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!

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A year of sunsets.

A year ago I was missing the salty air and glittering reflection of the sea. I asked my mom if she would snap of pic of the sunset each night and send it to me so I could imagine myself there. She said she would. 

And she did. 


 Thank you, Mama.  This was true love for your daughter.  Please don’t ever stop! 

The Transformative Power of Journaling

I am a firm believer in journaling as a form of self therapy. From a very early age I was questioning the world and myself on the pages of a spiral notebook. I remember distinctly the first time I could feel the answers flowing through my own pen.  Was it the voice of God, my own psyche, or just my brain organizing my thoughts and flowing forth wisdom?  I can’t really tell you.  But I do know that journaling always helps me find balance. About four years ago I read a book called The Artist’s Way.  To simplify it, it is a guided journey into your desires.  Through little tasks set out for each week, spending time alone with your inner artist, using mantras and self encouragement, and journaling three pages every morning, the book helps you find your calling as a creator. Since completing The Artists Way I have written a book, become best friends with a writers group I cannot imagine my life without, started Flora Forager, and signed a book deal with Sasquatch Books…for a journal!  It’s all come back around, and I am so thrilled to be creating what will hopefully be a catalyst for those seeking their own inner voice. People can make it a prayer book, make it a forager field guide, use it to press flowers, or simply write their morning pages. I am so happy to be giving my heart and soul for something I truly believe in.  The journal will feature nine new scenes and approximately twenty-four new animals.  I can’t share any of it online, but I’ll try to give as many sneak peeks as possible!


Remembering France

My friends Rachel and Stephanie both went on french adventures in the last couple of years. Steph just got back and her stories had me reminiscing back to my road trip there with Beau.  We were 20 years old, freshly married, and unseasoned travelers.  It was crazy, emotional, and… ridiculously beautiful.  It was one of the first times I realized the best, most memorable experiences are the ones unplanned. travels9-001travels9-002travels9 travels9-003 travels9-004 travels9-005 travelstravels9-006 travels9-007

Three days in the Garden State

This week I was treated to a lovely few days in Lambertville New Jersey to create cover art and chapter titles for Danny Seo’s new cookbook: Naturally, Delicious. Danny Seo is the leading Green Living expert and editor of Naturally magazine, and our photographer was Armondo Rafael who does work for the a Wallstreet Journal and assigments all over the world. (I was a little awestruck!) It was a lot of hard work, inspiring play, a learning experience, and of course…incredible food. I stayed in the Lambertville Station Inn along the Delaware River, where George Washington made his crossing. Everywhere you look in this green county there is quaint beauty, from the Wildflower Preserve to the colorful row houses filled with antiques. I wish I’d had more time to explore, but when the book comes out you’ll see why I was preoccupied. Here are a few shots of my very first business trip.  (If business looks like this, bring it on!) 

   This last shot was a reject for the book so I got to keep it. The pop corn is begonia flowers! 

Clocks. Lion Fang. Thieves. Cotton Hair. Milk. Child-chain-grass. Blow Flower. Little Bunny Fufu. Wish Bubbles. Fairy wands. Little messengers. Wishies.

 Last night I asked my Flora Forager followers what they call Dandelions gone to seed, and if they have any traditions with them.  

 I could not have *wished* for a better response. People from over 30 countries gave me their names and childhood memories!  

 Children the world over have been spreading those lovely fairy seeds across the continents for generations. Wishes and dreams in every language have floated on the wind over every sea. It was a beautiful conversation to read, and lovely imagery to fall asleep to. Magic.   One person said they had never seen a Dandelion before and it made me so grateful for all those multitudes of weeds growing in my grass. A new beautiful perspective! 


A Poem

Fuzzy gray tufts froth around me,

Silver moon, violet sky.

Dark scatters of branches jumble with cold stars,

I breathe crystal air and sharp shadows,

Ice shards cut and ache.


Brilliant sparkles scatter through the silver,

Soft mist,  yellow light,

Heat radiates slowly from the pink horizon,

I breathe deeply of honeyed air,

The shards melt and dew clings to my cobwebbed caverns.


I, like persephone,

eat my jeweled seeds,

And plunge into darkness for a time,

But Demeter waits for me in her flowered Spring,

And I once again take up the light and beauty that is mine.