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International Studies


Thanks to a recent trip to the library, Audrey and I are getting all international. I decided I needed to know more about the countries whose folk art has been so inspiring to me lately, and also picked up a little Russian folk tale book for Audrey, who is now totally into
Baba Yaga.

I've been working on my little dolls some more, and she keeps swiping them. And instead of Babushkas she calls them her "Baba Yagas" which I'm not too offended at because its honestly so cute to see her line them up and shepherd over them ;)

Baba Yaga, if you had no idea, is well known Russia folk tale witch. There are many tales in which Baba Yaga is the villain, what with her house that stands on chicken legs and her desire to eat "bad Russian children." Her home is usually lined with a fence of macabre skulls and bones and she's always trying to lure in kids for her meals, but luckily things never seem to work out in her favor ;) In the book we got from the library, she ends up throwing the kids out and running back into her house for some peace and quiet. I can understand that!

In less witchy endeavors, I think I've finally settled on a doll body style I like and have figured out how I want to make my babushka/baba yagas. I've got the prototype finished and am working on another pair that will probably be first into my shop! Cant wait to show you!~

Til then, don't let Baba Yaga get you....
~H

Russian Winter Serenade

Yes I did just say 'winter' in all of just March ;) This is my latest painting that I've been working on for the past few days and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out! My traditional folk art passion is still in full swing and I've been looking at all sorts of folk art pieces, studying books on folk art motifs, and even checking books out of the library on Russian and Swedish culture, because those specific cultures and their folk art seem to speak to me the loudest.

This painting is called "Russian Winter Serenade" and was inspired by the style used on Russian lacquered boxes. If you've never seen these boxes, they are amazing works of art, often times depicting folk tales or historical themes in an illustrative way with tons and tons of little details that make the over all piece so rich and full of movement.



So, this is what I was working on while listening to Beirut on Pandora, and I'm anxious to paint some more scenes, perhaps a Swedish one next. Hope you all like the painting! What do you think of Russian Winter Serenade?

Tasha Tuesday

Tasha's Home photographed by Richard Brown

A while back my husband and I and some friends all took a personality test called the Enneagram Test, which gives your personality a 'number' and describes your personality, both the good and bad aspects, and also how your personality interacts with others. It seems no one had trouble recognizing my number--- number 4--- the artist/individualist. Artistic, emotional, melancholy, overly sensitive and lovers of beauty, I don't think it's a stretch to assume that Tasha probably was a number 4 as well, in all its good and bad aspects. One key thing about this personality too is the strong need to be surrounded by beauty and to create a distinct and individual life. The worst thing for a number 4 to be is 'ordinary.'

Seeing Tasha as a 'kindred spirit' I greatly admire how absolutely she was able to create her own life and take charge of her world. What an achievement! I also admire the audacious beauty of her home and garden and how masterfully she created the world in which she lived. She often quoted Thoreau in "living the life you have imagined." And she put those words into action.

In the wider world though, some may say its frivolous to live life in pursuit of beauty. With all the serious and terrible things in the world, is it not self-indulgent to wrap yourself in a world created out of your own imagination, to reject what the rest of the world is mired in and make things as your wish? To an extent, I suppose it is. And it makes me a bit shy to admit my own endless pursuits of 'pretty' and how easy it is to let my imagination whisk me away from less than ideal settings and situations, or how frustrated I get if I can't make things exactly how I wish they would be instead of how they really are.

Then yesterday I was listening to my favorite radio show online called On Being and listened to a show called 'The Inner Landscape of Beauty.' The show talked with Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donahue and "his insistance on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God."

It was a fascinating and very lovely interview, and some of my favorite things that he said was (paraphrased) "Everyone is an artist. Everyone is involved with the construction of their world. Just living our life and creating our life is a work of art."

I found that notion really wonderful and simple and it reminded me a bit of Tasha. I also love the idea of revering nature and how beauty can be intertwined with spirituality. It's a great show and if you have a bit I highly suggest a listen. I listen while I paint, but you could easily put it on while you were making dinner or doing something that doesn't require your ears.

So. How about you? What do you think of the notion or creating, in an artistic sense, your life? No matter how creative you think you are or aren't, I think we all can't help but do it. Pop culture, and our cultures and 'norms' in general try to do it for us in many aspects. But are there aspects of your life that are unique to your own creation and desires?

Also, if you'd like to find out your own enneagram number, you can take a free test online. I'd love to hear what your number is if you do! Maybe you're a number 4 too?

Happy Tasha Tuesday,
H

Beirut - Prenzlauerberg



Playing this in the studio today, can you guess what I'm painting?

::Scenes from a Sunday::

Spring is here, and we're entering such a beautiful time of year. It's like everything is reviving and blooming and coming to life. I'm feeling hopeful~

Things that Spring

A few mornings ago I woke up to find that the rabbits had escaped their hutch and had played long and hard before the sun came up, and when I found them at dawn they were flopped on the ground, resting and exhausted from all the frolicking that had occurred.

Rabbits are such funny little things!

The rabbit above is Lillibel, the baby of our brood. If you've never seen photos of our adventure with a litter of rabbits, you can visit here. It was very fun to watch them grow and become real rabbits, but afterward we had daddy-rabbit fixed so no more babies! I had the rare privilege of witnessing the birth and even seeing the babies nurse a time or two (rabbits are notoriously sneaky about these things) and we kept back one girl baby that looks just like her mama. In fact, I have to look hard at the two of them before I can tell them apart any more.

One thing is for sure, they are enjoying the greening up of things very much, as they are my professional weed eaters. I pick them a nice breakfast bouquet of dandelion, clover, random weeds, and lettuce each morning, they love it!

Hope the arrival of the new season has put a spring in your step and that you're enjoying the new greening of the world. I am so happy to see new leaves on the trees each morning, and things begin to bloom. It's like a little miracle each year, isn't it? Welcome, spring!~

~H

*Linen Bubuskas*

So, I had this idea. Fabric dolls made in the shape of Russian Babushkas (Matryoshkas, stacking dolls, nesting dolls, etc) I had some linen left over from that petticoat I made and these little figures are my first attempt. As always, the first project is like the first pancake....it might come out weird, hopefully not burnt, but it's still, over all, ok. I think I'll try a little different shape and different method of bottom, but over all, I like them. What do you think? Should I have ladies like these in the shop in the future?

European Folk Art:: Johanna

Greetings!~
It has been the most audaciously stormy few days here. Last night the clouds rolled back in after a lull of blue and it was the most amazing sight. The clouds were like a pool of black ink seeping across the sky, it was the most foreboding sight. I was so glad to be tucked in safe in warm in my tiny little house.

And while the days have been full of rain and rolling thunder and waking up slowly to a green spring, I've been studying up on traditional folk art style motifs. That is what 'Johanna' (now available on etsy) was born out of. I have always been drawn to the rich decorative painting and embroidery of many of the European cultures. From Swedish to Russian (both currently feeding multiple obsessions! You'll see!) I think they are so interesting and so lovely.

This painting was really a practice at doing a more complicated floral pattern and I used it to frame the figure of the girl Johanna in a nondescript traditional dress. I didn't have a particular country in mind from which she would hail-- I think the look and costume will probably fit with several different heritages from around Europe, and perhaps she'll speak to you in some way?

I love the deep salmon color of the flowers, which is actually a color called 'Georgia Clay.' But mixed and highlighted with pink, it takes a more salmon tone.

I'm not sure what Johanna's story is, but I'm sure its a fascinating one. From where do you think she comes from? Maybe she'll tell you :)

Til next time,
~H

*Dala Horse*

The night before I dreamed of dala horses and matryoshka dolls. Since then I've been in a very folkish mood, and I decided to try my hand at my own little dala horse. He's sweet, I think~

After painting St. Lucia at Christmas and professing my undying love for folky Swedish style in the past, I've been asked if I am Swedish...I'm not (sigh.) But I found out recently that my married name, Sleightholm, while English in origin is also 'Nordic derived,' coming ,out of the viking settlements of Britain. So, hey, that's sorta Scandinavian, right? Close enough? I can now confidently paint my St. Lucias and Dala Horses and feel rather northern with my name people rarely can pronounce (it's SLYT-holm, by the way.)

After being out of sorts lately, I've taken some time to step back and search quietly in myself for inspiration. The internet can be a marvelous thing, but I find that it can over-saturate me with things meant to be inspiring, and suddenly I feel like I can't process anything and I sort of wilt under the pressure.

But I found that my old love of Scandinavian art and style can still get my muse revived, and so I'm working on some new little projects. I'm also daydreaming about visiting Lindsborg, Kansas, which is about 4 hours away from me. It's supposed to be Little Sweden! In Kansas! There are Dala Horses! And Tomtes! It sounds like heaven! Has anyone ever gone? I'm very curious about it. I'm wondering if I could just get in the car and get out in 4 hours and indulge in some Swedish loveliness, or if its one of those places where you need to go during a festival of some sort to get the full effect. But I'm loving the idea of it. And I'm painting again. And that's what is important!

I'm thinking too a fun thing to do with these dala horses might be to offer custom paintings and add the customer's Swedish surname to it. That way it would be a sweet little family treasure.

Alright well, back to work!~
Til next time,
H


Tasha Tuesday


Photos of Tasha Tudor out of the Tudor Family Collection

Happy Tasha Tuesday, and it's a rather dark and stormy and wet one here. The street lights are still on and the rain has been pouring since yesterday. We will be nestled inside all day I think.

Last Tasha Tuesday one of my readers mused about what young Tasha must have been like, so I thought I'd share a couple of photos I had in my 'Tasha File.' You can also see many other older photos of Tasha and her family in the book her daughter Bethany wrote'-- Drawn From New England-- if you can find it.

I feel fortunate to have that book and it is very pretty and gentle, I think the copy I got is an old library copy that showed up on Amazon. What I'd really like to find is a copy of Becky's Christmas, but so far, no luck!

I love these old photos of Tasha, they are so sweet and gentle and remind me that she started all that she was when she was my age, and younger. Remember, her family- thought no longer wealthy- had prominent standing in the Boston area and her mother expected her to do things like debut and go to society luncheons and events. Tasha would rather collect antiques and buy her own cow. She was definitely always marching to her own beat!

So, in honor of Tasha, I ask you to indulge a hobby or interest that may be out of fashion or out of step with the norm. If you love it, embrace it. It makes you uniquely you!~

Happy Tasha Tuesday,
H

Quelle Imperial

Surely I have professed my strange love of all things Russian here before. It's one of my oldest obsessions, sparked by reading the Robert K. Massie book The Romanovs: The Final Chapter when I was about 15 or so. The story of the fall of the tsar and the terrible end of his beautiful family broke my heart as well as captured it. I hoarded books about anything Russian or Romanov, devoured accounts of possible escapes and royal impostors, collected matryoshka dolls, flirted with the idea of studying Russian (I chickened out and went with another language I love, French, bien sur!~)

Whenever I come across another fellow lover of all-things-Russian I get the lovely feeling that I've found another kindred spirit, because its always nice to be able to freely geek-out over an obscure obsession. I found out a while back that a friend of mine I used to work withalso has a soft spot for all things Romanov. He sent me an image of an old illustrated card of Nicholas and Alexandra full bedecked in imperial finery and it was decided that I'd paint my own rendition of the scene for him. It's not every day that you meet someone who thinks admires a tsarist beard as much as I do, so I happily obliged! (Seriously, didn't Nicholas and his almost identical cousin King George V of Great Britain have the most fantastical of beards?)

But I digress....

The painting above is what I came up with. I made it gritty and crackly, as if it had been long lost in some elaborately painted trunk, wrapped in ermine and hidden with secret jewels. Wouldn't that be intriguing? And to further feed my love of Russian royals, I picked up Massie's latest "Catherine the Great" at the library, having heard great things about it. So far, it is a fascinating read, and I'm all for girl power. I love a good royal biography, although it always makes me shake my head in disbelief about how badly royals parents and raised children. More often than not, they were treated coldly and raised by staff that were ill equipped, self serving, or brutal. And then they wondered why the kids turned out to be total train wrecks and out of touch with their people. So of course, they then were handed an entire kingdom to run. They needed a royal Dr. Phil desperately, too bad no one ever thought "hey, lets not raise these kids to be total spoiled jerks." Not sure why. ;) Although so far, Catherine seems to be bright and pliable and tenacious. Her mousy little husband, however, does not. Good thing I have a whole weekend ahead of me to find out what happens!

And one last thing--- thanks so much for your warm comments about the foundling pup. In case you didn't see my update to yesterday's post, her owners did end up calling yesterday afternoon and claiming her. It was bittersweet, but I have hopes that she'll be loved and cared for even more since she was nearly lost. And since she just lives down the street, perhaps we'll meet again!

Hope you have a great weekend! I hope I get a little creating in now that spring break has started! And Happy St. Patrick's Day as well!~!
~H

....And then Toto arrived

Yesterday was one of those days. Everything was just going terribly. I couldn't find a crafting supply that I was desperate to find, the window on my car broke, I bought the wrong yarn. I couldn't win for losing. You know those days?

Around here I can tell when the mail man arrives just by the sound of his brakes. And I had just settled down with a painting that has been getting greatly neglected when I heard him stop in front of the house, and I can't ever resist the lure of "maybe there's a magazine!" so I went out, still with a wet paintbrush in my hand, when I heard barking and this crazy little thing raced by, dragging a tether behind.

She looks just like Toto. It's like she blew in for Audrey's party, but came a few days late. Seeing the tether dragging behind her, I thought she must have just escaped from a neighbor's yard so I captured her (which involved stepping on the 8 foot of cord she was dragging and then trotting her back to the porch) and she was a mess. The scraggliest looking thing ever. She had mats and snarls all over her, she had obviously been out for a good long time. So...like any good Ellie May Clampett would do, I promptly brought her inside, cut off all the snarls and snags and bathed her repeatedly. She was so dirty I had to clean the bathroom next because so much dirt came off that little body.

Once she realized I wasn't going to hurt her, this dog pretty much fell in love with me. She's pretty darn adorable. She wants to be in my lap (nuzzling me sweetly) or sitting primly at my feet. I know a good dog like this must have a home. I've posted fliers and I've reported her to the local shelter (which I would never take an animal to, but I figured her owner may have called there to report her missing) she had a worn and rotten collar on but no tags. I have no idea where she's been or what her story is. I'm finding myself slowly becoming one of 'those people'...those people surrounded by dogs, when for years I had assumed I was a cat person. Oh no. I do not tire easily of constant adoration ;)

So now. Here we are. In this tiny house. Three dogs. For now. If someone out there loves and misses her, I want her to be back in her home because if one of my boys got out, I'd want someone to make a search for his rightful home. So I will with her. But....if nothing happens...Well, all I'm missing is a 'cement pond' and a raccoon.

I will eventually get back to painting ;) I think....
~H

UPDATE: This afternoon I got a call from a girl saying that I had found her dog and she identified the little cutie closely so I knew it was her family. They live just down the road, so I'm hoping that maybe I'll get to see this little moppet again some time. I'm glad she's with her family again, and things seem strangely peaceful with only two dogs now! I'm glad she came to give me some cheering up when she did. And she got a haircut out of the deal, lol.

::Fog::

Early this morning when I let the dogs out I found that the outside world was completely shrouded in fog. It was quiet and gray with a faint rosey pink from a hidden sunrise and it seemed to perfectly capture how I've been feeling lately. Be-fogged.

Things seem to be full of starts and stops lately, and wanting to be focused and driven but not knowing quite what to focus on or, frankly where to 'drive.' I know that there is something out there that I am meant to do, but it's just beyond the fog. I just have to trudge through to find it.

With this in mind, I was happy to sit at the table this morning when it was just me and the dogs and watch the sun burn off the fog while I ate my breakfast of leftover birthday brownie and coffee. It is now bright and incredibly blue outside.

I've got a couple of books out that I've been thumbing though over the past day or so, looking for some focus and motivation. I have a new painting is the gesso stage on my desk and fingers crossed it actually turns out into something I'm pleased with. Yesterday ended with a half-done painting getting completely painted over in black. No good. Need to start over. Sometimes it works to push through a painting, and other times you just have to realize that you're wasting time and need to move onto what's next.

So. That's what my hopes are for the day. What are your hopes for this Tuesday? Are you struggling with a plan or a project or just *things* in general? Hope the fog lifts for you as well~

~H

* The books in the post are Handmade Marketplace and Plain Living. You can find them both on Amazon.

A Birthday in Oz

Well, this weekend my Little Miss turned five and we celebrated in Wizard of Oz style. It was a rather handmade affair, and when the bakery couldn't find the Wizard of Oz characters to go on the cake I'd wanted to order, I just decided to bake a few treats (some 'yellow brick road' lemon bars and brownies) and have an ice cream sundae bar for the kids (and adults!) and everyone seemed quite content!

I used an old vintage table cloth with "poppy-like" flowers on it and a few of my Nicol Sayre halloween witch dolls and some flowers for decorations. I ended up being pretty pleased with the little gift bags I dreamed up. I got the red lunch bags at Target for about $2 for a stack and tied them with ribbon through punched holes made from pieces of fabric left over from the Dorothy skirt I made Audrey. Inside there was a giant lollipop, a magic wand, some Wizard of Oz rings I ordered off of Amazon and flower seed packs of poppies. The illustration on the bag I found online, printed with photo paper and glued on the bags. Voila! Wizard of Oz in a bag!~

I'm always of the mind that I can do a lot of these little party things myself to cut costs, but it still is a bit daunting to get every last thing bought, made, and remembered. But we had it done and it was fun and I'm glad that we have a whole year to worry about it again :)

And now that she's 5, my Audrey is quite the big kid. She was supposed to be a St.Patrick's Day baby, but came a week early, much to my surprise. I always tell her that her birthday brings the flowers, and its true; things are getting all bloomy and waking up from winter now. If you squint and don't realize you're looking at weeds, even the lawns are starting to green up! I can't wait for the lush abundance of spring. Every season has it's charm, but there's a special relief to seeing springtime again.

Well, I need to get a little painting done so I will go for now!~ Hope your week is starting on a good foot-
~H

Prairie Girl Petticoat

I love pretty prairie clothes. I love things that are simple and homespun with a bit of a rough edge. So I thought now that spring was coming and skirt weather was nigh upon us...I needed a petticoat! The shabbier and tattier and prairier the better. And when I came across this petticoat tutorial from AlisaBurke, I knew I'd found just the thing to make!

Now, I pretty much managed to not follow her directions very well. But I got the gist of what she was trying to do and I think it sewed up pretty well. I love that the petticoat is made up of all tattered edges on the ruffle, so it was meant to be rough and cut down a lot of time that might have been spent hemming edges (me? hem dozens of feet worth of edges? Ba!) I did use the outline of a skirt I already had on hand to make the rough form of it. And although her tutorial doesn't really give a lot of information on how she put the base form of the skirt together, I used this crazy simple pattern for making and adding an elastic waist to a skirt from Oliver + S. It's the pattern from which I've made all Audrey's skirts and it's so simple, I love it. I used the same idea to put in the waistband and base hem of the petticoat and when that was done I just added the rough ruffles.
Here is a photo of the petticoat under the linen skirt I based the pattern off of. Another difference in my petticoat is that the base is made of linen, which is sturdier than the muslin used in the tutorial, and I added some linen into my ruffles.

I'm going to make Audrey a mini one to wear under her skirts, and I know she'll be adorable! I'm very pleased to have made a Mama-sized skirt now. I hope I can make more things for myself, and tailor them to my own personal style. I'm glad to have it finished, and my family probably is too! I have a habit of making a terrific mess when I sew. Who knew?

Anyhow...hope you like it! Now I need to start painting again!~
H

Rainy Day Rambling

It's so rainy and cold out, that the truth is, I'm trying to stay awake! I've got lots of grand plans to keep me busy, of course. So far I've made four skirts for my daughter and I'm attempting to make some cute little tattery petticoats for us both. Here's hoping they work out!

Not a lot of art making going this week. Just getting ready for Audrey's birthday and immersing myself in sewing. I feel like I am always making mistake after mistake when I sew. But the only way to get better is to practice, so I'm slowing trying my best!

I finished the L.M. Montgomery biography book (so good!) and browsed through Anne's House of Dreams, to be honest. that was one staid and vanilla wedding, wasn't it? Especially after fretting about it for 4 entire books? They get married and suddenly a month is gone?

But I'm not dwelling on it long and have started rereading Emily of New Moon, which is basically like reading it for the first time since it's been a good 17 or so years since I read it last. That is practically a lifetime ago! I'm sure I will eventually find myself curled up with that book and a dog or two at some point in this day.

Hope you're having a good day, and if you've got a rainy and sleepy day on your hands, I hope you get to sneak in a little nap! It's so impossibly gray out, and cold and windy. It's a very Bronte type of day. I expect Jane Eyre to come falling down on my porch for me to nurse back to health at any minute ;)

Til next time...
~H

Tasha Tuesday

Photo by Richard Brown

Hello there my friends,
Well it is a very windy but very sunny Tasha Tuesday out here in Oklahoma. The wind has been howling all night and its still sweeping through this morning. After some errands and a walk (or a battering by the wind, whichever it turns out to be) my plans for the day including settling down with some new fabric and my sewing machine and making up a little dress for Audrey. I've already sewn up 3 skirts, but I love those old fashioned apron dresses, and wanted to make her one for her birthday this weekend.

I don't know about you but I love little old fashioned dresses, especially for little girls. When I was a little girl, I had what we called an 'India dress' which was made of light white cotton and extremely embroidered, much like little girls would have worn at the turn of the century. How I loved that dress. How I wish I still had one! Maybe they'll come back into fashion?

I know that one of the many things I love about Tasha Tudor was her love for old fashioned dress and her use of them in her every day wardrobe. She also used the old dresses as inspiration for many of her paintings, something I love as well.

I love all the little details of old fashioned dresses, the simple color, the tiny embroidery and lace and eyelets. I'm determined to sew more than I did last year, and maybe bravely try to make some items for myself. I wish I had an expert seamstress just lying about, but it will have to be a terrific feat of trial and error for me to get some things made. But I do, ever so slowly. No matter if I ruin fabric with a rogue dryer sheet, or forget to follow the directs and do it all wrong. Slowly, I hope I can learn!

I hope you have something fun and creative planned for this day! And my heart is with those who have been so terribly effected by the early spring storms.

Til next time,
~H

Family Portraits

Over the past few years, I've made a lot of family portraits. Some of my favorite portraits, however, concern people's beloved ancestors. Sometimes they have an old photo. Sometimes all they know is a name and where they were from. But something about a particular ancestor's story has a special place in their heart and they want a tangible momento to remember them by, and that's where I come in.

I think these projects are so interesting to work on, and thought that perhaps people hadn't even considered the idea of an ancestor portrait, so I would bring it up myself! There are so many fun and beautiful ways to memorialize and ancestor-- anything from a family portrait, a wedding portrait, a mother and child portrait, a sibling portrait, or even a lone person portrait. In the past I've made relics of an ancestor lost to the Salem Witch Hunt and also to a Bohemian family's crossing to Ellis Island. Every family has interesting stories, and I love exploring those through art. Chances are, someone in your past made a great journey, married the love of their life, planted a lush garden, boarded a boat, stood gazing at the sea, or walked through an expanse of landscape that is at once long ago and close to your own heart.

So if you are so inclined to go on this artistic journey with me, I'd love to have you :) I'm offering a general listing for the portraits done in the size and style of the portrait shown above. You can see more info including pricing in the etsy listing. And feel free to email any time with any questions you might have at audreyeclectic (at) gmail.com. A nice way to star the springtime, don't you think?

Have a good weekend,
~H

The Band Perry - All Your Life



I really like this song. And when I saw the music video I was shocked that it looked like something I would dream up if I were lucky enough to be able to sing :) Total Audrey Eclectic vibe, dontcha think? <3

Pretty::Lovely

I like to surround myself with pretty. And bookish. And good to eat. And more pretty.

The photo above was yesterday's breakfast. I had a rather genius epiphany this week about the muesli I've been making-- I add just a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the honey mixture and ohhh....it all turns to chocolatey delight. It's fabulous. You have to try it.

I've also been in the mood to curl up with some gentle, old timey books and I'm rereading a biography on LM Montgomery that I've checked out of the library so many times I just went ahead and ordered my own copy. It's so good. I think when I'm done (again) I'd like to talk about LM Montgomery-- or "Maud"--as I've come to know her more in-depth because as cliche as it sounds...I feel like she's a kindred spirit. In the good and the bad aspects of her, I can see myself. It's an interesting perspective. Artistic temperaments are never dull!

I also checked out a volume from the library that combines Anne of the Island and Anne's House of Dreams. I think I read Anne of the Island in the 7th grade and its rather murky in my mind, and I dont think I've ever read Anne's House of Dreams. I've decided I'm going to immerse myself in this Montgomery kick (as I'm apt to do when I get enraptured with something) and try to read all the Anne books I haven't read. I've read the first one several times, but never pushed through to the others after I initially read them as a kid. I also have all the Emily books from around this seventh grade period (really, did I ever grow up? How am I 30, I still feel like a middle schooler?) and might reread them too. I know I liked them, but I can't remember a thing about them now.

And while in this dreamy, old timey world state of mind, I happened into a store by the craft store today and found this pretty little top that instantly reminded me of Downton Abbey and so instantly it was mine. Which is funny, because I'm not much of a clothes shopper. I'm more of a 'bi-annual clothes expedition' type shopper. But I just had to have this. It's so Lady Mary, don't you think?

Oh, and I've been meaning to ask you, have any of you tried the honey and spice mask I posted about the other day? I've been faithfully applying it each night (or morning if I forget) and I really like it! Its soothing and gentle. And a bit ridiculous how easy it is to make. I hope you've enjoyed it if you've given it a go!

Well, on the agenda today is the sewing of one Dorothy-style skirt for a little girl who has requested a Wizard of Oz themed birthday party. Her birthday always brings the daffodils and tulips, and its just around the bend!

Talk with you later,
H