Strawberries & Rainbows: Bird's 2nd Birthday Party

Intoxicatingly colorful photo heavy post ahead!

(many of these photos were taken by my friend Klay - - thank you!!)


Bird's party was really fun - slightly chaotic with how many people were squeezed into our backyard (with half of them under the age of 5).

I had planned to make a rainbow "something" for dessert...maybe rainbow cupcakes, maybe a swirly rainbow cake. I really liked this look but thought it would be too much work. In the end because of how irresistible it was to play with color & because I goofed on my measuring I ended up making both a 6 layer rainbow cake AND rainbow cupcakes.

It was a long night.

Now, here's the fun stuff:

By the way, Bird had a great time at her party. She also had at least 3 timeouts (Jared and I lost track between the two of us and a couple that were interrupted). Since May she's been on a pushing craze...not aggressive pushing but definitely pushing. "I push" she says with matter of factness and a playful glint in her eye. It drives us nuts but seems like one of those things she just will work out of soon enough and then we'll barely remember how embarrassing it was to apologize to every kid/parent at the playground (and even at 2, she has no qualms about going after a 4 yr old, though she may choose to approach from behind - sneak attack).

Anyway, it was so enjoyable for me to exercise some creativity into Bird's birthday party - to make something beautiful & well thought out. I know I'm not the only one who appreciates these things. I was explaining that to's so much more than making something pretty. To me its the same as making a painting or designing a pattern or gardening for that matter. I love the aesthetics. And if you're reading this, I bet you feel that way too!

Have a great week all...I'll be back to share what I'm working on. New pattern! With rabbits! And I got my fabric back from Spoonflower! Too much excitement! Or maybe I'm just thrilled about Bird's uber long nap this afternoon.



I'd like purple for lunch please

This is what happened to my sausage, kale, and white bean stew when I thought it would be extra nice to toss in the red cabbage too. Purple everything! Well, except for the kale which has kept its gorgeous green. But purple cannellini beans, purple sausage (appetizing?), even the rice it's sitting next to in the bowl has taken on a purplish cast. Powerful stuff. Oh, and it was actually quite yummy :o)

I'll be back later in the weekend...this little post is all I had time for tonight.


The Lost Art of Canning: Apricot Jam

Our house is adrift in apricot heaven.

Over the past couple of days we (me, Jared, and my mom) did a ton of canning and made scrumptious apricot jam.  I hadn't canned before in the real, for sure they're gonna make it, kind of method which involves a lot of boiling water.  But this time I decided to go for it, and to be honest, it's not that hard.

My quick & easy recipe for jam is this:

3/4 fill a huge pot (think mine is maybe 16 quart size) with very ripe halved & pitted apricots.

Add to the pot 7-8 cups of sugar (how sweet do you like things? Add a little more sugar if you're a sweet tooth, or a little less to have more of that yummy apricot tang).

Then you need citrus - lemon juice is recommended, but I have oranges. I squeeze in the juice of 6 oranges, give it a whirl and it's good to go.

Bring to a low boil then keep cooking on medium low heat. Stirring. A lot. I think I probably cook and the stir the jam for 25-30 minutes. I like it to get to the point where the apricot halves are starting to fall apart and the jam is getting thick and boiled down a bit.

While the jam cooks, boil your jars and lids in a big pot. Boil for about 10 minutes then turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water while you prepare to fill them.

Fill your jars with the hot jam...fill to about a 1/4" below the rim of the jar.  It's exceptionally handy to use a wide mouth funnel (I'm serious - you need one of these!). We also really like the specific tongs used to maneuver the jars in and out of the boiling water pot.

Put the now sterilized jar lids in place then screw on the tops. Then they're back in the water to boil for 5-10 minutes.

Set them upside down to cool for a few hours.  After they're all cooled check to make sure they're sealed. The lid should be firmly sucked in toward the jam. There should be no movement in the lid. If there is - no worries - just eat that jar of jam now instead of in the middle of February :o)

Lots and lots of apricot jam...can you believe that color??

And with all that canning, and more than one apricot crisp baked (and eaten), we still have some left.  I'm thinking mostly straight up munching, but maybe an apricot pie would be lovely too - paired with peach maybe?  Yum.

First farm share is here!

fuji apples
forono beets
swiss chard
chantenay carrots
red russian kale
lakeside romaine lettuce
red and green cabbages
collard greens
oyster mushrooms
1/2 dozen pastured eggs (oh my gosh, these are SO good!!)

All organic and grown locally (well, about an hour away) and picked the same day you pick up your box. And, I have to say, a stellar deal if you were to buy all of these items organic from a grocery store.

Now back to the parents arrive tomorrow and I have to prep my studio into guest house mode. And so many other things to do that my head is totally spinning. We leave in less than a week for my brother's wedding and that's only adding to the silly craziness of this time of year. That and all the caffeine I've ingested today :o)

Happy Friday to you and a lovely weekend, of course!
xo, devon