The Gathering


The french word for Autumn is l’automne.  Although it is usually an ending to the cycle of the year it is like a new beginning when school starts back up.  I am a goal girl.  Lists, usually outlined with roman numerals and very specific A.1.a etc.  I love writing out plans it makes it so much easier for me to stick with.  I am working right now on this new school years plan for both the whole family & me personally.  It is fun to dream and plan out what goals we have.  Thanks to my BFF Pintrest I have lots of great ideas for meals and the boys new TV schedule (I’m sure they will be estatic!!!).

Obviously I loved the part of school when we got assignments.  You know in college when you get your syllabus at the beginning of the semester?  I would start working right then on that big essay paper or figure out how many pages a day I needed to read to get done early.  I can’t help it….it’s how God made me.  Preparation is HUGE for me so I can arrive on time and ready to go without stress.  Now I do love summer where I let the reigns loosen and the rules fly out the window.  This time of release is a tonic for my household.  But after purging our house this past week and trying to get the boys back on a normal sleeping routine I wonder if it really is worth it.  But I suppose it is.

Because of my love of goals, lists, assignments I have been seeking out classes I want to take that actually interest me!  I almost wish I had been older when I went to college so I could have done that rather than take what I needed to get out of there. And now that I have my own childrens’ college funds to save for it’s very unlikely I will spend the small fortune they want for one semester of French.  However, in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday today, I will be seeking out a French class so if you hear of a Non Trad one in our area let me know!  I want to take a cooking class from JC Wyatt House, a cheese making class and croissant class from my dear friend Christy and a photography class.  I also enjoy creative classes online or at a retreat (Ahhhemmm… The Gathering girls!!!!) like those that the lovely Karla Nathan offers.  Karla has graciously donated a lovely nest she’s made and a code for a creative tutorial online that will be given away at The Gathering.  I am currently participating in her Fairy Pages swap that has been so fun to work on!  I also participated in a swap hosted by The Speckled Egg over the summer.  It is so much fun to make time to create and then make new friends and get goodies when you’re done!

Karla’s Giveaway Item


So in honor of the new school year, new goals, new schedules and of course The Gathering!!!  I am hosting a swap of my own.  This swap is called Building Your Bliss ( to tie into our themes at The Gathering on Finding Your Bliss and as a cheers to all of those ladies participating who are Living Their Bliss).

1. As a participant you will CREATE a bookmark.  It can be as simple as using old wallpaper scraps glued on cardstock or you could crochet one….the possibilites are endless!!!  And Pintrest has some great ideas!

2. Place the bookmark inside of a book somehow related to CREATING.  The value must be $14.95 or higher so can include any of Somersets amazing books/magazines such as Where Women Create (which printed on p. 83 The Gathering!!!).

3. Email me at by September 1 to let me know if you are participating.

4. Then purchase your book and make your bookmark.

5. By September 15 you must mail it to me with the address you will receive in your confimation email.  I know it may cost some postage but this will allow people from anywhere to be able to participate and to ensure no one gets their own Swap back.  If you do want to get it to me personally I will come up with a date/time to pick them up in St. Joseph, MO around this date.

6. Swaps can then be picked up at The Gathering on Saturday September 29, 2012.  If you are not coming to The Gathering (worth a road trip….more on all the area events coming soon) please include an extra $5 in your package for shipping for your new Swap item.


Sound fun?  I’m excited!!!  I’m sure everyone will do their best to ensure high quality items.  It is ok to give a used book that is of $14.95 value but please make sure it is indeed worth that much and in LIKE NEW condition, something you could resell at Hastings or Amazon for $14.95.  I apologize in advance if you do not receive a subject matter that you enjoy or if you already own the book there it’s just part of the risk.  Thanks SO VERY MUCH for participating and I cannot wait to meet you all at The Gathering!!!

Comments are welcome!

Pick Me Ups

I’m in need of a little pick me up today how about you?  What brings joy to your heart?  A smile to your face?

New life? Hope? A sweet face?


A cup of your favorite drink? A new sweater? A moment to relish.


A season? The great outdoors? A certain color that calms you?


Creating? Connecting with a friend? Shopping?

Sometimes when life doesn’t give me a choice in what I want to persue or how I want to spend my time I NEED a pick me up.  As silly as it sounds I find that in my own online journal full of things I want to do, places I want to go.  Where if time & money were no object I could create this dream world full of all that inspires me.  I updated my facebook status the other day to say:  “I wish I lived in my Pintrest world.  Ate my Pintrest food.  Lived in my Pintrest house.  On my Pintrest farm.  Made all the little Pintrest crafts.  At least I’m inspired!!!  : )”  And it’s true.  When I’m feeling down I can look at my Boards and see where my heart really lies.  The things that bring me joy.  That inspire me.  How I dream.  My little Pick Me Ups.

Comments are welcome!

The Gathering Sneak Peak in Pictures

The Gathering is going to be amazing.  PLEASE make sure to attend this event.  Not just to support me (I love you all & appreciate your support; thank you!) but also to support all of the AmAzInG, lOcAl, BeAuTiFuL, cReAtIvE wOmEn who are making this possible by being a vendor, an instructor, a chef, a volunteer, a sponsor, an advertiser, a friend, an artist, the list goes on.  There are not a lot of events out there like this one in our area and one that is so passionate about supporting women and their local businesses.  Y’all know I think women are amazing and I applaud each of you out there reading this and I thank you.  No matter where you are in life and what you are doing – YOU are amazing.  YOU are worth it.  YOU are loved!

Here is just a sampling of the talent you will see at The Gathering.  Just the tip of the iceberg.  I cannot wait to see you there!

Luminous Layers Class


Blue Luna


Journal Class


Carol Spinski – Guest Speaker


Tarnished Royalty


Jewelry Class


All That Jazz


Pottery By Laura


Just Claudia




Housecat’s Hats


MockingBird Heights


Comments are welcome!

My “Studio”

Who doesn’t love to ooh & ahh over other people’s homes?  Get ideas from their designs?  Hello?  Pintrest?!  With the launch of my ‘mini’ businesses (not to mention farm life but La Ferme soy candles & my crafty event planning like Rusty ReDeux & The Gathering)  I’ve been looking for inspiration for my workspaces.  Not just organization (yes ma’am I need that!!!) but it has to look pretty. My Desert Cottage hosts an amazing event each year called Where Bloggers Create!  You can go here and see all of the participants lovely workspaces.  I can hardly wait to see this years, in which I have decided to join in the fun.  No, it’s not because I have a fabulous space.  In fact space is something I’m lacking.  But part of my passion behind anything I do is to ENCOURAGE women.  And honey if I can run a business from my kitchen table then you can too!!!  I do my best business planning while ironing hubby’s shirts (gotta have something to make it less of a chore).  I dream up new packaging while milking the goat.  Building Lincoln Log towers?  Yep….working!!!  I might not have much space to store all the goodies I need but my mind is brimming with ideas; which is why I love what Karen from My Dessert Cottage has done so I can get ideas for my “studio” all the while being inspired.


You know that I’m a farmer so I have several “headquarters” in the barnyard.  The Chateau Poulet is a spot I visit daily.


Now this is a place where some serious work gets done!!!  I’m a planner and a creative soul & it all starts with a beautiful view.  When I’m planning a class for Rusty ReDeux or dreaming up booth displays a shady tree is perfect for me.

I store paint and shovels, seeds & feed, bubbles & baseball bats; all in here.


Inside the house I do a lot of work on the computer.  Yes honey Facebook can be considered working!!!  I also make my soy candles in the house.  I store all of my notebooks, scraps of lace, fragrance oils, wax, lids, twine, clay, etc, etc in a small room off my kitchen.  I’m not sure what purpose the room was intended for, maybe a pantry of sorts, but I fit two pieces of furniture in there.  A small rolltop and an old changing table with a burlap skirt.

Every girl needs a tape measurer.


Using precious vertical space for past & future class projects.


Ribbons & baubles


Stacked Storage

What I love most about the Where Bloggers Create ‘challenge’ is that next year I can look back and see where I was just 7 short months after launching 2 businesses at once!  And seeing how far I’ve come.  Hopefully no matter how much space I might physically have I will be overflowing with dreams & the joy I get from creating.



Comments are welcome!

The Gathering: Speaker


There are some days when things just fall into place.  I was so star struck when I met the co-owner of Raised In Cotton that I could barely talk!  And to think that she will be the guest speaker for our event in September is really so exciting for me!

Carol is passionate about encouraging women to embrace their dreams and live creatively.  Yes…one of my passions as well!  Her Dream*Create*Shine mantra could not be more fitting for The Gathering.

Please enjoy her bio and by all means subscribe to her blog, be inspired & come and meet her at The Gathering!

Growing up on her families farm in Arkansas, Carol Spinski learned the

beautiful art of arranging every day elements to enhance her surroundings.

A talent for design assembly was forged from those early childhood

experiences on the family farm which echo’s in the work she does today.

Carol’s career path as a Photographer and Editorial Stylist has been a

natural progression that has allowed her to share her inspiration with

others. She is the co-owner of

Raised In Cotton, a business featuring Home

Decor and Event Styling in a century old farmhouse just outside of Kansas

City, Missouri. Carol’s signature style is romantically atmospheric,

multilayered and textural, flavored with the vintage aesthetic she adores.

She and her work

have been featured in Artful Blogging, Somerset Life,

Somerset Life Calendars, Romantic Country Magazine, Romantic Homes

Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Kansas City Homes and

Gardens and Spaces Magazine

. Most recently the circa 1865 farmhouse

that she and her husband decorated and renovated was in the book

Romantic Prairie Style by Fifi O’Neill. Her upcoming projects include a

collaboration with Matthew Mead that will be featured in the Winter 2012

issue of

Holiday With Matthew Mead.









Comments are welcome!

Creative Endeavors

keeping the farm fancy


I love crafty homemade things.  And I love nothing more than to create them myself.  However, with a busy household it’s not quite so easy to sit down and make room to drag out all the supplies; let alone make time to create.  But I’ve found I NEED that time and I am happier when I’ve made time for myself to do so.

I believe that God instilled in us women the desire to be creative.  Whether it’s in choosing our family’s clothing or home decor or using our creative endeavors to launch a business to supplement the family income.  In Proverbs 31 the Bible states how this model women creates clothing and wares to sell from her hands.

I have long noticed the quality of women artisans in our area, which is one reason why I chose to start my Rusty ReDeux business.  I bring in amazing teachers and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and provide the rest of us opportunities and skills to inspire our own creative spirits.

This summer among many goals I have, one is to make time each week to explore my creative side.  I purchased a book called The Artistic Mother which gives assignments of sorts.  Also I am participating in a craft swap on one of my favorite blogs.  All of this will lead up to a swap of my own and finally The Gathering event that I am so very excited for.  A day full of incredible workshops to participate in, fabulous food, demonstrations, giveaways and inspiring shopping.  Won’t you join me?


Comments are welcome!
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