Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's all how you frame it

One scene is prettier because of how I shot it. It's how I chose to look at it.

Life lessons through the camera lens.



Friday, August 21, 2015

Sixteen of the sweetest

 1)  You make us laugh. Whether it's a silly dance move, a funny observation on the world or watching you get a case of the giggles, you make us laugh each and every day.

2)  You're not happy unless everyone is happy.

3)  I love your willingness to try new things even if sometimes it takes a little encouragement from those you love. Like jumping off the boulder into the cold lake this summer.  Or calling the school and letting them know how much you wanted to be part of the mentor program. Or taking on leadership roles even though you already have a full plate.

4)  You have the most beautiful, thickest, gorgeous hair I have ever seen.

5)  The way you've tackled high school is impressive. My chest swells with pride when I think of all that you are accomplishing each and every day.

6)  You spent a week on the Appalachian Trail this summer!

7)  And even though I didn't get to see or talk to you for two weeks while you were prepping for and hiking the AT, Dad and I are so proud of you for taking on that challenge and mastering it like a boss!

8) You're a great cook and adventurous eater.

9)  I love that a good book stays in your head and sometimes makes it hard for you to start a new one. It's almost as if you feel you would be betraying the characters of the story by moving on. I get that. I really, really get that.

10)  You're gentle, kind, thoughtful and considerate. I think I say that every year on your birthday but there really are no better words to describe you.

11)  Well, there are additional words too. Like smart, conscientious, understanding, and forgiving.

12)  And accepting. You accept people for exactly how they are. It's not in you to try to mold anyone into what you think they should be. Or to judge them for being how they are.

 13)  Fashion flair! 

14)  Thank you for taking the time to notice things that matter to others. You make me feel heard and understood.  Teenagers get a bad rap for being self involved but the woman you are becoming is far from that. You take mental note of things happening in other peoples lives and are first in line to celebrate, commiserate, mourn or comfort whatever the case may be.

15)  You're beginning to understand that you have wings. The world is a big and wonderful place and you are grounded and well equipped to maneuver it. Trust yourself. You've got this.

16) Reread number 15. You really, really do have this.

Happy 16th birthday sweet girl!

I love you.

So much.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Nearly imperceptible

It's nearly undetectable. This thing that happens as the calendar page flips to August. But it is there. I feel it as I stand in the morning air with my arms wrapped like a pretzel around me. Waiting on my dogs under the heavy mist.

Brown eyed susans

The harvest is abundant in August. And I see the pregnant golden rod ready to burst and send me into a sneezing fit. 

We had to pick the apples before the birds did. And I washed them, made a pie, and pondered where to store them. Too many to keep on the counter, what with all the tomatoes and peppers and squash and such already there. Into a wooden box. Left in the sun to dry. Creating autumn right there in my backyard.

But daisies are there too. The quintessential summer blossom. So I know it's not autumn yet.

But it's starting to tickle my nose.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along: Old Red Barn Block

Welcome to Old Red Barn Co. where I've made the Old Red Barn block as part of the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along with Fat Quarter Shop.  It's from the new book from Lori Holt titled Farm Girl Vintage and I mean come on . . . a quilt block in the form of an old red barn? How could I not?

The book includes instructions for 45 sampler blocks in two sizes (6" and 12") and I made my barn in the 12" size.

And I spent an inordinate amount of time choosing perfect fabric to fussy cut those barn windows.

Here she is in front of my barn. Ain't she cute?

Now the real question is why doesn't this girl have an entire quilt made with old red barn blocks? The actual cutting and sewing wouldn't take me long.  But choosing the fabric for the windows? Well. That could be FUN!

Be sure to check out the sew along. The sheep! The cherries! The pumpkin! And though not included as part of the sew along, Farm Girl Vintage includes a pattern for a tractor.

A tractor!



P.S. If you're on Instagram, check out #farmgirlfridays

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Pony Club Quilt

I started working on this quilt back in December and mentioned it a few times here and there. The quilt is made of 90 blocks from the book The Farmer's Wife Pony Club by Laurie Aaron Hird . Many of these blocks were challenging because of their tiny size and what seemed like infinite number of pieces but, in the end, I'm so pleased with the result and my perfectionism tendencies.

It's actually one of my favorite quilts I've ever made. And I've made a few.


Monday, July 27, 2015

While I was away in BWCA

Ahh. I enjoyed my break from my little corner of the Internet. Two full weeks of it was spent on a trip to northern Minnesota where we rented a cabin on an island on Burntside Lake. It was rustic (no running water and no electricity,) remote, quiet and disconnected. Two families with a total of five kids ranging in age from 8 to 15 and four adults.

Our island was a 1/4 mile paddle to an official entry to Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA.)

There really aren't adequate words to describe what this trip meant to me. Really there aren't. I mean, how do I put into words the gratitude I felt for being able to take a trip like this? For being in complete wilderness? For seeing my daughters so peaceful, playful and curious? For adventures into lakes where it felt we were the only humans to have been? To fall asleep to the sound of a loon?

And to feel so unencumbered by the ritual of daily life at home? I mean by biggest decisions of any day were whether to read in the hammock or on the dock. Or paddle south or north.

Travel always gets me out of my own head space. I feel stronger, more patient, more relaxed, and more beautiful away from the daily ritual and constant inner dialogue running through my head. Vacation Dana is such a pure version of myself. I really like Vacation Dana and BWCA Vacation Dana was over the top cool.

We also spent a few days along the north shore of Lake Superior and spent time camping at Tettegouche State Park and exploring both Grand Portage and Grand Marais. We hiked, ate self-proclaimed world's best donuts, learned about the fur trade, combed beaches for perfect rocks, devoured frozen custard, and howled with wolves in Augusta State Wildlife Area near Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Our family then split off from our friends and spent a few days in Chicago. We walked miles and miles and saw a sampling of all the great things that city has to offer including the Art Institute, Millennium Park, Willis Tower, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier and shopping along Michigan Avenue.  

Travel is good for the spirit. Home is good for the soul.