Just a little Farmhouse Zen...

Need a little zen? Grab a big pot and boil together the ordinary, the quirky, the simple, and the sweet. Reduce to a simmer and add a sprinkling of yoga and a dash of country charm. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Some things truly are sweeter the second time around...I picked up this book a few years back and enjoyed every word.  Recently, I was going through my stash of books and magazines in preparation for a book fair fundraising event and I found my copy (along with some old Nancy Drew mysteries).  I pulled it out for our 17 year-old son, who has been studying teachings on the subject of "tolerance'' (he is getting a lot of practice since he started his first job!).  What began as a quick flip through turned into a full re-read and I'm finding it to be just as delicious as I remembered!

So, since I'm still healing from my runner's injury and seem to have extra time in my weekends (I miss my yoga students terribly!), I've sliced up a piece of yummy chocolate cake and snuggled down, book in hand.

Check it out and enjoy a little weekend Zen...and don't forget the chocolate cake (there's a recipe in the back of the book)!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bits and Pieces...

I'm quite certain that you are probably much like me.  I ramble through my day to day from one project to another before waking up one Sunday morning to realize that it is already March and spring is truly around the cornner (and creeping up in my herb garden).  I'm afraid I've been a bit guilty of too much planning and not enough pausing.  Anyway, here we are with long sunny days at our finger tips and I must say I am yearning for an afternoon outside with my sketch book and a cup of tea.

As always, life at the farmhouse is busy but it's more process than progress, I'm afraid.  We still have renovation projects pending and I think I'm going to have to spend some serious time this spring reclaiming my flower beds.  With April around the corner, our tandem bicycle is itching for some time on the road...and my running shoes have already gotten a lot of attention as my husband and I have been training for our first half-marathon.   That doesn't leave a lot of time for creative thinking!

I'm beginning to feel the weary effects of too much time away from my studio.  I think I realized that this morning.  A dear yoga student gave me the most beautiful card this week and I decided to add it to my inspiration wall.  (I use the wall beside the window in my studio to display notes, sketches, pictures, and other beautiful things.)  I stood there admiring the many unqiue images layered together and I immediately felt a little hollow having missed my time with ink and paint.  Not that I haven't thought about things I would like to do...something new for my Esty shop, some intersting shelves for the bathroom, a gift for a sweet couple planning their wedding this fall...a prayerful  note to a special friend.

So, since my time is a little thin these days, I have to make sure that all of the other little bits and pieces feed my creative spirit.  Creativity really is a lifestyle...cooking a meal, creating a new playlist for my yoga class, rearranging the pantry, carrying a cute umbrella, appreciating the art in a collection of bottle caps...these little things have fed my creative spirit this winter,  along with picking funky socks to wear on my weekly long run (anything to make the miles a little more fun).  Nothing complex, I know, but collectively, these small things keep my creative mind happily humming along.

I'll keep you posted on my creative progress.  Until then, please take a moment and visit my Etsy Favorites to see the creative spirit at work in the studios of other indie artists and collectors.

Happy almost spring, everyone!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fall at the Farmhouse...

Ok, so I know it has been ages since I last blogged...time truly does fly by, sometimes, and I think I just woke up this morning and realized that the holiday season is just around the corner and the eve of a new year is creeping up to the front door.  Have I just been too busy to notice?  Maybe, but I think I've spent the past few months loosing my way a bit...too many obligations and conflicting interests, perhaps...and a little bit of the magic of life at the farmhouse has gone by without proper attention.  Today, I awoke to a warm fire crackling and the smell of pumpkin spice bread in the toaster (the benefit of a husband who lets me sleep in on Saturday mornings) and truly felt that familiar tingle that is November in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Hot, dry weather this summer resulted in more muted colors this fall, but the farmhouse is still beautiful.  We set out our pumpkins and mums and put the plaid throws out on our deck chairs so we could enjoy the chill of autumn evenings.  A couple of weeks ago, the house got a bit of a face lift with the addition of a new roof...we miss the terracotta tiles, but the bright red shingles make the house look so pretty.  We are looking forward to a new sun porch and deck in the coming weeks (before Christmas, I hope!) and Crawdad and my step-dad are back at work renovating the basement.  My artistic shelves have been quite popular, and I think I will take a similar artistic approach to our bathroom re-design next year.

 Of course, fall at the farmhouse means time spent in the kitchen. I have been organizing my homemade Yoganoodles cookbook for a couple of weeks in preparation for the holidays and love finding authentic Appalachian recipes for sawmill gravy and Christmas Stake Cake to add to the mix.    Recently, I even ran across a recipe for Upside Down Apple Gingerbread in a 1957 cookbook published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association...I've not tested or tweaked it, but I'll let you know how it goes!  Tonight, we are meeting up with friends for a moonlight bike ride around the loop road in Cades Cove.  I've promised to bring cookies, so I've already spent most of my morning combing through recipes and trying to decide my orange infused chocolate coconut cookies or maybe those yummy, chewy cookies made with brown sugar.

Oh, plans...baking, creating, remodeling.  I can hear my mother say "how will you ever find the time?"  She's right, of course.  We never really "find" time...but we do get to choose the things that fill-up the time we have.  So today, I choose to fill my time with a little flour, a little sugar in my sunny farmhouse kitchen...and tonight I get to enjoy friends and a November full moon in the mountains of East Tennessee.