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Hi there, friends! I just wanted to let you know I've changed things up a bit and have stopped hosting by website through blogger. I now am hosting my website through wordpress, and you can find me lastest posts and information HERE:

  This change should make it much easier for friends to comment, and I now have the ability to own my own content. All the posts of the pasts have been moved there too, so its just like reading the full blog, just with new posts and easier posting! Hurray!

Hope to see you there,
Take Joy!

Inward, Summer Days

    Good morning, friends!~
               I'm sitting at my dining room table writing to you today on a beautiful, sunny morning where the sky is a perfect robin's egg blue, with no clouds. This sun is so welcome after rain and clouds all yesterday, and storms throughout this spring.
            I'm getting off to a slow start this week.....although I am trying to keep to the housekeeping routine that I set for myself a few weeks ago. This summer has had me feeling the need to go inward....to quiet my mind and my life and to try to cut out all the noise I can, and not juggle so many plates.
         I've been thinking so much about my great-granny Emma, who lived just a couple of blocks down my very same street, and how she might have organized her days. She's been gone over 3 decades now, but we all remember her so fondly....she was the glue of her family. So naturally as I contemplate being more intentional in how I keep my home and the food I prepare (it is SO HARD to try to make authentic, wholesome, natural foods these days.....it's become a project in and of itself, and I cant say that Im 100% succeeding, even with trying to be intentional) I find myself thinking of her.
   The other day I was at an antique shop on our day-trip to Independence, KS, and found this fun little cookbook. From the cover art, I suspect that it was published in the late 20s, but more likely the 30s. There's no publishing information in it. I love it because it assumes you know absolutely nothing about cooking, and its good to start from square one! There are recipes as simple as making coffee and toast. Then there are main meal dishes, desserts, and even suggestions on what to pack in lunches for people going off to work or children going to school. There are even recipes to give people who are sick (toast water!?!?!) and I have found it completely fascinating!

   I have found myself cooking more and trying to make more from scratch. I am trying to pace myself and make myself a schedule that makes room for these things, because it's taking a whole change in my mindset. Usually, things like making slow cooking meals or bread, etc. seem like a huge time suck. I often would find myself looking around my house at the 5,000 things that needed to be done and feel a huge anxiety attack coming on. WHEN was I supposed to tackle all this? How on earth could I keep up?
   I embarked on a week or so of a massive clean-out, each day devoted to a specific room. When I got most emergency things under control, I wrote myself out a schedule of which room to do for 'upkeep.' Today is the dining room and living room. I've noticed that I feel calmer working within this daily rhythm and Im not sure why Im surprised by this--- since I know that kids do better with a daily rhythm too. We all need to know what the day holds for us, as much as we can....what we need to get done, and also what can wait.
   And although I initially felt like it would take time away from my painting, I've found that it really doesnt effect it....I block out time for it, and when I finally sit down to paint, I can do it with a peaceful mind and know I have a certain amount of time where its my only concern. That's been really, really nice.

   I've been making bread, and also some 'treats', as I find that the snacky things in our house are where we tend to eat the most processed food. So my idea has been to make treats that, while not diet food--- are still more 'whole' food than the processed bars and cookies I've been getting at the store. One such treat was making "Dady's Brownies" from the Tasha Tudor Cookbook, which came out nice!
   They are a very old fashioned brownie....cakey and not as dark and rich as most brownie's we we eat these days. Tasha suggests frosting them with a fudge recipe also found in the book, but since I didnt have time to make fudge as well as brownies, I just made a simple chocolate glaze, and that worked fine.

   I feel like these brownies do need some sort of glaze or frosting though to be at their best--- or perhaps that's just the chocolate fiend in me talking ;) The recipe makes two square pans worth of brownies, so a good amount. I made one with nuts and one without. They didnt last long!

    Well, off to start my routine! Hope you are doing well. I have a new painting to show you that I finished last week, and I can't wait to share it with you. I'm still on my Scotland kick--- but this time, there's SHEEP! Stay tuned :)

And of course,
Take Joy!~

New Art: A Highland Walk

 Hello there, friends!~
    I am back with new art....although these last couple of weeks have been...crazy! Just after school was out, the weather got rough here in OK. One evening a tornado tore through my hometown, and we suffered some pretty terrible damage in the yard--- luckily the house was fine aside from some repairs needed to the roof. All in all, we were really lucky, but it was traumatic. And it's not something I want to dwell on too long at the moment, so instead let's go to Scotland :)

   This was one of those rare paintings where I sat down and painted it in a day! That rarely--- RARELY-- happens! But this lass wouldn't wait! The inspiration for this piece has come from some daydreaming a friend and I have been doing about Scotland....she wants to see her ancestral castle, and I am always willing to fall in love with a place and go on an adventure!

   I love the landscape of Scotland, the tradition of fiber arts--- they are amazing weavers and knitters! And the wild beauty of the land.

   Out of curiosity, I began to scan my own family tree to see if I had any traces of Scotland, and lo and behold! I found 3 times great-grandmother named Millie McGregor! Let's just take a moment and enjoy how fantastic that name is...you know she had to be spunky! She was from the Kentucky region and married a Van Winkle, which was my maiden name. I have her grandson's wedding photo framed and hanging above my mantle. How thrilling to find my own Scottish line, and to discover that the McGregors were a very old and prestigious clan. Their motto is "royal is my race."
    'nough, said, right? ;) 

    Perhaps I am a descendant of beautifully freckle-faced Celtic princesses? I mean, stranger things have happened, right? It's thrilling to think about! One of the things I love about genealogy is that it is so much more than dry dates and names, they are stories--- stories that literally run through your veins. Sometimes those stories are happy, and sometimes those stories are very sad. But they are worth learning about, and learning from. I am very curious to know more about my McGregor ties....and their story of coming to America. Everything I've found online has had them coming sometimes around the American Revolution, but I know you can't trust everything you read online (ha, understatement!)But there IS a story there, somewhere. And perhaps one day I'll get to know it!

   In the meantime, I've had lots of fun painting this pretty Scottish girl, wandering through a highland meadow picking a bouquet of heather and tramping through the thistle. I even added the Scotch pine, especially since it is the 'plant badge' of the McGregor clan (I've always loved pines! Is it genetic?! hehe)

  This painting is currently available in my etsy shop, and in need of a good home!
Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful week--
Take Joy!

Creativity & Community

Master Weaver Kate Smith and Illustrator/Icon Tasha Tudor work together to harvest flax for spinning. Each year they'd get together for several days to work together on their craft.

    Lately I've been having really good conversations with friends. About our feeling that something is missing....lost but perhaps not unretrievable. Something many of us haven't even really experienced first hand, but have some deep sense memory of--- community.

  Now, I'm about to get a little hippy dippy on you, so fair warning ;)

As I've learned to weave, I've learned to dress my loom. To take it from yarn on a spool, to the warping board, then to the loom and through the heddles, threading each little needle eye one by one. Then it's time to tie all the threads with even tension to the bars on each end of the loom and wind all that thread, with good, even tension, on the back beam to prepare to weave.

    But the at the end of it all, after all that work, I usually find that I've made some error, or that I need at least one more pair of hands to help get the tension right as I roll up all that thread to prepare to weave. I've discovered---- this is something that is not meant to be done alone. Most women, when they sat down at their loom, had done all that preparation in tandem with their daughter, their mother, their friend who'd dropped by, their neighbor.  It made me feel lonely and a little out of my depth. It brought home that, on most days and in most tasks, I am alone and have always assumed that 'doing it all on my own' was the default. But something in me has started to question this, and I've started to miss something that my grandmas, great-grandmas and all those other women before me had--- a community to lean on, and a respect for the small tasks they did each day. It's something that I miss, although it's not something I really ever had in the first place. But that wont stop me from looking for it.
Knitting with yarn harvested and milled by my friend Lavonne in Montana. She raises her own beautiful Shetland-Romney sheep and has acquired a wool mill to process it. She is my favorite shepherdess, and her wool is a dream!

My loom---- so relaxing to weave on but oh so much work to get all set to go!

My current weaving, done with yarn I've been dyeing with natural plants and elements. The green was created with goldenrod overdyed with indigo and the pink is from avocado pits

     The truth is, I don't have any set plot point for how to make this happen. How to look around and gather my community around me. But I figure the first step is to raise my hand and say, "hello? Anyone out there?"

    I have a sneaking suspicion that our lack of community has been broken down by the message that has been ground into us that we need to do more faster, and the guide of what is 'worth our time' is the money it generates. Aint nobody making money helping me warp a loom. And it was many years before I even had the gumption to call myself an artist, because there seemed to be a stipulation that I be making a certain amount of money and have a certain amount of sales before I could claim the title. There was also nothing more uninteresting to people that for me to tell them I was home raising kids, because that was supremely 'not worth anything.' I can see now that there's been a struggle within my own life of finding the worth in the small things I love and enjoy, because they aren't worth much to society at large.

   We measure quality of life in these modern times by the quickness of the action and the cash it creates. The frantic accumulation of money and acquiring of 'stuff' is what life is supposed to be about in our times. To try to get off that track is often uncharted waters.
   There is no time to go help a friend, or look after a baby, or gather with friends to do a slow, time consuming task. Our priorities don't allow for it.

  But, what if they did? They used to. 

  A couple of weeks ago I was out at a living history event at Hunters Home in Tahlequah, OK where I volunteer. That day I was out on the front porch of a small, rustic cabin, usually doing spinning demonstrations. Nearby friends were dyeing yarn in a big copper pot, there were others shearing sheep, building things, plowing up the field for this year's crop (I think corn?) and horses and a wagon transporting visitors.

   I looked around and felt an overwhelming sense of peace and calm. There was no hurry, just steady diligence. Everyone was creating with their hands, getting things done...but there was no frantic sense of hurry or "I gotta do this and this and this...."

   I thought, "ohhh, this is nice. How do I keep this?" And to be honest, it's been hard. Modern life doesnt allow for much slowness. Or much gathering to work alongside our neighbors. We are to get in our cars, go to our office, get in our cars again, close it up in the garage and then go alone into our homes.
All my natural dyed yarn in fabric, gathered in all its glory! I kinda just like to stare at it lovingly sometimes. It took a lot of work to get these things done, but it was so much fun to see how each experiment came out.

A closer look at the yarn

      I really have no answers to the things I'm asking here. But I am very open to suggestions. A few conclusions I've come to though, are these things...

- I want to know my neighbors and my community more.

- I want to purchase more of the things I use in my life or wear from the people that actually make them. And yes, I realize that this will cost much more money. I need to be more mindful with my spending and spend for longevity and quality, not just cheap and easy.

- I want to get together more with my friends and create. I want to support their creating and support, with my dollars, those who are creative.

-  I dont want to assume that life is done in a set way and I want to remember that life's worth isn't measured in money. I heard the phrase 'wealth doesn't equal worth' the other day and it really clicked in my brain. I want to stop thinking of 'success' in terms of money, and more in terms of happiness, freedom and fulfillment.

- I want to remember that my life and my community are mine to create, and not to give into fear of what is 'should' be, or blame those I feel make it hard for me to live out my ideas. We are all living in this world together, and we have to find a way to do that in a positive way. Time to stop complaining and blaming, time to get to work.

- Realize 'work' can be quiet and fulfilling on a soul level. It doesnt have to be big and flashy to be worthy of doing.
My hens Peggy and Victoria both care for this little flock of chicks. They are two devoted mamas who get things done!

   Ah, and finally.....create community where I can. Be a good friend, a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter. Just try my best every day.

   If you have any suggestions for me....whether they are books, or artists/craftsmen to support, methods of staying focused, or a place to find community--- I am all ears. I am here to learn! There's a Zora Neale Hurston quote that says "there are years that ask questions and years that answer." I am oh so full of questions. And I am ready to work towards answers.

And of course, most of all---
Take Joy!~

Yarn & Roses

   Oh, goodness. It's been a bit, hasnt it? May is a notoriously busy month, with the end of school happening, the garden going into full-force bloom and me trying to squeeze all the time I can out of the day before the kids are out for the summer, but I end up just wandering around the yard carressing flowers.

   I have gotten some painting done though (hurray!) and updated my etsy shop with freshly done prints AND new notecards, which I havent had in card form before! The painting I just finished is "Contented Spinner", above. The original is happily sold, and I do have some notecards with her. In my excitement, I forgot to order proper prints of her, but I'll get those on the next print run.

   I am so happy with how the notecards came out though, and they are a great size at 5x7", so they can be mailed OR framed. The color is fantastic, and I am always so pleased with how my printer gets things made up for me. I noticed a while back that they have my calendar hanging up in their work area and was so bashfully happy to see it in use there. Which reminds me, I need to get on the 2020 calendar, because I mean to have it ready to preorder by August again.

   However, I am being absurdly distracted by the amazing roses that popped and blossomed this month....right now they have faded mostly, but Ooooooh midmonth it was all I could do to just not sit in the grass and gaze lovingly at them all.....

    These are the climbing roses outside my studio door, and they were SO, so pretty.....they're a big pink rose and a big yellow rose entertwined together. I had put that white bench there in front of them just to move it from somewhere else, but then decided it was kind of sweet to have it there, at once helping hold up the roses, and give a pretty place to sit, under a bower of blossoms.


    I also went on a wild tear with doing some natural dye projects, and set up a table for myself out in the yard and a close line between the studio and the house. It was so handy, and lots of fun! Shown here are some pieces I dyed with brazilwood and others I did with madder root. My plan with the linen is to do a natural dye quilt. I also did some dyeing with coreopsis and indigo. SO many pretty colors! I cant wait to get started, but Im making myself finish a quilt I've had going for months before I start that....

Ah, but before I go, more roses....just to tide us over....
This one was my "Peace Rose" which bloomed with abandon this month.....such big, pretty flowers. I think the plant must finally be established and happy with its corner of the garden. Bloom where you're planted and all that ;)

   Well, summer vacation is finally here for the kids, and Im working on getting a summer routine. The winds have been wild, and so has the weather....we had to be down in the basement a few minutes last night as the tornado sirens went off, but for the most part it was just a regular stormy night for us with no danger...

Hope you are well, and I'll write more! I didnt mean for so much time to pass since my last post! I still have more to share! Come back again and say hello!~
Take Joy

Mother's Day Sale

  Hi friends!~
    Just popping in to let you know that I have a sale going on in my etsy shop, starting today! As of 4/29/19 ALL PRINTS are 20% off! Just enter the coupon code LOVEMOM20 at checkout.

   This sale lasts through May 8, and I've started early to make sure you get your gifts in time to celebrate Mom.

Thanks so much for your support here! I love painting for you....and I hope you've been liking my new creations! :D
Happy shopping! You can get to the etsy shop HERE.

A Little Sheepfold

The Good Shepherd and his sheep. He knows them all by name!

    Good morning, friends!~
          As we enter into Holy Week, I thought I'd share with you a bit about our atrium at my parish this. Last summer I began training as a Catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. I've finished part one, and should complete my training for level 1 this coming summer.
    I first learned about this program from my wonderful friend Joanie, who is also a Catechist at her Catholic parish. She grew up as a child in the Catechesis program, and it was so meaningful to her as a child that she is now running a wonderful atrium in her home parish.

   After spending some time in Joanie's atrium, I felt like it was something I'd like to bring to my own church.  As luck would have it, training was being offered in my area for the first time and my parish approved my being able to take part.
    What I felt so drawn to about this program is that it is so gentle, and so full of joy. The program uses Montessori learning methods to help guide children towards contemplation and connection with God. And above all, it roots children in the knowledge that God is The Good Shepherd who loves them, knows them by name, will come looking for them when they are lost, and will celebrate when they are found. It is about love and belonging, and about letting a child's thoughts wander in a meditative way to think very big thoughts, without we grown ups getting in the way.
Our atrium at work

   Each morning the children and I gather at our prayer table, and we begin in a quiet and soothing manner that sets the tone for our time in the atrium. Here, we work with real things--- real glass, real water, real fire even. The children pick up quickly that we must move quietly and gently so as not to break our special things. They take the permission to handle these things quite seriously, and know that when they begin their 'work', the whole work is theirs alone to complete as many times as they wish. No one will interrupt them, and they can sink into a deeply meditative state of mind-- whether they are working with a small nativity, or sorting rocks, exploring The Annunciation, polishing candle sticks, or pouring water from one carafe to another.
Our "practical life' works, with a Montessori emphasis on fine motor skills and repetition. Things kids this age love to do.

   A lot of my job as the catechist is to get out of the way. I handle the matches for any candle lighting, and am on hand if a colored pencil needs sharpening or something spills. But other than first presenting a work for the children to see for the first time and leading our prayers and songs, I am mostly a silent watcher.
   Which can be so hard, when we, as parents, want to show them the short cut, or explain the meaning, or cut to the chase and tell them what every thing is all about. But that's not how Catechesis works and honestly, it is much more meaningful for it.
   The children slowly, over time, start to realize who the shepherd is. Then....they realize who the sheep are! And after nearly a school year's time in the atrium, they are comfortable with a map of Israel and can name the three major cities of Jesus' life, know the liturgical colors of the year and what they mean and explore many of the best stories and parables from the Bible over and over again until they know them by heart.
Some cards we use on our prayer table

    Our little atrium is small and modest in size and works. I create the pieces used for each presentation by hand, or generous parishioners create them for us. We had a man build us a child-sized altar, and another parshioner, who is a potter, gave us a handmade chalice and paten she had made.  The latest work I completed was for the story of "The Precious Pearl", about the pearl merchant who sold all the pearls he had in exchange for the one, perfect, precious pearl that he found. (you can see my son with that particular work in the photo below.)
   At my parish, (which is Episcopalian), our Christian Education classes run concurrent with the school year, so we have just about a month's worth of time left in the atrium. In that time, we will celebrate "The Liturgy of Light" at Easter, and the last work I hope to complete for them is a small model of The Last Supper, also called The Cenacle.
"The Precious Pearl" work

   It is my hope to share more with you about this part of my life from time to time, especially as I get more experience under my belt with it. In these past few months, I myself have felt a lot like a wobbly little lamb trying to find my footing. But I am so proud of our atrium, and of our kids. I'm thinking I might have a little art show to display some of the art they've made throughout the whole year (being able to draw at their leisure is another big part of the atrium, and something I would have loved as a kid!).
   Here's hoping we all grow and learn as we look towards the end of our first year. I'm looking forward to completing my training, and I know I'll have a lot of projects to work on for it during the summer! I often share bits and pieces of our atrium life and some of the works I've made on my instagram, if you follow along there at all (you can see it on a webpage HERE).

   I'd love to know if you have any experience with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or if you are training, have trained or are interesting in training! If you're curious about attending a training (attending in no way obligates you to start an atrium, the things you learn can be applied, if nothing else, to how you talk about God with kids just in your own home!) you can find info on the US Catechesis of the Good Shepherd HERE. This program began in Italy, and has spread all over the world. It is also used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and now they have an Orthodox Christian program as well!

  Anyhow...thanks so much for your visit today! Have a wonderful Holy Week this week to my western Christian friends, and almost Holy Week to my Orthodox buddies. So thankful for all of you!~
Take Joy!

Spring Time Chickens & Other Updates

Good morning, my friends! It is a sunny beautiful day out here in Oklahoma, and we have all been enjoying it-- people and hens included!
  The bulbs I planted last fall in the little garden of our backyard chapel have sprouted up and are looking lovely. Dolly the Silkie Chicken and all her lady friends have been going through, kicking up and clearing out the dirt, and snacking on any little bugs they find there. Thanks for the gardening help, girls!

   And speaking of springtime and chickens, my little painting "Easter Chickens is now available as a PRINT in my shop! You can find it HERE.....

     Some of us are less excited about the outdoors than others.....like Miss Bailey, who's main goal in life is to find anything freshly laundered and then set herself upon it for a good nap. I found her in the bedroom on a stack of table runners and pillow cases I'd just washed, but really....she looked so sweet there, I couldn't really be mad. In fact, I may have just run for the camera....being a cat mom sometimes makes no sense ;) I can lint-roll a table runner anyway, can't I? In exchange for a bit of feline ambiance?

   Oh! But yes, the real reason Im popping in today....letting you know about a shop update...I've also got prints of Painting the Dala Horse! My first 'dad art' of 2019. Im hoping to make more :) I know I'm heavy on the mama art here, but ever so often I'll pay homage to the good dads too. You can also find this print--- and the original--- in my etsy shop!

  Well, off I go for now....we are in the process of getting our house painted this week!!!! It is a huge undertaking! Thankfully, done by professionals and NOT me, lol! My painting is done on a much smaller scale....and with no threat of lead. Cant wait to share it all with you--- and I am sharing the process over on instagram. Most of the day-to-day updates are done with my "stories", but when its all finished I hope to collect all the stories to be one of the main tab features there. Its lots of fun to watch the process, and there is SO much to be done. Im excited, and a little nervous to see the whole thing come together. We are taking the house back to its original color of classic white with a bit of dark trim. It's going to look so fresh and crisp--- at least that's my hope! Will have more to share about that soon!

Til then,
Take Joy!~

New Art: Summer Porch Nursing

         Last week I finished a new painting that I am very happy with--- and one which my friends online have very excited about as well. This piece is called "Summer Porch Nursing" and was inspired by those early days of mama and babyhood, and also the wonderful calmness that comes with snuggling with your little one while being outside.
    Both my babies were immediately calmed if I went outside to rock them. Perhaps it was the sounds of nature, or the feel of the gentle breeze, but it was always the best way to cure a spell of fussiness. I was also able to nurse both my babies, my son the longest at just over a year. It is such a special thing....and something that forges such a strong bond between mother and child.
   My nursing days are now long over, with my baby now a big kid PreK'er, but this painting is a bit of a nod back to that not so far back past, when I had my own tiny baby to nurse. And it is a special memory I know a lot of mamas have, and also something to look forward to for those expectant mamas. It is without a doubt, not an easy thing and sometimes it isn't possible. But when it can happen, and a rthymn is found, its such a tender, wonderful thing.

   The original is, happily, sold and on its way to its new home. BUT--- I do have prints now freshly listed in the shop for anyone who would like them! I've already sold several, and I have a feeling this piece will become a shop staple. I'll just have more done up as the others sell! But if you'd like one now--- head on over and get yours now :) each print will come signed and dated by me. And I just got new bookmarks printed to send along with any order, so you'll get that little treat too while the bookmarks last!

   Well, off to finish more projects! I actually have another little painting done that I'm really pleased with and can't wait to show you!
Til then, Take Joy!~

*Little Creations*

   Hi there friends,
      Popping back in with you to share some of my latest creations--- and one, the painting above, about creating! I am wanting to make a concerted effort this year to celebrate dads more in my art, and this newest piece is all about a dad and his kids taking some time to create.
    In this painting called "Painting The Dala Horse," a dad is putting the finishing touches on a traditional Swedish wooden horse as his kids watch early. They are settled in a cozy winter kitchen, woolly knits drying over the old wood stove, and a room devoted to fiber art visible just past the doorway.
   I have a soft spot for Swedish art and traditions, and thought it would be fun to make a painting that nods to this without being 'Christmas art' as I usually make....and also about a Dad getting creative with his kids. The original painting is now available in my etsy shop.
   Of course it was winter when I started the painting, and now we've got a spring world in bloom as its ready to share. No matter though, I hope that this is a piece that can be enjoyed all year round!

   And speaking of creating for enjoyment....

  I recently finished many stitching projects that I've been cuddled up with this winter, one of which was this little series of flowers from the book Zakka Embroidery by Yumiko Higuchi.  Her designs are sweet and whimsical and have a lovely mix of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic. I finished up these little yellow flowers on orange linen that used to be one of my painting aprons. Now its going to be a little zipper pouch to enjoy!

   And speaking of stitching, I am still very much enjoying cross stitch embroidery, and have ventured out into playing around with my own designs (you knew this would happen, I've always got to run off on my own with creating things...)

     These three little pin keep pillows are all my own little designs. The middle pillow was just a free-form playing around with different motifs I saw in various books, but the two Easter themed pillows (the one on the right and the one on the left) were both two I designed specifically with an embroidery software program that I purchased at Christmas time. Its fun to 'draw' these patterns and then see how they come out with needle and thread!

   After a bit of interest, I've decided that I will offer some PDF patterns of some of my favorite designs I come up with, and the first one I've gotten in my shop is the little "Easter 1851" pillow. You can purchase it now for instant download and make your own pillow pin keep, or use the design in any other stitching project you'd like to make.

    I personally like small projects that are simple to complete and are more 'comfort stitching' than a complicated work. If you also like a little stitching project that can be completed in a couple of sittings and can be used for seasonal decor (or a little bag, pocket, sewing roll, whatever you want to use it on!) this might be a project for you! I am all about the cozy projects.

   You can find the PDF instant download HERE in my shop. The pattern comes with the chart and instructions on how to age your fabric and make the pillow.

   Well, its a beautiful spring day here with the wind whipping through the peach blossoms. I've got the windows open in the studio, and its time to get a little work done.
  Hope all is well,
Take Joy!~

Easter Chickens

    On Saturday, I was able to slowly get myself out to the studio and sit down at my big paint-covered desk there. On it, sat this little painting of a sweet folksy girl with all her chickens, going through her Easter basket of sweet treats and colorful eggs.
    It was so good to get to sit down with my paints again, and spend a few hours bringing this little miss and her creatures and all the pretty flowers of her rustic home to life. I am happy to report that she is finished, and now looking for a home in my etsy shop!

   Suddenly, the world outside is waking up and blooming...precious daffodils have sprung open, and these new little Dutch Iris that I planted last fall have jumped up with gusto. I love their little purple flowers, and they are so petite! They made the perfect back drop for my Easter Chickens painting when I took her outside for her final sealing....

   This past week was spring break, and of course we were all so sick....sigh....me worst of all, I am afraid. All the blooming seems to have my little system go haywire! But I have enjoyed peeking out the window at the world as it wakes, much like Miss Bailey Button looking out the old window of the mud room this afternoon...

   I am also so thrilled to see the peach trees in bloom, their beautiful blush blossoms always capture my imagination. They are the perfect antidote to a long, cold winter. Keeping my fingers crossed though that we have no frosts or freezes now that they've bloomed....poor things really got it last spring with a late frost that withered all the flowers and cost us an entire season's peach harvest. We had nothing to show for our peach trees last year, and I heard that they even had to truck in peaches from Texas for the annual peach festival in Porter, OK. last year. The indignation of it! So please, frost....please head on up north and leave my poor peaches alone....we're eager for pie come late summer!

  Of course now that spring break has passed and the flowers are starting to wake, there is much work ahead. Time to wake up the garden, and the birds are already busy feathering their nests....I hear them each morning, twittering like mad....and the chickens are laying with much enthusiasm. I've been checking the mason bee house and the baby bees havent come out yet, but I know its any day, any hour perhaps, with these blossoms now out....its time for new growth and possibilities. I cant wait to get back to painting......

thanks for your visit here today!~
Take Joy!