"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola

12 April 2012

Quote of the Week: Balance

Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That's its balance.

~ Osho

I am seeking more balance...

11 April 2012

Button Swap Blog Hop!

I'm super excited to be participating in The Button Swap Blog Hop hosted by Sweet bead Studio! I've been paired up with someone to swap buttons with, and am very lucky to be matched with Kalaya Steede, talented metalsmith and jewelry artisan and teacher. :) Kalaya has posted a *hint* of what she is sending me in the form of a blurred photo on her blog, so I am doing the same here! I have chosen a selection from my vintage button collection to inspire Kalaya. The photo gives a tiny hint, but not enough to ruin the surprise.

What happens next? We each receive our packages of surprise, hand-chosen buttons from our partners and must then create a brand new project featuring them. I've got something in mind, but I am waiting for my buttons from Kalaya (she handmade them!) to inspire me, and will see what happens. :)

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out Kalaya's beautiful works!

10 April 2012

On the Web: Here Little Birdie...

I. Love. Birds. I love watching them in the wild, learning their calls, looking at pictures, and hearing about bird encounters. I find such simple pleasure just closing my eyes and listening to the bird cacophony around my home, identifying those I know and appreciating those I don't. Just outside my window, I have created a mini feeding station among some pine trees where my kitty and I can watch for hours. Yesterday, within the span of an hour, I had eight different types of birds visit! :) It makes me so happy to have given these visitors a safe place to eat and mate and drink. It's a source of much joy.

For birdwatching on the Web, there are some incredible sites out there for bird and nature lovers. Here are my go-to sites for getting a birdy fix.

Websites and Facebook Pages:

"All About Birds": Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Warblers Call


Outside My Window: WQED Bird Blog

Birds & Blooms Magazine

Favorite Live Cams:

Phoebe, a Hummingbird Nest Cam

Bald Eagle Nest

Falcon Cam in Pittsburgh

Great Blue Heron Nest

DIY Birding:

Make Your Own Feeders

Bird Photography Tips

Tips for a Bird-Friendly Backyard

Best Backyard Bird-Feeding Practices

Get Involved:

Pennsylvania eBird

Participate in NestWatch

Great Backyard Bird Count

Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat

09 April 2012

Handmade Bliss: Lil Fish Studios

Lisa Jordan of Lil Fish Studios is an artisan inspired by the earth and nature, texture, sustainability and the beauty in simplicity. Her lovingly felted textural embroidered stones and tiny felted landscape brooches soothe my spirit and evoke a quiet joy in my heart, as do the thoughts and observations featured on her blog. Whether sharing about growing, baking, family or creating, Lisa relishes in the small pleasures of the every day, reminding me to dwell in the tiniest of happinesses. It is our shared love of feeding the soul and DIY living that led me to follow her on the web, where I find her Facebook page and blog (I love her tutorials and her experiments with natural dyes) a source of wonderful daily inspiration.

Lil Fish Studio's work led me to stumble upon her via Etsy (she now sells mostly on Big Cartel). I was instantly charmed by her designs, which are beauteous, sweet, and evocative of a true appreciation of the expressions of life.

03 April 2012

Quote of the Week: I Carry Your Heart

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

~e.e. cummings, from "i carry your heart with me"

02 April 2012

Projects I'd Love to Make: In the Garden

With the early warmth and sunshine this year, everything is growing already! Thus, my gardening lust has begun just as early. :) With the need to wait until May to throw myself into planting flowers and veggies, I am indulging in planning fun garden projects instead. Here are some of the DIYs we are either planning or fantasizing about for this year:

PLANNING: We've got all of the materials for the pots below, and are on the hunt for some good pallets! :)