New Years Dreams and Wishes >>>

I decided to write a little New Years post, and since this time of year is usually about changes we want to occur in our lives, I thought I would start in this very moment.  Instead of sitting inside at my computer desk to write up this post, I gathered up a blanket, pillow, James laptop and my phone in case it rings, outside to enjoy the scenery and breeze while I do.  It took just a few extra minutes out of my day, and has already made all the difference in the way my body feels.  These are the simple kind of changes I look forward to emplimenting in my daily life this next year.  Little things I can change about my routine as I work at home, to make my days more fulfilling.  I think this is a good start!
2011 was another one of those years I would call the best and the worst years.  So many amazing things happened this year.  The biggest of those being buying our very own home and having both of our handmade business be a success.  Starting my new Roots and Feathers line, and then becoming a featured seller on etsy, was amazing!  This also planted many seeds in my heart of knowing Im on the right path, and fully allowing myself to continue following my dreams.  We have also deepened a few friendships in our lives this year, and reconnected with some old friends.  And we recovered our pup Violet from heartworms, and she is strong and healthy! 

The hardest part of this past year has been losing my dad to suicide.  It is something I think I will have to feel and work on every day of my life.  It has sparked an emotional and spiritual revolution inside my heart, just like when I lost my mom, but in a different way this time.  It has also amplified missing my mom so much.  Its left me with so much more fear of the world then I had before, which is going to take lots of time and healing to work my way through.  But it has also opened my heart more and more to the idea of bringing a new life into our home.  It has again made me realize how tender and short this life really can be.  It has also changed James heart in so many ways.  The death of my parents has given me so much insight into life itself, and to everyone who knew and loved them.  They will forever be missed and yearned for, for the rest of our lives. 

 *this photo of my parents was taken by a friend when they went to Italy together*

I can only imagine what 2012 is going to bring into our lives.  I could really go without any kind of loss.  My hopes for the new year are lots of healing in my heart, more activity in my body, more spiritual connections, the growth of a new garden, continued success in our businesses, new friendships and maybe a little bebe growing in my belly at some point in the year :)  These are my biggest wishes. 

I know I cant change which way the wind blows, or who comes in or out of my life, or a million other things, but Im excited about the things I can change.  Which reminds me of the serenity prayer my mom used to always tell me... God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  This is one of the simplest yet most profound prayers.  Its the only prayer my mom ever told me, and she learned it from AA.  I love it.  

One more thing Im going to accept before going into this new year, is patience and time.  I know so many of us put these crazy high expectations on ourselves for the year, but so many of these changes take time, like real time.  As my heart allows me, Im going to let go of the things that no longer serve me, and welcome new things that do.  And if it takes me all year, or 5 years, so be it.  I will follow my course without pressuring myself.  The world has a great way of making things happen when they are suppose to :)

This is how I spent most of my day today.  As soon as James got home, my cramps kicked in full gear and I was bed bound for hours.  It was so bad this time it actually made me throw up, which hasnt happened in years.  Sometimes it makes me wonder how Ill ever have a baby naturally if I can barely stand my periods.  Sorry if thats TMI.

Happy New Year to everyone I have met along this journey so far!  Lets continue to embrace each other in this community into the new year.


Bella gets a TeePee >>>

 Yesterday afternoon I got a spark.  I made a split decision to get out of my pjs, put on my workout clothes and tennies, open my windows and turn up Bob Marley, grab my hula hoop and go outside.  I hooped for a while, then I ran laps around my backyard.  Then I rearranged everything in my backyard.  Then I came in and ran across these dowels in the garage I had set aside for making Bella a teepee.  I put together a quick makeshift teepee for her.  Staci, your beautiful shawl has already come in handy!  Ha ha!  I caught Bella making lots of funny faces too :)  Im not sure she loves it as much as I do, which I figured would be the case, but thats okay.

 I also took her binky I made her off of her bed to clean it.  She gets it caked with fur!  I decided to just keep out on the floor for her to play on instead. 

 A few weeks ago James hung her play toy off the back of the couch and she freakin loves it there!  Weve had this thing for years and she never really paid much attention to it.  Now we here the little mousey chirping several times a day from her laying there hitting it.  Its precious.  She is probably the laziest player Ive ever seen.  She always lays on her side and just bats at things, she is so funny!

I just had to share these few precious moments with our baby girl.  As I type this she is laying next me with her legs trying to stretch over the keyboard.  


5 Things Ive Learned About Running a Small Business >>>

I did a little guest post over on Maie Dae's blog about a few things Ive learned running a small business.  Just 5 little but important tips.  Enjoy!


Say Hello To My Little Friends - December Edition >>>

shop //   blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  facebook

 shop //  blog //  facebook

 shop //  shop II //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter


shop //  blog //  facebook //  twitter

 shop //  facebook //  twitter

 Another fantastic group of peeps for December!  Good way to end the year!  Looking forward to all the new artisans and bloggers we will meet throughout the new year ahead!  If you are wanting a last minute sponsor spot and think you can get your info to me by tomorrow morning at the latest, then email me at violet_bella {at} hotmail {dot} com to reserve your spot.  Only medium and small spots left.


From Under His Feathers Interview + Giveaway >>>

1. what inspires you the most? 
I’m sure you know this by now, but to try to narrow sources of inspiration down to just one thing or group of things is like trying to force water through a pinhole… First and foremost, I am inspired by nature, by people living close to the earth, by people who live authentically in their walk with God, by people who live authentically in their relationship with themselves. Let me read about a couple with children who have risked everything to have a small farm, where they are raising their children with dirt under their fingernails (and toenails, for that matter), living and learning the process of growing food and their flock of chickens, with wide open spaces to get lost in, good, wholesome, natural, homegrown food to be prepared in a big kitchen warmed by a big stone fireplace, who are able to extend their blessings into the community to help others thrive, and I think my soul might explode. 

2. what are some of the most important lessons you have learned in life? 
If there is one thing I’ve learned across my thirty two years, it’s that life is hard. It doesn’t get easier either, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, well, one day you will. The more entrenched we become with years, the more the tendrils of our existence stretch out and back and around and into the lives and world around us, and the more complicated our existence becomes. The more intense our responsibilities weigh upon us… The more important and pressing the need to leave a legacy becomes. I personally have found that to follow Jesus and all that he says is key to my sanity, my purpose, my love, my life. Don’t stop reading now, just because you saw his name!! The truth is, whether you believe that he is who “they” say that he is or not, to live by his words and teachings will absolutely wreck your life… to truly not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worry of its own (live in the present moment), to love others to the point of pain and sacrifice of your own life and resources, trusting that it will returned to you, to know that it’s all about LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and RELATIONSHIP in this life, and to leave the legacy of service, love and grace, mercy, acceptance and embracing every moment of life as precious and fleeting is an immensely beautiful thing. Yes, I am a Christ-follower (and I share a lot about that love relationship on my blog), and his example is the most important lesson I have learned and will continue to learn throughout my life unto my grave… learn to love, live simply, keep open hands to receive and to give, share Love with others, take care of the widow and orphan, be a conduit for this Love to others to bring healing, reconciliation and providence to them as Jesus did… Life presents opportunities every day to engage in these lessons, in spite of our circumstances, and I try to be aware of them at all times. 

3. how do you like to spend your 'you' time? 
What’s “me” time?? Ha! As a mother of three kids, I am sure you’ll understand, “me” time is so rare. Especially now when all down time is really not down time at all… or amounts to mere minutes at the end of the day before we’re too tired to see straight and stumble into bed. However, if I have the opportunity for my husband to take the kids and I get to go off by myself, here’s what I’d do… I’d hit up a coffee shop and grab something to sip on and snack on while I shop at the local thrift joints around my area. Then I’d head over to Harry’s Farmer’s Market (owned by Whole Foods) and just engage my senses, and buy something indulgent and decadent (probably one of their German chocolate cupcakes… the icing is UNREAL)… then if I had time, I would take a loooooooooooooong walk in the woods at Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park (a national park – preserved area where many battles of the Civil War were fought in the local area her in GA) until I felt sufficiently wasted… God, I love the woods.


4. is there one particular person who gave you your roots?  who and why?
The older I get, the more I realize how much my mother did to draw out all the things in me that she saw that I was interested in as a child. For one, I didn’t live with my mom growing up, but the time we had together on weekends was spent having picnics in meadows flying kites, visiting art museums and musical performances, ballets, and camping and hiking. I have always been very musical, and my mom really encouraged that as much as possible, supporting my interests in all the music that my friends WEREN’T listening to, knowing I was on to something and I had to be encouraged that it was good instincts that drew me to the things I was listening to (Eric Clapton, The Doobie Brothers, Mozart, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Alison Krauss, Mozart in 7th and 8th grade)… she took me to performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni by candlelight, the Nutcracker, and tours of the High Art Museum, etc… Mom let me be a free thinker, she let me explore my interests and encouraged all that she saw in me that was trying to blossom. She took me places where she knew I was happiest (on a trail in the mountains or in a tent in the woods)… if it wasn’t for her, I am not sure I would have had any sense about who I was even in those fledgling years after high school when I went galavanting through drug culture to try to find more of myself (a big fat mistake, I only lost myself). I’ve realized over the years as well how much I am like her and her side of the family… strong, independent women, who are resourceful, somewhat insane, but passionate… who like to work and make something useful out of things otherwise useless. Who love to serve and love others, meet their basic needs and to create. It’s good stock that I come from, and if it weren’t for my Mom, I don’t know how much of a sense of connectedness I would have to my roots. 

{I love this insight into Brooke's heart.  Her outlook on life is very strong and very inspiring.  Thank you Brooke for being you!}

 Brooke's runs a vintage shop on etsy called Clementine & Nellie, and is offering up a $25 shop credit to one lucky reader.  She has been in the middle of a major move, so she wanted to let you know that her shop is low right now but will be re-stocked in a few weeks.

(one point for each thing below) 

follow From Under His Feather's blog
like From Under His Feather's on facebook
follow Brooke on twitter
add Clementine & Nellie to your circle on etsy
share this on your facebook
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Lost Boys & Lovers Giveaway >>>

Sadie Rose of Lost Boys & Lovers is offering up $25 credit to anything in her shop!  She sells both beautiful vintage pieces and handmade accessories.  Her shop is currently on vacation, so you can browse her sold items to see the things she sells, and here are a few pics below of her handmade leather belt accessories.

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while your at it, check out her blog and her amazing Gold Hearted Thief Lookbook.

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Boho Laced Wrapped Ring Giveaway by Bohemiantown >>>

 Hey! I'm Vickie & I'm the creator of bohemiantown. I have found that when I let my creativity run wild through my artwork, it allows me to find a wonderful balance between keeping my spirit free and also being a mother. I have a happy little bronze-haired baby named Autumn, and she is the joy of our lives and gives me so much inspiration. I love combining vintage and new materials in my work to create unique & happy pieces that others will find joy in... hope you'll come by!

Ring has an adjustable copper base, one size fits most.

Visit Bohemiantown and let me know your favorite item of hers.

like Bohemiantown on facebook
share this on your facebook & twitter wall

*dont forget Bohemiantown is giving a 15% discount this month to all of my readers - use code 'VB2011' at checkout in her shop*



Custom Initial Necklace Giveaway from Eclectic Orchid >>>

I'm Marcy, the artistic spirit behind Eclectic Orchid! Eclectic Orchid features dreamy, vintage style jewelry to ignite the imagination and sparkle the soul! Each piece of Eclectic Orchid jewelry is lovingly made with my own hands, combining new elements, vintage components, and fabric beauties to create a unique work of wearable art just for you!

Winner gets their initial + color combo of choice.

visit Eclectic Orchid's shop and let me know what your favorite item is.

like Eclectic Orchid on facebook
follow Eclectic Orchid on twitter
follow Eclectic Orchid's blog

for funsies - add Eclectic Orchid on Pinterest

Dont forget, Eclectic Orchid has offered up a 15% off coupon code for my readers, just use the code 'vbdec15' at checkout in her shop!


Group Giveaway - December Edition >>>


One lucky winner gets to take home all of the wonderful loot!

Please take the time to visit each shop, like these lovely ladies on facebook and twitter, send them a sweet message if you love their work and then come back here and let me know your favorite items.