Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On this rainy, blustery November morning...

I have an announcement to make!

And for some reason that made me think of the scene in White Christmas when Danny Kay's character said, "I have an announcement...AN announcement and I want you all to be the first to know!"

But I digress...

When I created this blog a few years ago, it was because I had the wild and crazy notion of starting a business to go along with it. Then I went back to school and the business went by the wayside. No worries. There will always be time for creating businesses.

School is almost complete...at least this chapter of university...and I'm looking forward to a respite of about eight months (possibly more) between this coming April and whenever I start graduate school. Perhaps during that down time I'll get around to that business :)

HOWEVER, I tried breathing life into the blog AGAIN and it is just too much for me right now. I've been blogging at my other blog Widdershins and Skeleton Keys and attempting to set up some semblance of order over there. While doing so, I've realized that both of my blogs, Sagewood and Widdershins, have the same spirit behind them: quirky stories and my equally quirky life. And so...I'm combining them.

Please, please join me over at Widdershins. I know a couple of you already do. I don't want to lose a single one of you! I know I've started and stopped this blog more times than I care to acknowledge, but it is for the best that I combine my blogs and begin writing true to myself at one place.

I've tried for too long to separate myself into several different blogs and I realized this weekend that I am who I am and my writing is what it is! I'm not going to hide some aspects from one group of readers and reveal others to another group. I love all my readers and value each and every comment and opinion! It just makes sense to combine the two.

SO!! Without further ado, DO click HERE or on one of the other links and visit Widdershins and Skeleton Keys. One blog, one home. Don't give up on me, my dear blog friends! Follow over at W&SK. I look forward to seeing your lovely faces there! And don't worry! The content from Sagewood will begin to make an appearance over at Widdershins. I'm looking forward to creating an amalgam of the two and I want to see you all there!

With much love,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Country Living Fair 2012

Hello intrepid readers!

I apologize for being gone for so long! If you follow my other blog (and I do hope you will wander over and do so), you'll  know that I've been swamped with finals and papers and all manner of school related insanity!

There are a few new faces here and I want to welcome you all to The Manor! Thank you so much for coming by, commenting, and a big THANK YOU to Ms. Sparrow for introducing me to some wonderful people. I promise to stop by your lovely blog homes soon! Forgive the delay.

Now then:

This weekend, I went to my first ever Country Living Fair* at Stone Mountain Park. WOW. That pretty much sums it up! It was blustery and chilly and oh so perfect for rambling amongst the pine trees and gathering inspiration like so many fallen leaves. I came home with an arm load of pretties and a brain filled to overflowing with ideas and creative ruminations.

There are three Country Living Fairs every year, hosted by various parks and states throughout the country. Country Living Magazine is the mastermind of these lovely festivals and I would encourage all of you to seek one out closest to you next year. It's well worth the price of admission (which, to be honest, isn't bad at all!).

There was so much to look at I understand why they have the fair for three days. This was the first festival I've ever gone to that was filled with booths of items that I adore! Most festivals in the South tend to carry the same items and, unfortunately, they are a far cry from the arts and crafts that I do and enjoy. But Country Living delivered and I'm planning some mad crafting over the next few weeks!

Stay tuned because I plan to blog more often and all those mad crafting ideas will be posted here for your enjoyment. And speaking of enjoyment, here are a few more photos from the fair! Enjoy!

Appropriate for Halloween, don't you think?
I feel a short story coming on...

I think this poor witch got more "trick" than "treat"!

So THAT'S what they're calling it now!

 We bought the tickets for my Mom's birthday; 
I figured it was appropriate to post a picture of her here.
(shhhh, just don't tell her! It'll be more fun if she finds out when she reads the post.)

Have a marvelous day, dear readers! I hope you have all been well. I promise to wander by just as soon as I figure out my two NEW classes which start today! Whew! Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to my break in December?

Jen xo

*there is a video that begins to play once you click this link. ugh. sorry! after the first ad you can pause it and avoid any further interruption.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

British Country Living

I have a confession to make.

I am addicted to all things British.

How it happened, I can't say; I think it had something to do with the accent. No matter. Slap the word "British" on something and I'll more than likely take it home with me.

Such is the case with the British edition of Country Living magazine.

My mom always read Country Living. Copies could be found in just about every room of the house. The house itself was a testament to my parents' love of the simple life, of making a house a home, and of doing what you could with what you had and making it beautiful. Country Living was, back then, a bit too country for my liking. A bit too rustic. Not my cup of tea.

It was probably back in 2000 when I first stumbled across a copy of the British edition of this familiar magazine title. In fact, I still have a copy from 2000. It's from October (my favorite month) and it's stacked up with all the rest of my vast and every growing collection. I can remember not really paying attention to where it came from, just that I loved it, devoured it, every page filled with a new discovery of gorgeous.

Why was THIS country living different from the American version? Off and on, until 2005, I would get glimpses of the British Country Living (or as I affectionately began calling it, BCL). In 2005 I finally found a newstand that carried it and my collection began. It towers, yet I cannot get rid of a single copy. I put out stacks of them, each month, a stack of the past leading up to the present. I never tire of looking through them, never fail to get inspired from their pages.

So, what IS it about the British edition? I honestly don't know. Maybe it's the gorgeous photographs, the sprawling cottage gardens, the recipes that have to be converted, the small holders and entrepreneurs. Perhaps it's the fact that I can indulge in a trip to the Cotswolds in one issue, Provence in another. Europe has always held a particular fascination for me; Great Britain was the home of my ancestors on BOTH sides of my family tree. This, of course, may have something to do with my leaning towards the British way of life.

I suspect it's a bit of all of the above. That and the peace I get from the pages. There's nothing rushed about this magazine. While I read the American version of Country Living (and enjoy it!), there's still something about the British edition that speaks to me. Volumes. It's more of an experience, less of an Ad parade, and deeply touching in that most inner part of my soul that craves "home".

If you've never picked up a copy of this magazine, go out on a treasure hunt. I know here in metro Atlanta, Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million both carry it. It's pricier than it's American cousin ($7.99) but worth every penny!

Current Issue Cover:

Do keep in mind, because this is a foreign magazine, you won't get the next month's copy in advance as we do here in the states. The September issue wasn't available until about the second week of the month. The October issue will more than likely be the same in getting here. Trust me; it's worth the wait!


Have you ever read the British edition of Country Living? What are some of your favorite magazines? In love with all things British?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

books glorious books!

Do you ever find yourself surrounded by too much of a good thing? Yeah, me either. Take my books for example. I have a ton of them. Not as many as I'd like, mind you, but enough to make people do a double take when they first visit.

When we moved, we took the two old bookshelves that I've had since before I moved out of my parents house (read: OOOOOOOLD bookshelves) and retired them to the laundry room for storage. Huzzah! No more old, metal shelves for my precious paper and ink babies. Problem: no shelves for said babies! My books are now piled in the bonus room waiting for shelving to find their way to us:

Did I mention that I have a *few* books in my collection?

It does make for some brilliant fun when I have a hankering to read something specific or I need to look something up. Into the pile I go, head first, with instructions to the husband and the cat on what to do if I don't return in half an hour. "Just stick flowers on the tallest pile," I tell them. It's a fitting memorial to a book lover such as myself.

One of our local bookstores is closing after ten years. Thankfully, the owners are merely retiring and NOT going out of business due to lack of interest in physical books. We've visited more than we should have in the past week but have brought home quite a collection of new lovelies for the collection:

PS: this is the SECOND box-full we brought home! Yikes!

The goal is to turn some of these into something other than just another tome to sit upon a non-existent shelf. Stay tuned for those projects! I've already got one in progress and I'm excited to share with you the end result!

Happy Thursday to you all! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

findings: just a little thought for a rainy tuesday morning

I honestly couldn't tell you where we found it. A yard sale, perhaps, or a thrift store. But it followed us home and sat patiently in a box for a couple of years before I thought of a use for it. The initial thought was to re-purpose it and sell it. Yesterday, however, I was feeling the need to make our house feel more like a home and this little piece of whimsy came to the rescue:

The photo doesn't do it justice, but it's the best I could do. The chandelier itself is about a foot and a half in diameter. It's made to hold candles and I had considered hanging it over the breakfast table. Instead, it now sits upon the breakfast table, complete with mismatched candles and a little cement bird. I sat up late last night with the candles lit, sipping tea at the table, and enjoying the warmth four little candles can give.

It just goes to show that what you need to feel at home may not be out there waiting for you to find or buy or grab; it may be in a box, in a storage room, covered in dust and waiting to be uncovered and given new life!

Go on, comb through those attics and basements and closets. See what YOU can find to breathe new life into an old breakfast table!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

too many peppers, the phantom, and a fan of eggplant i am not

THIS is what my bell pepper plant has looked like all season long! Filled to over flowing with lovely green peppers. Sadly, before they get large enough to pick, they start turning black on the underside. Anyone have any ideas as to what that's all about? Oh, and the plant itself shot up like a little tree and stands about three feet tall! It's a bonsai pepper plant without my even having to trim it. Strange plant all around...

On to eggplant. I've tried it fried. I've tried it under a red sauce drowning in Parmesan cheese. The night before last I battered it with eggs and bread crumbs and baked it. I am, without a doubt, NOT a fan. I've tried, honestly I have, but for some reason, there's just something about the texture and the taste that makes my stomach look up at me and shout, "Hey! YOU! No more eggplant, 'kay? How about some chocolate?"

In other, more interesting news, I'm reading Gaston Leroux's "The Phantom of the Opera" for the first time. I've seen the theatrical production several times and even enjoyed the new movie version with Gerard Butler. Until now, however, I have never read the story that started it all. And already I am inspired to create my own tale of phantoms and unrequited love. Oh and murder. Gotta have murder!

Any of you read The Phantom? What about eggplants? Got any recipes that may change my mind? And if you do know what's going on with those stubborn bonsai peppers, don't hesitate to speak up. I'm tired of using them for bird food!

Happy Tuesday,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Manor Returns

Fall is hovering at the doorstep and the desire to recreate the Manor is overwhelming. I've missed the Manor. I've missed the conversations by the fire, rummaging with you through the attic, wandering the edge of the Fairy Wood and telling ghost stories by the firelight.

 How have you been? Seriously, I want to know. Over the next few weeks, I'll be reviving the Manor and I want you to be a part of it. What would you like to hear? See? Know? Ask and I shall, within reason, tell. 

Bear with me as I open the windows and air out the rooms. The garden needs weeding, the windows need washing, the floors need polishing. The pictures need to be straightened and the kitchen needs an overhaul.

Come along and enjoy the renovation. I look forward to sharing it all with you.

 All the best!
Jen, the Lady of the Manor