Bits and Bobs and Carousel Horses

We’re gearing up for Ellie’s second birthday around here. I’ve been trying to finish up on some special decorations.
horses drawn

I bought these little wooden horses in hopes of making a carousel centerpiece. I’m not sure how it will all come out or even if it will at all, but I’ve been busy sanding, and sketching designs. I also started using my wood burner I got for my birthday. It’s going to take lots of practice to get good, but it’s been fun, wood-burning the designs into these horses.
wood burningNext up is painting them and then figuring out how to make a carousel stand.

In other news, I’ve been rearranging areas…
sheep skins

Adding some sheep skin rugs to Ellie’s play areas to encourage play.
swap goodies

Getting my swap goodies all set to send out.
baby bugReading about the beach and then visiting the beach.
cookingTrying to get into the kitchen to cook some more (although, as you can see, a clingy toddler who just wants to dance, makes that difficult sometimes).
first lollipop

And someone had her very first licks of a lollipop (Daddy thankfully finished it).
mike gets a lick

But not before Mike the Peg Doll gets a lick.

I leave you with one of my favorite daily views….
calming viewHope you are having a nice start to your week.



balloon 1

dada balloon

dada balloon 2


happy face


ellie loves them


the train

balloon pjs

balloon pj 2

mama wearing ellie


lit up balloons


Wow! What a magical weekend we had (as you can see by all the pictures. I went a little hot air balloon picture-taking crazy).  We went to the annual Citrus Balloon Festival for the second time this year. Here is last year’s visit. Like last year, we thought we knew what we were doing and showed up before 9am to see all of the balloons fly. Unfortunately, we missed the 6:30am fly time (their website needs a little work) and only got to see two balloons. But, it was pretty exciting seeing just the two and we hung around to meet up with friends, check out the live music and take a train ride around the event arena. We were disappointed that we missed seeing all of the balloons again and knew coming back that evening was probably not going to happen with Ellie’s bedtime. However, after a very long and late nap, it seemed the stars aligned and we attempted our first “night-time outing” with Miss Ellie boo bear. While she napped, I whipped her up a mama-made Hot Air Balloon PJs top to wear to the Balloon show. And I’m so glad we went. It was so magical seeing all the balloons lit up. Seeing Ellie’s face light up and to hear her so excited was priceless. She told us when she was ready to go home, did very well on the drive home and fell fast asleep as soon as we got home, I’m sure, dreaming of colorful balloons filling up the sky.


-joining Pumpkin Sunrise this weekend.

Portrait Project



eloise: we saw the hot air balloons for the second year. Last year you were curled up close to me in the wrap. This year you were exploring them right along with us. What a day and night we had. We saw a few balloons in the morning and then decided to come back at night (past your bedtime) to see all the balloons lit up in the night sky. It was both exciting and exhilarating for you. And you did amazingly well up so late. A very special night for both you and your Mama and Daddy.

-joining Jodi for the 52 project! 

Around Here

whitneys gifts

I’ve been working on lots of custom orders these past weeks. It’s such a neat feeling of making these sales, packaging them up and shipping them out. I’m learning a lot about the small business. I’m learning a lot about how to finish my art, printing art and packaging art. And I’m hoping that people out there are happy with my creations. I struggle with that aspect of it. It’s one thing to give a handmade gift but another to sell a handmade gift. I put my heart and soul into these little creative things I make and I’m hoping people will love them.
my happy place

A little glimpse of my craft room. Finished projects being wrapped up and other projects just being started.

swap gifts

I’m working on some blogger swap gifts as well. I enjoyed this one so much, I had to do it again! 
summer bannerI got inspired one morning after finding this perfect little shelf for Ellie’s table and while Ellie napped, I went to work on watercolor summer time banner. Each letter of SUMMER represented by something Ellie has been interested in this summer (S-sunshine, U-ukulele, M-mushroom, M-moon, E-ear of corn, R-rainbow). I’ve caught her pointing out each letter and talking about what she sees numerous times in the past couple days. I think she likes it.
the whole thing

And getting ready for Ellie’s party with little wooden creatures for center pieces of course and some inspiration from a beautiful notecard Ellie picked out at our local art gallery.


Lots of crafting around here… what are you up to?

July’s Garden

fairy home

Fairy Gourd home, tucked in between some peach branches.

pumpkinsPumpkins, here, there and everywhere! I’m so surprised at how well these little Jack be nimble pumpkins are growing.

the hop

The Hop plants are growing steadily…

hop up up up… up, up, up.

corn in the sunblightCorn in the afternoon light. We are having so much success with this little bunch of corn. This week, Jeff picked our very first homegrown corn husk and we had a corn snack!

delicious corn

corn for EllieWe boiled up the cob and Ellie, Jeff and I enjoyed some corn, from farm to table.

the whole shebang

the whole garden!

flower garden

But can’t forget the flower garden (which needs a little more tending to).
lemon tree

Or the lemon tree! We have a lot of lemons!!

The July garden is lush and full of fruit. We’re still waiting on tomatoes to ripen, but we’ve pulled several lettuce plants out and I’ve planted more carrots (because the other ones did so well). It’s really neat watching this space evolve and grow.

Farm mats and Superheroes and Felt boards oh my!

I’ve been busy in my craft room. After a tough couple days of resting from oral surgery last week, I jumped right back in to the craft room, eager to start  making again.

I finished a whole bunch of machine-made travel felt mats for some fabulous mama friends.
felt mats

travel felt mats

And I sent off these lovely Little Women to a book loving friend.
little women

on the book

And I finished and fell in love with this darling custom order for a “Farm” play mat and farmer peg doll.
noras farm mat
pigsIt was so much fun dressing the mat up with Ellie’s wooden toys while she napped.  I think if she would have seen the set up, the play mats would never reach their intended owners.
vegetable patch

Everything was completely handsewn on this mat. I had to figure out how to make the vegetable garden piece by piece. I think it turned out pretty cute.

I loved how the farm mat turned out so much, I ended up making Ellie one for her birthday.
ellies farm mat
so cute

I’m still working on making a bee hive (in the back there). I bought those bees awhile back after falling in love with them on Etsy and now I have a mat to add them to.

And last but not least, the latest mat I finished for a friend…
superhero matA superhero mat!
When a friend asked if I could make her son a few super hero peg dolls, she also thought it would be fun to have some type of play mat to go with them. I wanted to make something simple and very open-ended. Something fun and bright, like the dolls themselves and something you could add other toys too to create a full playscape. This was surprisingly (since I’m more the “farm play mat” type), a lot of fun to come up with and I’m hoping will be perfect for an active little boy to play with. Heck, Ellie saw a little bit of the mat and was pawing at it herself. I may be making a little superhero mat for her as well. 😉

spider web

the whole set

It’s been so much fun making these custom mats and peg doll sets as well as putting together the felt boards (even though my machine stitching skills are in need of a lot of work versus my hand stitching skills). I love having this kind of creative outlet. Plus, it makes me happy to create things for children, especially my own.