How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sometimes a bunch of doodles…

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…that have been hanging out in your sketchbook…

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…will begin to sprout…

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… and even blossom!

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It’s funny how your creative ideas reflect
what’s been going on in your heart and mind.

“Bloom where you are planted” and “How Does Your Garden Grow?”
are two little ditties that seem to sum up the thoughts I’ve been mulling
over about being content with what we have yet, not growing stagnant….

…about enjoying this season but preparing for the next…

…about tending the garden of “Home,” and waiting
expectantly for that fresh new blossom to pop open…

…about “Thistle Dew-ing.”

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Just put some fun new prints are up in our Etsy Shop to help fund some
of the Blooming and Growing projects escapades around the Frey house!

Click here to pop on over! 

:-D

Blossom…

This past Sunday, Hubby’s Mom and Dad had a little garden party…

…In fact, the garden WAS the party!

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I mean, look at all that COLOR!

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The sky was a little gray that afternoon,
but that seemed to make the colors even more vibrant!

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Mom and Dad have a knack for creating color contrasts in the garden!

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Everything was in bloom, and very fragrant!

White Flowers

Even the tiniest of blossoms…

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… seem to tug at your heartstrings.

Outside In

So I went home, and brought some Outside In.

Go not abroad for happiness,
for see,
it is a flower blooming at thy door.
~Minot Savage~

Branching Out…

In the midst of a long-distance Mother-Daughter phone conversation, somewhere mingled with Design Ideas, Mommy Advice, Airplane Tickets, Business Brainstorming, Children’s Drawings, and Plans-for-When-We-Next-Get-Together, my oldest daughter Jordan and I came up with a Brilliant Plan. While we were talking about the possibilities for developing a single design, the idea of a Grand Collaboration popped into both our heads at just about the same instance! And so did a quote that we both liked…

Home is Where You Are

It’s been nearly four years since Jo’s family has been back on the East Coast, and a good part of our conversation was about  Jo, her Hubby Luke, and her boys Jack and Derik traveling back home to Delaware for a couple of weeks in the late Spring. We’d both been searching online for airline tickets, and let me tell you, the price of airline tickets for four people to go across the country is nothing to sneeze at… As a matter of fact, it could make one swoon and fall over in shock.  But, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

We gals had an Idea…
…Take that single quote about “Home,”
create some Art around it,
and get those designs on the website, post haste!

Home is Where You Are

Jordan was feeling rather artsy that day, and jumped in feet first,
and got the ball rolling by coming up with
a beautiful sketch in her loose, happy style...

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Her Mama, on the other hand, was a tad bit slower, and took a couple days
to produce a matching papercutting in her somewhat-tight, in-the-box style…

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And then we set to work to produce a sweet line of prints and cuts that we’ll be
selling on our Etsy shops and websites to help play for those tickets!

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Click Here to Purchase on our Website!

Or Click Here to Purchase on Etsy!

And don’t forget to stop by THIS POST and leave a comment to enter my current Giveaway!

May Flowers

Since April Showers bring May Flowers,
I thought today would be a good day
to doodle some pretty blossoms.

Fraktur style.

They’re easy. Really.
Here are some sketchbook doodles…

And some step-by-step’s…

If Dr. Suess was going to draw flowers,
he would draw Fraktur flowers!

They really are just happy doodles!
If you try drawing some, e-mail them to
kim (at) thistledewmercantile.com
and I’ll share them on my blog!

Happy May Day!

Take time to smell the roses…

“Down time” or “time off”… whatever you call it, is a necessary thing every once in a while. I can’t really say that I ever really have a completely “down” time, but occasionally I need to pare things back a bit in order to get caught up. This month is one of those times, and as usual the empty space filled in quickly, sort of like when you take your finger out of a cup of water… the “hole” is non-existent! I had some major projects to work on early this month (one is a fun secret…can’t wait to show it!), plus Kate and I have been working on the transfer, washing, and packing of winter and spring clothes. That has been quite a job this spring, mostly because our dryer decided to die just when we had pulled everything out of the attic and onto my bedroom floor. And of course, the garden is needing attention, and my earthworms needed sorting. And with my college classes I’m trying to understand the battle tactics of the Civil War and learn how to conjugate Spanish verbs with six years of French muddling that up a bit. But I’ll have you know that I’m the proud owner of 12 brand new college credits that I didn’t have this time last year, and hopefully that number will grow to 18 very soon!

And in the midst of all that, I’m trying to remember to take a few minutes to enjoy God’s creation… the daffodils were amazing this year, and so were the lilacs. And yesterday, our Mock Orange, which is just outside my kitchen window, and early this morning, the happiest little Jenny Wren was sitting in it, singing her heart out. (She’s not in the picture, by the way.) It smells absolutely scrumptious.

When I get still enough to look at flowers… even if it’s only while I’m washing dishes… I’m always amazed at their beauty. No matter how good an artist gets at drawing and painting, only God can make the real thing.

Poems were made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer~ 

Historic Bouquet... prints coming soon!


… when I heard that there were artists,
I wished I could sometime be one.
If only I could make a rose bloom on paper,
I thought I should be happy!
or if I could at last succeed in drawing
the outline of winter-stripped boughs
as I saw them against the sky,
it seemed to me that I should be willing
to spend years in trying.

~Lucy Larcom
A New England Girlhood, 1889

California may have happy cows…

… but Delaware has happy chickens!

Besides my fridge filling up with eggs, signs of Spring are everywhere…

Grape Hyacinths are popping up in the yard…
Special thanks to Kate for cutting them before the lawn mower got them!

Strawberry plants were hiding under the mulch…

My new rhubarb plants are looking good…

The peach tree is budding…

Kate is foraging…

And the men are mowing.

Nothing like a little good clean dirt…

And a friendly Rooster… to round out a beautiful Spring day!

If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.
~ Grandma Moses ~

Fluff in me lungs…

That was pretty much the state of things yesterday. Inspired by a wonderful post about Spring Cleaning on my friend Cheryl’s blog, and the fact that it wasn’t snowing and the sun was actually shining, Kate and I set about tackling the “Work Room.” It’s a sweet little room upstairs that is landlocked by the bedrooms and bathroom.

The Work Room started out as the place we painted frames and worked on crafts, thus the title. Then we started homeschooling, and I thought it was the perfect place to hide all the schooling stuff, so it became our One House School Room. (Pun intended.) Then we realized we couldn’t stay tucked away upstairs all day, so school spilled down the stairs and into the family areas. Then we got into sewing and it became a sewing room. And then the girls got into Civil War reenacting, so the piles of authentic fabric and trims grew higher, and the cubbies were filled with tents and blankets and tin plates and cast iron pans. And I forgot to mention the Work Room doubles as a library. And a place to stick things that there is no place for downstairs.

It’s pretty much impossible to work in there.

Or walk in there.

Our cat thinks it’s a grand adventure to go exploring in there.

I won’t be showing ANY “before” pictures.

Nonetheless, Kate and I fearlessly ventured into the Work Room yesterday morning, with the intention of cleaning out some of the clutter. Or at least of finding the floor. And we did! At least almost. We sorted, donated, threw away lots of stuff, and de-fluffed most of the room. There’s still more to do, but it feels good to look in the door. Hubby was definitely impressed, and took our giant throw-away pile straight to the dumpster. I think he was concerned we would change our minds about some things. This is not the first time we’ve attempted to tame this room… but I don’t think we’ve ever made so much progress in one morning. Today we claimed more territory, and there wasn’t quite as much fluff to deal with. Spring cleaning feels good.

Speaking of Spring… I’m beginning to have hope about its arrival. It has to come, eventually. Even though March has come in like a lamb, we’re thinking Spring as hard as we can. We’re currently under a “Wintry Mix” sort of forecast, but I’ve got a bit o’green on my palette…

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

All Creatures Great and Small…

Today we had several visitors to the farm, each providing a welcome distraction from work! The first that we  noticed was a HUGE snapping turtle that was heading from the pond to our ditch. Chris (Hubby) was at the kitchen sink and saw it, and I headed out the back door to get a closer look, with cell phone in hand to call Chris (my brother) who we knew would want pictures. The turtle saw me coming from about 20 feet away, and went inside her shell. Soon the whole gang… me, Chris, Kate, Nana, Pop-Pop, and Uncle Chris were surrounding a 12″ snapper! She was not interested in making new friends at all, so we left Uncle Chris with her for a private photo session. 

Not long after, Hubby came in the house with ANOTHER turtle! We got pictures of this one, but the size was much different!

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It’s hard to tell, but Hubby thought this one was a baby box turtle. No sooner had we returned him to the great outdoors, we heard that characteristic squeal of a baby rabbit in trouble. An un-named beast was chasing the poor creature, and Chris and Kate quickly rescued him from an untimely demise. Hubby thought he was the little guy who’s been visiting the barn, so that’s where we put him.

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And the un-named beast was not very happy with us.

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Three wild creatures (four, counting Oreo) in one day! I have to say I’m partial to the furry ones, but the turtles were really interesting!

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all. 

Determined.

Early this morning, before anybody else had ventured downstairs, I was reading and heard an odd sound. It was a bird sort of sound, but one I hadn’t heard before. I looked out the picture window, and guess who was back in our yard?

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Mr. Wood Duck. Actually the pair was circling the house yesterday morning also, but this morning Mrs. Wood Duck convinced him to land and she was on the chimney telling him all about the decor of their possible nesting spot. She makes some interesting sounds, not at all like I would expect a duck to make!

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I don’t think that he thought it such a great idea, considering the trouble he got himself a month or so ago. It’s a long way down, dearie!

I’m guessing we should discourage them from nesting there in some way? A screen or cap on the chimney? We don’t mind being hospitable, but it looks dangerous to me. Anybody have any ideas? They seem to be very determined!