Tag Archives: Christmas

life in a log cabin: the afterglow of christmas

life in a log cabin: the afterglow of christmas
written by Stephanie

The Christmas cheer is waning and the New Year awaits us.  As I ponder the New Year and hope for the offerings it will bring, I think back on the past year.  At the beginning of 2012 my glass was half empty and I saw the world in black and white.  We had moved out of the house where I had brought my newborn babies home to.  Saying goodbye to the house holding the memories of us as new parents was hard.  The house was packed up and my cherished possessions were strewn about among various storage locations.   For 3 months our temporary housing was 2 bedroom apartment in an equestrian facility.  The kids loved to look out the large window in the living room that showcased the indoor riding arena and the wonderful Warmblood horses at training.  Still, we lived in a barn…albeit, a very nice barn.   Old friends parted ways with us, having chosen new paths.  Our little black terrier mix, Toulouse found her peace after enduring several hard months of illness.  During the summer, my birth father (I am adopted),  passed away.  He was man I never really knew and had only spoken to him twice.  All the questions I had for him will go unanswered.  Last Spring, we moved into an 1850’s log cabin and I was not happy.  It was dusty, dark, stink bug infested, cramped and removed from city life.  Life as I knew it, had been uprooted and transplanted into my own little bubble of isolation. This is just a small glimmer into the black cloud I had hanging over me and my family.

Now, I raise my glass half-full.  New friends have been made and out-of-touch old friends and relatives have resurfaced.  It is with these people in our lives that David and I look forward to the New Year.  Possessions are still strewn about as we try to make sense of this smaller home we live in.  Some belongings I miss,  like my baby-grand piano, and other things …well I just can’t remember what they are.  What is the saying, out of sight, out of mind?  It just proves to me, how much “stuff” I don’t need.   David has always been a “glass is half full” kind of guy.  He continues to hone his woodworking craft and work on cool projects for clients.  Over the next few months he will be blogging about an old house he is putting through demo and then renovating.  I will diligently be working on my leather work and introducing some new designs (the creative wheels are already spinning).  The cabin is growing on me as I revel in the beautiful outdoor setting that surrounds it.  The road on which we live has enticed our family to take many nature walks.  During these walks we have met and made new friends and acquaintances.  The cabin has taken on an almost ethereal glow since Winter emerged.

Christmas Cabin

We found ourselves digging out from all the clutter to make room for the Christmas tree and later, my piano.  The cabin, lit by soft lighting, is warmed by a wood stove.   In the evenings the lighting and the log and stone walls impart a soft glow that I want to wrap myself in.


Deer Head

Crystal Tree

Front Door

Christmas Table

As we decorated the cabin for Christmas I had to put aside the modern girl in me.  Our silver foil tree with its modern ornaments had to stay in storage.  The backdrop of the horrible pear and grape wallpaper (yet to be removed) was screaming old-fashion Christmas tree.   It is wonderful to have a tree befitting my treasured German Koestel wax ornaments.

Christmas Tree

Koestel Victorian Lady Koestel Pied Piper Koestel Christmas Witch Koestel Angel large Koestal angel small

My tiny collection of woodland gnomes settled in quite nicely among our rustic environment.

Christmas Gnomes

As we counted down the days on our Advent calendar, the resident house Elf on a Shelf was there to watch over the kids.  I am not sure who had more antics during December, the kids or our house elves (we have two, Rudy and Miss Snowflake).

Elf on the Shelf tree

collage Elf on the Shelf

Christmas Eve was upon us and the ritual plate of cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer was placed beside the wood stove.  (Santa and Mrs. Claus indulged before a picture was taken.)

Christmas Eve

Now as I look at the festive Christmas decorations around the cabin, I realize that some of the adornment lends a coziness to the cabin and could stay put all winter long.  Our home now glows with a new warmth of comfort, new friends and our hope for new beginnings.  So, if you are ever in Round Hill…give us a call and stop by.  We can show you around the cabin which won’t take long and share a glass of wine or a cup of tea!  So I raise my “half full” glass of wine to you and yours to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!



leather cuff design: introducing the planetdwell leather cuffs!

leather cuff design: introducing the planetdwell leather cuffs!

Finally! After months of labor disputes, plant closures and strikes, the elf (read: Stephanie) has finally cranked up production and is now working overtime. From her cramped work space in our tiny log cabin, working by candlelight and warmed by a wood stove, her fingers worn to the bone, persistence is finally paying off and The PlanetDwell Leather Cuffs are HERE! The first wave of PlanetDwell Leather Cuffs are being worn by discerning women everywhere…and by everywhere, we mean they can be found adorning many a well-clad wrist in and around the Washington DC Metro area (and that IS sort of like everywhere, right ladies?). The PlanetDwell Leather Cuffs are available for order so… RUN, don’t walk, to your computer and place your orders now! Remember to buy early and often! They are great for birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, Girls-Night-Out or whatever else you may feel the need to celebrate when it’s cold and snowy outside.

With over 20 designs to choose from, these one-of-a-kind leather cuffs are hand-made and hand-finished. Each cuff is individually stylized sporting reclaimed and salvaged leathers, denim, crystals, freshwater pearls, paint, ink, feathers or a combination of elements. Several designs are adorned with hand stitching that is painstakingly completed using waxed linen thread and embroidery thread in complimentary colors. The crystal and pearl embellishments are hand-stitched using silk beading thread for strength and durability. The standard cuff features dual snaps allowing for adjustments to fit most wrist sizes and the closure on the full wrap cuff is constructed of self-adjusting elastic cord. Many of the designs in the current selection of PlanetDwell Cuffs are proudly constructed of a cream-colored leather rescued from a 1970’s era Rolls Royce Silver Seraph. All PlanetDwell cuffs are created using some rescued and salvaged leathers, therefore colors and textures are subject to change based on availability. The Cap’n Jack Cuff is a featured unisex design and additional men’s styles are available upon request.

PlanetDwell happily accepts payment through PayPal.  Upon your order request, we will invoice you directly through PayPal. Please use the form at the bottom of this post to contact PlanetDwell to inquire about ordering your own custom leather cuff.  This information can always be found in the menu selection “Leather Cuffs” on our blog.

Wrap Leather Cuffs

2″ to 2.5″ at the widest point

Leather Band Cuffs 

1.75″ wide band with double snaps

Cap'N Jack

Medallion Leather Cuff

center portion is 2.25″ wide with 1.38″ wide bands

wing and prayer

2.25′” wide with double snaps