venerdì 30 gennaio 2015

{this moment}

 I'm joining SouleMama today.
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

mercoledì 28 gennaio 2015

Decluttering, or the room of doom

We all have one. It may not be an entire room, it can be a closet, or a cabinet or a table ... but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Our room of doom is our least favourite in the house. Believe it or not we don't live in a big house considering we're seven and we homeschool, so here we are day in and day out all day long, but this room facing west with no stove in use ( the one in there has some problem ) for many months it's just too dark and cold to spend time in there. So from time to time I try to organize it, but then something happens and we're back again, just piling stuff in there. But with the beginning of the new year I felt the urge to de-lazy myself and declutter the house and of course this was the place to start.
So, in shame, I'm going to show you how the room looked at the beginning of january ....

Aaaaaaaaaaargh ! At this point I was almost sure I wanted to simply lock the room and pretend it didn't exist. But I didn't give up and everyday I spent hours every afternoon ( with the help of Jimmy and Gaia ) just sorting things : keep, give away, throw. I filled countless bags of trash, three big boxes of stuff to give away and moved basically every furniture in the room to find the right spot for everything.
Here how the room lookd halfway...

Much much better isn't it ? You see the last picture ? Over the unused wood stove I put all of our looms.
No kidding, I think we have around 15 different looms ! Bigger smaller, round, squared rectangular for beads ... now it looks like an obsession to me ! :) And the craziest thing is that I am the one really obsessed but hardly ever have the time to start, let alone finish, any project. Well when I'll be a lovely old lady I will spend my time just weaving on my looms ;)
But well, fast forward to this morning....

Incredible isn't it ? There's still some stuff around but now we can actually use the room ! Here the three middle kids were working on some english worksheet ( from ) aftern months of wild unschooling they asked me for some esl work and some table time, so our newest room is just perfect for the task. And Jimmy ?

Jimmy has his own corner, with his table and his basket full of art supplies and a nice black\white board. When the older kids after breakfast move from the kitchen to the 'craft room' he starts cheering in happiness ' we're going to write with the pen, we're going to write with the pen !!! ' so he sits at his table, with pen and paper and writes . From time to time he calls me '' Mom, I am here writing'' and I sit beside him for a while showing my appreciation for his work.

A decluttering story with a happy ending :)
p.s. Caught in the decluttering fever, i emptied a nice basket and i made a winter&wool basket, where I put my hats, gloves and scarves so that I don't have to look after them everytime I need to get out ...

I wish you some happy decluttering yourself !!

martedì 27 gennaio 2015

Upcycle - crocheted jar cover

I have a soft spot for decorations and beautiful things. No. That's not true. I have an obsession for decorations and beautiful things. I love to take care of my house and during the years I made decorations for every season and festivity. It's january but the longer hours of daylight already made me think of springtime. So last week I realized this little upcycling project. I'm pretty happy the way it turned out, basically what I had in my mind became true before my eyes and that is great, when it happens.
But let's start from the beginning. Along with my oldest doughter, we have started some heavy decluttering with the new year ( I'll write more about it in the next days ). In a kitchen cabinet we found a half empty jar of instant coffee that we brought here from Italy when we moved here almost four years ago. Yep. FOUR YEARS AGO. So we decided it was time to get rid of the content but not of the glass jar. After few days of watching the jar and letting my mind wonder I had the right idea for it. With my favorite yarn ever ( baby bamboo sirdar ) I started crocheting in every ( rare ) spare moment as I couldn't wait to see it finished. Here few pictures ....

I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And here it is in use, with colorful tulips in it, over my old sewing machine, near my most lovely music box in the most beautiful corner of my house.

And you ? Any project you're especially proud of ?

sabato 24 gennaio 2015

Nature Journal

Here the last two entries in my nature journal. I don't have the time to update it every day, but I try to paint\draw at least once or twice a week. It is such a lovely and nice habit. Now it's almost one year that I'm more consistently work on nature journaling and mostly on ONE nature journal ( I used to paint here and there always waiting to 'get better' before starting on a real journal ... sometime we can be our worst enemies isn't it ? ) and when I am about to start a new paint I love to flip the pages for a while and read here and there. Read about the nature, about its course, temperatures, rain and snow, darkness and light and the way it looked the world around in a certain moment. And all of this hardly ever going out of the house or away from the garden. As Clare Walker Leslie says in her Keeping a nature journal , nature can be found everywhere, you just need to look out from the window ... or in the vase on your table ;)

 Here the flowers that my husband and children bought for me on my birthday 

This is the big tree ( sorry I'm not good at recognizing the trees, I'm learning ) between our garden and the neighour's one. This monring was chilly, at - 7, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining. The east side of the tree ( trunk, branches ... ) were golden because of the sun, while the west side in the shade was still frozen, with a thin layer of white frost icing it. It was an incredible sight. Now forever in my journal :)

venerdì 23 gennaio 2015

{ This Moment }

 I'm joining SouleMama today.
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

martedì 20 gennaio 2015


My birthday yesterday has been probably the most beautiful of the last 20 years. Really. A relaxing day, filled with laughs, junk food, lovely things and nice surprises.

In the morning Gaia woke up earlier than everybody else to bake some heart shaped muffins for breakfast. When I joined her in the kitchen I found the table already set and with a nice parcel on my place.
When everybody was up we ate all together and I opened my gifts. One was from my family and the other was a *self-made-present* on behalf of my mother.

After a lazy ( for me) morning spent crocheting and chatting with Gaia who was busy baking the cheesecake for the party, we went out to eat. We decided to do to the temple of junk-food : RAX. At a reasonable price you can fill your plate from the buffet as many times as you want. It's a good place to go few times a year, very family friendly, affordable even for *larger* families, children loves it and sure enough it builds up our immune system eheheheheheh.

We arrived back home from Porvoo soon before Gaia needed to go to her dance class, so we decided to make a dinner-party. When she came back we had dinner with bruschetta , chips and pop-corns, candies and cheesecake.

We took so many pictures, of the (not really anymore) children, of me and them, of the whole family, laughing and joking. really the best birthday ever. With such a good start, this 39 will be GREAT !!!!!!

in the morning

My presents : wool,hooks and rainbow buttons from myself on behalf of my mom,
and a smartphone !!! Wow ! I had an older cell phone I found at the second hand store 3 years ago when we moved here, I'm not much into cell-phones but this looks really nice and I'm sure it can do a lot of funny things ( as soon as I learn how to use it ... )

Gaia's cheesecake and the blowing moment

beautifully yummi !!!

and the best part of it all :

I love them all <3

domenica 18 gennaio 2015


In little more than one hour I will turn 39. It is strange. When I was 19 I was very excited to enter in my twenties, I knew I was going to get merried, get a house on my own, become a mother ... very exciting things.
When I was 29 I felt so sad and scared to be turning 30. I felt I wasn't 'so young' anymore, that chances and occasions and exciting things belonged to the past.
Now at ( almost ;) ) 39 I am so so excited at the idea to turn 40 next year. Yep call me crazy, but this new decade of my life that is about unfolding before my eyes will bring so many new things. I will see few of my children leave the nest, maybe getting married, and if I'm really blessed I might become a grandmother.
So this 39th birthday is somehow closing an era of my life. And as the grand finale of this third decade I want to make it special. I want to use my gifts, I want to share my joys, I want to love my children, I want to move in the direction of my dreams trusting they will become true.

39 beautiful things
  1. My five children
  2. My husband
  3. My mother
  4. My relatives
  5. My yellow wooden house
  6.  My caravan
  7.  My woodstove
  8. My garden
  9. Having lunch out every once in a while
  10. Waking up before everybody else
  11. Nature around me
  12. Traveling
  13. Lapland
  14. Tuscany
  15. Going to the bookstore 
  16. Baking bread
  17. Listening to the chit-chatting of the children in their room
  18. Trusting Jesus ( probably I had to put this in the top five ... )
  19.  Sunrises and ...
  20. ... Sunsets
  21. Snow
  22. Ferry trips
  23. Birds
  24. Hugs from my toddler boy
  25. Kisses from my toddler boy
  26. Talking seriously with my teenage boys
  27. Laughing out loud with my doughter
  28. Goodnight kiss from my youngest doughter
  29. Working together with my family 
  30. The secret language of the family
  31. Nature Journaling
  32. Watercolors
  33. Drawing
  34. Crocheting
  35. Knitting
  36. Taking pictures
  37. Learning something new
  38. Reading
  39. Being alive

Life is beautiful
God is good
Happy Birthday to me 

venerdì 16 gennaio 2015

Nature Journal

A new entry in my nature journal. Tonight we had a very heavy snowfall that lasted until this morning with big and fluffy flake gently falling down. While I was having breakfast I felt the urge to draw the beauty of my neighbours' garden. I'm happy i did because now we're in the middle of a wind storm with rain and all the snow it's alrady gone ....

I have added a new page in my blog where I'm going to collect all my watercolors, either from my nature journal and from other illustrations I make. You might like to have a look :)

giovedì 15 gennaio 2015

Books from A to Z

I'm making this funny thing along with my doughter Gaia , actually she was supposed to do this only with her friend, but since it's about books and I love reading I went along .....

A - AUTORE CON LA A MAIUSCOLA  ( the writer you read more books)

 Ce ne sono troppi. Stephen King da adolescente, Torey Hyden da giovene adulta e poi Tolkien,Lewis,Terry Brooks,  J.K.Rowling, Fred Vargas, Jo Nesbo ...

Too many of them. Stephen King as a teen-ager, Torey Hyden as young woman, and then Tolkien,Lewis,Terry Brooks, JK Rowling, Fred Vargas, Jo Nesbo ....

B - BEVO RESPONSABILMENTE MENTRE LEGGO ( what do you like to drink while reading )

Latte Macchiato o te' aromatizzati ( Indian Chai e Brazilian Voyage i miei preferiti al momento )
Steaming Latte or aromatic teas ( Indian Chai and Brazilian Voyage being my favourites at the moment )

C - CONFESSO DI AVER LETTO ( I confess I have read ... )

Angeli e Demoni \ Angels and Demons

D - DEVO SMETTERE DI  ( I have to stop to ... )

Comprare libri senza aver letto bene la trama e qualcosa dell'autore ( detesto quando poi un libro si rivela solo un'operazione commerciale e l'autore non e' altro che uno pseudonimo di un personaggio sconosciuto )
Buying books without reading the plot and something about the writer ( I hate when a book turns out to be just a *money machine* and the writer it's nothing else but a nickname of an unknown person )

E- E-BOOK O CARTACEO (E-book or paper-book )

Confesso, non riesco a leggere e-books. In realta' non ho mai neanche provato perche' persino PDF lunghi devo stamparli per leggerli.

I have to admit I can't read e-books. Actually I haven't even tried because even with longer PDF files I have to print them to read them.

F - FUNGIRL IMPENITENTE DI ( Impenitent fungirl )

Tasha Tudor e Beatrix Potter, le adoro
Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter, I love them

G - GENERE PREFERITO E CHE DI SOLITO NON LEGGI ( Favourite litterary genre, and the one you usually don't read )

I miei gusti letterari sono piuttosto ecletteci, leggo un po' di tutto se ha una trama interessante e qualche cosa da trasmettere, ho letto moltissimo fantasy, probabilmente potrei dire che e' il mio preferito, mentre non mi attirano molto i romanzi rosa.

I read almost everything if it has an interesting plot and something deep to share. I have read a lot of fantasy and probably this is my favourite genre, while I'm not too much into romantic novels.

H - HO ATTESO A LUNGO PER ( I've been waiting for long time )

L'ultimo Harry Potter ! Ho aspettato con ansia e quando l'ho finalmente avuto non mi decidevo ad iniziarlo sapendo che era l'ultimo !!

The last Harry Potter ! I've been waiting anxiously and when I finally got it I didn't want to start reading because I knew it was the last one !!!

I - IN LETTURA IN QUESTO MOMENTO ( I'm reading now )
Life without limits di Nick Vujicic ( lo sto leggendo in inglese )
Nick Vujicic's Life without limits

L - LUOGO PREFERITO PER LEGGERE ( favourite place to read )

Da che so diventata mamma ( ormai 15 anni fa ) non conta tanto il luogo ma la possibilita'. Al momento direi il letto a tarda notte o di mattina presto e ... il bagno !!
Since I became a mother ( almost 15 years ago ) it's not a matter of place but of possibility. At the moment I'd say my bed late at night or early morning and .... the toilet !!!

M- MIGLIOR PREQUEL DI SEMPRE ( best prequel ever )

I figli di Armageddon di Terry Brooks
Armageddon's children from Terry Brooks

N - NON VORREI MAI LEGGERE ( I don't want to read )

Romanzi erotici
Erotic novels

O - Once more

La serie poliziesca di Fred Vargas, ho letto tutti i libri almeno tre volte.
Fred Vargas detective series, I read all the books at least three times.

      ( Hidden treasure, a book you didn't imagine it was so beautiful )

Il gusto proibito della cannella di Monica Pradhan
The Hindi Bindi Club from Monica Pradhan

       ( Unfinished book )
Nella mia 'carriera di lettrice' ci sono stati molti libri che non sono riuscita a finire, per vari motivi.
L'ultimo in ordine di tampo e' ' A un cerbiatto somiglia il mio amore ' di David Grossman, l'ho trovato molto complesso e un po' lento. Dello stesso autore ho letto 'Qualcuno con cui correre ' e mi e' piaciuto moltissimo dunque tentero' di nuovo.

In my reader's carrier the have been books I never finished reading. The latest has been David Grossman's To the end of the land , to difficult and slow for me. From same author i read Someone to read with and i loved it, so I will give it a try again.

R - RIMPIANTI LETTERARI, SERIE INTERROTTE O LIBRI PERSI CHE NON POTRAI MAI FINIRE - Litterary regrets, unfinished series or lost books you will never have the chance to finish

Il terzo libro della serie The Journey Mama Writings di Rachel Devenish Ford, purtoppo e' uscito solo in e-book, Avrei acquistato anche solo la copia digitale, ma non ho in ogni caso un apparato 'idoneo' :(

 The third The Journey Mama Writings's Rachel Devenish Ford, Unfortunately it has edited only in digital version. I 'd buy even the e-book but i realized I don't have a suitable equipment to read them :(

S - SERIE INTERROTTE Unfinished series

Maximum Ride di James Patterson, mi piacevano i primi libri, ma poi e' stato tirato avanti troppo per le lunghe.

James Patterson's Maximum Ride . I used to love the first books, but it became a bit ... too much if you know what I mean ....

T - TRE DEI TUOI ANTAGONISTI PREFERITI Thre of your favourite antagonists

Smeagol, Shelob, Saruman ( LOTR fan ;) )

U - UN APPUNTAMENTO CON ( a meeting with )

ARAGORN !!!!!!!!!


Uomini che odiano le donne\ The girl with the dragon tattoo ( L'ho trovato orribile  \ I found it horrible )

      The ending you didn't liked
Lo spettro di Jo Nesbo \ Jo Nesbo's Phantom

mercoledì 14 gennaio 2015

Let the sunshine in

'Let the sunshine in' has been 'my quote' for many years on the web, way before I was aware of blogs, way before facebook was even invented. I stole it from my favourite musical 'Hair'. I love the musical and the song is incredible, but I think that my love for the quote reside in the fact that this older lady in my childhood used to call me Sunshine, Raggio di sole. I used to love her so, and now I realize how much she loved me. I think not even my husband in 23 years together ever called me in such loving way, not even my own mother. I think she could see beyond me and understand how bound to the natural world I am, and how important the light and sun is for me. I am litterally drawn to the light. I can spend hours just looking the sky trying to record all the colours and shadows that the light creates. But back to the point. Yesterday and tonight we had heavy snowfalls, but this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining and the temperature incredibly rised above 0 ( we reached +4 in the sun ). So the ice and the snow started melting from the trees and bushes and the sunlight, which is still quite low on the horizon in this month, was hitting the drops directly. Well I had to take the camera and go outside to capture some of that beauty. It has been breathtaking. Outside the sound of the drops falling in the snow and the birds singing were the only sounds, along with the click of my camera. The wonders of the north. I thank God for such gifts. Here some pics I took in those magical moments.

... Let the sunshine in...