January 2009

Who we are, what we’re about… In pictures.

True Vine has had a bit of an evolution from the time it was created until now.  I began soaping going on three years ago, but have been interested in herbs for far longer.  I began dabbling in 2001, when I began taking red raspberry leaf during my pregnancy with Elizabeth and it’s grown over the years.  When I began soaping, I just wanted to find an outlet for using herbs and essential oils.  I wanted to make something good, something healthy, to nurture my family.

It grew beyond my expectations and it became a bit overwhelming.  We had many choices to make…  To see how successful it could be, or to scale it back a bit to manageable proportions.

In the end we found what we truly wanted we knew all along.  True Vine, from John 15, means staying grounded in God and what He would want for us.  I see True Vine as a ministry to other families, wanted to raise their little ones with healthy products.  We’ve scaled back so that it’s success would not be at the expense of our family’s well-being. 

In the end, we’ve found that we are all happy when I am a wife and mother first and foremost.  And in my spare time, while walking WITH my children, I’m able to create a few great products, especially for mamas and little ones… Naturally.

Free of parabens, free of fragrance oils, sulfates, and striving hard to utilize organic and natural materials, we create these items for our families and for families like ours.


Red Raspberry Leaf Herbal Blend

Red Raspberry Leaf Herbal Blend

Owner and creative director of True Vine Herbs, I’m also the mama of eight, yes, eight little folk.  My husband and I have been happily married for almost thirteen years.  True Vine is the very necessary outpouring of creative energy.   The name is based on the book of John, chapter 15 and defines my goals as a mother. 

We have been homeschooling for eight years and we’ve recently moved to a farm in the Midwest.  Our children are thoroughly enjoying their new found freedom… 

We school with a classically eclectic style and a Charlotte Mason twist. 😉  Essentially, it’s a hodge podge of what I like and what I can tolerate, with a firm belief in lots of outdoor time, short lessons, and a plethora of truly great books.   All children need hours of fresh air and plenty of food for the imagination…

 I’ve been asked where these toys came from!

The playsilks were dyed by Lori at Beneath the Rowan Tree.  Playsilks truly inspire children to use their imagination and ours are played with constantly.  Every child should have some!  And Lori makes the most beautiful ones.  But I’m biased.  We love Lori.  Where’s the heart icon? I actually asked Lori to make these for ME as I wanted them as the backdrop for photos.  But I felt SO greedy, hoarding them to myself.  The kids would have drooled all over them.  They pretend the green one is grass, the brown is dirt, et cetera.  And the colors aren’t just solid.  They are a beautiful blend, just like in nature.  I can’t tell you how vibrant the colors are and pictures just DON’T do them justice.

The waldorf doll in the picture is made by Barbara from Aunt Boo’s Babies.  Barbara and I both belong to the NaturalKids Etsy team and I can only say she makes the most beautiful waldorf dolls I’ve ever seen.  She also does customs.  This is the third doll we’ve had done by her and her work is lovely and my girls love her dolls.

The play food was crocheted by Jessica of Crochet Fun Time.  I know, lots of people make wool food.  However, the detail on these are fabulous.  The pink grapefruit has pith, pink flesh, an orange/yellow rind.  The avocado pit is actually 3D.  The radishes are made of a yarn that is this lovely pink/red variegated blend… The veggies and fruits have leaves, and they are just fantastic.  A lot of thought, creativity, and love went into these and I just can’t thank her enough.

It’s 3:05 here… My house is entirely quiet, with the exception of perking coffee.  I’m calling a coffee break.  The big kids are all deeply engrossed in their books and the little ones are all napping.  This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to take a coffee break. 

It is no small feat to get an 8 month old, a 2 year old, a 4 year old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old to nap at the *exact* same time.  They may only be pretending to nap…  Completely acceptable!  As long as they pretend convincingly.

I’ll admit to being a bit self-conscious about my coffee addiction.  A beloved friend asked me last week how I take my coffee.  And, being a weenie, I wanted to change the subject.  But, I sucked it up and  told her…  It starts with a cup of very strong flavored French Vanilla coffee.  Add creamer.  (Normal, right?)  Then three teaspoons of chocolate milk mix.   And whipped cream.  And a dash of mint extract. 

Fine.  So I’m a weenie.  Nope, I don’t drink it black.  She, being always upfront and painfully honest said, “So, glorified cocoa, huh?”  Well, maybe.  I admit, I’m no rough and tough black coffee drinker.  But it’s good.  And it calms me.  And, frankly, methinks I deserve it.