Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baking Day

The whole house smells so good this morning. Right after i woke up i took some fresh dough out of the fridge to rise on the stove, to bake our favorites...This loaf is my personal favorite....Poppy seed bread. The crust is so crunchy and aromatic with the poppy seeds....Inside it is just so moist and flavorful. I cut myself a slice and drizzle it with olive oil and it is bread nirvana....
Actually, if i had an outlet for fresh bread every single day, then every day would be baking day. Ever since i got this book, i have enjoyed baking all of my own bread. The bread in the photo above, is Deli style rye with caraway seeds... YUM! I think this is Bill's favorite, and my Dad's too.
And now that i have been making the dough regularly, it has become more like a sourdough, which only adds to the yeasty goodness.... Ok, i think i just talked myself into having a slice....Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Thing

Pretty brass dragonflies perch on strands of soft Spring green glass beads
The green is so delicate and watery in color

Perfect for Spring

Even the bees are busy ..Little brass bees clinging to brass ear wires, dripping with glass drops in fresh green and honey yellow. Ahhhh Spring.......

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dolores and her Dairy...

This is Dolores, from Peru. She raises dairy cattle and sells milk for a living. She is a member of Kiva and one of the most recent businesses i have invested in. Imagine delivering milk like this on foot every single day. It must be backbreaking work. As soon as i saw Dolores and her sweet face, i wanted to help. Below is a bit about her and what you will see when you consider investing in a Kiva entrepreneur. Check it out! There are some amazing stories to uncover....and good people who just need a little help.

About the Entrepreneur (For privacy reasons, the Field Partner has requested that last name be undisclosed)
Juliaca, Peru
Primary Activity:
Loan Requested:
Repayment Term:
6 months
-Dolores is a very hardworking 43-year-old woman. She is divorced from her partner and lives independently in a very humble house she owns herself. She is disposed to work very hard to get ahead and improve her life. She is very eager to improve her future, and for this reason she works hard every day selling milk. Her customers seek her out for her tasty, pure milk, because she takes a lot of care to select the milk she sells. She enjoys her work, as it allows her to spend a lot of time in the country with her animals and see that they are well fed. She has been in this business for nine years and hopes to have a place to sell her milk, since she currently acts as a traveling saleswoman and has to walk all day. This is the hardest and understandably the least pleasant part of her work, but she knows that the road to her personal development isn't easy and she is ready to face any difficulty that lies before her. This is Dolores's first loan with MFP. She knows that she must pay on time and is ready to save a little bit each day in order to do so. She is a very happy member of her communal bank, and is beloved by the others. With this loan of 1,000 soles, she will buy more forage to better feed her cows so they will give her more milk to sell.
Translated from Spanish by Trisha Bury, Kiva Volunteer

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Ok, here is my first attempt at a "Scarflette". I used natural creamy colored wool. I was VERY intimidated by this pattern at first and had to talk myself into it, but once i got going, it was actually fun! I plan to make more over the Summer so that we have them to stock The Paper Sparrow next Fall and Winter....

And talk about intimidation! This is my first attempt at knitted lace. I saw this pattern for a shawl, using worsted weight cotton yarn and figured i am already crazy so what harm would it be to try??? I don't know if you can see the little strip of purple yarn running thru the stitches just an inch from the needles, but i call that my life line. If i make a mistake in my knitting, i can rip it out to that little purple piece of yarn and the rest will be saved. I learned this little trick the hard way, after ripping out the entire project twice. I find that this sort of thing cannot be done while watching your favorite television program. No Ma'am! I cannot even talk and knit at the same time with a complicated pattern like this. You MUST give this kind of pattern your full attention. (Ok, i can hear all the accomplished knitters reading this laughing now! But for me, a relative beginner, this is HARD!) Anyway i read somewhere that by running this little piece of yarn thru the stitches after finishing a set of steps in the pattern, you can protect the correct part of the work if you make a mistake later on.....
The pattern is quite pretty and i keep looking at it and feeling such a sense of accomplishment. Don't know what the finished product will look like or if i will finish this in my lifetime! But i am learning so much from this piece...
Now, for work you CAN do while watching your favorite program, i like these mindless afghans to keep me going. This is a big crocheted granny square afghan i just started for my daughter Carly. She picked the colors to go with her living room, and no matter how many shots i took of this, i could not get the color to come out true in the picture. The colors are deeper and have a nice luster to them in real life....Next? A crocheted cotton poncho for Lola!

Friday, March 20, 2009


More new jewelry for The Paper Sparrow for Spring!

I loved these beads when i saw them. They are old recycled glass beads in the softest Spring green color, accented with a dusty purple glass bead...

The colors reminded me of fresh new grass and purple crocuses....You can see the rusty spots in the green beads. I love it....

and the big round shiny beads are a mossy green too. I couldn't get a good photo of them to do them justice, but i made a pair for me too!

Believe it or not, these beads are acrylic!
They shine like glass but are unbreakable and light as a feather. Great for folks who don't like heavy jewelry, especially in their earrings....Lots more to come!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So Big!!!

Here's little Miss Lola with the sweater i made for her. Tho it looks fine in the pictures, it is a bit too small for her and is now for sale at The Paper Sparrow... That is how fast she is growing...Either she needs to slow down or Grama needs to knit faster!
She actually climbed up on this big chair all by herself... So Big...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Here are some photos my daughter and i took of the blooms around the house here. The house plants can definitely tell it is coming on Spring! We took these photos with my brand new camera- a Canon Power Shot SX 10 IS... I absolutely LOVE it (so does my daughter). Now i just have to sit down and learn how to USE it! There will be no more blaming the camera for bad photography....oiy...The pressure is on folks!

African Violet up close

Another "Christmas" Cactus
another view...

One of my orchids, a Phalaenopsis in full bloom

What a pleasure it is to share space with these lovely plants!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's a Messy Job (but somebody's gotta do it!)

On the days her Mom has to go to work, Lola comes over to spend some time and i fix her a nice breakfast. While she is eating we read our favorite stories...Lola's Aunt Kate bought her some nice bamboo utensils to practice eating with and Lola loves to work with them. Here she is eating scrambled eggs, homemade bread, blueberries, grapes and some yogurt.

Our Lo is a two fisted girl! She likes to use both the spoon and fork, at the same time.

But it's a lot of work to pick the food up with the utensils and after a while she starts to get tired....

That when her hands come in...well...handy!

By now there are scrambled eggs in her lap and blueberries rolling on the floor...The dogs camp out under her high chair and have been well fed. Lola likes to share with her friends...

There's yogurt in her ears, her hair, everywhere...but look at that cute little sticky face...

"All done Gumma" she says... Now it's time for the clean up! Hmmm...Where do i start?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One of my Favorites...

Listen to the story in this song. It reminds me of my Grandmother's story, with different circumstances. But she had to work hard her whole life. And yet she always smiled and she was so beautiful... Enjoy...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Jewelry and a sweater

I love turquoise...It's so earthy...This particular piece is hand chained and the turquoise is green with some rusty brown. The center piece is honey amber with silver end caps from Nepal...
The design on the end caps is of clouds...

This is a Chinese Rhodonite bracelet. The Chinese Rhodonite is a lovely color combination of pink and green with a little bit of charcoal smudged here and there...

More turquoise, but these are nice round beads, hand chained and made into a set

I love the colors in this set. Some blue, blue green, green and earthy brown

I put another pair of pineapple quartz earrings together too.

And i finished another sweater. I think i am getting better at reading the patterns and making the pieces for the sweater, but i do need more practice in seaming....There is never a shortage of new things to learn! This is in size 2 toddler...I hope it fits Lola ... More dolls coming up!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kiva in Nepal

Are you familiar with Kiva? It is a fantastic worldwide loan program where you can make a huge difference in people's lives, just by "investing" as little as $25. And, after your loan has been repaid, you have the option of taking that money back for your own use, or reinvest it in another business somewhere else in the world. In this way, over time, i have(re) invested in many, many different businesses. I have been working with Kiva since early 2007, and cannot believe how wonderfully this program works. After participating for two full years in the program, i can say i speak from experience. Here is a video on a loan group from Nepal. Very interesting.....Please take the time to watch this little video. It is just one example of how your modest investment of $25, combined with other's investments, makes a huge difference that can change the world.

Kiva in Nepal: A Field Visit from Chris Baker on Vimeo.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Catchin' Some Rays...

Sunshine has been rare around these parts this Winter. But Spring is a~comin'! You can feel it in the air and see it in the color of the light... The dogs can tell...

No...That is not a sheep in my kitchen. That's Gipetto, who has gone all Winter long without a hair cut. He is getting old now and gets so stressed out with the cold. Might be time to call Chiloe our groomer tho...

The girls could go in for a bath and nail clipping too... Just in time for Spring...and the mud...but that's another post...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Movie Night~ Mare's Pick

The Real Dirt on Farmer John
Folks, i LOVED this movie! I happened to stumble upon a trailer on Netflix and decided to give this documentary a try. It is a very personal story of an American Family and their Farm. If you are into farming, homesteading, getting back to the land, finding yourself, organics and life, you will love this movie too... Check it out.
(PS~ What a fantastic service Netflix is! I have found more good movies and documentaries just surfing Netflix archives...)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Look Who's Coming to Live Here!

His name is Eric, and he is hand made by teddy bear artist Jess McCoughey from
He is the best friend of my bear Ned, who was also crocheted by Jess and came from Jess' Etsy shop. Ned has been waiting a while for his good friend to come and keep him company...
(Yes, i am feeding my addiction to toys, but the way i see it is, i COULD have worse addictions. And i am doing my part to boost the economy...And Ned was lonely...
I have many good excuses, don't i?)
Jess is a teddy bear collector as well as an artist. She also makes bears that have a very vintage look to them. Here is Beetle. She looks very old but Jess lovingly made her recently and donated her to an organization that is working to help the folks in Australia with the terrible fires they have been suffering thru. Beetle is fully jointed and made of felted mohair. She looks very well loved-so well loved that her fur has been rubbed off and has been kissed so many times her little nose is worn. Right now Jess's Etsy shop is empty, but keep an eye on her blog for new postings of lovely creations.