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Delicious Autumn!

Home in Historic Deerfield, Mass.

      This morning when I sent a masked snow queen off to school, the day was dawning gray and wet and muted gold leaves were covering the sidewalk--  I was reminded that THIS is the season that makes my heart sing. Autumn is what I dream of when we're swimming in the heat of July. And Autumn in New England, well, is as good as it gets!
Hearth at "The Witch House" in Salem, Mass.

   The photos I've placed here this morning are from my 2013 trip to New England. Robbie was just a little bundle in my sweater that I toted along wherever I went! I'm hoping this trip before he was born somehow created a love of history in him, from my heart to his!
 
Old burial ground in Salem, Mass

A beautiful home in Woodstock, VT

   Around here, we are just starting to see the trees change. The heat of summer has been clinging on far too long, and so to have this rainy chilly morning is positively delicious. I'm shocked that we've reached the end of October--- it flew by in a blur and I'm trying to force myself to slow down, to let some things go....to remember that I don't have to do "ALL THE THINGS" when it seems to be my nature to want to.

   Autumn is a mellowing season that makes me want to cuddle up and take in the world, yet somehow things seem to get so busy and we barrel towards the holiday season. I have to remind myself to be gentle with myself with all my grand plans....with a little one under foot, I'm not as quick, organized, or able to sit down and paint when I want to. And I gotta be ok with that, because well, what choice do I have? I need to take a cue from the season and mellow......

Gravestone at Marble Head, Mass Old Burial Point

A covered bridge and river in Vermont

    And so, I will leave you today with these lovely images of my most favorite season in my most favorite place. Hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween and a blessed All Saints Day. Dont forget to download your free All Saints Day coloring page too! See the "Printables" section at the top of the blog.

   Til next time!~
H

All Saints Day Festivities!


   With All Saints Day just around the corner, I thought it was time for a little fun around here! Yesterday I started sketching on this little drawing packed full of beloved saints (St. Therese, St. Bernadette, St. Nicholas, Archangel Michael, St. Francis, St. Joan of Arc and St. Agnes, along with the Holy Family)

  You are more than welcome to use this drawing in your home, classroom (school, homeschool, Sunday school, etc) as long as its for personal use. It was so much fun to make, and an easy and quick way for me to make art with a little one underfoot. I've enjoyed it so much!

  If you'd like to download the PDF, you can find it HERE


  In other All Saints Day festivities, I've also got a little sale going on in the shop through All Saints Day!:

  All 8x10" saint portraits, including Madonna and Child paintings, are marked down! Please stop and take a look!

  Thanks so much for your visit!~
~H

PRINTABLE!: God Jul Advent Calendar

   Oooooh, it's that time again! Time to start thinking about Advent and Christmas art, and I've decided to offer another St. Lucia themed printable coloring sheet!~

   This new sheet can be used year after year--- it has fun holiday shapes included, and some special days tucked in-- like St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This Advent Calendar has a Scandinavian twist to it, as I can't resist a good Swedish style Christmas and St. Lucia is one of my favorite saints!~
   
  The calendar shows the Scandinavian version of St. Lucia--- the bringer of light with her greenery crown of candles, who brings coffee and treats in the dark of morning to signal the slow return of the sun to a land that is very dark and cold during the winter months. "God Jul" means "Merry Christmas" in Swedish, and "Sankta Lucia" is how St. Lucia is spelled in Swedish.

  I am scheming up even more coloring pages that are free to use for personal use (your own family, your own school project or Sunday school use is fine!) so check back soon for more! 

  Clicker HERE for the downloadable PDF.

  And to see all my printables, please visit my printables page HERE or at the top of this page in the blog menu!

  And if your little artists color their own Advent Calendar, I'd love to see! You can email me or tag me on Instagram @audreyeclectic :D

Happy Coloring!~!~!
H

A Glimpse at October





   October is my favorite month of the year. The colors deepen, the heat subsides (usually. Summer is having a hard time letting go around here) and there is just a festive feeling in the air.....and the urge to knit, to drink cocoa, to sit by a fire returns.

   Somehow this month has passed by in a blur, and so as the end of the month draws near, I am going to take time to savor it. On fall break, Natasha and I took the kids out to Shepherd's Cross to visit the sheep and the pumpkin patch. That morning we had rescued an old spinning wheel from a second hand shop, and as soon as we got it home....it started to fall apart! A little wood glue is gonna be in order before I show her off, but suffice to say, she is gorgeous, ancient and oh, the stories she could tell!

   October has been a little rocky as well....which is why its been a little quiet here. A day or two after the open house, I ended up falling down some (very hard!) concrete steps in front of our house when the baby tripped and my mama instincts kicked in and I ended up being the one falling and getting all skinned up, while the baby was fine! So if you saw me walking around like Frankenstein for a bit....that's why ;)

   We also took on the huge transition of moving my grandmother from her home to an assisted living apartment, which was a lot of touring, packing, moving, and then unpacking. Of course after all that, my own house was a wreck. Isn't that how it always goes?

  And so here we are....nearing the end of October. Its a gray drizzly day (my favorite!) and I'm turning my attention to some Christmas art on the painting table and looking forward to some leisure time.

   So glad you stopped by today!~ I'll write more soon, so much to share!~
~H

Special for Child Loss Awareness Month


   Since October is child loss awareness month, I thought it only fitting that I should do a special in my etsy shop for my 5x7" print "Lamentations." Through the month of October you can get the print at half price--- just $4. It is my hope that it will bring some comfort to families grieving the loss of a little one. 
   I am happy to mail them to any recipient, just let me know the address and I can send it with a note from you or anonymously. 
   Find more about the print HERE.

~H

Book In Hand....




      Yesterday something so special happened--- a box full of copies of "Mary Holds My Hand" arrived on my doorstep, the first time I've ever held a book with MY illustrations in my hands. How so very special!~

   Robbie climbed up on the window seat in the dinning room and looked it over. We can vouch for the fact that it fits well in little hands! The illustrations printed up nicely and Michele's prose is so very lovely. This book is a great way to introduce praying the Rosary to children, as well as a thoughtful look at the life of Jesus that little ones can understand.

   I've put some copies of the book in my etsy shop. It is also available on amazon. What a wonderful way to start the autumn!~
~H

PS: I recently was featured on the podcast "Little House Mothering", and Michele and I talk about the book and our inspiration behind the words and paintings. If you get a moment, check it out

Our Autumn Harvest


     This past weekend we harvested our gourds, the bumper crop of our summer that took over our rock patio out back! The seeds I took out of an old dried gourd I had that had been a decoration....and look what happened!
   The kids came out and helped me, and we searched through vines for hidden gourd treasure and made a grouping of our harvest. All in all, we got about 30 large gourds out of our summer! Not bad, considering everything else we grew was a bit of a bust!
   I'm going to dry some of them to make bird houses with next year, so that will be fun! So now starts the long drying process that will take at least the winter to complete. 

   In other news around this place, we've been busy...not just with art projects but family life in general. I'm really wanting to get down to focusing on Christmas art, and need to start ordering Christmas postcards.
    I have ordered copies of Mary Holds My Hand for the etsy shop, but they haven't arrived yet. I will certainly let you know when they do! I can't wait to share it with you! But for now, it is available through amazon! :D

  Today starts fall break for us out here on the prairie! We are headed to the pumpkin patch this morning (more gourds!!!) at Shepherd's Cross, where we love to go and see the beautiful farm and animals and yarn (the yarn!!)
   So on that note--- I better start getting ready for the day!~
Have a good week, 
H


Officially Published!: Mary Holds My Hand



   It has always been my dream--- a total childhood dream--- to see MY art in a book. I am now so excited that this has come to be, and in such a lovely little book too!~

   Today, The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, "Mary Holds My Hand" is officially released! The book is a collection of rosary meditations for little ones, and is designed to help parents and children pray together and contemplate the life of Jesus. The book starts at The Annunciation and goes through the baptism in the Jordan, Christ's night in the garden, the crucifixion and his resurrection.

  The book can be ordered in traditional format on Amazon or as an eBook with Kindle--- and will VERY soon be available in my etsy shop--- I'm expecting my copies on the 9th. So hold tight if you'd like one autographed! :D

   A big thanks to Michele Chronister for offering me this wonderful opportunity and for the inspiration her poems gave for the art. It's a beautiful book, and I cant wait to share with you all!~
~H

And the winner is....


   And the winner of the St. Therese print is.....Sara Rooney!~ Congrats, Sara! Lets get together and I'll send your print your way! :D
H

Our First Open House!~

  Hi there, friends!~
       What a fantastic weekend we had! Saturday was the first open house at The Prairie House for me and my good friend Tasha (who owns House Sparrow Fine Nesting.)

  So many wonderful friends, family and neighbors came out to see what we've been up to for the last few months and we were both so so thrilled to welcome them to our space. Shocked even, when it got pretty packed!

   It was so nice to see our vision for this space come to life and be able to share it with so many people. A big THANK YOU to all who came out--- including my sweet friend Winnie, who stopped in all the way from Florida to visit! She and I had so much fun paling around this weekend, and it was so nice to have her here for the occasion. 





   And just in case you werent able to make it....we are planning on a Christmas Open House as well, on Dec. 11 and 12! After this weekend, I am so inspired to get to work on holiday projects! So I better get to scheming. Thank you all again!~!
   Wishing all of you a wonderful week!~ It's fall and beautiful out there! The best time of the year....
~H

St. Therese, The Little Way, and a Giveaway!~


   Not too long ago I finished this commission of St. Therese of Lisieux--- who would have been an obscure French Carmelite nun if it wasn't for her "Little Way" and the inspiration and faith she ignited in generations of people with her autobiography "Story of Soul", which was published after her death at the tender age of 24.
   For Therese, you didnt need to do massively heroic deeds, change history, or travel the world to do good for the world and to please God. Instead, she devoted her life to making small sacrifices and doing small kind things for those around her.
  In her autobiography, Therese wrote:
    "True Charity consists in bearing with all the defects of our neighbor, in not being surprised at his failings, and in being edified by his least virtues; Charity must not remain shut up in the depths of the heart, for no man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. (Cf. Matthew 5:15). It seems to me that this candle represents the Charity which ought to enlighten and make joyful, not only those who are dearest to me, but all who are in the house."

   Today is special because it is the feast day set aside to honor St. Therese, also known as "the little flower." So remarkable is her quiet faith-filled life, that this year even her parents are up for canonization because of the wonderful home they created and their own strong faiths that created the saint, Therese of Lisieux.

   To celebrate this lovely little saint and the idea that no small deed goes unnoticed and the idea that every person, no matter how little or 'unimportant' can send huge blessings out into the world, I am doing a giveaway here on the blog!

   
  Simply leave a comment here on this blog post and you will be entered to win an 8x10" print of my original painting "St. Therese of Lisieux." The print comes signed and dated by me and will arrive carefully packaged to keep it lovely until ready to frame.

  If you'd like multiple chances to win, I'd love it if you could share this post on your social media (facebook, instagram twitter, etc) and just come back here and leave an additional post to let me know!

   The winner will be selected Tuesday, October 5.
Thanks so much--- and may your day be full of little blessings!~
~H

PS: If you dont want to wait until Tuesday to get St. Therese, I do have copies of this print in my shop!