Posts Tagged ‘solstice’

lemon ice, sun tea & water painting

happy summer solstice! the solstices are special to me, as my birthday is the winter solstice and our wedding anniversary is the summer solstice (on the years when solstices fall on the 21st.) so this (legitimately HOT day in the bay area – whoo hoo!) first day of summer was a day of celebration and fun for us!

during N’s “summer camp” in the morning, my husband and i had a breakfast anniversary date to celebrate our eight years of marriage. (as a gift, i gave him some redstone meadery juniper honey wine from boulder for old times’ sake – we lived there for 3 years, during which time we got married, and so enjoyed this mead!)

table 8 for 8 years! (that card is in the shape of INFINITY by the way ;)

after camp was over, we hit the kiddie pool in the backyard! i’ve been obsessed with making lemon juice ice cubes that i saw on one of my favorite blogs, salt & chocolate. what a simple idea and yummy for summertime water, lemonade, tea, and arnold palmers. i bought a bag of organic lemons (i’m not one of the lucky ones with fruit trees in my yard) and N helped me wash them…

then with lemon squeezing…

i froze them in ice cube trays for later… (note: this bag yielded 2 cups of lemon juice, and i added about a cup of filtered water to it to fill 2 ice cube trays.)

…which made me think about making sun tea! what a perfect day to let the strong summer sunshine do its thang brewing some delicious tea!

as all of this was going on, N grabbed a paintbrush from her play shed and randomly began water-painting on her little (freecycled) picnic table and on some driftwood.

N also made “nature soup”

we noticed that the mama bird who made a (pimped) nest in our play shed had three more babies, and she was teaching them to fly today, which we got to witness firsthand! here’s a baby bird standing on the ledge of our shed shelf… which he did for HOURS while watching mama flit around inside the shed.

look at that little cutie!

we had a beautiful day together, soaking in the rays — and, of course, blocking the harmful ones with mad amounts of sunblock. we finished the day with a yummy glass of lemon-iced sun tea.

and an adorable homemade (and sounded out) half-birthday sign from my favorite little artist.

happy summer! happy soltice! happy half-birthday to me! and happy 8 year anniversary to my special sweetheart!


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winter solstice lanterns

the winter solstice is upon us, where the days will begin to get longer from there. in celebration of bringing the light and due to its being the darkest day of the year, lanterns are often made in honor of the solstice. two years ago, we made a lovely lantern at the waldorf school where we were in a parent-child class with N before she turned 2. they made quite an impression on her, so i thought we’d make them the same way again for this winter solstice.

when seeking a how-to memory refresher online, i found the most lovely tutorial on the garden mama blog. seriously, her beautiful entry about these lanterns deems this one totally unnecessary, as she wrote the most poetic and wonderfully photographed tutorial on these i could imagine. but i’m going to (b)log our experience here, nonetheless.

admiring the finished product on a dark winter morning

we started by beginning the wet-on-wet watercolor process. we soaked three sheets of watercolor paper.

then we opted to dilute my tubes of professional grade watercolors in little jars of water, though you could just use regular watercolors for this. we also chose to only use primary colors, so as to make this an experiment in color-mixing.

N painted and painted, watching the colors run together and create new hues – magic!


when we were finished painting, she wanted a little more vibrance, so i pulled out the watersoluble crayons (one of my favorite media on earth!) and she added some red, yellow, and blue lines into the wet paint. when wet, these crayons behave like concentrated paint.

we hung the masterpieces to dry overnight.

the next day we rubbed them with canola oil on a cloth, so as to make the paper more translucent when lit from within.

after the oil was dry (about a day) we cut fringe along the long side of the paper. we made two like the garden mama blog suggested (ever 2.5 inches, 2.5 inches long) and the third we only did at 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

we used a pillar candle to evenly roll the paintings around, and secured the edge with school glue, and clothespinned them until dry.

after they were dry, we folded the bottom tabs in to create a bottom.

then instead of putting real fire inside, i used little electric tea lights instead.

now we are ready for the darkest day of the year!

all ready to bring the light on december 21st! (which, incidentally, is my birthday 🙂 )

by the way, those cute wooden reindeer you see in the photos were a custom set that the talented chris over at mamaroots made for N. we sooo love her creations!


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