December 11, 2011

Frühlingskabine GIVEAWAY

We are hosting a giveaway on our farm blog! If you haven't seen our blog about our micro-farm, please check it out. Plus we just came home after a 15-hour trip to pick up French angora rabbits... so that should be a good post coming up.

Here's what we have for you at the Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm. Drum roll please!

A set of twelve (12) hand stamped cards that feature my own carvings of assorted birds, a honey bee, and a rabbit. They are stamped using archival inks on nice, thick, cream-colored watercolor paper and paired with matching envelopes (not pictured).

This giveaway ends on Friday, December 16th so be sure to stop by Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm for your chance to win!
- Sarah

December 1, 2011

Holiday Salt Dough Ornaments

Last week we decided (read: me not wanting to spend money on ornaments) to try our hand at making salt dough ornaments. I have never them as an adult and it seemed almost too easy, but it all worked out well. Here is the recipe we used:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Combine the flour, salt and water; mix well and knead for 10 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface.
Cut into desired shapes and make holes for hanging. Bake for 60 minutes, allow to cool.
Decorate with poster paints or tube paints. Allow to dry and spray with clear polyurethane on both sides to preserve. Use ribbon or yarn pieces to hang.

Honestly, I should have used a recipe with a longer baking time at a lower temperature, but we made these for a painting project later that day so we needed it to be quick. They turned out just fine. Just not as hard or dense as I was expecting.

Then we took them to school to paint. Camsters isn't quite two yet, but I volunteer teach ceramics at an elementary school so I used this project to pass the time for her.

I just gave her agreeable colors (read: colors that don't muddy up and turn everything an ugly brown) like yellow, orange, white, and metallic gold.

This kid loves painting. LOVES painting!

Then I sprinkled glitter on all the ornaments. Everything is better with glitter. Trust me.

November 23, 2011


We don't have many holiday traditions in our family, but we do have two really important ones that really makes or breaks a holiday.

1. Gather as many loud, outspoken, dark-humored aunts as possible around one table and then fill them with cider and booze.
2. Lefse. Lefse is like a Norwegian tortilla made from potatoes... that's how I think of it anyway.

If you want our family recipe (I'm pretty sure it's not a family secret), check out this post of mine from last year.

I was just about to type up the exact same thing I did last Thanksgiving... until I back tracked a bit and realized I've already gone down that road. Phew! Close one. Check out my lefse post anyway because lefse is what we look forward to every year. Make it once and you'll feel the same way.

- Sarah

November 1, 2011

Halloween :: 2011

I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween! It's just too bad it landed on a Monday this year. What's up with that? It messed up my internal calendar... I've felt like it's supposed to be Friday or Saturday all day long!

Well, a good time was had by all here on the ol' farm. We didn't dress up or go anywhere but the neighbors. We are such exciting people... I know. But our little one dressed as an "80's aerobics instructor" if not only to stave off princess costumes for one more year.

We were even able to teach her some aerobics "moves". Good times had by all. Here are the highlights. But keep in mind it's harder to get a decent photo of a toddler than it is chicken on run!

Yes, I bribed my daughter with candy....

Sorry if I posted this video twice, but it cracks me up.

YouTube Video

- Sarah

80's Boom Box Bag :: tutorial

Let's hop to it! Yep... just like that.

Find a piece of felt twice the size you like and fold it in half. Keep in mind we will be leaving about 3/4" on each side for the bottom floor of the bag. That way it won't be flat and you will actually be able to put stuff in it.

Wow. That felt looks cat-hairy... but we don't have any cats... maybe it's thread? Anyway, moving on. Sew along the folded edge.

Now turn inside out so that the seam is on the inside. See?

Now sew straight seams 3/4" from the first (center) seam making three in total. You now have the front, bottom, and back finished.

Now go through your ungodly large felt scrap bag and pull out some 80's appropriate colors. Turquoise and fuchsia anyone? I also found some weird checker fabric that could work as speakers. Score!

Before sewing the sides on, I like to lay mine flat so it's easier to sew on my embellishments. I used my zig zag on a super tight stitch in order to make it look "embroidered". Using lime green thread really sold the theme. Go around everything. My boom box includes a cassette player (totally boss), speakers, various buttons, and an AM/FM tuner.

Measure the width of the bottom and length of your new sides. Cut out two rectangles from black felt and sew them on either side to your front, bottom, and back.

Now put some handles on that puppy and get jammin'! I just braided together some scrap t-shirt material to make my handles. Good luck

October 31, 2011

October 25, 2011

Has it been a month?

Has it been a month? I'm sorry... We've been busy getting outdoors before mother nature decides to dump snow on us. We may live in sunny California, but it's different up here in the mountains. Last year we had a good snow here at the end of October... so really, nothing would surprise me at this point.

Let me share what exactly we've been up to:

Learning to spin thread/yarn on my new spinning wheel. It's really trial and error. Lots of error. I understand the steps, but it's going to take a lot more practice to turn out some non-ugly yarn.

Lots of cooking with homegrown veggies.

Spying on the deer who are spying on the chickens who could care less.

Painting. Gobs and gobs of painting. So much painting that "paint" is Camster's new favorite sign.

Punkin pickin'.

And chicken kissin'... even though chickens don't have lips.

Well, I'll do my very best to keep up with my little blog here. I'm almost done with a certain someone's Halloween costume so I'll have that to share. Plus! The holidays are just around the corner. You know it will be a handmade holiday in this house! Don't give up on me yet...

September 24, 2011

Hope Your Weekend is Happy

My comic

We are spending our weekend assembling rabbit cages and kissing chickens. Well... I'm not kissing chickens.

- Sarah

Liquid Gold!

My comic

Isn't there something else called "liquid gold"? I think so... I just hope it's not dirty, because I am actually referring to honey. Anywho-- we secretly harvested one frame worth of honey from the hive today. Don't tell the bees.

We were just curious as to how our very own honey tasted and just couldn't wait until late spring or even next summer. Honey harvesting officially ended in August, but our hive was started a bit late (June) and we didn't get to harvest anything.

We won't be taking anymore until late spring since the bees will need it to get through the winter. And we are supposed to have a pretty harsh winter this year. Arg! That usually means lots of snow.

In the mean time, we will be holding on tight to our one tiny jar of honey.

My comic

My comic

- Sarah

September 17, 2011

Halloween 2011 :: the beginning

Voters have chosen their favorite! Okay... It was really just my brother and I casting votes. But we did choose our favorite costume for the Camsters. Drum roll please... 80's Aerobics Instructor! You knew I couldn't resist a weird costume. I've already started on the dark pink top and black leotard, but I thought I would show you my inspiration:

Love the top and the colors, but it needs leg warmers and loose the striped headband. Camsters won't tolerate a headband. Even in the name of humor.

This is a must and totally self-explanatory.

Love the leg warmers!

And last, focus on the "sweatshirt vest". So 80's. God... so 80's.

I hope my daughter doesn't hate me for this, but this may be the last hoorah before the dreaded princess plague phase sets in.
- Sarah

I think I'm addicted to reading...

I think I'm addicted to reading...
In the last two months I have bought eight books from our local bookstore. Today I bought a ninth. The worst part is that I have actually read all of them in their entirety and have read about half of them twice. This can't be healthy. I haven't even skimped in my motherly duties in order to read them. How could I have this much spare time? I still do all the general cleaning, sweeping, making of beds, laundry, some gardening, chicken herding, child herding, and cooking.
Beware, I may need a storage unit for all my books soon.

- Sarah

September 8, 2011

Halloween Once Again

Halloween is upon us once again! If you remember, last year the Camsters was a "girl garden gnome", so I feel I need to keep with the tradition of non-traditional costumes. Some of the costumes considered were: Amelia, 20's flapper, Viking princess, Barred Plymouth Rock chicken, and fortune teller/gypsy. I've narrowed it down to these two.

Sock Monkey


80's Aerobics Instructor (the boom box would be absolutely necessary)

- Sarah

September 3, 2011

Okonomiyaki... Frühlingskabine Style!

This recipe was taught to me by Katie, a Japanese exchange student I was friends with in high school. This particular batch was made using only Frühlingskabine veggies. So here's to you Katie!

Okonomiyaki :: recipe feeds an army

Shred and mix together 1/2 a head of cabbage, 3 carrots, and 1 large bunch of green onion.
Peel and dice 3 large potatoes. Boil in water until fully cooked. Mash the potatoes and then add to the veggie mixture.
Add 3 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup of flour and mix well. You want a sticky mixture, but not too potato-y looking. As if that made sense. If your mixture is too runny, add more flour. If it's too dry, add more milk. If it's too potato-y, add more flour and milk. The right mixture is more of a feeling than anything.

Throw a scoop of okonomiyaki mix into a non-stick pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Flatten your scoop out in the pan so it's flat like a pancake. Now wait for it to brown. Oil the top of your spatula so it doesn't stick when you flip it. Now flip it.

Cook until the second side is brown, and ta da! Pretty, yummy, crispy okonomiyaki! Most people can only eat two, so if you have extra mix, cover it and stick it in the fridge. Just remember to check the tansy before frying the next batch. You'll probably need to add some flour.

Now... I don't think okonomiyaki sauce is sold in America, but if you happen to find some... You're awesome. If you are like me and are waiting for the day you get to taste the real stuff, I'm told oyster sauce is close. Close. Slather 'em up and enjoy!

:: Ingredients ::
1/2 head cabbage
3 carrots
1 bunch green onion
3 large potatoes
3 eggs
Oyster sauce

September 2, 2011

You wouldn't know it, but...

You wouldn't know it, but we've been busy:
installing hardwood floors
cleaning the new house
cleaning the old apartment
spray painting chairs
buying our very own non-hand-me-down sofa and loveseat
waiting for our INTERNET TO BE TRANSFERED (it's been over a week and we're still waiting)
...and unpacking.

Phew! Remind me not to move again for a long long long time, okay?

P.s. Don't those oak floors look great though?
- Sarah

August 25, 2011

Kid Sewing Sweatshop

My comic

A few weeks ago, three of my nieces came up the mountain to visit. Since I am always commissioned to sew on missing buttons or fix broken elastic, I figured it is time for these girls to learn some basic sewing skills.

The oldest two (ages 13 and 9) learned how to make basic bags and totes on the sewing machine. They sketched out what they wanted to make, cut out the pieces, and then -very wearily- stitched them up with the machine. I sat next to them to help, but otherwise they did it all themselves. I also shoed them how to hand-sew embellishments and buttons on. The most important part!

The youngest niece (age 6 next month) I taught to hand sew. At first she was a little scared of the "sharp needle", but I convinced her she was old enough to do this herself. I machine-sewed a little felt tote for her and then she cut out and hand-sewed on little hearts herself. For a first time sewing project her stitches came out pretty even. She really enjoyed it, so hopefully she will keep it up.

- Sarah

D.I.Y. Bookcase Dollhouse

My comic

Okay... So not the most fabulous transformation, but I was going for success and function. I really just Mod Podge-ed (is this a verb?) some 12x12" scrapbook paper on the shelves and back of the bookcase and then Mod Podge-ed (if it's not a verb it should be) over it again to seal it up. My only complaint is that I painted the paper seams white for definition, but didn't wait long enough for it to dry so when I Mod Podge-ed (seriously... it's a verb) over it, it streaked the paint. Oops.
By the way, I left the top space blank for stuffed animals. Incase you were wondering why I didn't cover the whole bookcase.

My comic

The Camsters instantly took to it with her little wood peg dolls. She didn't mind the paint streaks. Once we are done moving I hope to make a few "proper" dollhouse dolls. What that would look like.... I don't know. I'll figure it out and update you.

- Sarah

August 13, 2011

Dear D.I.Y. Gods,

Dear D.I.Y. Gods,
If there is such a thing as a governing higher-power for silly "do it yourself" projects, I formally request your aide. I know I have prayed many a time for help with such projects as: the play kitchen, the cadillac couch, the ceramic drum base, the ceramic elephant head, and more recently the feltidermy. I also want to point out that most (if not all) of these were absolute failures.

So could you maybe pretty please help me with this D.I.Y. dollhouse? Really, it should be easy for you D.I.Y. Gods to manage... I just want to turn a small bookcase into a super cute dollhouse for my daughter. If you don't do it for me, do it for my sweetpea Camsters.

image from

Your Ever Loving Worshiper
- Sarah

Columbia's "Gold Rush Days"

Today I opened up the schoolhouse to the public for the park's monthly "Gold Rush Days". Sixty-eight visitors from around the world came in to ask questions and hear the history of California's oldest two-story brick schoolhouse. I greeted people from Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, and good ol' Cali. I even saw some familiar faces:

- Sarah

August 5, 2011

Inspiration Board

This is my inspiration board for our new house. I needed to find some ideas to brighten up the dark wood walls and my sweetpea's new room.
Sorry I don't have links for any of these. I got the images off of

My comic
Left: top- I love this idea for photos, but I think mine will be a large black and white photo on a white background instead of a chalkboard. Maybe it will help offset the darkness of the wood paneling the house has.
Middle- we are looking at white leather couches and I like this color combo.
Bottom- I'm a little in love with this pallet table... Maybe too much, but it looks really neat.
Right: top- I like this room arrangement.
Bottom- I love this tray as a little side table. I have a bunch of these from my bellydance days that I can convert... just need legs.

My comic
Left: pallet garden idea for the deck saves space.
Right: top- would be good for herbs.
Middle- this would be perfect for my chai addiction. Everything at arms reach.
Bottom- adorable! This would go on the front porch wall that you see as you walk up the stairs.

My comic
Camster's room inspirations:
Top Left: have you seen these bookshelves made from rain gutters? Camsters has trouble putting her books away on a normal bookshelf so this is hopefully easier for a toddler.
Top Right: I'm going to make one of these for her out of an old rabbit skin.
Bottom Left: art display idea
Bottom Right: I want to buy these for her room so bad! Love the colors!

- Sarah


Sometimes it feels like I'm just checking in here. Sometimes I have nothing to report. Sometimes I like to just read other peoples blogs for awhile. And then sometimes I feel like I need to make stuff because of said blogs.

Well, it doesn't feel like anything new has happened lately.

We are moving in a few weeks and I have done nothing to start packing. Strike that. I do have three boxes sitting on my front porch.

I ordered two 30x36" rabbit cages from our local Tractor Supply since they don't keep them in-stock. I'm eagerly awaiting my French angora rabbits.

I typed up a list of "baby" signs, made a picture workbook of the same signs, and made a flyer for "Baby Sign Language Classes" starting in October. I figure October will give us plenty of time to settle in after the move.

I put my little Sweetpea's hair into pigtails yesterday and she instantly looked like a "kid" instead of a "baby". They are so right... children do grow up so fast.

I almost forgot! We have enough money saved up to buy a couch! I am sooo excited because for the last two years we have been using a trundle bed as a couch. Which is sad. Because it in no way can be mistaken for a couch. This will be the first time in my adult life I have ever bought
a piece of furniture. Hand-me-downs have been our life for so long. Gone are the days of Top Ramen and saggy cushions! Wow.... that sounds attractive.

- Sarah

July 22, 2011

Grocery Checkout Advice

Yesterday while we were checking out at the grocery store downtown the lady bagging out stuff asked how little Camsters was doing. We often talk about our kids because her daughter is exactly one month younger than ours. We told her that Camsters was doing great and somehow sign language came up. I told her that we had been teaching her sign since she was only a few months old because I had taken ASL as my foreign language in high school. So it was an easy transition for me and my husband is learning quickly also.
Then she asked how many signs she can do and after a bit of thought I figured Camsters can sign about 30 signs at nearly 18 months old. Both women at the checkout were impressed, especially when I said that she understands more than that. Camsters can sign 30 signs, but understands about 50 or so. It seems that everyday she learns a new sign or two.
The checkout girl thought I should be teaching "baby sign language" classes for other people who want to teach their kids to sign.

Good idea! Maybe I will. You know.... Because I don't have enough projects already.

YouTube Video

Camster's first sign at 10 months old: "tree"
- Sarah