Tuesday, March 28, 2017



if like me you read magazines, you've probably run across this word.
it's danish and pronounced like this:


the meaning of it is in the first photo below.
I've seen it so much lately that i thought it would be fun to head
over to pinterest and find some submitted photos that
represent the word and the feeling of hygge to me.
it's a concept i love.
the older i get the more i'm trying to have in my home only
those things that really make me happy.
i'm very visual and like to change things up around the house, but
sometimes things get stagnant and i stop nesting.
all the magazines i read and HGTV i watch and beautiful stores
we have access to in the twin cities will shake that
loose in me though and I've been freshening things up around here.
painting dark wood white, putting up sheer white curtains and
just bringing in more neutral colors in general.
it feels good to me, and although I've loved color through
different stages of keeping a home, now in this season i'm craving
soft window light, white walls and soft furnishings in grey and
putty tones. oh but add a little bit of black in every room- like a
exclamation point!

 i don't have a porch, but pretend like my deck is one- in fact i'm going
to buy a screen tent this summere and put it right on our deck, get an area rug for out there
and string cafe' lights.  : )

umm, yeah

 how much do you love this suspended bunk?

and in a perfect world one of my girlfriends would own
orange groves, have a dinner party outside and invite me.

*hey- if any of you are interested in trying to pull this off, even
without fresh oranges overhead, i'm in, and i will help-
let's set a table outside and have a potluck!!

just small changes in how you accessorize your home can make
a big difference in how you feel.
most of us can't afford to change everything and have all the latest
trends the way we'd like to, but start small. paint a wall. get a new throw.
slipcover your furniture. get a new comforter if you can.
and for SURE add fresh flowers. 
I've always cared a lot about how my home feels.
it's not just my home, it's my haven.
my style isn't fancy and i've probably scored most of what you see
at yard sales and occasional sales, but that's the way i like it.
i like a home that has personal items in it~
things that tell your story.

ok, i've gotta get off the computer now and do some editing and
then i'm going to wash my kitchen floor. all the dog hair on it
is telling my story today and it's not the pretty part.
: @

peace out and 
hygge on.

xo, b

Thursday, March 23, 2017

how's your week goin?
the calendar says it's spring so come on- all together now lets say:

"hip, hip hooray"

                         i made this little canvas a couple years ago- who doesn't love a bird in a party hat?

every spring i am so anxious for things to green up outside that i plant wheat berries
in pots to tide me over. it germinates in about 3 days and is just so lush and
pretty sitting here and there. i also
start to plan/dream about what i want to add to my gardens. i save seeds from
things like lupine, cosmos and zinnias and i shelled them yesterday and got them ready
for planting. i haven't started seeds in the house for many years, but i'm going to
this year. soon. the timing is everything. i don't want to start them so early that they
struggle and get "leggy" waiting to be transplanted. 

i also decided to rent a plot of land at the community gardens in town. i just wanted
a little more black dirt to plant flowers in. my gardens are so full of
perennials that there isn't much room for annuals anymore
it might have nothing but zinnias in it, but that would still make me very happy.

                                                                                 hello little chick peeking through the grass. : )

to pass time in my slow season, i usually get the urge to make things. or clean and declutter.
i'm tired of decluttering (which i did a lot of after Christmas) so i've been sewing.
i made more zippered cosmetic bags and then i decided to try making pennants.
my friend christa made some darling ones a couple years ago for a cottage sale we had
but she works full time as a librarian now and so girlfriend doesn't find much time to craft.
she gave me her blessing to make some to sell.
*i sell some of my handmades at a fun store in town called Lotus Lake Gifts.

i had fun buying fabrics to use and they are really simple to construct.
i made a triangular template out of cardboard and cut out my points.
they are double sided so you need two for each triangle and most of them
have 9 triangles (so you need 18 of them). then you just sew (wrong sides together) the two long sides, leaving the top open for turning, turn right sides out and iron.
next you use double fold bias tape and just slide your triangles into the
tape and sew in place. easy peasy and super cute for hanging over
patio doors, on stair railings, over windows, in a kids room, for parties,
decks, your bathtub, (ok maybe that was a stretch)... the sky's the limit.

these instructions were lame...sorry, i guess i'm not that great at directions. lol


i'm thrifty (cheap) so i had a hard time throwing the pretty scraps.
instead i made a really simple garland out of them.

i also whipped up two neck wraps. for these you just
sew a small pillow case like bag-mine were about 7x15-   leave a small opening. turn
right side out and fill with dry rice. you can add essential oils if you
want and i did. lavender in one and peppermint in the other.
now...sew up the opening and then heat them in your microwave for about
3 minutes to use on sore muscles. they smell good, feel good and can be
used over and over.
*if you have cold feet at night you could take one to bed.

then the last little project i've got to show you is these whales. like all you other creatives,
i love to cruise through pinterest.  i saw several fabric whales one day and thought it
would be fun to give them a try. the hardest part was making my own pattern and figuring out
how i was going to construct it. i was pretty excited about the first one, but it was
smaller than i thought it was going to be, so then i enlarged my pattern and made one more.

i'm about done here, but you didn't really think you would get
through a spring blog post without a couple pictures of ranunculus did you???

here's this weeks beauties.

and here's a last tidbit of exciting family news.
our oldest just bought his first house!!
it's in a little farming community- just perfect for a country boy like him.

i'm going to show you a teaser of the view from his front porch
and when he moves in i'll share some more.
yes he has a lake view!!

(i have a feeling duke, his yellow lab is going to love that part and
will be sneaking over there for quick swims).

be well, and like ellen says at the end of her show,
"be kind to one another".

xo, beth

Saturday, March 4, 2017

today a little bit of this and a little bit of that. this is just a catch up
with some photos of course, of what i've been up to in the last couple weeks.

lars and i spent a weekend in alexandria in february and on the way to
raddison arrowwood where we stayed we got to pass the farm we lived on
for 8 of the years we were in alex.
this spectacular old barn is on that farm.
i  believe it's well over 100 yrs. old and still looks so good,
so sturdy. ray, our dear old friend who owned the farm when we lived there, milked cows
in it with his dad, but it hasn't been used for anything for at least 50 years now!
*i've said this before, but have to say it again, that i just love these
old barns that dot the minnesota countryside so much and hate to think of the day
when they are all gone.

this is the farmhouse we lived in. 2 of our 3 babies came home from the hospital
to this house and started their lives here in this wonderful place. there is a big porch
that runs along the front of the house and i had a fun little shop in it for several
years. it was the best- i was open if i was home and closed if i wanted to take the
kiddos to the lake which was just a bike ride down the road.
: )

arrowwood is built next to lake darling and there was a little ice fishing village right out
in  front of the hotel. the sunset was beautiful.

we had a little deck and this was the view of another wing of the hotel from it.

pretty moss grows all over the old wooden shakes. can't be good for them, but it is pretty right?

back in chan, the birds have entertained me all winter. cardinals are a particular favorite
-maybe even more so because we don't see them all that often. i usually hear them
before i see them, so it tips me off to grab the camera and walk sneakily towards
the patio doors.

it's a different story with the squirrels tho- they are ever present and theo has been his
usual busy/mischievous self all winter- bullying all grey squirrels, or birds that
dare to get close to him.

pretty sure he was doing his morning yoga here.

I've been sewing a bit since christmas and had to show you this adorable
camper fabric- i just hemmed a little square for my kitchen table.

have you tried these yet? I've bought the chocolate croissants but
this is my first foray into the almond ones... tomorrow morning i
pretty much know my belly is going to be happy. so happy.

speaking of my kitchen table...a couple weeks ago i was
sitting eating oatmeal and (of course) looking at instagram on my phone and
it hit me that i'm very drawn to white.
white sheets, white cupboards, white tables and counters...
well in a flash i decided to paint the top of this 23 yr. old
pub table.
i ran to the basement to see if i had enough annie sloan paint in
"old white" to do it, but i didn't. there isn't a store real close that sells
it either so i decided to go to our local hardware store because i had seen
a different type of chalk paint available there.

if you've never tried chalkpaint and you want to- just do it! it's the easiest paint ever. it goes on
practically any surface with no more prep that just a quick wash or dustinig.

ace hardware didn't sell a color that i liked as well as "old white" but i bought the
closest color they had in the amy howard brand and got going.

it took 3 coats to cover, and this photo is when it was still wet. it dries to a matte finish and then
you wax to seal it. i must tell you that i wouldn't recommend this brand over annie sloans
and the color was whiter than i wanted so i used the end of a can of annie's old white
and that made it a creamier white like i wanted. refer back to the photo above
with the camper fabric to see it finished. i like it now. i like how everything i set on
the table pops!

now switching it up again, here are a few photos from a really swell wedding reception i attended
at the minikada golf club last Saturday.
my friend Jessica got married in antigua Guatemala last new years eve, and they had
a reception here for all of their friends and family that weren't able to go.

jess is half guatemalan and was born there, so they embraced that
part of her heritage for their festivities.

unfortunately i didn't get a good picture of the bride and groom (these are just
phone snaps) but i love this photo of my friend annie who is the mother of the bride,
bringing bloody marys to our table.
(she's a funster, this one). : )))

another way i'm bring white into the house is with these new curtains.
i credit chip and joanna gaines from fixer upper for my
new obsession with white, light filled rooms and decided to take down my
heavier curtains for the spring and summer and put up lighter ones that
let the sun stream in.
(these are from homegoods. love the little tassels).

my valentines flowers lasted over 2 weeks~

lavender on the piano

i picked up this cute vintage chick at an occasional sale. she was missing one leg and her beak.
i knew i could remedy that, so i glued on a sunflower seed for a beak and she's now balancing on
her one leg in a little ceramic egg full of sunflower seeds!

to end this random post, i hosted our book club this week and the local library had
free bookmarks that needed to be colored, so i picked up a stack and offered them
to the girls to color while we worked on solving the worlds problems.
it was fun to see them when they were done.

I've kept you long enough now but oh my, what have you been up to?
i just have to say that i am so ready for spring. this maybe feels like the
longest winter of my life...i find myself restless, wondering what i should be doing
that's meaningful to fill up my days, (should i get a part time job? where can i volunteer?
what can i paint white? should i write a book, take in a foster child, start another business?  haha)- seriously though, a
good friend had to remind me yesterday that i am a photographer, in my off season, and
to just breathe- it's going to be ok!!!!
in the late summer and fall i'm so busy with my business i can hardly breathe, but this time of
year the days kind of drag on...yep-finding the balance is hard.

and---soon the ground will thaw and i'll be outside digging in the dirt and
it's all going to feel right again. (i even rented a little plot of land at the community
gardens in town so i'll have more room to grow flowers for cutting!) yeah!!!

be well,