Tuesday, May 13, 2014



feeling so calm and chill when craziness is all around me. I’m really not sure where it’s coming from….

thinking about fresh starts and how I can continue to release some extra baggage.

planning my vendor display for the Vintage Lynchburg Spring Market and Artisan Fair.

spending most of my free time weaving. I feel like I have yarn coming out of my eyeballs.

wondering if I should add some new stamp designs or just keep hanging out with what I have and phase ‘em out.

excited to play around with my new Photoshop Elements 12 purchase. (The above photo was my first edit using the ABM actions!)

watching old seasons of Modern Family. Cam and Manny are still my faves.

planting some new flowers around the house and seriously considering getting some more. I don’t think you can ever go overboard.

taking supplement after supplement to get my physical health ready for the next step. And it can’t come soon enough.

going through spaces in my house that need redistributing and cleaning out. All in the name of that next step.

reading this book in hopes of becoming empowered and strong and free and open and ready for that next step.

obsessed with my new lids. The cuteness actually encourages me to drink more water. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous.

stoked that it’s that CSA time of year and I can depend on fresh goodies for nourishment.

freshening up this virtual space of mine and figuring out in what direction I want to take it.

listening to the new First Aid Kit song over and over. Gotta keep on keeping on.

looking forward to seeing them live for the first time next month in North Carolina. I might be going solo & that is just fine with me.


What’s going on with you? 





Monday, April 21, 2014

baggage begone.

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I am so ready to start fresh.

Is it spring fever? I’m not sure. But sometimes I just want to walk away from everything and become free again. Free of all that weighs me down even when I don’t know it. Free of that mental, emotional, and physical baggage that I have collected throughout my years on this earth.

But I want to do it with gratitude. It’s not that things aren’t good…because they are (for the most part). It’s just that I know I am missing things that I’m not sure will come forth with all this baggage around me. My brother told me somewhat recently that all of the unfinished projects or ideas or conversations add an immense amount of subconscious stress on a person and it’s almost like they are ties to keep you from moving forward. It’s Native American wisdom he shared from his readings, and I’ll have to find it because I know I’m not giving it justice. But, that is the main gist. And for me currently, it absolutely holds true and I can feel it everyday.

I am thinking about making a list of all of my unfinished business from all areas of my life, i.e. creative, home, personal, etc. and seeing what I can cross out and let go and then prioritizing what is left. Maybe then they will get out of my physical body and leave me alone, but visible so I can trudge through them. I don’t know - sometimes I just make lists because I love the paper and pen and it just gets lost in a notebook somewhere…and becomes more baggage.

I’m thinking of starting over with this space of mine. I want to do better, but I feel like starting fresh is what I need to really pinpoint the direction I want to go in. I don’t even know what my blog is about or what purpose it serves me, so I’m in the process of figuring all of that out too. I really enjoy blogging when I actually do it, but I sometimes feel like I’m trying to measure up to what’s out there inside of being completely me. I want to talk about my recent craft ventures or project ideas; but I also want to share my outlooks on life which are not all pleasant, in hopes of connecting with readers who may feel the same. I am not going to sit here and say “I’m gonna do better” and then not follow through, but I hope that I will if I feel like what I have and want to say is real and not trying to fit into a mold. So, we’ll see how that turns out…I need to let it percolate a bit.

I bought this book based on a short description I read on Ali Edwards’ blog, and I’m looking forward to gain perspective on this baggage we take through life. I see a lot of parallels between the author and I, so it was almost uncanny how perfect it seems for me at this exact time. I’ll be sure to report back.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

holding down the farm.

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I was left “in charge” of the farm last Friday and Saturday while the tribe went to a Virginia Biological Farmers conference in Richmond. My brother was asked to speak on “Harmonious Herd Management” so we spent all week reviewing, editing, and finalizing this slideshow. I was pretty excited for him to show it - speaking about the everyday passion of his comes so naturally to him so I knew he had it in the bag. I stayed back with my youngest niece, who is two, and we had our fun feeding pigs, checking a new mama milk cow & her calf, and just being ready for anything the day threw at us.

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I used to work on the farm, not really tending animals, but I did occasionally have a run at it. None of it was new to me, but it has definitely been a while since I carried water and feed buckets. All of our farm animals are free-roamers, but the predominately grass-fed pigs need some supplemental food that is carefully curated by my brother and local feed company, not to mention the occasional kitchen scraps we throw at ‘em every now and then. The pigs were all nested in the hay barn when we got there and came running out as soon as they saw those buckets being emptied. I just love watching their ears flop when they run and I can’t help but imagine their feet as high heels. They are quite comical to watch. I mean, look at big mama just laid back in the middle of them all…you can’t help but smile at her.

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The herd was beside us on the hillside eating and lounging about so we had to go and say hi to them and see Hippie. We only have one like him, but we all know he is just happy as a lark with this cold weather. And yes, he actually does know his name. :)

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Next up was feeding some neighbor’s pigs we have in the barn and checking on a mama and her calf who was rescued from the freezing weather. The calf seems to be doing great all huddled in the hay pile and even stood up to greet me when I went closer to visit. So sweet.

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My copilot all bundled up and snuggly.

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We went over to my brothers to check on everybody and it was my first time seeing the newest member of the milk cow family, Blackbird. He had them huddled up in the barn with a ton of hay for comfort and eating, so we just needed to check on her water, feed hay, and make sure the calf was nursing good. Oh yeah, and I had to shovel out manure into the compost pile to keep the barn clean for them…so you know that was fun. That little thing was jumping all around the barn, feet flying in the air, hopping up and over hay bales with no trouble at all…so darn cute. Her mama, Piedra, wasn’t tooooooo keen on me being so close to her new baby, but she soon got more concerned with her delicious hay than me.

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It was fun to throw on my newly-purchased and much-anticipated coveralls over all the layers and head out early to tend everyone. I’d say we made a pretty good team.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014


If you’ve been visiting here recently, you may have gotten the hint that I am on this quest for simplifying my home. If its not as apparent as I think…well, now you know. I am so tired of piles forming and shifting all over the house, covered tabletops, and items taking up space that are not being used or really needed. I mean, I’m no hoarder status, but it’s too much for me to be completely happy and content in my own home. There is absolutely no reason one person should have/need/collect so much stuff. No reason at all. And I know that about myself and I embrace it…but now I just want to minimize.

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In the past, I have made conscious efforts to collect those items that I could sell and list them on eBay, which I have been quite successful in doing so. I’m pretty good at collecting items for Goodwill, and probably do a drop every couple of months or so. Although, I’ve now switched from Goodwill to the DAV because of Goodwill’s gouging prices and other than that, I’m not really sure of its purpose? I don’t know. So I start a bag during a regular clean-up, and I just add to it as the days go along. When I feel like it’s full enough, I drop it off. Sometimes I drop just the one bag, sometimes I’ve collected a couple - but now I want to collect more. Get that ahhhhhh feeling.

I was reading down my Twitter feed the other day Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge made mention of a 30-day Minimalist challenge she is taking part put together by her contributor, Amy. Well, obviously this intrigued me so I clicked my way through mentions and links, and finally came across this:

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Not that I am the greatest with challenges, but this is more of a calendar’s view on doing something everyday to minimize my space inhabitants with the ultimate goal of having less. I’m not totally ready to get started, I’d like to clean first, but this challenge is a great start. And I can’t say I’ll complete ALL of the days, but I just love the idea of having specific small, daily goals to keep me inspired and motivated.

 // images directly linked with a click and rounded up from my “abode” Pinterest board //


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

tools for destressing. via a weekend trip to nc.

This past weekend was one that I have been looking forward to since I had to raincheck it a couple of months ago. I was really feeling the itch for a little jaunt then, and I was surely feeling it on Friday as I was pulling out of my driveway. I headed down to Greensboro, NC to spend the weekend with my bestie and her family in our college stomping grounds. I enjoy going back every now and then - it feels so familiar to me after spending close to 7 years there, but yet it’s new and fresh so it’s not a tiring destination.

After passing out in front of the tv on a Friday night around 10pm while watching Banshee (if you haven’t seen it and like action packed cable shows, you should check it out for a little weekend entertainment), we were bright-eyed & bushy-tailed for running errands and a little shopping on Saturday…one stop being on the main drag we used to hang out on weekly back in the day. It feels like a whole other life when I’m there, and especially on Walker Ave in the daytime and all that comes with that. Many a good time was had hopping around on that street and we can’t help but recap a little when we’re down there…playing pool, dancing on hip-hop nights, late night hot dogs, taking pint glasses for our apartments (yes, I know…terrible!), etc. I don’t know, we just had a lot of fun on this street so it holds a special place in my memory.

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My bestie took me to an a-w-e-s-o-m-e place for dinner on Saturday night…I still can’t stop thinking about how delicious that margarita was. Listen to this: tequila, fresh lime juice, cilantro, pineapple, jalapeƱo, and agave. Holy mackerel. I posted a picture of it and probably got the most likes on my Facebook than any other picture I’ve taken. Quite the popular toddie flavor idea it seems…definitely one I want to try and remake. And it went perfect with my ahi tuna tacos with kimchi and garlic aoili topping. Yeah, chew on that one a bit. So good.

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On Sunday, we did one of my favorite things to do after slumber parties...which is to hang in jammies as long as possible, drinking coffee together, and flipping channels. LOVE. IT. Total requirement when planning trips, and totally required when visiting me. I can’t even talk about early departure times…not even gonna happen. I always put off leaving as long as possible because it’s just so nice to get away and getting back in the swing of to-do lists and daily stresses is not something I crave after a little time away. It takes me about two and a half hours to get home so I know those nagging thoughts are gonna swoop in at some time in my travels, and especially when I cross the VA state line. It’s become automatic by now, and not something I look forward to. But, they’re there, so I started thinking of ways I would like to curb those negative thoughts and get them before they get me…which they seem to love to do….

Here were a few ideas I came up with on the drive to help with knocking those stressors the eff out:

1. Make things with my hands. Channel that negative energy into something positive. It’s also a great time for reflection.
2. Go outside.  I have plenty of space to go out and walk so I need to take advantage of that…even if it’s piddling around in my yard with the wind whipping my hair and 30 degrees out…get some fresh air.
3. Valerian tea at night. This will help me to wind down in the evenings and help with sleeping more soundly (and getting to bed earlier). It can also serve as closure to the day which can be pretty exciting…especially if it was a busy one.
4. Epsom salt baths. I am not a bath person. I get bored and just don’t see the point. But, I’ve been reading a lot about how healing epsom salt baths are so I thought I would give it a try. I mean the first line of benefits says “ease stress and improves sleep and concentration.” Sold.
5. Be prepared. Scrambling before anything is a sure fire way to stress me out, so if I have to make 20 lists in preparation of something, then so be it. I’ve got a planner and plenty of pens & pencils, so there is no excuse for being stressed and unprepared anymore.
6. Yoga. I’ve been going to yoga on a weekly basis on and off since October and I can definitely tell a mental and physical difference when I don’t go. My sister-in-law and I started back up after the holidays and I’m planning on keeping it up. Yoga is just such a badass.

So, there’s my list. It’s now out of my head and onto “paper” so I have no excuse to be stressed out and totally cray, right?! If you have any ways that have helped you, please share them in the comments!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

11 things.

You may have seen this show up in your feed if you follow Chelsey at The Paper Mama, and I love the idea of totally random questions that give you a little idea of the person you are asking. So much better than the "what is your name, how old are you, what do you do questions.” I remember right after I graduated from college, every one I ran into while out and about asked me the same few questions - so much so that I wanted to wear a t-shirt with all of the answers listed so I wouldn’t have to answer. It would’ve said something like:
1. Yes, I am excited
2. Elementary Education & Psychology
3. Nope, no job yet
4. Greensboro, NC
5. No, not dating anyone special
6. I have no clue what I am doing with my life
7. Be quiet
But, I never got around to the t-shirt, and just answered the questions with a smile. 

But these questions are so much more fun! So, I thought I would join right in and invite you to do the same!
Questions from the 11 Things post:
1. Are you a cat or dog person? Or, bird person?
     I am a straight up dog person, but I do have two pet finches that yes, I do talk to in a high-pitched voice.
2. What was your favorite food as a kid? Is it the same, or has it changed as an adult?
     I looooooooved my Mom’s chicken divan she made every now and then. And Doritoes…they   unfortunately deserve some credit too. Oh, it has definitely             changed as an adult as I’ve become aware of food and try to eat as clean as possible. I have yet to make a ‘clean’ chicken divan, and I’ve kind of had to forget Doritoes even exist. RIP Doritoes…so sad.
3. What is your favorite hobby?
     Scrapbooking and weaving are my favorite hobbies at the moment.
4. If you HAD to move to a different state (or country) where would it be?
     State: California & Country: Somewhere Scandinavian
5. Are you a winter or summer person?
     I love both equally.
6. What makes you happy?
     Being with my nieces & nephews, a day with nowhere to go, a clean house, going somewhere new, and singing along to live music
7. What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
     Probably #9 below. Ha!
8. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why (question found here)?
     ELVES! They know all of the secrets….
9. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next (question found here)?
     I would probably look at that taxidermist a little strangely, but I’d do it.
10. What was your first job?
     Wrapping presents at a women’s clothing boutique during Christmas break. I was 15 and cried the first day. Yep.
11. What is your favorite utensil?
     A spoon is for scraping!

So, here are the questions for ease of copying & pasting:
1. Are you a cat or dog person? Or, bird person?
2. What was your favorite food as a kid? Is it the same, or has it changed as an adult?
3. What is your favorite hobby?
4. If you HAD to move to a different state (or country) where would it be?
5. Are you a winter or summer person?
6. What makes you happy?
7. What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
8. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why (question found here)?
9. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next (question found here)?
10. What was your first job?
11. What is your favorite utensil?

 Make sure you link up!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


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Oh my gosh. Happy New Year! (Even though it’s January 14th)

So I started off the new year feeling fresh and footloose and fancy-free…okay, so really only the ‘project’ department of my life did I start off like that…AND I knew I wanted to set a year-long/attainable goal that would keep me making all year long. (More on the ‘making’ word in another post.) Anyway, I have gotten really into fiber-filled projects that use all of those beautiful yarns I’ve been hoarding all of these years just waiting for the knitting needles. Well, while they’re waiting, my plan is to start and complete one woven wall hanging every week. For me, totally doable. They can be as small & simple as I like or as big & crazy as I’d like…it’s all up to me.

The plan is to complete one weave between Wednesdays and then post on Instagram using #52weaves and hopefully blog the monthly collection on here. If I go over to Thursday or Friday, big whoop, I’ll just try better the next week. I’m totally okay with that. I just don’t want it to start snowballing and I’m catching up just for the sake of catching up instead of stretching my weaving limits. This is a project for me that I know I can do and want to do to prove to myself I can complete a year-long goal and really, to push myself to be doing something creative every day. I’m pretty excited for it - to see what comes of it and to watch how I grow in my weaving capabilities.

I’m also kind of excited to have my very own hashtag.

So please, follow along on my Instagram @petaline, and look out for those (or join in!!) #52weaves postings every week!

Anyone else set personal or project goals of any kind this year? I’d love to hear about them!