Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Literary Heroine Blog Party and Giveaway - 2015

You are cordially invited. . . 

To the Fifth annual Literary Heroine Blog Party!
~ February 16-28 ~

Are you enthralled with the charming stories of heroines of yesteryear? Do you thrill at the sight of a lovely, century-old book? Have you ever read a favorite novel up in the airy retreat of a graceful tree? Do you often catch yourself thinking of the inhabitants of Orchard House or Pemberley as not only very real, but intimate friends? If so, I hope you will plan on joining me for this exciting online party.

Read all of the fabulous entries from years past!

This has become such a fun tradition for me, as every year on my birthday the LHBP is posted and scores of lovely ladies around the world link up their entries to the blog party quiz.  This year is a little different from previously as I've been slightly distracted with wedding planning and living life and wonderfulness, so we're a day late on posting.
We're also streamlining the blog party with a single giveaway hosted by my Etsy shop, Kellie Falconer Design.

Here's how it works: 

* As your hostess, I will provide a linkup at the end of this post. All you must do is answer the questions below, making them your own with your unique personality and way with words. Then sign the guestbook at the end of this post in the form of the link to your blog post!
* Via the guestbook/link pool, have fun mingling, visiting each other's blogs and getting to know one another better!

~The Giveaway~

You can certainly enter the giveaway without participating in the blog party, but I hope you'll join in both!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be drawn at random on February the 28th.

The Literary Heroine Blog Party Link up:
(*To those of you who participated in earlier years, it's fine if you reuse some of your answers over again!*)

~ The Questions ~
  1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? 
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 
  4. Five of your favorite historical novels? 
  5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? 
  6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 
  7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 
  8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 
  9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of? 
  10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 
  11. Favorite author(s)? 
  12. In which century were most of the books you read written? 
  13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is… 
  14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 
  15. Describe your ideal dwelling place. 
  16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. 
  17. Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
  18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 
  19. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. 
  20. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 
  21. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

Be sure to add a button linking to this page to your post<3
(For more event button selections to add to your post, Click Here)

Friday, February 13, 2015

All I Ask of You | Engagement Pt 1

A gray, wintry day this week found Christopher and I frolicking around in our ritziest clothes with my little sister for an ENGAGEMENT SHOOT!  I made my dress in December for the Christmas Swing ball, and wore my great grandmother's rhinestones.  Christopher donned his Italian leather wingtips that he wears for performances with his bluegrass band.  Guys, those shoes dazzle.  When he plays the banjo and wears those shoes, I'm not responsible for producing logical thought processes.

We had a marvelous time and Matilda did a marvelous job, and there's more to come so stay tuned!

 It's during this season that everyone gives a thought to love.  Some are in a romantic relationship, some are very much not and try to drown the sorrow in chick flicks and ghirardelli's.  I've always had a sympathetic feeling for both camps, but have never been able to relate to either.  I've written peppy blog posts in previous years for Valentine's day reiterating just how much I love this holiday and the traditions I've woven around it.  Celebrating the many loved ones in my life, reveling in femininity and flowers and period dramas and literary heroines and… chocolate.  Obvious reasons are obvious.
I've never been in a romantic relationship before and I've never really bemoaned the fact, though I've given it gigantic amounts of thought as we all have.  Largely due to the countless stories I've read, planted in my mind, of tales woven from the imaginations and observations of writers who capture human experience in the written word to share with others, I've grown very decided ideas about what love is.  How it is manifested, communicated, expressed and delivered, assured.  And I kept these ideas at the ready, waiting to see how they would be proven or stretched by the brilliant reality of Someday.  
In previous years, I spent this season in the happy medium of contentment and curiosity.

This year is so different.  Different from anything I've ever known.  This year I'm scandalously, inextricably, crazily in love with far more than the man of my dreams.  This year I'm preparing to marry him and wear his ring on my finger.

And those ideas I had?  
I once read that when he took her in his arms she knew she would never be alone again.  That a heart well worth winning does indeed exist - a heart that, once won, goes through fire and water for the winner, and never changes, and is never daunted.  
That perfect love casts out fear. 

I'm only beginning to understand just how true they are.

Words are only painted fire. A look is the fire itself.
― Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Zebra Snap

A thrifted zebra knit skirt
A thrifted scarf
Boots by Sorel
Leg warmers by my dear friend Winnie
Down jacket from ThreadUp

(Wedding preparation is well underway, and blogging seems to be coming back on the radar!  This is joyous news indeed.)

One day last month I threw on my fluffy down jacket and went for a walk, camera and tripod in tow.  It was the first time I'd done outfit pictures in a very long while, and it was marvelous.  The simple act of creating something new, like images of an assembled outfit with a beautiful mill in the background, can be so very therapeutic.  
It was a cold snap that afternoon - around 10 degrees with a whipping wind.  My hands froze up and I wasn't too concerned with the camera's focus up to a point.  Stumbling back to my little loft to edit pictures and thaw was quite therapeutic, too.

Also zebra print, combined with furred hoods, maximizes any outfit's warmth factor by a magnitude of at least fifty.  Try it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

We Are Groot.

Seasons come, spinning around us with dizzying rapidity and then they're gone.  There are seasons that we all look forward to, that Someday that seems to be always on the far distant horizon for your entire life.  Then one day you realize that Someday has come.  That Someday has been right here all along, each day slipping into the next with the moments between appearing to be small, insignificant things, yet each one momentous.  

Twenty Fourteen was the first year of my life where I think I truly began to realize how near we all are to Someday.  How inseparable it is to Now.  How making the choice to invest patience and trust into someday will directly affect now in incredible ways that only become clear in hindsight.

I learned, experienced, felt, thought, saw, did so many things this last year that I never have before that just thinking about it all, I can feel a little smile creeping into the corner of my mouth that just won't go away.  A smile of absolute joy, tempered with memories of pain endured and conquered.  Hindsight gives us the grace to smile, wryly, post pain.  That wryness goes along with joy, because perspective is everything to understanding and I want to constantly seek the balance.
That smile's been a long time in the making.

In exchange for it, I lost my voice for awhile - my voice to write, even for a time to know who I was.

But when we loose sight of ourselves, when everything else becomes a blur, that's when we can truly see God for all that He is to us.  When the only clarity is looking at Him - that's when we can truly see were we should go next.

And let me tell you, His plans for us are so indescribably better than anything we might dream of for ourselves.  Letting go and following His lead is the most incredible adventure you will ever have.

When you delight in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.

That was Twenty Fourteen.

My best friend was courted, engaged, and married, and I was a Maid of Honor.  I made her wedding dress, too.  It was all wild and wonderful and bewildering and beautiful.  I climbed a bunch of mountains and did some canoeing and some shooting and went to so many dances.  I studied French for a bit and loved it, and this year my taste in music exploded and I fell in love with Daughtry and Burlap to Cashmere and Explosions in the Sky and Chris Thile and Journey and The Fray.  I started karate and earned my yellow belt.  Orange next.  Committed.
I sewed a bunch of fun clothes that I never blogged about because reasons!  Like living too hard.  No excuse, I know.  Because dream dresses designed for summer swing dances should be blogged!  
I still plan to.

Camping and double rainbows and huckleberrying and moonlight swims and RV road trips to Montana and so many adventures with friends happened in Twenty Fourteen.

My studio has been blessed like crazy, and since releasing my first tulle skirt design in 2013 I've sewed through approximately 2500 yards of tulle.

In November I moved in to town and bought clothes hangers and thrifted twinkle lights and sacks of groceries and endless bolts of tulle and satin to set up house and shop in the second floor of my brother's new place. One of those gracious old houses you see from the street and just ache to decorate and wonder who has lived and loved and laughed inside in time past.

And now it's me, doing all those things under this roof and finding my world exploding with adventures ahead.

I packed up the wall tent snug for next year and left the bus studio to be turned into a giant dollhouse by my sisters, which is perfect.  That bus is the stuff that imagination and creativity were made to live in.  

But one thing I received this year eclipses all the others, is intertwined in every memory I made this year and inextricably bound to every experience I had.
Slowly, gently at first but picking up momentum as the months went by, and I knew.

Someday, that someday, had come.

Christopher had long been a treasured friendship in my life, but God didn't let it stop there.
This amazing, passionate, insanely talented human came after my heart and he won it.

The most incredible thing about this human is that rather than storing my heart in his keeping, he's led me on a journey toward Christ, walking together, pursuing Him. This heart is filled with joy overflowing.

He's asked me to ride giant roller coasters, wear a gi, punch him, listen to Daughtry, eat SPAM, drive his Jeep, Yori ashi, climb mountains, show him how to do things I love like fashion and photography and brussels sprout sautéing, sweat, shoot, ski, dance like crazy, talk shop and life and dreams, concoct spoonerisms, pray with him.

We've had the time of our lives experiencing all of it together.  Somehow things I never thought I'd ever want to do (like pushups, or training Shotokan karate) have become part of the thrilling adventure called life.  Training and sweating and learning new katas is an exciting challenge to constantly learn more as Christopher builds the Christian Karate dojos of Post Falls and Athol.

Besides, I've always liked to kick things.

On the evening of the 4th, Christopher asked me to go strolling in a young blizzard and watch the snow falling over the old fashioned street lamps in a sleeping town.  We talked and talked about all the things and slowly froze without noticing a bit. I could see our reflections in the occasional shop window and I looked like the abominable snowman with white snow-covered hair streaming off my head like dreads.  Our footprints made tracks all over the town and the quiet neighborhood streets in fresh, deep snow.
It was perfect and delicious and magical, but I certainly suspected nothing that night.

Then when the love of my life suddenly dropped to one knee under one of said lamp posts and asked me to marry him, I stood still for a moment and froze that piece of time in my memory forever.
The joy, the laughter, the pain, the adventures we've shared and those that lie ahead in unimaginable beauty. 

And I said yes.

We're getting married in May.  Life is unbelievably glorious and whoever came up with the idea that planning a wedding and keeping on living life and mapping out a whole brand new life together forever with your favorite person all while being engulfed with sappiness is actually a viable option should definitely either be commended or fired for their outrageous optimism.

And God is good, all the time.

We are Groot.

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