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home again

In other on 04/05/2010 at 12:00 pm

Just returned to our nest and my little one after five days with my honey in San Francisco.
Much to share but today there are matters of the home that need tending.
Back soon!

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fresh

In other on 03/18/2010 at 1:57 pm

It’s baking day. This week’s french loaf is rising and I’m pouring over a stack of new cookie recipes. Decisions…decisions.

I wanted to take a few moments this morning to welcome the new readers and to show you around this newly designed space. If you’re viewing this post in a reader, what I’m about to say is going to make absolutely no sense to you, so save your sanity and click on over to see the layout. It will likely be a work-in-progress for a while but I’m liking this layout much better. Don’t be confused by the three columns. It’s just my three latest posts from left to right. The comment button has moved to the bottom of each post. The navigation bar has returned to the header. There you’ll find:

tutorials: links to a handful of my d.i.y. projects and a few printables.

photography: links to three photo projects that you can join in on

the kitchen: our family’s favorite recipes

smitten: an archive of lovely links organized by category {homekeeping simplified, mothering, community, crafts, writing, etc…}

the regulars: my alternative to the traditional blogroll, this is a rotating list of kind folks who regularly take the time to say “hello” while they’re here

But my FAVORITE thing about this layout is that now there are three “sidebars” located at the very bottom of the screen. I’m still playing with the configuration of the contents but for now, you’ll find my NEWEST favorite links to the far left (smitten). These links get archived to the page by the same name that you find up in the header. I update these links at the bottom of the page every few days so check them out. Oodles of inspiration down there. In the middle column, you’ll find the nightstand, which links to our current favorite reads. The March list will be up in a few days. And on the far right is a list of categories, if you’re looking for an older post.

I think that’s everything. Thanks for bearing with me. I hope you have a wonderful Thursday. Back to baking!

lend an ear…

In other on 03/09/2010 at 2:49 pm

Our friend Sheena needs our help today. Please read her post and let her know if you have any suggestions. While you’re there, take a few minutes to explore her beautiful blog. You’ll be there for awhile!

joy ride

In other on 02/23/2010 at 4:01 pm

 

Joy Ride…i’m in love.

tell the story: part two

In interview, other on 02/05/2010 at 1:05 pm

I can not begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading all of the stories you’ve submitted. The time has come to choose a collective favorite, and let me tell you, it will not be easy. You have spun the most colorful tales. You may cast only two votes. If you are one of the storytellers, you may vote for yourself but you MUST also vote for one other person. Voting will end at noon, EST, this Monday. The winner will be interviewed here in the coming weeks. Now grab a cup of something yummy, sit back, and enjoy!

Story 1: Char: The Tuscan Sun has just kissed the top of the Hill. I have to be quick if I want to make morning Mass. Do you think Mamma noticed I didn’t come home last night. The stars were just perfect. And so was she.

 Story 2: Erin D.: She lived alone, in a little house on the hill. The steep hillside discouraged visitors, and that was ok. The birds, the mountain goats and her little garden of orange poppies kept her good company, without demanding her constant attention. Far from the smog and clanking of the tumultuous cities, she had found Her Place, her Peace, her center. Balanced at last, she worked her craft in quiet harmony with her surroundings, which in turn, worked in harmony with her.

 Story 3: Anne Kelley: The little house drank in the morning sun, reveling in the warm light caressing its whitewashed walls. It had stood quietly on its hill now for many, many years. The house never tired of watching the colors dance along the hills; their gentle capers were always unique, yet always the same. The wheat waved merrily from the far field, and the house stood a little straighter, enjoying the breezes. Within the little house, the family was sleeping; the glorious hilltop morning belonged to the house itself.

Story 4: AG Ambroult: Blissful on their isolated hilltop, they spent their days following their whim. Gardening and exploring a nearby forest were daily pastimes. As was rolling down the hill with abandon, in the exact same manner she had done when she was six.

Story 5: JLI: My Sanctuary sits on a hill, seeming so far away. Some days, the valley is deep and the gap in between, wide. Yet, Light pours out of my Sanctuary, illuminating the darkness that surrounds me. By that Light, I find my way. My Sanctuary sits on a hill, closer than before, because the veil has been torn.

Story 6: kim klassen: she had been through so much. so many years of caring for others, had taken it’s toll. she had been pushing her dreams down deep, for way too long, telling them no, asking them to just go away…. years of being way too busy, running from here to there, wishing for peace, but never finding it. and then, one day…she realized… it was her turn…. she would move to the hill-top and find the peacefulness she had longed for. she would write, and read and even paint… listening to soft music while she let her dreams come true.

Story 7: meredith: They built the church on the highest hill, and they cleared it of all the trees and wild green growing things, save two trees that they left standing like sentinels on either side of the church’s door. It was as if they were trying to say, we are above nature, we are leaving it behind, God has nothing to do with it. But nature knew better, and maybe God too. And so the wild green growing things stretched their viney arms out across the distance and made a bridge between the two hills. And the two trees of the church welcomed them in, like beckoning angels.

Story 8:  jessica: She walked the path many times before never noticing the sky, the trees, the sounds of the ocean near by. Time is fleeting, she learned today. This time she walked slower, with great intention. Knowing that change abruptly arrives unrequested she noted the salty breeze. In and out, her deep breath filled with reverence.

Story 9: Catherine:  Overwhelmed and tired, a mom daydreamed of a quiet, sunny life. In the middle of the day’s tenth tantrum, she mumbled “I’ll just run away and live in a house on an empty hill and be alone”. As she turned to walk away, her son said “We can go there together, Mom, and live together forever. I’ll paint your grass orange and you will love it”.And she did.

Story 10: Melody Shorey:  It’s a beautiful morning to visit my Sanctuary, a place of peace and rest. I find solace there and commune with the Light and Life that sustains me. I try to visit every day. The clear sky and beautiful view from here remind me that I have a Hope for the future. This place is a part of who I am, where my heart and soul are at home.

Story 11: sarah: Father built his house on a hill. He put it up high so he could watch his children, his grandchildren and their children too. He sat from his porch to watch his family tree grow into an orchard, and spread across the land. He sang to them and clapped for them and reached down to lift them up when they fell. He sent water for their gardens, wind for their linens that hung out on the laundry line, and sunshine for their cheeks.

Story 12: nourished mama : My white little house on the hill,
so near to the heavens above.
I wonder at the unknown sky above,
Contemplating the busy animals bustling in the fields below,
My life of solitude, nature my dear friend

Story 13: mellie: The Earth bursts forth, her canary-yellow hills kissing the grass-green leaves of the trees. The sky echoes the parade of colors as the clouds part, the turquoise sky playing peek-a-boo with the valley basins. Atop a hill in our little house, he takes it all in with wonder and inspiration. “Mommy,” his little voice asks, bright eyes peering out the window and little hands slipping into mine. “Can I go out and play?”

 Story 14: Peggy: Oh, build my little house on a high, high hill, where I can view all beauty below. Cause the solitude to open up in birdsong that I love so well. Allow me to be content in the quiet and stillness when the roar of others are as loud as the sea. Count my days in bright colors and allow me to be free.

Story 15: cathleen: Staring out the window at the very top of the little house on the hill, the sad little girl longingly looked over into the beautiful grove of trees on the next hill wishing and dreaming of living in a treehouse at the very top of the highest tree. The flower-filled valley in-between spoke of such beauty and tenderness, that if she could only reach across it, perhaps that same beauty could somehow touch her. Perhaps a mother and father lived over in the trees and they would be the kind of parents she had always dreamed of having. A place where she could finally experience a little love and kindness. And, perhaps, if she stretched her arm out just a little bit further from the window she could almost, almost, almost touch that waiting love.

Story 16: tif: her knees were bent as the ants build away
the wee little house for the mist to spray.
the wind blows swift, the ants refuge welcome…
building a bridge, to place called home.

Story 17: Annie: This spring morning, in our little house on the hill, the sun greets us with it’s warm glow. The beauty of the fields below remind us that our day will be filled with planting, tending, and nurturing . Life can be hard on the farm, but the allure of nature keeps us going. We are truly one with her and she is one with us.

Story 18: Laura: As her brush rasped against the canvas, she was surprised by a sob from her own chest. Soon this painting would be all she would have to remember the home she was to leave behind. How would she ever find peace again, without being able to look out over this valley and feel her soul be stilled? Perhaps, across the ocean in her new home, she would find another valley, another place of peace. In any case, she would have her painting, her own memory brought to vibrant life; she would carry her home with her.

Story 19: 6512 and growing: She lived on top of the hill in a tall, white house. Everyday, the robins came, and the chickadees, the finches and that one magpie with the feathers plucked from its left wing. She tossed cracked corn into the meadow and watched the birds gobble it up. At dusk she made potato leek soup and read by candlelight. And every night her dreams shook with the sounds of children.

Story 20: Jennifer White: As Chloe’ walked away from the house, she wondered if it would be the last time she’d see him. It had been a perfect week together filled with hours upon hours spent learning about what made them love one another even more then they did the day before. Chloe’ could still smell his cologne on her sweater, reminding her how close they’d become. Would this be only a week full of memories or could it be something that would be remembered as their first vacation together? The walk down the hill to the waiting boat for her trip back to the mainland was one that she’ll never forget.

Story 21: kate: From here, I could see what my grandmother meant about the earth being our mother. The hills rolled like the body of a woman. The grass, the trees, the sky seemed to swirl together in a way that was sensual, beautiful, true. I knew, before I could have ever really known, that the house on top of it all would be mine. And from its perch, I would come to understand all a woman can ask for in this life: to feel the ground beneath her feet, to watch blades of grass grow and spiders spin webs, to stand in the middle of a moon as it rises.

Story 22: Gypsy Forest: Over the yellow mountains, the color of the sun, to visit friends for tea. Picnics and cakes with strawberries in the warm summer sun dancing on our heads. Playing amongst the trees with dear friends, while the mamas laugh away. As we leave, the sun sets on the yellow hills, a beautiful end to our day.

Remember, if you vote for your own story, you must also cast another vote for someone else!

 

Today at Solstice Letters:

solstice letters

not for the squeamish

In other, thrifting + vintage on 02/03/2010 at 12:01 pm

Oh, the gems we have uncovered in the depths of my grandmother’s sewing stash. Vintage patterns, galore. She made a lot of beautiful, lovely things but I’m quite sure that this is where my grandfather drew the line. I offered to make my husband one of these for his birthday. I even said he could select his favorite from the three pictured patterns. Can you believe he said said “no thanks”? (And a few other things I can’t repeat!)

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope your Wednesday has gotten off to a good start. There’s a fresh list of Regulars for February and if, like me, you have trouble being still, here’s some food for thought.

tell the story…in five

In interview, other on 01/28/2010 at 12:13 pm

the painting

It was hanging on the wall at our local antique mart. It was ten dollars. It was calling me. I’m quite certain it’s not actually an antique, but oh, how I love it. As soon as I saw it, my imagination took over and it seemed the perfect setting for a good story. And that was my plan…to post the picture, and spin a tale for you. But yesterday I got to thinking that it might actually be more fun to post the picture and let you do the storytelling. So here’s how it’s going to work:

 Comment to this post and tell “the story” in five sentences or less. Study the picture and use your imagination. Next week, in one of my posts, I’ll repost each of your stories with a link to your blog (if you have one) and you’ll get the chance to vote for your favorite tale. The winning storyteller will be interviewed here within the next couple of weeks and will get the chance to tell us about her family, her home, her craftiness, her blog, her handmade goods, and the like. Sound good? Remember…no more than five sentences, (and I don’t mean run-on sentences) so make every word count! I’ll close this post for comments on Monday evening.

I’ll be busy updating “the regulars” and working on the second edition of Silhouette for Monday (which some of you will be appearing in) so I’ll only be posting over here tomorrow.  Then I’ll be back here on Monday. Now let the storytelling begin!

today at solstice lettersjournal: week 1