spring at our house...

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

how was your week? this week, though not even over has been a long and strange one for me. life always reminds you not to expect things to stay the same. change is not always easy, it can be a great struggle in fact... but, it can be beautifully worth it. as the world turns topsy turvy yet again, let us allow this new season to remind us not to take anything for granted.

this is what spring is looking like at my house so far. how about you?

etsy favorites... (sunshiny day)

large sun stacker, made by imaginationkids

we are having a nice sunny break from some very rainy weather here. the forsythia at the garden center were so beautiful this morning... they had ones from northern ireland that were trees, rather than bushes! they were lovely, and put me in a sunshiny mood.

gold birdie mug, by mud pie studio

hope you have a sunny weekend where you are too! at least in spirit:)

grateful friday...

this week, looking back, i am grateful that my children are learning to love and appreciate the things that have important meaning to me. so much of my creativity i did not discover until i had them, and i am glad i can give them something back.

i am grateful for a little boy who talks all day long... let me repeat that all... day... long! while i can not always give him my full attention, nor could i even follow all the stories he weaves without stopping (his favorite phrase is "and plus")... i am grateful that he wants me to hear them. i asked him once if he ever got tired of spending so much time together, and he looked at me in utter amazement and said so sincerely "but how could i get tired of you... you're my mom?" i know that won't last forever, and i need to remind myself to stop and listen to these stories more often. before he stops telling them to me (hopefully never).

i am grateful that i finally started to paint my house! i have been putting it off so long, and even though my husband told me i was crazy for starting at 9 o'clock at night... i am so happy how it turned out! this is a corner of the children's playroom... i will probably paint the bottom white, but for now i am happy wit the new shade of blue/grey at the top. on to the kitchen, and bathroom, and living room... and hallway... oh, dear... small steps. happy friday!

and the winner is...

sorry to disappear for a few days... hope i didn't keep you waiting too long! thanks to everybody who entered the giveaway, and for sharing it with others as well. thanks again to the enchanted cupboard for offering such a lovely prize! i hope you will all continue to check out her etsy store... she has added some really cute new items.

so, on to the winner! oh, i wish i was as creative as dottie angel with these... but i just used random.org to help me out. maybe next time i should use one of my little ones? they would love that... though they would probably fight over who actually got to do it, and then it would never actually get done. so, according to random.org (who doesn't argue with me) the winner is...

and this is what jennifer did say...

"What a sweet topper! I can also see it on a mantle or a table centerpiece. I could make the wolf a little Santa hat and it would be a fun piece to keep out at Christmas time! So cute!"

congrats to jennifer! i will pass on your information so you will get your prize!!

i promise to do another giveaway this spring with one of my own little goodies too!

nature tables...

"nature table april" by knecht ruprecht dolls

we used to always keep a more traditional nature table in the children's room but for some reason i always found it difficult to find the creatice inspiration to keep it up. i'm not sure why this is? i have lovely books full of ideas, and friends who had beautiful displays in their homes. my little table was always fairly neglected. i seemed to find that a more informal system seemed to work better for me.... a place to celebrate natural items we collected or loved to look at, but without the pressure of making it look like something out of a book. it has always sort of popped up in places around the house without much forethought. in our new home, our mantel seems to be the place for this. it won't ever be perfect but we enjoy it and that is what is important. here is a peak at our early spring display. i will add a larger branch to hang eggs on, and also hang up some vintage easter cards... maybe, who knows? i don't like to plan it too much:)

here are some more beautiful images from the nature table pool on flickr to inspire.

"easter", by daria.ivovsky

"four blossom princesses", by alkelda

"spring", irit dulman

** don't forget to sign up for the giveaway! today is your last chance!!**

etsy favorites... (kitchen makeover)

1) farmhouse pitcher, from lovely home vintage
2) foggy warsaw farm house, by bonnie murray art
3) milk glass hen covered dish, from lost and fawned home
4) vintage ge wallflower electric clock, from bluebell
5) elise reversible fully lined reusable grocery bags, made by sma designs
6) 4 washcloths in cream and sugar, by bella yarns
7) rustic country cupboard, made by joy and joshua
8) sugar creamer set, blue forget me nots hand painted, from shabby chic home
9) cast iron rooster hanger, from im so vintage

ok, so the last one is already sold:) it is part of what inspired my list this week. i'm thinking about how i want to decorate the kitchen. now that spring is coming i can think about painting... walls, tables, chairs! all the things i have been putting off. so my kitchen sits untouched but i have big plans. painting and hanging and sewing. i'll be sure to share... maybe i need a before photo?

so i have decorative items for the kitchen on the brain. here are some favorites i will share from etsy (sorry i am a day late). oh, and i also have those reusable dishcloths. they are truly great, and i am so happy not to have to buy sponges anymore... and they are prettier!

besides my beautiful rooster hanger from my mom for my birthday, i also got this lovely from my in-laws for christmas.

i think i could plan the entire kitchen around just these two beauties... one vintage, and one timeless. i am trying to filling my home with what is both useful and beautiful. i am lucky to have such generous family to help me out!

grateful friday...

i like the tradition of "grateful friday" that you see on so many blogs. my friend miri's is always so inspiring... as is her entire blog. i got the idea after a long week, with all three of us... me and the kids, sick. while you are in the middle of it, these weeks are never fun. i had a moment though, where i stopped my struggle to just get through the day, and suddenly realized how grateful i am. i am so lucky to have these lovely people to spend my days with, even when they are sick. they challenge me every single day... but they also make me laugh... every single day. what more can you ask for? the promise of a laugh, guaranteed each day! also the promise of "mommy"... "yes?"... "i love you!" called out from the next room. for no reason. every single day. so maybe a look back each week will help me a little bit in with that "unsettled" feeling i wrote about earlier.

so this week, i am grateful for little children who still see spring with fresh eyes. who pick flowers for you, and truly see it as a gift that you would then put those flowers in a special little vase in a place of honor.

i am also grateful, in a week full of runny noses and upset tummies for unexpected moments like these... walking in and finding her asleep on the couch. nap?! she never takes those, but boy did she need it (and me too).

and i am grateful that being sick, made us all slow down. i like that as home schoolers we don't feel the need to "be" anywhere. also that it forced me to sit down and be still and remember how much i like to make bunnies.

i hope you had some lovely moments this week too. i am sooo grateful for my artist/blogging friends who wrote me such nice comments on my earlier posts! how lucky i am.

i am glad to see all the entries so far in the giveaway below. keep them coming! it is such a special little gift being offered. some more etsy favorites tomorrow as well.

woodland cake topper giveaway from the enchanted cupboard!...

i was so excited after beccijo of the enchanted cupboard offered me the chance to do a giveaway on my blog (seriously i wish i could enter to win). i featured this beautiful woodland "little red and wolf" cake topper as one of my etsy favorites a few weeks ago. i was focusing on my love of miniature worlds, one that beccijo seems to share! i love her description of growing up in the mountains as a child, and the magical world she loved to imagine. as an adult she seems to have carried this love on into the world of art she now creates. in her shop, the enchanted cupboard, beccijo has made a lovely little world full of natural wooden playthings to inspire children and adults alike. she carries hand painted wooden toys, playsets, dolls, doll furniture, and of course beautiful cake toppers for parties and weddings! She describes her shop this way:

the enchanted cupboard
you enter a quaint gift shop at the street corner. you see the gypsy-like shopkeeper, and she smiles at you as you walk further into the room. you feel like you have just entered into a place timeless, magical, yet familiar all at the same time. the woman raises her finger to her lips as if to silence you. then she looks around the room and points to the back of the store. you see a large old enchanted cupboard with a vast amount of drawers and doors; you walk to it as sweet, whispered words fill your ears,
"inside you will find your heart's desire!"

this week, you have a chance to win the beautiful cake topper you see above! "the woodland little red and wolf cake topper would fit any theme wedding, shower, or birthday party. the sweet little wooden trees and mushrooms bring a soothing feel of simplicity but are a unique way to bring that wow factor to you celebration. after the party you have a great decorative keepsake or natural wooden toy."

***all you have to do is leave a comment below with your email (or click that link)! how easy is that?! if you would like a chance at an extra entry you can blog about beccijo's shop, the enchanted cupboard, with a link to the shop or giveaway. if you don't have a blog, you can also get an extra entry sharing the link on a social networking site like facebook or twitter! just leave me a link to your post below so i will be sure to add you twice.***

you have until tuesday, march 16th (midnight, e.s.t, u.s. entrants only please)... good luck! in the meantime be sure to check out the enchanted cupboard to see more magical items for sale.


untitled, by jeana_sohn


1 : to place so as to stay
2 a : to establish in residence b : to furnish with inhabitants
3 a : to cause to pack down
4 : to make quiet or orderly
5 a : to fix or resolve conclusively b : to establish or secure permanently
6 : to arrange in a desired position
7: to come to rest

i seem to be having a very hard time with this lately. am i the only one? i don't really feel "settled" in any aspect of my life. i have always had trouble feeling a sense of place or purpose, but lately it seems so much stronger. perhaps, it is because i am hitting the one year anniversary of having moved. you would think after a year i would feel settled... but i think it has something much more to do with me than the place. i am always looking ahead to what may come next. what about you? are you one of those people who has found contentment where you are, at this time? do you think it is something inherent to your personality or life experiences? maybe some of us will never feel truly settled....

"patchwork" by contented sparrow

"gifted with flowers", by et lille oejeblik

"." by louveciennes

"it all ready is better" by sweet sweet life

** i hope you will visit again tomorrow for a chance at a wonderful giveaway!**

little white fawn...

well, she turned into quite a project! the first fawn didn't quite work out. i almost gave up on the second attempt but after working on her a week, i decided to stick with it and she finally worked out! i think she is quite sweet too. i find myself using a wire armature much more often in my work lately. it allows me the freedom to create a more sculptural feeling with each piece. i can make the legs more finely shaped, for instance, when i take away the worry about stability. i'm also playing around with stitching... new facial features, and embellishment. plus, i couldn't resist the blue spring like fabric for the ears. i'm also really enjoying looking through nature photos and illustrations for inspiration. have you ever seen a white fawn? they are quite lovely.

she will be listed in the shop later today!

etsy favorites... (paper birds)

1) house sparrow loose linocut block print, by annasee
2) set of four letterpress bird cards, by the papernut
3) bluebird note card set, made by kisskissiluvthis
4) original hummingbird watercolor, by maiaugust
5) large color print- great horned owl- louis agassiz fuertes, from imsovintage
6) caged bird, made by tabidesigns

our world is filling up with birds. they are all on the move, migrating here and there. settling in to make nests. filling the trees and skies with their songs. they know spring is almost here!

** next week i'm going to have a really wonderful giveaway from one of last weeks etsy favorites!! i'm so excited! be sure to check back this week to find out who, and to enter to win!

pssst... (a giveaway)

be quick! mummysam is having a lovely giveaway on her blog, but only through friday!

in other giveaway news, one of my recent etsy favorites has so graciously offered up something else lovely for me to give to you here! who doesn't love a giveaway?! stay tuned for more info soon.

cute and cuddly...

my little donkey is featured in the "etsy finds" this week. i love the theme of cute and cuddly animals. how darling is that chick too?!