Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall Foliage: Western Massachusetts

There is nothing quite like seeing summer change into fall. Fall is my favorite season. The smells. The leaves changing. Apple picking. Pumpkins. Indian corn. Sunflowers. Crisp mornings and evenings. And this week I had the opportunity to travel to the Pioneer Valley with my dear friend Rikki. It was a rather quick visit, but we got to visit Hallmark and made what has become an annual trip to our friend Kristin's farm.

We enjoyed a lovely visit with our incredibly talented artist-friend. Kristin chatted with us as she prepared homemade chicken soup. Then we walked outside and the dogs herded the sheep around the property. Kristin's house backs up to a mountain, and the view was simply incredible. We ended our visit with Kristin preparing a beautiful bouquet with some of the last flowers of the season.

Enjoy some pictures of our day.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lauren Decatur:: NH artist

My dear friend Rikki photographed the home of Lauren Decatur last year. The photos were published in the Feb/March/April 2014 issue of Where Women Create, and they attempted to show the beauty of this incredible home. While Rikki succeeded in having her pictures capture the essence of this quintessential cottage, the true awe came when Rikki asked if I wanted to GO to the cottage to visit Lauren this summer. Pulling into the driveway, the reality of those pictures came to be.

Lauren greeted us at the door with hugs and welcomed us inside her adorable home. There were fresh flowers in vases in the bedroom, fluffy folded towels with little robin egg soaps atop them, and beauty all around. I don't think I ever could have imagined the fun we'd have visiting Lauren for the weekend. We ate like queens, talked over tea, and got to know this amazing woman! I arrived as a stranger and left a friend.

Lauren is an incredibly talented artist. She paints beautifully, whether it be a custom dog portrait or the most delicate flower. She also makes the most magnificent felted creatures, ranging from birds to foxes and chicks to cows and fawns. While we were there, Lauren taught me how to needle felt. It surely is a detailed art form and takes some patience. I kept saying, "There is no way I can do this" and yet I ended up with a cute little chick I named Percy.

Lauren has an incredible sensitivity for the animals who surround her - chipmunks, bears, squirrels, birds, deer, and even beavers, who have built their home right through the woods.

Her home is decorated with such care and every item has its place. What a functional space and what an ideal spot for an artist to create!

Rikki photographed her home again while we were there, and the pictures she took are on Houzz. My pictures are not nearly as wonderful, but allow me to have memories of an incredible trip this summer. Not only did we have a fabulous stay, but I was able to meet an incredibly strong, gracious, and funny artist/cook/hostess/friend/mom/daughter. Lauren, thank you for opening your home to Rikki and me. I can't wait to visit you again, wherever you end up landing next!

On the way home, we passed by this farm. We've passed it a few times before, and every time we've said that one day, we were going to stop to take pictures. We did this time, and what a beauty of a farm it is!

And here are the Instagram pics I took while there:
the bedroom

the coziest of living rooms

the making of Percy

to-die-for chicken curry salad on naan bread

the flowers....swoon!

the farm on the way home

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