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Wisteria and Sunshine

~ Do you long to live in beauty? ~

Feb 23, 2012

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown

Karl Anderson WisteriaFrom the little pink cells of the mind of Lesley Austincomes another journey into the beautiful and feminine - a website designed for women who long for domesticity and grace -- a place foreshadowed by the philosophy of William Morris, where all is beautiful and useful. Wisteria and Sunshine is what was promised in the advertisement to rent the Italian villa, San Salvatore, in the wonderful book and movie, Enchanted April -- (a movie disparaged I might add, by Quentin Tarantino! So if you like his point of view, you definitely won’t feel at home here!)

I have known Lesley Austin for twelve years, and she is themost beauty and peace-centered individual I have ever met. With the inception of her delightful business, Small Meadow Press, Lesley produced papery wonders for the people lucky enough to find her either online or at art shows in Virginia. She created greeting cards and stationery, journals and all kinds of wonderful paper inventions, combining the loveliest images of the early 20th and late 19th centuries with quotes from all sorts of authors and people of note. Who else would think to make a Christmas card using a quote from Longfellow referencing ‘Wild Sweet Peace’?

Everything Lesley touches turns to muslin andfirelight. Arriving at Lesley’s house for a visit is like stepping into an Edwardian English novel. From her furniture and books to the curtains in the windows, the dishes and every day household items thoughtfully set in exactly the right place, her home is an enchanted kingdom. All who enter feel the spell. I miss it when I leave her and it falls over me again when I return. I’ve never heard Lesley use a swear word, raise her voice or create chaos of any kind since I’ve known her. Her idea of a curse word is, “Drat!”

She is a loving wife and mother and a true friend. I wishher every blessing with her new enterprise, and I know for a fact that any woman who decides to enter into the world she has created will gain a greater sense of their place on this planet and how they can do more to follow their bliss in little or large ways.  The pittance of a membership fee she charges to be a member of Wisteria and Sunshine is the price of a frozen pizza! Such a tiny price for such a great bounty!

Here is a quote from the membership page of Wisteria andSunshine that so sums up the spirit of the site as well as the demeanor and philosophy of Lesley Austin:

“As I watch the stars of evening, and in themorning open my window toward the east, I shall observe the Ceremonial of quietness of heart, of simplicity, and poise of spirit, that I may keep my soul and the souls of others free from entanglements in the machinery of the day.”

- Ceremonials ofCommon Days, Abbie Graham, 1923       

I ask you, who can resist such a beckoning?

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