Ryan’s Version of Homemade Christmas Gifts

When I told Ryan I wanted to make homemade gifts this year for Christmas, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I had a vague picture in my head of some cute projects that would be fun little gifts for friends and cheery hostess gifts that would occupy a pleasant afternoon of crafting. Ryan, on the other hand, was picturing gifts that I couldn’t even begin to be able to make. I love that he pushes me to try attempt projects I would be a little scared of.  At least I know I can always go running to Ryan and ask him to fix it. Every month we’re married I appreciate his patience and long-suffering more and more.

He made a beautiful long handled maple cutting board for his mother, which sadly I wrapped and mailed without snapping a picture.

He cut, routed, and sanded a piece of wood for a cheese board for my mom. I wood-burned the word ‘Cheese’ into it and finished it with our beeswax and linseed oil rub.


His favorite project was making three cribbage boards from some pieces of wine barrel a friend gave us. I would have given up at the details necessary to make it precise, but he spent hours sketching out the pegging holes. Then hours more practicing a steady hand on the drill press.  The board pictured is (obviously) the one with the cork hole. The others were narrower, but without the hole. I love how the back of the boards are stained an impossibly dark purple-y red from the wine.






Filed under Crafty..., Holiday, Woodworking

A Christmas Craft

As shown by phone pictures.
Ryan cut out the sign with his bandsaw, and sanded it down smooth for me. As a side note, metal at 1000 degrees is very hot.

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For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

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Filed under Crafty..., Holiday, Home Decor, Woodworking

A Tithe Box

Ryan’s work for Emmanuel.
Made of walnut and finished with beeswax, mineral spirits, linseed oil.


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Filed under Projects

Afternoon at the River

One hot sticky Sunday we packed a picnic and went to spend the afternoon on the banks of a river.  It was the perfect slow afternoon savoring the hot sunshine and the cool water.

Because he can’t resist fishing when he’s near water, Ryan used a plastic bottle to catch minnows in the stream. Catch and release. I hunted for periwinkles and cheered on his fishing.


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DSC_0897And because it’s what he does, he found a treasure in the ditch beside the road when we pulled over to check river access. A hardened steel 24inch ruler with all the tiny tiny increment measurements he wants.

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Filed under Adventures, Out and About

Celebrating My Mom’s 60 years


















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Filed under Event, Family

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (Dairy free)

It’s been too long since we talked about ice cream. After all, it’s one of summer’s primary food groups if you count popsicles, smoothies, and milkshakes in there too.

I think the biggest thing I miss being dairy-free is ice cream. It might even beat out butter cravings. Fortunately we live near an inspiring ice cream shop that turns out some of the best dairy-free ice cream that is on a rotating flavor schedule so I never get tired of a flavor.

DSC_0794But really, you can’t go out for ice cream every night. So I started playing around at home. We made some delicious sorbets. But this new try is the kind of thing you start thinking about in the middle of the afternoon and can’t always wait until after dinner.  Perfect for midnight snacking straight out of the container. But also fancy enough to serve in pretty glass dishes with pretty silver spoons that you’re selling for a friend but had to sneak into a photo.

DSC_0795This isn’t a very original recipe, since cherries and chocolate have been put in ice cream since the beginning of ice cream.  There are fresh bing cherries at the farmer’s markets right now, so it’s time to get your hands dirty (literally) and make some cherry ice cream.

Most cherry chocolate chunk ice cream recipes call for pureeing some or most of the cherries into the ice cream. I prefer it with the cherries just chopped and mixed in. It makes each bite explode with the distinct flavors of cream, cherry, and chocolate. But if you want it to be more pink, puree a couple cherries into the milk before churning.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Two 13.5 oz cans of full fat coconut milk
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 to 1 cup of pitted chopped bing cherries
A healthy sized pinch of salt
A dash of vanilla
3 T of sugar or honey
a generous 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Mix the corn starch into a bit of the room temp/cold coconut milk to blend. Heat the rest of the coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan, then stir in the corn starch mixture until completely smooth. Add everything else but the chocolate and chill completely.
Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions.   (Add the chocolate during the last couple minutes of churning).


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Filed under food, Sweet Tooth

A New Super for the Beehive

Each level or box of the beehive is called a super. Large super, medium super, small super. Our hive needed an expansion as Queen Hilda makes alot of babies. A little glue, some clamps, a too-big nail gun, and some varnish later, we had two new floors for the hive.












Filed under Apiculture, Urban Farming