Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday evening I carved this pumpkin and roasted its seeds.  Mmmm!!  I think there might be all kinds of fancy ways to roast seeds, but I just put mine, fresh and slimy from the pumpkin, right on a sided tray lined with parchment paper, then sprinkle some sea salt and add some butter, pop them in the oven around 350 and stir them every so often until they are golden and crispy.  My pumpkin looks kind of creepy... if you can tell, it's supposed to be an owl, and unintentionally, he took on a kind of menacing feel... but I still like him, and the process of carving a pumpkin, in my opinion, is one of the best things for the spirit... the crack of the pumpkin when you first open the top, its earthy smell and slithery insides.... I love it all!  It's not too late if you haven't done it yet this year!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

sugar maples, pocket warmers & cedar sachets

Today is beautiful.  Sunny, crisp, and clear with a breeze carrying leaves and their sweet smell, almost like dried apricots.  I've also got my new winter pocket warmer and cedar sachet designs ready!

The cedar sachets feature the bobwhite quail, and are filled with Orange, Va cedar shavings.

The pocket warmers are filled with u.s.a.-grown rice infused with pure lavender oil and a sprinkling of organic French lavender.

These are the coziest in winter... you just heat them in for a few seconds in the microwave or on a radiator and then pop them into your coat pockets before going out in the cold, and then it feels like your pockets are full of warm (lavender-smelling) sunshine, even on the grayest day or bitterest night!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

happiness all around

Despite all the wisdom about creating your own happiness homeostasis from within, sometimes life just feels plain gross, and it's hard to think otherwise.  And then sometimes happiness just keeps doing jumping jacks all around you.  I am pleased to say that I've been experiencing lots of happiness lately.  Not only are a pair of screech owls living in my yard (sorry no pictures, but I did see them and do hear them!), but I've also been regularly hearing a fox barking around midnight through my open window while I'm reading in bed.  Last night I went out to my parents' house to wash and iron fabric and I finished around 11:30.  The fog was so magnificently low and thick when I went out to my car to drive home, and I heard a barred owl calling persistently out at the edge of the woods.  And then, I rode my bike around town for errands this morning and evening... and there isn't anything much nicer in life than riding a bike around town.  You can see and smell and hear everything so much more vividly, and it is so freeing to pedal yourself and feel so happy to be healthy and energetic enough to propel forward into the wind!  This morning there were all kinds of delightful incidences... like the older lady at the post office who was so chipper and full of things to say, and then the two old men in the McDonald's parking lot, one sitting in his worn out truck (with a little brown lap dog lounging extravagantly over the back of the bench seat), and gesturing wildly to another man across to way to guide him in un-stucking a big branch out from under his truck.  And then this evening, after a good day of sewing and folding note cards, I rode my bike to the grocery store and the library.  Sometimes I feel nervous gearing up to do the hill in front of the railroad tracks... it is especially steep with baskets full of groceries, but it feels so good to get home with jelly legs and know you are hungry and have food to eat!  And speaking of the railroad tracks (which run right in front of my house), today I looked up from the sewing machine to see a series of old train cars - like from the Seaboard Air Line Railway (why I don't know?)... and they made me happy, too.  Wouldn't it be fun to take a nice, long ride on a train with a dining car, a good book, and unexpectedly good conversations with strangers?!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thank you

 It has been such a full few weeks, I don't know where to begin or what to say.  Most of all, I am very very thankful for all the people who came to my open house show and sale September 21 & 22, and who were so enthusiastic, and supportive and encouraging. (Not least of all my mom and dad, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents who all worked nearly to death to help me make it happen!) I didn't know if anyone would come, and when the cars started rolling in, I got so excited I think I probably acted like I was missing a quite a few brain cells.  But it was SO EXCITING I couldn't help myself!  And guess who was there all the way from Connecticut?  My extraordinary painting teacher, Mrs. Emerson!!  It is very disappointing that we forgot to get a picture there together.  (The aforementioned missing brain cells). I just snapped a few pictures, but I will be adding a bunch to my website soon.  Thank you again to everyone who was there!

Then I didn't know if I would have the energy, but at the last minute, I decided to do a booth at the 2nd annual Shabby Love barn sale, right in the town of Orange on Church Street.  Below are a few photos from my spot at the barn sale this past Saturday.  It was a cloudy day, but there wasn't a drop of rain, and it was fun and a good crowd came to look at the many vendors with all kinds of interesting wares.  I only wish I'd worn wool socks.  I have to thank my parents again, because they started helping me move furniture there before the sun even came up.  It was very hard work... and even harder packing up and moving all the leftover furniture back into my apartment at the end of the day. (Up a long uneven pathway, a huge antebellum porch staircase, then a narrow creaky inside staircase).  Somehow we did it, and now I have my own very unique furniture store, open by appointment only.  Feel free to write if anybody wants to come over and look for a one-of-a-kind piece ;)

Now, I am planning to have a booth space at the Montpelier races November 2nd... and I'm very nervous I won't have enough time to get ready!  But I will try.