new years eve…..


It's been a wonderful year. Looking back over photographs, I can see so many good memories made. We've all grown and learned and laughed and worked and even struggled a bit alongside each other.

This messy, beautiful, real life of ours is such a gift.

Thank you for being a piece of this story, for coming here to share…..


Wishing you a Happy New Year~


stephinie (+ crew)


a very, very late friday post……

I'm sitting here sipping one of Joe's homebrews. After an all day priming and painting adventure in the master bathroom….. this is by far the best beer ever. Also, painting must be a good work out…. I definitely used muscles that I don't usually use while cooking, cleaning, knitting, sewing… ahem.

As much as I would love to tell you we'd been lingering in the holiday magic these last few days…. it just isn't so. Joe has a few "free" days off during the holidays and we're using every bit of it to get the bathroom finished up as soon as we can. We jumped in the day after Christmas and have worked all day long since. We're immensely thankful that the youngest kids got lots of legos as gifts which has kept them occupied and playing together well the past three days. (thank you Grandma!)

I can hardly beleive we're just a few weeks from putting our house up for sale. Not because the time has gone by so quickly…. but because we have a lot of work to do! But, back to the bathroom. Having two toilets to share between six people is an amazing luxury. One which we are missing very much right now. So after the April Thicket paint dries…. Joe will be laying down tile, and soon after that the toilet that is currently on our patio will be back in its proper place. (look behind Luke in the second photo, right-hand side) Also, we had to tell the little man at least three times that it would absolutely not be funny in any way to use the toilet on the patio. Don't laugh! It would really not be funny. Okay… maybe later as a good story… but don't tell him that!

A few snapshots from the week….


a very, very late friday post......


a very, very late friday post......


a very, very late friday post......


a very, very late friday post......


a very, very late friday post......


a very, very late friday post......


Cat's have it so good, don't they? He just lays in the sun all day. I walk by with a paint brush in hand and hair that hasn't been washed since yesterday and I still stop to scratch his belly. It's ridiculous.


Before I get back to finishing dinner, I have a few links for you……

I made these for dinner tonight. Tossing them with roasted sweet potatoes & kale, gluten free penne pasta, pesto & grated parmesan. Delicious.

I gifted myself with this. Hello 12 months of quilt blocks. I'll be sharing them here, for sure!

The Lumineers have been keeping me company while I paint…. four dollars well spent.

If you haven't "liked" Gypsy Forest Handmade on facebook….. join us. I talk about shop stuff…. share blog posts…. and other random bits. Like links to food and stuff. C'mon, it's fun! Swing on over.

As a glass half full kind of girl, I love Rachel's thoughts on skimming the cream.

I'll be back here more often next week…. hopefully with some beautiful bathroom pictures to share!

Happy weekending to you….




ps ~ if you're new here from a happy stitch or rhythm of the home, welcome!


roth ~ being : alive

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”      ~Goethe


roth :: being


I’m over at the Rhythm of the Home blog today as part of their December Being Series. It’s a heartfelt piece about life’s struggles, and how community is so powerful during these times. Come visit……


merry making + a very happy holiday to you

merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


merry making + a very happy holiday to you


Can it really be just three days until Christmas? I'm certain I am not the only one wondering where December has gone. As usual, I was hoping to pull off a few more crafty bits. Maybe you were too? But, it's time for me to let go of what didn't quite get done and be fully present in this lovely bit of magic with my family (the little ones & big ones alike). After all, there are cookies and peppermint bark to nibble…. cocoa to sip and good stories to read. Simple. Good. Enough.

Tonight we'll celebrate our solstice simply with a big pot of soup, rice pudding for dessert, and a book for each kiddo. Just this year Luke realized it is always a book. It made me laugh. I'm not sure how he feels about this book tradition… but it is what it is, right?

So for now… I'm signing off until next week.

Wishing you all a very lovely holiday with those you love. Full of peace, magic, laughter & love.




fail friday guest post on a happy stitch…..

Fail friday-dec


Good Morning!

I've got a post in the works on merry making and some weekend links too…. so I'll be back later today to share it. But for now, you can swing over to A Happy Stitch where I shared a guest post in Melissa's Fail Friday series. It's a story about being creative, laughing at ourselves, and pumpkins. 

Swing on over for a laugh, and hopefully a bit of inspiration…..

See you later…



ginger beer in your kitchen

Firstly, you all seriosuly rock with your sweet words and loads of info on Providence. I can't thank you enough. Please, do keep those emails coming. We're loving reading up from locals and people who have spent some time in the area!

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Often when friends visit, they open a random cupboard to find a jar of mysterious looking liquid. 

"Uhm, what is this?" they'll ask… usually with a concerned tone. They were just looking for the coffee or salt and instead stumbled upon bubbling floaties in a jar.

I usually want to tell them that it's magic potion. But I don't. "Kefir, kombucha, ginger beer," I say. Then I go on with bubbling excitement to share the benefits and science behind making these fermented drinks. Probiotics and B Vitamins, Hello Super Foods! I guess they're sort of like magic potion after all. Some friends think I'm a little nutty…. but they still love me. Others get a sparkle in their eyes and say TEACH ME! 

First, you need grains…..


ginger beer in your kitchen


If you're really lucky, you'll score some freebies from a friend. If not, the BEST place I've ordered from is here. (those are my ginger beer grains above)

Ginger beer is the newest drink in the house… and we love it! It's simpler than kombucha, but more complicated than milk kefir. Basically you sweeten mineral rich water with sugar, add ginger, and wait a few days. The biggest trick for me is the water. I have to buy natural spring water by the gallon for our ginger beer, because we drink reverse osmosis (filtered) in the house. Ginger beer must have mineral rich water and no chlorine to thrive. To make it bubbly and a bit less sweet you can do a second ferment in a flip top bottle when you strain the ginger and grains from the liquid. I add grated ginger to the second ferment because we love ours super ginger-y here. You can read the history of ginger beer here. Your friend that shares grains or the place you purchase them from will give you exact details on making kefir, ginger beer, kombuch, etc. It's really easier than you think…. and so affordable too.


ginger beer in your kitchen


ginger beer in your kitchen


Slightly bubbly, with a sweet-tangy-spicy note. Delicious. (our kids love it too!)

Drinking a variety of cultured or fermented beverages/foods gives you a variety of health benefits! Homemade types are far more potent than their grocery store counterparts, and they offer a much wider variety of probiotics to nourish you. We're talking yogurt to the 100th power people! Really. Did you know our bodies have over four pounds of bacteria? They need nourishment to keep our immune and digestive systems strong and healthy…. sometimes people even refer to bacteria as the forgotten organ.

From Yemoos "Your internal microflora support proper digestion, synthesis of vitamins and minerals, and your immune system by warding off foreign and harmful bacteria, yeast and viruses. It has thus long been known to promote and aid in digestion and overall health. Some studies show it may be antimutagenic and help manage free radicals in the body."

It's really that important. So put on your lab coat (or apron) and get adventurous in your kitchen. You'll be glad you did…. and it's really fun to make your friends wonder too…

*Though unrelated to making ginger beer, Kerville Folk Festival is also good for your health. See here. Especially if you love good acoustic music and camping.*

*also, I have no affiliation with Yemoos, I just love them & wanted to share.*

*ps ~ anyone interested in splitting tuition for Heather's newest class? All new recipes for 2013 and she's offering her bring a friend for free deal until the end of the weekend!*


some very big news…..

some very big news.....


Looks like the wait is over and we f-i-n-a-l-l-y know where we headed.

(can you believe it's been four months of waiting!? oh my.)

Hello New England!


Providence, RI

It might not exactly be the small-ish city we were hoping for on our list….. but we're okay with that. It's just a few hours from a whole lot of great friends and family…. and a brand new place to discover. We won't have official orders in hand until after the holidays, but an email from the detailer is pretty darn certain.

So, now I'm asking you for some advice! Anyone familiar with the area? Please tell! We lived in Cape Cod, MA over a decade ago…. but I barely remember Providence. Well, other than this one time when I got really lost trying to get to the airport to pick up Joe (in a thunderstorm with two kids under the age of four!) And then Joe's flight got canceled anyway, and I ended up staying the night in a hotel because I was too afraid to drive back alone that late at night. I was barely twenty and had recently moved from an isolated fishing town in coastal AK with the population of 2,500…. tossed right into big cities and traffic. It was a rough day, but funny now. Anyway…. I imagine we'll live outside the city…. any pointers? Tips? Nice areas within 30-45 minutes? Food co-ops? Homeschool groups? Fun things to see & do? Ways of meeting sorta crunchy non-main-stream folks. You know, other than standing in front of the organic veggie section and looking hopeful. (that never works for me, by the way. I've tried!)


This starting all over business is a whole lot of work. I'm too excited and frazzled and overwhelmed to say anything else today. Except maybe this, just one more time…..

Hello New England!


~mindful monday~

mindful monday


late night robot building with my boy…..




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 few bits from our week + some link love

We wandered around town this week with a friend visiting from California. He's a history buff, so we made our way to the little museum in the next town over. We had the place all to ourselves, learned a bit of local flight & sawmill history, and best of all it was free!


a few bits from our week + some link love


a few bits from our week + some link love


As soon as we arrived home, the little lego enthusiast built a model inspired by the visit….


a few bits from our week + some link love


And in other news, we officially have an in-house chemist. His uniform consists of big brother's oxford shirt and swim goggles, for safety of course. He's been conducting bathroom experiments….. 


a few bits from our week + some link love


And of course, a lovely list of links from around the web that made me smile…..

A really good tutorial for super cute fabric buckets.

Alphabet Glue Volume Ten!

Hello Pumpkin Granola.

5-minute peppermint chocolate mousse, oh my.

An e-course on homespun seasonal living.

Typepad featured my little handmade shop!

Ginny is hosting an amazing giveaway to benefit the DeNardo family, I am so happy to be offering a $50 gift certificate to the shop as one of the many prizes. This giveaway is one of the many reasons I love being part of the blogging community. Truly amazing.

I thought it would be fun to post a few of my giftable ideas from past posts. So here are links to granola, biscotti, vanilla bourbon, and snack mix. (pssst… Bertha now lives on 30 acres with the sweetest old couple, funny how things work out sometimes!)

I have a sponsor spotlight to share with you tomorrow….

Have a wonderful weekend!