Easter weekend

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We had a lovely Easter holiday full of tradition, family and friends.
The weather was glorious this weekend allowing us to grill dinner for the first time this season on Saturday night and eat by an Easter eve bonfire.
Our bunny hutch has been empty for too long so on Easter morning we surprised the girls with Norwegian dwarf rabbits.Harry has two new friends, Tilly and Lucy.
There was an egg hunt and our annual cascarones
After breakfast we went for a hike in the woods to find trout lilies in bloom everywhere! They only bloom every seven years so it was a beautiful site.
We ended the night with a lamb dinner at Aunt Patty’s.

We have hard boiled eggs coming out of our ears and lots of chocolate and jelly beans to nibble on.
Our cherry trees are about to burst and soon we will have pink snow!

P.s. A new season has begun over at Tend! I write on Fridays.

Cookie Cutters

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Ever since I can remember I have always loved to bake.
My mother was ever so patient with me in the kitchen whenever I would help make cookies, scones and pies alongside her.
I still have the glued together pie plate I broke when I was about five years old due to my over zealousness and excitement to assist her.

As I got older I loved to sift through my mother’s Martha Stewart collection of magazines and dogear all sorts of cookie recipes. Even though I still lived at home I began to collect my very own baking accoutrements in my teens. One of the first things I acquired was a set of vintage cookie cutters and began to master the art of a rolled out sugar cookie. Soon I was collecting cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes for every holiday and special event. I made cookies for Christmas, Valentines day, Easter, Halloween, birthday parties, showers and weddings. I even made heart shaped cookies sandwiched together with strawberry jam for my own wedding.

When Hannah was born I couldn’t wait until she was old enough to help roll out dough and cut out cookies alongside me. By that time I had quite the collection of cutters for her to choose from. She loved to see how many shapes she could fit onto one piece of rolled out dough.

I recently culled through my cookie cutter collection which had grown into two huge baskets. I passed some along and kept my absolute favorites. As I sifted through them I thought about what each one was used for. A saw and hammer I had bought to make for my Pop’s birthday one year. An umbrella and stork for all of the baby showers. A guitar and musical note for Chris when he first started playing and an antique chicken cutter when we first got our hens.

Although I may not make as many cut out cookies throughout the year as I did in my younger days, not a Christmas or Easter goes by without them. This weekend I saw my Aunt Patty, who hosts Easter dinner every year. She asked “you’ll bring the cookies right?”
Of course I will!

The Beauty of a Basket

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Can you tell I have a bit of a basket addiction?

I can’t help but bringing just one more home from the thrift.
They are the pockets of my home, bringing order and beauty to the piles of stuff. Messes of toys, laundry and paper look so much prettier in a basket.

I love their texture, their handmade natural, organic feel and that they are both beautiful and useful.

Baskets can be the “jack of all trades” in your home. Think outside of the box and get creative. Give them a job and they will be sure to give a stellar performance.

::Baskets are very inexpensive at the thrift. Collect a variety. Look for different shapes, heights, color and design.
::Hang your baskets. Hang one in the bathroom to hold a hand towel, by your kitchen sink to hold dish brushes or by your desk for pens and pencils.
::Use baskets as artwork. Hang basket lids or trays for texture. Sometimes they can cast beautiful shadows.
::Plants and baskets make a beautiful couple. Hide an ugly plastic pot inside a basket and give your flora a whole new feel.
::Baskets can soften a space. A basket of blankets or books can warm up an empty corner.
::Baskets are beautiful on their own even without a use. Use baskets in your vignettes to become part of a scene.
::Turn a basket into a vase by tucking a glass or ball jar of flowers inside. A basket bouquet!
::Keep a stockpile of baskets stored away. They make the perfect gift full of goodies.

In Honor of St. Patrick

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We love tradition in my family.
I appreciate our rituals that revolve around the seasons and holidays. But I mostly enjoy how they bring us all together.
On Saturday, my mother had us over for her annual St Patty’s day/Spring Equinox celebration.
It was a chilly, sunny day. We walked in to a warm and cozy house with Irish ballads playing and signs of spring tucked here and there.
There was salmon, brown bread, deviled eggs, potatoes and soda bread.
My grandmother told stories of her days living in Donegal, Ireland and my mother pulled out her tea cozies for us all to wear in honor of St. Patrick.

Quick Knits

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I love a finished project don’t you?
Freshly painted walls. A hand built rock wall. A whole new room!
It is such a satisfying feeling to complete something.
But sometimes my projects can feel overwhelming. The prep, the materials, the money!

I have my fair share of complicated projects that sit unfinished. And I have a long list of projects I would like to start one day soon. I know I’ll eventually get around to them.
But in the mean time it’s always nice to have a few simple, affordable and attainable ones that can easily be picked up on a whim. That’s why I love to knit.

Both of these patterns are from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a Christmas gift from my sister. I love the photographs in this book and the simple yet beautiful projects.

The Spiral Seat Cushion was made for Hannah’s desk chair. It was so fun to make as it’s knit in one piece without having to sew anything together. I used a super soft, bulky merino wool which made for a comfy seat. I love how the yarn pops against the wood.

I had a bit of the white yarn left over so I decided to make the Little Pointy Elf Hat for a special friend who is due soon. It was a quick knit made in just a few hours at craft circle last night.

Now, back to scraping and spackling my kitchen walls.