Archive for the 'Inspiring' Category

Recent Favorites

Solstice Dinner

Last Saturday evening Papa and I dropped the urchins at my parents house and headed to the farm. We were off to a fancy dinner, with a fancy chef, hosted by a fancy downtown restaurant group, at our farm. Yes, you read right, the dinner was at our CSA farm.

The event was promoted as a homage to farm fresh food and the farmers who grow it. And I think the idea was to get some city dwellers out to the the country to see where their food is grown and to meet some of the farmers who grow it. We aren’t city dwellers — I had never even heard of the restaurant or chef before that evening — but we are foodies and the dinner was in the heart of where our food comes from. The evening started in a peach orchard with passed hors d’œuvres and sparkling wine.

Peach Orchard

After a little while we all — about 100-150 guests I’d say — walked down to an open field in the middle of our farm that was set with one long table. I was talking to the woman who runs our farm and told her that Katie and Tristan call her their farmer. I think they believe she grows food just for them. She told me to tell them that they are right, she is their farmer, and it is their farm. Love that lady!

Solstice Dinner

The food was fabulous. In fact it was so good that I forgot to take any photos of it. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the continuous flow of local wine. Colleen of foodietots did take photos of her plates though so thanks go to her for the food photos. We had salad with a deviled egg, ham wrapped scallop with a beet and radish crudo, and crab cakes with oak leaf lettuce.

These two photos courtesy of Colleen of foodietots.

Everything was served family style and we had wonderful conversations with the people around us. We were the only ones in our part of the table who live out towards farmland and we explained what a CSA was countless times. I felt a bit evangelical about the whole eating local thing and how important our farm is to us. I was really proud to know that our urchins know that their food comes from a farm and who grows it for them. Sure, it takes effort but I know the payoff will be great. I recently heard Katie tell a friend My mommy makes everything from scratch. And while that isn’t true I’m so glad they know what food looks like and where it comes from.

This photo courtesy of Colleen of foodietots.

And speaking of food, the extravaganza continued with a mixed grill including two cuts of beef, bison, and rabbit accompanied by red potato salad with grilled shallots. I didn’t try the rabbit, but everything else was delicious — and Stefan says the rabbit was great too. All the meat was prepared in a kitchen the chef had set-up in the field. The final course was dessert which included a chèvre cheesecake with strawberry black pepper preserves — you know I’ll be trying to make this sometime — and peanut cookies with iced espresso.

Solstice Dinner

The sun set behind the hills and we walked through the grain fields back to our car. We had a wonderful time and I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate this year’s longest day.

Recent Favorites

So you guys told me that you really like these posts and a good thing too since I woke up this morning with a raging sore throat. Did I mention Katie’s sixth birthday party is this Saturday and Papa has a big race on Sunday? Yeah, excellent timing. So, if I’m not back in this space this week you’ll forgive me, right? Enjoy the favorites:

Recent Favorites

1. welcoming warmth, 2. norway tribbles, 3. cactus, 4. searching, 5. tags, 6. blanket!, 7. beach collection : color, 8. {film.267}, 9. Bushfire Quilt Project, 10. red + white, 11. transition, 12. fancy shoes, 13. confidence, 14. because i think it is beautiful, 15. yellow bus, 16. Untitled, 17. saturday at thomas run, 18. green } 5, 19. Spring :: Mud and Flowers, 20. Building Blocks Fabric Easter Eggs, 21. second pillow, 22. Robots, 23. Untitled, 24. yellow blot, 25. roupa de alguém, 26. note-books for first scribbles, 27. coasters, 28. pink grapefruit, 29. Santa Lucia Doll & Fabric Trees, 30. winter wishes, 31. Beezus and some of her Lovely Doll Friends, 32. weathered, 33. ice., 34. multitasking, 35. birch bokeh, 36. Komb

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

1. HAPPY WINTER, 2. last bus of the day, 3. Gee’s Bend trial, 4. bare, 5. what really cold looks like, 6. floating, 7. felted rocks, 8. Penguins, 9. ……, 10. detail of "Endlessly Repeating….", 11. goodbye Christmas, 12. the sunset, 13. christmas armadillo, 14. merrymaking.8, 15. winterberry, 16. Untitled, 17. beads + pipe cleaner, 18. 01materials, 19. Backtack 4, 20. Frolicking, 21. {film.147}, 22. tree with little bird quilt, 23. solstice08, 24. Pink Posies Patchwork Owl, 25. as the snow started, 26. Bunny and her stuff, 27. bowl o’ cones, 28. Tree Huggin’, 29. at the sea: staring, 30. Mama, 31. anything better than a hand-sewn sequin heart?, 32. Untitled, 33. happy thanksgiving, 34. Untitled, 35. Beach Collection I, 36. Hug

Have You Sent Your Hats?

You’ve still got a tiny bit of time to send your hats off to Amanda. I’m pretty sure she’ll be accepting them through the end of the week. I’m sending a bunch but I know that any you can send would be appreciated. The reason I’m sending so many is because my Daisy Girl Scout troop made some at our meeting last Friday.

Tie Dying

The girls brought me old t-shirts before Thanksgiving. I cut them up and made them into hats with Amanda’s pattern, setting the white ones aside. Then at our meeting I told the girls a bit about Haiti and how most people don’t have running water. They looked at me like I was crazy. Thanks to flickr I could show them a few photos of Haitian children — even some carrying water — they were still not convinced. Then we tie-dyed the white hats. I am no expert tie-dyer, that’s for sure, but I think they turned out well and the girls were amazed at the hats after they were un-tied. Even more amazing though was the empathy I saw as these five and six year old girls realized that there are those in the world who need our help, and even more importantly, that we can help them, even if our hands are small.


Autumn Is… Golden Fields


The lovely Grace started an Autumn Is flickr group back at the end of August. Such a sensational idea! So, I thought this week I’d share some photos and maybe some thoughts about what Autumn is to the urchin family.

Gotta Love Flare

I know in some parts of the country the landscape turns brown much earlier in the year but around here the golden fields are a sure sign of Autumn. We live on what used to be the outer limits of suburbia. Sprawl has crept past our door but we are still remarkably close to fields and farms. This weekend we just had to stop the car and enjoy the view of a field of grazing cows.


Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

1. doesn’t look like kansas to me, 2. hy-vee peaches, 3. bridge at twilight, 4. Untitled, 5. dianthus, 6. Kiss that Frog Mittens – palm side, 7. Breakfast, 8. pôr do sol, 9. “I’d give all wealth that years have piled…, 10. Notre Dame, 11. Untitled, 12. Untitled, 13. merman, 14. log, 15. Untitled, 16. Untitled, 17. grateful daily, 18. peas and chocolate, 19. more ripples in the water, 20. bamboo bag -orange geranium, 21. Molly’s room, 22. querida Paula, 23. Portland back yard, 24. rosemary and lemons, 25. Untitled, 26. still, 2, 27. s t i l l radishes, 28. , 29. red keds – film 14, 30. Untitled, 31. glass light red, 32. still, 3, 33. Bird and branch, 34. mem day, 35. Südböhmer Wald, 36. Miss Gladys M. Stuart


Last week Papa was in Paris for business. At one time he was going there at least once a month but recently the trips have been more intermittent. We love France. Every time he’s headed over there we make a list of what we want him to bring back. The list varies but always includes clothes for the urchins from DPAM, some magazines for me, and underwear for the urchins from Petit Bateau. Actually one of Stefan’s French counterparts used to tease him about always going to Petit Bateau. Last week Gaétan offered to shop the Petit Bateau sale for us at the end of the month. Who says the French are snobby?

Notre Dame

Unless he is just swamped with work Stefan is always successful with stuff for the urchins. My magazines though have never been successfully procured. It turns out the street stalls don’t stock children/parent or crafty magazines. But this time was different because a copy of Marie Claire Idées now lives with me. The timing was perfect too since the current issue came with a mini-mag about preserving. I don’t speak French but those photos sure look yummy.

Marie Claire Idées

So, now that Stefan has a magazine source I think I need to add another crazy thing to the list and I think that thing should be fabric. Does anybody know where the fabric stores are in Paris?

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

1. can’t get enough of these damn daisies…, 2. Bird and the Blue Yonder, 3. on almost any sunday morning, 4. the order of the Knights Templar, 5. film.229, 6. phoebe’s wees, 7. radish, 8. a few minutes later, 9. Get Ziggy Too, 10. quick and easy, 11. ‘ghan pillow front, 12. long overdue…, 13. my heart’s key.., 14. Spray in May, 15. iPhoto clean up project, 16. Vintage Set, 17. My Holga shot of Cate and Meg, 18. film.220, 19. Fragile hearts…, 20. Yoda outfit, 21. come home, 22. Autumn Baby, 23. lamby lucha libre, 24. Happy Bokeh Thursday, 25. Scraparadise, 26. life is but a dream, 27. Untitled, 28. that blue water, st. maarten, 29. 18//52, 30. The planets, 31. plusquilttop, 32. can’t. stop., 33. species tulips, 34. The tree of the dead, 35. , 36. what?

Recent Favorites

Recent Favorites

flickr photos

Mama Urchin. Get yours at

With Friends…