Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Tag: Holiday Favorites

DIY Pinecone Fire Starters

I spotted these pinecone fire starters in Hallmark’s The Christmas Book by Heidi Tyline King. Even though they looked simple enough (there was just a photo and some loose instructions), it took me awhile to get everything together. Which is why I’m posting about the fire starters after Christmas instead of before. But now we […]


Scherenschnitte Angels

Have you heard of scherenschnitte? It’s the German name for a very old tradition of cutting paper into decorations. Grandma Marilyn (whose maternal grandfather was German) is a master of scherenschnitte (pronounced shear’ en-schnit-tah). She’s sold her creations for years and has even been asked to dress up in costume and give demonstrations at local […]


Snowball Soap (with a Hidden Surprise)

We discovered the wonders of Ivory soap at Will’s birthday party (it does cool things when you put it in the microwave). It also makes great snowball soaps with hidden toys inside. Lily and I made a bunch to give to friends for Christmas. Here’s what we did.

Step one: shred the soap. We used a […]


Kids’ Craft: Smelly Christmas Ornaments

When we were decorating the tree this weekend, I found a long-forgotten ornament hidden under some tissue paper. It’s so simple—just a tree cut out of sandpaper with red yarn looped through—but it made me smile because it reminded me of my earliest days as a mother. I can picture Andrew’s blond head bent over […]


St. Lucia Day, Part 2

I decided to hunker down today and sew a Santa Lucia dress for Lexie. The pattern I used was actually for an angel costume, but it’s close enough. Making the dress was challenging, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. When we got home from after-school activities, Lexie put on the […]

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