Upcoming Schedule

Hey everyone. It’s been a long while since I wrote, so I figured I’d give you guys a heads up on a few things. As you know from earlier this summer (if you read then), I am in graduate school. Graduate school means unfortunately having to step away from other things I love. That means writing consistently for this blog. I’m not planning on walking away entirely, but I can’t commit to a schedule at this point. There may be weeks I write multiple times, there may be radio silence. I don’t want to create content just for the sake of creating content, especially when my time is limited. As you can imagine, working full time, graduate school and living life in general takes up quite a bit of time. That often means in the little downtime I have the last thing I want to do is edit photos and write a blog post when I could be exercising, playing with the dogs, spending time with family, etc.

You can still follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/likeacupoftea) or @likeacupoftea. I still post snippits of life there. I guess I’m more of an “instagrammer” these days than a blogger. I’m not sure if that trend will continue, or what will happen.

Since I can’t give you a set schedule to check back on the website, I highly recommend looking over on the right sidebar and typing in your email under  where it says “Your Personal Cup of Tea”. This will send you an email each time I post.

I hope you’re all having a nice summer, and you have a beautiful fall. Don’t hesitate to read back through archives and comment, I’ll get email notifications of comments so I should be able to respond quickly to those.

Take Care,

Heather

Don’t Pee In the Pool

Hey, friends. This is just a short post on a rainy Wednesday (which also happens to be my third wedding anniversary). Poignant, because what I’m about to briefly write has to do with my wedding invitations.

kermie invite

Hands down, my mason jar invitation template has been the most popular thing on my blog. For a few years now I’ve also offered this design as a custom edit for sale on Etsy, for those folks who didn’t want to try and alter the template themselves. It’s been cool. I’ve seen a few blogs here and there who have featured it, or a version of it, themselves and they’ve linked back to this blog. Linking back and a virtual high-five to the original designer is totally awesome. Just as cool was when Wedding Chicks told me they wanted to use a version of my design as a free download on their site to which I responded ALL THE YES TO EVERYTHING but in a more professional way. I had used some of their downloads before and it felt good to give back to others. That was indeed the whole point of offering them for free personal use.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, especially in the last year or so with the mason jar everything boom, I’ve seen knock-offs of my design for sale on Etsy. It’s totally disheartening. Artistic expression and inspiration is great. Taking the hardest part of a design and leaving it intact, and changing the easiest part of it, and then turning around and claiming it or implying it as your own hurts. I know I’m not the first, and I certainly won’t be the last.

I really like offering a fully editable design for people who might not be able to afford a really fun wedding invite. I really LOVE hearing how much people like it, and being told how appreciated it is. These thanks are the reason I’m keeping it up.

For those out there though who think it’s cool to take parts of someone else’s design and pass them off as your own, for profit (or not without acknowledgement), it’s just not. I don’t think you’re a bad person. You might be a really nice person who just made a not so great choice. We all don’t make the best choices sometimes and can be jerks. Am I going to take legal action against you? Nope. Am I mad? Eh, not mad per say. I’m just super, incredibly, disappointed.

There is one lesson here: Don’t pee in the pool. It ruins it for everyone.

xo,

Heather

FYI: I am shutting down my Etsy store Dorothy+Lucille, which offered the customization of these invites, on June 1, 2014 (this Sunday). The decision to do this had more to do with reclaiming my time than anything else. The free invites will still be offered for now at the link above. I’ll also still have my store Green Barn Soaps, which will be reopening in July.

Growing Challenges

This year has been full of growing challenges, from starting most of our own seeds indoors in late winter, to learning a new technique for starting seeds called soil blocking (I’ll get into this in another post). There has been a growing challenge of another kind too in that I’m going to graduate school!

I’ll be starting in a week from today and I’m really excited to finally be starting this goal I knew I’d always go for. I’m nervous and excited and scared and excited. I know I’m not the best at handling stress but just reminding myself how blessed I am to even have the opportunity to get this degree keeps me humbled and driven. I’m going to be kept pretty busy between this class which is an eight-week intensive course, being in the peak of needing to get the garden going/weeding, etc., starting up summertime house renovations again, and planning my cousins baby shower. With all of that said, I’m still hoping to post here once a week. I’m going to stick to the Tuesday/Thursday schedule and hoping for 10am. Though lets face it, I’ve already blown that with this post. So let’s just say “Tuesday or Thursday, with a hope for Tuesdays.”

The other big thing is that Green Barn Soaps is going on hiatus for the next eight weeks. I will be open again after this class ends in July. I’m not sure I’ll be doing this with each class, but during this next eight week period I really need to take something off my plate and GBS seems like a good fit as it’s slow this time of year.

Finally, if I won’t be able to get a post up or if this schedule needs to change because of other challenges, I will be updating over on my Facebook page which you can get to by clicking here and will likely send out a tweet as well as mention it on an Instagram post (@likeacupoftea). As always I post on Instagram pretty regularly even when my posts here aren’t. Gardening and dog photos are pretty regular. Let’s be honest with each other though. I know you all come for the dogs and I’m guessing that’s why you follow me on Instagram too. I know you guys are suckers for the two yellow dogs. I am too, I can’t blame you.

Cheers to the next eight crazy weeks of my life! Notes of encouragement on here and Instagram will be so incredibly appreciated.

DSC_9738-01

xo,

Heather

My First Time

We all remember our first time. You’re excited but nervous. You have an idea of what to expect from what you’ve been told, but you don’t really know what you’re in for. You’ve heard it can last a while, and you’ve heard it can be quick. So, you excitedly take a deep breath, and let it out. This is happening.

Then, you load the dogs into your hatchback Saab, make sure you have your sales slip, and head up the highway to the glory land. The Fedco tree sale awaits you.

The huge two weekend event every year draws a very large crowd, with the first weekend reserved for those who pre-order trees. I had ordered two peach trees for our mini-orchard all the way back in December. This was the year I was going to go up there. This was the year I was going to see what everyone had been talking about years before me. Was it really as great as they said? It must be. My hopes were high. Since I had ordered trees early, I also got first chance at the cream of crop trees, bushes, and other goods before it was opened to the general public.

IMG_9378That friday morning just a few weeks ago I piled myself and two dogs into my hatchback, with no idea what was coming my way. I had a general idea everything would fit. It took a bit of finagling though when I not only picked up the two peach trees, but opted to buy 25 asparagus crowns, a  Honey Crisp apple tree, and a McIntosh apple tree. Will power got the best of me that day, thankfully. Common sense was not lost as I left beautiful cherry trees, blueberries, pear trees, and a huge variety of a hundred other glorious items where they lay. Thankfully so too, because Primrose wasn’t too happy with me as is.

IMG_9379As it were, Winnie was in the front seat, and Rosie laid right behind the passenger side on my comfy coat but most assuredly giving me the side-eye the entire time. I laughed when I ended up accidentally snagging this photo of Winnie while trying to get a photo of the cramped quarters. It looks like she’s yelling at me for the space issues. While it doesn’t look cramped in the photo I can guarantee you that there were four trees, particularly the apple trees, touching from the back of the trunk all the way past the rear view mirror with an inch to spare.

IMG_9380After leaving the tree sale I decided I wanted to grab some copper fungicide at their other warehouse and ended up stumbling into my version of heaven. I found where they keep all the potato stock. To be truthful I just wanted to eat them since I’m a carb loving broad. No one told me there would be potatoes my first time. No one told me there would be potatoes.

IMG_9382I also ended up meandering over to the seed warehouse where I bought some things in a haze. I remember buying peas, but I couldn’t tell you everything else I bought off the top of my head. I know I managed to get out with only about four packs of seeds though after thoroughly reminding myself about all the Johnny Select Seeds I had previously ordered that were waiting for me at home.

IMG_9383A few weeks after digesting everything, let me tell you the truth from the other side.

The Fedco tree sale is everything I had ever been told, and more. Aside from everything I’ve mentioned already, the people were just so incredibly nice. As far as patrons, every type of person was there. There were small gardeners, to people who just wanted a nice tree for their yard, to small homesteaders like myself, to legit farmers who I have an intense respect for. Their wealth of knowledge is staggering.

If you have never been to the Fedco tree sale, go. Order a tree so you can get in that first weekend, and just go. Get there early in the morning on the opening Friday and you’ll have plenty of time and space to take it all in.

Go slow. Enjoy it. Don’t rush. It will be worth the wait.

xo,
Heather

Mountain Meditation

Happy Earth Day! In the spirit of focusing on our environment and all it provides, I thought I would share our weekend away into the natural beauty of Maine.

There are times when I just need to be in the mountains. Being in the mountains and having some alone time with my camera is even better. This past weekend, after a huge event at work, I encouraged Andy to take Friday off with me so we could go to his Mom’s place in western Maine. This is the view from one part of her yard (albeit zoomed in). Not too shabby. While we celebrated the weekend with family, I decided to steal away some alone time with my camera and the stream that runs through my mother in laws property.

DSC_9194Even the dogs, who are normally glued to my side, were busy romping in the woods to their hearts content.

DSC_9312For a solid 30 minutes it was just me, my camera and a mountain stream.

DSC_9267I had been wanting to try some slower shutter speed shots of the water for some time. I used my 55-200mm lens which I love, but can admittedly be a bit tough because it doesn’t have vibration reduction. Overall though it was a fun learning experiment with both the manual use of my camera, testing my steadiness and using rocks as stabilizers, and also a good test on how close I can put my camera to the water without actually ruining it.

DSC_9210While I decided to only save a couple of the photos, I thought I’d share them with you guys.

DSC_9206DSC_9214DSC_9254These next two are my favorite. When I was editing I laughed because the first photo below looks like a large waterfall with a felled tree above it. It’s the scale of the forest behind that makes you realize it’s actually quite small. Perspective is everything.

DSC_9229 DSC_9234After I decided to head back up the hill, my sister in law and her husband were just heading up the mountain themselves to go skiing. I figured I’d hunker down and take some shots of them. Rosie decided to hang out with me. By “decided to hang out with me” I mean “made her sit with me instead of chasing Jessie and Gabe down the mountain.”

DSC_9378DSC_9401While all of this was going on, Andy, his mom and his brother were cutting cedar for our porch…but that’s for Thursdays post.

DSC_9499It was a nice weekend, and it was fun to be back in the snow for a few days since we have none left at our house. Champ, the girls doggie cousin, summed it up pretty nicely: sometimes you just need a weekend away to play, relax and to lay down while you eat snow.

DSC_9437xo,

Heather