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f&f Family Journal

Summer Robertson

I am a mother of 4 beautiful children living countryside in a tiny home with my sweet family. We founded fawn&forest in 2007 with an intention of creating a shop that reflects our love for living simply with children.

our simple homemade yogurt

by Summer Robertson

I've gotten back into the habit of making yogurt for the family. We end up eating a lot of it and instead of making 1 big batch (which doesn't go very far in a big family like ours) I started making 1 glass bottle for each of us at a time.

Homemade yogurt is incredibly nourishing and I am loving the heirloom variety starter that I use which doesn't require heat for it to do its thing — I simply add a bit of yogurt starter to the milk (I use non-homogenized whole milk from a local dairy) and shake, then leave the yogurt to culture on the counter for up to 24 hours, refrigerate & then sweeten with raw honey. It ends up a bit thinner like kefir and is drinkable which we all love.

It's as simple as that!

You can make yogurt in any glass jar, but we love these glass milk bottles (available in the shop soooon!) and this yogurt starter by Cultures For Health.

Cultures for Health is an amazing resource for homemade yogurt making and sell fantastic yogurt starters as well. 

 


Nature Collection Tray x Wildflowers

by Summer Robertson

Flowers are popping up everywhere in the field at the top of our hill — wild irises and bluebells and lilacs bushes that seem to have been there forever. All the weed-y wildflowers that only children seem to notice.. wild sweet peas, buttercups and the start of the Queen Anne's lace.  

We've been putting our f&f exclusive Nature Collection Tray to fine use this month, gathering and collecting as we go.  It's so interesting how a field of flowers can come together into a lovely collection for drawing, imagining, smelling & feeling that may otherwise go unnoticed. Our next project is to take the dried lilac blossoms & soak them in oil to create a lovely scented homemade perfume to remind us of the beautiful spring we've had.

You can find our Nature Collection Trays here.

 


a gift for my baby dear

by Summer Robertson

I purchased this doll cradle several years ago at a thrift shop in hopes of giving it to my some-day daughter. My prayers were answered and in anticipation of my daughter's 2nd birthday recently I pulled the cradle out of storage. It needed some work — a new bottom and of course a handmade tufted mat made of ticking. A pillow and a blanket and some handmade doll clothes as well. My hands have been busy sewing!

I enjoy simple projects like this that take more time than money, that carry a certain sentiment that will last throughout the years with all of my daughter's laughter, smiles and gentle care of her little baby dears.  


room stories

by Summer Robertson

I connected with Robin some time ago on Instagram, our daughters are but a few months apart and it's a simple joy to connect with another like-minded mama. I have since treasured Robin's sentiments on slow living and her honest notes on motherhood.
Robin's background in early education weaves a lovely story in her daughter Ramona's room .. uncluttered & thoughtful, inviting and cozy and perfectly tender-hearted like her mother's love.  
Thank you Robin!
- Summer
The room I chose to share is Ramona's nursery. This is my favourite space in our home, because we've put the most intention, thought and care into creating a place to meet our daughter's needs. We've also taken great care in keeping it simple and uncluttered, while also being a cozy and fun place that she enjoys spending time in. It's a constant work in progress as she changes and grows (and as I slowly, slowly make decisions - I'm notoriously indecisive). 
The central point of the nursery tends to be Ramona's shelves. We rotate its contents often, trying to offer a variety of experiences - sensory materials, puzzles, objects from nature, literature, music, and fine motor activities - but without having too much out all at once, so she can focus on what's available and play more purposefully. We want Ramona to learn responsibility over her belongings, so by having a specific place (basket, box, tray) for each item, it's easy for her to put everything back in its rightful place independently. 


​We chose a tall shelf for the nursery because it can "grow" along with Ramona. For now we use the upper shelves for decoration, mostly featuring sentimental items, such as her five-day-old foot print, her six month profile, her first piggy bank, and a small antique clock from my grandmere which has its hands standing still at the time Ramona born. As she gets older the contents of the upper shelves will reflect more of her growing interests - perhaps art, or natural items she's collected, or a few favoured toys.



I draw a lot of inspiration in our home from Waldorf and Montessori education. The two philosophies have many differences, but both put a strong emphasis on surrounding a child in a natural environment - keeping in touch with nature and using natural materials. Her toys are mainly made of wood, wool or bamboo (we do have a few plastic toys too!), storage baskets made from grass or sticks, and the room is scattered with various treasures we've found on walks (pebbles, flowers, acorns, pine cones). Next I'd like to add some living plants that she can help care for.


The most recent, and possibly my favourite, addition to the nursery is this wall-to-wall book ledge. We try to combine visual appeal and practicality as much as often, and this was a beautiful way to store books and encourage early literacy. We placed it at her height so she can help herself throughout the day. I love the little surprises she leaves on the shelves sometimes - a stray toy or block carefully placed between books.
A few things to note...
The Silhouette is by A Family Print Shop.
Martriarch Handmade made the "Courage Dear Heart" and Mini Swiss Cross Banner.
Baskets .. Larger ones & the Mini.
You can follow Robin on Instagram @twentyventi & her blog.
 


collegien knee highs

by Summer Robertson

Whoever saw a child tired of seeing, of examining in his own way, unfamiliar things? This is the sort of mental nourishment for which he has an unbounded appetite, because it is that food of the mind on which, for the present, he is meant to grow — Charlotte Mason

My daughter is at this stage, the pull-everything-out-and-try-it-on stage. She can now put a pair of socks on in like 3 seconds and beams a great big smile of satisfaction.

Plus, chubby baby knees in knee high socks, cutest evvvvvvvver.

Shop Collégien Knee Highs 


Room Stories

by Summer Robertson

The fawn&forest Room Stories series is an inspirational collection of children's rooms rich in heritage & sentiment. I could not think of a more perfect illustration of my vision for the series than to start with today's Room Story that Rosina Lapp is sharing with us -- the nursery space for her second baby, a son due in December. You know Rosina best from her beautiful clothing company, Tortoise & the Hare.  
I am not alone in the feeling that Rosina's simplicity is absolutely refreshing, her sentiment is rich and the depth of her vision inspirational. Thank you, Rosina for sharing with us.   - Summer
I always strive to have our tiny apartment reflect what we truly care about- our neighbors, the earth, and each other. I believe God called us to tend the earth and do what I can to make the world a beautiful place by being responsible and creative.  I like this poetry from Robert Frost:
“But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.”
All a baby really needs is a few blankets, some warm socks, and warm outfits, diapers, and a mama’s love. Here’s a little peek at what I think is essential to the comfort of mama and baby...
The bassinet is one of the most special pieces I own and I was so happy to be able to pull it out of storage for our December baby. My babies are the fourth generation to sleep in it- that’s a lot of sweet baby dreams held in one bassinet. The locker and changing table were thrifted and refinished.
Only a few feet from our bedside, the nursery is a collection of handmade, heirloom & thrifted pieces with a few new handmade items created by other mamas who have . If I can’t make what I need, I keep watching at nearby country thrift stores first where I can often find hand knitted sweaters, booties, and caps as well as vintage clothes. Of course, I like to support my mama friends who are makers as well.
You know what they say, “it takes a village…” and it truly does. Early this fall, my mom came over and spent a day helping me get ready for our baby’s arrival. We made cloth wipes, burp cloths, fitted sheets, swaddles, and changing table cover. It only takes a few hours of time, a few scraps of fabric. I don’t enjoy shopping all that much so when I can stay home and create what I need with things I already have with people I love, I’m one happy mama.
Shop Rosina's collection of beautiful linen & organic cotton/hemp children's clothing, Tortoise & the Hare and follow along on Instagram @tortoiseandthehareclothing
 


Nature Collection Tray

by Summer Robertson

fawn&forest nature collection trays

 

“In the meantime, relax. Take a break. Look at the clouds. Listen to the wind. Let the birds do the heavy lifting." ― Richard Louv

We love to tromp around in the woods with our children, to explore fields and climb trees. Along the way, children gather. Leaves are picked up, rocks & acorns find their way into pockets, pinecones in hand. Your children will love to see their gatherings come alive in our fawn&forest exclusive Nature Collection Trays, a satisfying way to end a good walk outside. 

Shop our Nature Collection Trays, here.


welcome, november

by Ahead Works

The month of November always holds such meaningful and sweet memories for me, a month I always look forward to. It's the month I became a mother & the birth of my first son, the month my husband and i married all those years ago ... the grand kick off to the year's final celebrations. Plus, endless soups and evenings of beeswax candles, spiced apple cider and all the pie you could ever really wish for. 

My daughter, Lucy at the patch. I love linen for myself and it's even better for children. It can withstand the muddiest play and doesn't mind being wrinkled. I've stocked the shop with the loveliest linens from Tortoise & the Hare, be sure to have a look.

(shop)
black linen alice dress
goat-milk striped tights
furry rabbit ear bonnet


my weekly gatherings

by Summer Robertson

A gathering of things that I have been reading, doing & making. 

Ginger kombucha (pregnancy) mocktail would make you feel extra special then and would be a delight after baby is born. 

Wool acorns are an Autumn decoration that has more longevity than the whole lot of most fall decor and is a fun project to do in the company of children. 

> If you follow Katrien on Instagram you'll find this interview lovely and inspiring. You can follow along with her beautiful life in the Italian countryside with her family, here!

> & if it's something your babe deals with, i found these natural solutions to sooth and deal with baby constipation very helpful. 

     

     


    welcome to the tip sheet

    by Summer Robertson

    The pace & tone I've set for fawn&forest is one that is a natural extension of my own life.

    My desire is to share my love of living simply with our children which sometimes has to do with a heirloom baby hairbrush or merino wool sleeper but often times not. It's the stories shared that inspire family rhythm and encourage us in motherhood, to experience life more intentionally. It's this very sentiment that inspired us with the idea of a weekly Tip Sheet, a nugget of wisdom and inspiration for the week, a gentle nudge and a hand of comfort for this season of motherhood.

    You can sign up for the Tip Sheet here and of course join in on the conversation on Instagram at @fawnandforest.

    I would love connect with you, feel welcome to send me a note at summer@fawnandforest.com with your thoughts, inspirations and tips that make your life of intention and motherhood beautiful. 

     

     

     


    Summer Robertson

    I am a mother of 4 beautiful children living countryside in a tiny home with my sweet family. We founded fawn&forest in 2007 with an intention of creating a shop that reflects our love for living simply with children.

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