Opening a book is opening a window to the imagination of the author, the illustrator, and your very own wild, vast, unending possibilities. I not only create children’s books, but our world is rich with stories from all times and places. Here is a very short list of some wonderful children’s books that we’ve found recently and have always loved. This list is part of my new ‘Favourite Series’ which I’ll add to each season. Reading Tip: Requesting books from the libraries around you is a joyous way to discover which books you love and which books you’d like to add to holiday wishlists. Bringing a book into your home is an important choice. What are the messages, images, and feelings transferred by a book? I can only recommend the books on this list in the means of imagination, and not always for how each book is made. The only book on this list that I know for sure is ethically made is my own handmade book, Antonia’s Bakery. The books here are chosen by the young, and as a parent, I agree that these are helpful and beautiful. This is the children’s list! It is hard to choose only a few to share, so many more children’s book reading lists are coming up! To me, books are amongst the most important objects to respect, protect, and preserve. They are pieces of moments that once lived and breathed. These moments are powerful connectors for all of the souls in the Universe. Write a good story for yourself today, and live your story. More about this is coming up in a special book series and lives in all of my books. Reading is also one of our family’s greatest ‘Pleasures for the Weekend’ (new series). To hear someone read to you is a very special gift, and with the help of a library, it can be free. Happy Spring Reading! XOXO ~Amor Milagre
The people that know us know that we adore books. Reading books each day thoroughly intertwines the routines and elements in our lifestyle. We have to be very aware of holidays and know when the library will be closed so as to not be ‘bookless’ over a weekend. Many of you have written to me asking about our favourite reading lists, and I’m just now able to share this series with you. Thank you for your patience! (This is not sponsored nor a paid ad, and we don’t promote other company’s products, but I wanted to share something dear to us in case it’s dear to you). Some of these books are in our humble library collection and some are requests from the library. One of the best kinds of gifts for babies, children, and everyone is a book. Children’s books are timeless and for all ages. Choosing books with positive messages and images inspires healthy mindsets. You can enjoy reading them and reconnecting with your inner child to lighten and brighten your sweet life any day! Stay connected to your true self to truly live! Look for healthy materials and non-toxic ethically made books for healthy reading. Encourage children to write their own books. You’re never too young to express your stories and illustrations. Then, you can look back on your first books in amazement at the truth and depth of a seemingly simple story, written on scrap paper, drawn in a moment of intuition and loving attention. Books are valuable and can be priced affordably. I won’t write our impressions, as it’s best to allow your first impression to be purely your own.
We connected dearly with these and read them many times over:
The Pink Umbrella, Amélie Callot, Genevieve Godbout (Favourite ‘New to Us’ Book this Month!)
The Complete Brambly Hedge, Jill Barklem
Summer Party, The Cobble Street Cousins Series, Cynthia Rylant, Wendy Anderson Halperin
Around the Year, Tasha Tudor
The Complete Book of the Flower Faeries, Cicely Mary Barker
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, Jessie Wilcox Smith
The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne
Bloom, A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad
I Am Yoga, Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds
The Library, Sarah Stewart, David Small
The Wump World, Bill Peet
Child of Faerie, Child of Earth, Jane Yolen, Jane Dyer
Red Sings from Treetops, A Year in Colors, Joyce Sidman, Pamela Zagarenski
Planting seeds of goodness for a lovely Spring & Summer. Tidying the gardens and potting up some fresh soil to plant organic basil seeds to enjoy in Summer’s dishes. Reading Spring faerie poetry to help the seedlings grow strong and healthy. Inventing a few simply wonderful organic ways to celebrate Spring and this Easter weekend. What do you enjoy planning for your weekend?
We love to splash in puddles outside on fresh rainy days or at a local plant nursery. Devising edible planting lists and layouts in sketchbooks while watching Gardner’s World is very fun with a cozy cup of tea and fresh cream clothes. The windows open for fickle winds to breeze through our hair. Drawing new book illustrations in candlelit evenings to low tender violin hums, when all the world is asleep, tickles the imagination and delights my dreams. Writing about our week in letters accompanied by astounding drawings, with stamps placed proudly by little bunny paws. Visiting the new fleecy lambs at a local farm is a special Easter tradition. A gentle lifestyle reminder whirls in our hearts when we smile and quietly cheer them on as they learn to walk. All of the sheep smile, too. It’s the natural way for all of us, remember? Enjoying the week and now enjoying the weekend.
Getting personal items ready to sell & replace is on the list. Did you know little bunnies grow quickly sometimes in great bunny spurts? Must be what comes from eating so much lettuce. A pleasure we have each season is carefully choosing new children’s clothing and also making seasonal collections. I’ll soon release a collection of organic apparel that I make for us. Now you can wear these lovely healthy items, too! I’ll also release another new collection, this time ethical woodworking! These original designs include handmade dollhouses,home & garden gifts, and also unique pyrographs. So much of what we do is catching up, so when we carve time for new adventures and fresh air, we have energy to catch up with all those little weekly necessities. This is a beautiful process that allows for more adventures big or as small as writing a letter or getting my new ethical stationery collection ready for you to shop. Letter writing is a great passion of ours and a freeing form of expression. Try even writing to yourself today, and see what comes of it! Did you know that about yourself? More on this is coming up in some new uniquely designed book collections!
This weekend, we’ll try a different local Easter Egg Hunt / Spring Festival. We’re building positive traditions for our family to enjoy each season, while keeping our sensitive needs met. So many festivals are overwhelming, energy-draining, and unhealthy. We find ways to do what feels good and fun. A quiet picnic at a local park or beach is on the list. Being out in vast Nature feels nourishing for a fresh season and a healthy holiday. Happy Spring and Hoppy Easter to you and your Dear Ones! XOXO ~Amor Milagre
*A warm Thank You! to all of our Dear Customers who bought gifts from my Shop to fill Easter Baskets for Dear Ones! I love being a part of your thoughtful and loving gift-giving! It’s truly why I made this shop. Thank you for supporting Amor Milagre. This helps our family live a healthy life here at Dove Cottage. Supporting small businesses all over the world is very important and life-changing! This is especially true for sensitive people like us, who are environmentally allergic to the usual business place. We design our lifestyle and encourage others to create what they need to be healthy. When there seems to be no healthy options to be found, one must create what is needed. Ever since I was a little bunny, I have been designing this company for myself and future family so that we could truly Live! Quietly and sweetly. There is SO much more to release, tip of the iceberg. Endless ideas are hard to catch up on, but I work all the time, even when dreaming. I adore reading your loving comments and messages. Gifts from the heart are remembered and loved with great fondness and often passed on to new Dear Ones. *Remember, you don’t have to give a thing to show Love. Being your true self is a gift to the Universe and for everyone who meets you.
Cast a spell of enchantment! Spell a special name, favourite word, elegant initials, or a beautiful letter to accompany other pieces in my collections and your existing artwork gallery.
Many more new unique letters will be added to this growing collection. All of my collections live with us in our home. They are my first choice for interior design because they are soft, sweet, and natural. This is a soothing atmosphere for a nature-loving empathic family and all! Atelier Amor Milagre is an ethical design studio for every collection created and in every direction expressed for a healthy lifestyle. Personal, delicate designs like this collection grow well with historical artwork and my other collections. Pair these letters with sweet animals and colour abstracts from my shop for a darling New Baby Nursery Gallery Wall. Children love these little darlings. They are gentle teachers and inspiration for A Gentle Life. Give a newly married couple a gift of their initials for a unique wedding shower present! More still, a very special gift for a long-married couple’s very tender anniversary. Spell a word to inspire your daily life to be how you Love to be! This fun collection has endless possibilities for your gift-giving enjoyment. XOXO ~Amor Milagre
Soft, rejuvenating, purifying, and cozy. Cream, blush, dusty rose, nude, pink feel good as the week’s basic neutral for my small, romantic wardrobe. Minimal feels good here, working together, and always finding what I desire that day. What are your neutral colours?
It’s important and wonderful that more and more brands are using transparent, ethically sourced, fair trade practices. I still can’t recommend any specific brand other than my Amor Milagre, as I don’t know the bones and complete life cycle of other brands. Amor Milagre is a transparent brand, and I list every ethical material on each product page. Eventually, it will be easier to shop when everything is non-toxic and mindfully made. But, I am sharing tips for building a wardrobe that is tailored for your beautiful body and is responsible for the environment and makers. These photos feature my personal wardrobe. This is about colour mood. I do make much of my clothing with certified organic materials. New organic, non-toxic apparel collections will release this year in my shop.
Most apparel collections are made up of fashion trends. These are recycled ideas from other time periods or ‘new’ combination ideas from top designers or street style & culture. Usually, there is a Pantone colour of the year for more corporate design houses. Many independent brands are not influenced by that colour for their collections. Often, designers take inspiration from cultures, places, and Nature. I do not use trend forecasting, colours of the year, or any other designer influences for my seasonal collections. I am inspired by Nature, our healthy lifestyle, my imagination and senses. I am also inspired by connections that feel familiar from other times in the way of textures and colours from Nature. Inspiration is endless, and there is no need for designers to copy or look to another for ‘what to do’ each season. I’ve always thought how beautiful the collections each season would be if everyone was true to their own design sense, and there would be no trends, just amazing collections and designer inspiration stories to explore. As a shopper, you can still be as inspired in your choices as if you were designing the items yourself!
‘Finding your neutral’ is an important foundational step in building a helpful, beautiful wardrobe and a healthy mindset. When are you in neutral? Deep breathing and yoga stretching is my neutral. What colour is breathing to me? A cream sweater can excite the senses like a vanilla bean. What recipes can you make with your wardrobe? Where will your shoes take you today?
Designer Tip of the Day: Trends and Finding Your Neutrals
~What colours are your ‘neutrals?’ Which colours do you feel the most yourself in? Are they soothing or invigorating? These would be good colours for your sleepwear, too. Colour and texture can help unwind your day for a good night’s rest. If you work from home, like I do, wearing “my neutral colours” helps center and focus the mind for working in between the parenting/family routines every day. It also reminds me to take little rests for meditation, tea breaks, and healthy routines to keep our days balanced.
~You may like a trend, but anything that doesn’t suit your skin tone, body shape, or evolving personal style doesn’t have to come home to your closet. Perhaps there is a way to express a bigger trend in a smaller way: a colour, a shape, a texture, a print…on say a smaller accessory piece like a scarf.
~If you are choosing a trend from this season, think about if you’ll wear it long term. Consider the quality, price, and how you can mix it in with your classic pieces. Has this trend re-circled in time often or it is too out there to be a good investment piece. Most importantly, do you like it? To wear for a long time?
~If you are investing in a fleeting trend, just for fun, how easily can you resell the piece when you are no longer interested in it?
~Which colours are already in your wardrobe?
~If you wear a trend, can we still see you or only the trend? Is it complementary to your unique beauty? Oftentimes, trends are splashy and exciting in a shop/webpage, but you can tell when you wear it at home or out if it is right for you. It is exciting when a trend you love and fits you well is in style. Still, try to find ethical pieces as some items are made better than others. If you want to try a certain trend, but are unsure of how long you’d wear it, trying it in ‘your neutral’ colour could help prolong the use. This can also boost confidence by putting you at ease in your favourite colour mood.
~Save your desired items online or just in your mind, and if you remember the piece after you’ve left it, research more about it and the maker before purchasing. Can you afford it? The good thing about a smaller wardrobe is that you know what you have. If there are key pieces missing, it’s easier to remember what to look for, without being clouded by doubles.
~How can you clean, mend, and revive your items from last Spring/Summer? Sustainability is taking care in every way so that the bigger picture is a healthy one.
~Investing in good quality, organic, non-toxic, ethically made, well-fitting items is important. It not only affects the world, but it affects your posture, attitude, and even sometimes your confidence. It feels good to know you are helping and not harming. Is this healthy for your skin? Choose carefully, take your time, and return anything that doesn’t really fit or feel good. This also helps you later when organizing your closets so less to do and more time for new adventures out and about. Everything is wearable, useful, and ready to wear every day!
~Finding family or individual designer companies is a healthy shopping option. They can provide helpful customer support and, like my Amor Milagre company, design custom made-to-order items for special gifts. Check their collections each year and help support their families by buying their products. You can support your local businesses and organic farmers, too!
~As always, learning to sew your own clothing, suited to your ideas is really the most rewarding and sustainable way to build your wardrobe.
How you dress your home and yourself can be thought of the same way. Dress a table for yourself and guests. Light and airy, inspired by Spring’s fresh breezes. Pastel gardening clothes and flowers. Invite your colour moods to go with you everywhere. Have fun! As a synesthete, I match music to my moods. The songs are creamy, rosy pinks this week as well as the clothes and tablecloths my hands sensed for. To be in tune with everything can be seen as a burden, but to be aware of the beauty of an empathic world is a remarkable way to live. I hope my books, collections, and these journal posts inspire you to awaken to your unique and loving senses. Everyone and everything is beauty and Love!
These colours are great for Baby & Child as they are soft and healthy, allowing the child’s radiance and natural beauty to shine! Look a little closer, what is a healthy, beautiful item suited just for you?
Gift Guide by Colour Mood
Below is a gallery full of dreamy cream blush pink inspirations
for your home and personal, customizable gifts for your Dear Ones.
~Sylph: A New Amor Milagre Apparel Collection, made with Ethically Sourced, Organic Cotton Fabric in Natural Cotton Colours as well as organic vegetable-dyed hues. Pieces will be available to purchase soon for Summer 2019, here on the Organic Apparel & Toys Collection page, for women and toddlers. Menswear and baby clothing is coming up, too! A journal post to celebrate the release of these lovely, handmade garments will appear on this NEWS! page this Spring season. Subscribe at the bottom of the page to stay tuned!
XOXO ~Amor Milagre
Music of the Moment: Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones
The Magic of Spring, when all is renewed, and children of all ages, from 0-1000+, enjoy the sweet floral scents and colours of new blossoms, new adventures, special gifts, picnics, brunches, and afternoons in the park.
Amor Milagre Collections are wonderful, unique gifts for every day of the year. They are especially beautiful in your Easter Basket, May Day Basket, and Spring Gift Basket. There are many bunny rabbits, Spring florals, teapots, fresh colour abstracts, baby animal illustrations, darling children’s books, organic apparel, seasonal recipes, interior design, flower gardens, and lots more! In this journal post, I share some fun, fresh ideas to share Love with yourself and Dear Ones this Spring, Easter, and every day! (More in my upcoming healthy lifestyle books). Visit The Shop at Dove Cottage by Amor Milagre for classic and new A Gentle Life Collections. There are so many loving items for your personalized gifts. Many more are hopping into the shop this month! Happy Spring!
SPRING SALE! Enjoy 10% Off All Orders with Checkout Code: SPRING19
Organic Beauty: Lovely skin and hair starts with beautiful, healthy foods.
Give a bowl of berries for a natural blush.
All ages enjoy fresh food!
Brunch: Set the table in sweet pastel florals and share a fun meal with new & old friends.
A little seasonal tree displays sweetly decorated eggs and bunnies this Spring.
Plants: Give a potted plant with handwritten care directions, including sentiments of how delicate and gently you care for the recipient. Even these kissing daffodils are entirely enchanted with one another.
The Gift of Nature: Write a note with a spring poem, with a hint or riddle, a scavenger hunt, ending with a refreshing outting to a park or waterscape.
Custom Gifts: Wander my Shop to find an Illustrated Garden Alphabet Letter to spell your favourite word, name, or initials. Choose your favourite Animal Illustration or order a custom painting, tailored for your tastes. Create an ever-growing garden with art gallery originals and art prints. A little children’s book and organic tee, ethically handmade, are delightful surprises in Easter Basket for Baby & Child. Need help with a new room design, wedding gift, or gift for a new baby? Atelier Amor Milagre is here to help, send a private message with your project details and ideas here. Soon: Order personalized stationery, cards for friends, and special sets to use to write to Dear Ones or to give as gifts. Each item is mindfully & ethically handmade & quickly shipped to you with positive energy and pure Love.
Just as new Spring blossoms unfold in the sunshine each morning,
Amor Milagre’s Ethical Collections harmonize with Nature
and delight your lifestyle with a delicate, imaginative grace.
A-tisket, a-tasket, we love our favourite baskets. A different basket for each task-et. To continue growing the ‘Favourite Series’, I’m sharing tips and info about our favourite gathering of baskets for: home, personal style, organic cooking & gardening, and chic Spring-Summer handbags.
Some of our uses for these baskets are: daily handbag, dry produce, fresh garden produce, mail, kitchen & dining linens, garden planters, books, laundry, food shopping in town, picnics, office/wardrobe/mudroom storage, special supplies, baby & doll bassinet, organic beauty products, and storage for family outtings.
One positive choice influences another. Perhaps a market basket will inspire you to support your local organic farmers, taking healthy walks to gather your food. A natural home inspires us to go out and balance in Nature. What do you use baskets for?
Using well made baskets is ethical, economical, and texturally pleasing. To maximize your sustainability, you can learn to make your own baskets. This really comes in handy when a repair is needed. This journal text appears in my upcoming Design Book, so check back for more!
Designer Tip of the Day:
When choosing a basket, it’s helpful to think about:
~The main use and other possible purposes. What are you storing or carrying in it?
~Colours, textures, sizes, smoothness, and weights. A balance of differences creates a peaceful design.
~Where will the basket live and how will it be used?
~Who made it? Were they paid fairly? What is it made of? Is it non-toxic so it doesn’t off-gas in your home or cause illness to those making the products?
~How much joy will it bring you to use a hand-crafted piece?
~Is there a local basket weaver in your area?
~Are the handles and straps comfortable to use and securely attached?
~How can you keep it in good shape to last many lifetimes?
We love picnics, so a special picnic basket was on our holiday wishlist. We’re excited to use it this Spring!
Keeping the home calm with natural materials and colours helps our family keep a healthy balance, while organizing things, like laundry, for easy routines.
Gathering fresh food feels even better in a sweet little basket at the shops and in the garden. Little Dear Ones sneak off with the basket and fill with toys. Now, it’s a bed or house for a little bear. Natural materials inspire shopping for fresh, organic food with no packaging. Bring everything home in your basket and place on the table, ready to enjoy! Maybe a flower will hop into your basket, ready to plant in the garden? Special stones, shells, or leaves. Basket handles feel good to hold. The senses need Nature. Sweet and humble, a basket inspires me so. For more A Gentle Life Collections, news & sales, and healthy lifestyle inspiration, please subscribe at the bottom of this page.
Yes, there is a thing as too many baskets, so choose mindfully with the above tips and your beautiful lifestyle in mind. Store baskets simply to avoid collecting dust/allergies. Vinegar-water is an easy way to keep baskets clean.
This week, our baskets led us to the ocean for fresh air and beautiful views.
Check back here to view an upcoming journal post for
The Amor Milagre Spring 2019 Gift Guide
to help you fill your lovely Easter Baskets this April!
Raspberry, plum, berries, pinks, and crimsons have always connected with me. When designing for apparel, home interiors, and especially when painting, these beauties lead the way to amazing adventures. Wear them together or as an accent to a neutral outfit. Soothing to the soul, rich deep pigments feel as delicious on the eyes as a bowl of sumptuous, ruby, jeweled raspberries.
This journal post launches a new series by Amor Milagre that provides Designer Tips for a Gentle Life: Ethical Fashion Design & Personal Style. Many more Colour Moods for women, men, Baby & Child are coming up! Film will follow shortly here. There are so many connections made by colour. Memory-driven and emotional connections. To explore this further, please check out my upcoming Design Books.
Did the connection begin in your childhood or a past life?
Does the colour enhance your unique beauty?
Does it feel familiar? How does the colour feel?
How does this feeling affect your day, attitude, posture, behaviour, and language?
When designing collections and when shopping, I choose ethically made, non-toxically dyed, organic fabrics that are good for the skin. When shopping vintage, to reuse clothing, I stay mindful of the materials. Even if the fabric content and make is unknown, how does it feel and how much wear can it stand? My favourite clothes are loved and worn very often. A well-curated small wardrobe serves well. I choose very carefully. Can the skin breathe? Skin can be protected and honoured by choosing healthy beauty & skin products, apparel, and house materials. Natural, organically dyed cloth is a wonderful luxury. How much more one can appreciate a deep hue, after learning this specific process, especially if you love to dabble in your garden. How many baths and plants does it take to make one very special dress?
A favourite apparel colour can be a favourite wallpaper or paint colour as well. Match home decor, artwork, garden flowers, and even your daily fruit like this red pear for a cozy, personalized atmosphere. (Papers are FSC Certified and pears are organic, non-GMO).
We freshen the house each week during the year, but in the Autumn and Spring, it feels especially healthy to reorganize, sort, and reset plans for good, useful household routines. Each item has a home and a purpose. I always adore the last part of my favourite show, Gardener’s World, when they give “Jobs for the Weekend.” You can apply this list idea not only for gardening, but for housekeeping, business, and outtings! Instead of Jobs for the Weekend, we call it Pleasures or Ideas for the Weekend. Set up pleasures for yourself. Like Mary Poppins says, “In every task that must be done, there is an element of fun!” Here are a few ideas that we’re doing this season. Happy Spring! Please visit my Shop for fresh inspiration for your home and a healthy lifestyle. I’ll share a few ‘Pleasures for the Weekend’ each season, and you can read more in A Gentle Life Book Collection. What kind of pleasures will you plan for this weekend? XOXO ~Amor Milagre