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Monday, 28 February 2011
It is Monday, which means it is time for a fresh Playdate!
Everyone is welcome to link up to this post all week long with your play related posts, pics and ideas!

Thanks to our intrepid moms who joined in on the first playdate last week!
How the Sun Rose & Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams

Each week, I will feature one of our playdate folks and wax poetic about something play related that might inspire you to blog in response or to a similar theme~ but you don't have to, any and all play posts are welcome to link up.

You know when you read a book and it just resonates with you?
Playful Parenting has been that way for me.
My daughter is a free spirited kid, a sensitive one, at that.
So things aren't always easy.
But reminding myself to be playful has been my go-to in tough parenting situations, especially those head to head battles my daughter (admits to!) enjoys.
"Do you like fighting with Mommy?"
"Yes. I like it a lot!"

When she was three, I got so much mileage out of saying "Did you just say 'no' to your mother?' in silly, aghast voices when she said no. By the time we played out that little shtick the 'no' was forgotten and we could move forward. These days, as she finds her saucy 5 year old attitude (since *when* do words end in 'uh'? Like "I don't want-uh to get dressed-uh"? UGH!) I can usually shake it down by pretending she is being sweet to me and responding with something sugary like "Oh sweetie, I love it when you talk that way! You're so sweet to me, I could just eat you!" followed by a lunge and grab and giggles. The great thing is that now that she knows how I respond, it sucks all the saucy out of her responses because she can't help but say them with a smile ♥.

"Following the giggles" has been a great tool as well, reminding me to laugh more.  If Rowan begins to giggle, I do it too, and while it may start out forced, once you make eye contact and connect, it flows freely... and is good for the soul! And wrestling... my daughter doesn't naturally seek to wrestle, but after a friend talked about how effective wrestling her 4 year old son is when he is out of sorts, we have been incorporating it into our play.  And the sensory experience of touch and exertion really does seem to help harmonize things for Rowan on a tough day.

And, it works like a charm to be playful with the kids in Rowan's Kindergarten class when I am volunteering, they love to be engaged on their own 'turf' of play and I learn so much that way.  I think it is time to pull my copy of the book out again and refresh myself for this new age and stage we are entering!

How do you incorporate play into your parenting?  
Blog about it, or any other play related topics, photos or ideas and use the link up tool below!  If this is your first playdate at BTRT, follow this link for the button and complete (but simple!) instructions for participation!

Sunday, 27 February 2011
Today, we said goodbye to our sweet and naughty Hooligan puppy.
He is still very alive and very well, just not with our family.
I never imagined myself in this position, giving up a dog.  
It was an embarrassing call to make, and a heart wrenching decision.
After all, I established the Canadian Brittany Rescue and spent several years taking in abandoned or relinquished Brittanys from people like us (and advocated since then for the right dog for your family being so critical)!

My own Briar was probably the worst of the worst in terms of being a horribly bad puppy~ never ever with ill intent, he was the kindest soul you'd ever be privileged to know~ and his puppyhood lasted 8 years.
So when Hooligan (a Briar nephew, same breeder) joined our family last summer, unexpectedly and on the heels of Briar's death (age 12), we thought we went into this with eyes wide open, knowing what we were up against.  But we didn't.  Briar's puppyhood happened when I was a single woman who trialled and ran agility and lots of other dog stuff.  Briar got to compete in hunt tests and I had 2-3 hours a day for exercising him.  Hooligan's puppyhood landed at a time in our lives when I am lucky to get a shower most days~ and with 6 solid months of winter, places to run are limited by space and weather.

And so we became one of those families, completely overwhelmed by our adolescent Brittany pup.  And Hooligan is aptly named. He is a much more physical, larger, hardheaded dog than Briar ever was.  He terrorized Archie the Sheltie to the point that they had to be kept apart most of the time. And he regularly sent Rowan flying with his affectionate leaps.
I have had to really think long and hard about balance and stress and so on this winter for both health and happiness. And it became clear that one of my greatest stressors has been not doing right by Hooligan and not being able to fit him in to family life, and it was only getting worse.

This is where I make my plug for dealing with professional and ethical breeders.  His breeder was my first call and she willingly agreed to take him back in hopes that a home with safe, fenced room to run and a more active family could be found~ until then he has her safe fenced acres and lots of buddies his own strength to run with.  We also, through discussions, agreed to a trade, but I'll write more about that under a new post! 

waiting for the school bus
So last night, we said goodbye to our sweet Hooligan ('sweet and tender' for you Smiths fans!) praying that letting him go to a new opportunity would give him a happier and more fulfilling life.  Rowan was very sad, but when her attempts to hug and kiss him goodbye resulted in a knock on the head and a scratch on the cheek, she also began to understand that 'her brother' needs something different than we can offer.

Today, I feel at peace about it.  Guilt is pointless, and the fact is, that no matter how much we loved him, Hooligan was not the right dog for our family at this time. Hanging on to him would have been selfish (and when my daughter sobbed in my arms last night I would have done almost anything to not cause that grief for her!), and asking for help is a good thing to do. Our house feels more peaceful, too.

And Hoolie?  At last report this evening he is in dog heaven!  He ran for 3 hours straight, wearing out all of the resident Brittanys and is getting on like a house on fire with his kin.  He was a dog's dog from day one and I think he is on the path he needed to find. 
 So farewell, my freckle faced boy. Grow strong and happy and find your true family. 
We'll always be grateful that you shared part of your journey with us. ♥
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Letting go is never easy.
Yet our lives are a series of changes, every one of which is an ending that must precede a new beginning.
Sometimes we have let go without knowing it~ I think of growing up, of moving away from home, where our focus is forward and we give little thought to those left behind.

And sometimes, especially when we are those left behind (which we become when we become parents), the letting go is bittersweet.

My daughter will be 5 and 1/2 (that all important 1/2!) on Monday.  And after five (and 1/2) years of close attachment and building bonds, I am conscientiously having to let go a little more, a little more often.  Starting school was a big change for me, and a rough one, sending my baby girl onto the bus and off to school at age 4. But that was an expected milestone/ change.

It is the little unexpected ones that snag my heart. 
The things no one ever told you would be significant milestones.
Not riding in the shopping cart.
Getting in and out of the van by herself.
Stirring a pot on the stove.
Walking beside me, but not holding hands, as we cross the street here in town.
Holding a phone conversation on her own.
Going into a store on her own to make a purchase (small town/ small businesses, gotta love 'em!).
Asking to read a book on her own, because she can.

Such small steps but each one a step into her own (amazing) person.
A person who is self sufficient and independent and sure of her own abilities.
Exactly what we work towards our children becoming... but it isn't easy letting go!
And it may sound naive, but I always thought of  letting go of my child as she goes off to university at age 18~ I really wasn't prepared for our lives together to be a ongoing series of steps away from me, or better put, towards herself.

And I love that beautiful self she is becoming.
But I reserve the mommy right to be a little sad, even as I delight in her growing up, even as I continue to learn the oh-so-human art of letting go gracefully. ♥
Friday, 25 February 2011
In Waldorf education, each day of the week has an associated colour, planet and grain.

Keeping this rhythm leads to all sorts of wonderful finds, and today I want to share with you some gorgeous greens by the artisans of Etsy's Natural Kids Team! (search: naturalkids team).

Friday is Green. 

Meow! Adorable kitkin from Fairies Nest:
felted recycled kitten toy
Mmm! Mint Chocolate Chip! by Fair Trade Family:
knitted play toy food ice cream
 Grrr! The Sitting Tree is green in more than just the color of these wool pants:
knitting pattern toy bear wool
! I am perpetually in love with Rjabinnik's shop:
wood fairy spring daisy
 Rawr! Fairy Folk has created this fantastical playscape:
dragon toy handmade
 Twirl! And from BTRT (that's me!), a spring themed fairy twirl skirt:
fairy twirl skirt
 Enjoy! ♥♥
Last night I griped about my week, and I am here to say that I still like yesterday best!

Today. What can I say. 
There were many good bits.
My silk order arrived, yay!
I enjoyed Rowan reading Danny the Dinosaur to me, and she educated me about how we now know dinosaurs like the Brachiosaurus didn't walk upright and drag their tails as scienists once thought (you might think that after 3 years of dino everything I would catch on, or be interested, but no).

But then there was this morning.

I made the 45 minute drive into the 'city' to do some much needing banking, only to find that my husband filched my debit card and I *couldn't* do my banking.  And then I came out to the car (the loaner car, from the dealership) only to find out that I had locked the keys inside.

So, the call to the towing company was fun.
Yes, I need someone to get the keys out of my car.
What kind of car?
A silver one.
Silver? What make?
I don't know.
Can you check?
Buick Century.
What year?
I don't know. But it has a tape deck!

And then I stood outside freezing so I could flag the truck down in the parking lot. And of course, when I left home in the morning in denim jacket and hoodie, I had thought about what would happen if it was actually colder than I thought, and for any reason I was stuck outside. I actually *thought* it. And proceeded in my hoping for spring clothing~ in Northern Ontario you hit that point when you refuse to accept any more winter and do things like wearing a hoodie and running shoes on an icy subzero day. At least I do.

Turns out the car was newer than I guessed and the guy hadn't brought the right tools.
Apparently the tape deck was a custom addition for whatever tape loving driver owned it previously.

Add the $50 for the lock opening to the head gasket bill.

Here's hoping Saturday arrives soon!
Thursday, 24 February 2011
CONGRATULATIONS to Laura Marie/ littledragonfly13!
And thanks to all our entrants!
This coming weekend's giveaway will begin Thursday night..

Become a fan on our BTRT Facebook page to get the latest giveaway news
(weekly giveaways!)
and follow this blog, too, so you won't miss a thing...
(see 'Followers' box on left hand side).
It is giveaway time again (yay!). If you are an artisan and/or small business owner interested in offering an item for a Weekend Giveaway, please send me a note for all the details.
This week we welcome Bonnie of Holden's Landing as our feature artisan and giveaway donor.  Bonnie is a woman of many talents!  Her flagship, so to speak is her Holden's Landing business with which she provides gorgeous handmade velour and embroidered diapers along with other luxurious baby items.  But she is also an experienced homeschooler whose programs and activities are offered under her 'Earth School' banner.  I have been a customer of Bonnie's and can attest to her great customer service and attention to detail (I adore my bamboo velour pillowcases!)
Owls BedBUg

Tell us about Holden's Landing today~ you have been around a while, what is your focus at this time?
Holden's Landing is turning 7 this spring! We started with diapers and that is still our main focus, although they certainly have changed over the years. We started out offering only serged, print outer fitteds and AI2s. Today we still offer those, but our main focus is on hand dyed organic bamboo velour diapers featuring lots of embroidery! 

Butterfly Garden - Holden's Landing
Butterfly Garden Dreamscape
What inspires you?
Lots of things - but the biggest thing is nature. We were just driving down the highway the other day when I had to start jotting down ideas for new colorways based on the way the sky looked. i also get a lot of inspiration from customers - someone will come to me and say "Can you do something with an Odyssey theme?" (something I am working on now) and let me run wild with it - those are my favorite orders! 

Mermaid and shells
Lovescape Blanket Detail

What does a family day (or night) look like in your home?
I have 2 children, 7 and 10, and they just started school for the first time in the fall. So during the day while they are at school, I work. Once I pick them up, we come home and have snack, they play outside while I get dinner started, then we sit and do homework. Generally, we read together after that. Then it is dinner, baths and bed - the afternoons/evenings go by so quickly! Weekends are spent doing chores and running errands together on Saturday, followed by all 4 of us going rollerskating Sunday afternoon - our favorite family activity.

OBV Moon/Star Pillowcase
OBV Pillowcase
The winner will receive ONE Organic bamboo velour rainbow striped fitted cloth diaper. 
Winner picks size (size info is here )

Rainbow OBV Fitteds

Simply leave a comment on this post
(and a way to contact you, either through your blogger ID, email, or other)::To qualify your comment must include a note about  your favourite item from Holden's Landing (GALLERY)
You can find Bonnie at Hyena Cart and Etsy.
The winner will be randomly drawn from qualifying entries on Monday, February 28 at 10 PM est.
This giveaway is open to anyone (anywhere).
You know those weeks.
Everything goes sideways.

Monday plans (stat holiday) blown away by meeting scheduled at 1 PM, leaving my daughter mad about what to draw for her assigned homework of a picture of what your family did on Family Day.  She didn't feel reading together as a family all snuggled up in bed in the winter sunshine 'special enough. She had to draw a picture of a bowl of crackers. GIANT bowl in the middle, tiny picture of her feeding that bowl of crackers to Archie the Sheltie in the bottom corner. Ah, great family memories.

Tuesday, cranky daughter home with a tummy ache that vanishes by 10 am, keeping me home from work.  Planned visit with friends for dog and kid exercise demolished by rogue (cracker-eating) Sheltie chasing people down the street and utterly refusing to enter house, crate or vehicle while cranky daughter wails from said vehicle, dispensing advice on how to catch rogue Sheltie and crying because Mommy said "I am going to wring his furry neck" a little too loudly and convincingly. Dog #2 howls from back of vehicle because he cannot see the excitement.  Mommy calls Daddy to hunt down rogue Sheltie and drives away, only to have rogue vehicle overheat. Again. Turn around, come home. Mommy wishes she drank.

Wednesday. Diagnosis Head Gasket. Pretty sure twirl skirts and playsilks will not cover mechanic's bill. Mechanic too big for any instock items.

Thursday, tenatively peaceful. Day not over.

And you know what... that is all pretty normal around here, now that I think about it.
But there isn't too much time to think because the dog has fallen into the couch again.
Yes, fallen into the couch, but that is another story.
Maybe I'll leave him there until tomorrow, today has been so nice, so far. ♥
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
We love to play~ and believe heartily that play is a child’s work and, as Frederich Froebel (founder of kindergarten) said, “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul.”.

Play matters to our kids, to their development and to our relationships with them.  As parents, we
can all use some fresh ideas and the energizing experience of connecting with others who share
our values.

So, I thought, why not connect with other parents (and bloggers!) around the world for a good old fashioned playdate once a week? Every Monday and throughout the week, you can join in!

Here’s how it works:
  •  At some point during the week,  blog about something child related.
  •  Check in at BTRT ( during the week, and use the ‘linky widget’
    to add your play link (link to the specific post, please, not the main page, for 'name' put your post title!). I will start a fresh Playdate every Monday morning.
  •  Use the button code below to add the button to your sidebar or your posts and/ or Add the text “Join the Playdate at Beneath the Rowan Tree” with a link back to BTRT
    (  at the end of your posting.
  •  Visit other blogs who have shared their postings so we can all make new friends and play well
  •  With each new week’s Playdate, where some of last week's bst will be shared!
Let’s play!

250 x 250
 175 x 175

Beneath the Rowan Tree

Tuesday, 22 February 2011
I love it when a plan comes together.
(please don't be mislead into thinking I am an A Team fan (see the 'Not-Dead Roommate' story for reference).
But I have been wanting to make Fairy Doors for a couple of years,and I finally got my act (and supplies) together, bent Andy's arm enough to get him to cut for me, and did it!
I simply love the idea of Fairy Doors~ portals for the wee folk to come and go in our world. And more than the idea of them, I love the delight they bring to a child whose imagination can fill the world behind these little doors with magic and wonder. 
 Placed any where you like (they are 1" thick and stand on their own), the door becomes a way for the fey folk to enter your home (bringing good luck, they say). Of course, they can only be opened by magic beings!
 You can encourage fairies (never command them!) to visit with gifts of sweets or sparkly bits.  If you need a little extra help, I love this little poem from Lady Cottington's Book of Pressed Flower Fairies:
Sit where the cat sits.
Cross your toes.
Close your eyes.
And smell a rose.

Then say under your breath:
"I believe in Fairies, sure as death.
Gadflykins! Gladtrypins!
Gutterpuss and Cass!
Come to me fairily
Each lad and lass!"

Rowan Tree Fairy Doors are made with locally sourced, sustainably harvested pine (Northern Ontario) and hand burned and painted (non-toxic, ap certified). Each one is one of a kind and sealed with our own beeswax wood polish for a safe and natural glow and light protection. Find them in the  'Wood Toys' section of the Etsy shop.

The idea of the fairy door bloomed in Ann Arbor with the Urban Fairy House Project a number of years ago.
Monday, 21 February 2011
Today, in Ontario, is Family Day.  To mark the day I have gathered a few families from the work of the Natural Kids team on Etsy.  The team consists of members who create natural toys and family products with natural materials~ you can find all of their amazing work by searching 'naturalkids team' on Etsy.

Rowan informed me that she is supposed to make a picture for school depicting what her family did for Family Day.  We suggested she could draw herself holding a duster? Mommy cleaning the toilet? Daddy folding laundry? Because that is how we roll on Family Day around here! (However given that it is gloriously sunny, our day may also include a snow hike in the sugar bush with the dogs..!).

Family Day (Natural Kids Team)

1. Bunny Family, Imagination Kids
2. Travelling Family House, Fee Vertelaine
3. Unicorn Family, The Enchanted Cupboard
4. Multicultural Dollhouse Family, driaa
5. Grandmother & Grandaughter, Haddy2dogs
6. Itty Bitty Mint Birdie Family, Yarn Miracle
7. First Dance, Father & Daughter, Nushkie
8. Mother & Child Hedgehog, Maple Shade Kids
Saturday, 19 February 2011
A few weeks ago, I reflected on the importance of scent to memory and meaning for our children, and for us as adults.
When I came across a reflection on the delight of opening (and smelling) a new box of crayons, I just had to share it! I cites a Crayola study of the world's 20 most reconizable scents for adults ~ here is the list:

1. Coffee
2. Peanut butter
3. Vicks VapoRub
4. Chocolate
5. Wintergreen oil
6. Baby powder
7. Cigarette butts
8. Mothballs
9. Dry cat food
10. Beer
11. Ivory bar soap
12. Juicy Fruit gum
13. Orange
14. Cinnamon
15. Lemon
16. Tuna
17. Banana
18. Crayons
19. Cheese
20. Bleach

Isn't the memory an amazing thing?  Pick any one of those, think about it for a moment and you *can* smell it just from memory!  The human brain is so darn cool ♥.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Congratulations to BETH!

This week's giveaway comes to us from amazing seamstress, Nikki, of Kobieta & Tadpoles & Butterflies.   Niki creates her own designs and brings them to vivid life with perfect pairings of fabric with beautiful details and comfortable fit.  For the plus size figure for business, casual, nursing, pregnancy and more!

I asked Nikki to tell me about Kobieta:
Kobieta is the polish word for Woman. My heritage is partially Polish and I thought the word flowed beautifully off the tongue and had an air of femininity to it while also representing a strength I feel all women possess. I had been sewing for children, for many years, successfully with my business Tadpoles & Butterflies. I began sewing for woman after my own personal frustration in finding stylish and well fitting clothes for a plus size figure. After talking with many women, of all sizes, I realized this was a universal problem regardless the size....finding that perfect fit that flattered their body type and satisfied personal tastes. I take great pride in the fact that approx 80% of my business is custom sized items that allow women to give me their personal measurements and have clothing made just for them. My motto has always been "Beautiful. Proud. Strong.....because size is not a style". I feel every woman should feel those words everyday and never have to worry if thier size matches a current style trend. With will.

I asked Nikki to forecast styles and colours for spring: My favorite colors for this springs'  fashion are gorgeous corals, honeysuckles, and rich blue and brown tones. Fashion forecasts are leaning towards lush colors this spring and I am very excited about this!
Style is such a matter of opinion.... but the runways are showing an interesting trend of mixing soft and flowing fabrics with a little punk edge and even '50's pin up girl touches. I think my favorite of these is adding little tail hems to skirts. Such a classic and eyecatching detail!

What is family time like at your house?
 Family time at my house can be a little chaotic with 3 sons, but always in a good way. Loud and happy with a good dash of silliness. Family mealtime is very important to us and gives a chance to work together, chat and catch up from the day and enjoy some down time. We also set aside one night a week that is family game night and a time to just have fun without stressing about work or school. Phones and TV goes off and the board games come out!
::The Giveaway::
This Kobieta A-Line skirt is the perfect spring colors and style! Done in 100% cotton from the Free Spirit Sugar Snaps line with a bamboo viscose/lycra yoga style waist band. This type band ensures fantastic comfort and fit all day long. The A-Line cut for a skirt is a classic cut that is flattering for all figures as it gives clean straight lines with minimum bulk. This skirt is currently size 18/20, fitting up to 52 inch hip. I am allowing a semi-custom sizing for this giveaway meaning the skirt can be tailored down to the winners size if needed.

Simply leave a comment on this post
(and a way to contact you, either through your blogger ID, email, or other)::To qualify your comment must include a note about  your favourite Kobieta design (GALLERY)
You can also join her Facebook page for news, special announcements and more!
You can find Nikki at FRESH and Universal Mama.
Check out her main shop as well.
The winner will be randomly drawn from qualifying entries on Monday, February 21 at 10 PM est.
This giveaway is open to anyone (anywhere).
It is! It is! Ihave to believe that the scene below, out our back window, will soon be a thing of the past...
And so, in preparation for Spring I have begun to stock some of our Easter specialities~ Sweet Somethings & ScrapRabbits!  I am making tham and stocking them as I am able and they are available on a 'by chance' basis, so grab them early if you can! (I am posting notice of stockings on the BTRT Facebook page HERE)

Sweet Somethings are wet felted hollow wool eggs, embellished with needlefelting and secured with hand dyed silk ribbons.  Inside is an Itty Bitty critter and green Fairy Silkie.
And then, there are the crazy, lumpy, colorful ScrapRabbits~ 5" tall, each one of a kind, made with hand dyed organic bamboo velour and stuffed with wool...

You will find these toys, along with gorgeous silks for Easter Baskets and lots more of spring gift giving fun in the Etsy Shop
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
In Waldorf education, each day of the week has an associated colour, planet and grain. Rudolph Steiner called rhythm the 'carrier of life'.

It is so much fun to feature handmade, natural items that would be wonderful to help mark the rhythm of the week at home with your little ones.  And it is easy to do with the trove of treasures to be found on Etsy, that have been made by the busy hands of Etsy's Natural Kids Team (search: naturalkids team).

Tuesday is brilliant, bold and wonderful RED.

Emily and her talented needles at YarnMiracle have created this bright little cardinal:
Oh my!  Wouldn't a little one look darling in this soaker by Wild Child Woolies?
German Dolls offers this adorable swing dress for dollies:
I can't resist the cardinals! By Eve's Little Earthlings:
 Feel the love... a ring from Cute Little Thing:

And from BTRT, a stripwork skirt in lush reds:
Here's hoping your day is brilliant and full of love ♥
Monday, 14 February 2011
One of our parenting goals has been (and remains) to shield our daughter from the market forces that view children as consumers and exploit them ~ raising them up to be dutiful consumers, fighting for brand loyalty out of the cradle.  I know that there are guidelines and rules for marketers when targeting children, but I imagine they must chuckle with glee when they imagine their pitches... I mean, advertising to children is like shooting fish in barrel.

Because unlike us jaded adults (who are also so easily lead!), children don't have any defenses or experience.  They *trust* the message and the medium.

For television, Rowan has mainly watched Treehouse TV, which limits its ads to one sponsor, and that is often a still ad with exposition.  However, there was the Monty Rex incident. 
The Christmas Rowan was 4, all she wanted was the Monty Rex dinosaur like the one she saw on Treehouse.She was then, as now, a dinosaur fanatic.  I doubted the choice, but she was adamant (and Daddy kind of wanted it, too).  So I bought one in early December.

Later that month Rowan and I were in the department store and she wanted to look at the toys, so I thought I would take her to see the Monty Rex just to build some excitement. She was in the back of the shopping cart. I took the dino off the shelf and she screamed and clambered to the back of the cart in true horror, waving her hands and telling me to put it back. I explained that it was Monty Rex, and she wailed that it was not, because Monty Rex was 'two feet tall'.  Note to marketers~ 4 year olds cannot picture 'two feet tall'.
When I got her calmed down, and made numerous promises that Santa would not bring her that monster, she started to cry in earnest.  Why?  She was terrified that if Santa brought that dinosaur, which likes to eat meat, that it would surely eat Archie (our Sheltie, then a puppy).
I exchanged Monty for two baby dinos and thanked my lucky stars that we hadn't waited until Christmas morning to unleash the beast, what a nightmare that would have been! Scarred forever at 4 by a monster under the tree that would surely eat her beloved puppy!

I have more to say but this post is getting long and I am getting late for work... so will continue my train of thought in another post.... ♥
Saturday, 12 February 2011
This will never ever be a food blog.

This week at church we are going to be talking about gifts of the Spirit~ and the difference between gifts and skills. Gifts are those things for which we have aptitude and from which we derive joy in exercising and offering in service. When we are lucky or attentive, our skills (those things we have learned to do well but which may wear us out or gain our resentment) will match our gifts.
And the fact that there are many gifts, but no one of us has them all.

Baking is not my gift.
Or my skill.
And I neither enjoy it, nor do it well.

I can live with that. I would rather make a skirt than bake a cake.  Baking requires a precision that I lack. Which is why dyeing works so well for me... throw it all in and see what happens!

Case in point.
I bought a sweet new cupcake pan~ daisy shaped tops! And Rowan and I made the big decision of choosing Angel Food cake mix from among the few non-dairy/ on-sale options at the grocery store.  But angel food cake is meant to be made in one of those strapped pans~ not in a daisy shaped cupcake pan.

Oh my.
Although, I will say our addition of all of the leftover rainbow sprinkles to the batter was an inspired touch!
After the first batch of cupcakes bombed, I looked at the huge, foaming (?!) bowl of batter and poured it into a cake pan and tossed it into the oven. We cleaned up the kitchen.
Then,  I noticed the oven and timer were on. How odd!
So I shut them both off.
When I realized what I had done, the cake was a literal flop.
So I finished baking it, anyway.

We have a can (yes, a can~ diary-free!) of icing and some blackberries and I bet it will taste just fine!
And I will stick to my gifts & or skills... and to make me feel better, here is a sneak peek of what else I made this weekend!♥
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