be posted July 31st
Winners are: 

The Hungry Crafter
Rennee G
Teacup Adventures

            Best Wishes to everyone ~ Marica