Afternoon Tea

Melanie recently posted a gorgeous styled tea shoot & she reminded me how much I love to photograph my tea…

Since this special tea bag came from Christiana, one of the other lovely authors on this blog, I knew it was the perfect one to style.

The letter just happened to arrive on the right week & the books are antiques~ one is from 1902 & the other is from 1903!

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I hope you have enjoyed my mini styled shoot.

The tea was delicious, C, thank you SO much! ♥

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Tea Time

Recently on IG, Bekah (@miss_mouse_middleton) mentioned that a styled shoot should include teacups, ribbons and vintage books. This stuck in my head and so it came to be!

IMG_8460Bekah TEAIMG_8464Bekah TEAEarl Grey Tea, a Vintage Gardening Book and a fresh baked Chocolate Chip Cookie (thanks to my daughter and hubby!)

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Tea Time on a late Sunday afternoon with the last of the sunny light streaming through the dining room window…

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This January I have been resting a lot, dreaming a little bit and hoping to feel more energy soon!

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Looking at this vintage gardening book reminds me that the world will bloom again…

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A Party for Sarah

I know Sarah’s book, A Party for Pepper, was published a little while ago now, but I finally ordered a copy and just received it this weekend. Therefore, a little party was in order.

It has been now over a half a year since I found Sarah through Instagram. It all happened when I posted a photo of my childhood teddy bear, Russ Bear, reading his mini Peter Rabbit book collection, which I had added with the hashtag #beatrixpotter. Through that hashtag she found my photo and liked it. Then I viewed her profile and fell instantly in love with her art work and beautiful style. We began commenting on each others photos, which led to a conversation (like a million comments) about are interests and what we do with creativity. It did not take long for us to realize we were kindred spirits.

Then this led me to meet Nikki, which then has accumulated to me meeting all of you lovely ladies now apart of the Kindred Spirits’ Club through Instagram and our blog!

Sarah, everyday you inspire me to follow my dreams, to be creative in my own original way, and to enjoy the small things. So here is a capture of the small party I was indeed able to throw for you, as Russ Bear and I celebrated the publication of your lovely book!

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To start this party, we had tea time on a picnic blanket inside because it is dreadfully hot outside and we have a summer cold. We got out Russ Bear’s Beatrix Potter mini-book set, Anne of Green Gables (of course), and our new addition, A Party for Pepper. I can proudly say we tried your “pink” tea recipe and love it immensely! It has become an instant favorite. Also, as you can see, Russ Bear is holding your lovely wood painting. I will cherish it forever, dear friend.

This allowed me to sit for a moment to realize how far we have all come in our own journeys. It has been less than a year, but each of us I do believe have been able to see each other grow more confident in our individual lives, as we continue to keep creating what is dear to our hearts.

Anyway, this is but a small little party, but I hope you know that we truly are grateful for you living your dream, Sarah, because it encourages us to keep pursuing and living ours.

Again, congratulations dearest Sarah!!!

~ Christiana

A Cottage of Our Own

terie-rawn-2I saw this on Facebook and immediately thought of you girls.

Have any of you ever read Mandy By Julie Edwards (Andrews)? It reminded me of that little love when she found her secret cottage and how she just yearned for some kindred spirits.

(More photos and the source of this one) >>> http://www.finegardening.com/fairy-tale-cottage-woods

I kind of feel like this blog can be our secret cottage – a place where we share in kindred spirits delights, our dreams, goals, etc. 🙂

Anyways, it made me think of you and it also made me want to stop in and just say “hi” to you girls. 🙂 Love you girls! xoxo

Kindred Spirit; Melanie! Introduction

Well, I was waiting for a “perfect” time to introduce myself with the perfect photos to accompany but that could take a while! So, I’m just doing it today!

I love it that this community of lovely women all are inspired by “Anne”! I couldn’t be more thrilled! I first found “Anne” in my early teen years and have never parted from her! I re-read the “Anne” books as well as other L.M. Montgomery books and any biographies I can get ahold of! I read this version earlier this year:

Lucy Maud Montgomery; The Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio.
LM Montgomery; The Gift of Wings
It was amazing to read but also very sad 😦
As I get to know myself more, I realize how important Nature, taking walks, and having Creative Time are all essential to my well-being and happiness.
I’m a Wife and Mom and a “Creative!” Currently, my creativity includes Styling Photoshoots. I’d love to get published in Magazines and one day have a published book; but more importantly, I want to live a peaceful life with no regrets! My family is very important and it is a balancing act to love and serve them but also follow my dreams.
“We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self denial, anxiety and discouragement.”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“…everybody should have a purpose in life and pursue it faithfully…we must first make sure that it is a worthy purpose…”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I see more “nuggets” of wisdom each time I read “Anne.” and in my current season of life I wrestle with these questions; is my creative dream worthy? and is it worth it? and if not,

Which direction is worthy? I want to encourage women and evoke hope and gratitude in my work. I don’t think I’ll always know -so that is what keeps me seeking -always pushing myself to reveal what is truly important even though I gravitate toward “pretty” pictures and producing “pretty” pictures. This quote comes to mind from the “Little Women” movie:

If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you. - Marmee, Little Women: Celebrity Movie T V Show, Little Women, Morals Courage, 100 Movie, Google Search, Womenadorávei Mulheres1994, Littlewomen, Women 1994, Periodic Movie

(Love this movie BTW!)

I feel so strongly about the result my creativity has/will have on others. I feel responsible to convey positivity and NOT jealousy or discontent.

Do you ladies think about the results of your work, your creativity? I know I’m a “deep” thinker so no worries if you do not!!

So, this post is a bit random but that’s just how my thoughts are today! Here are a couple recent photos of a one day camping trip with my family on Camano Island. I had the opportunity to make a pretty table with collected seashells and foraged flowers. I’m so thankful for that time and hope to do it more often! Bye for Now, Melanie; Country Cottage Living

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Book Logging

Well dearest #kindredspiritsclub, I am so excited to be apart of this beautiful group that has accumulated beautiful faces, hearts, minds, and spirits. By Sarah coming up with the idea of a blog and Nikki making it come true, while Bekah, Naoma, and I have been cheering on and excited to start, I have seen how fast you ladies make dreams happen! It is so encouraging and has enlightened me in this part of my life where my dreams seem so distant to keep persevering and even start up my own blog again. 🙂

One thing I really do treasure is my books. They are treasure boxes detailed and filled with blossoming new worlds and ideas that have been planted by minds that were once inspired by other minds before it, which thus has been miraculously handed down to us. I am sure most of you know exactly what I am talking about (let me make it simple for you, it is called bibliophilic syndrome…. I may have made that up). So to help start us off on this beautiful blog waiting to be filled with outpouring of hearts, I want to share a journal entry from my book log. It is actually the first book I logged down in my brown leather journal and I believe it is quite fitting, since it is one of those books where life lessons are learned. It put the importance of my own personal life quite clear, while washing away everything that never was worthy of my complaints and attention. The reason I started the journal was from the realization that many good books I read may never be read twice and that I might forget what I enjoyed and learned from those reads. So here I go. It is not the happiest book, but for some reason I was reminded of it when we decided to do a blog. I think that is because it is always a reminder to me that I am so fortunate to live out dreams when many never did or will. Hold onto your dreams and hopes ladies!

“Frank McCourt has examined his ferocious childhood, walked around it, relived it, and with skill and care and generosity of heart, has transformed it into a triumphant work of art. This book will be read when all of us are gone.” ~ Pete Hamill, Irish American Magazine

I read Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt this past fall (2014). I bought it used at the little book store at the library I usually go to.

I started reading it a couple days after I got it at a lab appointment. After that I had a hard time putting it down. It is simply written, but with a splash of elegance. The style is very different, but well written.

It’s written as a novel but really is a memoir of his childhood and early years as a young poor adult trying to leave Ireland to go back to the country where he was born — America. He tells his story the way you may tell things that are matter-of-fact to you, so when something happens or is done not according to the social norm in the book, you get that hitting kick in the gut feeling of grief when you realize how normal that was to him — a very poor Irish boy. There are times you are not sure to burst out laughing or to break into tears…. I definitely had my share of both while reading this book.

The three things I took of this reading I know will never leave me: what real destitution is, what children are looking for, and why hope is so important.

I have gone to the Philippines twice now, and real destitution becomes real when you go to third world countries. However, I only stayed there for a small amount of time, not really getting to know the real destitute very personal. Frank McCourt doesn’t even hesitate to open that opportunity for you; in fact it’s more than you are willing to take at times. A father who is a drunk and hardly brings back his pay for the family to eat, a mother who is always depresses and eventually has to sell herself to a family member so they have a roof over their heads, shoes that are made out of tires, babies who have to live off of water and sugar, relatives who hate your guts, teachers who beat you, religious Catholics who shun you because you live in the scum, a reality where food is always on your mind, where living spaces are filthy and a norm, where sex is the only drive in life besides surviving, a life where many dreams that you constantly try to revive after they are shattered again and again, where one act of kindness is the only flicker to bring back your hopes.

Why did I ever believe my troubles were more than the truly destitute? God forgive me….

McCourt has a soft heart for his younger siblings. Children were the real innocence in his story and the most vulnerable to get snatched away into society’s ruthless claws of a miserable adulthood.

He takes you on a journey through the mind of his young growing mind — the questions that many children have. Adults never seem to have the patience for childlike questions, because they are questions of innocence that they themselves use to have and probably were never answered by the adults in their lives. Through a child’s eyes you see how harmful it is for an adult to just push aside that yearning child with his beautifully innocent questions. When that child finally gives up, so does the sparkle in his eyes — the hope all children have gets replaced with resentment. What a tragedy… only because the adults in his life would not take the time with patience to listen and try to answer his questions in the best way they could.

Many people know how important is is to have hope in life. If one person doesn’t have it, there is always someone else who does. Imagine though when a whole society has no hope whatsoever. Imagine growing up in that setting… there is no availability to dream, and when you try you are put down lower by your peers and especially by those who are older or above you. Your peers may for a time dream with you, but the older you get the more it is looked down upon. Why? Because dreams are no longer real — they are fairy tales.

There were a few people who McCourt met who gave him a glimpse of hope when he was growing up, which kept him going to live his dream — to go back to America. It is so easy to give up, to give in to the helpless life, but without hope life is nothing but survival. Even survival seems impossible without hope.

I believe Angela’s Ashes is a must read for all mature readers — at least once. It is not the most happy book, but it is one that all need to view life in a way that finds the innocence and cherishes it forever, and Frank McCourt portrays that beautifully.

“It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.” ~ Frank McCourt

(Sorry to display my faith here, but I wrote this verse in my journal next to my entry and I found it too beautiful not to share) Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

~ Christiana