Photography Edition – Nature in Winter

I went on a walk with my family, and took some interesting photos I thought I’d share here.

These are actually photos from two different walks, but they feel very similar.

This time of year is certainly not the most interesting time for a walk. The absolute best thing about going on a walk right now is that one doesn’t have to deal with bugs or excessive heat.

That being said — and to avoid unnecessary melancholy — there is something peaceful about a nature walk at this time of year.

In the Spring and Summer, there’s always something new to see. If there’s not a new flower or plant to find, there are interesting insects or scurrying creatures. If you don’t hear the rejoicing sound of birds singing, you will hear bees buzzing. If the scent of warm floral air is not interesting you, there is a butterfly shadow passing by. And so on.

But that’s not the case in Winter. In Winter… things are sleeping. Waiting.

Now is the chance to see the details, and observe the things that are hidden behind everything when the world is awake. It’s a little like going to a museum, to contemplate past things.

God made the world to work at basically every other time of year. But Winter is the time when it can sleep — just like everyone needs time to relax, so does nature. That’s something I’ve definitely come to appreciate, especially in the last couple years, as I’ve rediscovered my interest in being outdoors. Nature has always been something I love, no matter what time of year.

And Winter almost-no-less-so. I’ll always like the Summer months better, but I have definitely come to enjoy Wintertime, and it’s restful, quiet presence.

It certainly allows for interesting photography opportunities!

Tabitha Meadow

Something I want to do here is celebrate, in one way or another, an author’s birthday — particularly authors who have inspired me.

And today (February 7th) is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday!

There is no doubt about it, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her writing has really inspired me, and been an establishment for years — the base of many of my interests and loves.

Plenty of other things and people have developed, changed, adapted, and added to that love… that something that The Little House book series introduced. But in the end, it’s the charming illustrations by Garth Williams, Pa playing his fiddle, and the overall amazing glimpse into the past that has really helped establish my love for a simple life.

Like many girls, I imagined myself little Laura. Not so much grown up Laura, since teaching never really interested me. The photo on the left…. Ah, the embodiment of furnishing and coziness, as well as teaching me something almost the first time I saw it; how blessed I am.

In celebration, and probably long-inspired by, of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday, I wanted to introduce you to my new fabric doll — Tabitha Meadow.

She has been in the process for a while, including while I was setting up my blog. It was only natural that she should inherit the name I gave my blog — Tabby. So you could say this is her blog.

Her full name is Tabitha Meadow. It was suggested that, since she looks rather like a wild fairy, she should have a nature related name. I decided on Meadow as her second name. Interestingly, Tabitha means Gazelle, so I think this name fits her very well.

This is my first try at a fabric doll. I love how small and rustic she looks, and I adore how the dress came out! This is definitely the smallest dress I have ever made!

I enjoyed the process of making her much more than I expected, so I am considering making more dolls to put on my Etsy Shop. What do you think?

Tabitha Meadow fits so well in the world Laura created — maybe with a bit more whimsy and fae — continuing on the tradition she started in my own life. You will always find that look; that rustic, light aesthetic, showing itself throughout my creations.

And, likewise, I don’t think this is the last you’ve seen of Tabitha Meadow!

So a very Happy Birthday to Laura Ingalls Wilder!! (and to anyone who’s birthday is the 7th of February!)

Continuation of my Cute Creations

Welcome back! On Wednesday I explored the art of sparking joy, and how all that was started by making cute seatbelt covers to sell on Etsy.

While writing yesterday’s post — Origins of my Cute Creations — I realized how much it had effected me.

While coming up with this funny idea of selling these seatbelt covers, and hoping/praying they would touch someone’s life, and make their day… working on that passion, it had touched my own life. After all, if you’re trying to do something for someone else, you yourself will be effected by it.

I would not have come to the conclusion that these seatbelt covers could spark joy in a moment of someone’s life that’s rushed, if I hadn’t made the seatbelt covers in the first place. I’d never even thought of it until I was putting them on my shop!

And, as I said yesterday, they really do have a whole world formed around them!

Every seatbelt cover is unique, and they developed their own personalities, especially when I started writing mini stories for the seatbelt covers, to be included when someone buys one. Oh my! I was coming up with exciting, pleasing little stories for them by then.

So in keeping with the theme, and to continue an exploration of their world, I’ll start doing little sketches. The photos included are my first sketches.

Also, here is one of the mini stories I wrote for a bear seatbelt cover.

Brown bears are known for being glum, but not Beatrice. When the sun is hiding behind the clouds, this little bear can be heard singing in the craggy mountains, chasing the dragonflies and planting next year’s wildflowers when the sun is shining.

Her favorite thing to do is to play hopscotch with her cousins, and she will be counting the petals on daisies in her spare time.

Someday Beatrice will write a long novel all about the adventures she’s going to have…

But to write about the adventures, she must have a few adventures, and so Beatrice the Brown Bear was thrilled to hear she was going to accompany you on your interesting journeys.”

The stories for the bears are the coziest, and personally my favorite. The dogs were surprisingly grittier, more adventurous, but fun. The lions more solemn. The bats mysterious and the most imaginative. If it sounds like I’m talking about it like I didn’t have much to do with how it came out… well, I didn’t. The stories and characteristics developed on their own!

I am thrilled with where this adventure has taken me, and I hope to see it go further. Once I start doing sketches, I’ll probably want to cook a meal inspired by the animals adventures… or make a playlist or something!

Having said that, and definitely not wanting to give up the idea, I think it’s time I explore other things to sell on my shop.

I am starting to add plain flannel seatbelt covers, as well as a yet unknown thing.

I can be sure of one thing. Though I don’t know yet what I’m going to sell — clothes, tea bag packets, dolls? — I want it to inspire people, bring them peace, be helpful, and take me on more, interesting adventures.

So, what would you be interested in seeing on my shop?

Origins of my Cute Creations

I own an Etsy shop, and yes, this post will more or less be advertising what I sell, but I have been dying to let the world in on some of what goes on behind the scenes, because there was a whole world created from these simple, cute little animal seatbelt covers.

First of all, a little explanation of how I came up with the idea, and what the passion was behind these seatbelt covers.

I love animals, and I love stuffed animals, so I’ve always had stuffed animals in mind for selling. And then I thought it would be unique and fun to make animals for seatbelt covers! Especially with how these look, with a definite homemade appearance, and every animal looking different, I think these make for very fun and different seatbelt covers — suited best for kids, an interesting option for someone with sensory issues, or for anyone with a sense of humor.

But there is so much more to it than that.

As I was creating these animals, I realized how they exemplify what I want to do in my own little circle (i.e. here on my blog and online, in my community, in my home)

They inspire. They cozify. They make you smile. They bring unexpected spark to a part of one’s life where one’s usually rushing.

Similarly, I want to inspire, bring comfort, be joyful and give joy, and do it anywhere and everywhere. Like these seatbelt covers, I also want to remind people of the roots, of the hominess. Because, more often what brings people hope, and gives them strength to go on, is the pleasant — not necessarily extraordinary — comforting, homey, firmly established things. And that’s exactly what I am passionate about, and want to continue. And it’s something that can be done more often than you’d think.

For instance, when you have to run to the store to get a forgotten grocery, and you’re in a hurry, remember that you are going out among people, and even if you don’t go out of your way to do something mind-blowingly wonderful, at least be nice and good to other people. I know I’ve been caught off guard, and pause to think, when I’m grabbing that grocery, and someone near me just seems nice. Maybe we don’t speak to each other, maybe we don’t even make eye contact, but I can feel that quiet peace, and suddenly I realize I don’t need to rush, that maybe my own atmosphere of ‘Hurry, hurry, hurry” is causing someone else discomfort.

And yes, all this really was influenced — though not started — by animal seatbelt covers, because I started to realize how, in the unlikeliest of places, and in the quietest of ways, one can still share or start that spark of peace. It was thrilling to realize that, even now, when I’m not necessarily ‘where I want to be” in life, I could still do what I am passionate about — Love.

To be continued.

A Debut Celebration

Having started my journey with Homespun Tabby, I felt it would be highly appropriate to celebrate by cooking. I received cookbooks by Bronte Aurell for Christmas — Scandikitchen Christmas — and have been enjoying looking through them almost nonstop; exploring a new culture, and daydreaming of when I’ll make some of the delicious looking treats.

Allow me to digress for a moment: I’ve already had the pleasure of making her easy rolled cake for New Year’s. We got home late, and had no dessert ready for the holiday (amazingly!). Having got the cookbook for Christmas, my mind immediately went to that, and I soon found a recipe that seemed to fit the bill — and, oh my, yes it did! It was originally a chocolate cake, but we changed that. I was extremely pleased with how it tasted, and it rolled so beautifully. It was, indeed, an easy and spectacular cake. To see photos of it, a little ways down, go to my Instagram account, SallyChickadee

And now back to the feast I made for Sunday! Ironically, there was a recipe in Aurell’s Hygge cookbook (which we got a while ago) that I’ve been wanting to try for a while — the amazing, and delicious Cinnamon Apple Cake.

To avoid getting in trouble for sharing her amazing recipe, I’ll just say it’s a classic, easy cake on bottom, followed by a yummy creme patissiere next, and then topped with caramelly apples.

I was surprised by how easy this recipe was. I made the creme patissiere and prepared the apples the evening before. (We had the second half the day after I made it, and it tasted just as good, so I think I could have made the cake the day before eating it. I didn’t attempt this because I was worried the creme patissiere wouldn’t hold well)

I can’t think of many adjustments I’d make. The cake was sweet enough (I did lessen the sugar a little, but not much) and made for a remarkable treat. One thing I would have done differently was either make the creme patissiere the day I made the cake, or had it sit in a pan the same size as the cake pan. ‘Spreading’ it on the cake was a bit odd, since it was very thick, and made for uneven layering (as you will see in the last photo). Also, Aurell wasn’t joking when she said it would be hard to tell when the cake was done!

Of course the cake was the star of the meal. But that wasn’t the only thing we ate.

I also made — or rather adapted — a delicious looking venison shank recipe. I used chicken instead, hard cider instead of wine, and added potatoes and mushrooms. But it was delicious! It included juniper berries, which, if you’ve never experienced, I suggest you try. The flavor was delicate and unusual. We had kale and beet greens on the side, which gave it a nice contrast.

I thoroughly enjoyed making these recipes, and of course I enjoyed eating them. I think these cookbooks will continue to be my obsession, and you may be certain that I will cooking much more, and probably sharing the experience!

What about you? Have you tried any new, fantastic dishes recently? What’s your latest baking obsession?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at my celebration for this blog,

  • Sarah

Your Humble Blogger, Sarah

I’ve been trying to perfect this new place, and getting lost in the details… trying to figure out every aspect of it, rather than focusing on why I started this blog.

So, let me start over and introduce myself.

My name is Sarah. I go by many names though, including Sally (mostly online), Kitty (again, mostly online), and now I will introduce another name that was almost my own, before my parents picked Sarah — Tabitha.

And it was from this name that the title of the blog came about, with Homespun tacked on the front because it fit so exactly what I want to share on this blog. Some synonyms for Homespun are Unpolished, Simple, Rustic, Folksy, Modest. It is also coarse, handwoven fabric.

(I imagine the picture that comes to mind for a lot of people that read the title of my blog, is of a cozy tabby cat, dressed in a cute, homely gingham dress… a sort of cross between Norman Rockwell and Beatrix Potter. If that’s what comes to mind, I am fine with it.)

My creativity, and the lifestyle I am passionate about, is a simple one…..

I love to sew, and I’d like to share my fashion with you. I love to bake, and I’d like to share pictures of the food with you (I’ll try to remember to share recipes too). I love to sketch and do arty stuff, and, well you get the idea.

Some future dreams I have include goats, pretty rows of plants, chickens, farmers markets, co-ops, music, and carrying on the tradition of homesteading.

I have so many ideas for this blog, I hope I can manage to keep up with them!

Here’s a quick look at what you will find on my blog: Sewing (and reviews), baking, art, gardening, (hacks on all these things), writing, thoughts, behind-the-scene looks at my Etsy shop, LadyEyelet, photography, and random, probably related things, which is what the Lifestyle category is for.

Things you won’t find on my blog: Politics, nasty stuff, boring stuff…. well, it’s not boring to me.

A finally, a few random facts you’ll need to know about me: I’m a Christian, a love music, I’m an introvert (not necessarily shy), I adore berries of all kinds, I love mint tea.

I’d love to get to know some fellow bloggers here! Please introduce yourself and share some interesting facts.

— Sally

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