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Honour the Child

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Friday, 11 July 2014
We have had a lot of changes in the last few weeks.
To be fair, it started about 8 months ago when I fell in love with a little old schoolhouse in the woods.

That crush led to our purchasing that schoolhouse.
And then I quit my job (19 years of ministry) effective June 30.

At the end of June we made the final push to move in to our new home, with all the attendant drama and trauma of moving.  And now we are happily ensconced in our little (900 sq. ft.) home.

In the first 24 hours of really living here (we moved a town over, and had both houses until the end of June) Andy returned to work (long haul trucking) and our toilet tank cracked completely, the hydro went out for 12 hours and I realized that our house was seething with mice, ants and earwigs. Fun!

So now, I have a system of flushing and catching water for the toilet until Andy gets back home. I have caught 8 mice. I have given up my squeamishness with earwigs and stomp them with abandon.

I have also gone from caring for a flock of people to caring for our expanded creature collection.
We added two baby kitties to become mousers (see above paragraph) -- and they have been dubbed Ghost and Longclaw, with a big nod to Game of Thrones.

Soon after that, we drove 5 hours each way to pick up a mama goat and her one week old twin boys-- in the back of our little Kia! Thank goodness Dandelion is a Pygmy goat (pictured with some horn bling made by Rowan), so she fit well, and she settled happily for the ride.  The babes, Hickory and Huckleberry, are darling funny little things that we plan to band and train to cart (they are Pygmy x fainting goat and expected to be larger than the average Pygmy).  I am hoping that if we add one more little doe to the herd this summer, maybe my husband won't notice?

It is with some sadness that we have decided to re-home our little Papillon, Murray.
We have a friend who would love to love him, and at 4.5 lbs he is in danger every time he leaves our house-- hawks, owls, fishers, coyotes... And having been trashed by the nanny goat last week, we are aware how ill-suited he is in the country.  The good thing is that he will be local and we can visit and pet-sit and know he is much safer! {{since I wrote this draft, Murray has moved to his new home and is having a blast with his new 'siblings'~ watching a teeny dog and two ferrets play is a hoot!}}

My big girl, Boudicca (Boo) the Bouvier is thriving in our new setting, and she and Dandelion have settled into a mutual respect for one another. {And it just occurred to me that we have pets named 'Ghost' and 'Boo'!}

In all of this, we are homeschooling and I am excited to have so much more time to devote to Beneath the Rowan Tree, as well.  So be sure to follow us on Facebook and to become a follower of this blog (left hand column)I'm off to stomp bugs and play with my baby goats! ♥♥

Monday, 7 July 2014
I once was a blogging machine.
Well, not a machine, really, kind of the opposite.
I used this blog as creative space -- for business and personal projects, for personal and parental reflection, for telling my own story and connecting with others and their stories.
It came from the heart and even though it is published in the vastness of the internet, it felt intimate-- like my own space.

And this space was a precious little corner of my otherwise quite public life.
Being in ministry is sometimes referred to as "living in a stained glass fishbowl".
And some people like their goldfish and get that it is a fish with fishy needs and a fish shaped life, trying to be the best fish it can be (but sometimes falling short).
And others want their fish to stop acting like a fish.

To put it simply-- someone who wanted me to stop acting like a fish decided to use this blog towards that end. And it worked -- it poisoned my water, it cost me my blogging mojo.
The hows and whys aren't worth mentioning, being bygones and oh-so-2012.

Moving on.
I'm back (baby!).

I'm excited about rebuilding this space and filling it with beautiful colours and hopeful words and creative expression and ideas.

We have moved.
We are no longer in the same small town, but close enough to keep our connections while gaining privacy and space.
We are slowing making home out of a 90 year old schoolhouse.
I am surrounded by tall trees and baby animals.
I am taking a break from full time ministry (although I will still be preaching and presiding at funerals as needed).
My flock has become the dogs, some new kitties and a small herd of goats.
And Beneath the Rowan Tree is now my day job!

I have lots to share (still ironing out devices and internet for our location!) about setting up our little farmstead, special needs parenting, homeschooling, crafting, nature, girl power... And lots to learn and hear from you! 

So follow the blog (left hand side), follow our Facebook page and let's do this thing!

{and... In case you aren't sure if you should stick around, let me just say... Baby Goats} <3

Wednesday, 19 March 2014
I do not like mending (really, who does?).
But I love the idea of turning a gaping hole in a favourite pair of jeans into an adorable monster! 

And at this time of year... Trying to stretch that pair of jeans through until spring arrives (and for us that is usually May!), I thought this re-post of one of our most popular posts might come in handy!
monster, knee patch, mending jeans, jeans, mend, hole

My daughter loves to play in the sand.
her pants, however, don't enjoy the experience nearly as much!
Her favourite jeans are missing both knees.

I saw a great fix on Pinterest (the pinned post in dutch HERE) and snagged a little time to do it this morning.... Monster Knees!
◘ A scrap of fabric larger than the hole (allow 1/4-1/2" around it)~ denim, cotton, flannel
◘ Embroidery floss
◘ Needle
◘ Felt (wool is preferable to acrylic for durability), or other fabric scraps in white

1)  Cut Out your Pieces:
Trim your fabric scrap to fill the back of the hole, with an allowance of at least 1/4" beyond the tear.
Cut 'teeth' out of your white scrap, wide enough to fill the 'mouth' hole and as long or short as you prefer, you may need to do some dental work as you go along.
Cut out two roughly round eyes from the white fabric.
tutorial, mending, kids, pants, holes, monster, fun, simple, fast, no machine, jeans, patching

2) Sew on the Teeth:
Attach them to the mouth piece with a row of running stitches.

3) Fit the teeth into the mouth and stitch the mouth in place.
With small pants, it is tough to get your hand inside while stitching, you may find it easier to turn them inside out and do your best at making a rough oval around the hole, firmly securing the patch and making sure not to catch the teeth in the stitches.

4) Stitch the Eyes:
Have fun and be creative! Be sure that the eyes are well anchored~ they will get roughed up in the wash, but it will just add to the monster's charm.

As Rowan had both knees out, I simply patched the other knee with a felted wool sweater scrap~ overcast stitched with the embroidery floss.
Now, don't you want to do some mending?!
Friday, 14 March 2014
Easter is just around the corner.
And when it comes to spring symbols, why let the rabbits have all the fun?

Despite the enormous snowbanks and icy roads, we are anxiously awaiting signs of spring here in Northern Ontario. And my daughter is eagerly awaiting CHICKENS.  She has been saving and studying for her own little laying flock to be established at our new home this spring.

So between my reading up on predators and parasites, breeds and egg production, I have gathered up some wonder-full (and all natural) handmade toys.  

Wouldn't they make great additions to an Easter or Equinox gift?
Please click the links below to visit the lovely shop where these items are found.
{Click to view the image larger}

1. Yellow Chick (Felted Wool) by Full Circle Wool.
2. Baby Chick Crayons, by Doodler Farms.
3. Felted Wool Chicken and Chick by Song and Season.
4. Wooden Hen and Chicks by Monkey and Bean Designs.
5. Needlefelted Farmer with Chickens, by Kalle Jasper.
6. Vintage Book and Toy Chick by Mama Roots.
7. Needlefelted Hen and Chicks by Little Elf's Toy Shop.

Enjoy! ♥♥
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Ooh! Super easy and cheap...
(let that not be said about *me* however!)
Tshirt yarn is so much fun!

Earlier this week I posted my top 12 favourite tshirt recycling ideas ~ one of which was making yarn out of old tshirts.  This has been on my 'to do' list for a long time (especially since I have a heaping box of old tees awaiting new life!).

So I gathered up the larger tees~ definitely look for large and plus size ones to get the most yarn out of them.
(And stole  few of my big husband's worst looking tees from the laundry, score!).
Dyed them ('cause that's how I roll).
And made yarn.

What you'll need:
Sharp scissors
Rotary Cutter & Cutting Board (optional)

Depending on your intended project(s) you may want to avoid tees with side seams.
Most ladies fashion tees have side seams, most promotional and basic tees do not.
If your tees do have seams, there will be little bobbles of seam throughout your yarn...
fine in my case as I plan to make a rag rug.

Here are a few tutorials with instructions for cutting and finishing your yarn:
DIY Tshirt Yarn from Polkadot Pineapple
Tshirt Yarn from Let Birds Fly
Yarn from Tees at Craft Passion

Now what?
You can knit, crochet, weave, braid... you name it!
Try some of the projects I have pinned on my Tshirt Recycling Board!
  • coasters
  • placemats
  • bath mat
  • dish cloths
  • 'swiffer' duster attachment
  • bracelets
  • flowers
  • pom poms
  • scarves, oh so many scarves!
Good luck! and have fun ♥♥
(republished from August 2012)
Monday, 10 March 2014
One sure thing in parenting is that your children will surprise you.
And they enjoy experimenting with language!

I suppose I should be somewhat thankful for a short memory, because I had forgotten my daughter's adventures with swearing until it happened again this week.  And, until whatever internal machinations of irony my blog has going on decided to spit up a couple of posts on this very topic to remind me.
Potty mouth at age 2.5.
Get the Swear Jar at age 6

We aren't a foul mouthed family.
We aren't perfect, but we don't swear regularly.
We also don't make a big deal about swearing -- words are words, and if they bother others it is respectful not to use them.

Rowan is 8.
Like many 8 year olds she likes to make an impression.
And her behaviour one day last week was most impressive.

I'll admit it started with the 'anti-joke chicken' meme, which Rowan stumbled across while researching chickens. This joke:

She read it aloud, blushed and immediately told me she knew there was a 'bad word'.
The one she learned about last summer.

We were camping and Ro and a friend were pretending to be warriors of some sort, hoisting stick swords and running through the woods. When I heard her yelling "Ship! SHIP!" I looked to the other mom and we both shrugged, assuming that she was saying "ship" --'they must be pirates'.  The woods were ringing with the word.  She yelled it again, running close by me.  I stopped her and asked what she was yelling.

She looked me in the eye, and honestly said, "Shit.".
"That is not a word we use when playing -- it is a swearing word."
"OK" and off she went.
End of story.

So when she read the meme, she knew it was not a word we use.
Except that she went to her sitter's for the afternoon, she lost no time in regaling the sitter and her boys (age 6 and 8) with the horse joke.

And when she retold it, that horse made a very big mess. Over and over again.
When she was chastised for her language, she replied with two baffling statements.
1) "Right, I shouldn't use that word in front of children".
2) "I am working on not using it as much as I used to".

What? I can't even.
Thank goodness I learned all of this while alone and by text.
Because I couldn't stop laughing at the brazenness of my child.

{for one awful moment I worried that it had become a tic! Although only 10% of people with Tourette's experience foul language tics 'coprolalia'... What if?! Thankfully it subsided and a good discussion about appropriate language use was sufficient.} --PSA, please do not ever share or use Tourette's jokes that suggest people who swear have the neurological disorder. It is an incredibly difficult condition to live with, found most often in children and teens, and spreading false info hurts them all. Thanks xo

And that folks, is, I hope, my last post about my foul mouthed little girl.
But somehow I suspect there may be more to come.
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