Friday, October 28, 2011

Magic is in the Air

Last Friday I left you with a quote for the weekend. I'm thinking I'll make it a weekly tradition here on Lavender Nest. 

"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." -  Eden Phillpotts 

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Spaces

Since Squam, I have been spending more and more time in my studio, clumsily moving around trying to find my rhythm. I say clumsily, since the space functions as a computer and writing space for both me and hubby. This means there are multiple computers, printers, equipment and lots of piles of papers. My pretty papers in one corner along with supplies and his pile-o-work papers in the other. Some days our system works better than others. There are many evenings that all three of us, dog included with toys, are all crammed into the studio trying to work. It makes me laugh to think about it.  

My sweet guy mentioned the other day he is ready to truly give me my own space to work. I thought this meant he was moving down to the basement, but no, he is ready to re-do the attic and let me have it all to myself. I think he is tired of me touching those boring papers of his [wink, wink]. After my total disbelief passed, I began digging through old magazine tears and saved Internet pictures to plan out my new space. Roughly, without all the pink, this is my dream. 

The next couple of months will be filled with construction and picking out fixtures. But, all the while, I will be daydreaming of what this new space will mean for me on a much larger scale. The last time I had a playroom all to myself, I was three, right before my little brother was born. The thought of endless hours creating in a quiet space, that’s tucked away close to the clouds and among the tops of the trees, thrills me. In my little cocoon, who knows what I will emerge as. The possibilities are endless.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Face of Fall

The leaves are beckoning me to come out and play today and if the weather holds out, Arte and I may do some outdoor, Halloween decorating. 

I leave you with this simple quote for the weekend: 

No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face. 

- John Donne 

Happy Fall Weekend! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Walk in the Orchard

I couldn't bring myself to do much of anything remotely productive today, but when the sun came out this afternoon and the sun warmed the air, I knew I had to take advantage of it. My rationale: our warm days in these parts are numbered. So with hot apple cider in hand, I walked around our local orchard to capture the season in all its glory. And I'm so glad I did.

I fell in love with this tractor. I kind of, sort of, want one for the yard. How fun would it be to decorate each season?!  

There are a bunch of sweet buildings around the property that just beg for their picture to be taken. 

And lastly, this gentle boy in all his pure beauty. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Edible Creations

The fall bounty is here; there is no doubt about it, and it was ever so present at the FSC Albany Food Swap on Sunday night in the collective mix of the edible creations. Pumpkin and apple goodies were in great abundance. This was my second swap and I am loving it. I’ve started to become a bit of an apostle for swapping - telling just about everyone who likes food all about it. 

For those who are new to the whole concept, the best definition I can come up with is: It’s a farmer’s market, meets silent auction meets a place to gather with new and old foodie friends where your homemade edible creations become your means for swapping with other swappers. The first hour is a little mixer with snacks and beverages and then it’s onto sampling each other’s items, bidding on which items you covet and then on to the actual swapping. 

I brought homemade lactose-free Pumpkin Ice Cream and Hot Buttered Rum Mix (a fall favorite of mine) and left with honeyed canned apples with cranberries, onion jam spread, a caramel apple and pumpkin syrup for lattes. And once again, I have no pictures of my loot since I raced home to sample and put it all away, like a busy little chipmunk getting ready for the winter. 

Interested in joining the swap revolution taking place across the country? Here are a few tips and things to think about as you prepare:
  • Your creation should be homemade or home grown/produced.
  •  Let’s say there are 20 people attending your swap. When thinking about the quantity of items to bring, I would highly recommend not making 20 items. Bring a handful or so since not all fellow swappers are necessarily going to want to swap with you. Ouch! I know, I know. It’s sad, but true. Here’s why. Between allergies, palette preferences and what people already have at home, all 20 bidders won’t all be interested in your creation.
  • Swaps are truly a friendly experience, but they can be competitive too. It’s quite funny how quiet the room gets when we’re all preparing to strategize on what we want bid on. For this reason, the more your creation stands out, the better. Be different. If it’s apple season, you can guarantee that there are going to be quite a few apple creations in the room. Unless you have a home run kind of item, then it’s probably best to choose to make something different and save that idea for another time. 
  • And lastly, remember packaging and presentation are key! Pretty it up, put together an ingredients list and your contact information (in case someone has a question after the fact). 
Happy Swapping! Happy Eating! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Being Gentle

Why is it as women we put so much pressure on ourselves? For me, it tends to happen without even realizing it. As I try to regain energy and momentum, I’m noticing I’m more aware of this self-imposed pressure. I’ve made a conscious decision to be gentle on myself. This means things like, when I need a nap, I take a nap. If I feel like not working in my studio, then I don’t. The mood will certainly strike when I’m good and ready. No more forcing what I’m not quite ready for.

This gentleness has helped with balancing, which in turn has lead to more energy and creativity. I’ve been spending more and more time in my studio. Sometimes it’s just to read or organize a little. But it has also lead to more time creating. Lately I’ve been focusing on things of pure interest and enjoyment. Dresses. Fashion. Paper. Cards.

 One of my prototype cards was the perfect lesson on being gentle. In the end, there’s a little too much glue, the string too thick and the glitter a little too blah. BUT, after all, it’s just a prototype with lots of time to perfect it. And because of that, I’m truly able to like it for what it is. I hurried out of the studio last night to show my husband, who lovingly said, “Wow, nice cat!” In the spirit of being gentle, all I could do was laugh and tell him it was a dress.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finding the Balance

Life has been completely out of balance for the last two weeks. I won’t sugarcoat it. The days were long and I crawled into bed with exhaustion that I felt to my core. With multiple people in my family ‘down and out’ with various medical concerns (they are all okay in the grand scheme of things) I’ve done whatever I could to help make everyone’s days a bit easier.

At the end of last week, things started to settle down and my days started to return to a slower, more manageable pace. Life is returning to how I left it pre-Squam. [Yep, life currently is thought of now as pre and post-Squam.]

 After a couple of days of rest, I woke to warm, glorious fall days. 

I’m letting the sun and fresh air nourish my body and letting Mother Nature nourish my spirit.

 Balance will once again be found.