May 29, 2014


Sometimes people and/or things just rock my world in a way that makes me smile extra brightly.  I feel as though there should be a proper place to record these delicious bits of awesomeness instead of just chucking them under a random blog tag.  So from now on, if you want to know what gets me jumping up and down or swooning with delight, you can simply check out the tag "smitten."

Today I've got two talented folks on my mind.

The first is artist, designer, intuitive, and all-around kick-ass biz chick Jacquelyn Tierney.

That new header of mine up there (that I'm totally in love with) - Jacquelyn made it.  She's also helped me with things like social media buttons, and streamlining the look of my blog.

I'm still working on tidying up a bit, but without her help, I'd still be using a cookie-cutter template and header (not that there's anything wrong with that.)  I just really wanted a simple theme that felt like me, and a bit more of a "clean" look. Jacquelyn listened to all my crazy ideas (and my whining about adding buttons) and gave me exactly what I wanted.

And she's not just a design star.  She has a variety of fabulous services she offers:

Oh - and don't forget to get on her email list - the best things pop up in your inbox!

The next person I want to shine a big spotlight on, is someone you've heard me mention a time or six.  I'm pointing a big smile in his direction today though, because I've been wearing the pendants he made, and they make me feel like a million enchanted bucks.

Aidan Wachter is the mad talent behind the stunning silver charms created at Tveir Hrafnar.  A "talismanic jeweler," Aidan works tirelessly to craft these pieces by hand and then place them in the care of magical-minded people.

Not only does he produce his own gorgeous designs, but Aidan also works with his clients to produce sigils or talismans of their own invention.  I've already got design ideas swirling in my little brain!

Sarah Anne Lawless posted a fascinating interview with Aidan a few months ago that allows us to look into his craft and his inspiration.  It is definitely worth the read.  He also has a great blog at Hotel Vast Horizon.

I'm the proud wearer of the "Compass Rose" shown above, and "Hecate's Key."

There you have it - my picks for "folks who are making me smile today."  Do stop by and visit these lovely websites if the inspiration strikes you.  You too, could be smiling like a crazy person!

May 16, 2014

This Week in the Garden - Every Shade of Green

"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart."  
~Rainer Maria Rilke

The earth is speaking in familiar poems, for certain.  It tells of valerian about to open its light pink flowers.

It offers tales of lettuces dancing through the garden beds, getting fresh and leggy.

It whispers softly the story of raspberry blossoms forming...

And is delighted to point out the eagerness of the peas climbing to the sky.

The earth tells secrets of delphinium, columbine, and lady's mantle (the water gems collected from the lady's leaves is as true a beauty boon as May day dew, so it says.)

And lastly, for today at least, the earth speaks of the lowly strawberry which drags itself across whatever space it is offered and blooms quickly before shaking off the petals to form the fruit. 

"God has given a kindlier power 
To the favoured strawberry-flower. 
Hither soon as spring is fled 
You and Charles and I will walk; 
Lurking berries, ripe and red, 
Then will hang on every stalk, 
Each within its leafy bower; 
And for that promise spare the flower!"
~William Wordsworth

Such a poet, this earth.

May 10, 2014

Farmers Market Saturday

My mother and I had a bit of an early Mother's Day celebration today.  We ran off to the farmers market, where the scents were swoon-worthy, and all the bakery tables were far too tempting. Bread is not my particular addiction, but I still came home with a flax sourdough loaf, an herb baguette, and some blueberry scones.

I bought a good selection of the above tomato plants too, including an heirloom orange variety, a black plum type, and some various paste tomatoes. I can't wait to have my harvest basket filled with those mulit-colored jewels! Oh the bruschetta I'll eat this summer...

These skeins of wool are the size of basketballs.

The lilacs are blooming furiously all over the valley. I swear that every yard has a lilac bush because the air throughout my little town smells entirely of the sweet flowers.

I am beyond delighted that the farmers market has started up again.  My wallet takes a hit every Saturday, but boy is it worth it to eat local, organic food.  I grow so much of my own, but there are many things I don't have room for at the moment (chickens) or don't have the drive to attempt (bee keeping for honey.)

Check your area for local markets. Some cities have indoor markets year round as well.  Talk to the farmers that are vending there - they love to share recipes and some (in our vineyard-dotted valley at least) will give you wine pairing ideas!

Happy farmers market season!