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Useful and Beautiful

February 6th, 2017

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

― William Morris

I have a friend that LOVES this quote and uses it whenever she’s bringing things into her home. When I collected eggs last week this quote came to mind.


The eggs were a beautiful array of colors from light blue to dark olive, exactly what I’ve been working towards over the past couple years. If you’re going to have chickens, you may as well have ones that lay beautifully colored eggs.

What’s your favorite useful and beautiful thing in your home?

A Frostbite Shop

February 3rd, 2017

Mr Chiots and I were joking about me having a zipper pouch sweatshop the other evening, though my sewing room is rather cold, so it would be a frostbite shop. If you remember from last month, I’m making loads of zipper pouches to send to South America to hand out at the school that I work with. I’ll be raising funds through the organization I work for to fill them with pencils, erasers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. I’ll need around 400 so each child will get one, which means that’s how many zipper pouches I need to sew.



My original goal was to sew one a day, so far I’m up to 150 as my total number finished. That’s not too shabby. I’m lucky they’re super quick to sew up. I’m noticing a big dent gone in my stash of fabric and thread collections, which was part of the point of this project. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the kids love these, hopefully this summer they will be delivered by a group I have traveling down.

What charitable projects are you involved at the moment?

Friday Favorite: Puddyprints

February 3rd, 2017

A few of the cats don’t mind the snow, I love that they go out and leave little pawprints all over the front rocks and trails through the snow.

It makes me smile when I got outside and see their little prints all about the snow.

A Fresh Look

February 2nd, 2017

I love it when a fresh layer of snow falls. this is when I find myself looking over the garden, thinking about structure. The boxwood hedge around the front and side of the house is fantastic, every time I see it I am reminded that I need far more hedges and winter structure in the garden.



Boxwood is definitely a favorite of mine, partly because it’s evergreen and looks fantastic in winter. I also love that it’s so low-maintenance and so easy to propagate yourself from cuttings! Every summer I take a few cuttings to make new plants and hopefully some day new hedges. Perhaps this summer as I scale back the vegetable garden a bit, I’ll be able to start hundreds of box cuttings for future hedges.

Hydrangeas are another favorite in winter. Even though they’re not evergreen, they still provide some much needed interest in the winter garden. I find myself seeing a glimpse of their summer glory when I see the dried blossoms covered with snow.

What’s your favorite plant that adds winter interest in the garden?

Planning Hedges

January 30th, 2017

I’ve been thinking a lot about hedges during this winter season. As I walk around the sleeping garden, I’m trying to decide where hedges will help with snow drifting, wind, and provide much needed structure and interest. I’m also in need of hedges to close up spaces and break my very large garden into smaller, more intimate areas. I’ve always been enamored with hedges, I notice and photograph them everywhere I go. One place I particularly loved the hedges was in Sweden.




At the moment, I’ve selected a few different hedges to instal this summer. One is going to be a particularly large undertaking, around 400 beech plants around two side of the main garden in the back. This spring will be spent preparing the ground for them and hopefully I will be able to order them and get them planted in early summer. Here’s hoping we don’t have another drought this coming summer!

Do you have any hedges in your garden? What’s your favorite hedge plant?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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