My first Murder Mystery

For Kindred I wrote my very first murder mystery! Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.34.41 PM I can’t say it’s the most brilliant thing in the world, but it was fun to stretch my writing abilities.  I have to say, writing mystery is harder than I expected!  Trying to keep it short was ridiculous. There’s hardly any character development or beautiful prose. And I started out with a mystery and then tried to solve it.  Which was stupid because I hadn’t made it up yet!  Next time I write one I’ll start with who did it, how and where, then work backwards. But if I hadn’t tried I wouldn’t know.  So there’s that :)

 I wanted to add these pictures into the piece, but it would give away the ending. But I’m not sure if anyone actually read it, so here’s a clue. There’s an acrobat and a peach pie involved! The piece can be found in Kindred’s Disguise issue at KINDREDMAG.COM. It’s entitled Under The Peach Tree.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.35.34 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.37.40 PM  Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.40.30 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.19.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.44.25 PM

And here is my mask for the title page…Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 8.25.55 AM

Heads (Halloween is coming!)

Desktop28Today I stumbled upon these mannequin heads on Etsy. I was searching for vintage floral hats, but soon began searching through to see different types of these fascinatingly creepy faces. They remind me of Mombi’s closet of heads in Return to Oz.

I remember going into a doll shop when I was about five and being terrified of their realistic glass eyes. Right now I have a decorated skull on my mantle and I find it beautiful.  But these…if one of these was suddenly in my room I would freak the f out.

But at the same time I kind of want one. If I had to pick it would be  the bottom right with her eyes closed. Because she has no eyes to stare at me. But even she has a smile like she knows something. Very Doctor Who-ish of her.


The Arctic Moth

Desktop25 This scene from Nature’s Animal Misfits is one of the most beautiful works of cinematography I’ve ever seen. And not just because I adore moths! The Arctic Woolly Bear Caterpillar hibernates for seven years before it transforms.  Talk about a long wait before finally coming into ones own! Its life cycle among flowers and frost is so tantalizing.  My boys loved the whole show, too, so it’s a great rec!  It’s available on Netflix.


The other day I went into the woods with intent of finding a precious object. I love the quote “treating myself like a precious object will make me strong” from The Artist’s Way. The idea is that precious gemstones are still rock hard.  It’s okay to be kind to oneself, and in doing so we become stronger. It’s counter intuitive for me, and I love it.  And I was certain if I kept my eyes open I would find a token in the woods that would be a reminder for me.

From a distance I saw some bright orange spots in the foliage. I didn’t recognize them as berries or any flower I’d seen before. As I got closer I realized they must be a species that either didn’t normally grow in the northwest or one that was very rare for the forest I’d grown up by.

I picked a few sprigs and brought them home to both post on Flora Forager, and look up the name.

Jewelweed.  Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.40.45 AM

I found out they are also called Touch Me Not for how their seeds blast out of their pouches when touched, it is the cure for poison ivy, and to put the leaves underwater because they look like silver. I thought it seemed unlikely because they just looked like normal leaves, but when I put a leaf in a bowl of water I gasped! Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.38.49 AM

An instagram friend of mine (the mushroom forager YellowElanor ) said, “It makes me believe that this is what the Elves of LothLorien used for their cloaks and jewelry 🍃✨  Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.01.58 PMSigh. A precious object indeed, with the power to cure poison, an arsenal of seed weapons, and hidden silvery strength!

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.39.07 AMI found this botanical print online.  I love that it looks like my picture, and has those lovely butterflies!  I wish I knew the author.

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Today I found out that people have very strong emotions about corn.  I posted this close-up picture to Instragram this morning:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.40.14 PMComments have run the gamut from “Sexy” to “rank”.  People think they look like balloons, gems, agates, grapes, and jewels.

Hi everyone!!!! Does anyone know is it possible to find NOT SWEET CORN? I love corn, but boiled and salted. Please, help! 😱😱😱

Unfortunately, the very thing that has me curled up in pain. Going on 5yrs of corn free.

How gross is this up close.

@fionabrownhovelt not the worst I’ve seen, but bulgingly shiny and weird

@callista_dale what is this? Lol

Do you have any strong feelings about corn?  My instagram is @flora.forager :)


Of Egypt, opals, and subliminal messages.

I’ve been thinking about Egypt and Opals a lot lately. IMG_0520-001Enough so that I keep seeing things that remind me of them. Those little synchronicity moments that make you believe the universe is trying to tell you something keep cropping up all around me. Is Egypt in the zeitgeist?  Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.19.09 PMWe watched Aladdin, I studied hieroglyphs and Cairo street magic, I made a work of art inspired by the pharaohs.  IMG_8271And then I looked at Opals on Etsy.  (image from Hawkhouse)Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 12.21.28 PMI’d always wanted an opal ring as a child and thought perhaps my psyche was telling me that I still do. I told my sister Lucy and she showed me an advert on Catbird for a whole slew of opal jewelry because opals are the birth stone for October. (I had no idea) She said my taste is ahead of the curve. But this type of thing happens enough that I know I must, MUST have seen something out of the corner of my eye and my brain told me I thought of it. Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 12.03.06 PMAt that point I started thinking it might be subliminal. I’ve been watching some Derren Brown shows (he’s a famous British mentalist) for the last few days trying to figure out if there is some reason why someone wants me to think of opals and Eqypt. How odd!

Then a friend sent me some Luna Moth wings from the east coast. And low and behold…they are the exact color of opals, even the shimmery iridescence.  And they have eyes that look like Cleopatra!  What does it mean!?IMG_0129Derren Brown would say that my mind simply wants to categorize and organize everything. There is no rhyme or luck, but that I have the innate personality trait of looking for opportunity. I think that’s partly true.  I definitely do believe I tend to notice things others walk past.  That’s been said to me enough times. But still.  Sometimes there are things that happen that just cannot be explained by chance.  Like writing about a fairy ring, then having one pop up in my front garden. (unless I saw it out of the corner of my eye without realizing it.) IMG_0128This one is of the moon, giving the Luna Moth its name. I love that they came right after the lunar eclipse!


If nature does give us subliminal messages what are we supposed to think of that?  It’s not some advertisement screaming at us.  It’s the natural world.  It is a seemingly free enterprise with some seasonal reason, but not any driving force making us do things. We are also a free agent within that world. If I keep seeing opal colored the pumpkin I bought, the luna wings, and the raw opal I cut out of a rock that I want to make a ring out of…what is the point of that?  IMG_0515Why do we have these urges and needs for things like color, beauty, and places? Is my own brain catching and sending me subliminal messages?  Or is God, with all the need and strife and pain in the world, choosing to give me an eye for opals. The latter seems ridiculous to me if you think in a broader sense than self. But perhaps an opportunity is about to arise, and I’ll take it, and will look back at all the little things that lead me to it and know without a shadow of doubt that it was all meant to be.  For now, all I know is it’s opals opals opals everywhere.  And a strange irresistible urge to travel to Egypt. Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.18.27 PM

Magic Beans

  The pea patch on our street has an amazing runner bean teepee. I love walking through to look at the beautiful flowers and work my neighborhood has done, and letting my boys play in the children’s garden.  

 (I should say they pulled off some beans before I had a chance to tell them not to.  I’m not sure what the rules are, but I would have prevented them if I could.) As it was, they discovered that the beans were giant purple and pink splattered beans! They look like little galaxies!  Harry was convinced they were magic beans like in Jack and the Beanstalk. And with the power to make a huge teepee we could all sit in, I think he’s right! 

Here’s a few more photos of the patch. I love it there! 


Sweet September 

I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte today. Under an oak tree dropping acorns, with a dear friend, and wearing plaid. Then we went to a used book store and an English garden covered in vines. It was misty and dark, and our hearts were filled with warmth. September is one of my favorite months.

 I didn’t used to love September. School and darkness and the loss of green used to make me heartsick. But a few years ago I was making an upside down apple pie, Oliver was kicking in my tummy, and I looked outside at the changing leaves and I thought for the very first time in my life, “I like fall!”  It’s been a world of discovery ever since.  And now I idealize it just a bit…. 

 Private school girl outfit! 

Ok maybe a lot. 

Now that little baby Oliver is about to start kindergarten, and before he has a chance to hate this month for the impending homework, he is pointing things out to me that cheer me up on dark days.

“Look at that spider web! It’s covered with rain drops!” (Dew)

“Mama! I haven’t had tea in a very long time!” A child after my own heart! 

 Joey’s Mapleside (where I imagine I am in Avonlea) and the pumpkin she’s growing for our doorstep). 

I am loving a new mystery book Joey introduced to me about a girl named Flavia De Luce called The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  It’s an appropriate name for the way I feel about this season. It was, after all,  the sweetness at the bottom of my apple pie that gave me my first romantic feelings for September! (Though I have a suspicion that in the book that sweetness will have something to do with poison.  Let’s hope the analogy ends there). 

 (a painting I think I did during that first September.)

Whether it be mystery novels, a new cozy rain coat, the inaugural fire in the fireplace, a pumpkin spice latte, or a leaf changing in an aurora of brilliant colors…my you find sweetness this September. 


The perfect Chair

The Saga

Call them what you like.  Ghost chairs, crystal chairs, invisible, plastic…I love them. Desktop22I first saw these in vintage form, two crystal looking angular chairs at Land of Nod. I was ecstatic!  Invisible chairs!  Diamond chairs!  They’re so shiny and pretty!  Like something from an ice castle!  I wanted to buy them, but was told they were not for sale. They were floor models, but I was given the name of a place in Italy that sold them for $300.  Boo. Then Beau tried to buy what he thought I was describing for our anniversary, and it was the wrong chair. THEN I found this one for $55 at a consignment shop just down the road.  Oh Ravenna, you do delight.

I’ve needed something that would work in this little slot since we moved in.  A place to sit, but something that didn’t get in the way of the flow of the large, segmented room.  I’m in love!

The End. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 3.33.18 PMSources are in this pinterest file: