cloistered away | enjoying simplicity

Saturday

8

March 2014

8

COMMENTS

10/52

Written by , Posted in the 52 project

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Courage is found in unlikely places. 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

liam // You read stories like one might drink water, consistently throughout the day, as though you might wither away without them.

blythe // I noticed you nearby, standing on the upward facing rock, determined and unmoved–a brief picture of your spirit.

burke // On your ninth birthday, we all sat with you and shared our favorite things about you: your silliness and love of jokes, your sincerity and thoughtfulness, the way you share your Legos and play, and even your growth in wisdom and in learning self-control. You listened intently, your eyes opening like windows allowing new air into your soul.

olive // On Tuesday, you turned five. Your siblings and cousin made a banner and played “Everything is Awesome” (from the Lego movie) for you. You pumped your tiny arms in the air, singing along to your private soundtrack. Perhaps, one day you will feel small or somehow insignificant. On that day, I hope you will remember the moment at age five when you stood at the edge of the world and didn’t flinch.

Thursday

6

March 2014

6

COMMENTS

style essential no. 04

Written by , Posted in threads

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Ok, are ripped jeans essential to a closet? Maybe not, but they are seriously one of my favorite pieces from my closet, something I reach for weekly. I have loved wearing them with oversized sweaters and flats this winter, but as we have had a few warm days recently, I decided to pair my ripped jeans with something more feminine and cool to give my winter arms some sun. 

All images by Fidelis Studio for Cloistered Away.
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Gap 1969 deconstructed jeans / JCrew draped pocket tank / No Promises fedora / slipped-in suede journal / Mossimo belt / Sam Edelman Petty boot

Wednesday

5

March 2014

6

COMMENTS

inspiration no. 06

Written by , Posted in inspiration

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I imagine at this point everyone in the Northern hemisphere has tired of winter. Even though Saturday was warm here, the trees are still barren and shadeless and once again covered in frost and ice. We’re moving into our new home next week, and I’m longing to include more indoor plant life there in spite of my black thumb. I really love the shades of green in Fawn DeViney’s image. But then again, I’m not surprised; have you seen her other work? Stunning.

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What says Spring more than a tank jumpsuit and market basket full of flowers? Please count me in. I’m absolutely smitten right now with Emily Suzanne‘s images and with Hackwith Design House‘s new Spring line. They make me crave lighter materials and warm light and outdoor weekend markets. Sigh.

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Although we are currently painting our entire new home white (with a bit of controversy from one of my children), I love dark, dramatic walls and spaces and am looking to include a few in our home in the near future. Right now, I’m really inspired by this country retreat in Australia, Orchard Keepers, which still manages to keep warmth while combining crisp whites and dramatic darker tones. I love how this particular wall  gives the white dishes and glass and wood so much presence. Don’t you?

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Bianca Cash‘s words should be a mantra in our home and I hope to one day purchase her lovely scripted print to hang there. For now, I’m inspired to keep living fully and humbly and with thanksgiving. Thank you, Bianca, for writing it so succinctly.

Tuesday

4

March 2014

12

COMMENTS

enchanted rock

Written by , Posted in wanderings

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This weekend we camped next to a 450 foot pink granite rock with birds to wake us and the stars to tuck us in. On Saturday, Burke’s birthday, the kids and I climbed a large boulder in our PJs. I sipped my first coffee and watched glory rise up their backs and faces. Hundreds of feet below, Mark scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire patiently waiting for us, but only I returned, letting our little mountain goats free for a while on the littler rock. We climbed more that day until our winterized bodies pleaded for us to stop. ”Oh dear,” Olive uttered, her eyes following my finger point to the summit, the place we’d climb. She’d be five in a few days, I reminded her, big enough to climb on her own. And we all did although often stopping for the littlest legs and to empty rocks from their sandals. “Step. By. Step,” she says. At the summit, the kids bounced across dark abysses and down into caves, without care or questions of ability. They laughed, implicitly trusting their instincts. It reminded me of parenting in that way, all the time fearlessly crossing abysses.

On Sunday, we abruptly woke up to cold rain drops on our faces. The same open roof that allows the stars, allows the rain. We quickly packed our tents and gear, running laps between our site and car. When we were finished, we drove away, our hearts panting and full.

 

 

Sunday

2

March 2014

4

COMMENTS

09/52

Written by , Posted in the 52 project

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All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. – Martin Buber

I’ve learned so much about my children through our travel time in the car. Sometimes it  happens through our car conversations or games of 20 Questions, but every trip, whether 5000 miles across the country or a ten minute errand, reveals something new about the way they experience the world, adventure, and transition. This week I caught a few of those secrets.

liam // always has his feet up and his nose in a book.

burke // prefers to snuggle up with a blanket and stare out the window.

blythe // often busies herself with an activity books or by drawing in her journal.

olive // usually sleeps. As Blythe said this weekend, “everytime we get in the car Olive falls asleep.” So true.

Friday

28

February 2014

4

COMMENTS

unplugged.

Written by , Posted in wanderings

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The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word . . . .
Where is the Life we have lost in living?

- T.S. Eliot, The Rock

We will be unplugging this weekend to camp in a small part of the Texas wilderness to celebrate our Burke’s ninth year of life. Although we’ve had this planned for months, it now seems hardly the right time–mid-semester, mid-move, mid-everything–or perhaps, it’s exactly the right time. The time for us to pause our endless cycle of ideas and action and invention and talk to remember the beauty of simple and stillness and one another and, of course, the One who is the source of it all. Happy weekend to you all.

Image by Cloistered Away, taken in Mesa Verde, Colorado, June 2013. 

Thursday

27

February 2014

12

COMMENTS

alycia mealy // wildflower dream catchers

Written by , Posted in sponsors + giveaways

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Today, I’m introducing Alycia Mealy, the free-spirited blogger at Wildflower and creator at Wildflower Dream Catchers. I really love Alycia’s work , especially how she uniquely incorporates her love of nature into each piece: branches, pine cones, feathers, dried flowers. Both of my girls literally gasped when I pulled this one from the box–”it’s so beautiful!” I completely agree. Alycia, please tell us more about you.

wildflower_dreamcatcher5How did Wildflower begin? My small business is called Wildflower Dream Catchers. It began as a craft I was making for my home about a year ago. I was going to feature it on my blog as a DIY but I liked how it turned out so much that I decided I would make it into a giveaway instead. Long story short, Lindsey Marlor from Pillow Thought ended up winning the giveaway and asked if I had a shop she could link to when showing the dream catcher on her blog . So then I decided to open up my own etsy shop and my business just hasn’t stopped growing since then. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work and stay at home with my son!

wildflowerWho/ What most inspires your work? Recently I have been very inspired by nature and using natural items in the home, such as sticks, pinecones, dried flowers etc. Some of the amazing ladies who have inspired my new line of nature dream catchers are Jodi Mockabee, Beth Kirby from Local Milk, Hannah Ferrara from Another Feather and Kinfolk Magazine to name a few.

wildflower_dreamcatcherHow do you balance work and home life? Do you have a tip to share? When I first started out I began taking a lot of custom orders to specifically match whatever room they wanted they’re dream catcher for, well the custom orders became really hard to keep up with.. being that I work alone and I am a stay at home mom to a toddler. So I recently have had to come up with just a few designs that my customers really seem to like and just stick with making those. This helps save a lot of time! I think its very important to evaluate your priorities from time to time and make sure you’re not letting work overtake your life which can be very easy to do when working from home. My son is at an age where he needs constant attention all day long so that means I mostly have to work late hours at night while he sleeps or during nap time, the most important thing to me is that he has my attention during the day !

When your not working what might you be doing? Blogging , taking photos, visiting friends or spending time with my son.

 

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Alycia’s favorite things: My floppy black hat from target //I would have to say my favorite place I ever traveled to was the Bahamas mostly because I had really good company! My entire family + aunts, cousins, grandparents etc all took a family vacation together there so the trip was filled with lots of good company and laughs ! Oh and relaxing on the beach all day and drinking strawberry daiquiris wasn’t too bad either. // Chicken and Avocado Soup // This is a bit embarrassing but any book from Sarah Dessen. I started reading her books when I was a teenager and even though her books are geared toward young adults I still love her writing to this day! // my Bible

Thank you for sharing your work with us, Alycia.

All images by Cloistered Away. Nature Dream Catcher c/o Wildflower Dream Catchers.