A spring Dress

Last week Heather Ross' new book Weekend Sewing arrived in my mail………


What a yummy bunch of photos to drool over. Lots of simple yet beautiful projects to try. Smocking in particular has always been intriguing to me, and there is a fabulous simple sun dress with a smocked top in this book.

Miss 6 approved of some fun fabric by Alexander Henry for the dress and I sewed the dress up over little 30 minute snippets on Sunday and Monday. (when the wee on was busy with playing outside or hanging out with Daddo!) It took under 2 hours….. and that included making the matching head band…. girls must have accessories! It was so simple and came out oh so sweet 🙂 Now Miss 10 would also like one….. of course 🙂

The Dress




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I emailed Miss Heather Ross to ask to share photos of her new line with you all, and she responded herself, how cool is that? So , with her permission, here are some samples of the new KOKKA line due out soon. You can check her blog for updates on when it will be available in the U.S. It is so dreamy….. love it! (especially the blue & green color combination, yum)


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Happy sewing!

Inspired Soup

My mom called me during her lunch break at work….. "Hold on I need to pay for my soup" she says. There is this awesome little cafe, The Killer Whale, down the street from her office in Cordova, AK. It really has the best soup ever. The soup is so good in fact that my mom calls down on most days and orders a soup to go without even asking what kind it is. 

"So what is it?" I ask….

"Curried Carrot" she says.

"With coconut milk?" I ask?

"I think so" mom says.

"Is it pureed or chunky?" I ask.

"Mostly pureed" she says.

"Yum" we both say.

So inspired by an afternoon call from mom, I created this soup. It is really good if you are a ginger curry lover like me. (And Gram, you can leave the onions out of it, and it's still really good) This was so perfect to fill our bellies after hours of playing in the sun this weekend. It's in the 40's and the girls insisted on wearing capri pants?!? With their rain boots. Humorous? Yes! And also cold, so this soup really hit the spot. 


Gypsy Mama's Curried Carrot Soup 

(serves 6 in a house with a preteen boy, probably 8 in a normal house)

1 large yellow onion cut in half and then sliced 

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

10 large carrots peeled and sliced into half moon shapes

3 Tbsp Bragg Amino Liquid (or you could use veggie bouillon)

6 cups water

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder (I didn't have fresh garlic in the house *gasp* but if I did I would have used 2-4 cloves and sauteed with the onions)

1/2 tsp yellow curry, hot madras is my favorite…. (add more if you are not feeding kids and like spicy food!)

1/2 tsp ginger powder (if I had fresh ginger, I would have grated about 1 Tbsp into the soup)

1 14 ounce can of coconut milk

Lime juice (optional)

~~* Saute your onions in the olive oil & butter in a soup pot. When dark brown and caramelized set aside in a dish for later. In the same soup pot add water, carrots, bragg, sesame oil, spices & bring it to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are nice and soft. Use a food processor or blender to puree about two thirds of the carrots. Squish the remaining third with a random kitchen utensil to break them up a bit. Mix the pureed and squished carrots with the coconut milk. Stir well. Add the onions. Stir again. If you like the taste of lime & curry, add a splash of lime juice to your soup. Serve with some fabulous bread, a glass of wine and pretend you are a very classy rabbit. (carrot soup, rabbit, get it?? bad joke, I know)*~~

Seriously though, this soup will nourish your body and warm your soul. Enjoy 🙂

What a week…..

And it's not over yet. This morning the house is fairly quiet. Most of the kids are sleeping in and the Daddo is even sleeping in. He pulled a late night last night….. and has today off. It's a brief moment to take a breath in this crazy week….. but in a few hours we'll be headed out the door to board game day and a homeschool folk dance class put on by some local musicians…… and tomorrow morning I've got a used book sale I coordinated (I adore a good used sale) Phew!!

But at this moment….. everyone is happily playing or sleeping and I have a few moments to hop on here and post a few photos from the crazy week of weather we had. Let's see, we had freezing rain for two days, which washed away the last snow, then we had a thunderstorm, and now it's cold again and spitting flurries. Winter and spring are certainly having a good fight during this transition.

The kids have soaked every pair of shoes, including their rain boots, and I have washed a wee bit extra laundry this week thanks to those tempting puddles. On our walk yesterday we looked through our flower garden to discover little shoots and bits of green bravely emerging from a still frozen ground. Green grass is peeking through the snow….. spring is slowly coming.

And so, I leave with a few views of nature at our place this week.

Be Well 🙂
Blossoms covered in ice….
Grass peeking through the snow….
Finally riding bikes again…
frozen rain…..
my boy's shadows……
spring eggs…. 4 a day!

Freezer Paper Art

Okay, so maybe a lot of you have seen this. Me too. It's one of the projects featured in Creative Family by Amanda Soule. It's also all over the web on blogs for tutorials…….. but just in case you haven't seen it, here is our first try at Freezer Paper T-shirts!

My wee one has a thing for frogs………. 

Half the time he tells me his name, is frog. "me fwog"

I had been wanting to try this project and into my mind popped an image of a "fwog" on a motorcycle! My little guy will love it!

So here is my tutorial on Freezer Paper Art…….

You need:

One thrifted tshirt  (ours had a pocket and I removed it with a seam ripper)

Fabric Paint (I used Jacquard)

Paint brush and/or roller (seen in photo below)

Freezer Paper (of course)

tiny scissors


Step One : You can trace the outline of anything….. you can also do a search on silhouette art and get some great printable pictures to trace. Or if you enjoy drawing, freehand it! After you draw your shape, carefully use the tiny scissors to cut out your shape. (notice the wheel shapes below that I cut separately)


Step 2 :: Turn shirt inside out and iron a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down, to the inside front of the shirt. Don't skip this, it keeps the paint from bleeding through to the back of the shirt and it makes the shirt nicer to work with.

Step 3 :: Turn shirt right side out and iron your stencil, shiny side down to the front of the shirt.

Step 4 :: Use a brush or roller to apply paint, I found the color to be more even with a roller, but the edges were more crisp with the brush…… you choose.


Let it dry…… the blow dryer comes in very handy if you are a tad bit impatient, like me. Once it's dry you can peel off the freezer paper and it's ready to wear! Or if you want to add more stenciled art just repeat step 3 & 4 until you have the desired effect…. be sure to let it dry thoroughly in between stencil layers….

**some fabric paints require that you "heat set" them before washing, this just means to run an iron over the dried paint to set the paint into the fabric, otherwise all your hard work will wash off! Check your paint to see if you need to do this.



Finished! Perfect? Heck no! 

But the recipient was thrilled "dat's my fwog?!?" 


Please excuse the wee ones spots…… his body is his art canvas….. beware of spare markers because they most certainly will be put to use!

I hope this inspires you to make some thrifted tshirts at your place! Happy Crafting!

The last snowman…..

Well, spring came here with a snowstorm. About two inches….. and since we thought (and mama secretly hoped) that it was the last snow of the year….. and possibly our last snow for several years (since we are moving to a subtropical climate)…. Miss 6 decided she must take full advantage of every possible flake….

Cathing snowflakes

Catching snowflakes on her tongue….. 

I absolutely love this photo….. mouth open running ……. determined to catch every little snowflake.


Our wagon and bikes are covered in fluffy snow *~sigh~*


All right, the "MOM" in snow did make me smile…. a little….


The Spring Snowman, named Rudolph by Miss 6. 

She insisted that I tell you all his name.

(Photo by the Eldest, Mr. Twelve & a Half)

Mama really, truly, hopes this is the last snowman of winter. (No offense little guy)

I hope the sun and warmth is headed your way….. I know it will be here soon…… I know it will be here soon (this is my new mantra).

twelve and a half

There are all different reasons to write. Some of them happily recording tidbits of your child's growing up. Little things you never want to forget. As mothers we watch this beautiful child unfold….. they walk and talk and voice their own opinion. They have their own likes and dislikes, which may or may not be the same as ours. We watch as this child who we once considered an extension of ourselves, steps out into the world. And we hold our breath. Watching. 

We hope that we loved enough……

understood enough…..

listened enough…..

This young man in my house who used to be small enough to cradle in my arms is now 2 inches taller then me. His feet are as big as his dad's. No matter how many memories and photos you have, you're just not quite prepared for any of that…… like a song I heard recently "I remember, there was a time, when I used to sing for you." (Tracy Chapman)


The Eldest

"Wow, 12 and a half" I say to my oldest. "Are you looking forward to officially being a teenager this fall?"

"Nah" he says.

"Why?" I ask.

"Because becoming a teenager means I am on my homeward stretch of being here (living at home)".

That struck me as being some pretty deep thoughts for a 12 year old. 

"So what do you think you'll do when you're all grown?" I ask.

"Definitely pack my bags and head to Alaska." he tells me. "I'll stay with Grandma & Grandpa until I get a job, and then maybe I'll stay there so I always live near them" he tells me.

"Sounds like a good plan" I say.

How the heck to do I have a kid with a plan? I mean running off to join the circus when he was 4 is one thing….. but this is a real plan. Something he put some thought into. I'm totally impressed watching his self unfold. William Shakespeare on his lap…. head bowed lost in words… this kid loves literature in a way I have never seen….. scooping a little brother under his arm and tickling him…. his witty dry sense of humor…. his testing the boundaries now and then…. all these things remind me to exhale… a small sigh of relief…. of amazement.

Phew……. keep breathing I tell myself…..

On the needles…..

My hand is healing up nicely so I'm knitting again (yeah!!)

I have found my self stumbling through the Picky Pants pattern to knit up some shorties for the wee one. The pattern is well written, but as a novice knitter I just have to look a lot of stuff up. I figured out how to do short rows….. after getting flustered and swearing under my breath as I pulled several rows out, several times.

They are finally coming along and starting to look like something. When you cast on over 100 stitches it seems like it takes forever to knit a round! Wow…..

I also just ordered some merino superwash yarn from Pure Wool through a co-op. It's supposed to be very good for knitting clothing…. which I hope to do this spring. I'm hoping to knit some tank or cap sleeve shirts up for the girls. Preferably in the round…. if anyone knows a good beginner pattern, let me know!! My goals may be lofty, but darn it a girl can dream.  

~*Knit shirts and twirly skirts all made by mama ~sigh~*

Just for fun, here is a photo of what's on my needles right now. There are several more rows to be completed before it fits over a cloth diapered bum…… maybe the knitting fairy will do a few as I sleep….


Knitted from some beautiful yarn my mom sent me… 

it is Paton's classic wool in Wedgewood.

(I have a thing for blue & brown.

Happy day to you all! Hope you enjoy it 🙂


Who loves avocados? They are one of my favorite things. Spread on toast, diced up over some salsa rice, eaten with a spoon and a dash of salt….. yum!

Here is my favorite recipe….. one I have tweaked over time to become the perfect guacamole (at least in my mind). Hope you enjoy!


Gypsy Mama's Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

1/4 red/purple onion finely diced

1 handful of cherry or grape tomatoes quartered

sea salt & lime juice to your taste

Serve with good chips & watch it disappear! 



It's a busy day here in the gypsy house, so I don't have much time to write. . . . . . . but I thought I would hop on here real quick and share this photo with you. 

Cereal made by Miss 6. (all on her own)

This brought a smile to my morning. . . . . and someone else in the house too.


Enjoy your day!
Oh yeah, and Happy St. Patrick's Day too!

~~Chickens and Sunshine~~

Finally………. the warm sun has returned. 

It was in the 40's yesterday and we all spent a lot of time out of doors. Jackets were shed and proclamations of "it's too hot to wear our coats" where heard from all the gypsy children…… I finally gave in and stopped asking them to leave their jackets on. 

Miss 10 even insisted upon wearing her sandals….. what's a mama to do?!?

So, while I was mostly hanging laundry and diapers to dry on the clothesline and chasing the wee one through mud {glorious mud!} on his bike, I did catch a few photos.

The girls (hens) were very pleased to snack on bits of grass finally emerging from the melting snow….. and they had a feast cleaning up the seed below the bird feeder…..


Sunflash was quite taken with the wee one's tricycle and wee one was very pleased to have her on board for a ride…… though she did hop down as soon as the bike moved 🙂


As I cooked dinner the little ones (and the big ones) came in with cold pink cheeks and sweaty hair from hours of running around outside. I felt a sigh of relief. It is finally spring. I am happy to see the mud and hear the birds and watch my flowers spring up from the still frozen ground. Thank you spring, welcome spring….. oh how we have waited for you!

P.S. Thank you all so much for the "well wishes" this weekend. Your comments and emails were so very thoughtful 😉