Friday, May 30, 2014

weekend pleasures

Can you believe we are almost at the middle of the year already? May has just flown by. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend to recharge. We were lucky to have a holiday on Thursday and today is a "bridge" day as they say in German - schools are closed making it feel like a 4-day weekend.
What good things are on your list this weekend?

When was the last time you really pampered yourself and allowed yourself some little pleasures?

My long weekend began with a soak in the bath with Himalayan bath salts I recently bought. And a nice hair mask. And a tall latte in my favorite cup. Ah...heaven!
I've already hung up the laundry to dry in the sun, so after this post I'll be off to the farmer's market for veggies and then to the garden center to find a few flowers for my window boxes.
If I'm lucky, I'll carve some time out to retreat into my studio and play with my paints and fabrics. Strike "If I'm lucky"- let's say, "If I'm determined". Finding quiet time in a large family is a real challenge for me.
The weather is supposed to be great so there certainly will be a few hours dedicated to getting some exercise outdoors. Maybe a hike or a bike ride or both with my husband. I would love that. We will certainly check on our bees. My husband is really getting into this new hobby which makes me so happy for him. I still find beekeeping a bit complex. Not the bees but all the things that could go wrong - a swarm, losing the queen, mites, etc. So far, so good. Have you ever seen this movie? The photography is fantastic and it will get you thinking, too.
We will definitely be picking strawberries which are now ripe and abundant in our garden patch.

Sunday mornings I love a calm, spiritual service in my church. Nothing revives me more for the coming week. The last weeks I've missed it and it really makes a huge difference. It's a bit of a challenge now with the bees, since Sunday morning is a good time for us to check them. But balance is always a question of priorities, isn't it.
My daughter  - as you know if you follow my blog - is our resident baking goddess. Her latest act of perfection is this Amaretti Cheesecake. Try it. It's melt-in-your-mouth heavenly amazing!
A moment to cozy up on the sofa or out in the garden to read is one of the greatest pleasures. This is the book I'm reading right now - my mom gave it to me - I just adore Mireille and have most of her books and cookbooks. Visit her site for lots of European inspiration. I'm also looking forward to this book I ordered a few days ago, it just looks gorgeous. (I have to admit, this is certainly a case of judging a book by it's cover, but this time it is the pretty pictures and recipes I'm after!) And after a bit of reading, there is nothing like a lovely nap. My cat always knows a good thing. Although I doubt I'm going to lay down right under the roses and lavender!
Not least on my weekend list is finding a moment with each of my children - just him or her and me. Not a "helping with homework" moment, but a small talk, a little tickle or silly game we play, a bit of our own special communication. Not only is that a pleasure, but I believe it is a treasure for us both.

I hope that you have a list of good things for yourself, the things that bring you pleasure, that recharge you and make you happy.
There are times when it seems like you don't have even a spare moment for yourself because you are involved in too many events or responsibilities. One of my own biggest barriers is not being too busy but feeling guilty about it. But I have found that even if it is just one small thing you must do it. You will see circles of happiness spreading around you like ripples on the water, bringing joy to not only to yourself, but to those around you.

 Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

heart garlands

Hi! A little shop update for you today....a dozen new heart garlands available now in both of my shops. Right now I am loving red and navy gingham, flowers, and patterns. I love making these and they are so cheerful and simple, a lovely, heartfelt decor for a special place in your home. There are two types of garland so according to your wish you can display it to hang vertically or horizontally. Here's a peek, you can find them all here and here.
Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 26, 2014

counting sheep

No! I'm not suffering insomnia, thankfully, and I regretfully don't have any sheep to count. But wouldn't it be fun to have a couple of these cute little guys?
This weekend we enjoyed a sunny visit to local goat farm. They were holding an anniversary celebration, complete with goat and sheep exhibit, live music and a delightful little craft market with colorful felt creations and pottery.
The goat herd blends in very naturally to the gentle Rhine landscape.
Fortunately, not all animals were out to pasture but were held in small pens for the show, which was fascinating for kids and adults alike. 
These were the sweetest little babies, just a few weeks old, so adorable. The young ones were just basking in all the attention and did not mind small hands reaching out to pet them.
I liked these black-headed sheep, too. 
The goats are such friendly and curious creatures. They seemed as interested in us as we were in them.
We did not come home with a few little baby goats but we sure joked about it!


Friday, May 23, 2014

garden blues

My garden and flower beds have evolved a bit spontaneously over the years as I experiment and try things out. Like a painting or collage, there are punctuations my favorite colors, and I like to create lovely splashes of blues and purples. Crocus, hyacinths and pansies heralded in the beginning of spring with their royal blue heads. Now the chives and borage are blooming in the herb garden, visually bringing refreshment on the recent sunny, dry days. Very soon the lavender and hydrangea buds are promising to open.
Expressionist painter Kandinsky said of blue: "Represented in musical terms, light blue resembles the flute, dark blue the cello, darker still the wonderful sounds of the double bass..." If that is the case, then there is a delightful symphony just waiting to be enjoyed.
 Blues and purples are considered to represent royalty and spirituality.
I brought some flower clippings inside to sketch with my watercolors. When you first start to draw a flower you really notice how very complicated its form and design is. I think the markings in the middle of a pansy look like an angel with wings and a glowing face.

The sweet perfume of the lilacs always sparks memories of childhood summer to me: long light evenings, warm air and open windows, freedom from school, carefree days of swimming and playing outside....
Periwinkle, twilight, lapis lazuli, violet. Blue has a calming power and too much blue may be depressing ("the blues"). I read once that blue is the most popular "favorite color", which doesn't surprise me, nature provides it to us abundantly in countless shades of sky and water...and flowers.
Thanks for visiting today and have a beautiful refreshing weekend!
PS Blue quotes taken from Susan Sargent "The Comfort of Color".

Monday, May 19, 2014

dwell in possibility

 beauty is not caused, it is
 hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
for love is immortality
  forever is composed of nows
dwell in possibility
 saying nothing sometimes says the most 
(beautiful bits of poetry by Emily Dickinson)

Wishing you a very lovely week!