a long time ago...

In a galaxy far, far away.... I wrote on this blog.
Okay, so it wasn't too long ago, but it was a different city ago!
So if anyone still looks at this little space of the Interwebs and gives a care, here's the low-down:

We've up and moved our little family o' four over the summer to Knoxville, Tennessee! And we are so happy to be here. It's a cool place to be.


After a lot of thought about what we wanted to accomplish at this stage in our lives, we decided to be closer to a non-profit we've been part of for about nine years. So now I'm project-managing a sewing cooperative of five refugee women who live here in Knoxville, called Intertwined. And I'm still mommy full-time, of course... so we're still figuring all that out.

Claire is happy to model with Intertwined's products

I'm no longer running my Vintage Songbird shop on Etsy, but I'm happy to get my patchwork fix with the ladies of Intertwined and excited to run their Etsy shop! So support some refugee families, whydon'tcha, for the holidays!

We're still looking for a house... so for now we're hanging out cozy-like in a small apartment with most of our stuff in storage. But it's got great light.

no one probably cares about this photo, 
but I took a similar one when we moved to our first house

Claire took this; usually the only way this mama manages to get in a photo. 
Aedan is chillin'.

The Smokies, bluegrass, standing in the gap for refugees... Knoxville's got it goin' on. 
Hope you're well, friends!


creamy greens

Lily of the Valley; blooms of the tulip tree... state tree of Indiana.


so..... hi there!

Nothing makes me come out of blog hiatus faster than turquoise-dyed egg shells in my favorite little turquoise-rimmed vintage bowl.

I dyed eggs this Easter for the first time in I can't remember when, and proud to say I did it with all-natural dyes. The above were made with red cabbage dye... it's crazy that it makes such a brilliant blue!

I cooked the dyes separately from the eggs while the kids were asleep, but Claire got to decide how long to keep the boiled eggs in the dye in the fridge. It was fun pulling them out every so often to see what they looked like. It just might become a yearly tradition! Plus, now we've had plenty of boiled-egg breakfasts and even a deviled-egg dinner.

Worth it: red cabbage-based dyes (although your kitchen --and the rest of your house-- will stink to high heaven), green tea, red onion skins. 

Not worth it: beets, dill seed, chili powder (did nothing), coffee, and other teas... they all just came out in different shades of brown. Well, I knew that going in with the coffee.


the black & orange

Happy Halloween!
Let me tell you what all the rage has been around this joint lately... ice cream creation. An ice cream maker was all hubby wanted for his birthday, but the kiddos and I stepped it up by adding this recipe book and these pint containers, and having a batch of vanilla bean all ready before he knew what was going on.

But what we care about for this post is the pumpkin. Oh, it's goooood.

My first experience with pumpkin ice cream was four years ago at Indiana's Covered Bridge Festival, and I've always wanted more.

Other recipes we've sampled include dark chocolate, mint, chocolate peanut butter... but the underdog here was the ginger cream, which was absolutely amazing on pumpkin pie. I will definitely have it around for Thanksgiving. If you care, we got the Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker in white, and it's doing a pretty sweet job.

Mmmmm... get yourself some pumpkin goodness today too! What's your favorite?


caution: block puzzles are addicting

I finally bought Jennifer Casa's book Crafting with Kids, and let me tell you, it is amazing. Some really, really fun new ideas (I didn't know you could make chalk!)... plus a lot of the classic crafts that I didn't know how to execute well, like kaleidoscopes, tie-dye shirts, and anything using polymer clay or shrink plastic. 75 projects, people. With tons of photos. This is going to be a fantastic resource for us for years to come.

So yesterday we dove right in and made some Story Puzzle Blocks for an upcoming little friend's birthday. Picked up a bunch of old picture books at the thrift store for about $5, plus some wooden blocks at Hobby Lobby (thanks, Miss Wendy!). This morning after a final coat of Mod Podge we had ourselves a lovely handmade gift.

We like it so much we're making more for ourselves today. Something about cutting up the pieces and then putting them back together, like a mosaic, is so satisfying.

Sure, I'm doing most of the work at this point... but a little 3-year-old loved taking the discarded scraps and making her first real collage. And creative freedom is really what crafting time is all about, right? Love it.


done and done

I finally got 20 potholders finished for Homespun (only the greatest indie handmade goods store ever)... you wouldn't think potholders would take that long, but when they're each basically a different mini-quilt, it takes a while.

I'm seriously tempted to keep this one, though: the Heather Ross horses in the upper left (and also her matryoshka dolls in the bottom right), a little navy and chartreuse, vintage and Japanese fabrics... this one is calling out to me.

Homespun might only get 19.


hot colors

For hot days!
I grew the dill just for the flowers. :)
Pitcher by Ryan VanHoy.


¡cinco de mayo!

Claire and I busted these out paper-snowflake style just a bit ago.

Inspiration photo here.

This is one of the few occasions that I've remembered Cinco de Mayo before it's Seis de Mayo (or later). Getting ready to call in a take-out order from my favorite local Mexican place, and looking forward to some homemade guac tonight!


thrifty scores

Sometimes you find goodies, sometimes you don't... and today I definitely did whilst at my local Goodwill. That they nearly all mix yellow and pink and florals... well, that was a happy coincidence, and just happens to echo my mood this time of year. Love me some corals, pinks, and yellows together roundabouts May.

pristine vintage sheet - major score of the day and may be destined for some kids clothes. It's so perfect though, I'm conflicted!

bag for me

summer dresses for her

ironstone planter

Not pictured: vintage luncheon plate with little pink flowers. :)
Happy Easter and a happy spring!


these shots heavily curated

...lest you should think my house is spic and span. Nope... high chairs, puzzles, books, there's stuff everywhere.
Brought in all this purple and white today, my favorite spring colors.


stolen from the vacant house across the street... anyone know what these are? some kind of wild hyacinth?

bradford pear blooms, which admittedly stink to high heaven

grape hyacinths from our garden

Claire said we had to put the tulip with the others
so it "wouldn't be alone, and it will be their mommy"