Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Happy Holiday

After weeks of preparations, decorations, gifts to make and a flu bug making it's rounds through the family, we ended up having a very sweet and lovely holiday up north with my husband's family. I thought I'd share a few photos of our holiday celebration...

The boys made a gingerbread train with their beloved Nonniey and Auntie H

A very adorable gift on Christmas morning!

Nico gives me the gift of his gorgeous, happy smile

Roxie the sweet-faced pug who I wanted to sneak home with us

The day after Christmas we went up to Lassen National Park where the boys played in the snow for the very first time!

Daddy and Nico sled

... and my attempt to pose the boys for a Christmas photo.Matteo and Nico are pretending to be Christmas monsters while Luca stares at something shiny in the distance ;}

I'm hoping that all of you had joyous celebrations with your loved ones! I'll be back in a few days to share photos of the homemade goodness that found its way to our home this holiday season, but until then I'm wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

Much Love,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glorious Times

There's been rain and blustery weather here, but I have to admit that I actually love the times when we experience something resembling winter. We all stay sequestered inside, not feeling the constant rush to be somewhere or do something.

We had actually picked up our tree almost 2 weeks ago, but got around to making ornaments for it last weekend. With Luca Bean who still likes to explore the world through his taste buds, we've put aside some of the older, more fragile ornaments for now and have been making new ornaments to become a part of our family history

As a child, Ivan remembered making salt and flour ornaments and helped the boys make their own

I dried some orange slices for garlands for our tree and around the house
By some miracle, I'm finally getting holiday cards out before New Years Day!
With the sweet light of the Advent candles, we celebrate the animal kingdom

...But we are far from immune from going stir crazy from being homebound. The breaks in the rain make for some excellent puddle hopping opportunities!

So please excuse me for my infrequent presence online, I've been huddling in the warmth that is our family and hope that all of you are able to feel the joy in these glorious times

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WIP Wednesday- Return of the Crafting Mojo

Eight o'clock at night has become a pretty special time for me. The boys are all tucked into their beds and I finally get my quiet time for crafting. I have time to peruse your blogs for inspiration, sit down and focus on instructions and actually have some time without distractions to let my imagination and hands work together! For whatever reason, I felt like I was in a crafting slump for most of November. Then this past week, something clicked (funny how swap deadlines will do that to you!) and I felt like I had all these ideas just waiting to be formed into actual creations.

The talented Maike inspired me so much with her wonderful Adventswichtel that as soon as the boys fell asleep that night I had to make my own little wichtelman for our tree!

For the Seasons Round Exchange, I decided to try making my first felted doll. For anyone who wants to try this, I have to say that the book More Magic Wool is a fantastic resource! I sat at our kitchen table with a pile of wool, felting needle, that book and my Snow Angel was born.

Two of Nico's darling little friends had a joint car themed birthday last weekend and certainly needed crowns to commemorate the occasion!

I participated in a very fun ornament exchange where I was able to play with our wood burning tool a bit and have some fun actually doing some cursive writing! It had occurred to me that almost all my written communication these days is with a keyboard. This was definitely good practice getting my fingers ready to write out our holiday cards!

The boys made a few lovely hand-dipped beeswax candles at a Winter Faire last weekend, so Ivan and I drilled a few holes into a found piece of wood to make our own custom candle holder :). Shown here with the Fire Element Gnome from ZooLooNaturals.
Lastly I will end with my knitting project that has been sitting in my bag for months... what I call the Scarf of a Thousand Bad Stitches. There really is no reason or rhyme to this scarf. I knit a few rows, purl a few... I don't even pay much attention to how many stitches are across (gasp!). I just wanted something to keep my hands busy when I have a free moment.

There has been a lot of crafting and creating going on around here this past week. I'm grateful for the return on my crafting mojo and for all of you who inspire and encourage me. I'd love to hear what you're working on these days!

Happy Work In Progress Wednesday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Spirit

A busy week and weekend with school meetings, birthday parties, winter festivals, craft deadlines...

...and then finally, a beautiful moment of peace at the advent spiral walk

a woman playing lovely harp music





inside of me

and I wanted to share this as a small gift to you

...Wishing everyone moments of calm and bliss...

Love, Marina

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Atelier

My son, Matteo, is an artist.

He loves to draw, he loves to paint, he loves to make things with his hands. This week, as we have been moving things around the house in preparation for the holidays, I decided to set aside an area to honor his desire to create, thus creating The Atelier :)...

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I brought home an old rustic cabinet that I had been keeping at my parents house. I have so many fond memories from this bookcase as it was one of the first pieces of furniture I had purchased for my first apartment. A friend and I had gone thrifting in a seedy part of Chicago and this little gem seemed to be calling out to me to take it home. As my career moved me from city to city, this bookcase held all my treasured books. Now, that I believe that I am in the home I will stay in for the rest of my life... my beloved bookshelf is home as well. Though now instead of holding books, it is home to the tools that my son uses to express his imagination.

I hung a few of our playsilks above the work table, a rainbow of colors to provide inspiration

We've always felt that Matteo would let us know when it was time for him to learn his letters and he has shown interest in learning to write his name. I love these beautiful cards which make the alphabet seem like art.

I have to admit that part of the impetus to create the Atelier were these incredible natural crayon caddies handmade by my lovely, creative friend Nicola. She was so incredibly generous in gifting all three of my boys with a set! I decided to use one with the wonderful colored pencils she gifted us with, one with colored markers that Matteo enjoys, and the last one with these twig crayons we had.

I love that Matteo has such a strong love of art and creating and I hope that it is a passion that stays with him for the rest of his life. For now I will rejoice and revel in the beauty that is his childhood and the art that is his gift.

Yours in the love of childhood creation,

*Nicola is doing a giveaway for one of her amazing natural crayon caddies on her wonderful blog this week! Please do take a moment to check it out!*

Monday, November 30, 2009

Loving Hands

Nico and Birgitte

Recently at our local Waldorf School's Harvest Faire, I had the most wonderful opportunity to visit with my dear, dear friend Christine Schreier, the proprietor of The Puppenstube. Sometimes in your life, you are fortunate to meet people whose spirit touches you with warmth and whose lifeforce gives you so much joy...Christine is one such person. While many of you know her from the gorgeous wooden Buntspechte figures she carries in her shop, it is her dolls that I hold close to my heart. It's become increasingly important to me to have the toys that my children play with be made with loving hands. Hands that put love and care into their craft. Hands that want to honor this magical time that is childhood. Though hundreds of dolls have been birthed through her hands, you can feel her joy in creating each one.

Luca sleeps with his Star Child Baby

Recently Christine moved up north to Lake County where she is neighbors with the illustrious Bill Bluhm of Heartwood Arts. I had the privilege to meet Bill that day and I have to say, I was a bit star struck. Bill is the inventor of the building playclip, each one made by his hands, and the artist who creates beautiful gnome homes. Bill is a big, gentle bear of a man who is so incredibly thoughtful in his work. He is an artisan who creates toys that honor nature and allow children to fully explore where their imagination takes them.

Luca with one of his favorite toys, the hollow from the Heartwood Arts block set

These amazing artisans Christine and Bill, have begun collaborating on new toy designs and I was blessed to be the recipient of their first collaboration... the ferrynewcastle.

"The original and first ferrynewcastle for Marina by Bill Bluhm, 11/17/09"

This piece was inspired by a dream that visited Bill one night. When he woke the next morning, he set to work on recreating this vision and by the end of the day the ferrynewcastle was born. It is an incredibly beautiful piece of art that takes my boys away in their play to magical lands where little gnomes and fairies hide.

Christine and Bill, both of have years of experience of being toy makers, but more importantly also of being Waldorf parents. They are truly lovely wonderful people and it is reflected in the playthings that they create. There are many new designs in the works for the upcoming year and I am so excited to see what transpires with my dear friend and my new friend!

Much love and gratitude to you, Christine and Bill!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Dragon Boy and Me

41 sounds so old
I have a few grey hairs
More than a few pounds of baby weight to shed...

...but I also have an adoring, adorable husband
who makes me rainbow cake for my birthday
A little baby boy who lets me put goofy hoods on him
(and says "Mama" for the first time today!)
Two little boys who still believe that if they look hard enough, they will see fairies and gnomes
...and I feel like I have it all :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


*My brother made this really incredible video of our afternoon, I wanted to share!*

For the lovely, sun-lit day spent with family

For my sweet, funny boys who melt my heart and shower me with hugs and kisses

For my husband who is the heart and rock of our home

For my parents who though I am grown with children of my own, make me feel cared for and constantly remind me that I am a daughter who is loved

For my brother who reminded me today how much he loves me through his beautiful work

For my friends who support me and make me laugh when life seems too serious to be funny

For all of you for just always being present and caring...

I give thanks and gratitude

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving To You All

With Love,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Luca Bean is One!

Happy Birthday to our Luca Bean!

It's hard to believe that it's only been a year that you've been with us!

Our souls feel as if they've been joined for an eternity

Little boys shouldn't be as beautiful, sweet and as charming as you are
but you manage :)

...and we are joyful
that we are family

Happy, Joyous Birthday to Our Precious Boy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chasing the Light

Photography is new love for me. The camera and I only been acquainted for a year but oh, I do love it so. I love the stillness in the moment before the shutter clicks... I love the way I look at things differently as if framing a shot...I love how I see things through new eyes that finds the beauty in everything and I love the reverence I feel when a scene illuminated by natural light strikes a chord within...

I don't really know how to use the flash well, so I learn how to use the camera to catch the light in the way that I'd like, but more often than not I learn to follow the light wherever it may be.

Recently I started working on a photography project for the wonderful toy website Carl and Me. I'm photographing some of our boys favorite toys, Fagus vehicles. It's been a fun assignment positioning the trucks as seen through the eyes of a child as I often found myself belly down in the dirt.

But the light, sigh, the light. What a funny mistress she is, dancing through the trees in the morning for beautiful effect or shining harshly in the afternoon- giving everything a bright, white caste. As the days grow shorter, I find myself missing the light as the sun sets ever so early. It makes for a funny photography schedule, but I am thankful for a patient, generous toyshop proprietor.

So this has been my work in progress these days, doing what I love, spending time with the camera and chasing the light...

As always with warmth and light~

Please do take a moment and check out Carl and Me. I found this incredible shop when I was searching for my Nico's birthday gift. Not only do they carry an extensive selection of the wonderful, high quality Fagus Trucks which are made in a German Factory that hires and trains developmentally challenged adults, there is also an amazing selection of toys that as mother of three boys, I know I will look forward to having in the years to come!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Nourishment. That is the only word I can use to describe my morning with my crafty friends who I call my Inspiration Circle. I think I must have gone for too long of a stretch with only the kids and not enough "me time" because there were more than a few times that I probably was laughing a little too loudly or sitting there with a huge, dumb grin on my face, just out of the sheer joy of being with other women who just get it. Women who are warm, creative, talented and oh my God, funny as all get out. It's really so wonderful to hang out with moms who are just so real. I'm truly a lucky gal :)

Andrea taught me how to spin wool using a drop spindle. I never thought of yarn as having an energy, but as I spun it I could see how the feel of it and the movement can lend itself to a certain energy.

Beth was learning how to Andean Ply, a method in which one length of yarn (or single ball) is made into a two ply yarn by wrapping it in ones hand and then taking the two ends and re-spinning it in the other direction.
Andrea is spinning using this gorgeous drop spindle called a Jenkins Turkish Spindle. The crossbars are made out of pink ivory wood, her son calls those spindles The Helicopters.

Namja was working on a knitted fairy doll. I could not believe the four tiny needles she was using to make the arms and thumb! Her three year old daughter told her the arm looked like a part of the male anatomy... and of course, with the mindset of thirteen year old girls at a slumber party, we found this hilarious.

Jenny displays the crocheted blanket in progress which was incredibly yummy and soft

Kay works on a scarf for her daughter

Look at this beautiful rustic loom Andrea's husband found on the sidewalk!

I really love and treasure these times with these incredible women, there is so much learning and encouragement! I feel like this is what morning tea would be like if you, my dear blogging friends could all come together :)

Thank you my wonderful crafty friends near and far,
for all the inspiration and nourishment you provide!