Saturday, December 26, 2009

See you next year! (wink wink)

We have family in town and then we're off to our favorite little cabin in the woods for New Years! I've spent the last 25 posts learning how to post, link, upload, import, export, and more! Looking forward to the new year and getting things started - more posts on collage, tutorials, opening my etsy shoppe, learning all kinds of computer goodness.

Warmest wishes for a safe and happy new year! xo

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Merry!

Oh come let us adore Him.

Wishing you peace and health and kindness and joy.
Merry Christmas, from our family to yours... xo

Monday, December 21, 2009

The stockings were hung...

Four days to go! xo

Saturday, December 19, 2009

How very sacred is the making...

(These mini-masterpieces will be adhered to kraft-covered Moleskines for family gifts.)

Happy Saturday! xo

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kid-pleasing candies! (or, if it looks like a plant...)

Today I'm sharing one of our favorite, "sure thing" recipes. Candies made from the above: square pretzels, Hershey's kisses and M&Ms.
First, spread the pretzels in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides (to keep them in - this is a kid-friendly recipe). Unwrap the Kisses and put one on top of each pretzel - kids love doing this. The fact that all three of my kids have their hands in this photo, so they all three could be included was not planned or staged at, no, not at all.
Next, put the cookie sheet in a preheated 225 degree oven for three minutes. (Once you make this once, you'll know exactly how long it takes...sometimes it's 2-and-a-half minutes, sometimes it's 3-and-a-quarter minutes.) You want the Kiss to melt just enough so that you can press the M&M easily into the Kiss, but not so melted that the chocolate leaks through to the bottom of the pretzel. Like I said, once you're doing it, this will make sense.
Take the tray out of the oven and push an M&M into each piece. The tray is not too hot, but it's hot enough that you should warn the children making these with you. Then make trays and trays more, and let sit (loosely covered) overnight. We of course were too disorganized the next morning to take pictures of the partaking...but know that one bag of each of the ingredients makes PLENTY for two classroom parties (or many teachers' gifts).

Next year at this time I WILL have an art project that includes re-purposing all that silver from the Kisses.

The "if it looks like a plant" title is because my dear friend Karen left me my one and only comment in my blog (love you Karen) and she wrote it as if she had just stumbled upon goodnessrecycled and was completely delighted! But in truth, her comment was planted here. And today feels like the perfect time to "fess up" because this recipe is hers, and I learned to make this after sitting in her kitchen for a decadent afternoon while she made it with her three kids.

One week until Christmas. I myself need to walk-the-walk here, but may we all stay balanced, grounded, and thankful. Life is indeed such a sweet sweet gift! xo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gnome Home - Part Deux

My gnome home knit up so easily and felted so beautifully, I could not believe it! And now I'm frozen a bit with "artist's block" - I don't want to cut into it and mess it up! Here is a close up of the roof. I still need to embellish it with embroidery flowers, etc. I used the "I Love This Wool!" yarn for the grass (purists, please skip this next sentence). The yarn has acrylic in it, but I love how it felted - to me it actually looks like grass because it didn't "fuzz up" all the way.
(Purists, please join us again here...) I am committed to finishing the house with 100 wool felt - I found a dealer (yes, I meant to use the word "dealer" because 100 percent wool felt is expensive and once you have a little, you just want more and more) and will be embarking on the journey to make that purchase Saturday morning.

Then my artist's block needs to take a hike. To my knowledge there is no gnome architectural review board who will criticize my work. And the recipient is five. He's going to love it no matter what! xo

P.S. My oldest son was hilarious last night, pretending he was French. Our dinner guests even asked if he was taking French lessons at school. Today's title is just a little tribute to his sense of humor!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vintage recipe - scented cinnamon ornaments

I was trying to find a favorite recipe to send off to my swap partner, and I found this gem. This is my mom's handwriting, and this is a recipe that she made with me and my sibs, and I have made with my own kids. It's basically applesauce mixed with glue that is then rolled, cut with cookie cutters and threaded with beautiful ribbon.

Viola! Ornaments! xo
[click on the picture to see it bigger!]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So there you have it...

Above is the beginnings of my ornament for Meg's Holiday Traditions Swap. I'm finally ready to start showing all the "recycled" my house can hold...look closely at the picture. Do you see that darling ornament casing with the beautiful gold ribbon at the top? Let's look a little closer...

Yep...there it is.

Just a little closer... (oh, and why don't we flip it over.)

It's not an ornament casing at all...
It's a recycled chocolate holder for some candies left in my husband's hotel room when once upon a business trip! I LOVE repurposing things (and of course all the magazine clippings are recycled as well), and THIS (+ collage) is what I hope becomes the focus of this blog!

Happy Wednesday! xo

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

To felt a bowl...

Here is my first (to be of many) knitted bowl. I threw a clementine in there for size reference. I love felting! First I felted my gnome home, (photos coming soon) and it was knit using Cascade 220 yarn. Then I felted this bowl - it was knit with Lambs Pride yarn. It felted fine, but when I make another one, I will switch to smaller needles for the top - I'm worried the top is a little too loose. I've felted it three times in my washer, so I think it's done. The gnome home is bigger, but I felt like it felted better and is more solid in construction.

Also, the sisters at duofiberworks recommend using a shaver to take the fuzzies off felted creations. I tried this with little (no) success. This bowl is pretty fuzzy (see photo 2), but scissors worked quite effectively in my opinion!

I have my holiday traditions swap due, and I'm collaging all week with my daughter's class, so more to come! Fun fun! xo

Monday, December 7, 2009

No carrot, no photo

It is a dreary, but not too cold, cloudy cloudy day here in St. Louie. I was hoping to post a picture of the knitted bowl I made this weekend. The gnome home is progressing, my to do list is being marked off and extended at about the same that's pretty good I guess?

I didn't earn the carrot of starting my orange hat, but I didn't throw the weekend away either. Tomorrow I meet with our realtor to walk through the house and get more lists made. Then it's back to crafty goodness by Wednesday at the latest!

Promise! xo

Friday, December 4, 2009

Call it a carrot...

This delicious yarn is my inspiration for the weekend. IF I make headway on several holiday gifts and projects by Monday, I will begin to knit this hat (the "Jane" hat) for myself. (Thanks Meg for the inspiration!)

Tomorrow I'm heading to a friend's house at 8:30 a.m. to get started. I'm going to work all day until I have at least one or two handmade gifts done. And I'll probably address envelopes so I can sit mindlessly and gab for a bit as well.

I wasn't trying to post everyday in December, but I'm enjoying this (and learning to appreciate photography - it took 30+ photos of the ball of yarn above to get this quasi-ok-maybe-mediocre appreciation of staging is renewed!). I'll be back Monday!

Happy weekends all! xo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fickle Thursday

So one my challenges during the holidays is trying to stay calm, focused, balanced. I am wayyyyyyyyyyy too fickle! One minute I can feel completely blanketed in the season, and the next I am completely frazzled and scattered. And by "frazzled and scattered," I mean bitchy and martyr-y. (I do love how the blogging community uses artistic wording to soften the maybe authentic truth from time to time, so that was my attempt to join in! hee hee!)
Case in point. Last night I got to take this wreath making class 40 minutes outside the city in this beautiful cabin, while it was snowing. Yes, snowing. My friend and I stood in front of a fire that was in a fireplace whose opening was taller than we were, and we made wreaths with all natural objects that were provided to us en masse. (Blog lesson: bring camera everywhere...the diversity of foliage was incredible.) It was a heavenly evening and one I will always remember. Then I came home, then I couldn't sleep (David's out of town) and then we all overslept this morning. Holiday cheer gone. Shame on me.
But now I'm feeling better. Taking a minute to blog, taking a minute to own the truth (that I'm imperfect...that I'm human), taking a minute to be thankful. Deep breath.

That's all it takes usually...just a minute of thankfulness.

Happy Fickle Thursday from me and Hunter, resident friend and guard dog! xo

P.S. I wasn't able to photograph the balls sticking out from my wreath in the way I wanted to. I don't even know what they are called, but I'm hoping they look somewhat Seussical to my kiddos when they get home this afternoon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Handmade! WIP #1

I was so delighted to find this "gnome home" pattern from duofiberworks! It is just so dear! And I'm planning to finish it for a Christmas gift for my youngest, who is currently in a Waldorf kindergarten.

The sisters at duofiberworks are offering a free pattern for their knitted gnome children on their website today. Katie has made a set of these and plans to bring one out for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

Lovely, lovely, lovely. So much lovely in the world! xo

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woo hoo!

I now know how to make a header! I'm am small step for blogland (if even), one giant step for my creative spirit! Now we'll see if I can translate this new skill to the sidebar and/or my etsy shoppe!

Happy December! Posts with photos coming soon! xo

Monday, November 23, 2009

This, only higher

So this is what I was hoping would be my header...with my blog title in the middle of the right half. My blog title is supposed to look like this btw:

goodness (recycled & otherwise)

Ho hum...can't make it happen just yet.

I love cutting up magazines. The recycling aspect of it all makes me happy and the cutting and cropping is very soothing - almost in a meditative way. And then going through it all when we're working on a collage over here...don't even get me started.

So I'm thankful for paper art, my family, health, our community - not necessarily in that order, but very thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! xo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So there's something very draining about trying to learn computer skills that are had by all. All that is, if you're 20 years younger than I am. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to put my header online.

I will though. In the meantime, here's a seed/pod picture that was taken while my youngest and I were on a hike last week. I love this photograph, and if I was in a space to wax poetic, I'd talk about the quiet of fall, the bursting of Spring...and how they relate to my computer skills, and lack thereof.

Thankfully (I know), I'm not in that space! xo

Friday, November 13, 2009


Sometime long ago someone told me that it takes three years to have a raspberry garden that will yield a full crop. We've never lived anywhere long enough to have three harvests...current home included. I assumed that my raspberries were done for the year, and I've been waiting for the first frost to trim and cover them. What a surprise to go out to our garden (it's in the alley, not visible from our house) and see this abundance of late-blooming delicacies!

And the second harvest (we're on our second, second harvest if that makes sense, one in Connecticut and one here) is pretty durn good if I do say so myself. And now I know that late-Fall berries are more robust, and larger...maybe because little fingers aren't picking at them everyday now that the weather has cooled and our days find us away from home more often.

Happy weekend, from my family to yours! xo

Monday, November 9, 2009

30-minute collage!

My youngest asked me to make art with him this morning with these conditions: "You can't straighten anything, and you can't cut up magazines!" Truth be told, I love when my kids are involved in their own artful endeavors and I can just cut up magazines (pictures of that phenomenon/passion/compulsion coming soon) or hover and clean my never-clean art space. So I decided instead to make a little job list for my kids - something I've been meaning to do forever and something that they're more likely to reference, well, if it has a funny zebra on it!

Funny zebra, and just a hint at what they should already know: for instance, "windows" means the kids need to open their blinds...there's no window washing/child labor infringements happening here!

I only used the materials on our art table and I made a lot of mistakes. But as I work to make time for my creative wanderings everyday, this was a great thing to just criticism, no hyper-important details! But 30 minutes of collage time done. I used the one crayon on the table, the highlighters (don't like neon, but they were there) on the table, the too-thick black sharpie that was on the table.

Aaaaahhhhhh. Imperfection - what a great way to start this Monday! xo

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP (gathering)

Can you guess what this will be?

Stay tuned! xo

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Getting there!

This class that I won from Dina Wakely has been such a gift! I have to say, I have been in quite the creative rut for years now. I don't know when it started, but when I was first married and first a mom, I made horribly impractical decisions (financial mostly) to support my creative needs. Our first holiday cards (pre-internet-cardmaking-glory) cost small fortunes because I had to have them printed professionally (there were no quality color options otherwise), I would take over our dining room (meaning most of our first floor) for weeks without batting an eye, I scheduled precious weekend time around whatever it was I was making. I knew I had to create and I made it happen, even as we lived paycheck to paycheck.

Now we're not living paycheck to paycheck so much, I can spread my art out in an art room instead of the place where we eat everyday, and my diapering days are over - and I am as frugal and cautious as can be. I don't know where this is coming from for me, but to try something new that requires me to cash out of our family economy of time or money...I stagger first instead of going for it, like I used to.

Babble babble babble. Anyways, since my photos aren't of the highest quality, and my computer skills are lacking, I hesitate to put my artwork, my "products" etc. out there. I will though. The creative wheels of energy and confidence are spinning - I'll get there. And this little ditty of a class is helping me immensely. Here's some photos from the first two steps in this journal project - "The Graffiti of My Life". (Really the paint jar is just included because the color of the water makes me happy)! xo

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodness Abounds

Ok, so this post is strictly so that I can learn to do links. I think I am called to do this today, because there is so much generous abundance out there this week, I have to spread the word. So let's get started!

First of all, if you journal at all, you will not believe the bounty of video tutorials on Teesha's blog. I watched them all. Looking forward to trying some of the techniques!

Second, Meg has posted her family's favorite vegetarian just a few posts down and see how she's using them now to save time, money, energy, etc. Lovely.

Finally, Patricia is part of a great ornament project that she posted about today.

Happy Days All! xo

P.S. And let's just link to matsutake's blog as well (the Wild Things project), shall we?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Totally Copying!

I think matsutake might be the funniest blogger on the earth! She has a beautiful blog with all kinds of generous tutorials, ideas, etc. This picture is our family's version of her Wild Things project - all made from on-hand craft paint, glitter, markers and toilet paper rolls.

I promise to learn to make links next week! For now, hope you'll visit her blog from the link on my sideline. xo

p.s. I am acutely aware that I have no readers, but I write as though I do so that I'm speaking appropriately....for SOMEDAY when people peruse my archives! This is normal...right?!?!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Apparently, this is a lucky blog!

It's been raining in St. Louis for days and days, so I'm learning blog lesson number one: Always have photos for a few posts ready in the waiting for days when "fresh" photos are not at option. Anyways, I won a lovely online journaling class from live*craft*learn (sorry, don't know how to link yet...her blog is listed in my sideline!). So exciting!

And of course, I'll post pictures here of my progress. For now, here's a picture of my funny funny kids at the Kirkwood Farmers Market. Happy Halloween! xo

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is me.

Above is a collage I did during a workshop I facilitated for my bookgroup. I wasn't so much the facilitator actually, as the guide. I believe collage has the power to heal, renew, inspire, motivate, and connect us. I love it. I'm a stay-at-home mom, but eventually I hope to start facilitating collage workshops, parties, etc. (And to track my journey on this blog!) So a big part of my blog will be about collage art, and I eventually hope to sell collage supplies in a web shoppe of some kind.

I'm also a married mother of three (girl, boy,'ll meet them here!). I love the ocean and I'm a computer dinosaur. DINOSAUR. So please bear with me as I learn all this cyber-stuff. xo

Monday, October 26, 2009

Let's do this!

Here we are and here is my very first post in blogland. It only took me six or seven years to get here. You'll notice no photos, no links, no fancy-schmancy. But big plans my friends. Big dreams and big plans. Thanks for stopping in! xo