Box of Many Colours

I didn’t finish all of my Jesse Tree ornaments last year.  I rushed through many of them and they weren’t as detailed as I wanted.  So this year, I’m re-creating them with more details, and I’m stitching numbers on the backs of them to help us keep them in proper order.

Jesse Tree Ornaments

Jesse Tree Ornaments

Jesse Tree Ornaments



Jesse Tree Ornaments



Jesse Tree Ornaments



Jesse Tree Ornaments


If your family isn’t familiar with the tradition of the Jesse Tree, it is a beautiful Advent devotion which traces the family tree of Jesus and our salvation history.  All Christians can make this devotion, regardless of denomination.  In fact, I’m so pleased to see so many more Protestants putting up Jesse Trees in their homes, and incorporating other Advent traditions into their Christmas preparations.

“that all may be one, that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21)


We are using Jesse Tree Devotions: A Family Activity for Advent and The New American Bible .  I took inspiration from the illustrations in the book, but not all of mine are exactly the same.

Stopping to Say Hello

Life on the farm is extremely busy lately.  The vegetables are finally coming on, and I have been spending a lot of time making jams and jellies from flowers and fruits collected round and about the place.  We’ve even tried a new delight – mulberry jam.  I’ve never had a mulberry before in my life, but William discovered an enormous mulberry tree out by the barn.  It is LOADED with fruit.  Like other such berries, they aren’t all ripe at once, which means that I’ve got to make lots of smaller batches.  Now, if I can get the black raspberries to co-ordinate with the mulberries, we’ll alternate the two until we’re done.  Chance would be a fine thing!

A gorgeous bowlful of mulberries.

We’ve harvested lots of nettle, which is being dried in the carriage house, along with elderflowers and catnip.  We’ve got chive seeds harvested from the little clump at the corner of the schoolroom, and soon I’ll be doing the same with the catnip seeds.

I thought that I was done with flower jellies, but I’ve got just one more to go – Queen Anne’s Lace.  I always grew up believing that it was poisonous.  It’s not.  But you have to be careful that you’re indeed picking the right thing.  So, I’m off to do that, perhaps this weekend.  While I’m out there, I’ll look to see what we have for chicory root.  And OH! I forgot that I’ve been collecting burdock and dandelion root.  So, so much more to harvest from teh wild while we wait for our pokey veggies to get up and ready.  Blossoms everywhere, and wee bitty vegetables.

Queen Anne's Lace

It looks like we’re going to have a spate of veg all at once, rather than the steady stream we had originally planned.  But there it is.  Nothing can be done about how the weather behaves.  And God is good.  He knows what we need.  Our job is to have faith and always and everywhere to give thanks.

I have been working on two knitting designs. 

I had to frog back and re-work the Brendan longies I started several weeks months ago.  But I think that this revision will look much better.  I also decided to order a new skein of yarn to work it up – “Moorland” Madelinetosh Tosh DK (my current fave yarn) – it will go so well with a co-ordinating jumper/vest in Mad. Tosh DK “Filigree”, which I still have skads of from Georgie’s romper.  The green is very, very similar to the “Kiwi” Lamb’s Pride that I began with, but much softer.

The second is a pretty pair of socks that I’m calling “Métro”.  It’s a two-at-a-time toe-up sock.  Lacy and pink.  But it would be lovely in any colour.  I can’t wait to photograph my progress and share with you.  I am the world’s.  slowest.  knitter.  Or I was.  Until I rediscovered the Scottish style of knitting, also called Irish Cottage Knitting.  I knit this way when my oldest ones were little, but gave it up when I started knitting in the round.  And today, I discovered that Bulgarian babas knit Turkish or Tunisian style – with hooks!  Holy smokes, how much faster must that be?  Yep.  I’m going to try it.  The special, wonderful bonus is that it has a built-in lifeline in case you make a boo-boo.  At least, it has a lifeline for the previous row or round.  That’s enough for some of us. 🙂

And speaking of Bulgaria, we’re still beavering away raising funds for our adoption.  Our little gal just turned 10, and our little fella is about to turn 11.  We have been told that we have until the week before Christmas to get everything done.  Looks like a trip for Christmas-tide.  It’s coming really quickly.

Really.  Quickly.

I have applied to Reece’s Rainbow to see if we can get some fundraising help from them.  I hope we’ll hear back sometime next week.  In the meantime, we’re planning a little online fundraiser of our own.  I was given a loving nudge by my friend Cassan to have the kind of fundraiser that has a little progress graphic and would possibly make all of the asking a little easier to manage.  But because I can’t resist making a PROJECT out of a project (will I ever learn?  Don’t answer that.), I have made a project out of it.  LOL.  My intention is to bless more children, more families with it.  If I can do it for us, I want to use the same project to help others.  I’ll share more when I can.

In the meantime, we have to get a whole new term life insurance for parents.  It’s no problem, I said.  It’ll take about 5 minutes, I said.  WRONG.  Oy.  So worth it, though.  Can’t wait to see those two beautiful faces for real.  And hug those babies up.

If you would like to help us get those hugs a little sooner, you can make a gift of any size through PayPal (nissa_@_gadboisfamily_._com), shop at our farm shop, or book a portrait session or hire me to photograph your next event.


{Making a Home} | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

I think it is true what they say about the adoption process causing similar symptoms to pregnancy.  I think that I am nesting.  Certainly, it also coincides with warm weather, and settling in to living in the farmhouse.  The temporary schoolroom is finished and I’m letting it steep a little before we dig in and really give it a work out.

Last week, we got some rain that was enough to keep everyone out of the field.  It was a perfect opportunity to get the top of the hutch painted and installed in the pantry.

I stayed out of the way and looked around for a pretty crocheted trim to use for shelf lace.  I found a beautiful French crochet pattern that reminds me of wheat sheaves.  I’m working on transcribing the pattern from a crochet chart into a written pattern to share.

I bought new drawer pulls in an oiled bronze-looking finish, and I found some tension rods to fit the openings in the lower part of the hutch.  I want to make some curtains to hide some of the bits and pieces stored there.

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace


It just need curtains for the bottom, and shelf lace for the top shelves.

Making a Home | Of Pantries and Shelf Lace

Check back here on the blog for the finished translated and written pattern.

This pretty hutch has been around awhile.  Brian’s brother made it for their parents, we received it a few years ago.  The pretty glass doors couldn’t hold up to our heavy use, and one of the lower doors developed a funny bow.  So we decided to give it a makeover and repurpose it.  Look around at what you have, or what you can find.  It doesn’t have to be costly to make your home lovely and functional.

{Making a Home} | Someday

While I was rummaging through my bits and pieces, I came across this piece of lace.  I made it way back before Brian and I were married.  I folded it up and put it into a box with some lavender for my “someday” house.  The dream house.

Someday | Springtime Filet Crochet Runner

Shortly after we welcomed our first child, we became an Air Force family.  And that lace just stayed in the box, and was joined by other pieces I made over the years.  I can remember a friend remonstrating with me over keeping those pieces squirreled away for our “someday” house.

“Use them now!” she said.  “What on earth are you saving them for?  Make your home beautiful now.  Enjoy them.”

I didn’t take her advice.  I kept them in that box.  For two decades I saved the lace pieces that I had made.  I am glad that I did.  Now that my fingers are unpredictable, it is possible I won’t be able to crochet replacements.

But this spring, this pretty piece of lace will sit on my beautiful buffet (the one we bought at the thrift store for $25), and remind me of the days when I was young and dreaming of a husband and family… and our “someday” house.  Someday has arrived.

Someday | Springtime Filet Crochet Runner

Wait, wait… Rewind this Blog.

It’s been two months since I posted anything on this blog.  SO much has happened.  I’m going to have to rewind this blog and fill in the gaps.

In the meantime, perhaps you would enjoy some images from the farm last week?

Bluebird in the Snow

Bluebird in the Snow


Oh, and a link to the mitten pattern I was revising from the one I published in, I think, 2006.  You’ve seen these antique mittens around, I’m sure.  I have expanded on the original design to include NINE sizes from newborn (thumbless) to adult large, plus suggestions for variations and care, and a few more photos inside.

It’s an instant download and your purchase helps to support our farm and ministry.

Vintage Family Mittens

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