Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Giving and Receiving Handmade

Hello Lovelies! I do so hope that you enjoyed, and are enjoying your holidays. It has been quite sweet here at the little green cottage, if a tad busy and messy. There has been a glut of good food, a windfall of friends and family, and an all around feeling of being very fortunate. I offer one caveat; it may be some time before I am up for baking cookies again.

It was a very handmade holiday 'round here, though I did very little of the hand making myself, wait... I take that back, the food was all hand made; the treats, the dinners, the bread, etc. and my hands were definitely involved in the making. Except for the traditional Christmas Morning Belgium Waffles which were all The Engineer (thank you again darlin', perfect as usual!)

Because I didn't have time to make much for the holiday, I purchased some handmade goodness to give. I thought I should share a little of the goodness with you.

This gorgeous hand crafted ceramic horse ornament came from Christine's shop Shepherds Grove Studio. She was a joy to buy from and I couldn't be happier with the ornament. Pony Girl was pretty thrilled too!

Photo by Claire Moxon

A stunning bracelet made by Claire from Scotia Spinner. Claire spins amazing yarn and beautiful fibre creations, and she makes wonderful jewelry. Claire is one of the first blog friends I met when Lola Nova started out. Please check out her great shop! I was very tempted to keep this for myself, but I did give it to my sister in the end.

On the receiving end of things - there were hand made earrings from my beautiful sister, handcrafted beeswax candles from the divine Crystal, art from my dear friend Tricia and more!

I did want to show a very special gift that was made for Pony Girl by Aunt Lydia.

This amazing paper doll kit made from fabric! Dolls and outfits, a quilted panel with pockets to keep the clothes in and all in a quilted carrying tote! The pictures don't do it justice. The amount of work and love that went into this is amazing, I am completely in awe! Thank you so very much Aunt Lydia, you are a doll!

Lastly, I did manage to make one gift for the Engineer. He is a big fan of Waylon Jennings so I made him some wall art.

Here is a link to the original album cover I used for inspiration. My version is totally wonky, but my heart was in it.

Well, that's enough of my rambling on for today. All I can say is, I love handmade!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Wish

Dear friends,
Thank you for another wonderful year. Thank you for coming to visit my shiny place and sharing with me. I am a lucky Lola!

I wish you a lovely holiday filled with joy and and happiness.

Be well

see you soon!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm OK, Your'e OK

Are we?

Is it ok that I have been spotty at best attending to this blog-o-mine of late? Is it ok that I have written a dozen posts in my head and not actually shared them with you here? Is it ok that I have not come to visit you, nor replied to your lovely comments because there just doesn't seem to be a right moment anywhere in the day? Is it ok that I keep forgetting about the first grade field trip that happens this morning and that I am vaguely anxious about taking public transportation with 100 school kids into downtown? Is it ok that I am turning 43 on Saturday? Wait, is that right, 43?

I think it is ok. I'll let you know for sure if we make it back from our field trip in one piece.

Have an a-o.k. day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter Morning

If I were to type my letter to Santa, what would I ask for? I would ask for my family to be safe, healthy, and happy. For myself, I might ask for time.

Time to sit and watch the beautiful morning light come through the front window. Time to meditate on how fortunate I truly am. Time to sip my coffee slowly at the table instead of running room to room gulping swallows of it as I stand in the kitchen for a second. Time to faff about the living room, arranging clusters of joyful here and there.

We are all so busy, there is always much to-doing; this being the most to-doingest season of all. What might happen if we took just a few minutes and sat still? What could happen if we watched the beautiful morning light, fog, rain, etc. for a moment and thought of how blessed we are? Do you think we might spin into chaos, throw off the balance of our to-do lists? Or, might we fill up our hearts and minds with a tiny bit of peace and joy making our days just a little bit better?

I don't know for certain, but I intend to give it a try.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A little festive

We are playing with paper and little lights,

working on 3 page letters to Santa,

and making important decisions.

What are you up to?

Friday, December 2, 2011

DIY Friday - Holiday

I have been visiting some happy places out in blogland looking for some holiday inspiration. There are some gorgeous goings on let me tell you! I have decided to share some of what I found. Whether they be tutorials or inspiration for your own Do It Yourself holiday, there is certain to be something that will spark your imagination.

This beautiful wreath from the ever inspiring Rachel from Smile and Wave! She has the how to HERE. I am also over the moon for her holiday diorama!

My friend Vic from Punky's Mamma gives the basics of how she made this very cool tree decal for her home. I love her sweet Advent Calendar too!

And garlands! Always room for more garlands!

A classic felted garland tutorial can be found HERE.

This beautiful and inspired Dixie Cup garland how-to can be found HERE!

I adore these little winter jars. I found them at The Tortoise and the Hare. You can find them HERE!

and for a whole mess of lovely ornaments, we can always count on Martha!

Well, I have been inspired, how about you. Do you have a holiday DIY that I should know about? I've got some ideas floating around, now if I can only find the time!

Oh, and be sure to check out Dottie Angel's 12 Days of Joyfulness!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not a Sparkle in Sight

Unless you count my button jars.

I have been seeing some serious sparkle and festive goings on out there in blogland. Alas, the festooning and bedecking has not come to the little green cottage yet. The main room, the place that gets dressed up for all occasions, is decidedly bare of holiday cheer. However, it is full up with the tools and trimmings of the "studio". My making space from the deep dark basement has moved camp into our living room for the last few months whilst I toil away on the giant project that must not be spoken of; not just yet anyway.

I was looking with a bit of envy at those of you who seem to have it all together when it comes to embracing the Fa la la la la of decorating for the festive season. I on the other hand, have made a banana cake. Oh it's quite good I assure you, but hardly sparkle worthy.

So, I need some inspiration, at the very least I need to move a lot of stuff out of the living room so I can gaze upon the empty canvas so to speak, and hope for an Aha! moment where it all comes together.

In the spirit of this search for my sparkle, I think I might go a-looking for inspiration out in blogland and share what I find for a wee DIY Friday!

So, how about you? Are you bedecked and sparkling, or are you still imagining your masterpiece?

P.S. I got so many comments on the fabric from my last post, I thought I would tell you what it is. It is a gorgeous voile from the Heirloom collection by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit. The color is "Amber" I believe. I picked it up earlier this year, but I have seen it still available online if you do a search.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We had a lovely holiday with friends and family, it was such a gift to spend precious time together. I am incredibly thankful for this, and for so many things.

While this life of mine may have not been entirely enchanted, so much of it is so very good. I do believe that I am able to better appreciate the good things having gone through the bad. I am blessed with the love of family and friends, with kindness and sweetness of grand proportion, I am indeed a lucky woman. I am full of gratitude for all the abundance I have received.

I am also especially thankful for you, yes you! Those of you who come to visit my shiny place here, you make my heart sing!

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Her head has no room

It is a dark and stormy day, it's raining hammers, it's raining nails, we might soon get washed away. I was sitting at my table printing red twigs on a beautiful sand beach of linen, thinking of holidays.

It has been a busy time, my head is so full of things to do. Are you busy too? Tomorrow the folks are on their way to visit for Thanksgiving Holiday. I have pumpkins to roast for pie, cranberry sauce to simmer with orange and ginger, rolls to bake and something else I can't remember just now. Family time will be good and we will eat lots of food. I don't know why I am rhyming.

For those of you in the States, I wish you a beautiful, happy, and safe holiday. For those of you abroad, I still wish you beautiful, happy and safe.

I'll be taking this week off from my shiny place here and I will see you next week. Take care my friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011


My goodness! I am overwhelmed by the response to my little wallet give away! It was so much fun to read what you all had to say about winter. Thank you for sharing with me.

Now, I was trying to come up with a clever way to pick a winner, but to be honest, I was up a little late last night with The Engineer playing a benefit concert and my brain is not at it's most clever today. So, I put in a call for help to The Engineer at work. Fortunately, he and his partner were very clever indeed and even offered to take care of the whole business and to provide photos! What luck!

Many Thanks to The Engineer and The Mad Drafter!

Each entry was given a number.

Here is the Engineer, what is he going to do?

Ooh, a rubber band pencil shooter!

Oh my, he's blindfolded too! I suggest standing a safe distance away. And he shoots!

#39 is a winner!

He shoots again!

#24 is a winner!

# 39 is Jamboree of Whitley Bay who said : "Winter, for all it brings the cold and dark nights, love to think something magical is waiting to happen. The first snowfall, the hope of an adventure with James and the Snowman. Christmas, a time with family and reminiscing about childhood, reading a good book all snuggly inside and sipping hot chocy."

and #24 is Andrea Creates who said: "i looove these wallets :)
i also love the holidays~ my favorite part of winter"

Please send your mailing info to me at lolanovainfo@gmail.com and I will pop those in the post first thing next week.

A big thank you to everyone for playing along it was a blast!

Also, I wonder how much actual work is getting done at the Engineer's office today...

Have a fantastic weekend all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter Wren

Winter has arrived. It is cold and wet, blustery winds are stripping the trees of their gold and flame colored leaves. Rain boots and warm coats, hats and gloves have come out of hiding. I am eyeing that new tin of cocoa brought to us from Switzerland. Did we stack enough firewood? Next week preparing for a family visit, time spent together talking, laughing, cooking and playing. Time for yarn and hook and bed time books and a feather duvet on the bed.

Winter is not my favorite, but there are things about this season that I love.

This is the last day to enter my giveaway HERE! Winners will be announced tomorrow after I come up with a clever way of choosing!

Have a lovely day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The WhipUp Calendar is Here!

That's right, the 2012 Whip Up calendar is now available! Full of lovely, crafty photos as always and ready to hang in your creative space. I am very honored and excited that Kathreen has chosen one of my photos to be included in the calendar. Hooray!

If you have never been over to visit WhipUp , go now, you are in for a treat! That place is full of inspiration and happy!

The Whip Up Calendar is available as a downloadable file you can print for only $5!
You can get all the info HERE!

While I am on the subject, Kathreen also puts out an incredible kids magazine called Action Pack. I love this magazine, seriously! The latest issue "Sticks and Stones" just came out.

The mag is full of great projects and ideas for kids for only $5! You can buy issue 7 and back issues by going HERE!

Thank you Kathreen for putting out such amazing stuff!

Oh, and Happy Monday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday Giveaway!

Happy Friday! I am having a hard time believing it is well into November now, what happened there? I am not ready for the end of the year just yet, what is a gal to do?

I am however, looking forward to the New Year, when the massive project I've been working on will be mostly over but for the clean up, and I can get back to a more normal routine.

To cheer myself up a bit I thought I would have a tiny give away today!
I'm giving away the two Flirty Fabric Wallets I made for Issue 5 of Mollie Makes Magazine. Think of it as an early holiday present.

There's this Deco one.

And this Rosy one.

That means there will be two winners! I will ship anywhere. All you need to do to have a chance to win is to leave me comment here on this post telling me what you love most about winter. Also, let me know your wallet preference. Easy Peasy!

The giveaway will be open until Thurs. November 17th midnight, and the winner will be announced next Friday!

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, I so enjoyed reading them! The winners have been announced HERE!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blue Monday

The Little Green Cottage and the inhabitants therein, are experiencing a bit of the blues this Monday morning. The Sickness II, the sequel, in which everyone gets really, really sick and the laundry has revolted and formed its own sovereignty, has made its blockbuster debut! It isn't pretty folks.

Pony Girl is on her 4th day home from school, which in the entire Pony Girl history is absolutely unheard of. I am considering buying stock in Kleenex brand tissues, as my environmentally friendly hankies are just not up to the task. Oh dear, I'm afraid I am painting a rather too graphic picture for you folks.

So what does one do on the 6th or 7th day of cruddy illness induced malaise, when all of the herbal tea we can drink has been poured down our gullets, all the movies have been watched, all the puzzles put together, and the fidget starts to set in? Considering couch activities are all we can muster, it seems a dandy time to put my pretty blue vintage vanity case to some higher purpose.

What a perfectly perfect place to store all of my embroidery bits and bobs, floss and whatnots! With its top tray of just the right size compartments, not to mention a handy little mirror for checking my embroidery day up-do. Alas, I wont be looking into that little mirror today for I most certainly will not like what I see.

Then there is the bottom portion of the case which is roomy enough to accommodate a few small hoops, the floss that awaits winding, and some works in progress. How lovely!

I do hope that your Monday is healthy and happy. I'm thinking it might be time for a little giveaway later this week to bring some cheer, what do you think?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In The Kitchen with Lola

What's for breakfast?

'Tis the season for muffins and these little beauties make a lovely breakfast treat. Wholesome and chock full of goodness; with options, I love options. Not too sweet, but definitely tasty!

Applesauce Apricot and Berry Muffins

Makes 12-15 muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt,cinnamon, nutmeg, apricots, nuts and berries. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

And now for those options I mentioned:

You can use all whole wheat flour if you desire.
Try substituting the apricots and berries for any of the following:
Dried Cranberries, Walnuts, and Orange Zest
Dried Dates and Almonds
Chopped Apples, Raisins and extra Cinnamon
Any other yummy dried fruit and nuts you have on hand!


Monday, October 31, 2011

The Tale of a Long Lost Lumberjack - The Final Chapter

It's Monday and that means it's story time! The final installment of The Lumberjack's tale is here!

Last time we left off with the Lumberjack spending some time on a commune, you can read about it here. As his memory returned and he stopped drinking the tea, he knew it was time to move on. He said his goodbyes to the plant lovers and walked off in the early morning haze. He walked down the road a piece and formed a plan in his mind. He decided his best bet was to get to the coast. He hitched a ride with a big-rig truck driver and found himself in a small sea side town at the edge of the Pacific. Having worked a commercial fishing vessel a few years ago in Alaska, he looked for work as a deck hand down at the docks. He found work on a ship named The Dizzy Dame that was headed North, getting him closer to home.

The second day at sea near dusk, a terrible storm hit. Lightening struck, waves crashed and the ship was tossed about like a toy. LJ's foot was caught in some rigging and he fell on the slippery deck...all went dark.

He awoke just as the sun was rising, only to find himself barely hanging on to a bit of wreckage from the ship, adrift in an endless ocean. But wait! Was that land on the horizon? With his last bit of strength he paddled towards the tiny speck of an island. By sunset he crawled ashore and collapsed in exhaustion.

Moments later, he was surrounded by indigenous islanders who carried him off into the jungle.

The tribesmen hauled him up into the trees and imprisoned him in the branches above the jungle floor. All efforts to communicate with the tribe were ignored. After a while The Lumberjack found himself alone in the night. He fell asleep for a few hours, waking up with a start at the cry of some exotic jungle bird in the distance. He dug in his pocket, yes it was still there, his bit of string! LJ carefully worked at the knots of the trap until he could slip out. Using his string as a lasso, he made a crude zip-line and was able to slide down to the ground.

As his boots hit the earth a loud din of shouting broke out, and he saw that the tribesmen had been camouflaged in the brush. He wondered if there was any way he could out run them. It was too late, they had grabbed hold of him and were raising him above their heads. LJ was confused, were they smiling and laughing, what could this mean, what would come next?

They brought him to the village, placed a crown of feathers on his head and began singing and dancing near the fire. They smiled and cheered the Lumberjack, giving him a place of honor among the festivities. LJ wasn't sure what had happened, but he decided the best thing was to go along with it. Someone handed him a goblet of fermented drink that tasted like nothing he had ever had before.

The party kept on, LJ felt fantastic, things were getting a little weird, but that was ok. He began to tell his story to one of the tribe, how he desperately wanted to get home. The man just smiled and nodded and laughed. And then...

LJ remembers very little after this point. He recalls trekking through the jungle, climbing an ancient ruin, and paddling out to sea in a canoe.

He also says he has a vivid picture in his mind of riding a Unicorn, but he is fairly certain that was some kind of hallucination brought on by the fermented drink.

Two days later, his canoe was spotted by a passing yacht. He was brought aboard and given safe passage to a port on the Northern Oregon coast, where he was able to catch a ride from a friendly hippie all the way to our front door!

Phew! Amazing isn't it? We are so glad he's back home. He has no plans for further adventures at the moment. LJ says he is just gonna take it easy for a bit, settle in for the winter and maybe write a book about his journey.

And the moral of this story is, always carry string!