Monthly Archives: January 2015

Winner: Giveaway, Tail Spin Farm

And the winner of the Project F.A.R.M. Tail Spin Farm giveaway is:

Cindy Young, who said:
“Oh, dear me! Renee’s art is absolutely beautiful … and wearable … I love wearable art!”

And the original post for the GIVEAWAY was (thank you to all who participated):
Give a big farmgirl welcome to Renee McCausey, another new Project F.A.R.M. (First-class American Rural Made) business member. Renee lives with her husband and five children on a small farm in the middle of Michigan. She says chickens were her farming “gateway drug,” and they now raise angora rabbits, pygora goats, alpacas, and “a turkey or two … or three.” They also garden, tend fruit trees, and raise their own food.

Renee is also a fiber artist, and uses fibers from her bunnies, goats, and alpacas to make beautiful hand-spun articles like the necklace, crochet cuff bracelet, and earrings shown below. Throw your name into our giveaway hat and win the beautiful set below by leaving a comment. Stay tuned to find out who gets these wonderful accessories.


This next set from Renee is all mine (sorry, all I’m sharing is the photo!); bracelet, earrings, and locket necklace holding a photo of my grand girls. I wore this gorgeous ensemble on Christmas day.


Visit Renee’s Tail Spin Farm at Tail-Spin






With the holidays fading fast in our rearview mirrors, we find ourselves in the wide open expanse of …


Photo by Walter Baxter of via Wikimedia Commons


About this time of year, we start counting the days until spring and wondering how the rugged residents of far northern latitudes do it. How can they keep their chins up with months more until thaw and precious little daylight in which to weather the harshest of seasons?

They must have a secret.


Photo by 4028mdk09 via Wikimedia Commons

In fact, they do.

Well, it’s not exactly a secret—the rest of the globe just hasn’t caught on to hygge yet.

The Danish term hygge (pronounced something like “heu-gah”) is worthy of translation among traditions nationwide, if for no other reason than the fact that Denmark is the happiest country in the world, according to the United Nations General Assembly’s World Happiness Report.


Photo by Kozuch via Wikimedia Commons

That’s pretty big, right?

While I’m fairly certain hygge is a noun, its definition isn’t cut and dried. It’s more of a concept, really, a notion, a ritual of sorts.


Photo by Christian Bier via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps I should leave the defining to a lady who knows the nuances of hygge, Louisa Thomsen Brits. She’s a writer of Danish descent, and she crafted a lovely blog called—you guessed it—Hygge, where she explains this winter survival strategy most eloquently:

“Hygge is the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Hygge happens when we commit to the pleasure of the present moment in its simplicity,” Brit writes. “Hygge is a kind of enchantment—a way of stirring the senses, the heart and the imagination, of acknowledging the sacred in the secular—a way of giving something ordinary a special context, spirit, and warmth, taking time to make it extraordinary.”

Okay, so maybe that’s more of a roundabout explanation than a hard and fast definition, but you’re beginning to get the gist, aren’t you?

According to, “Hygge actually comes from a Norwegian word meaning ‘well-being.’ It first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th Century and has been embraced by the Danes ever since.”

Now that we’ve come closer to the meaning, explore the practice (not to mention pronunciation) of hygge in this mini video travelogue from Copenhagen:





Spotted in a Scottish woodland …

If you were walking the woods of Scotland on Midsummer’s Day (June 24 in the U.K.), you might have spotted something few humans have seen … unicorns.

Of course if you’re Scottish, you might not blink an eye. After all, the unicorn is the “national animal” of Scotland, along with the red lion, both of whom appear on its royal coat of arms.


Photo, Woodland Trust

Scotland’s Woodland Trust, an organization that protects and restores the country’s woodlands, likes to inspire people to visit forests, plant trees, and enjoy the many benefits that woodlands have to offer. And this year, they also inspired imagination and wonder as they held an event in the Ledmore and Migdale woods in Sutherland featuring the mythical, mystical unicorn.


Photo, Woodland Trust

Needless to say, the event was a magical success, drawing fantasy lovers from around the area to marvel over the elusive unicorn.

Although we think of the unicorn as pure myth, the ancient Babylonians, Persians, Romans, and Greeks all describe a horse with a single horn who had magical properties that could heal any disease or illness.



a different view

Winnie Nielsen, Farmgirl Sister of the Year and a Florida resident, sent me an e-mail and photos this week that I thought you’d enjoy seeing. Isn’t it wonderful to think that farmgirls-at-heart can see such different views right out their kitchen doors? What might you spot in your “backyard”?

“You always post such wonderful photos of your neck of the woods that I thought you might enjoy some of Warren’s photos taken a few days ago. Here are some of our local residents at Alachua Sink, a nature preserve that flows into Paynes Prairie on the south side of town heading out of the city. How ‘bout dem gators?!”









Winner: Giveaway, Kitchen Linens

And the winner of the Project F.A.R.M. Country Kitchen Linens giveaway is:

Amy Kehoe, who said:
“I’d love to add some rural American charm to my kitchen here in England. I’m missing home while on deployment with my family through the end of the year. Good luck to all!”

And the original GIVEAWAY was (thank you to all who participated):

Looking to put a little bit of country into your kitchen? We’d like to welcome Jill Schrader into our lineup of Project F.A.R.M. (First-class American Rural Made) business owners. A native of Idaho, Jill’s inspiration comes from her love of country, mountains, and what she sees out her windows. Jill creates classic, whimsical, country, and lodge-style kitchen linens to show off your personal taste. Stop by her new Etsy shop and give her a hearty country hello!


Oh, and toss your hat into our giveaway ring by giving her a welcome in the comments section below. We’ll put your name in a hat and pull out a winner this time next week. Stay tuned!