Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BIG SHOP UPDATE! Christmas Prints now in the shop!





  You guys! I just got back with a huge order of prints, including several new designs for the Christmas season! All of the prints here on this post are now available as 8x10" prints in the shop! Come on over and see! :D

Monday, October 20, 2014

Obsessed: Lark Rise to Candleford


   I have a confession to make. I have a new obsession. And its called Lark Rise to Candleford.

   Lately there's been so much sadness and terrible things in general in the news. I am one of those people that can internalize these negative things and work myself into a sobby mama frenzy. It's not earthquakes, its Ebola. It's gotten to the point where I've had to shut off some outlets to the outside world (although I'll be honest, I'm checking up on the Ebola stuff in Dallas every single day....it's like a nervous tick)

   In the midst of this, I've yearned for a way to just sit and be calm. Pretty dresses and flowers are welcome bonuses. I want things to get tied up happily (or as best as can be) at the end of the hour. Sometimes you just need these things. And for me, it's Lark Rise to Candleford.

  The premise of Lark Rise to Candleford is small hamlet girl Laura Timmins moves to the local village of Candleford to work in the village post office. You meet different characters of a wide array of social classes and problems. But everyone's got a story and a past. And its all set in the gorgeous English countryside at the end of the 19th century. Get me a sleeping baby and some knitting and girl, I am SET. 
   Some of the actors you will recognize from other British movies and television shows. Is that Mr. Bates, I see??? With Charlotte from Pride and Prejudice? 

   And while some of the story lines can be a little this side of silly, I've noticed that my family sure does seem to settle in and make themselves comfortable when I turn it on. Dare I say my husband will ask "so you wanna watch your show?"

   Another thing I love about the show--- and the book--- the show is based on the writings of Flora Thompson's books by the same name--- are the clothes and also-- the gardens!

Photo from Filmscapes in the UK--- really neat site about creating gardens for film sets!
   Especially in the little hamlet of Lark Rise where all the housewives are raising their own vegetables and medicinal herbs, the rustic cottage gardens are amazing. Yes, yes I am trying to work out in my brain how to make that stick fence happen in my back yard. I also love all the heirloom plants shown gone to blossomy bramble near the houses. It makes me almost hopeful that next year, darn it, I will really get to garden! Hopefully by then Robbie will be able to toddle out with me. Or at least hang out with Daddy while I sneak off to work outside. 


      I started watching this show through Netflix rental, but then learned that I could watch the entire 4 seasons for free online with Amazon Prime (hurray!) So if you use Prime, you are entitled to watching the whole season without any cost! Or you can order the dvds or rent through netflix.

   The book I just got is very sweet too--- there are three books but there are many volumes that combine the three into one book, like the one I got. I bought a used copy because I can't resist the lure of a 99 cent book, and it has beautiful old paintings and images of pressed flowers in the pages. I've heard these books compared to Little House on the Prairie--- another "Laura" centered book, and these were written at about the same point in time.

  I highly recommend it. It does me good to settle in with a little bit of Lark Rise. Maybe you'll enjoy it too!~
~H

Monday, October 13, 2014

October: Pumpkins and Knitting!










        I think fall came this weekend. Suddenly it was chilly and misty, and rainy--- there were pumpkins to be had, autumn gardens to explore, some good family time and a new urgency setting in about knitting projects that have been idling for far too long as temperatures rose into the 90s.

   This weekend we went up to Shepherd's Cross to see their pumpkin patch. The weather was just this side of chilly--- cool enough that Robbie got to wear the little gnome hat I made for him months ago, and we got to pick out some pumpkins for our porch.

   It's so funny to think that last fall, he wasn't even here yet! And now he's getting to be such a big boy, smiling and laughing and obliging when his mama puts him in a pumpkin pile to take his picture.

   Now that its getting to be a properly cool autumn, I've got several knitting projects that I need to wrap up! One of the most important ones are my Salem mitts! I bought this yarn at Seed Stitch Fine Yarn right on Front Street in historic Salem, Mass. last fall. I went in wanting a yarn that just screamed "Salem!" and came away with this softer than soft merino blend in black and white.

   Believe it or not, I am STILL working on these mitts...I know, I know ;) but good things take time! And the stitches are so fine and the needles so, so little. In order to preserve these little stitches now that Robbie is here and very very grabby, I've been using some Ewe Clips that my friend Amanda from The Purly Ewe is currently selling! Amanda is also a knitting mama and knows how frustrating it can be when your precious stitches are accidentally pulled from their needles. Using her own knitting experience (and mama experience!) she created these special clips that fasten to the end of your needles so that your project stays secure. You can use them on regular needles, double point needles and circular needles. They're really cool--- you must check them out!

  Anyhow....I think baby is telling me its time to wrap up this post! I will be back to chat with you later. And don't forget--- Christmas Card Pre-Orders are now available in etsy!!! Thanks so much!!

~H


Friday, October 10, 2014

Christmas Post Card Pre-Order


   It's that time again! Can you believe it? Time to start thinking of Christmas card pre-orders! I am so happy to reveal to you the 5 new images I've chosen for this bulk order. Available to choose from are:

1) Stille Nacht (Silent Night)
2) Country Nativity
3) Winter Knitting
4) St. Lucia Morning
5: A Child's Prayer

   This year I'm doing things a little differently in that I'm doing all the orders through etsy. You can just go to my etsy shop, select the bulk amount you'd like-- tell me which images you'd like in your order-- and check out!

   The pre-order time period will run through Oct.31. On Nov. 1 I will make the entire order, along with some extras (including popular images from Christmases past) and when they arrive I will get everyone's order out to them in time for Christmas Card season! If all goes according to plan, I should have my order within 2 weeks, so you'll be getting your order by mid-November.

   The bulk ordering can be done in groups of 10, 25, 50 and 100 cards. You CAN mix and match, I just ask that you do it in groupings of five. So at least 5 copies of each image you choose. This will make the printing and packaging process much much easier for me, as well as fitting in with the minimum I must order from my printer. I can't wait to see how they all look!

  As usual, these postcards will be done on very sturdy cardstock, with curved edges, an antique post card back and white envelopes for traditional mailing. 

  Its hard to believe its time to think about these things, isn't it? But I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get everything done.

  You can look at all the bulk options in my etsy shop. Please convo there if you have any questions!~
~H

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Painting: St. Lucia Morning


   I am so happy to be able to share with you this pretty little St. Lucia painting--- called "St. Lucia Morning."
  I'm excited to have this piece done as it's going to be part of my grouping of images I'm going to offer as a Christmas Postcard! Pre-Orders for the postcards are coming up VERY soon---- if all goes well they will be offered within a day or two!

   This painting, though, is very special. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my art and the direction I'd like to go with it in the future and after much deliberation--- I've decided a literary direction is where my heart truly lies! And so, these children in this painting--- they are part of that literary path. Perhaps we will see more adventures with them? :)

   "St. Lucia Morning" depicts a family of children taking part of the tradition of the oldest daughter getting to be "St. Lucia" and bring St. Lucia Buns and coffee to her parents before the sun rises. Traditionally she wears a crown of candles (although Ive seen them with safer electric bulbs now! My dad is worried I'm going to set fire to poor Audrey's hair in a St. Lucia debacle. Don't worry Dad, I wont!)

  And although St. Lucia (Saint Lucy) was technically Italian, the Scandinavians have adopted her as their own as the bringer of light--- which is important in a place where it is often very dark and very cold by St. Lucia's feast day on Dec. 13. It is said that night is the longest of the winter, and it slowly begins to get lighter each night after that.

  Well, hope you enjoy the painting! And stay tuned for more info on the Christmas Post Card Pre-Order!~
Til next time,
H

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spooky Reading and our Winner


     Hello there!~ How have you been since we last chatted? Well, I hope! It's still hot here and I'm still cranky about it. But rain is coming, and fingers crossed, autumn weather--- finally! It has to come...doesnt it???

   Anyhow, my reading has sure taken on a spooky autumnal turn, as The Audrey Eclectic Read-Along has just started "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!" You're welcome to join us if you'd like, we have a facebook group where we chat about our reading.

   Above is a fun little painting I made last year as an ode to that legendary 'Headless Horseman.' A perfect tale for gathering around a camp fire, don't you think? If you'd like your own print of it, I have copies in my etsy shop.

  And oh yes! I havent forgotten that the giveaway ends today!~ And a winner has been selected....

Our winner is....
Jennifer!~!

Congratulations, my friend! I will be in touch and we'll get your print sent on its spooky merry way!~

  Well, back to painting for me! It wont be long until I have Christmas Card Preorders to take-- can you believe it!?! The seasons are getting closer. I refuse to let them be a time of stress though, its a time of joy. 
   Chat later--
H

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dreaming of Autumn





   Fall has been illusive out here on the prairie. One day it will be chilly and a sweater will be needed and I'll think "it's here!" and then the next day it will be 90 degrees and all that fall festive feeling will be gone.
   I know that fall is somewhere--- in New England. I've seen it on instagram and facebook! And I know that last week was exactly a year since my New England romp, and its got me feeling nostalgic for all that pretty scenery--- the amazing colors, the beautiful homes, that feeling of Vermont and New Hampshire and Massachusetts in October.

   So here is my little ode to an autumn taking place many miles away. I know it wont be long before its here too--- but I'm not known for my patience. I'm afraid it will go from summer to winter. I need my autumn, Oklahoma. Please get to it!

   Here--- Baby is chatting about the Cheerios he's putting in his mouth while the dog waits expectantly at his feel. We're in the dining room, looking out the big old windows, watching the birds at the feeder. The neighbor's cat is sauntering around, causing a squirrel to chatter at him loudly--- the squirrel has things to do, it's his busiest time of year, and he has no time for a cat to laze about, pondering if he should eat him.

   Even though it is unseasonably warm, I'm so glad it's October. There's a settling in feeling to life. Maybe that ancient feeling of 'harvest and then hunker down for winter.' I want to knit and make hearty slow cooked foods, get busy cleaning up the yard for its coming season of sleep, and enjoy the cool sunny days that are so uniquely autumn.

   Well, I suppose I better get started with the day. Big sis is already at school, and the plants needs watering. I hope you have a gentle start to your week--- I honestly don't mind a Monday. It's a reset, and the week is full of promise.

   Oh, and don't forget about the giveaway! Its the post just below this one. Winner will be chosen Wednesday, so comment for your chance to win a silly pumpkiny treat!~

   Til then,
~H