Fiddling. And waxing poetic.

Been fiddling again.  'Cause that's what I do....change stuff up pretty constantly.  Especially when I'm already over my head in projects and commitments. Like moving a daughter into her first apartment, painting and decorating every room--pictures forthcoming, btw.  Anyway, do you like the blog makeover?  I just couldn't get that beloved nest out of my mind.  Other than being supremely beautiful and including all my favorite colors in nature (robin's egg blue, leaf green, soft pink, and pale natural), it represents so much of my decorating (and life) philosophy. I'm gonna get long and rambly now.  Just a heads up.

I've maybe told you the story of this nest, but for the newbies, I'll tell it again 'cause who wants to bury themselves in my archives? (Not me, which is why there is no link back to a post with the story of this nest, if one even exists).  In my previous cottage, Mama Robin thought she'd found the perfect place to build her forth-coming babies' nest. Unfortunately for her that place was a pot of gerber daisies I managed to kill off in a week's span and had placed just below my kitchen window on an old rickety shelf.  Fortunately for us, we got front row seats for the coming show.

Poor Mama Robin made the daily choice to overcome her naturally skidish nature as she sat atop her precious blue treasures while Bogart the big, loud Black Dog came bounding out the door to bark at indiscriminate objects in the yard every few hours. Sometimes instinct took over and she would 'fly the coop', only to hop, hop, hop back to her nest as soon as she realized "oh, it's just that dopey dog again". She sometimes seemed a bit nervous when I'd run water in the sink or try to get a closer look at her beautiful feathers and deep black eyes....but in all she was a real trooper, risking unwanted gazes and bumbling beasts to protect her offspring.

When she was off her perch, we'd sneak out and take pictures of the stunningly vibrant turquoise eggs. I'm thankful the creator came up with this color, as it's my favoritest in the whole wide world....that's Benjamin (man, has that boy grown since I snapped this picture) doing some show and tell:

There were eventually 5 of these jewels, but after about three days, they just disappeared.  No trace, and Mama Robin never came back.  I was told a hawk prolly got 'em (boo hoo) because they were kinda out there in the open with nothing to protect them.  It was like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom all over again (only those older than 40 would know what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, nature often provides me not only with decorating inspiration (snicker) but with life lessons that sorta knock me off my stride.  And Mama Robin and her nest have been one of the most profound for me. Let me 'splain....

                                                           (the original picture sans edits)

A random mother bird, one of millions upon millions, just doing what she does by instinct, created one of the world's most beautiful things....not just those sublime blue eggs, but a home for them: cobbling a nest together made of what she could find, shaping it into a perfectly imperfect dwelling that mere humans in all our wisdom and knowledge still bow to in admiration and awe.  And she built it by herself, mind you.

How often do we nest builders sell ourselves short in our efforts to make our houses homes as we daily read the blogs of others, comparing and seemingly falling short of some iconic standard of  'beautiful'.  Pretty sure Mama Robin just does her thang each spring, even though millions upon millions of other mother robins are doing their thangs too, not comparing her nest to all those others.  It's all about her own nesting instincts.
I think we'd all be much more content with our homes (and lives) if we could just get in touch with our guts.  Instead of copying everyone else, then scrutinizing every little thing until we go cross-eyed, THEN getting depressed because our homes (and lives) somehow don't measure up to the chick with a blog of thousands of followers.  Maybe I'm just talking to myself, here, but methinks I'm preachin' to the choir.  As fun as blog stalking can be, we need to learn to trust our own individual instincts.  I constantly remind myself that it's fine to reap knowledge about design and DIY projects, but not-so-fine to spiral into the depths of 'not good enough' when meandering thru the tangled web of shelter blogs.

So, in light of this, I returned to my Robin's Nest header.  It represents best what 'cottage instincts: creating my style' means and what I hope my blog accomplishes....encouraging fellow Robins to follow their own instincts and recognize the unique beauty they create as they saunter thru the rhythm of their daily lives.  Cobbling together our nests, we can glean inspiration and motivation from other nesters, then allow ourselves the freedom to follow our instincts, knowing we've created a sacred thing.  Something worthy of respect and awe because it comes from deep within ourselves.

Remember, in the natural world, each robin's nest is different, but we all know a nest when we see one, yeah?  Whether it's made of primitive sticks and downy feathers, or shards of styrofoam, plastic straws and random pieces of garbage, how those materials are knit together is a unique expression of one bird's instincts.  We're amazed by both...the rustic beauty of the one, the ingenuity of the other. Both are worthy of the divine task of cradling precious cargo.

I hope I can model for you what trusting your instincts looks like via this blog.  I'm learning as I go, processing what worked, what didn't, and why (like the previous pink rose blog theme or the dining room makeover), then moving on to apply what new bits of experience I gathered to my next creative pursuit.  Decorating, like life, is a series of tries.  Fails and successes will both play major roles, but the trying is the stuff of life.....  Keep trying to follow your instincts.  Be respectful of the creativity within you, honor it, and let it express itself in your family's nest without shame.  Make Mama Robin proud. 

ps...I linked up at Melissa's Inspired by party since obviously Mama Robin inspired so much about this blog.


NanaDiana said...

Cindy-I am still pretty new to Blogland-although I have been blogging since last February I just got around to finding other blogs a few weeks ago. What a whole new world that has opened up...and I thought I was the only one that does what I do! lol Anyway, I agree with you 100%-although I love many, many bloggers looks I like what I do...because it is for ME...AND...I have given over to also trying to make MyHero happy-as it is his home too....and, even though, he doesn't voice too much of an opinion about "things" I know that he does not like floral fabrics so I use them in moderation in the main living areas of our house. Left to me--I would have a lot of florals because I love them. Thank you, Cindy, for your words of wisdom. It also makes me remember WHAT I started my blog for...it was to be a journey of my life & the lives of my children/grandchildren so that they would remember someday-who I was/who they were & know how much they are/were loved. Hugs to you, my new friend. Diana

Sheeezz...I guess I did rattle on here, huh? lol

Loui♥ said...

I love the crispness and clarity of your beautiful blog!
and this post today is simply beautiful!! I had often admired your Robin nest.. but never knew the story behind it..now I do!!
thanks for the inspiration!
warm sandy hugs..

Jester said...

Words to live by, very well put!

Just yesterday I helped a Momma Mockingbird who had built a pretty lousy nest in a pretty lousy spot.. maybe it was her first time....on a drooping pine tree branch. Her 3 babies all fell out. I think they were out for a couple of days before we noticed them. I grabbed a small plastic bowl, an old Mockingbird nest from earlier in the season and put it inside it, then nailed it to the tree. Then put the baby in it. Happy to say Momma & baby are doing fine!
You're a very wise woman, God Bless!

Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

As I struggle with this on a daily basis, what you've said here is exactly what I need to hear. I struggle with my own creativity (or lack of), not being "good enough," and trying to mimic what others have done but always falling short. you are an inspiration to me to just do what I want to do, without anybody to impress. Our home should represent US, and I need to strive to that. Thank you!!

Unknown said...

Amen! You have said it so well. One of the reasons I visit every post of yours is because they are authentic. Your blog is home and family and ideas. Real.

I love blogging for the friendships and the decorating ideas it makes available. I have learned that I can enjoy all the eye candy out there, but my style is what makes me happy (and what I can afford too.) I decided some time ago to be true to me. To make our home reflect us. It may not be what is most popular. It is certainly a combination of many styles, some that aren't 'in' right now. I have recently decided to keep the things and elements that I really enjoy (my cross stitch and rustic things for example) and not worry if someone else thinks it doesn't fit or is dated. Ideas and suggestions are great, I encourage them, but ultimately we have to live in our homes. Thanks for the encoragement to continue to trust our instincts.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

BRAVO Cindy!

I've long preached there's only competition if one chooses that. Beat to your own individual drum and you'll fall in love with your home AND your life. Ask how this junker knows.

LOVE the blog redo! It's clean, pro, and Cottage Instinct comfy. :)


Anonymous said...

This was very inspiring to me . I thank you so much for a beautifully written reminder of life as it occurs and taking time to appreciate what we have inside ourselves.
What a lovely heart you have.


An absolutely breath-taking, awe-inspiring, down-to-earth post that touched my heart and soul! Wow!

FairfieldHouse said...


First off I must say, that beautiful boy is the spitting image of his father.

I have always admired your bird nest banner and now it symbolizes so much more. I agree with Donna from Funky Junk Interiors, there is only competition if you choose to enter into that race.

Your Friend,

Marilyn Holeman said...

I LOVE your robin's nest header, and am happy to know its story. This was a worth-while post. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

What a wonderful post Cindy! "The chick with a blog of thousands of followers", that made me laugh! It's hard not to notice those numbers but I do try to follow my instinct. That came with age. Sadly. Be happy with what you have is something everyone needs to learn.

Thanks so much for coming by my blog. I truly appreciate it. I think I may just hang around here a bit! :)

COTTAG3 said...

I love that header picture. It's one of the best in all blogland (seriously). Now, I love it even more because of the story behind it. This was a wonderful post. I, too, love looking at blogs for many reasons including ideas, but then it comes back to what do I really want for my home and that's what I do. So, glad you're back more regularly.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Hi, I'm Yvonne @ StoneGable. I found this such a profound post. I was hanging on every word! What a great illustration... that precious mamma bird.
And a beautiful lesson. Our nests are unique, because we are unique! It drives me crazy to see people latch on to a trend and fuss because they don't have the latest whathamahoozie. Or not want to have others into their homes because they are ashamed of it. Oh, that pains my heart! We miss the point when we can't find gratitude and a style all of our own in our own sancturary.
Wonderful to meet you!
I am giving you a very loud standing ovation.... whistling going on too!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Love this post, and your new header & look too! Gorgeous. And thanks for the important reminder we all need - believe in ourselves! -Tammy

random.heather said...

LOve this post! As a newly single mom, who hasn't worked in a decade(holycow!) -my hobnob style is something to often laugh at! But we find it comfortable and nothing is too "nice" to sit on-even with a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich. I love reading other blogs for inspiration and sometimes get the "im not good enough" feelings but overall- its a fun journey!

morethanthestarsinthesky said...

Cute blog! I just painted a storage chest the same color as those eggs. Love it!


Neida said...

I enjoy your blog and love your photos! The nest and blue eggs are a sweet "tweet"!

Happy blogging!
@ Fari Blog

luciwallis said...

Enjoyed visitng your blog. Something so beautiful about about a Mama and her nest!

Brenda Pruitt said...

You said it so well! We all measure ourselves. But then we're all unique. So we need to just put up those measuring devices! I like what I like. Sometimes I'll think I like something more "in vogue," and I'll slip and get it. And then it ends up in the closet of forgottens.

Pamela said...

Sooo sad and yet soo beautiful they were!!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Very inspiring - fantastic pictures and story!

Heartfire At Home said...

Yes, yes, yes!!!!! Great post. I found your blog via the link at Melissa's 'The Inspired Room' and really enjoyed reading your nest story.

I have to say I profoundly agree with the part where you say we should be getting in touch with our 'gut' in regards to how we create our homes. I have a manifesto about 'home' on my blog that mentions that very thing.

So glad to have found your wonderful blog, and I love the nest and eggs as your header!

Linda. x :)

The Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Lovely from the heart post Cindy. I try not to pay attention to the whole followers #. People come people go that's the way it is. I just do my thing.

I love the nest story and what it represents to you. I wouldn't know it was your blog without that nest!



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