Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Candle Sleeves

I've been as busy as an elf this week with orders from my Etsy shop so today I took some time to work on some crafting for myself. I bought these pillar candles at Michael's for $3.99 each and they smell like cookies. Yum!

I had wanted to make some pretty candle sleeves with the scrap fabric I seem to have collected. Seriously, sometimes I think my crafting supplies are taking over the whole house but the fabric is especially bad because I DON'T SEW. Not at all. I have a sewing machine that hates me with almost as much passion as I hate it. Even knowing this about myself, I still can't resist buying pretty fabrics. They are a weakness. So here was a fun, no-sew project that I could throw some of my lovely fabrics into.

Each candle is wrapped with at least two fabrics that are frayed on the edges to give them some rustic charm. Then I added ribbons, vintage buttons, vintage lace trim, fabric and paper flowers and just decorated them to my heart's content. Each one is headed to a special home come Christmas.

When I open a second Etsy store for home decor in the new year, you can expect to see some of these for sell in there too. They are too fun and too cute to pass up!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Vintage Christmas Memories

Some of my favorite ornaments on our Christmas tree are the vintage ones. I have collected them through the years, some from family, some from thrift stores and when I see them sparkling in the tiny white lights, their stories fill my mind and my heart.

The ornaments that mean the most to me are the beautiful frosted glass ornaments that came from my grandmother. She passed away nine years ago but her spirit lingers each Christmas as I hang the delicate figurines on me tree. An angel, a harp, a trumpet, each one is carefully placed in front of a light so it will glow. It may sound silly or cheesy but it reminds me of her spirit shining through to say hello.

Vintage bulbs in beautiful colors with sparkling lines of glitter often catch my eye in thrift stores. These two bulbs were found that way. They each came in sets with other beautiful, glittering treasures but they are the ones that have survived our many moves and storage. I find myself wondering who owned them before me. How many children have they seen run to the tree on Christmas morning, eager to see what Santa has left them? How many children have they watched grow up? Decades they have spent, trapped in the dark for eleven months and then for one shining moment, they are allowed to sparkle in the light and share the beauty they were made to display.

There is history in these vintage ornaments. There are traditions ingrained into their fragile bodies. They remind me that each Christmas brings with it another year of life gone. Another year closer to the day my children are grown and gone. Another year to fill our hearts and souls with memories. These ornaments remind me that time marches on, that no matter how good or how bad, the year will pass and a new one will begin and most of all, these ornaments remind me that what I have right now, this very moment is precious beyond measure and I will never get it back.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freshly Picked

Is there anything better than strawberries picked fresh from the garden? Today the sun is out and I ventured into our little strawberry patch to pick those plump, sweet berries. I was not disappointed.

Once rinsed, carefully settled into a bowl and placed on the table, I had to fend off little fingers to get a couple photos of our harvest. I snapped a few quick shots and then they could be contained no longer. Tiny hands grasped big berries and red juice ran down chubby little chins. Smiles all around.

There is something simple and sweet about eating fruit and veggies fresh from your own ground or eggs fresh from the coop. I hope I am passing that joy onto my children. I hope that in our culture of fast food and instant gratification that they are learning the beautiful pace of patience, of caring for, harvesting and truly enjoying you food. It is in this simple and slow joy that we figure out to enjoy life.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beauty in Death

When I pull out my camera to photograph flowers, I usually choose the most vibrant, most perfect flowers to fill my lens. Flowers without blemish, who shine in their perfection and beam with beauty. Last night though, another flower called to me. She was at the end of her life, her petals curling in on themselves, her creamy whites tinged with brown. She was quite possibly the most imperfect flower I have ever photographed and she is alomost certainly the most beautiful.

This lonely, imperfect, dying and yet beautiful flower made me pause to think. How often do I struggle to be like the flowers I photograph? I try to shine as perfect, hiding any faults, afraid that if those blemishes show through, my beauty will be lost. Yet there is a quiet, peaceful beauty that can be found in our imperfections.

Our world is not made of perfect flowers and our lives are not filled with perfect people. It is those very blemishes that add color, originality and yes, beauty to our souls. The divine power of knowing you are perfectly imperfect and lovely just the same fills us with hope. Hope for ourselves and our world.

May our beautiful imperfections and diversity give us the hope that we can find peace, joy and beauty in our sometimes dying world.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Beach

The beach is one of my favorite places. It always has been. I haven't been out to the coast in a while and I am missing it.

The salty, chill air, the sound of waves crashing, the feel of sand between my toes... There is nothing like a day spent on the beach, watching the waves roll and contemplating life.

I've done some of my best thinking with sea breeze and gulls to keep me company. Most of my favorite memories are wrapped up in salty water and sandy sandwiches. Living near a beach is vital to me and knowing the ocean is just a short drive away brings me peace.

We're planning a beach trip in April. A week on the Oregon coast with the children. I can't wait. I can't wait for the memories that always stir, the special moments that always happen, fresh shrimp and crab and time with my family in our favorite place. The ocean and its mystery, its tranquility and its quiet, massive presence is calling to me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Must Haves for 2011

A new year and new fashion trends. I've been thinking a lot about what I want for 2011 and as a crafter and lover of handmade my thoughts go towards style and fashion and home decor. So here are my top must haves for 2011. I hope you enjoy them!

Hedgehogs. Owls are so 2010. Foxes are so last month. Hedgehogs are where it's at.

Leaves. I adore trees and leaves and nature and I want leaves in everything. I want them in my jewelry, on my tee shirts and screen printed onto tea towels. I want leaf shaped potholders and leaf shaped soap and cards with stamped leaves. Show me the leaves!

Earthy tones with splashes of plum, green and turquoise. Grounded color palettes with pops of color taken right out of fields of wildflowers.

Earthy, spicy and musky scents. Scents of wood and forests and clean water and nutmeg and balsam.

Chunky scarves, cowls, headwraps and sweaters.

Rubber boots for children.

Clocks. Put them on everything I listed for leaves. Clocks are hot. Pocket watches are better.

Whimsy. Our lives get too bogged down in the mundane. We need some whimsical pieces to keep us fresh and feeling alive.

Copper. Is there any other metal worth wearing?

And finally, magic. I want everything I own and buy this year to be filled with a sense of magic. The magic of creativity, the magic of love, the magic of satisfaction.

May your year be filled with goodness, kindness, peace, joy and love.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Growing Up

I don't wanna. I want to be free and childlike forever. But the gray hairs are starting to show up. Five of them. Yup. The buggers. Every time I look in the mirror and they catch my eye that inner voice whispers to me. "You are getting older. You will not live forever. Your days are numbered."

Sure, at almost 28 I'm probably a ways from my deathbed but those gray hairs are reminding me that while the deathbed may be a while a away, my childhood is a bit behind me as well. My days of lounging around reading Nancy Drew and licking sticky popsicles are long gone. I don't remember the last time I danced in the rain. I drink more coffee and less chocolate milk now. Perhaps most depressing of all is my lack of make believe as an adult. I used to play make believe every second of every day and now, to my utmost dismay, I spend every waking moment of my life in the real world. And let me tell you, the real world is not nearly as much fun.

I'm going to take this moment of realization to reconnect with a bit of my childhood. Sure, I should go do the dishes and sweep up under the lunch table and then pick up the living room and throw in a load of laundry. I will do all that. But not this minute. This minute I'm going to pour some chocolate milk and have a pretend "tea party" with my daughter. I might even change my name for the party to something ridiculously fancy like Priscilla Vanderwoodsen. I will stick up my pinky and elegantly sip my chocolate milk and I will use a British accent (don't all fancy people have British accents?) and I will revel in my world of make believe.

Yes, I am growing up. Fortunately I have five little people to tether me to the world of magic that I call childhood.