Corn Dolls for the Harvest

Corn Dolls for the Harvest

Just like the heroine in Berry Magic, you can make your own “magic” doll.  This simple doll is taken from Native American traditions.  Legends have it that corn dolls are magical friends.  They will be loving companions, as long as you make them with love and you don’t put any facial features on them.  If(…)

A Favorite Book for Kids during Berry Season

A Favorite Book for Kids during Berry Season

Berry Magic, by Terri Sloat A Tlingit story of how one yucky bitter berry was made by magic into all the sweet berries of Northwest America.  This is a myth — a creation story about why things are as they are.  It celebrates a young woman’s magic and the gifts of listening, making, and dancing(…)

One More for the Road — Memory Jars

One More for the Road — Memory Jars

Here is another fun way to save fun summer memories — create a memory jar.  Use a mason jar, a vase, or anything that would be nice to display.  You can slowly add to it over the summer — keeping items that symbolize fun events, trips and moments.  At the end, put on the cap,(…)

A Summer Activity: Adventure Journal

A Summer Activity: Adventure Journal

With all 0f this heat in Portland, it feels like summer is already here.  The kids will be out of school soon, and they will suddenly wander around the house asking what you are going to do with them.  Here’s an craft idea that will be special all summer: a summer adventure journal.  The tradition(…)

Make Chinese Gift Envelopes for the Year of the Fire Monkey

Make Chinese Gift Envelopes for the Year of the Fire Monkey

  Here’s a little DYI tutorial for making gift envelopes.  My kids made these for the Chinese New Year, but you can also use them to celebrate generosity anytime.   To wish someone Happy New Year, you say, Kung Hei Fat Choi! (It is pronounced “goong hay fat choy” in the Cantonese dialect.) This year the Chinese(…)

How to Force Cherry Blossoms

How to Force Cherry Blossoms

In the spring, I love to bring trimmed tree branches into the house to bloom. I’ve include a few directions for how to force cherry blossoms below.  For Chinese New Year, which was February 8 this year, it’s traditional to force cherry blossoms, so that’s what we did with our cherry tree branches. But you can do(…)

Conversation Project: Talking About Money with Oregonians

Conversation Project: Talking About Money with Oregonians

I’ve recently been traveling around Oregon, leading a Conversation Project for Oregon Humanities. The conversation asks the question, “How Much Inequality is Acceptable?” A lot of people have been turning out for it, and the conversations are really interesting. Oregonians have a lot to say about the changes they have seen in their lifetimes in(…)

Old Dogs and New Dogs

Old Dogs and New Dogs

  Jackson, our new puppy, is running around the house like a crazy madman. He wants to play, he wants to eat. He has to go to the bathroom. And he needs something to chew right now before he chews me. Ugh, so exhausting. I love my crazy little pup, but the first few days(…)

Chocolate Lavender Lip Balm is the Best

Chocolate Lavender Lip Balm is the Best

This year we made lotions and lip balms to give to our family and friends.  It was really fun and our kitchen smelled great for days. Below, I’ve included our lip balm recipe with some ideas for colors and flavors.  Tomorrow, I’ll post the recipe for lotion we started with.  I say started, because after(…)

Holiday Craft Kits and the Winter Folklore in a Box

Holiday Craft Kits and the Winter Folklore in a Box

Sweet Tidings and all — Hope this season has gotten off to a lovely start for you and yours.  I’ve been making simple three-ingredient hand cream gifts in beautiful bottles with the folklore of each scent attached.  I’ll put up the DYI instructions on the blog in a few days, with lore for all your(…)

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