Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Artist Trade Card Swap: ATC’s We Received!

March 16, 2009

ATC Swap:  Collage

Booh was sick last week (five day fever!).  So on the third day, when we got our package from an artist trade card (ATC) swap we participated in, it was a timely dose of joyful medicine!  Just what the doctor ordered!  

Booh had made ten cards for the kid ATC swap and I had made ten for the adult swap – in return we received a package of twenty little cards gems from artists (and young budding artists) all over the country. We took nine of the cards and made a collage to show how delicious they all look together! 

ATC: Sarah Washington - "Heartsong"

Heartsong by Sarah Washington

This one on the left is Booh’s favorite out of all the wonderful cards we received. I’m very fond of it too. It’s called Heartsong and was made by Sarah Washington.  She has an esty store called Totally Crunchy Handcrafts.  There aren’t any listings right now, but I’d love to see what she may add in the future.   Sarah received our sailor card, one of my favorites that showed a sea sick sailor on the back side.

ATC: Rachel Wolf - "Fly"

Fly! by Rachel Wolf

The two other cards shown here we’ll add to our nature table: 

The watercolor with butterfly is by Rachel Wolf, titled Fly!.  It reminds me of spring and we’ll add it to our table on Friday for the Spring Equinox when we change our table to spring (yeah!  spring is here!).

The other card below is titled Summer Tree and was painted by Harmony Lattin.  This one we’ll save for the summer to add it’s rich greens and blue to table.

ATC: Harmony Lattin - "Summer Tree"

Summer Tree by Harmony Lattin

Another set that I was particularly fond of is shown in the collage above: the top row, center and the middle row, right.  These two were made by Willary Palaia.  Her cards were mixed media.  Printed paper was folded around her card, embellishments added, and she wrapped her cards with sewing thread.  They’re really cool!  

If you click on the collage above it will take you to its corresponding Flickr page where I’ve noted all the cards.  – Special thanks to Alison Kiser for being the hostess extraordinaire! 



Castanet’s Field Bag

March 14, 2009

my field bag

Originally uploaded by Castanet

I had to share the field bag of Castanet from In Heywood’s Meadow. Click on the image and it will take you to her Flickr page where she has added noted of all its contents, along with the contents of several others. She has truly inspired and motived me!

Mushing Along the River

March 5, 2009



Here Booh got a chance to do a little dog sledding with a friend who travels to the iditarod every year. She gives dog sled rides around Western Mass, and this ride was with her new pups.

Alaskan Huskies

Alaskan Huskies

Booh loves animals so much that the combo of thrilling ride plus dogs was so exciting to her!  She got to be a helping hand with setting up the dogs and sled and learned a lot about the process.  She was instructed to hold tight to the harnesses as the dogs were brought from the truck to the sled.  At one point, one of the dogs she was escorting to the sled started to take off.  She tripped and fell, but she didn’t let go, and that dog dragged her a good distance!  

The ride was three miles long.  Her poor little hands were so cold afterwards.  Poor kid.  I really gotta get her some new gloves. – She talked about it the whole time during dinner, sharing all the little details with her dad.  So cute!

Country Bike Riding

December 11, 2008

Learning to bike ride for a kid in the rural hilltowns isn’t an easy task, for there aren’t many flat stretches of pavement for them to practice. The time will come when these rural kids will need a bike to get together and play with their next door neighbor (a mile down the road!) or meet up at the local swimming hole. So they have to learn. But how? Where?

Here we found a barn nearby that Booh could practice in. There’s some farming equipment she has to dodge, and the occasional cow chip to avoid, but it’s a flat paved surface, two qualities hard to come by in these parts.

She’s getting pretty good, and she’s not afraid to fall. I can’t say that I will be ready anytime soon to let her travel a mile down the road to play with her neighbor. But when the time comes, I hope the farm equipment and those cow chips will have offered her good obstacle training for dodging speeding logging trucks that come hauling down the mountain, and avoiding the occasional road kill.

The Sport of the Monkey Bars

October 20, 2008

If crossing the monkey bars were an Olympic sport, Booh would be a Hopeful! You should see this girl cruz across the bars. She has developed calluses on her palms and loves to practice her “technique.” It’s one of the criteria she uses to judge the different playgrounds in the valley, “I don’t want to go to Pulaski Park. I want to go to Look Park. It has better monkey bars!”

A Variation to the “Egg on a Spoon” Race

October 18, 2008
/></a></p> <p><span style=In New England during the fall, it only makes sense to use a small pumpkin or apple in place of an egg for egg spoon races.

At a recent birthday party at an apple orchard, the hostess organized many of childhood games for the kids to play, including the famous egg on a spoon race. Here Booh figures it out … walking slowly and deliberately, not dropping it once! She was a natural! It was like she had been doing it her whole life! Her dad and I were like, “Whose child is this?!”

Now if we can only get this kinetic child to apply this technique at the dinner table!


November 5, 2006

Friends of ours who live had a Martinmas festival at their home. Martinmas is a celebration that has celebrator elements found in both American Halloween and Thanksgiving traditions. It was a perfect night with a full moon and clear skies.

When we arrived fresh apple cider was being pressed from fresh picked apples. Booh and I gathered with other children in our friend’s barn to make lanterns out of glass jars for the lantern parade. Booh painted her jar and said the design was a snake cloud from her imagination. She described it as snakes in a ball. I took strips of colored tissue paper and glued them to the outside of my jar.

Guests placed candles in their lanterns and paraded into the darkness along a path that snaked through their fields, lit with candelabras. We sang “Lantern Songs” and other familiar tunes. After the parade we gathered for a feast of food guests had brought. Traditional goose would have been served, but we brought a rotisserie chicken instead.

After eating we went for a full moon hayride and then gathered around a beautiful bonfire with hay bale seats. We sang more songs and roasted marshmallows. The fire let off burning cinders into the air that Booh calls Fire Fairies.

Booh’s daddy couldn’t come with us, so when we got home she explained what was Martinmas. She said that is was for Martin from Zoobomafoo. Actually, Martinmas is name after St. Martin, the patron saint of beggars, drunkards and outcasts. He was known for his gentleness and hospitality, and his ability to bring warmth and light to those who were previously in darkness.

Halloween Spirits

November 2, 2006

Town Hall

On Halloween Booh went trick-or-treating down Main Street in Ashfield. The town hall was set-up as a spook house and the line went around the block. Before we left for the evening we went through their “house of horrors” and (as pitiful as it sounds) I have to confess that I ended up more freaked out than Booh!

The festivities started off at the local fill-up station with a rag shag parade of kids and parents dressed in costumes. We spent the evening going door-to-door with friends, up and down Main Street.

Talking 200 pounds pumpkin

The Great Pumpkin

The local country hardware store had a two-hundred pound pumpkin they carved and propped-up on hay bales. The folks who own the general store sat out on the steps and passed out treats. Several houses had spooky traps set-up and many others glowed with strings of orange & yellow lights and carved jack-o-lanterns with flickering grins.

That night we went home and Booh set her pack of treats out on a special rock for the Halloween Spirits to find and turn into little gifts. The next morning she woke up bright and early, excited to see what the Halloween Spirits had left her. They turned every piece of candy into little resin dogs of all different breeds.

She said the toy dogs are better that real dogs, because you don’t have to bring them to a doggie playgroup, they can just play together and you don’t have to take them anywhere.