Today I'd like to introduce you all to my friend Annie.
I think our paths first crossed through Rhythm of the Home. (where she recently joined as an associate editor!) My kids & I have been enjoying her downloadable magazine for quite awhile. She shares her words on family life in this lovely space, which I'm sure many of you have stumbled upon. She's kind and honest and funny and creative. I love that she too wants to raise fiercely independent, community minded kids, and I so wish we were neighbors in real life.
A love for literature and creativity inspired Annie to create Alphabet Glue. Have you seen it? It's a heartfelt and beautifully crafted magazine for book loving kids (and their grown ups too). Alphabet Glue is a lovely resource full of seasonal book lists, fun printables and activities. In my opinion, the books & activities are good for toddlers all the way up to older elementary aged kids. In our house my 5 & 10 year old both enjoy the book lists and creative inspiration within. To give you a little idea of all the goodness within the pages…. take a peek at what's inside the current issue:
cootie catcher stories
The storytelling cootie catcher is absolutely hilarious and totally fun. Rolling on the floor giggling sort of fun. We're really looking forward to reading up on the night sky once we're back home in Louisiana. The sun at Grandma's house sets at about 12:30 a.m. right now…. though of course my younger two would love to stay up that late! We've got plans to paint some postcards to send to friends back home with the easy printable included in issue seven. The list of books never ceases to amaze us and we're always looking forward to finding yet another good read to enjoy on our next visit to the library. All this for the price of a latte. Really!
In addition to Alphabet Glue and her wonderful blog…. you should also take a peek at her printables and fox pattern. Yes, a fox. A semi-fantastic mr. fox in fact. It's adorable and incredible. I am smitten.
So what are you waiting for? Go on over & visit Annie…..
all photos kindly provided by Annie Riechmann of Alphabet Glue + Bird and Little Bird, thank you Annie!
I'm grateful for all the free time we're filling up with good long hikes.
goofy self portraits in the woods
teenage girls who hike in xtra tuffs and skirts
boardwalks covered in old fish nets
and little boys who catch beetles
also, some links to things that made me smile this week…..
hosting a food Swap = genius
my little apartment has me swooning over tiny houses, I guess I'm not alone in this
vikings and bears, and I'm not talking about sports
so many quilt tops to love
cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter…. oh my goodness!
Three Irish Girls project gallery on flickr… and we lost Luke's hat!
Cookus shares grilled Salmon
and just for fun, a post from year ago this week… one berry, two berry
Have a wonderful weekend!
I read somewhere the other day that a blog post should fit into a fairly specific category, or you shouldn't publish it. I'm pretty sure the title of this post alone just broke that rule.
We've been eating grilled red salmon twice a week since we got here. It's just as delicious each and every time. Really, truly.
These two photos are the very beginning of my weaving….. which is still on the loom! It seems my scarf is a bit tight and that I have some room to add some more weft to my warp. I'm still confused about what that actually means, but I can tell you that weaving is amazing. Addictive even. More pictures by the end of the week…. (ps – the pink is just to hold things in place, I'll pull it out later!)
And speaking of creativity….. the kids have been attending children's handcrafting classes at The Net Loft every Tuesday morning. They've so enjoyed this. Luke went for the first time this week and was really, truly excited about gifting me with a lovely lavender pillow he made. Next week is jewelry making with a local artist!
Also….. sock progress! Thursday night is our last class and I will be learning how to turn a heel. Don't giggle… this is exciting stuff!
Look, it's almost a sock! Well, maybe "almost" is a bit of a stretch.
Last but not least, I wanted to tell you that Jade & I have l-o-v-e-d the first week's lesson in Erin's new creative photography class, Eyes Open. I've never understood the technical element of photography and she presented it with such an easy to understand approach. Lots of good examples for my visual brain to soak in. So much in fact that I have officially switched the camera to manual mode and have been shooting this way all week. I feel like such a goofball sharing that here. But really, I am so excited to finally get the technical aspect of photography. If you're at a place where you want to explore both the rules and creative sides of taking really good pictures, this class is well worth the investment. The class covers so much, just take a peek here. Erin is such an amazing photographer and creative spirit, plus she's totally sweet and funny as well. I'm really looking forward to the next six weeks.
Registration for class closes on Friday! And to sweeten the deal Erin is offering a 20% discount for you! Just enter the code "gypsyforest" when you check out.
I hope to see you in class!
it's such a rare moment to be just one + me
but there we were
just the two of us (and Willy, of course)
we wandered the beach for two hours
finding hermit crabs
filling the pockets of our rain jackets with shells and beach glass
the wind cold and damp against our cheeks
I chased after him snapping photos
feeling my mama heart swell with such love
like I have for each of them, of course
that somehow I was fiercely reminded of in this rare quiet moment
just me and this boy…
One of my favorite things about being outside with my kids is the invitation into their world. With camera in hand I follow behind them and try to capture their small treasures as they share them with me. They are especially fond of anything that looks tiny. The makings of a fairy forest. Little leaves and fungi sprouting up from the damp earth. Tiny flowers.
I try to keep my mouth closed and my eyes wide open. Often, I trail back a bit and give them their space. Waiting for them to say "look at this!", "mama, do you know what this IS?, can you take a picture?!"
We talk about fairies and animals and fungi and berry blossoms and birds and food chains and gnomes that live in hollow tree trunks. They tell me how we need to protect the forest, so animals (and fairies) are all safe. They say this to me with such importance, as if it were the first time this great cause had been discovered.
Sometimes we come home and pull out books to identify what we've seen. I see the patterns and shapes of their walks in the woods show up in their drawings. They begin to remember some of the names we've learned and some of the bird calls Grandma has identified for them. I can't help but hope these walks provide a "portal to a wider world" for them. Small treasures to carry in their hearts as they journey through this life.
But mostly, I am grateful to be part of their world. They are truly my best-loved lens to see life through.
It's hard to believe we've been here for almost two weeks.
I'm guessing Joe is finding it easier to believe. (we miss you!!)
It was almost 70 degrees here yesterday…. which is like an Alaskan heat wave. We've been running around outside every chance we get. My legs are sore from climbing mountains. I love that.
I'm headed to The Net Loft this afternoon to work on my scarf & look out over the ocean as I do. The view from the second floor is amazing. I'll share some progress photos soon.
Here are some things that are making me smile……
Erin's photography class starts next week & looks truly amazing.
Alphabet Glue Volume Seven is full of fun stuff to do, share & read with your kiddos. (we love Alphabet Glue!)
Totally loving Maya's Luna Moth stamp + story.
Rhubarb snack cake…… yum!
This etsy shop. That mama can paint. For real.
Delicious yin yang carrots on my salad making me want to try this recipe & this recipe when I get home.
And also, cinnamon walnut pecan butter on my english muffin. Wow.
Have a wonderful weekend……
my heart goes out to all the folks in the Duluth area
you are all in my thoughts
with much love
Firstly, the other bits….
I made my first trip into The Net Loft last week and picked up two gorgeous skeins of yarn.
Both were custom dyed by Three Irish Girls just for The Net Loft (like Luke's hat). One is Almost Spring and the other is Sandpiper. I am in love with the colorways. Absolutely smitten….
The first one I picked out for a hat (for me!) and the second is for a weaving class. Yes. A weaving class! I start tonight. I've oohed and ahhed over the beautiful scarves made from this class for several summers in a row, but have never been up here long enough or at the right time to take the class. This year my mom gifted me with the class when she signed the girls up for kid handwork classes. I'm SO EXCITED. Truly. And I hope you don't mind if a whole lot of fiber stuff shows up here over the summer. Because Mom & I are also taking a beginning sock class.
Want to see my *tiny* speck of progress?
It's a really good thing that the instructor (Val) is not only a knitting expert, but also has a ton of patience and a good sense of humor. I am attempting to learn how to hold my yarn in my left hand to make the process quicker…. which my fingers are fighting all the way. Somehow this sock business is trickier than finishing off the top of a hat. My Dad just gives Mom & I a curious look and wonders why anyone would spend hours knitting something that you could buy at the store for a few dollars. I have no intention of trying to explain that, because right now I don't exactly have an answer.
All you knitters out there….. please do wish me a bit of luck!
heney trail ~ cordova
sometimes (often times) they argue like an old married couple
about ridiculous things
like who gets to sit where in Papa's truck
and who Willie (the dog) likes better
and then, something like this happens
completely out of the blue
and I'm reminded that they really do love each other
So, I've been thinking.
About how amazing this opportunity is to be here, in Alaska, for the summer.
Our usual visit of two or three weeks whizzes by with such speed that it is nearly over by the time we settle in. But this time feels so different.
Luke asked me last night when Daddy was coming as I wrote some things on the calendar. I flipped the page to July and said Daddy will be here in just over a month. A month.
And that's when it hit me.
I want the kids to look back on this summer with a heart full of memories. I want them to see a picture and smell the salty air and hear the seagulls. Feel the cold damp air on their cheeks. I want them to remember the smell of the forest, always, as they tromped through it in rubber boots and crinkly rain jackets. The thrill of riding the zipline down the hill. I want them to pick handfuls of berries for eating and for jam making. Buoy swings. Mud. Mosquitoes. I want them to walk with me by the ocean every day that we're here and celebrate the sun each time it reaches through the clouds to shine upon us. The good kind of tired after a long hike up a mountain. Marshmallows. Bonfires. Family. I want to write and write and write. Take a zillion or so photographs. Try something new. Laugh. Knit. Explore.
So there it is. An accidental manifesto of sorts.
And how about you? What will you do for your summer? How will you make memories?
I'd love to know…..