Autumn Notes

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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to take some time to jot down my favorite parts about Autumn, the parts that I have noticed the most this year.

-The way the leaves all change different colors together. The way their reds and yellows and oranges and browns paint the tips of the trees above my house. They produce the prettiest picture of the environment, and in the next minute, they might be blown away.

-The way decadent hot chocolate tastes the first time I have it in the season. The way the jumbo marshmallows start to melt before I can spoon them out greedily.

-The way the trees looks surrounding the bike trail that we ride on. They create a blanket of color as I fly by on my bike. The leaves start to stick to the ground, and my tire crunches over them. I can smell the way they are drying and curling in the grass. It smells like all the Autumns that I have ever remembered.

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-The way the first bite of pumpkin pie tastes. There is fresh whipped cream on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. It tastes so much better than I remember, and yet, exactly as good as it’s always been.

-The way the woods around our house begins to change. Some birds are flying away in flocks. We see less bears stumbling around the forest. Instead, squirrels and chipmunks steal the seeds and nuts that fall from the trees. There is cold rain at night and dewy grass in the morning. All around us, the woods are alive with woodland chatter.

-Drinking a hot cup of chai tea and pairing it with my favorite cookies. The taste is spicy and sweet, if I add a little bit of vanilla. When I drink it outside in the morning, steam rolls off of the mug and disappears near the falling leaves.

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-The bustle at local coffeeshops as their fall flavors start being sold. Watching through the large window as people rush by with large knit scarves and heavier jackets.

-The haunting way the mist rolls in, making the orange leaves almost fluorescent in comparison, and giving me a chill down my spine.

-Lighting candles late in the night and reading classic books next to them. The warmth from the candle casts a flattering glow over everything, and the flicker creates dancing shadows that keep me turning the pages. The wax pools and drips, and the room smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. I pull my blanket around me and wait for the light to run out.

 

I would love to know your favorite parts of Autumn. This is my favorite time of year and I really felt that I needed to give it a little extra love on my blog. I might do this for winter too, because I had fun making these observations about the way the season changes! Let me know your thoughts.

Talk soon,

-Heather

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 2}

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I’ve finally edited the rest of the photos from our beautiful trip to the botanic gardens in Edinburgh. I felt a fresh wave of sadness come over me when I was looking through these, I wish I could be back there with all this lush greenery. I think the photos came out great, but I must sadly report that they do the gardens no justice at all.

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Something that I don’t think I emphasized in my first post was just how big the grounds are for the gardens. The greenhouses are just one section of it, the rest being a magnificent park with labeled plants and trees sprinkled around.

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I remember seeing this plant right before we made our exit from the greenhouse area and I thought it captured all the wonderful colors of Autumn.

There is not enough space in my camera or time in my life to fully explore all of this place fully (probably). If I lived there, I would truly go every day, or at least every week. I miss it, I’m feeling very wistful.

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I think these photos show a pretty accurate representation of how green everything was. And you must be thinking, well, obviously, you were inside greenhouses. But that does not matter. I was not prepared for how green everything was, and how it changes how you feel. There is so much research done on the impact that nature has on the human mind. But just entering a place like this will assure you that all of it must be true, because there is a sense of calm and wonder that floats over you immediately.

It is something else. It is otherworldly. We were certainly not the only other people enjoying the space, and yet everyone had this quiet marveling expression on their faces. It was hard to tell who had been there for the first time (except for me, because I was clearly elated) and who had been there many times but continued to be struck by the magic that was contained in those glass houses. I don’t think the feeling will ever leave me, even as my memory starts forgetting the sharper details that my camera so expertly captured. I think the pure sense of wonder will always stay somewhere in my mind.

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Thank you, Edinburgh.

Please let me know if you have been to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and what your impressions were. I am also interested in knowing if there is anything similar to this in America. I live in Massachusetts, but very close to Connecticut, and I am searching for any kind of greenhouses like this. Hopefully I find some soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to bring my camera.

Talk soon,

-Heather

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Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 1}

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I was lucky enough to go on a beautiful trip to the U.K. in the beginning of September. Among many exciting endeavors, I was most excited about our trip to the botanical gardens. I had planned this trip for a long time, and on our second day in Edinburgh, I was able to finally see it in person. It did not disappoint.

I was most excited about the range of plants they exhibited, along with proper identification and careful details! Every second I was wishing there was a place like this closer to home.

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Quite possibly my favorite place in the world. There are more pictures to come.

Talk soon,

-Heather

Snapshots of August πŸ“

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Hello Everyone,

August is leaving us now, which is so strange to believe. It feels like it just graced us with its presence, and now it must bid us goodbye. The last few weeks have been beautiful weather, so I must say that August was good to me.

It’s unusual to watch the light extinguish so early now, and nighttime greeting us when only a month ago it would have been beautiful and bright outside. But this is how summer ends, I suppose, as it always does. I’m currently listening to the rustling of leaves outside my open window, and I’m grateful for another beautiful summer. I’ve only recently been going to the park and going on bike rides, as the weather has been cooperating, but I wish I had started doing it sooner in the season. I’m noticing the chill in the air and I’m panicking to get all of our outdoor activities in before the frost arrives.

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Here is my favorite quote this month:

“A thousand little winds pass through me this morning, fragrant with forest leaves and bright autumnal berries.” –Emily Dickinson, from a letter to Austin Dickinson, written October 1851.

I hope everyone had an August filled with magic.

If you want to see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram and Tumblr. πŸ™‚

-Heather

 

 

Nemoricultrix: Forest Haunting

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I came across this Latin word: Nemoricultrix. It is someone who haunts the woods, she that dwells in the woods.Β With the current story I am working on, this was a perfect thing to stumble upon. Interestingly enough, when you look up with word, there is also a lot of information about a species of frogs. Either way, I am into it. I’m trying to enjoy the lush greenery before fall comes and wipes it all away.

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I’m wishing I had spent more of summer outside. I did a lot of other things, but I really should have been collecting more flowers and plants and such. It’s not too late though, there are many beautiful things in bloom right now, ripe for the picking. Now that I’m getting more antiquated with botanical illustration, I’m much more interested in collecting things on my walks. I’m looking into ways to dry things and preserve them properly. Right now, my only method is pressing things in a a very large dictionary.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for saving some of the plants that I’ve collected. I’m eager to document how I see these plants changing into the fall. Besides that, I’ve been spending my time scribbling poetry and stamping books at the library, which isn’t a bad way to spend the end of your summer.

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Some Life Things // A Ramble

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Things have been different lately. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it is different. I’m trying a lot of new things and I’m talking to new people and going new places, and that makes from some changes, I suppose.

I work at a library. I had a particularly busy day the other day, and it wasn’t that it was a bad day it was just that I was frustrated because I didn’t have the patience to understand the noise that is really just life and I normally would, and anyway I had some annoying conversations with some people and I was feeling particularly odd. Like I was slightly wounded I guess and a little tired and a little too sensitive for the world at that moment.

I went back to my desk when a man returned a DVD, and when I went to go put it back, he began talking about the movie he had seen to a woman next to him. The spoke for awhile about different things while I sat behind the desk only half-listening. The long story short is that they decide to get a coffee after.

I witnessed that moment, it was so unusual and yet maybe not, and of course maybe nothing will come of it. Maybe one of them won’t show up to the coffee place or maybe they will go on three dates or something and decide to part ways.

But maybe they would stay together for a while, like Β a few months or maybe a few years. Maybe forever. The point was that it was a new beginning. And these people were not exactly young, they were maybe in their 40’s, which I realize to some people is still very young indeed. But there was this thing in the air that I couldn’t put my finger on. It’s this thing, it keeps me up at night and has me painting on my floor and laughing too loudly and drinking lots of coffee and speaking to new people and wishing I could be with people who are much too far away.

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Anyway, that’s what life has been like lately. This churning and turning that has ruptured something inside of me and set something else on fire. And when I think of the world that is too awful and how everything is sometimes too much, something surprises me. Like when I’m stuck waiting to turn in traffic and a kind soul waves me forward, or when someone flips the bill as I stumble around looking for change. There is such kindness that I sometimes forget about and it’s contributing to this thing that I am feeling lately. It’s all kind of lost and wandering and again, I can’t identify it, but I think that it’s good.

As a result of this weird potpourri of emotions, I am going to be starting a few new projects very quietly to see how I like them. First, I’m working on a lot of paintings to open up an Etsy shop. I’ve been working hard and painting very late into the night and there are numerous stains on my floor, so that should speak for itself. I’ll update this site as soon as things are up and running!

Another thing, I am going to be traveling in a few weeks, and I think I’ll be filming some things that I see with my camera. Then I might clumsily edit those things to resemble some sort of video that I might upload to YouTube. All of this is terrifying to me, so the key word here is quietly.Β If any of that happens, I will link it here as well. I just feel like I want to record some of the little corners of my day, a very simple display of moments. We’ll see.

These things all feel pretty good to me, even if they don’t lift off very soon.

I hope things are going well with anyone else who is reading this too.

If you want to see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram and Tumblr. πŸ™‚

-Heather

Avery Palmer Stationary

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A friend of mine has opened a new stationary shop on Etsy, and being a huge stationary fanatic, I was so excited to receive some of her products in the mail! I got a sample of four of her handprinted bookmarks, a beautiful set of notecards, and a moon phase watercolor painting. All of her products are handcrafted and made with care, which is apparent when you first open them. She also customized a bookmark for me with my initials, which was adorable, and a very lovely personal touch.

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I absolutely love the cotton-candy looking bookmark with my initials, as well as the cute bananas. Each have a gorgeous handmade look to them, which is always my favorite style.

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I highly suggest checking out Avery’s work on her Etsy page, and she has graciously given me a discount code for anyone who wants to make a purchase! Check out her page here to see her gorgeous products.Β If you use the code “HEATHER” at the checkout, you can receive a 10% discount on your order. The code expires on September 30th, so check out what great items you can get while you have a code!

The items I received were an “In the Jungle” bookmark, a “Cotton Candy Clouds” bookmark, a “Going Bananas” bookmark, a “Summer Stripes” bookmark and a “Candy Stripes” bookmark. I also got a set of “In the Jungle” notecards and “Moon Phase” watercolor painting. Again, these are all hand painted and handmade stationary products, very great quality and so cute! I’m excited to see if she will have any new designs for fall. I’d keep an eye out!

I feel so lucky to work with Avery to showcase her beautiful work, and I hope you will all check out her wonderful shop. You can see some of her products on her Instagram as well! I would go give her a like and a follow! To see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram and Tumblr if you’d like. πŸ™‚

I’ll be back soon,

-Heather

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The Book Barn

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Hello Everyone,

I want to a very interesting place last week, a place many people have been telling me about for awhile. It is the Book Barn in Niantic, CT, a collection of little barns where hundreds of used books are housed and looking for new homes. Cats were roaming galore. There were goats sitting in a castle playscape. It was an adventure to travel through the summer heat from building to building to peer through the different worlds in each new groups of genres. It wasn’t the cleanest place, or the best organized place, but it was homey and strangely comfortable.

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One of my favorite sections (in theory) was the “paranormal romances” which was actually full of twilight-type books, which is cool if you’re into that. Besides the actual barns full of books, there were also tiny stands outside amongst tables and chairs and cats where new books were sorted, and plenty of people were sifting through them. Everyone had a secret little smile playing on their lips, a knowing nod to each other, a collective love of literature.

I was so happy to be a part of it.

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Have any of you been here before? I know there are other locations throughout Connecticut, and I’m eager to know what others think of them! I got three books while I was there: The Invention of Nature, The Cambridge Murders, and a collection of poetry by Charles Baudelaire.

“Books don’t change people;

Paragraphs do, sometimesΒ 

even sentences.”

-John Piper

 

Snapshots of July

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Hello Everyone,

July is here, and rather than summery pictures, I’ve been dowsing myself in Autumn (I know, wayyyyy too soon).

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There is something way comfier about a photo that looks like it’s taken in Autumn. This is psychological, I know, but it still fuels me to take fall-ish photos.

Maybe I am just in denial about all the heat.

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Also drinking hot drinks, because I’m that deep in denial. I hope everyone is having a nice July. I am staying as cool as possible and reading as many books as I can get my hands on. Summer is also such a beautiful time for painting, so I’ll have to try and make some more time for that. Me and another friend are looking for a nice park to paint at, maybe some watercolor.

I hope July is good to us, and I hope there are some more thunderstorms. Let me know what you’ve gotten up to in the past month and what your plans are for the rest of summer! Mine are now thankfully including an awesome trip to Maine!

Talk to you soon.

-Heather

Ravenclaw Inspired Lookbook βœ¨πŸ’•πŸ¦‰

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I put together a little lookbook of my most Ravenclaw-ish outfits!

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Does anyone else wish they were looking out Ravenclaw tower? That’s what I was thinking about in this photo. Also, maybe cake.

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Taking a break from studying potions to snuggle my pup. This notebook was the one I bought for my birthday, and it screams Ravenclaw. I thought so as soon as I saw it. It has little planets and things, which is featured in their common room!

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I’m convinced that if I were at Hogwarts, I would be a Ravenclaw who also loved plants. I would study botany and herbology, most likely. I’ve already collected books upon books about plants. I might do a post on my collection!

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Outfit 1:Β 

Dress – TJMaxx

Socks – Target

 

Outfit 2:

Sweater – Thrifted

Skirt – Thrifted

Notebook – Barnes & Noble

 

Outfit 3:

Blouse – TJMaxx

Skirt – H&M

Boots – Too old to remember!

Purse – TJMaxx

 

Let me know if you liked this, I might do more Harry Potter inspired looks!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather