Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Home For Fall

September has always been my favorite month, no matter the country or continent. It's the month of cool, darkening nights, sunny days, hard rains, harvest, putting up produce, stacking firewood, finishing projects and starting new ones. It's the month of leisurely scurrying to ready oneself for the winter. ("Winter is coming.", you guys!)

This year, hopping straight from summer to early fall, via West Coast of Vancouver Island, has been a little challenging, but at the same time, having a clear focus has been good for my ungrounded self. I thought I'd share with you few of my favorite things from the week we've been home.

Favorite Harvest

Leaving in the beginning of the harvest season and water issues this summer have curbed the harvest I've gotten from my garden, but I'm rich in sunflowers, potatoes and eggs. So many eggs. Apparently in elementary math 11 chickens= 11 eggs a day= 77 eggs a week! I need to build an egg box to sell them from pretty badly...

Apple sauce is one of my staple canned goods and while an all day canning session can be fun, I love my single jar canner, which ables me to make sauces and jams in small batches manageable in the evenings, or on lunch brakes, or even while working on something else.

Favorite Craft

It may not be the best use of seed potatoes (have to remember to buy a crappy potato or two from the store) but potato-stamping stars and super moons on butcher paper for gift-wrap and embellishing with inkwell-pen has been an all-consuming obsession for me for the last couple of days. Holiday season, beware, I'm getting ready for you!

Favorite Outfit
I'm all about the blues right now. I love my blue 90s sunflower dress as a top and have been living in this little 70s chambray sailor jacket my friend Keri gave me this past summer. It's funny how things sit in my closet and then all of sudden migrate to the forefront. I've also been loving this brown felt-hat that Charlie deemed too small for him. The amount of complements I got on it was actually a little overwhelming (it's hard to work when people keep talking about your outfit;).

Speaking of favorites, I cut myself some more bangs, now that this year's mullet has grown out a little bit,  have been rocking a messy, gibson-girl-inspired curly, messy, very forward (like, on your forehead) bun.

Favorite Books
#readwomen2014 rocks on! If anyone hasn't read Julie Orringer's How To Breath Underwater please get on it, if only so that you can continue to The Invisible Bridge, her first novel. Set in Paris on the eve of the Second World War, it's the story of a Hungarian Jewish architectural student, Andras, and stuff so classic in period novels that it doesn't even matter, but because Orringer is an amazing writer, you won't even care. Trust me. This novel is engrossing, touching, and exquisitely crafted, and that my friends, is not in the sense of the usual publisher's marketing drivel.

I'll post more about the other two books in the coming weeks, but for now, seriously: Julie Orringer!!! The little book on top is my new journal notebook, from Brenna who's website you should check out once you've put your Julie Orringer on hold at the library.

Favorite Pastimes

Organizing our treasures from the trip and being re-united with my tarot cards count as pastimes? I got a rather interesting reading right when I got home, indicating a sudden change, or travel. Travel? Really? Yep.

Favorite Health And Beauty 

I finally strained and bottled my St. John's Wort oil and have been so excited to use it.

The moon earrings are my favorite thrift-store score in a long time and the beaded ones, made by my friend Alaya, get a lot of use. The perfume oil in the beautiful jar, makes a nice change to three weeks of dirt, grime and woodsmoke and was made another crafty friend.

Coming back from the trip I've been indulging in turmeric water, as well as putting it in my juices and smoothies. The store is all out of fresh turmeric, but even the powder tastes really good to me, indicating that I need it in my system right now.

And soap? You don't really know how much you miss it before you go without for a while. Ayurvedic soap for my dosha, with, you guessed it, turmeric in it.

Some camping habits though, die hard, I'm trying to kick coffee, but am pretty unsuccessful. I am, however, really excited about this coffee cone our potter friend created and I swear the stuff tastes a lot better from ceramic than plastic.

Anyway, that's my week at home in a nutshell, minus the boring parts. It seems like it's been pretty heavy on local goods, because man, it really is so good to be home. Anyone interested in sharing their favorite things with the rest of us, please do.


  1. Ha, funny you should say that about coffee, because I did start drinking it again too (I think I mentioned in a comment a while back that I'd given it up) but I'm managing *not* to have it every day (which I never thought I'd manage) -- just as often I'll have green tea instead, which makes me think of you because ages ago you said you'd been drinking it instead of coffee in the mornings...

    I really like your supermoon potato stamp! And all those tiny pieces of special you picked up in your travels, I've been collecting bits like that I've found on Hampstead Heath (this summer I found a 1930s milk bottle *and* a 1960s milk bottle), I'm trying to work out/decide the best way to make the tiny bits into something I could wear.

    Oh and that photo of the apples, it almost glows. So lovely.

  2. Great round-up! I love your stamps, and your hat, and your health and beauty products! Might be nice for me to do a similar post. I've bookmarked Julie Orringer!

  3. Ooooh I did love How to Breathe Underwater so I'm super excited for this novel. I haven't read a good novel in a while and guess what is turning that for me right now? Iona Moon by Melanie Rae Thon, introduced to me by YOU of course! We were in a big messy bookstore the other day with both girls in tow, no time for much browsing, and I said, Darin, if you ever come across any more books by this writer Melanie Rae Thon....and AS I WAS SAYING her name, the book popped out on the shelf in front of me! I'm sure you've read it, pretty bleak so far but at least I'm reading hungrily which is what I miss. I can't wait to read Julie Orringer's novel next! Lucy needs a library trip anyway, she's been blasting through the stack of fallish/halloweeny books my mom checked out for her.

    Your life looks dreamy as usual and I so love to see little tidbits of what makes it homey. I love that September is your favorite month, and yes indeed, it's my least favorite but that is precisely because it is NOT what I want it to be, which is the way you describe it! The nights are still stifling enough for every fan in the house to blow all night, there is NO RAIN, no layers, just dry dry heat. I think our October might be more like your September, and then I can start to breathe again. I very much look forward to the cozy hunkering down feeling of that true transitional time.

    Seems I could just go on and on. It's cat snuggling time though, maybe for you too? Let's get to it. Much love sister.

  4. I'm currently re-reading my collection of Charles de Lint's novels, he's one of my favourite authors and when I'm in the middle of one of his stories, housework and chores seem to get completely forgotten about.....every October I re-read Wuthering Heights, I like to read it when the weather turns and it's all wild, wet and windy out of doors...sometimes I bundle up and sit and read a few chapters outside on a park bench...once my nose and fingertips are numb I go to my favourite coffee shop and have a big latte or a hot chocolate to recover from my "extreme reading" experience....
    I'm not a fan of apple puree myself so plan to make some crab apple jelly this week (you can eat it on toast but it's good to add to home-made gravy, making the sauce glisten and giving it an extra depth of flavour)....I thought it would be good to give as presents later in the year. I've been making lots of jams this summer (blackberry and raspberry and wild plum) and have made what I call a blackberry treacle (it's dark and thick like molasses) which has been eye closingly delicious with yoghurt.
    Moonshine Junkyard's comment about cat snuggling time made me laugh, last night our cat was so naughty, he kept wanting snuggles and cuddles during the wee small hours....this involves mewing at us to wake us, then we have to coase and stroke him til he (or us) falls asleep...then he wakes and if we have stopped, we are nudged til we resume coasing duties.

    PS.I love your Phoebe Wahl calender....her work is just brilliant, and always makes me smile

    PPS Coasing is not the same as squeeky noise is made, it's just the stroking of the animals face, especially around the ears. (more the acutal touching of the animal rather than any calling it) It's a proper old Suffolk word which I think comes from the Vikings as it is similar to the Norwegian word "Kosen" which means cosiness.

  5. Holy eggs! You have some really happy chickens :) And that hat is really cute on you, no wonder it garnered so many compliments. You're so productive, it's inspiring... I've fallen into a slump and I can't seem to get out of it and it's frustrating, especially since I have less than 2 weeks before classes start again and eat up all my time.

  6. so much goodness in this post! it's interesting that you mention being drawn to the color blue because I have been feeling the same way. I was going to look up what it meant but haven't had a chance yet. your outfit is adorable, I love the daisy print! also, that soap looks great. i love me a good bar of soap!

  7. Hi Milla! I'm a new reader, and I just wanted to say hi! : )
    I took a look through your blog and really loved it: you live in a beautiful place (bet you already knew it!) and from what I see in an amazing, really inspirational way... and not to talk about your photographs, they're a joy to the eye! Love the tarots, btw, never saw such a desk before...
    Wish you a lovely day and weekend! ; )

  8. Just hopped over to your blog from the interwebz, and I am loving all your photography and how you notice the tiny details of everything beautiful! Have a happy weekend!

  9. The things that have made up your week all look amazing! I feel a strange pull towards turmeric lately too. I've never used it except when a recipe calls for it. I think I might pair it with ginger and honey for a nice tea. Is your turmeric water as simple as it sounds? Just turmeric and water?

    And that single jar canner is the cutest thing ever! I often drag my feet and procrastinate canning because of the time and effort it takes to do a whole seven jar batch. But yeah, a jar here and there sounds doable on busy days. (Or even on quiet ones!)

    Enjoy these fall days. I hope they continue to be filled with many favorite things! :)