an april hey

We loved the responses to the March desktop so much, that we decided to make it a monthly thing! Below is the April desktop for you to save to your computer. While March was a transitional month, April is truly the beginning of spring. Buds are blossoming, trees are growing, and grass is stretching awake from after a long winters sleep. Instead of creating a calendar of what to do daily, I thought it would be fun to have a spring list that focused on the organic and natural. Happy (almost) April!




ballet shoes

This post is inspired in part by my own ballet experience. I danced for seven years, pointe for two and a half, and loved it. The thrill, the excitement, the hard work and dedication -- I thrived on the energy. I made the difficult decision to stop last December to pursue my photography, something that I knew was coming and I was confident about, but that was nonetheless bittersweet. The photo is from the 2011 Spring performance and inspired this short story. Enjoy! x - Hannah

"Dance for me," she whispered, and her heart jumped to her throat and echoed in the rom with her words. Bared open and free, she longed to run, but couldn't move, couldn't turn, could just whisper, whisper, whisper. "dance for me." it rolled throughout the empty room and hit the concrete walls and amplified, seeming to mock her, seeming to feel sorry for her, seeming to become louder and louder, all the while whispering. She could feel the touch of the words on her neck. "dance for me?"

She turned and her eyes were ringed with shock and sadness thicker than the bun on her head. "Why?" She asked, and it was more than just a question. It was more than just now, it was all the time, it was all that it had been, and it would continue to be.

"Why? Why now?" They both knew that what they were saying lay deeper than just a request and question. It was the bare bones struggle of years laid open and hearts broken and little girls with dreams who grew up to women warring with each other and their selves. It was the whisper of what had happened and the question of what to do. It was the echo of untold dances. Why. They didn't know, they didn't want to know, they did, the world was a mess and all they could do was ask why, each harboring secrets deeper than the sea and pain fiercer than a lion.

"Because," and the words tasted like chalk in her mouth, they tasted like ashes of all she had worked for. "I don't want to forget." Her voice was vulnerable and her eyes were slapped with regret and wishes and something like a longing so hard that it was consuming her. "please."

It was the please that did it. All at once, she could see her for who she was. Her hair coiled loosely in a bun, hanging as her eyes watched every move hungrily, daring to believe that she had once done them. Tears were what fell from her face and flowed in her blood and she was liquified with a sea of remorse. It all sounds so beautiful in theory, but in reality, it was like being burned up inside, smoke smothering her in waves and waves of memory.

And her heart struggled and her hand slipped and her mask fell and at once, for a moment, they were the two again, talking dreams and dancing in flowers, and laughing at all they could be. It was not this, no, not this, this dark world ringed with a hollowness too deep to touch. It was not this room, not this moment, not the chilling of the stone on bone, not the slow drop of water, leaking from the concrete walls. It was just a word and a wish and an "I'm-sorry" pretending to be a question.

Her heart answered yes. It said, I forgive you, even though she could not admit it. And the tear in her eye said she was sorry. But the dance was all she needed to say so. In one moment, she nodded her head, slowly, and twisted her hand and touched her cheek.

She cried in her chair as she danced and they were just two broken girls clinging for a lifeboat.


eating outdoors

Take the plates out to the patio. Bring the cutlery too, and the napkins, and the water glasses. We will gather barefoot over bowls of good food and we will let the sun warm our shoulders and we will talk. We will most definitely talk.
And our neighbours will be outdoors, the ones on either side and the ones next to them. I can hear them laughing, and I can hear them playing, and I can hear them dancing.
Let's eat outdoors tonight.



double exposure photography

There is something wonderfully magic about double exposures. Scenes that may be ordinary on their own take on an almost dream-like quality, when put together. I am smitten by their whimsicality and delicateness. Typically achieved with a film camera, double exposures consist of taking two photos on the same piece of film. But in case you don't have access to a film camera, here's a quick tutorial to get the same effect digitally.

what you'll need

-a photo editing program such as photoshop or gimp
-two photos that you want to paste together. (it's helpful if they're the same size)

step one

Starting with a blank slate, open up the first photo in your program.

step two

Open up the second photo as an additional layer, then adjust the opacity to your liking.

step three

Save your new double exposure, and that's it! Once you get the hang of it, it literally takes thirty seconds...honestly, the hardest part for me is selecting the photos I want to use.

Have fun!

much love,


the gloomy day guide

Putting up this post was a little strange for me--we're having unseasonably warm weather here right now, and gloomy days are the furthest thing from my mind. But Jana's plan below will definetley be bookmarked for our next stint of overcast and dull English days!

If you live in the Midwest, you can feel my pain with our lovely bipolar weather. One day, we'll have a few inches of snow, the next, you wake up to see the snow melted and it’s raining. I love rainy days; they're so refreshing and on those days I am most inspired. But on those days when the weather is indecisive and gloomy, it's hard not to mope around the house. No rain, no snow, just cloudy days.

Over the past few weeks with such weather, I've made a mental list to get through these days. Here are my 10 tips to gloomy days.

1) drink hot cocoa, tea, coffee. whichever hot drink is your forte. drink it from your favorite mug and maybe sneak a sweet snack.
2) read, read, read. I love reading books and I've found on these days, Frank Peretti is a favorite for me.
3) make a rainy-day play list. (I have yet to do this, but Spotify is calling my name)
4) phone calls and skype. Something that can surely brighten my day, is a call or skype with my best friend.
5) take pictures. I know the lighting may not be the best on these gloomy, cloudy days. but if you're anything like me, photographing puts me in a good mood.
6) watch a movie. last week, on a gloomy afternoon, I made my brothers watch Letters to Juliet with me. it was fantastic.
7) bake + cook. baking cookies, breads, or even helping mom fix super is a favorite for me on these days.
8) rearrange your room. I love organizing my closet or simply adding to my wall of pictures, clippings, and other souvenirs. looking at that wall in my room always brightens my day.
9) blogging. Write a new post and discover new bloggers. An idea I might have to steal soon, is having a page or list of your daily reads. It's a great way to give your blogging friends a few extra views and to help other bloggers discover your favorite blogs.
10) hang out with your family. nothing can brighten my day like a good laugh with my brothers.



mid-season style.

shirt : gifted (I believe from Kohls) // jeans : Kohls // shoes : Payless

We've been enjoying warm weather lately, and have even had a few days even into the seventies. It's been nice enough to even wear flats without my toes freezing. The other day, I pulled out my peep-toed wedges and my favorite pair of skinnies. When it's hot and sunny, I like to simplify -- less accessorizing and more single layered pieces. Since it was in the mid-fifties to sixties, it wasn't warm enough to justify shorts, so I grabbed my favorite jeans. Paired with a flowy (my own word, thankyouverymuch) floral top, I wiggled into my wedges to complete the look. What can I say? I'm itching for summer.



the boy with piano

One of our lovely readers, Abby, sent us a short piece of writing. This sweet story is actually a true event that happened to her a few weeks back. What a incredible thing to happen.

I flopped down on the couch, and let a sigh escape from my lips. I was at a fancy department store, and I was bored. My mom had brought me here because she was hunting for some new shoes to replace her current pair. I had wandered over to where the evening gowns were displayed, thinking to myself that it would be fun to pass the time by hunting for a prom dress. But no such luck. Everything available was fluffy, pink, and covered in sparkles. (Though I have nothing against sparkles and rosier hues, the whole glitter covered cotton candy look is not something that appeals to me.)

So there I was, sitting all alone in the middle of a store that simply oozed class and elegance. I mean, there was a grand piano not twenty feet away from me! I looked down at my simple sweater, jeans, and boots. I was way out of my league.

Uncomfortable, I sat up straight and looked around for something else to focus on. At that moment, three teenagers walked up, two boys and one girl. It looked like the younger boy (who appeared to be about 17,) was tagging along on his older brother’s date. The trio stopped in front of the glossy black piano, and the couple shoved the younger boy towards it. The boy glanced around to see if anyone was watching. His eyes landed on me, but he quickly looked away and took a seat at the piano bench.

He ran a hand through his tousled brown hair, and took a deep breath. Stroking the keys softly, he gently coaxed the first few notes of Adele’s “One and Only” from the instrument. It sounded soft and cautious – you could definitely tell he was nervous. His fingers faltered, and the music stopped abruptly. Blushing, he glanced up from the piano, and for one brief moment, our gazes held.

The older boy said something to him, and whatever spell had been cast was broken. He picked up where he had left off, his fingers flying. As the song progressed, he gained confidence, and the melody began to fill the air. I hummed along, enjoying my almost private concert.

Near the end of the song, my mom came to get me. By this time a small crowd had gathered, and people watched in awe as this very normal looking teenaged boy charmed a beautiful love song out of the piano. As the final gentle note ended, applause broke out. The boy seemed embarrassed by this, and stared at the piano keys, avoiding looking anyone in the eye. I pushed through the crowd, heading towards the exit. As I brushed by him, he looked up at me, a blush spreading across his cheeks to the tips of his ears. He half grinned at me, and I smiled back at him, feeling the color rush into my own face.

I stepped out into the cold March night, a light snow dusting my hair and eyelashes. As the doors swung shut, I heard the strains of “Turning Tables” echo throughout the department store. A smile danced on my lips, and I knew at that moment that I would never forget the boy with the piano.


afternoon tea

I thrive on traditions. They're roots to my past and promises for what will come. Things like how we make pac men out of cranberry slices on Thanksgiving dinner, and why we always have to sing along to a certain song, and how we go up to the lake every year. Traditions from the simple to the complex, the sentimental to the silly, all still sweet because they're years of memories wrapped up in threads of the past, tied to the fabric of my life. One of those is our afternoon tea. Over the past year or so, we've been tea drinkers -- sometimes I feel as if a hot steaming cup of white chai is better than a cup of black coffee. (I know, I know...maybe it's because I've secretly wished I was British?) When the tea kettle starts whistling and the fragrant smell of chai or passionfruit fills the air, we all pull out our mugs and sip the sweet drink slowly. Perhaps I'm a bit sappy, but it's one of my favorite things in the day.

Do you have any traditions?



moustache stamp

Today's post is written by Fernweh reader Charity, a pretty crafty gal! Leave her some love in the comments. If you're interested in submitting a guest post, find out more here.
I know that everybody likes moustaches. No idea why. Maybe because they're just something unique and stylish?
But that is neither here nor there. So back to my point, I decided to make a tutorial on how to make moustache stamps in a few easy steps. I enjoy using them to decorate cards, notebooks, small burlap sacks and other little oddities.

-eraser {white}
-small knife, blade {etc}

STEP 1: Draw the exact shape or style of moustache you want right onto the eraser. You may want to practise on paper first.

STEP 2: Now get your small knife {I just used a pocket knife}and define the lines of your 'tache. Cut in as deep as you want it to be.

STEP 3: Next, scrape away all extra eraser, digging from underneath what you outlined and pushing it out. Now your stamp will be raised above the base.

STEP 4: Get out some ink, any colour will work depending on your choice {or what you want to use it for}. The more ink, the more filled in the stamp of the moustache will be. I use a Color box /pinwheel for my stamping. 

STEP 5: Now stamp. You can stamp cards, bookmarks, notebooks, cloth bags, and numerous other items.
And voila, you have your very own, handmade moustache stamp and at a lovely price.

Now go out there and give it a shot. 

Thanks Charity!

a different part of california.

I've been to California numerous times to visit family, but usually my trips have been restricted to the more northern parts of the state. Last week, though, I ventured into the infamous metropolis that is Los Angeles.

It was, in a word, huge. I've said before that I'm a city girl, but this almost made me rethink that. If this is a real city, maybe I'm just more of a smaller urban environment girl. I like the variety and all the things to do, but it just felt a bit overwhelming at times, and it took forever to get from one place to another, giving me a whole new perspective on traffic. There were so many people and cars! But, who am I to complain? All of that aside, I greatly enjoyed my time in the city. I saw loads of art + architecture, went shopping (always a plus!), and ate a lot of great food. I got to see lots of things I'd only heard about or seen in movies or on TV. Oh, and I took some pictures.



i love home

As the weather gets warmer, my fernweh intensifies. I want to be anywhere but my sleepy village--NYC sounds good, or maybe at Abbey's lake, or even the seaside in this country.  But for now, I'm here. And that's something I have to accept.
There are moments when I love this place, and I try to remember those reasons when I end up wishing I was elsewhere. I love how my cat curls up on my lap whilst I type, and the pearly light that comes from overcast days, and when my grandparents can drop in for coffee because they live close by.
The nearest town to me is very popular with tourists, and this year I'm making an effort to do some of that touristy stuff. Open top buses and free museums and ice cream in the park. These are the things I need to remember about the place I live. Focusing on why people want to visit here in the first place makes me a bit happier about having spent fourteen years here. The three photos at the top of this piece are just nuggets from the last week of why I liked living here. No--why I love living here.
Tell me--what do you love about your hometown?




These moments are for quiet and for hush. For sitting and drinking tea and watching the world from your window. For feeling the peace of the weekend that comes before the storm of a Monday. As the mug warms my hands and the sun shines onto the flooring, there is a moment of silence.

I have a feeling this might just become a Sunday ritual. Finding the space and the time to just sit--this needs to be done intentionally and often. 


signs of spring

The skies are pearly grey and heavy with clouds and the temperatures are far from tropical, but I can feel the soil shifting under my feet. We're moving into spring in a slow but sure way, with flower buds and blossom on trees and lingering light. The signs of spring are all around me. I can feel it when I stand on the lawn--a whisper of the coming change in seasons.



heart songs.

We pulled into the parking lot right as the song started playing, and our hands collided when we both tried to turn up the volume. It's the type of song where you drive around the block one more time, or you sit in the driveway or parking lot, just to listen to it. I have a theory: songs on the radio sound better than they do anywhere else. You can't rewind and listen to them over and over, and there's something special about knowing that those songs are heard by hundreds of other people as you're listening to them.

When that first song started playing in the parking lot, he sighed and turned to me. "This is a heart song," he said. Songs like that bring back an immediate rush of memories.

Wherever You Will Go, by the Calling, is one of those songs. It plays at the end of the video tape version of the Stanley Cup- the year that the Colorado Aves won. I can't count how many times I've watched their victory, scoring that goal over and over through our old VCR player. It brings back memories of living in Colorado as a little girl, where hockey is the kind of sport that matters. It makes me nostalgic for a place that I haven't missed in a long time.

Whenever I heard 100 Years, by Five for Fighting, I'm back in the bottom bunk of my small, ground floor bedroom, in Amman, trying not to cry on that first night away from home. I flipped through the songs on my dad's iPhone until I found this one, and it was on repeat until I fell asleep. I listened to that song countless times when I was fifteen..."Fifteen for a moment/ caught in between ten and twenty." All of my memories from that summer play with this song in the background.

Lastly, and most recently, is We Are Young. Fun sings this song in the background of the Chevy commercial. I first heard it that night during the Superbowl. My friend Tyler and I sang the chorus all night long, before going home and looking it up. Last Wednesday, we listened to it while my best friend interpretive danced while she drove her car. It's tied to so many memories and moments from the last month and a half.

What are some of your heart songs?


ps. compiled on spotify, for your listening pleasure. 


instagrams from the bush.

photos by @llamagirl 
last three photos are mine @helloabbigail

don't be alarmed
when you sit on the deck
and you find that your shoelace
is being pecked by a chicken
it's completely normal
to hear the howling of sled dogs
or to see a llama 
being taken for an afternoon walk
and yes,
that is a miniature donkey
and yes,
it is pulling a miniature sleigh

These are some shots from my aunt & uncle's beautiful log-cabin home out in 'the bush'. Basically, a little farmyard nestled in the woods. Silly as it sounds, instagram has become a daily way for our family to keep in touch. I love being able to see what kind of crazy things my cousins have been up to, whether it be Meadow taking Ruby the donkey for a run, or Kazan just playing guitar with his dog, Zephyr, at his feet. Not to mention, Patti's photos are pretty much the perfect inspiration source for home decor, am I right? So until we meet again, instagram will do.