December Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

December’s palette is gray and white. Outside all the world has faded to these shades. Snow has come. The color is in the subtlety. I believe that it’s inside the house, the hearth, that embodies December. Inside we gather together around warmth and goodness. We bake cookies, sing, and wait with eager anticipation for Christmas holidays and the new year.
To dig into December, read this simple poem, make these perfect cookies,  and listen to this angelic playlist.

Enjoy this vintage silhouette inspired wallpaper for your month.

For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image.
For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.


High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
December 2015 desktop_fin

iPhone Wallpaper:
iphone December

November Ideas and Activities around the Theme “Bread”

For this entire year I’ve been doing an at home curriculum with the family (Lucy 6, Hattie 4, Beatrice 1). Tim and I call the project “Abacus” and we’re sharing it each month for the fun, challenge, and community of it. Each month we choose a theme and then come up with a bunch of activities around that theme. Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.
Explore past months themes here.

Our theme this month is “Bread.” To me it is a month of reflection and purposeful simplifying of habits. “Bread” is about that which sustains us. Bread is foundational and simple. Yet speaks deeply of home and family. I want this month to be about three things – ritual, simplicity, and giving. Sometimes it is the everyday routines that are most beautiful. The activities repeated over and over again until they almost become prayers. I just read this little snippet from a book I am reading and love how it is put –


“We do chores twice each day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year. Where we live there’s nothing unusual about this; many of our neighbors adhere to similar schedules, and have for half a century or more. Sometimes I consider the math: Twice daily multiplied by 365 is 730, multiplied by fifty years is….36,500. Thirty-six thousand chore times. It is almost impossible for me to fathom, it feels insurmountable. But of course it is not. Sometimes, chores are just chores: haul the water, throw the hay, run the fence. Cold, hot, wet, dry. Hurried. But often, I think of chores the way I suspect some people think of a practice – meditation, or yoga, or a prayer. Maybe aikido or a musical instrument. I like to think of chores this way; it seems to give me license to sink into them, to inhabit them in a way that would otherwise elude me.”

From Home Grown by Ben Hewitt

For us these daily rituals are making beds, morning coffee, feeding the animals (birds, bunny, and cat), preparing meals, a quiet walk around the block before dinner, reading together at bedtime, cleaning up the house after kids are asleep, and ending the day with a cup of tea in the rocking chairs on the front porch – I want to dig in to these simple practices this month.

NOVEMBER Dates to Take Note of:

November 1st – All Saints Day
November 3rd – Election Day
November 11th – Veteran’s Day
November 26th – Thanksgiving Day

Local: Greeley, CO events:

November 6th – My “Becoming” Art Show! (At the Atlas Gallery)
November 28th – Indie Arts Greeley Winter Market at Atlas Theater
November 20th – Becoming CD and Art Release Party at Atlas Theater

 

HOME & KITCHEN:

A purposeful slowing down and simplifying –
not buying as much,
not driving as much,
looking at our devices less,
getting rid of clutter,
eating simpler,
not planning as much.

Put flannel sheets on the beds and get out the cozy pajamas and house slippers.

 

 

Read this article called “Bread is Broken” about the Bread Lab – and find some heirloom wheat varieties to sample

Weekly bread baking – be ritualistic about this. Be able to make our loaf from memory and hone it down to a family recipe. Make the girls part of this ritual – kneading, punching down dough, taste testing.

Here is my families favorite bread recipe. It is called Rabbit Hill Oatmeal Bread. My parents had it on their honeymoon on the east coast and it has been a family favorite ever since. It is a rich caramel brown bread that smells deeply of molasses and home. Slather it with extra butter and eat it warm with no adornments needed.
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My father always does a reading before any special meal. Tim and I have come to love this book called Common Prayer. Each day follows the same liturgy as it takes you through 365 days of reflection, with additional prayers for special events like moving into a new home, losing a loved one, or holidays.

 

MAKE:

Showcase pressed leaves and the last remnants of autumn by making these lovely sun catchers.
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We started a tradition last year called the Thankful Tree Table Altar a beautiful idea conceptualized by our friend Greg Nordin. – Each day we each add a leaf to the tree of something we are thankful for. It is a lovely centering family activity.
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Get out the Knitting and quilting baskets

Make these simple useful baskets from clothesline
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OUTSIDE:

Rake leaves just to jump in them
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Thanksgiving mixes – for us, Thanksgiving/November music is old hymns, warm crackly records, and layered folk voices. Every year we make a themed playlist. Here is one favorite from 2006 –

BOOKS:

We have recently discovered that books about food, like Dragons Love Tacos, provide great inspiration for getting our very picky eaters to try new foods and enjoy meals. Now I just need someone to illustrate a really thrilling book about broccoli….
Pick a book, make a meal around it, and read the book while eating it.
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Anticipation of the first snow Books:
51mNf4x1bAL._SX399_BO1,204,203,200_ owl-moon the-snowy-day  2627806901_b6fbd5427e_z


For me – The Life Changing Practice of Tidying Up
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Several people have recommended books recently about simplicity living – clearing out clutter. One idea that stuck out to me challenged you to ask three questions when evaluating whether to keep something or not. “Is it beautiful?” “Is it useful?” or “Does it bring you joy?” If the answer is not “yes” to any of those, than it is time for it to move on.  I am giving myself a challenge of Weekly filling a tub to donate to a thrift store. Areas of attack:

Kids Clothes
Basement Storage
Games and Toys
Kitchen Extras
Knick knacks and decorative items

Speaking of donations, I want to spend more time this month donating time, money. and food to places that need it. Always baking an extra loaf of bread to send with a friend, participating in a food or coat or toy drive, and finding ways to bring the girls into the acts of giving as well.
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Time to get baking. Happy November!

November Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

 

November is muted colors, fiery oranges and reds fading to browns and purples. The chill that has been hiding in the air stepping forward and taking the stage. Mittens and coats become a daily reality. It is a month of hot soup, casseroles, and feasting. A month about reflections on family, memories, and home. To dig into November, read this simple poem, make this perfect autumn chicken dinner,  and follow this practice of Thanksgiving.

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
NOVEMBER 2015 desktop_v2 (1)

iPhone Wallpaper:
iphone NOVEMBER
iphone NOVEMBER_v2

October Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

October 2015 desktop
Last night we built a little bonfire and sat around it with hot cider and marshmallows and watched the sunset. The air is just starting to have that icy edge in the evenings that wakes up your lungs. We love October so much around here. This tree is from a little scrap of very old vintage fabric I found at a thrift store a long time ago. I have always loved it, but there was never enough to actually make much out of. I will happily look at it all month and I hope you enjoy it too.

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
October 2015 desktop

iPhone Wallpaper:

Two simple choices for iPhone wallpaper – 
iphone OCTOBER_blank_V2
iphone OCTOBER_blank

“Elixirs” Official Music Video from Giants & Pilgrims

For the past year we’ve been going to the woods with Lucy and Harriet and filming the same 12 shots, whether in summer heat, yellowed leaves, or blanketing snow. The result is this video with an incredible perspective of the seasons and a surprising story that emerged (all caught by Wes Sam-Bruce, the video’s director).

We’ll post more stories soon of how this all came about. For now, enjoy the magic of the video.

(You can pre-order the new album, Becoming, and “Elixirs” here.)

Note: For optimum viewing magic, click the HD button on the video player for best clarity

September Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

September 2015 desktop_v4

We are listening to our Autumn Leaves playlist this morning and burning fall scented candles. Why? Because in the Coons’ house, Sept. 1st is the beginning of fall!  And, here is a new desktop graphic/wallpaper to celebrate. Enjoy!

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
September 2015 desktop_v4

iPhone Wallpaper:
iphone september_blank

2016 “Collection” Illustrated Wall Calendar is here!

If you remember, our June theme was “Collection”. One of the project we worked on was to make this calendar for 2016! And it is finished! You can purchase it here in our shop (or here at my etsy shop.)
Basically the idea is this, each beautiful page is made up tiny hand-illustrated drawings/paintings around a theme.
The months are printed on heavy high quality paper and are perforated to become 12×12 limited edition art prints to frame + keep.

So when you are finished using the calendar, you still have twelve lovely art prints!
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I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the behind the scenes process of creating this.

It involved drawing LOTS of tiny little paintings
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Here is a photo of the girls helping me on January’s rocks and gems.

The finished calendar was printed, bound, and perforated by Color Pro Print in Fort Collins. I think they did just an amazing job.
IMG_6337turning calendar page

 

 

 

April 2015 Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Last year Tim wrote this about April –

April is a smile
a spark
an epiphany
a new dawn

These days are given to
the pranksters

the believers
the early risers
Bright mornings, bright ideas, bright souls
Because with every rain there’s a clearing
And a new sun to enjoy

Here is a “bright” new desktop for your computer and iphone. A toast to new “Growth.” Click the small thumbnail below to download the large sized file. For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen. Enjoy!

For iPhones:

iphone april
Click the thumbnail below to download the large sized desktop wallpaper:
april 2015 desktop

Abacus “Spectrum” Round Up

And there it goes, March is ending already. Spring is here!

I have found doing these round-up posts really helpful for me. It’s funny how I will feel so behind and like we haven’t “done” anything. But then, as I start to compile images from the month, it amazes me just how much we managed to pack in. I’ve found it to be such a nice way of keeping track of our days. I highly recommend it 🙂 The theme for this month’s Abacus project was “Spectrum” (ABACUS is our creative home curriculum centered on a theme). I am excited to share where we have been going with it!  To see the whole list of projects we came up with (and resources) check out our original post, here.  It’s been a March full of color.

Lots of rainbow drawing and experiments with color (Hattie (3) jumped fully into being an artist herself this month, rather than just observing):
rainbows
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Beatrice and I happened on a Marble factory with glass blowing demonstrations near Kansas City, called Moon Marble Company. We of course had to bring a few home with us. Each one is such a tiny world of light and color.
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We started seeds indoors – mini red bell peppers and more (all from the glorious Baker Creek Seed Company). They are enjoying the sunshine of our window seat. All of now come up!

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The city of Greeley is doing a whole lot of awesome lego themed events in anticipation of “Build Frontiers” coming to the Greeley history museum in June. We can’t wait! This week we went to a lego event at the library and also a whole art show of lego builds (Amazing rainbow lego tree house was made by the lovely Natalie Mash – part of the lego show at the Tointon Gallery).
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We had a very “iridescent” morning making black rainbow paper (super fun, just need clear nail polish and black paper!) and giant bubbles. Thank goodness for sunshiny days.
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Speaking of colors, we painted our very dark living room a lovely fresh shade of light blueish gray. “After” pictures still coming.
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And, of course, sorted all the “things” by color. (I found these spools at a thrift store, does anyone know what they are for?)
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We played with lots of colorful musical notes.
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We harnessed the power of the sun to create Inkodye animal t-shirts.  More of these coming soon! I “might” have gotten so excited about this amazing new product that I bought all the colors…I actually have some SA-WEET zippered pouches in the works to sale here.
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The girls watched Wizard of Oz for the first time ever, and of course loved it. There were lots of discussions about future halloween costumes and who gets to be which character. Apparently I am the witch. Hmmmm….
Wizard-of-Oz
We ate the color spectrum for lunch one day.
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We also made these “favorite color” freezer paper shirts.
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Artist Kelly Cook and I completed our Spectrum themed sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project
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Harriet and I had a marvelous time one day making homemade play dough (my mom’s special recipe – which I will post someday) which we used to make rainbow cupcakes
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We played with prisms and sunshine.
prisms

And finally, we whipped up a batch of Rainbow foam and had a “bike car wash”

That’s all folks! April’s theme is coming on Thursday!

If you want more info about this whole Abacus project, start here.

To jump in and connect with other families and share what you are working on, join our Abacus facebook group.

March 2015 Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy March! Here’s to the beginning of warmer days, the discovery of the first bits of green breaking out of the gray, the melting of snow, and the gentle warmth of spring sunshine. Here are some splotches of color to brighten your March work spaces. Click the small thumbnail below to download the large sized file. For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen. Enjoy!

Full Resolution Desktop image:

 

march 2015 desktop

 

 

iPhone wallpapers (pick either color):

iphone march_v2

 

 

 

iphone march