Happy July - New Outfit of the Month

Those of you who have already signed up for the Outfit of the Month Club will be getting this in your inbox today:

We are getting ready to celebrate Independence day on the 4th with Jeff's family. I am so excited to watch the girls watch the fireworks this year. Are you doing to anything special to celebrate?

Oh yeah, I'm still posting monthly tradition ideas over on my old blog "While They Sleep" if you are interested.

Picking Rocks...

What an exciting way to start a post!  I'm afraid the rest of it doesn't get much better.  But the pictures are cute and it has been a part of our summer here so I thought I'd share.

Catherine is our neighbor.  She is a single woman (and closet writer...amazing writer) who owns an acre of land to the side and behind us.  Last year she planted almost a whole acre of garden and was begging us and everyone she knew to "come and pick".  This year Jeff and I decided it was ridiculous for us to plant a garden if Catherine was going to do the same.  So we offered to help weed, water etc.  She told us the most helpful thing for us to do would be to "pick rocks".  So that's what the girls and I do.  We bring a 5 gallon bucket and fill it up with rocks.  The girls love it and it keeps us all busy for about an hour.

Here's a peek:

Laurel on the way to Catherine's home

If you look really closely you will see Cody. Cody is Catherine's dog and the girls HAVE to go and visit him daily.  He doesn't bark he just howls.  Maisy will randomly howl at throughout the day...probably just thinking about Cody AAAOOOOOWWWWHHHH!

On our way to the rocks....

This is why we move rocks...Catherine shares her HUGE garden with us.

Maisy's found a big one!
Norah just scoping things out...Neldon's trailer is getting fixed.

We are making progress....

Norah getting in on the action.

Oh here comes "buddy" to get some love

I just loved Laurels face in this one

There's Neldon...Catherine's "Man Friend" he has done amazing things with this rocky land.

I snapped this as fast as I could...Maisy putting her arm around Laurel.

I have thought a little about how this is a metaphor for my life.  Two metaphors really....the first is a motherhood metaphor:  Day after day I strive to sift and strain the stones that I don't want in my family's life/soil.  I want the soil they are growing up in to be rich with nutrients of love, true beauty, honor and divine inspiration.  Those pesky rocks (which symbolize too many things to name here) can seem so insignificant and unimportant but they add up if I don't sift and "pick rocks". 

Also a metaphor for rocks in my own self/soul.  I often think while picking up those dusty rocks...what kind of rocks are in my soul/soil that are keeping me from growing into the beautiful person God wants me to be?

Just something I think about while picking rocks.

Favorites on Friday

I am writing this from my tiny net book in a guest room at my parents home in Reno.  It's nice to be here with them and my brother Jordan and his wonderful little family.  I have some awesome photo's but it's late and they aren't downloaded so that will have to wait.  Anyway, here are a few gems I found this week.  Enjoy!

This made me think and made me so thankful for my man

This made me thankful and gave me some perspective

I thought this was pretty important to remember

This is a pretty cool idea.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend,



Norah loves Auntie Brittany's laptop

"All children need a laptop.  Not a computer, but a human laptop.  Moms, dads, grannies and grandpas, aunts, uncles - someone to hold them, read to them, teach them.  Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals and knowledge of a hundred previous generations.  Loved ones who will pass to the next generation their expectations of them, their  hopes, and their dreams." 
~General Colin Powel

Favorites on Friday

I thought I'd share some favorite moments from this last week.  Did it fly by as fast for you as it did for me?!

Proud Laurel at the park...she just finished going down the "big slide".

My brother Micah Dahl and Maisy Dahl ...sharing a rare moment together.

 Aunt Jennifer (who looks so much like my Mom...the kids always call her Grandma) and sweet Norah Jane (who finally started crawling this week...perfect form too)!

Our windblown family on the train at "This is the Place" Monument and Park.  Jeff is my favoritest favorite.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that all of the Daddy's out there know how special they are!


Guest Blogger - Charity from Indietutes

Note from Hannah:  Before you start into this post, I just want to say that even if you don't know how to knit and will therefore not be likely to teach your girl how to knit, the lessons in this tutorial are about far more than knitting.  As I read Charity's words, I saw lessons mostly about respect, teaching self reliance and love.  If you ask me, It is worth your time to read every single syllable of this post. (I've "bolded" some of my favorite lines).


How to teach knitting to your girl

1. Begin by helping your girl to assemble her primary supplies: knitting needles (a mid-size needle of shorter length is easiest for beginners to manipulate), yarn (try a worsted weight), and a basket or bag to keep it all together. Make sure all her basic materials are of good quality so that she knows her work is valuable.

2. Choose a project that is neither too difficult nor too boring. Scarves are great for learning the basic stitches, however they are time consuming and discouraging for slow and beginner knitters. A wrist cuff or pencil can cozy are good places to begin. Definitely make this first time knitting a real project, not just 'practice' without an end goal. Give her something to finish and use, so that she can experience for herself the joy of self reliance.

3. Find a time that is relaxed with few distractions. If possible, arrange it so that it's just you and her. The atmosphere you are creating should be one with the feeling of expansive timelessness, where these new materials and process can be explored and mistakes can be made safely.

4. Sit in a comfortable chair or couch and have your girl sit in your lap. Cast an appropriate number of stitches for the project (she can learn to cast on for herself in the future as she gains skill). Then for the first row, gently cup her hands inside of yours and knit the yarn yourself. Work very slowly, softly moving her fingers along with yours, allowing her to see and feel how the needles and yarn work together. If you must talk, quietly talk to yourself about the process or chit chat about something else entirely. Avoid narrating or instructing in anyway. Skills are usually developed consciously and then worked intuitively. Invite your girl into the realm of the intuitive as you work. Let her feel the comfort and lack of self consciousness that mastery brings, and reinforce that the journey is just as important, if not more so, than the destination.


5. As you slowly work the yarn and needles with her hands in yours, you will begin to feel the resistance in her hands lessen as she grows familiar with the basic movements. Gradually, she will begin to anticipate the next step and her hands will begin to dance in unison with yours. As her confidence grows, allow her hands to take over small portions of each stitch integrating her will with your movements.

6. Bit by bit, your own presence will diminish, as your girl takes over bringing the yarn around the needles and pulling the stitch from one needle to the other. For the places in each stitch where she is still unsure, stay present and steady her hand.

7. This is the best time to demonstrate the process of making and fixing mistakes. The primary lesson for all mistakes is to not panic. Demonstrate this by making a mistake. Allow yourself to react naturally ("Oh, poot! I've dropped a stitch!") and then talk yourself through fixing the mistake ("I will not move my left hand so that I do not pull out any more stitches, while I carefully slip my right needle back through the loop..."). Your girl is watching your always. Show her how to handle adversity.

8. At some point your hands will become extraneous. This may happen on the first knitting session, but most likely will take a few times knitting before you can back off. Do not withdrawal entirely. Keep your girl on your lap. Keep your attention on her hands, on her face, on her reactions. Be present for her, to assist and to witness the unfolding of her new skill.


9. After a time, you will be able to pick up your own knitting and work alongside your girl. This is the point when you become less of a teacher and more like a fellow woman working alongside your girl. Your girl, in response, will feel less like a student, and more like an equal who now has her own skill to develop and grow from.

10. Find opportunities for your girl to practice her new skills. Place her unfinished project in a prominent location. Make time for just you and her. Do not leave her alone to knit, but be present if only just in the room. Be mindful of her mood and attitude. Lessen frustration by sitting with her when necessary and encourage her confidence by backing off when she is happily flying along.


11. Take the show on the road.  Go outside, to the park, to the mall. If she is not self conscious, go someplace public and allow her to revel in the attention she will inevitably draw. She will receive many compliments on her work and competence. Discussions will begin around her about knitting, church knitting clubs, grandmas who knit, this sweater that was knit, good memories, where to buy yarn, how so and so can not knit, and so on. Your girl is part of a larger community now of creative skilled people. Isn't it amazing?

While out and about with knitting in hand, if anyone, stranger or family alike, attempts to make unwelcome corrections, give instructions, or worst of all, take over and demonstrate, stop them quickly and firmly. Protect your girl's right to learn for herself. Tell the good intentioned interloper that your girl is doing just fine and if she needs assistance she will ask for it. Distract the interloper; ask them how they learned to knit. If necessary, when all else fails, take the interloper of the scene entirely, with a flying full body check.


12. Keep working. When one project is finished, have your girl start another that requires a small advancement of skill. For her second project, teach her to purl and make leg warmers. For the next, show how to alternate knit and purl within one row. Then to add stripes with different coloured yarns. Then to increase or decrease stitches to make a hat. And so on.

Each of your girl's subsequent projects should begin the same way as her first project did. With your girl on your lap, slowly working through what must be done, comfortably together. Through her knitting, your child is locating herself in a great generational continuum of women who have made handicrafts for the survival and pleasure of their families and communities. She is an important link along the chain. So are you. Let the gravity of passing along this important skill to your girl root both of you to its integral worth and your value in doing it.  Then acknowledge your own unique place in time and history by venturing out from the basic method to play, explore, and create art.  One day, very soon, your own girl will also take her knitting in a direction you would of never thought of. Welcome her adventurousness and be proud of how far you both have come.

Thank You Charity! If you'd like to see more of Charity's writing and WONDERFUL tutorials (she has so many great ones just look on the left side bar) you can see her at her blog Indietutes.  She also sells some great patterns in her shop.

Favorites on Friday

I hope it has been a good week for you.   Just thought I'd share some of my favorites from this week:

Loved this mother daughter sewing project on a new favorite blog "71 Toes"

Thought this looked like a fun and really easy project for the little artists in my life.

Loved this post about what true hospitality is from another new favorite "Raising Homemakers".

Hope you all have a great weekend! We are getting ready to meet a whole bunch of relatives on my mom's side this weekend at a Dahl family reunion.  Should be fun.

I saw this again and just HAD to share it with you...

The Days are Long, but the Years are Short.

Image found HERE

Click HERE to see an inspiring 1 minute presentation from Gretchen at The Happiness Project.

Monday, Monday

The girls and I have had a busy one already.  Jumping on the trampoline, picking up rocks (more on that later) and after putting Norah down for her morning nap, drawing. Here's a peek: 

Hope you are having a great day...time for lunch over here (and laundry, ugh)!

Favorites on Friday

Just thought I'd share a few of my favorite links this week with you. I'm going to try and consistently do this every friday.  There is just so much goodness out there as you know...just thought you might enjoy some of these links too.

Loved this dress but especially the bloomers designed by Katy's daughter at No Big Dill.

I loved this interview on the Happiness Project blog.  Especially the title. So true.

My sister Britta came up with an ingenious way to repurpose old jeans into a cute summer skirt.

A wonderful way to use your pillowcases or extra fabric and a wonderful project to do with your girls.  I was pretty inspired by this one and will be sending some her way.

We will also be using this awesome recipe for some inside summer fun.

I loved these free vintage labels from iDIY

I love every single post from Emily Rose at Simply Vintage Girl but this post made me especially happy this week.

Hope you have a great weekend with lots of sunshine and goodness.

XO - Hannah

So Much to Tell You About...

Wow, it has been a little bit of a ride these past few weeks!

Trying to get the word out about the paper dolls, I've contacted some really great ladies and asked if I could send them some dolls to talk about on their blogs. I was so happily surprised by the response and it has been so fun to create dolls for many of their daughters. You can check some of the latest posts here, here, here, here and here if you are interested.  There will be more later on in the month too which is just plain wonderful.

So what else has been going on behind the scenes here at Lily&Thistle, you ask?  Exciting stuff.

First of all, I just added two new outfit lines to the shop:

 Girls in Literature Line.  This was so fun for me.  I love every one of these characters so much.  I really feel like some of them shaped the girl I was and the woman I am turning out to be.  My hope is that mom's and daughters will play with these together and talk about these amazing characters and maybe even read the books they come from.

The Summer Line.  I had a lot of fun creating these outfits too.  I'm SO ready for summer and so are the girls.  We are supposed to have rain the rest of this week but FINALLY 80 degree weather this weekend.  HOORAY!

The June outfit of the month dress was so fun to make on the day it SNOWED here in Utah (that would be May 27th to be exact!):

 All those who are members of the Outfit of the Month Club got it in their in box yesterday. I'm so excited for July's outfit!

Second, I have a new assistant! It feels strange to call her this since she also happens to be my beloved sister-in-law, Camille Anderson.  I am so excited to introduce her to all of you later on this week.  She has been so supportive and enthusiastic about this project and it means so much to me to know she's "got my back".  So stay tuned for that introduction!

I want to thank the Dahl sisters again for sharing some glimpses of wisdom and perspective with us. I really enjoyed each of their posts, didn't you? We have some other great women coming up and some more "All About Me" spotlights.

OK, I think that is about all for now. Thanks for reading and caring about what's happening over here.  It really means a whole lot to me.