Camera, Banjo, Fiddle-The Troll & The Maidens

From the Camera, Banjo, Fiddle photo series.

Once upon a time, two brown haired maidens set out from their home at the edge of the meadow to explore the woods beyond, ignoring warnings from the townfolk to beware the evil troll who dwelleth there...

The girls were young and adventuresome and, in fact, the stone bridge they had been told to avoid was their very destination, for underneath it flowed sacred water believed to ensure goodness of heart, vitality, and everlasting life to all who called upon it. And they wanted these things.

And so the girls gazed intently into the distance and began to concentrate on conjuring the qualities the water was purported to impart, for they knew that they must work to cultivate those things in themselves before they could ask the water to bless them.

But suddenly the air shifted, and the girls realized that something was wrong.

Where once there had been only the serene sound of the magical water flowing beneath the stone there now grew a terrible rumbling, and the girls looked down and realized in an instant that the legends were true- and that the troll had come to undo the very magic they were trying so earnestly and faithfully to do.

He tried to break their concentration and ruin their lovely afternoon, the scoundrel!

There was a moment in which the maidens thought that all was lost, and that their attempts at immortality had backfired so severely that they were sure to lose their lives that very day.

But they kept their wits about them, kicked that old troll in the face, and ran off through the woods to take photographs of one another instead, knowing that the water had heard their calls after all and that they were free to live the rest of their everlasting lives romping around the woods in their favorite vintage nighties.

And they felt the gaze of the Faery Queen looking down at them from her tower, and knew that many good things and beautiful frocks would come their way as they explored the forest and the wide world for all of eternity.

And mostly they felt no fear, until they came upon a little house dug into the hillside which they knew must belong to the old troll himself.

They took precautions to ensure that the troll, if he had been able to drag his wounded and bleeding self from beneath the bridge and make it home, did not detect their presence.

And, in fact, once they remembered that they were now endowed with immortality they quickly lost all fear and began to relax...

And have fun!

And when the troll emerged from his home (with an actually quite handsome face, which had healed astonishingly fast!) to apologize for frightening the girls so, they knew they had made a friend and forest ally for life...

and were much pleased...

especially when he offered to play his banjo and carry their clothes back to their home at the edge of the meadow for them.

Photography by Artemas Rex, troll embodied by John Lee Simpson, vintage nighties frolicked in by Ariella Daly & myself.

Welcome To Our Little Cottage In The Woods

[singlepic id=37 w=500 h=350 float=] (Alternatively titled "A Week In The Life Of My Family")

Yay!! I've been so looking forward to sharing the images of our new cottage with the world! My partner Graham built it himself this autumn, and it is on the property of a friend of ours. It is less that 300 square feet- one larger room that serves as living, dining, and bedroom, and one smaller bathroom containing a clawfoot bathtub, laundry baskets and clothing, and a composting toilet. Aside from the toilet and the lack of an internet connection or cell phone reception we have all the luxuries of modern living- hot water, electricity, etc.

It is a few minutes outside of Nevada City, California. We have been living in it for about a month now and are just thrilled with it. As this article points out, living in a small space, even with a young child, is very do-able and has many benefits!

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First off, let me introduce you to Speckles. Speckles spends most of her time on a manzanita branch perch a few feet from the window by our bed. The rest of her time she spends flying directly into said window. She probably is just confused by the reflection, but sometimes I feel as if she has an urgent message for us, or that she is an omen of some sort.

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Now this is a funny little story that could have had a disastrous ending but, thank you stars, didn't. Graham went to our storage unit to get all of our daughter Mycelia Violet's children's books out. There are a lot of them. I read voraciously and am of the mind that you can never have too many books around, so she has hundreds (like me). Now it was late when Graham got home so he left the books in their boxes in the back of our truck overnight. And it rained. But somehow the damage was minimal. We spread all the books out over the floor, turned both space heaters on, and left for a few hours.

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Here we are in the garden of the family from which grew the beautiful musician Mariee Sioux. Graham and Mycelia played outside while Mariee's equally beautiful mother Felicia and I went through her vintage collection. To die for! (A few pieces will be coming into the shop in January).

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Here is some "sugar smoke" from when Graham baked up some *delicious* bay leaf and lemon shortbread yummies for a cookie exchange and clothing swap I attended a few nights ago (where I scored mightily for myself and the shop).

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Bathroom coziness.

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And here's my favorite little corner of the cottage- the clothes rack.

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And the little sprite herself, wearing her favorite vintage shawl.

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The outside is still donning Tyvek Home Wrap and is therefore very un-photogenic at this moment :-)

But you can see the surrounding landscape in many of the photos that are in the shop right now. Just look for green grass and manzanita trees.

Hope you're all as warm and bundled as we are this Winter Solstice!