A Week on the Farm

We just returned from a perfect week in the blue ridge mountains of eastern North Carolina, where every summer we spend one of our favorite weeks of the whole year, on my family's farm. Its "family reunion" week, when my mom and her siblings and their children and grandchildren all return to the farm that my Grandfather started back the 1960's when he retired to this beautiful land near Asheville. It's a week of heaven, on dirt roads, swimming in the pond, picking blueberries, farm chores feeding the chickens and cows. Basically my kids never want to leave!

Since we've lived in South Carolina for the past 3 years we've been able to visit the farm for little visits throughout the year. When we were in NYC we drove for two days to come down in the summer, and now we are only a 4 hour drive away! But still, it is only in the summertime family reunion week that the fishing is really good, and we can just strap on a bucket to go picking in the berry patch that is full to bursting with ripe goodness.

Griffin's favorite have always been the cows, I swear I even heard him whispering "cow" in his sleep, he really loves them, especially the two calves.

This year, we figured that the big kids are finally old enough for us to get out the BB gun and teach them to shoot at old cans in the woods. I guess that included me since I had some serious fun shooting the cans too. So much satisfaction in that moment of actually shooting the can off of the tree stump!

The houses on the farm are up on the ridge line, and the views are always changing and inspiring, they never disappoint.

And Frank painted every day during Griffin's nap.

This giant egg, that we found one morning in the chicken coop, had a double yolk. It has to mean good luck I think!

One of the best parts of the week is always watching the little cousins have fun across the ages. This year they were 9, 7, 6, 4, almost 2, and 1.

And there's always the whole group photo, which we've taken in the same spot since I was a baby.

No matter where we are, part of my heart is always at the farm, and family reunion week is a little slice of our heaven.
If you'd like, check out previous years of our reunions on the farm: here, here, here.

Dreamy Painted Mandala Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, as another of the collaborative offerings that we have dreamed up, my friend Em and I offered a Dreamy Painted Mandala Workshop in her New Hampshire studio, located in a beautiful old mill building over looking a small lake. Like something out of a New England postcard!

We began the morning of our workshop gathering as a circle of women and making a nature mandala. So many lovely things in bloom there this time of year. Gathering as a circle at the start of a workshop feels so important for me, it seems to set the tone for all that follows that day and building those connections with other women is really so much of what the day is about!

Then we dove right into the work, each of us working on a 2 by 2 foot piece of wood. We created a build up of yummy collage layers.

Working in such an old inspiring space felt really good.

After building up our collage layers we began building up painted layers, using lots of techniques, which we demonstrated on our demo paintings...

And then after a break for lunch we all spent the afternoon adding our final mandala layer...

So much beauty came out of that day, and so much satisfaction for me to teach women who come in that morning saying and feeling that they can't paint, and helping them to get to the point in the afternoon where they are taking home a beautiful finished painting!!!

So much JOY!

We'll be offering this same painted mandala workshop a few more times over the coming months, including a version of this at our November In Our Element retreat on Cape Cod, check out the details here!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.