Monday, August 4, 2014

Touring Through Blogland


Last week I was featured at Ash Tree Cottage where Susan and Bentley invited me to join the Blogland Tour.  Susan and her husband have recently relocated to Texas from Idaho, so that makes us fellow Texans.  We've been blog friends for several years, and I'm excited about the prospect of getting to meet Susan and her sweet companion Bentley now that she is back in Texas.  Susan asked me to join the tour and answer 4 questions to give a bit of insight into Hyacinths for the Soul.

What am I working on right now?

I'm trying to reenergize my creative spirit.

Recent months have found me in a creative drought.  I lost my mom last November, and though she lived a long, full life, the reality of this loss hasn't been easy.  In an effort to refresh and revitalize my spirit,  I've begun an ongoing project this summer ~ purging closets and cupboards and donating things to local charitable thrifts, in an effort to declutter and simplify our home.   I'm also concentrating on eating a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables.  Walking has become a daily routine; most days, morning and evening.  And, I'm back to yoga!

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

I like to mix it up!
Eclectic pretty much defines my blog.

I created this blog on a whim in 2009 with the encouragement of Maggie @ Normandy Life,  Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch, and Debbie @ Confessions of a Plate Addict.  Each of these ladies took me under their wing, encouraged me, and "held my hand" along the way.  I've been passionate about interiors since childhood, and there is no question I was born with the collecting gene.  Gardening, stitching, entertaining, and travel are also high on my list, so it felt like a natural fit to focus on these aspects of my life.  Hyacinths for the Soul is mostly about friendship, fluffing one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit.

Why do I write or create what I do?

I write to share my passions.

As a retired elementary teacher, the writing and creative aspect of producing blog posts appealed to me.  I soon discovered it was a perfect creative outlet and one that offered a like minded audience.  What I didn't expect was the connection it would generate with generous, creative individuals across the globe.  The most rewarding aspect of blogging for me is the friendships that are spawned through the simple act of sharing ideas, sources, and common interests.

How does your writing process actually work?

Snippets of daily life are my muse, 
but it's the photos that inspire my words.

Blogging has literally changed the way I look at things.  My camera is always at the ready to snap photos on neighborhood walks, or capture vignettes in the homes of friends or at local shops.  Tables are set and photographed here at home, and I frequently snap my husband's culinary creations, a look at my garden, some new find, or our sweet Sadie girl.  I'm always mindful of what might make an interesting blog topic.  It's these snippets of daily life that are my muse.  I never know what might spark a new blog post, but the photos guide the writing.  I think most who read blogs such as mine are more interested in photos than lots of words.  They want a quick look, then move on.  I hope I offer something both interesting and a bit educational at times.

Touring Through Blogland Continued

I'm pleased to introduce you to three distinctly different, but very talented ladies who have agreed to join the tour next week.

Maggie is a long time real life friend.  She is a Brit living a dream life in France.  We meet in 2000 at the 2nd Annual Quimper Club International Meeting that was held in Washington, DC.  Needless to say we share a love of France and French faience, but also much more.  Maggie and her husband have visited in our home and "the chef" and I have had the privilege to be house guests at their beautiful home, a 16th /18th century former Presbytery, in the Normandy countryside.  Maggie shares wonderful photos and snippets of an authentic French country life. 

Emily is another real life friend.  We too share a love of France and French faience, and it was through our blogs that we became friends.  I encouraged Emily to join the QCI.  We met last fall at the QCI Annual Meeting held in St. Augustine, FL and will soon meet up again at the September meeting in Nice, France.  Emily is an avid photographer and often shares photos from her travels.

Debbie is a friend I hope to actually meet some day.  We share a love and passion for MacKenzie-Childs pottery, gardening, and entertaining.  Debbie and her husband live in upstate NY and enjoy summer and winter sports in the Adirondack Mountains where they have a cabin.  They also love to travel to the Florida Keys.  Debbie frequently shares scrumptious recipes, and the delicious product is usually served on a wonderful piece of MacKenzie-Childs pottery.  

Thank you to Susan for inviting me to join the tour and to you for joining me today.  Please visit Maggie, Emily, and Debbie next Monday, August 11 when they will share their own thoughts for this tour.  


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. I loved reading about what you have going on and how you create, Sarah! I have always loved your eclectic mix...and your wonderful Quimper, of course! Thanks so much for your sweet mention! Have a great week!...hugs...Debbie

  2. I am sorry about your mom..

    You know..they are with us always..After 40 yrs..
    I am still a Motherless Daughter.
    No matter what age..un grand hard to the physical world.
    You are going about distracting your thoughts in wonderful ways.
    And your creativity shines through in all your posts.
    It's lovely to see you:)

    With real friends in real life..
    Debbie is the one I am most familiar with..and one thing I can say..she has a kind heart.
    A real person.
    Lovely post!
    Everyone looks great!

  3. I loved this post - up close and personal.

  4. As I read this delightful post I could hear your voice in the words. Soon we'll meet again in France and share our love of Quimper, this time in Nice. Can't wait to see you again, dear friend.

  5. Such a delightful post! Since I am new to your blog it was lovely to read this and learn more about your and your blog :)

    Have a wonderful Monday!

  6. You are so international, Sarah! But it is no surprise that your warm nature reaches across the globe. I am sorry to say that I didn't know about the loss of your dear Mom. I'm so sorry to hear it. It sounds like you are trying to take good care of yourself during your grief. I'm glad to get this little capsule of you and your blog.

  7. I enjoyed reading this, Sarah. Our blogging journey sounds very similar. What wonderful photos of you and other bloggers. I know you have not only provided beautiful images, but you have also educated me. I enjoy coming here. laurie

  8. Sounds like you're doing all the right things this summer Sarah! Purging, exercising and eating well! Of the three, I only seem to be eating and, um, at times not so well:@) Take care!

  9. That was lovely, Sarah. I am sure that your experience of blogging is shared by many of us - I know that you spoke many of my thoughts about it.

  10. Hi, Sarah - Just delightful! I enjoyed learning more about you! And thanks for the introduction to these wonderful blogs - will visit them when I'm back from my mini break. Cheers from Maine, L

  11. Sarah, thank you for asking me to be part of the Blog Tour. I'll get my thinking cap on and prepare a post to share next week. I enjoy each and every blog post of yours.

  12. Sarah, I know the loss you feel after your mom passed away. We recover and laugh again but always have an empty place in our hearts.
    You sure are doing all the right things for health this summer. I always enjoy your new posts and find your blog so inspiring and always creative. Can’t wait to see you again soon in Nice and Paris!

  13. I enjoyed reading all your interesting answers to the questions, Sarah. It's a fun way to get to know more about you. You're an inspiration.


  14. Beautiful post Sarah...Very true.You are wonderful creator...Love sujatha..:):)

  15. Sarah, I enjoyed reading your post and I love your eclectic mix! I've been purging and organizing from our move this summer too, although it has lead us to stress eat and go for comfort food :)

  16. So neat to get to know you better. I'm so sorry to learn of your Mom's passing. I can appreciate the toll that it has taken on you. One day I'd love to see a photo tour of your home and gardens.

    A devoted reader.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

  17. Sarah! If I'm correct, I am in this very same tour......I will be writing according to a post that Linda from Life with Linda has mentioned to me....I hope this is the same tour! AND LOOK AT YOU and EMILY! My friend, thank you kindly for coming over. I understand too about how loss can take some time to process. When I lost both my parents within two weeks of each other, I could not get a grasp on it until I moved back to Boston and restart my life. Only then did the reality sink in, but like you, I reorganized my living quarters, my work situation....we must always keep busy, I guess.

    Creativity however, is the result, I hope. And here, you have started the re-energizing process by joining with others to express your passions. BRAVO!

    Thank you again for your kind visit, and hope I'm on the same tour! XOXOXOXO

  18. Hi Sarah, So enjoyed your tour and lovely photos. I too have taken the time this spring and summer to purge closets and reorganize which is something I love to keep up with. Thank you for introducing your special blog friends. Yes, blogland has blessed us all with wonderful friendships along the way. Meeting them in person is a highlight.

    Be Blessed~

  19. Sarah, What a great post! I always enjoy the photos of your wonderful collections, travels, and recipes...and the photos of your sweet Sadie. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  20. Sarah, a lovely post bout you and how you write. You have inspired us all. I am very sorry to hear about your Mother passing. Treasure her sweet memories. xo

  21. This was a wonderful post Sarah! It brought us all so much closer to you. I also love that adorable pick of sweet Sadie!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  22. Sarah,

    This is a wonderful post! It filled in all the blanks that were there before we met! I think it's great that you are working on your creative outlets as a way to sort of "clear your head". I find that works for me as well. And I have to thank my journey into blogging for helping my heart heal long ago. I gained so much inspiration from the many, many lovely women out there, and it helped me get moving.

    I think it's great you've met a few bloggers and have formed good, lasting friendships. I didn't know you and Maggie went so far back! That's terrific! I don't know the two other bloggers but I think I will pop over to visit. And finally, I really enjoyed seeing you in pictures, beautiful lady!

    Jane xx

  23. Dearest Sarah,
    Very informative and sincere post! This is like a litle CV in order to get to know each other better.
    Common interests do make easy new friends across borders.
    As for the loss of your Mom, it does make us float through life for quite a while when losing a loved one who was so close to our heart.
    But you find lovely things to do and your photos are great. Love your ink well collection on the silver tray.
    Enjoy what you are doing and thanks for this post!

  24. Sarah I can't tell you how much I loved this post. The more I learn about you the more impressed I am by your sense of style and grace. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mother's death. And I can understand the way such a loss might effect your creative energies... Your mother must have been a special woman to have a daughter like you.

  25. Sarah, I so enjoyed this post, which revealed a little bit more about the lovely woman behind the pretty blog! Like you, I am guided and inspired by the every day around me, and let the pictures lead to words. Thanks for sharing!


  26. What a lovely post, so nice to hear how you go about blogging and what gives you inspiration.

  27. Thank you for the wonderful tour! I know how you feel about losing your mom. I lost my parents 5 months apart. It doesn't matter how old they are, they could be 120 and it still hurts to lose them. Love your blog and looking forward to seeing more!

  28. This is a lot of fun! I really enjoy reading about the WHY from bloggers. That is always so interesting to me, and it proves quite entertaining. Thank you for sharing your story!

  29. I enjoyed reading this and getting to know you a little better. Your little dog is just too cute! I, too, really value the friendships I've already made in my short time of blogging, and yes, it's true that I look at life differently -- everything's a possible post!

  30. Lovely, Sarah! I know 2 of those bloggers. Debbie I knew before blogging from a Cooking Forum and then from a private blog. That didn't last as the owner excommunicated us all, amazing we all survived! :)
    Maggie I have met through you!
    Keep going on going on, you are doing great!

  31. Oh, I totally love these blogs you just shared sweet Sarah...awesome series, love it!
    Thanks for sharing and have a great rest of the week.

  32. That was a very intersting post to get to understand how you write. I'm off to visit the two ladies I didn't know before.

  33. I enjoyed reading and finding out a bit more about you. You were lucky to have 3 amazing and inspiring women supporting you when you started your blog. I'm sorry about the loss of you Mom, mines been gone for 18 years, and I still miss her so. She taught me to sew and knit, and whenever I am doing either one I feel her spirit. Thanks for stopping by and liking my kitchen vintage dish and cabinet!

  34. What a lovely post, Sarah! It feels great to know the author behind "Hyacinths for the Soul" and to learn what motivates her, inspires her and revitalizes her every day:)I am so sorry to hear about your mom but her spirit and the memories you have of her will always remain with you forever.... Thanks for sharing with us a little bit of you. I am glad I got to know you better. Happy weekend!~hugs, Poppy

  35. What fun to learn more about you! You'll need to tell me which part of Texas you live in so we can plan to meet! It seems as if Texas is the place to be. :)

  36. Sarah,
    What a wonderful way to learn a little more about you. Nice, France, you say? Green with envy, but wishing you a fabulous time in France with good friends. September is great time of the year to visit the south of France.


  37. I enjoyed reading this post very much, Sarah! Your blog is beautiful and inspirational. I've always enjoyed your posts and your blog friendship. It was wonderful to see photos of you with Emily and Maggie!

    I know how hard it is to lose a Mother.. I did much the same you are doing afterward by de-cluttering, as that loss made me realize that I did not need as much "things" to complicate my life any longer. It is memories that are real treasures and I hope with time all the wonderful memories you have of your Mother will bring more comfort than feelings of loss and sadness. ((hugs))

  38. I picked the perfect day to visit your blog! I got to know a little bit about you and your style. I am so sorry for you loss. I recently lost my little dog that was born blind and more like a baby than a dog. She lived a long life of 18 but it was hard. I know to lose someone like your Mom was a kick in the gut and your heart must weigh heavy with grief. I think focusing on decluttering and a healthy way of living is sure to be of some help. Being creative in anyway helps ease the heart. I wish you love and peace.

  39. Oh, what a sweet post, Sarah. I feel like I know you a little better! Thanks for sharing some of why you enjoy blogging and how your creativity is sparked.


  40. I always enjoy the view of what you see thru your camera lens Sarah!

  41. I so enjoyed the tour, Sarah. Stopped by via our mutual blogging friend, Emily. What a gorgeous picture of the two of you, here and at her page.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Much love.

  42. Love hearing more about you, Sarah. The most fulfilling part of blogging has been being able to meet like minded and kind women like you too.

  43. Love reading your beautiful post. I have been off line building a house. Hope you come for a visit.

  44. Yaaaayyy another Texas friend!! Texas girls rule....or something like that :^)
    Blessings to both of you!

  45. How nice to meet a fellow school employee, Sarah! My husband is a retired high school industrial arts instructor, and I was the high school registrar/adm assist in the guidance office for 21 years. We loved our years working with the kids and teachers! Do you find yourself missing it like we do? :)

    xoxo laurie

  46. What a terrific and positive interview Sarah.
    Losing your mom at any age is tough.
    I wish I hadn't lost mine at 25. I do wonder what she thinks of me now living in Paris...c'est la vie I guess.
    Your blog is a beauty. I will be back bien sur!

  47. Sarah,
    So exciting that you have been able to meet these fellow bloggers through your mutual love of Quimper!
    Love seeing pics of all of you together.

    I know you emailed me about your diet and exerceise program and I can not find it to respond! Saw it briefly on my phone but cannot remember if it came in via FB or email or ?
    Sorry I have not responded to it
    but that's why! It went MIA!

    Hugs to you sweet friend.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.