Monday, May 25, 2015

The Laughter of Color

I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for sticking by my side during this past year and being such devoted followers and friends. I deeply appreciate you checking in on me, sharing prayers, and offering encouragement, support, and love.
I treasure you all and consider you such a blessing in my life.
Thank you for being you!

~ ~ ♥ ~ ~

The seasons change and so does life.
Along with changes in one's life often comes changes of the heart.
With sadness, the soul seeks joy. 

My heart has been craving color.
Warm, happy, joyful color.

It has shown up not only outside in my gardens...

but inside this old farmhouse, too.

Tribal pillows, with their rich texture and cultural patterns
now mix beautifully with one of my favorite darker florals....but only one.
You won't find many ruffles or florals in this house right now.

I packed away the whisper of soft pastels and brought out the laughter of color.
My soul was craving laughter.

Earthy richness in my favorite deeper shades of purple, pink, blue, gray, and brown embrace the rooms with a warm hug of coziness.
My soul was craving a hug.

Bohemian style is all about exotic, saturated color, rich texture, intricate patterns,
and an earthy vibe  ~ with a bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure.
It's about being a "vagabond traveling through life" collecting eclectic treasures along the way.
Think....gypsy caravans.
A free-spirited lifestyle.
Layered decorating.
A bit wild.
Yes, my heart craved a bit of wildness.

Maryam Montague writes that it's "a combination of strong architectural shapes, sublime decorative finishes, vivid, inky colors, fresh, intricate patterns, and one-of-a-kind objects."

Kilims, batik, oushak, ajrahk block prints, hand quilted kantha.
Handcrafted artistry in rugs, pillows, and throws.
Mixing them all is easy.
Patterns that you think would clash, live joyfully next to each other as long as there is one common color.  The woven patterns each telling a story of the artisans who made them.

The bohemian theme is carried into my studio with collected, treasured paintings by my great-grandmother, grandmother, my father, and my talented long-time friend, Kerrie Sanderson.

Kerrie's sweet beach painting is on the far right. You can purchase her paintings from her Etsy shop, Seawashed.

Found Moroccan ceramic lattice vases from a consignment shop grace the cabinet in my studio.
This reworked pink cabinet, which has gone from white to blue to pink, will soon be getting a wash of "Muddy Pond" wax to "dirty" it a bit and create a more authentic well-worn, vintage look.
 (You can purchase it here from Anne at White Lace Cottage.)

Orchids sway next to roses on the fireplace mantel.

A regal purple orchid soaks up some sunshine on the kitchen windowsill.

A bohemian lantern and a red Moroccan glass filled with bright pink roses stand beneath a couple of my dream catchers.
(You can order a dream catcher from me here.)

A pierced tin lamp gives light to books and magazines that provide continual inspiration for me.
Of course, my favorite Young Living 'Patchouli" essential oil is never far away.
It is diffused and worn almost daily, and lends the perfect exotic fragrance in the house.
Patchouli has a musky, earthy aroma. In Eastern cultures, it is commonly used around the house to provide general support for health, and to help release negative emotions.

A simple touch of boho graces the master bath.

An orchid grows quietly next to a small beaded jewelry box atop a vintage Florentine table.

A carved whitewashed acacia wood box sits next to the one and only painting created by my mother that my father helped her with...

and a battery-operated gold filigree candle adds a soft glow at night.

The meditation room ~ dressed in purple, brown, and gray ~ is a haven of peace and tranquility.
Mismatched lace tablecloths tossed casually over curtain rods filter the morning sunlight.
A large pillow made from a Turkish rug grounds this space.
This has become my favorite room in the house.

I am currently on the hunt for another Moroccan side table like this.

A sparkly turquoise blue vase brings memories of cherished vacations spent by sparkling blue oceans.

I'm still tweaking the master bedroom.
A favorite throw from India in pink, white, and gray is tossed over a white linen duvet,
while a Turkish patchwork throw was tacked to the headboard for a quirky introduction of crayon colors.
The 1800's blanket chest at the foot of the bed was hauled home from a trip to Maine many years ago.

Tailored bedskirt by Shellagh Selee from Ticking & Toile.

Cowboy hats, tasseled shawls, and fringed leather handbags
hang on a handmade vintage coat rack.

Tattered Turkish rugs with beautifully bright and sometimes faded colors in exotic patterns can be found scattered throughout every room of the house.

The white wicker furniture on the front porch will soon get a make over, too, with a wash of earthy brown.

As I continue to plan and design some big changes for our back porch
~ which will become another favorite bohemian haven in this house, I'm sure ~
 my heart is being comforted.
Embraced in color.
Grounded in pattern.
Reveling in the joy that it all brings.

~  Eucharisteo  ~

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

When Peonies Bloom

I am sharing my post from last June
as a loving tribute and a cherished remembrance
to my mother who passed away on June 7, 2013...
and who I am missing so very deeply this Mother's Day.

I still find myself struggling;
sadness cutting its way deep and hard into my soul;
grief still tying my emotions into an unwelcome knot;
tears spilling at unexpected moments;
memories so clear and sharp as if they happened yesterday.

If you are blessed to be with your mother today,
do me a favor.  
Hug her especially long.
Whisper in her ear how much you love her,
and then look into her eyes and tell her again...and again.

I wish I had one more chance to do just that...

I miss you, Mom.
And I love you with every portion of my heart.

June 9, 2013

God's timing is always perfect ~
even though our minds don't always understand it.
Even though it may be painful to us mere humans.
It stretches us.
Grows us.
Makes us stronger.

Snowflakes make the world slumber.
Rain provides a much needed drink.
Clouds cool the earth.
Sunshine brings the blooms.
All in God's perfect timing.

And every person's life is a story written by God's hand.

As roses and peonies spill into the garden back at her farmhouse,
she sits by her mother's bedside in the nursing home.
Twelve days have passed since her father's entrance into heaven.
Still dazed.
Heavy hearted.
World still reeling.

 Remaining simply and humbly in the hands of God,
clinging to him and surrendering herself to his love,
she is still.
Hands clasped.
Words whispered...
"I love you, Mom."

Uncorking the bottle of memories carried deep in her heart,
floating like a sweet fragrance through her soul...


Up on tiny tiptoes helping her mother hang laundry by the big old lilac bush in the backyard...

   standing shoulder to shoulder with her mother slicing apples for the pot of simmering homemade cinnamon applesauce on the stove...

walking hand in hand with her mother in the warm sand along the lake shore by the old cottage,
searching for ladybugs...

watching her mother help patrons select books at the library ~ her smile a constant jewel...

As the years passed, the moments changed.
She was the one assisting and lending a hand now.

Helping her aging mother apply her always present lipstick after lunch...

guiding her to the bedroom for an afternoon nap...

lifting her from her chair onto unsteady feet,
her smile ever present.

Threads of life woven into a quilt of forever love.

And now,
she bent her head in prayer over her mother's unresponsive, sleeping body.
Praying for release.
Praying for God to take over.
Sitting in the silence of His Presence.
Breathing deep draughts of His Promise.
His peace guarding her heart and pressing close to her mother.

Her hope.
Her song.
 Angels present and hovering near.
Tears fell.
"I will miss you so much, Mom."

I believe in Jehovah God who created the whirling galaxies, the birds soaring in the sky overhead, the endless crashing waves and all that dances within them. I believe in Father of all who knits together life, made in His very own image, in the secret quiet of our beings.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the One with no earthly Father, with the dust of this earth between His toes, and with our names etched onto the palm of His hands, right beneath the nail scars…Who now sits at the Father’s right hand making endless intercession on our behalf. I believe in the stone rolled away, in the Body being raised, in the first fruits of the dead…and us all following soon, very soon.
I believe in the Cross as our only Hope, our only Claim, and our only Foundation. I believe that in the pounding surf of life we have only one thing to cling to: the feet of our Lord, hanging on that tree, His lifeblood flowing down, washing us whiter than snow.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, moving, whispering, indwelling our very skin. I believe in living by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, and producing fruit in the Spirit…in the Spirit who helps us in our weakness with groanings that can’t be expressed in words.
I believe in the infallibility of the Bible, God’s Word – a sure Word, a pure Word, the only secure Word. I believe the words on those pages are breathed from the very throne room of heaven, are the love letter penned from the heart of the Lover of our souls; a beacon of light for stumbling feet to find sure footing on a dark path.
I believe there is more than believing. There is living what I believe.

~Ann Voskamp

Minutes ticked.
Hours passed.

And when God's timing was perfect,
he swept her mother up in his strong arms and carried her tired body,
to be renewed and refreshed,
through the heavenly gates.
His loving embrace warm and healing.

She joined her beloved husband ~ both now made whole.
Experiencing the incredible joy, beauty, and wonderment of heaven...


“Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
Psalm 72:23-26

God's timing.
Always perfect.
Always beautiful.

She will always remember her mother....and her father....
when the roses and peonies bloom.

~  Eucharisteo  ~

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