Today…

Was one of those rare gaps in time where it was only one of the kids and me…
My six-year-old and I spent from the early morning all the way to late afternoon just us.
 It started a little earlier than I might have aimed for, but we had lovely tea… Twice!!!
The second time round we devoured giant cookies…
We stopped by a yard sale and found a couple of very perfect things…
Which opened the door to a large size project…
Including using up some perfectly purple corduroy…
This young man was quite the help I needed, and a bit of a photographer too…
 His photos were numerous…
 And I always appreciate the unique prospective…
There was no time wasted in using the new addition… 
And with the momentum going, it was quick to fix this other needy piece of furniture… 
All in all, it was nice to spend some time with just one sweet kiddo, and realize how 
smooth the time can be when it’s just one relationship to cocoon in.
Happy Saturday to you all!!!
                    
                                              ~ Marica

Nimble Fingers…

Not too long ago, one of our lovely little ladies in this group of
 sweet children reached the ripe and exciting age of seven…
In preparation for a party that all these young ones were soon to be attending, they worked 
quickly and nimbly to create a small presentable pile of gifts to show our truly deep 
appreciation for her presence in our world…
 Using needle and thread…
Paper and pen…
Hot glue and wool roving…
 Their complete focus on making something for their close companion was so very inspiring to me…
                        Now let us let December begin ~ Marica

Done!!

This post should have been published over a week ago, but hey, sometimes things get a little behind.
We finally finished the dolls . . . They’re done!!!
I am so so happy with them. We have worked for weeks starting with socks for the inner strength of the head, until the final addition of red beeswax crayon as rosy cheeks . . .
The kids took such care with every step along the way . . .
Each doll is so unique . . .
This project meant as much to me as it did them. I’ll never forget making these five dolls with these  five girls. Spending the morning sitting together in a circle on the rug, working working, deciding deciding, creating creating.
                                     To doll making and its simple satisfaction ~ Marica

Colors of my mom’s birthday . . .

Today was my mothers birthday. A lovely short bit of time together and a simple gift.

 I found these two beautiful fabrics that seemed like a glove-fit for her sofa . . .
 She is a true pillow lover, so it was a fun quick project to stitch these up and seal
 their fate as colors bound by thread.
 My daughter made her this adorable card . . . My mother also loves frogs . . .
 We took a quick trip to Santa Barbara for lunch . . . Just the two of us . . .
And found a bounty of beautiful color. 
 She even remarked on how the day felt so full of color . . . I agreed . . .
A perfect time together . . .
Happy Birthday to my Dear Mother ~       
                                                                               ~ Marica

Christmas . . . And yes, poppy seed cake with brandy sauce . . .

Well the whirlwind of Christmas just is sputtering to a close . . . I realized I think I might enjoy the lead up to Christmas more than the actual day, or days, themselves. Here a a few pictures of what happened over on this end of the world. I didn’t record the hurried messes or grouchy voices, I caught a few glimpses of the pretty things . . . Like my eight-year-old’s last minute made Christmas dress . . . She always reminds me the day before or so, and then I remember, “Oh yes, we need to do that too . . .” So we hurry to the fabric store and somehow, it always gets finished in the hours before it is worn, and threads just barely snipped, and then it looks as though we had planned it so well and she has had it hanging in her closet for weeks. Shhh, I like that part of the last minutes before it all begins . . .
And the deep yet bright colors of Christmas eve . . . 
And the quiet light the of the morning . . . The day so many children dream about all year . . . 
 And then there are the chocolate Santa’s that look so much better than they actually taste . . .
 And lastly, poppy seed cake with brandy sauce and pecans . . . 
Poppy Seed Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl mix:
2 cups butter soft
2 + ½ cups brown sugar

Add:
Tangerine rind
1 + ½ cups sour cream
8 eggs, one at a time then stir
½ cup milk

Mix in a bowl:
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
 Combine ingredients then pour into a buttered budnt pan. 
If your pan is not very big, pour excess batter into a loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
For the brandy sauce I just pour brandy in a pan over medium heat, 
added brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of butter.
I also threw in a cup or so of pecans
Once everything is desolved turn off the heat.
When the cake is cooked and turned out onto a plate,
poke toothpick size holes all over the top of the cake.
Pour the brandy sauce with pecans over that and
if you want to make it extra fancy, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
                                               Hope everyones holidays were fabulous ~ Marica

Quilting Girls . . .

Nine patch quilts are something that rings through my head when I think of eight-year-old Laura Ingalls, tucked in a make-shift cabin with her family, braving the trials of pioneering across the vast United States. So why not have our group of seven and eight-year olds make their first nine patch quilts. Of course we have a speedy sewing machine to aid us in the process, but there was still the careful measuring, and cutting, and chatter chatter chatter that went along way in making it feel just right. 
 They each carefully decorated their cardboard measuring square . . . 
Chose out their fabric from our endless scraps . . .
Did lots of ironing . . .
 Laid them out just right . . . 
 Used the sewing machine all by themselves . . . 
 Sometimes with a little help from a fellow quilter . . .
 And tada . . . A mini nine patch quilt just right for a doll . . .

                                                                             ~ Marica