Category Archives: dwell

The Traveling Homebody

SwedenIs there such a thing as a homebody who loves to travel?

I like to be home. I’m content here in my world. My things, my people, my rules. I smile when I want, talk when I want, say what I want, wear what I want. I am me, fully, and completely, and without any veneer of polite civility when I am home.

I like it that way.

Oh sure, I enjoy myself when we go out for dinner, or attend our regular weekly classes. I’m sincerely happy to run into old friends at church. I like to say hello to Ray, and Floramene, my favorite checkers at the grocery. All in all though, I’d rather be home.

Unless, that is, you’re talking about going farther than the 10 mile radius that makes up my usual public domain.

If it involves a long highway, or better yet taxing down a runway…

If it means a complete change of scenery and perhaps even language, then I am in. Fully in.

San Antonio? Yes, but let’s go further…


San Antonio

Hawaii? Oh much beloved, pink palace, yes. Or… further…


Royal Hawaiian

London? With your old architecture and double decker buses and history and tea and “mind the gap” bellowing from the underground PA system. Yes! Now we’re talking. Or perhaps… further still…




Sweden. Oh Stockholm with all of the above plus a whole different language, water at the end of every street, the scent of waffles in the air and oh, just every little thing the same, but different.

StockhholmStockholm 2


Or maybe Tokyo. Or Kyoto. I could get lost there and be so happy.

KyotoEach of these places I have known and loved. In each one, I felt most assuredly at home in a way that I do not only 5 miles down the road. What is that? What is it, that makes this hermit’s heart fill with wanderlust? I don’t know.

I suppose it has something to do with being a woman who was once a little girl  who preferred  her room to just about anywhere else. She only wanted to sit on her bed for hours and hours – home, yes, but far away in the pages of a book.

There is a kind of adventuresome aloneness  in being far away.

Something to think about.

While I’m thinking, and until I manage to put another stamp in my passport, I will be home as much as possible, but also imagining new worlds with pen and ink.


Tiny Green HouseFlower Shop Close upEm's City(this little work in progress is a drawing is for my best friend, Emily. She has a new office in which she diligently works each day at paying the people who build buildings. I thought she needed some pretty ones to look at when her eyes get tired of numbers)


Healing Garden

It’s that time of year.

When the wind shifts, and the skies clear, and the air warms, and the birds sing and… the cedar trees reduce us all to coughing, aching, eye-watering, sniveling wretches.


Out come the steaming bowls of thyme.

Thyme Tent

And again, I daydream about the granny I’ll become one day. The sort with an ever-green garden of magical healing things.








And… well, that’s all I’ve managed to grow thus far.

But that’s cool. I’ve got some time until I’m a granny. I’ve got some time to figure out how to grow all the things that nourish and heal.

For now, thyme, lavender, honeysuckle and… Nyquil.

Healing Garden

An original drawing by Stefani Austin, available as a print here.

A Little House In A Field of Flowers

Sunflower close up country roads

I live in the suburbs.

That used to really bother me. I longed for land, an orchard, a barn, woods in which to ramble, soil in which to plant.

It’s not my season for that. My boys ride bikes to their friends’ houses, to the movies, to get an ice cream. Their music lessons are nearby. Their classes and scout group and church functions aren’t far. Their lives are full, rich. Their lives are here, in the middle of it all. The suburbs aren’t all bad.

And me? I have my little cottage studio. I have a front row seat to boyhood. I’ve got coffee shops and books store and the nearness of my own friends.

Still, sometimes my heart longs for a little yellow house surrounded by fields of flowers.

One day, maybe.

sunflower studio

Country House


*to see more of this little house and order a print, visit my Etsy shop here.

Winter Woods

I think winter is my very favorite time for rambling in the woods.

The woods are simplified in winter. Everything is stripped away – everything but the lovely bones of what remains.

horsemint wafer ash cocleburs



No snakes!

Bare trees giving up all their secrets – little hollows and woodpeckers and nests that were once hidden.

winter curiosities

If I had my way, I’d have a little winter cabin in which to hibernate. A little cabin for sleeping and cooking, reading and dreaming, drawing and writing. A little cabin where there is always something simmering on the stove, always a fire in the fireplace, always the love of someone dear.


LIttle House in the Winter Woods*this little house in the Winter Woods is available as a print in my shop.