Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Bingo

 Free printable and bingo for Thanksgiving full of whimsical woodland wonders.  =)  Just click on the image below to enlarge and print.  Happy day of thankfulness, however you choose to celebrate! 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Color Path Labyrinth

 This is a pretty personal post. and I know it won't be for everyone.  But I know I'm not the only super-visual person out there, so hopefully it will help more.  

I had a super unique opportunity to share this at our church yesterday.  It's sort of like a super-simple labyrinth or color path that you can paint your way through.  Labyrinths have been used in the church for hundreds of years and have been helpful to many as a way of visually and physically coming before God in prayer and worship.  They have been so helpful to me to quiet my mind when I meditate or come into worship.  Then add color associations in paint!

I'm just going to share here what I shared yesterday and let you run with it creatively however suites your needs.  I don't have any pictures of doing this as a group because it felt too personal, but my heart is full to bursting hearing the experiences of everyone who chose to share with me!

Supplies: watercolors, water, brush, template and/or blank paper, paper towel, possibly tape and pen.  There’s lots of paper, so feel free to use several pieces!


Watercolors: this paint is very forgiving.  But I want to encourage you this time to try using more water than you think you need, until it moves easily and flows.  Feel free to mix colors in the wells or on the edges of the palette or on the paper.  There are lists of color associations to give you a starting point, but I left blanks under each color.  This is because we all likely have unique color associations, so you can write your own.  They may even be associated with people or places.  I don’t think we need to get into it too much today, but shapes could also be representative (I.e. disconnected, sharp edged, smooth, large/small, etc.)

A. Left, open space: options

1. Get comfortable adding paint to paper

2. Just doodle

3. Paint what you’re experiencing this week or day in color  and shape

B. Path in:  From the entrance at the bottom left of the circles, follow the path with paint toward the center.  This is a place to lay down your burdens, joys, thoughts, or whatever is popping up in your mind.  As things come to mind, pick a color for it and paint it along the path as you go.  In this, we are laying these things down before Jesus. 

C. Center Circle: In this place we will just be together with God.  We can listen or sing along with the music.  You can paint in color any thoughts or feelings or impressions you experience., how you feel, how you feel about God, right now in this time.  You can hold your paintbrush still in the center or let it dance around.  Just be.

First, give the area a light wash with water.  I always think of water as representing the Holy Spirit, and this place is awash with Him.  If you dab on color, allow it to move with the water, and feel free to add more water as you like.  This thick paper can hold quite a bit, and if it can’t, these tables are easy to clean later.  

D. Path out: As we leave the center at the upper right, listen to what God is giving you to pick up on this path as you journey out into this week.  The old things will still be there, but pick them back up along with this moment you just had in the center.  Bring the use of water, bring the Spirit with you.  

E. Right, open space: Express yourself going back out into our week remembering God with us!  And no matter what comes in the week ahead, you have this physical, visual reminder of this moment with God and Him going with you


Isaiah 55:1-2

John 4:13-15, 7:37, 8:1-11

Revelation 21:6

Monday, September 25, 2023

Tvare (Fir Whisk)

    Have you been following the findings in Lendbreen as the glacier is melting?  You can read up on it on the "Secrets of the Ice" website A little bittersweet, but archaeologists have been discovering all kinds of artifacts that are incredibly well preserved because they've stayed frozen for so long.  Most have to do with caribou hunting camps, but one find has really jumped out at me.  The archaeologist have determined that it was the remains of a Tvare, a Scandinavian whisk!  And the process is so elegantly simple!  The Saxon Forager also has a great video about these Here.

STEP ONE: Find a nice evergreen tree whose branches come out in an even whorl.  If you're going to be using it for food, make sure it's not a yew or other toxic wood.  A fun option is to use the top of your Christmas tree when you're done with it or need to trim the top!

STEP TWO: Cut the length you want your utensil to be below the whorl.

STEP THREE: Remove the needles and save for tea.  Trim center trunk/handle as desired.  You really have two options here.  Choose the side of the whorl that will make the right diameter handle for you: not too spindly and not too thick.

STEP FOUR: strip all bark.  I started to do this with a knife, but found it came off easier just peeling it by hand.  It was a little sticky, but smelled AMAZING!  I also whittled down the end I wanted to be flatter under the whorl of branches.

STEP FIVE: Drawing up the tines to the handle and pushing out a little bit to get them to the right angles, I held and wrapped with wire and allowed to dry completely for a week or two.  

I made a second Tvare out of the next whorl down on the tree, using the section of trunk above the branches for the handle as an especially large whisk with short, unbound tines for my big cauldron.  

It worked great!  I can't wait to make more of these in the future!  Maybe even make it a New Years tradition to make one from the top of our Christmas tree.


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Manuscript Anatomy for the Beginner Scribe

 Over the last year or so, our family has immersed ourselves in the wonderful world that is the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronisms)!  We've jumped in with both feet with all the garb creation, archery, thrown weapons, armoring, sword fightings, arts and sciences, and (my favorite) scribal! But researching manuscripts is a whole new world that felt completely overwhelming.  There's a lot of information out there and much of of it is misinformation.  

Next week I'm gathering a group of scribes together to learn and grow together.  I couldn't be more excited!  They'll be coming from all artistic background and skill levels, so I'm trying to gather helpful info for them.  This morning I put together this little zine of terms and concepts that were new to me last year.  I'm hoping is will be useful!  What would you add?  References below.  Click on image to enlarge.

1. "A Beginner's Guide to Working With Manuscripts" ( ) Wordsworth Collections.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from'H27sGuidetoWorkingWithManuscripts

2.Doyle, Lovett ( ) "How to Make a Medieval Manuscript."  British Library.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

3. Hindman (June 3, 2021) "A Beginner's Guide to Medieval Manuscripts." Abe Books.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

4. Kwakkel, (Sep. 7, 2018) "The Architecture of the Medieval Page." Medieval Books.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

5. Ray, (Sep. 27, 2021) "Reading the Manuscript Page: Design Features of the Medieval Book." Trinity College, Dublin.  Last Viewed 9-15-23 from

6. Getty Museum, (Jan. 27, 2009).  "The Structure of a Medieval Manuscript."  Getty Museum.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake

Anyone else not a fan of the 20 Christmas songs that get played to death in December?  We're always on the hunt for unique Christmas songs, and last year, Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake by the Irish Rovers! You can listen to it on You Tube Here

So we had to make a loaf for Christmas Day!  We started with a basic Amish Bread (great Amish Cinnamon Bread recipe) then added in all the extras heard in the song!

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups butter milk
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup plums and prunes (we just used the dried prunes for both), diced
1/4 cup dried cherries, diced 
1 Tbsp citron (we used lemon) rind shavings
1/4 cup rasins
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (we used cashew)
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup dried berries (we used cranberries)
1/4 tsp caraway

"Glue" glaze
2-3 Tbsp milk (divided)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Grease two bread pans. In mixing bowl cream butter, cups sugar, and eggs, then add remaining batter ingredients and mix well.
Put 1/4 of batter in each greased loaf pan.  Combine all additions that you're going to use, then layer half in each pan.  Top with remaining batter.  Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick tester comes clean.  Once cooled, spread glaze on top and enjoy!

This was so fun and way more edible than described in the song!  Haha!  Do you have any other unique Christmas songs for us to listen to this year?

Monday, September 11, 2023

Whole Wheat Sourdough

Whole Wheat Sourdough is so tricky!  There're sooo many variables involved!  I have found a method that I love and I'd love to share it with you!

My main trick with making sourdough 100% whole wheat is that the starter needs to grow from whole wheat yeast and  will do even better if it is local!  Did you know that each sourdough microbiome (lactic acid bacteria and yeast) is unique?  And it adapts to incorporate the local, airborne mycology.  That's why, even if you brought sourdough starter from San Francisco, within a short period of time it's flavor and texture will adjust to whatever the local yeasts taste like!  (1)

My second bit of advice is to make sure your starter stays highly hydrated. Equal flour to water ratio seems to work well, but the better hydrated the starter is the higher the acidity (tartness). (2) While the starter will collect natural, wild yeasts and bacteria from the ambient air, I like to give mine a boost with the natural microbes from the blue elderberry that are ripe this time of year. (3)  When I harvest elderberries for medicinal syrup, I soak the berries in water.  Afterward, I take the strained water to mix with the whole wheat flour to begin my starter.

 Whole Wheat, Herbed Sourdough

Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter:


1. 3 cups whole wheat flour, divided

2. 3 cups water, divided

3. 1/2 cup elderberries

Soak elderberries in water overnight to leech the natural yeast.  Strain and use elderberries in another recipe or freeze for later.  Mix 1c water with 1c flour in a large jar and cover tightly with cheesecloth or linen, allowing to rest in warm place.  Each day for the next 4 days, remove 1/2c to use in a separate recipe and stir in a new 1/2c flour and 1/2c water.  Then use for following bread recipe or store in the fridge, repeating the feeding process once per week, allowing rest in warm place for at least 4 hours.

Whole Wheat Herbed Sourdough:


1. 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2. 1 cup water

3. 1 Tbsp salt

4. 4 Tbsp dried herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, and lemon balm)

5. 1 cup starter (at least 4 hours past last feeding)

  1. Mix all ingredients: dough will absorb more water over time.  Adjust adding flour or water until it’s just thicker than batter, but very moist dough. (Morning, day before)
  2. Fermentation: once mixed, cover bowl with towel and rest in warm place 30 min.  Stretch and fold, then rest 30 more minutes.*  Repeat stretch, fold, and rest 30 min two more times. After the third time, allow dough to continue to rest another 4 1/2 hours in warm place.  *If dough is too runny to stretch and fold, slowly add more flour, 1/4 c at a time.  (Morning, day before)
  3. Shaping: remove dough from mixing bowl and shape on counter.  May continue to dust with flour to keep from sticking.  Rest 30 min, then flip seam-side-up into large bowl. (Evening, day before)
  4. Proofing: cover in linen and allow the dough to proof overnight or up to 24 hours in fridge or cold place.  (Evening, day before)
  5. Scoring: preheat oven to 450*F with lidded dutch oven inside.  Remove dough from fridge and flip it out onto parchment paper.  Score as desired, at least once.  May sprinkle with additional herbs at this time.  When dutch oven is to temp, carefully remove from oven and set parchment paper with dough inside.  Cut of excess paper and replace lid (Day of)
  6. Baking: Place lidded dutch oven inside preheated oven and bake at 450*F for 20 min, then remove lid and bake another 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 1 hr. Before slicing.  

  1. Dees, J. PhD. (June 26, 2020) American Society for Microbiology.  Last Visited September 11, 2023 from
  2. Modernist Cuisine (September 26,2018) "Sourdough Science". Last Visited September 11, 2023 from
  3. Haaker, Meredith L. (December 2022) Raising Native Plant Awareness as a Method for Re-Naturalization. Last Visited September 11, 2023 from