I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

On a Summer Afternoon…

Hello sweet friends! It’s mid-afternoon as I’m writing this. The birds seem to be weighed down with the heat and their singing has become a bit feeble. Even the bugs seem to be crawling more slowly in this weather (except for the mosquitoes – this is their paradise as we all know). Rusty and I are in the backyard taking refuge in the shade under our tree. Rusty’s lying in the grass and I’m sitting at a table on a new makeshift patio Paul and I have slowly been putting together over the last few weeks. We laid dirt over the stones today and I sprinkled a bunch of flowering seeds in between the cracks. We’ll see what happens – perhaps by August there’ll be some blue buds popping in and out of the cobblestones, brightening up this shady corner.

Before laying the dirt.
Close-up before dirt.
Where I’m sitting right now. Plants will soon surround me.

I was out here this morning, too. I made a cup of coffee, took my diary and pen, and (before the dirt was laid) sat at the patio. But, before I could make my way across the yard, I noticed we had visitors. Magic is afoot!

Aren’t they darling? They were taking tiny nibbles out of my roses’s leaves – I didn’t mind. They were so cute. I watched them for as long as they let me, and then they scurried off. Instead of only two, there was actually three of them! (Flopsy, Mopsy, & Cottontail, perhaps?) I think I know who’s been taking strawberries out of our garden and leaving them half-eaten on the pavement…

Speaking of strawberries, we have so many and they’re taking over half of the garden (as I knew they would). I wasn’t planning on trying to contain them, but today we brought a beautiful peachy colored foxglove home and it’s already about 3 feet tall – it’s gorgeous! So, much like eating when my eyes are bigger than my stomach, I purchased with eyes bigger than my actual garden. Thus the strawberry patch got a little smaller today to make room for the new peach addition. I think next year I’ll have to begin the process of making the garden larger. :)

Next year, I’ll also be adding to the backyard patio. I have many visions and they all resemble some sort of secret garden. It’s shade and I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea what to do with a shade garden. Next year will be all about experimenting and making mistakes, I’m sure.

I’ve been sneaking minutes of play time while at work to continue making the 2020 calendar. I’ve just finished February (Italy) and January (China) and am going to begin either March (New Orleans) or December (Scandinavia or Alaska – still have yet to decide. I welcome your input in the comments!) It’s coming together slowly, but I’m confident I can get it done before August. I will keep you posted when they’re sent off to the printers! :) And this year, I’m going with thicker paper – I’ve noticed that when I write on a page it sometimes will make light marks on the following page. Not cool.

Earlier this year I had ideas of setting myself up at craft fairs around the Cities and selling the calendar and other things, like wall decor, maybe tote bags, etc. But, I’m beginning to think it’s not going to work this year. I just don’t have the time to make a wide variety of things to show and I think I’d look a little silly with just a stack of calendars to offer to people. So, I’ll be hitting the small shops and boutiques and gift stores. Word-of-mouth is huge (just like it was in wedding photography) so if you know of a friend who might like what I do, I would very much love it if you sent them to my shop. :) And if you know of any shops that would be a good fit for the calendar, let me know! I’m always looking for shops that support local artists and I can always use an extra hand. :)

I finally signed up for my first yoga class a couple months ago and within the first ten minutes of class, I thought why had I not been doing this my whole life? It has been incredible for my mind and heart, as cheesy as that sounds. I love my teacher. She is so peaceful and her voice is so soothing. After each class I feel as if I’ve just woken up from a wonderful relaxing dream. I was very anxious before going to class. I had high hopes for a class that wouldn’t be pushy, cliquey, too much of a workout…I wanted something to help with mind clarity. I wanted something along the lines of meditation. I didn’t want to break a sweat. I wanted to become more at peace with myself and I wanted my mind to stop running a mile a minute. Her next series starts next week and I just can’t wait to be back. I feel much more me when I’m there. (Like being at the ocean, remember?)

Tomorrow we’re having some friends over for lunch. We haven’t hosted anyone in awhile so I’m excited to have a reason to deep clean the house – even the basement – and make a homemade meal. We’ve been eating a lot of frozen foods because of our work schedules never lining up, so whenever we have the opportunity to make a meal, it’s a treat. Tonight I’ll make the meatballs and garlic bread, tomorrow the pasta bake and cookies. Since it’s a meal reminiscent of Christmas, perhaps we’ll celebrate a little Christmas in July. Why not? :)

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July and are enjoying the summer. Tell me what you’ve been up to – leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I love to hear from you. Thank you always for showing up to my blog – you make this 7 1/2-year-old website still have some life in it. :)

Talk to you soon, dear friends. xoxoxo

– Virginia Woolf
  1. Pamela Welter says:

    Happy August!
    I absolutely love your calendar. Your paintings are beautiful for each month and the special days you highlight on the calendar are really fun! I’m delighted to hear that you are doing another one!
    Enjoy this last month of summer and keep creating and living your dreams.

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Pam! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! :) I’m so glad you enjoyed my very first calendar – I’m hoping Main Street Floral will carry it again this year. :) You made my day with your sweet words. Thank you so much and enjoy the last month of summer as well. :) xoxo

  2. Melanie says:

    those rabbits are just darling!! What a “Beatrix Potter” moment! Your calendar and artwork is stunning and you should be famous darling!

    Can’t wait to see next year’s shade garden!

    So glad your life is contented right now and you don’t have time to “overthink.” I love that! and keep up the yoga especially if it reminds you of the ocean!

    My newest idea is to go on Instagram only on Fridays and delete the app in between so I’m not tempted to go on it. I even wrote in on my calendar! Trying ever so hard to find that “happy” balance; I will conquer! and see you next Friday :)

    • Nikki says:

      Dearest Melanie! Thank you for visiting my blog! Yes! It truly was a little Beatrix Potter moment and I loved every minute of it. :) I felt so special that it just sat there so close to me. Magic.

      I’ll be writing you a long email soon with all of life’s updates. Sending hugs and love your way. xoxo dear friend.

  3. Andrew Mettayer says:

    Love that patio area you are making. We didn’t get to catch up over the 4th like I had hoped so maybe another get-together sooner than later…

    • Nikki says:

      You’re too kind, Andy. Thank you for visiting my blog. :) Yes! Richie comes home in October and I’m hoping to put something together then. See you at Gina’s hopefully! :)

  4. Kristin Diller says:

    We are so excited to see you guys! It’s been so long and I am so excited for next year’s calendar! Love you:):):)