~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~


when I was a little girl these two women meant the world to me….

to be a woman myself and spend these last few days with them was a gift to my soul

there is nothing like history shared with your people…. your family

there is magic when women gather….




mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you'd like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.


happy monday friends,



a giveaway from alphabet glue!

acorn boats 4


One of the things I love most about this online community is the connection with other writers as I share bits of my own through photography and words. I find it so humbling to cross paths with all these very creative, kind-hearted, incredible women out there. All bravely typing bits of their story onto a screen and hitting publish. The sharing and camaraderie is inspiring. Truly.

I often wish I could gather with these friends and connect them all, including you. We would all gather on a porch together. Talking, laughing, and sipping coffee or wine as the kids played. It sounds so good, right? Just perfect.


Volume Nine collage


With that thought in mind… I introduced you to Annie this summer. I think many of you already knew her… our Alphabet Glue hero and writer of Bird & Little Bird.

I am amazed at the time, energy, and magic she pours into each seasonal volume of Alphabet Glue. I love her for her honesty and sense of humor on her blog. I also love that she and I both very much miss cheese in our current dairy free diets. And of course, we both love books.




Annie’s newest volume is near and dear to my heart. I feel as if she wrote it just for the little man in our house. Robots, machines, submarines and spies. It is pure perfection for little boys (and their sisters too!)

In celebration of the fresh new Alphabet Glue website and Volume Nine, Annie is offering two very lucky Gypsy Forest readers a copy of the last three issues!

Just leave a comment below to enter to win issues seven through nine!

I'll announce a winner here on Tuesday.

Good Luck to you!

*all photos shared by Annie of Alphabet Glue



congratulations to:

Jeanne & CathyT!!

I'll be emailing you shortly to get you connected with Annie.

And thanks again to Annie for sharing some Alphabet Glue!


i’ll be quilting….

i'll be quilting....


Maggie wasn't so sure about bags being packed. I love it when her ears do different things like this, as if she can't make up her mind which is right. And that sewing machine… is it ever heavy to lug around with me. Phew~ It sure gave the TSA folks a chuckle though.

I'm typing these words to you from a quiet spot in the NOLA airport. All checked in and ready for my flight.

I'll be traveling the next two days to get to my mom's for a weekend quilt retreat. Gah! I can hardly beleive it. Just myself for 6 whole days. And my mama and Aunt (who is teaching the class.) Fun, fun, fun.

I'll be back Friday with something special.

See you then!



paths to my heart, and cookies

paths to my heart, and cookies


I am sometimes surprised to find I am still getting to know myself. It's a funny thing, isn't it? The idea of discovering what is right beneath your nose. And sometimes you are the last to know, the last to realize something about you.

As I prepared for a long day of driving this weekend, I awoke before the alarm. I found myself in the kitchen, eyes still heavy with sleep, pulling ingredients out for cookies as I waited for the coffee. Peanut butter and dark chocolate chips. As the cookies cooled I made two jars of herbal tea, one with honey & one without, and a double batch of popcorn. Before I had thought much about it, I had made food for my trip that day and for my family to snack on while I was away.

As Jade helped me prepare she smiled and said, "food is your thing mom."

And while part of this is born from my desire to nourish my family and travel frugally….. another part of it is something more. In times of stress, I cook. It's meditative for me. I get lost amongst ingredients and preparations. I pour my love into my work and it heals my soul. Calms my nerves. It is my magic.

I drove the first 30 minutes of my trip in a silent car, pondering this. Snack basket beside me. On my way to pick up our oldest from school, and bring him home to attend locally. This had been a difficult decision for us to come to, one we arrived at with heavy hearts. Sometimes this parenting gig is a tough one.

But those moments in the kitchen that morning brought my heart peace and clarity. I felt better prepared to handle the day before me with patience and love. And empathy.

And of course, really good cookies.




~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~


“The earth has music for those who listen.” 
― George Santayana




mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.


happy monday friends,






There’s a wonderful Gypsy forest Handmade review and giveaway over at Small Things this weekend.

Come & take a peek…..


Also, in celebration of supporting handmade for the holidays, I’m offering a two for one special on sponsor space for November & December. Yep, the busiest time of year for a deal! If you or someone you know have a small business or online workshop that you would like to share, drop me a line. Holiday Sponsors will be featured in weekend posts throughout November to showcase their goods. Space will be limited!

Happy Sunday.



a kid designed fort with salvaged wood + weekend links

Joe helped the younger two kiddos build a fort out of our old picnic table. The legs had rotted, but the rest of it was good so a salvage project was certainly in order. The kids designed it and he helped them make some tweaks based on materials we had on hand. I love that he stands back and lets them trouble shoot ideas for walls and roof and stair materials. And of course, you know Luke loves using tools! Aside from snapping photos, my only contribution was the fabric for the walls……


a kid designed fort with salvaged wood + weekend links


a kid designed fort with salvaged wood + weekend links


a kid designed fort with salvaged wood + weekend links


a kid designed fort with salvaged wood + weekend links


Since the photos, they have also built a swing. They've been playing on and in it for hours a day, Luke especially likes to perch hisself on the very top to do his work. They are currently tying to convince us it need wheels!! Remember their car? I can just imagine the whole thing flying down the street if we give in to that request… I don't how I feel about that!

One thing for sure though, I love watching their kid built creations take shape.


And now… a few links for your weekend…..

I love this reclaimed coat rack by MissMacie. Just think of all the cool reclaimed stuff you can make. My mind is churning with ideas! Other bits making me smile on etsy are these lovely prints and these beautiful little wooden birds.

Annie launched a fresh new website for Alphabet Glue and Volume Nine is out!

Speaking of Glue. After the last issue, my kids have become mildly seriously obsessed with making comic books. These are our favorite blanks to fill in with lovely creations.

My blogging neighbor Amanda has a lovely little pop-up shop going on full of knitted goodness.

Jade just purchased this album on vinyl with her birthday money. It's just as good as their first one!

This is the cutest thing I saw this week. {well, aside from my own kiddos, of course} But really. You should watch it. I love Sesame Street.

And as always…. a year ago this week.


Have a lovely weekend friends!




this year’s cakes

The cake decorating this year was a bit slower than usual. Luke celebrated his sixth birthday with chocolate cupcakes at Grandma's house and Sam was away at school for his. But we did celebrate the girl's birthdays at home…. so of course Joe pulled out his creative skills. (or should I say skillz)

One of them needs a bit of explaining. I'm sure you can guess which…..


this year's cakes....


this year's cakes....


this year's cakes....


this year's cakes....


Did you figure out that first one?

It's really a zebra booty. There's an in house joke involving zebras. I don't even really know how it got started. I think it may have been when Jade started writing goofy things like "zebra food" on the grocery list. Or "feed the zebras" on my to-do list. She's a funny one, that girl.

Joe scoured the internet for zebra pictures and found one that he thought would make the perfect cake. When it was presented, Jade laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes.

It was awesome.

I should also give a shout out to this book for making our birthdays dairy-egg-gluten free. I didn't think we could pull it off…. but we did! The cake recipes were delicious. But most of all, they didn't stick to the pan. Which is really important when your making cute owl shaped cakes… or uhm, zebra butts.

Do any of you have silly taditions in your house? I'd love for you to share…





morning, noon, night…..

morning, noon, night


morning, noon, night


morning, noon, night


it was so full

of mostly goodness

which is really the best sort of day

even though we arrived at the end of it rather exhausted

the whole lot of us…

but also quite grateful

for time spent with good friends and drinking coffee and sipping a bit of wine

all so very good….


I'd love to know what simple bit of your ordinary brought a smile to your face today….