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.
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.
An original drawing by Stefani Austin, available as a print here.
There is a little drawing on my wall, and a dusty container of lye in my garage, and both are telling me it’s been far too long since we’ve made soap.
Spring is coming, friends.
It’s time for the hippy in me to make a flower crown and get her soap on, yo.
It’s time for some calendula and honey, some basil and lemon, some goggles and rubber gloves.
Oh yes it is.
“Apothecary” – an original illustration, available as a print in my Etsy shop
There’s just something about fresh flowers in the house, isn’t there?
Every now and again, I tell myself that I should do that more – pick a few along my walk, buy a bunch at the grocery store.
Because really, what day isn’t made better with flowers?
I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not real thrilled about the end of winter.
I love winter I do, with all it’s cozy, sitting by the fire, baking, layers of blankets gloriousness.
And yes, I do love spring too. Open windows, bare feet, pie and fiddle music.
It’s just that here, spring lasts about two days before it’s hotter than seven kinds of hell for way too dang long.
Here it comes.
I think I’ll buy some flowers today. I think I’ll draw some flowers today. I think I’ll make spring last just as long as I can.
Because really, what season isn’t made better by flowers?
(This piece, Kitchen Window, is available as a print in my shop here)
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.
*to see more of this little house and order a print, visit my Etsy shop here.
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.
Bare trees giving up all their secrets – little hollows and woodpeckers and nests that were once hidden.
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.
*this little house in the Winter Woods is available as a print in my shop.
Things carted home in pockets.
It’s a habit.
It can’t be helped.
I think it started with crystal pebbles on the playground in kindergarten.
I’m 40 now and I still can’t pass a feather or a pretty rock or a leaf by.
Now you know.
*this piece is available as a print in my shop.
You know that feeling, when you look back at old photos and cringe a little?
Seriously now, what where you thinking with that hair do?
Or when you read an old high school letter and think, “heavens, was I really like that? ”
Tell me I’m not the only one.
Tell me that you know that feeling – it’s made up of two parts horror and one part, “oh sister, come here and let me hug you.”
That feeling happens a lot when I look back at old paintings and drawings.
Sometimes though, it’s another feeling altogether. One that says, “Hey, that’s not too shabby. I kind of dig that.” It’s maybe not the best. I’d do some things differently now, but it makes me smile because yeah, I actually kinda like that.
That’s how I felt when I ran into these little girls in the archive.
I drew them five or six years ago to use as blog buttons. This was back when I was just taking baby steps into sharing my little doodles with the big wide world of strangers. These are some of my very first attempts at digitizing and using Illustrator to color in something that I’d drawn. All in all, I still dig their little vintage-y, sassy selves.
Not too shabby, if I do say so.