happy holidays!!
{pastel vintage cookie awesomeness can be found here}
hope everyone had the warmest and most joyful days of the year –
can't wait for 2012...
awwww darn.
i know having free-range chickens is risky and you must always prepare for death on all fronts – but man it's still a bummer when you find your girl-friend chewed up on a dreary night.
RIP ladyhawk. we will miss your funny personality and the way you would chase the mail lady.

this time it was no fox. this time {almost too fitting for her name} it was a monster hawk. and almost out of spite that darn hawk only ate her little neck and left her body untouched. at least mrs. fox was feeding her young - naturally we felt better about that.

so i plucked her feathers and plan to roast her for christmas.
we decided it would be the best way to honor her. then in the quiet morning rain as i pulled her beautiful green and orange feathers i had a moment where i felt as if i was doing what so many people had done before in the yard of this old house and that somehow it made me more connected. and i guess more than anything... i thank her for that.
oh my goodness – can this be real!!!???

my Each Day calendar is on Oprah.com!

i'm feeling like i've officially broken into some kind of new world.
to have anything i do associated with OPRAH
is blowing my socks off right now.
thank you universe.
wow, hard work and a steady hand really does pay off.
believe you can do something and run towards it –
i promise something awesome will happen.

whooohooo thanks apartment therapy!
i LOVE every single one.

happy mid-week everyone!

below is a lovely treasury...

by sara from nova lily
thanks so much for including my just sending postcard!

if you're interested in getting a inspirational {and FREE} wallpaper for your i-phone you can select artwork from 26 etsy artists – including my new invincible spring piece!

check it out over at kind over matter

be sure to scroll all the way down – i'm at the very bottom!
what a cool and generous idea for the holidays, right!?
as always – thanks, amanda!
holey toledo – check it out!
my "bless this" print is featured in a lowes creative ideas project!

we get this lowes creative ideas issue every once and a while and to my surprise when i flipped the latest one open i found my print in a master bedroom big reveal!

(aaaaaggg – the colors of the room even match the print!
i may have to use this as inspiration for my own spare room.)

then i logged online at the website and checked out the entire story – so cool!
as it turns out , lowes is following a young couple (becky and derek) on how they choose renovate their first home with the lowes creative ideas team. i LOVE the idea and i LOVE that they have my print hanging in that beautiful new room!

the story of huntin' for a tree...

we went up and down all the rows
until we found the douglas firs

where kritter found her favorite.
(it was very bright that day!)

so we found some help

and even met this little guy in the checkout line

and went home very content.

what a nice pick – it sure is a beauty.
and it smells like clementines!

the end.

and here they are!
it's been almost two months and our vanilla extract
is turning to a golden shade of awesome.
the illustrated "how-to" tag makes them such a sweet and complete gift.
can't wait to hand them out to friends and family –
oh hello, friends!
check out my 12 days of cheer voucher over at oh hello, friend!

so, this year at thanksgiving my grandma brought
a bunch of these gingham aprons and let us choose our favorites...
the pics are from the impromptu photo shoot (thanks, aunt mary!)
(some were delicate, some had pockets, some were pleated,
some were just simple and fun,
and the long red one even had a long poem about pa dutch life!)
{click on the photos to see in detail}

as it turns out, my great-aunt martha made these aprons
by the dozens and i can see why – they're so fun, cute and easy!
i love them! she chose such great color combos,
obviously got really into it, and ended up making this
lovely collection which we were all so thankful for!
agggg! i can't wait to curl up this winter by the fire and make my own...
after checking out all the details i see how truly great they are.
why so great, you might ask?
1) the gingham checks help you create your own pattern and keep it straight.
2) you can use small gingham and make lettering to make it special!
3) choosing bright colors and contrasting thread means you can use the pattern over and over but each one can be unique and special!
4) i find in projects like this that keeping simple structure can actually allow for more creativity and all the love will be in the details!

here's to continuing the tradition –
oh, my great grandkids/nieces will be so happy some day...

hey again friends,
hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!

so, in leu of the time of year –
i have to give up some thanks for the support i've been receiving lately...

first off, the artstar craft bazaar holiday show was great! i've actually gotten so many notes, orders, and contacts afterwords that it totally would have been worth it even if i didn't sell a thing while i was there. gotta love that.

one of those little notes was from ladyott saying she was going to post my goods as one of her favs from the show! hooray! thanks lady ott!

(and check out that other featured artist –
my lovely tent-mate chez sucre chez!)

plus, i've been spotted in berks county living magazine!
labeled as one of the best in berks – wowee! my very first magazine spotting.

+ lucky me – i'll be in the next wedding issue of berks county living magazine featuring unique wedding items! thanks so much BCL, you're really making my season!

check back soon for my next post about my great-aunt martha's amazing cross-stitch aprons!

this past weekend we celebrated my mom's 60th birthday!
and i guess we've started a little tradition of making heartfelt/tear-jerking slide shows – here are some of my favorites from my mom's early life ...

{1 year old. love the leg rolls.}

{i think this was 4th grade. so cute.}

{the famous raccoon friend that walked across my grandmother's painting as it was drying.}

{such a beautiful graduation photo!}

it's really a lovely thing to put photos to music and see how powerful it can be. i'm realizing more and more how important taking photos is for the people who come after you. every time i find a new picture of my parents from the past it shows me a little more into who they were outside of being my mom or dad and i find that so important now.
thank goodness for milestones and reflections.
i love you, mom!
whoo hoo - i've just set up a tumblr page and my pinterest account!
(sorry for the lack of boards and posts so far but bear with me until i get into the swing of things!) i've been feeling so out-of-the-loop with all this great stuff but i'm finally getting into it and seeing so much i love out there it's unbelievable! what inspiration! check them out for yourself and i know you'll agree...
hello there!
so here's a lengthy catch-up post from my part of the woods –

first, look at that pretty bird. sheesh do i LOVE my chickens. i mean come on, just the other day i was bringing them hot oatmeal and thinking what spoiled chickens i have – but boy do they pay me pay back in funny company. they all have such wonderful personality!
{click on this image to experience full-blown sass}

we brought their hen house up close to the garden this fall to be sure they're safe and comfy when it gets really cold.
hopefully they'll lay all winter like our past birds.

best part about them up by the house is they'll all come to hang
while we stack wood or do yard work.

here's miss D supervising...

and even using the nest box like a good girl...

what else can i say. they're awesome.

and speaking of awesome - know who's really awesome?
my friend christin kelley!
look at these fantastic mitcher's whiskey pedestal mugs she gave me for my birthday!


also, christin and i made the most amazingly easy DIY xmas gift project ever.
here's our little review...
hand-made vanilla extract

got these great glass flasks at reading china and glass for a $1 a piece!

(you could use any bottles but these were our most favorite)

then all you need is inexpensive vodka and vanilla beans!

slice each bean down the center.

next fill the jar with vodka and plunk the beans in!
(also you can make some cosmos while you work)

then you just let them sit in a cool dark place for 2 months.
perfect, cause that's exactly how much we have 'til xmas.
scary, huh?

so, we super duper recommend this DIY. it was so fun and easy and there was no mess to clean up in the end. plus. vanilla extract can be so expensive so anyone who gets a big bottle like this will be thrilled. i also plan to make an illustrated how-to tag so everyone who gets one can make their own once it's gone. how fun, right?
i'll post the tags and completed bottles once they're finished.

whew, ok that was a good catch-up – now back to work for me!
hope you're having a great day,

LOVE this
happy snow-melting monday!
whew, that storm was kinda nuts, huh! we lost many of our ornamental pear trees and our power for about 24hrs or so. it was sad about the trees but definitely romantic with candles lit and just the fireplaces burning on saturday night. sunday we spent the day with friends sitting in their yard making snowmen and literally watching the snow melt. i think i got a sunburn from all the reflection. somehow the snow relaxed me and got me ready to jump-start this busy week.

also, as a nice little push –
2 of my calendars on poppytalk in their
calendar round-up part 3!

hope you're all safe and warm!
that's right! hike on over to the shop for some savings!
{photo of autumn trail found here}
happy wednesday!