Blog a la Cart

Month: December, 2012

New Year, New Look, New Content

As you can see, Blog a la Cart is undergoing a face lift. Given all the changes in our lives in 2012, I thought I needed a new header to reflect the shift; Ursa as a tripawd, complete with chickens and a cart wheel. Many thanks to the talented Robbi Behr of Idiots’ Books for the new illustration. I love love love it.

I’ve also adjusted the size of the blog to better showcase our photography and video. Given that that has become a key component of the content on this blog, and the wondrous Kate Drew Miller and I have a new venture up our sleeves that we’ll be unveiling this month, plus the addition of the Canon 5D Mark III in our household thanks to ever-generous Momar and Doda, I needed a space to really highlight all of this goodness. I see big creative things on the 2013 horizon, and I needed this space ready for what’s to come.

Thanks for following us on this journey. I am hoping for a 2013 filled with less loss, heartache and upheaval, and more fun and creative adventures! xo Ash

Jamescapes // 7

An injection of some of James’ latest snaps from this neck of the woods. We are even more buried in snow thanks to yesterday’s dump. It’s ‘rul festive up in ‘hur.







Except literally. Snow dwelling poultry.


We’re raising some hardy Vermont hens. And enjoying the snow quite a bit ourselves. We turned over the house today. Auntie Kimmy departed and my BFF since elementary school and her family are arriving tonight. I hope everyone is having a balanced week of rest and play to cap off 2012 like us Carts.








Auntie Kimmy extended her trip to capitalize on all this snow. We spent our morning throwing snow balls for Ursa, building snowmen, and sledding in the backyard.

It is absolutely a production to live in New England during the snowy days. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The beauty and magic of snow outweighs the house piled with soggy outerwear and the sore muscles from shoveling the driveway, (almost) every time.




Outfit of the Day // 4

This kid’s style gets crazier by the day. And the presentation of her outfits ever more priceless. All styling and modeling is Sunny’s doing. She gets full artistic control.



Est. 2012

The stand out gift of Christmas 2012 had to be this charming house portait of Cartwheel Farm by the talented Rebekka Seale. She’s the lass behind my blog header, as well.


We are living among the chaos of a holiday gone by and buckling down for a very snowy day thanks to Euclid. I’ve got a camera loaded with photos from the past 72 hours, and James and I have 2012 Year in Review montage to piece together. I’d say we’ve got plenty to entertain ourselves during the inclement weather.


Merry Everything, Happy Always

From our family to yours.




2012christmascard-blogalacart-1 copy

Many thanks to Minted for this fun-filled holiday card.

Paper Snowflakes // diy


We’re about to head off on a snowy sleigh ride, but I wanted to first share with you this tutorial that Kimmy helped me put together. If you aren’t interested in hanging paper snowflakes in your own home, you can take part in this lovely effort for the students of Sandy Hook.

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook
Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative!!  Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT  06514, by January 12, 2013.




Among her many talents, Kimmy is an expert paper snowflake maker. And you all agreed, as demonstrated by the many likes and comments of love when I shared this image of our kitchen door. Kimmy loves to make a paper snowflake – she even threw a party for her friends in Woods Hole that centered around this very activity. And when she arrived on Friday night, she got to work bedecking Cartwheel Farm is these paper beauties. We’ll be mailing our assortment of over 30 paper snowflakes to the Snowflakes for Sandy Hook effort. We hope you will, too!

Here’s a video blow-by-blow to give you some helpful tips to make your own jaw-dropping flakes.

The crucial ingredients are:
1. Always start with a hexagon! Kimmy shows you how in the video.
2. Make as many cuts into either side of your flake as possible. Kimmy uses itty bitty scissors to cut triangles into all sides of her flakes to really create intricate detail.
3. Don’t be afraid to play and experiment!

Of note: The music is from the snow scene in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. OBVIOUSLY! And at the very end, you’ll see an example of a “Man Flake,” i.e. a snowflake with big chunky cuts and limited detail. She picked up on this trend thanks to the dudes at her house party.

Enjoy and post pix if you do give it a go! May you have a festive Christmas Eve (for those of you celebrating)!

Christmas Tree Skirt // diy

At the end of November, I turned this vintage quilt that my great-aunts hand stitched many many decades ago into an heirloom tree skirt for our family. For the past four years, James and I had wrapped an old polar fleece blanket around the base of our tree, so I thought that it was time to make a proper tree skirt for many Christmases to come. Thanks to the help of some friends who know a thing or two about sewing, and inspiration from Marisa, the lass behind New Dress A Day, I successfully tackled my first sewing project and even Momar gives two very enthusiastic thumbs up to the result.

Marisa’s got the full run down (complete with animated gif demonstrations) up on her blog today. This is our teaser post for a column to come on her blog featuring yours truly. I’m excited to share all the deets in 2013. For now, check out the full DIY tutorial here.


Happy Holi-DIY

My girls have no idea how lucky they are that our family has some crazy talented, thoughtful women in our lives. And even luckier that these women bestow their talents on them. Christmas is always a highlight.

Kaki’s FGM appliqued their nicknames on these adorable Tea dresses. Kaki in a whale shape for our Courtland Whaley, and Sunny in a Sun for Miss Addison. And Tine made these wings that are truly blowing my mind. I see years of dress-up and make believe thanks to these gifts.

Thank you for loving us so. The feeling is more than mutual.