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

July 18, 2011


My husband and I have always been interested in "homesteading" but as a renter it's very hard to be self-sufficient. I've always sewn a lot of my own clothes, we have had various patio gardens and grown various vegetables, I sew most of Camster's dolls, felt most of her toys, and repair assorted clothes. It always leaves us wanting to do more for ourselves. What exactly, I don't know.

We have recently come to love our local bookstore "Mountain Bookstore". So far we have gotten these books:

Keeping Bees by Paul Peacock
Keeping Bees by Ashley English

How To Raise Rabbits by Samantha and Daniel Johnson
Modern Homestead by Renee Wilkinson

I'm also on the lookout for a book about making your own yarn rugs or homemade looms and stuff like that. I suppose I could just google it, but there's something about holding a book in your hands and just flipping through the pages. Technology can never take that love of paper away from us.
As I type with my iPad...

- Sarah

We seem so busy...

We seem so busy lately! Between building a bigger better chicken coop, weaning Camsters, staying up far too late because of weaning Camsters, preparing our "micro-farm" for move in, and managing some resemblance of a home life, I'm just exhausted. Keep in mind that I usually have about ten things going on at once with no problem, so being exhausted is really new to me. It's all catching up to me I guess. Or I'm getting older. Ha!

I'm sitting here watching the little one sleep and thinking about yesterday. While we were working on the new coop, Camsters was a few feet away under a shady tree, happily playing in the loose dirt next to a bucket of water.
These are her new favorite toys. Dirt and water. Not the cool electronic toddler piano her cousins gave her... nope... she likes dirt. But man, did she have a good time just digging and scooting those piles of dirt around. She had the biggest smile on her face! I didn't even mind that she was practically rolling around in it. She just made me smile. It's funny to watch kids find play wherever they go.

- Sarah

July 13, 2011


It's amazing how when you're single you have next to nothing because you don't need it. Then when you get married your stuff doubles, logically. But when you have a kid, somehow your stuff increases ten-fold.
What?! I know...
All of the sudden, instead of just stuffing your chapstick and your wallet into your microscopic purse, you are carrying a diaper bag stuffed with diapers, toys, snacks, extra clothes, sunscreen, and various hats like a beast of burden. It's crazy. I just dug through a seemingly endless bin of bath toys looking for my hair brush.
It's madness/motherhood.

- Sarah

July 11, 2011

Baby to Toddler

This week has been full of sleepless nights. It's funny how just an hour or two less sleep a night can affect your overall energy the next day.
Three days (or nights) ago I officially weaned the Camsters. She was down to just one feeding before bed for the last month so, physically, it was easy. Mentally, not so much.

The first night I gave her a sippy-cup of milk and it was a quick lights out. How deceiving that first night was. The last two nights involved a bit more screaming, crying, rocking, and back patting... I'm lying... a lot more screaming, crying, rocking, and back patting.

But I'm sure tonight will be different. *insert eye roll here*

- Sarah

July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Camsters and I walking in Columbia's Fourth of July parade as docents. You can't see it well, but she is wearing a red and white striped dress.

- Sarah

Frühlingskabine is hard to spell

When we move in late August/ early September, what? again?... I know, we will be moving into a 3 bedroom house with enough room (and permission) to keep our chickens, start keeping rabbits for wool, and start a hive of bees. We plan to live there for a few years while we work on buying our own house.

Cool right?! We are so excited! The house is called the "Frühlingskabine" which means "Spring cabin" in German. It was named by my uncle who has recently passed. I love him and miss his quick cynical wit dearly so we are naming our mini-mini-farm in memory of him.
Soon we will be drowning in honey, eggs, and wool. Yay!

So rabbit wise, I have a few options. I would like medium to large sized rabbits in order to get a worthwhile amount of wool. I would hate to spend more in feed than I get in wool. That would be silly.

On the left, the French Angora weighs about 8-10 pounds
The German (or Giant) Angora on the right weighs 9-12 pounds

I would prefer the French Angora because it is of a more manageable weight, but either would be nice. The big challenge will be finding a breeder who is selling a buck and two does relatively close to where I live. A challenge indeed. I may even begin to breed them myself.

September brings new beginnings. Oh, and my birthday.

- Sarah

July 1, 2011

DIY Teepee :: tutorial

I looked everywhere online for measurements for a 6ish foot tall teepee. Um... Nope. But it's okay because this was super simple and... Wait for it....
Only $18
That's right folks! $18 US buckaroonies. That's all I spent. That's all you want to spend on a summer teepee. It takes about 2 hours to put together... One to cut and one to sew.

Here's what you need:
:: 5 (1/2 inch) PVC pipes that are 4 feet long
:: 5 (1/2 inch) PVC pipes that are 4 feet long with a flare on one end so you can connect two together
:: 6 x 9 foot canvas drop cloth
:: some scrap fabric for a fancy door (use elephant fabric if you have it)
:: some scrap fabric in 12 inch lengths or ribbon

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1. My measurements ended up being 3 inches at the top and 4 feet at the bottom. I used tape on the floor to make the top and bottom measurements and then used more tape to link the sides until it looked like a good length. (I suppose you could measure, but set up your poles first to see where you will tie them together at the top. Mark it, drill holes all the way through, and tie 'em together.)
2. Cut out 4 of these panel shapes with your canvas drop cloth. You will have to squeeze them it by flipping it for each panel, but it works.
Use this same shape to piece together one more panel with your scrap fabric. Then cut it in half. Sew everyone together: long sides together, all the short tops at the top, all the long bottoms at the bottom, and your two scrappy doors on either side.
3. Put your cover on you teepee bones and mark where you want your ties on the inside. I put 3 ties per pole and a few on the top to keep it from slipping down.
Ta da! If you questions, email me. I'd be happy to clarify my cryptic instructions.

Now you're teepeefied. It's a word.

- Sarah

Summer Arts Camp 2011... Success!

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Camsters and I at Summer Arts Camp 2011 in Columbia State Historic Park!
I know we look sad in this picture, but it was just REALLY hot out... And my 5-year old niece was taking the picture, so frankly-- I didn't expect it to turn out.

Here's a little look at what we did all week. Unfortunatly, I didn't get pictures of the "theatre in a box" class, drum class, improv class, or the pantomime class. Sorry! I was at the Admin Teepee most of the week signing in late kids, dispensing Band-aids, and handing out cookies. I only took photos of the art show and performance on Friday.

I was really impressed with this years art. The kids did a great job with their projects! Remember... These are 7-12 year olds and we are firm believers in doing it yourself. So everything you see here they sculpted, drew, and painted BY THEMSELVES! Wowies.

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Ceramic owls that will be on this year's National Christmas Tree

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Wet felted shapes

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My painting class. Who doesn't like cake?!

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Drawing class

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Revamp Recyclery's recycled art class. That's a mouthful.

- Sarah