Portrait Project


flower child 22/52

eloise: my flower child. 

– joining Jodi for the 52 project,

“a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014.”



I don’t have very many photos from this long, memorial day weekend. I wasn’t feeling very well off and on throughout the weekend but we did have moments of fun. Lots of tea, some kite flying, some music and dancing and steaks on the grill and a visit from Gramma and Grandpa with a trolley ride. How was your Memorial Day?


kite flying

flower child runs

flower child


granpa strums


mama trolley

gma and gpa

-joining pumpkin sunrise for weekending!

The Knothole Tree

I’ve been pretty busy lately in the creating department. After making Ellie a seasonal spring time play mat, I realized I could be making them for every season and could possibly make them for other people too. I’ve always wanted to open an etsy shop. And since I’ve started painting and doing more crafting, I’ve been working hard to get my own little shop, up and running. It would be so nice to be able to keep making things for Ellie and others and the bit of money I would get by selling online would help make that possible. So, here I go. I opened my very own etsy shop.

It’s called The KNOTHOLE TREE.

the knothole tree

I loved the idea of The Knothole and Boo Radley’s gifts to the children in To Kill A Mockingbird. Ellie’s middle name is Harper, after Harper Lee. I thought it was a perfect little name for a whimsical little shop.

I just finished three play mats. A spring inspired one and two “Frozen-inspired” mats (because  like everyone else in the world, we’ve been bitten by the Frozen bug and I thought some open-ended play mats with hand painted peg people might just be a fun idea).
Here is the spring mat.
spring matIt’s completely hand-sewn and I try to use up-cycled fabrics as well as new cotton and wool felt. This one has batting in the middle and then completed with an up-cycled wool sweater. It was so fun to make. And nice to know I was giving the old sweater a new life.

a river runs through it


And here is one of the Frozen-inspired mats I made (that definitely could double as a winter seasonal mat or even a polar play mat.

It’s also completely hand-sewn and is backed with an up-cycled chenille blanket. I love those up-cycled fabrics. The dolls were hand painted by me and have been so much fun to make.
ana and elsa

I’m still figuring out the whole peg doll process, but it has been a joy to play around with these little guys and Ellie is having so much fun picking out which ones she wants as part of her collection.

Here is another Frozen inspired mat with more batik cotton.


The “Frozen-inspired” mats won’t go in the store until next week because I’m still working on finishing up the peg dolls for them. But, my store with also have some softie dolls and animals as well as some of my paintings. I’m nervous about putting myself out there like that but I really enjoy making these wonderful things! Check out my store, if you would like! And stay tuned next week for a giveaway from me to celebrate those 500 posts as well as the opening of my store!



It was such a beautiful weekend. The weather finally cooled back down to the beachy weather we all know and love (we, particularly my husband, but I’m finding my daughter as well, do not like the heat… at. all). I got out on a yard sailing bike ride on saturday morning and found some ceramic treasures. My Dad (Grandpa) joined us for our weekly farmers market trip (Gramma is visiting Germany this week and next- we miss you Gramma!). Jeff and Ellie spent a few hours enjoying each others company so I could get in some “making” and art time. I’m officially obsessed with making peg people as you can see. And,  I signed up for this fantastic art class and although I am very behind; joining in almost half a year late, I’m already feeling more inspired by the lessons I got to partake in this weekend. We spent a lot of time outside. A lovely sunday afternoon at the beach and more time making and enjoying each others company. It was a wonderful weekend and I’m so very thankful for my little family.

yard sale find


farmers market fun

pool daze

art space




happy porch


* joining Pumpkin Sunrise, who is taking over for Amanda for weekending!

{this moment}

“A single photo. No words. Capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

– joining soulemama this Friday!

*And don’t forget, the last day to leave a comment on the blog to win some wonderfully fun and adorable things from Marci’s Garden will be tomorrow. I will draw names on sunday.


A 500th Post Giveaway!!

I’m coming up on my 500th post for my blog this week! I can’t believe I’ve stuck with this blog writing thing for over three years now!!! It’s been so wonderful to have a place to document the lovely days, the struggles and the wonder in the every day. I started out in this space to document things that made me happy, things that inspired me and projects I was working on. It’s evolved into the story of my family and the story of me as a wife, mother and woman. Writing this blog every week has even brought me to meet many incredible people online and (even in person). I have become a part of an amazing community of bloggers around the world and I am so glad I put myself out there three years ago to create SummerPlaysHouse. So in celebration, I have put together a few giveaways this week and in the next coming weeks, from myself and a few people close to me. 

This first giveaway is from a wonderful Etsy store called Marci’sGarden. Marci (who just happens to be one of my favorite people and my cousin) makes the most lovely of things for babies and adults alike. Fabric balls for children, crocheted goods, reusable bags for groceries (We have 5 of hers and use them daily!), reusable sandwich bags and so much more… You can check out her store here. 


For my first ever giveaway, she has generously donated a set of fabric balls and a set of crocheted wash clothes.

fabric balls boy

These fabric balls come in all different colors and are three different sizes. They are soft and squishy and perfect for little hands to hold, grasp and throw. Ellie has a set of them and she brings them out daily. They make incredibly lovely shower gifts or birthday gifts for a little one.
girl balls

With the fabric balls, we’ll also be giving away a set of 3, beautifully hand crocheted

wash cloths. Ellie has a set of these as well and we use them every night during bath time. The shape makes them so much fun to wash with and the yarn is super snuggly and soft against her skin. They are so sweet and lovely!
girl wash cloth

boy wash cloth


So please go check out Marci’s wonderful store with all of her handmade goodness!!! (She’s having a sale in her store as we speak)!
And if you would like to win one of these lovely sets of fabric balls and wash cloths, all you have to do is leave me a comment!!! I will be picking names out of  a hat, old school, and let you know who the winner is, next week! Good Luck!!  ****GIVEAWAY CLOSED**** The winner is STACIA!!