A strong urge to go for long walks in nature is new for me.  I just can’t get enough of the peaceful quiet, the fresh air laced with the scents of grass, honeysuckle, and wildflowers. Sometimes I listen to a podcast (On Being is my favorite) and sometimes I crave the quiet.  Today I craved the quiet.  I walked 3.5 miles on paths like this and on paths through the deep forest.  I like to walk and pray. Today it was prayers of gratitude for the beauty of earth & for love, prayers asking for wisdom and guidance, and prayers for the wellbeing of my family and friends.

This photo was taken on my walk at a breathtakingly beautiful arboretum just 1 mile from our home.  Amazingly, we’ve lived here 12 years and I just discovered this magical place 3 months ago!  I feel like the arboretum is my new best friend.


Kayaking down the river



Last weekend we did a 15 mile, 8-ish hours, kayak trip. The river we were on was very low so we had to paddle virtually the entire trip since there wasn’t a current to carry us.  The first 7 hours were fantastic. The eighth our was torture for all 3 of us (we each had our own kayak).  By the end of the trip we were beyond exhausted and determined to NEVER do this to ourselves again.  Three hours later, showered and eating a good dinner we were laughing and talking about the next trip.

It is much like any big project –sometimes, just before the end, it seems like it is just too hard and not worth the effort.  You want to give up.  But after the fact, you tend to forget the struggles.

Grateful for: the path


I’m grateful that this beautiful path is just 3 minutes from our front door.  It’s a walking path that serves as a shortcut between two streets of our subdivision and it is absolutely beautiful.  This particular view from the west end of it looking east fills me with the peace that comes from being surrounded by the beauty of nature.  I took this photo when a gentle rain had just ended and the sweet smell of rain and wet dirt was in the air — lovely!


anthropologie throws

Found these on the Anthropologie website. I like few things more than taking my time meandering through Anthropologie. And I tend to touch just about everything I see there. It is a weird habit, compulsion almost, of mine. I just love to see how things feel.  If I saw these in the store I’d stop and lightly touch each one of them — just lightly pass my hand over the tops as I walk by.  Can’t you just imagine taking a nap under one of these?  And the colors!  Love them!

When I make a textile collage (or fantasize about making a real quilt) my favorite part is choosing the fabrics.  It takes me weeks to choose just the right textures and colors. And then more weeks to find just the right layout.  Those weeks of planning/dreaming are my favorite on any project. I currently have a small piece that is 70% sewn. That means the planning/dreaming phase is well in the past and now I’m in the tedious hand sewing phase.  I find it relaxing but time consuming so I tend to put it off.   I guess I need to work on that if I’m ever going to have a large enough body of work to sell.

I find it so inspirational to read about artists who have their own quilt or fiber arts businesses — people like Denyse Schmidt and Janet Bolton.  My dream is to be like them someday — maybe when I retire from my day job….

Today is one of the few hot summer days we’ve had in the last few weeks here in the upper mid west. I’m looking out the window and everything thing is my favorite color — GREEN. The sun is dancing through the leaves and it is just gorgeous!







Our son is creative and a builder. I think maybe its because he is an only child — playing alone leaves space for the imagination to run wild. This is part of a big Lego cruise ship he made, The Majesty.  I like watching his process as he comes up with his designs. He doesn’t use instructions — he’s stubborn and independent like me in that way. gets that from me.  Its fun to watch the wheels turning as he tries a variety of color combinations, shapes and sizes before settling on the final design.

I didn’t realize, until I saw this photo, how the legos can look like a patchwork. A new place for inspiration perhaps.


I have had the urge to go on a silent retreat for quite some time now.  I went on one about 10 years ago for a just weekend and I still remember the insights I got and the peace I felt at the end.

So back in April I did it. I went on a fabulous four day silent contemplative retreat. It was here:


I had been longing for this time away by myself and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.  A time of rest, peace, tranquility, insightful contemplation, and spiritual renewal.  I want to do this annually. I came back feeling renewed and now several months later the feeling is still with me.  Blissful sigh.


the complexity of you

Originally uploaded by genuinesimple


Jen Lemen wrote this in one of her deep and sweet blog posts:

“we are all so multi-faceted, so multi-dimensional that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to know us truly as we are. which is why it is imperative that we continue to love one another, that we commit to deeply listening and leaning in to each moment, because none of us know what unseen and vital part will now be revealed”

The collage above is an image board that reflected me really well about 3 years ago.  Now? t isn’t me so much. Have you noticed how you change over the years, weeks, even days? I do.  Is it really change? I think its just your complexity surfacing. There are so many dimensions and parts in us. They surface at different points in our lives. It is what makes you interesting and special and lovable and you.

The really good bloggers and artists say your blog and art should reflect “you” in a consistent way. That makes total sense to me. I also know, from my day job, how important consistent branding is from a business perspective.  So, i’m actually enjoying the challenge of conveying the genuine but complex “me” in a simple and easy to recognize brand.  It takes the idea of “creation” to a really fun and personal level.

wild and free

My answers to stephey’s questions:
to me, being wild and free is being genuinely YOU in all areas of your life: career, home, spirituality, diet, art, love, the words you use.  Free to use all the love, good and power — your gifts — without inhibition.

My dream? To live wild and free!

Why does it take courage to do what should be so natural and right?

What are examples of how you are living wild and free?

Craft room envy

Originally uploaded by Peacock Chic is FAB.U.LOUS!

Don’t you just want to sit and study these gorgeous craft rooms for an hour? I can visualize myself working in any of them. I found this on flickr from Peacock Chic