Tuesday, December 27, 2011

making a new list for a new year.

new kits have been created for 2017!
happy new year, friends!

find them, here.

tucked in my desk drawer is a letter i wrote myself last new year's eve. i'm anxious to read and remember what that girl wrote to this girl. i've been writing new year's letters to myself since high school. it's the best way to see my growth from year to year. to write down secret wishes and remind myself of what's really in my heart. setting goals. and making them. 

i love to gather the ones i'm celebrating with around the table. pour us all a glass of something bubbly,  turn up some good music and pass out these little cards. andrey and i keep ours up on the refrigerator and love to remind each other of the things we'd hoped for ourselves throughout the year. we write our dear me letters and seal them up tight. we ask the littles their favorites and giggle a bunch when we read them their answers from last year. i like to have them draw me a picture of themselves on the back - so that we can see how their drawings have changed during the year, too. 

would you like to join us?
i worked up our new kits last week and asked my dear friend danyelle of dandee designs to style and photograph them for me. a quick little collaboration that will hopefully have us all doing the same thing this coming new year's eve night.
making resolutions. together. 
the kind we'll want to keep.

purchase and download your printable resolution kits here.
print as many as you need. and be sure to let me know if you post about your goals! i'd love to know what you'll be up to this year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

this holiday | stoyan-house edition

i'm going to count this holiday twenty-eleven as one of my faves. 
there was a moment on christmas eve.
watching those silly boys in front of our sparkle tree.
and my heart swelled to huge. 
i dreamt of this once. i thought to myself. 
and then tucked them sweetly into bed. 
we made memories this year. 
it was magic.

Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas!

the elements for our holiday card this year were from the lovely tags 
by Hey Look. go print some out for your last minute wrappings!
this years family portrait was snapped by k. andelin.

Friday, December 16, 2011

a winter song.

written last week. and tucked away. 
thinking i'll post it tonight - so my mother can take my thoughts with her to fernwood tomorrow.

the grief surprises me sometimes. but as soon as the ache begins – i remember it. i shake my head, bury my head in my hands and take a deep breath. i’ve felt the familiar for a few days now. a heavy quiet  - sitting right on my heart.  i expected it to come with the putting up of lights, the sipping of hot drinks, of mittens and boots. 

i didn’t make the trip this year. my yearly trek over the mountains. for a 9th and 9th shopping trip and christmas card making with my mother.  for lots of reasons, really  - i’m not there this time. am wishing for it, tonight. 
we started our tradition when lucas was a babe. two thousand and seven. i met briana then. at carlucci's bakery. in the back corner table. cath couldn't wait to share her with me. she sipped hot tea and chatted birth and life for an hour or so. the next year was the 'change is coming' house meeting. we exchanged gifts at the salt lake city library. two thousand and nine was a blackwelder booth at the beehive bazaar with in + out burgers after.

last year on these days – i was in that city with my three dearest friends. i’d imagined that we’d have a free night to huddle together at briana’s. that she’d teach us how to make homemade marshmallows and i’d get to share her space with the holiday trimmings up.  we didn’t try very hard to make it happen – other adventures came up and instead of an entire night in her company we got a quick hello as she hurried out the door with my mother on their way to a holiday gift exchange.

a few days later after my friends had gone home to their families – baby charlie and i headed out for The Children’s Hour with my mom in her li’l red mini. bri wanted to meet up with us. to share hot drinks. to snuggle charlie. to catch up for a minute before i headed back to washington. we kept being in just the wrong place at just the wrong time. we kept missing a meet-in-middle. and i wasn’t trying very hard to make it happen, either. i was feeling selfish and wanted my mom to myself - and so it didn’t.
i love looking back in retrospect. to see things for how they were then and how they are now.

i am wishing for a different story tonight. am wishing i was looking back at homemade marshmallows and good music. at tea shared on 9th in mugs with mittens.

tonight the grief came with the words to winter song.
…that you’re not where you belong... inside my arms. 

am wishing that she was with the people she belonged to tonight. 

am wishing that she was with candice. that they’d trimmed that tree together.
that she was with cath tonight. while chuck’s out of town. giggling and tincture sharing. up so late.

am wishing she was with tess and that chubby baby. knitting him some first christmas gifts and making felt birds together.
am wishing she was with rachel and that belly.
and i guess that maybe… she is. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

gift stitching/swapping.

as with most things that i do - i procrastinated until the VERY last minute to get my swap gifts together. i signed up for the freshly picked + ardor gift swap back in october. and didn't get started until the night before they needed to hit the post office. 

lucas helped with the fabric picking and that ended up being my favorite part. i don't love the actual sewing quite as much as i love the planning, picking and purchasing. running the linens and crisp cottons through my fingers. once i got going though, i remembered what it felt like to make something. i didn't love them that night. in fact i almost threw them in the garbage. (this is an effect of manic late night sewing sessions) but i loved them in the morning.  i love the texture these pretty little things have. the hemp. the wood. the tiny 'x' sewing on the button. i really really love them. 

danyelle shared her packaging stash with me. lucky, huh. and i used my favorite olive manna stamp on the front of her paper bags. a little swatch of gold striped washi tape and these were on their way. happy? yes! 

my machine is still out on the kitchen table. like the old, old days. crossing projects off my long list of stitching to-do's. using up fabric that i've been hoarding in galvanized buckets for years. making things for our cozy christmas house and some things for gift-giving-away. any requests? get 'em in now. not sure how long this sewing binge will last. 

one of my swap partners (who also just happens to be a dear friend + neighbor) was asking me how i learned to sew. i was pregnant with lucas and had just discovered amy butler's beautiful fabrics. a diaper bag was made with the help of my mom on an old borrowed machine. a year or so later i discovered my friends jen way, leslie keatingallyson hill, and the blog wee wonderful's. i was so inspired! andrey gifted me my pretty machine that christmas and i would sit down in the basement and stitch away while the rest of the house slept. i'd listen to some of the early brandi carlile in my head phones while my machine hummed along. with fabric picked on shopping trips with ashlee and our baby boys. obsessed with the look of my top stitch. it was calming. and happy. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

deck these halls.

we've been busy. 
 getting the holiday's on over here. 
decking the halls. counting the days.
and missing the ones we love. terribly.

this house is the coziest it's ever been. 
it feels so happy and so good in here.

i am always amazed at what happens when i put away my expectations 
and just let these boys go free.
tonight turned out to be one of the sweetest/messiest/happiest ever.

just ask charlie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

tis the season:

we pulled the red holiday box out last night.
spent the evening decorating the tree with my boys.
then re-decorating the tree after they'd gone to bed. 
as soon as the lights go on - the magic begins.
wintersong in my ears. 
candy cane hot cocoa in my cup.
this year:
yarn pom garland.
navy blue + pumpkin orange.
and glitter. the gold kind.
on my wish list:

tell me - what are you wishing for?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

full heart.

late nights. date nights. a sliver moon. felicity re-runs. leftover broccoli + potato soup. dried craspedia. eames knock-off's. empty calendar days. five year old how-do-you-spell-it's. saying hello! crisp clean sheets. hot showers.  argyle socks. love note texts. baby wrists. red starbuck's cups. old friends. old sweatshirts. warm cookies. earlybird on insta. the mini van. peace signs. andrey. lucas. gavin. charlie. peppermint in winter. peach in spring. yellow. sharp pencils.that song. on repeat. worn-out chucks. legos. everywhere.  dog-earred book corners. trusting my gut. following my heart. 
oh... and pumpkin pie.

happy thanksgiving, you.
love, lin

Sunday, November 20, 2011

sunday quiet.

am grateful for:
three squeaky clean boy-lies. this morning. 
the ride home from church - a mini full of handsome ones.  that belong to me. 
a loooong sunday afternoon nap. in my bed. 
sweats. the ugliest and most comfy ones.
the sunday quiet. to hear my heart.

am listening.

and you?

Monday, November 14, 2011

morning song.

this is wake up: round two.
it met us with a little sun.
charlie started singing early today.
he was singing to the moon. that early.
lucas made them both a bowl of honey nuts.
charlie nursed + played + sang some more.
...then squealed to be put back to bed.
me? i found my way back under the covers and cozied up with gavin.
he'd slept through all of round one.

okay. okay.
we'll get up today...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the tiny common things

i've been thinking a lot about the art of being happy.
trying to pay attention to the tiny common things that thump my heart. 
i go through phases.
i play favorites.
i am a creature of comfort.

my current happy things:

haribo happy-cola gummi's. 
a bag has happily found it's way into my grocery cart on my last few shopping trips. and it made my day when i snuck a peek into the candy shop at the mall and saw that they had a jar full waiting for me. one scoop or two? two! 

my olive manna lined stamp.
i'd been saving it in my stash. waiting for the perfect something to ink it up with. now i can't stop. letter envelopes, surprise gifts, grocery lists, book plates, treat labels. and it makes me happy every single time. can totally see the beginnings of a rubber stamp obsession.

dixon ticonderoga pencils.
the best kind. i'm sort of a snob about what i write with. writing has to feel good. a super sharp tinconderoga is my current go to. the graphite is so smooth and they're made of real wood so they feel solid. and for some reason i'm all over the 'erasing things' instead of just crossing them off. 

cloth bound penguin classics.
a new collection. a friend gifted me my first and a few months ago i finally snatched up the second on a special night out. they are so pretty. i love that starting a good collection also means that they will each have to find their way to me. i'm going to collect slowly and remember where they each came from. and read them, too! can you believe i've never read a jane austen book? gasp!

Monday, November 7, 2011

right now:

it's cold. 
i have a cold. 
it's dark.
too early.
i'm bored. 
this is so boring.
but the music's good.
and so is the company.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011


third year in a row.
caramel apples with my besties. 
only this this year, i did round two.
we needed MORE!

you'll need:
-apples. pretty round ones. i chose gala's.
-caramel bits. one bag covers five (or so) apples.

-white chocolate chips
-brown sugar
-milk chocolate chips

be sure to wash your apples in hot water. 
this melts the shiny wax off and will help the caramel to stick a little better. 
prepare a cookie sheet with waxed paper sprayed with cooking spray.
i used the double broiler method to melt my sweets. it was easier not to burn them that way.
i'm very good at burning things. 
i dipped the apples in caramel first. then let them cool completely in the fridge while melting my chocolate chips.  
i frosted on the chocolate, (i liked that look better than the dipping method) sprinkled on the toppings, then back to the fridge for more chilling. 
the funnest part? packaging them up. 
-black grosgrain ribbon
-manila tags - initialed.
and then delivered!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

one birthday.

charlie grey turns one! 

photos by: danyelle mathews + kristin andelin + me. 
custom cake toppers by: roxana barrus for roxy marj

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the circle game.

on this day last year:
my belly was big. and tight.
my mommy was here - baking a baby-be-born-soon pie.
there were cranberries. 
and a crumbly topping.
crisp apples.
 and lot's and lot's of love.
we tucked ourselves in for the night
...and then there was a babe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

right now:

this is very quickly becoming my favorite time of the day. 
my time. 

am loving:
 ryan adamswithout the cardinals. 
it's like finding a long lost friend. 
mmmm. missed that voice.
and it's full of A-plus-L-equals-true-love dancing songs.

am loving:
cath's new space
can't wait for her to fill it with new words. 
and loved the one-in-the-morn phone calls until we got it right. 

am loving:
my husband back to building houses. and not apartments. 
we can breathe again.
and he comes home happy from a day spent doing work that he really truly loves. 
that is so lucky.

am loving:
the peaceful light.
the lamp on at eight o'clock in the evening.
the curtains drawn.
my favorite part of these few cozy months.

am loving:
feeding my family. good food.
food from my own stovetop. 
from my own warm oven.
and discovering that i can. 

we call these russian donuts 'round here.
only andrey actually says something like donuts in russian.
he says they're just like some sweet little pastries that his mom used to make.
...and he'd hide them in his pockets.
i've been stuffing my own boys' bellies up with them. 
hoping that they'll remember them too, someday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

this kind of day.

it's raining outside. 
it was a downpour - now it's just a drizzle. 
and it doesn't smell like pretty rain - it smells like worms. 
and the sky is gray. 
this is not the good kind.
 it matches my mood. 
i woke up in one. 
and since it's raining - i can't escape the laundry pile.
not helping.

the only cure for this - is adventure.
and finding a good song to match. 
it's gonna be iron + wine. from around the well. i'm pretty sure.
and it's a good thing i've got the cutest plaid umbrella,
this side of the blue bridge.
'cause me and those gavi feets - we're going out. 
cath, get those rain boots on the big brown truck and headed this way. stat!

Friday, October 7, 2011

for sippin' pumpkin steamers on:

i'm still awake.
12:37 a.m.
tryin' to convince myself into (or is it out of) those pillows.
and that rug. 
to change it up around here for the seasons.
only i can't find any curtain panels.
or i'd have clicked 'buy' and gone to bed a loooong time ago. 
help me?

Monday, October 3, 2011

little fox. eleven months.

we went through a long list of names before settling on charlie. 
and an even longer one before we came to charlie grey. 
he was almost harper. 
we rolled the two around in our hearts for days after he was born. 
said them both out-loud. over and over and over again. 
in the end - the decision was mine. 
i played it this way:
if he was charlie - would i miss harper? 
if he was harper - would i miss charlie? 
i missed charlie more. 
i had a dream about a red fox when this little bub was growing in my belly. 
and every time i imagined him after that, i pictured his sly foxy totem. 
his almost middle names: true, red, fox, wild or blue. 
decided on: grey. because of the gray morning rain on the day he was born. 
and well... because it just sounded so. very. handsome. 
i should have gone with fox. or wild. or red. 
his dark baby hair has slowly faded to strawberry. here to stay.
this boy has a wild heart. and i knew it all along. 
it thumped his wild heart message to me while i dreamt and he grew.
this little red fox of mine. 

wild fox photo by Dave AC

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

five gratefuls:

am grateful for:
the crisp fall air that stayed all day. it's here.
the GIANT salmon caught this morning. on my plate this evening. 
the naive confidence of a four year old painter. creating perfection.
country songs. lately.
and ryan gosling. ridiculously good looking.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

found + familiar

i am finally feeling the fog of pregnancy-and-birthing-and-growing-babies lift with the change of the seasons. am tossing around thoughts of weaning my little nursling bundle. 
it's been nearly four years. four years since i've had myself to myself.  
with the lift of the haze comes the surge of creative energy. i feel like doing and making. which is so strange because only a few months ago i'd sworn off nearly everything creative and made plans to pack it all away. 
explain that to me someone? 
i am anxious to see what i'll do next. i feel the excitement in my thumping heart. the get-busy in my hands. have explored through old boxes of me piled in the garage to see how i've channeled this energy in years before. 

i found:
mixed tapes. 
love letters. 

things i'd forgotten i'd known how to do.
think i still can? think i still can. 
i'm going to need some good music to do it with. 

we started our get creative today. lucas has wishing and hoping that i would give him a spare hour or two to get out this printer's kit. we found it at a used toy store downtown. it's the same kit my brother and i had when we were the kids. the same yellow rubber stamps. the same bottle of blue ink. 
isn't it the strangest thing when your brain recognizes something so familiar. 

we made a comic strip. ROgERS SPY MYSTERY - with a little g on purpose. because little g's just look so awesome! lucas has the gift of creating. an eye for the good stuff.  just like me. and my brother jeffrey. and my cath-mom. and my grandpa dan. it excites him and calms him all at the same time.  we spent the entire afternoon with our printer's kit. until we were nearly up to our elbows in blue ink. and maybe even a little on the tip of gavi's nose, too. gavin loved counting the letter stamps. lining them up and then reminding us over and over again, that those is NOT green ones! 

i miss the mess. andrey said to me the other day. 
your fabrics and projects all over the place. 
your music turned up loud. 
you lost in something you love. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

this week:

i love when i have a calendar full of the best things to look forward to. 
makes for a much happier monday morning. and i'm about to fill up yours, too...
this tuesday you'll find me out on the columbia river soaking in the sweet sounds of the beautiful sarah sample and her guitar. marilyn is doing her very best to bring good music to the tri-cities and this show is sure to send me home happy and anxious for the next. i'm leaving the babes home with andrey and a pizza, so that i can enjoy the evening. i'll be out under the sliver of moon, singin' born to fly. wanna come? let's go together. get your ticket here. hurry!

and thank you to my dear friend, marilyn for trusting my art/heart. the time spent designing this poster for the show was a much needed creative purge. i loved it.

i'm going to make gavi a quilt.
for his own space. 
this dandee post and that quilt got stuck in my brains 
and i've got a pinterest board full of inspiration.
...that's as far as i've gotten. 
kristin has her colors picked, but no plan.
solution: girl's night. my house. with experts on hand. 
this thursday. please come! 
email me if you need directions.
happy monday, friends!
love, lin

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

cathy's song.

we're coming up on a year. i felt it in the moon tonight. a year since my cathy-mom pulled her li'l red coupe into my drive. here to welcome my li'l red charlie fox. while here... she planned to walk across the bridge that connects this town to the next. her camera in hand. she was going to catch a beauty shot of that harvest moon. and she did. 
i'm not sure what she thought about as she walked. i'm not sure what mr. moon told her that night. what i do know is that he bathed her in a light. the same light that would guide my boy to me only a few nights later. the same brave light that she would sleep under during african nights in weeks to follow. the same light that would carry her briana away only a few months after that. and the same light that would wrap her up every night since.
am missing my mother.
while visiting larson house this summer, i found myself in her office, among her things one afternoon while she was out. it is one of my most favorite places on the entire planet. charlie rolled around on her bright red rug while i was soaking her in. overwhelmed at how thoughtfully found and carefully placed every little thing was. i saw her. i saw pieces of everyone she loves among her things. i grabbed my camera and i couldn't stop.
i wondered if you could say the same about me. would you find meaning and love among my things? if you visited my space would you find warmth and comfort in the evidence left behind by me?
there is something so sacred about being in someone else's space when they aren't there. i felt lucky in my connection to her. that this beautiful heart of a woman was my mother.

when briana died i wondered about her things. her purse. her keys. her pillow. her tea mugs. they were just things. things she couldn't take with her. things she'd left behind. but i couldn't move passed them. those were the thoughts that would wake up with me in the middle of the night. those first nights. 
those same thoughts consumed me while i snapped away with my camera in my mom's office that afternoon. i wanted to catch things exactly as my mother had left them. so i could go back and see them the way that she sees them.
i snapped this photo a few days later while coming down from upstairs. music playing. lamp light on. majestic-dog tucked under foot. 

am wishing she was tucked in her room over here tonight. 
just like last year. 
am wishing to wake up to her tomorrow morn.

in my ears: kathy's song. simon + garfunkel. covered by eva cassidy.