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RURAL Magazine Â

OUr mid bloom issue

RURAL VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3 Autumn 2017 Cover Image Jen Vandervoort Advertising Subscriptions Visit Find us on facebook : rural magazine

Visit us on instagram @ruralmagazine


Published seasonally by Jen Vandervort/RURAL magazine All Rights Reserved

RURAL Copyright 2017

Hello RURAL readers! Happy Autumn here's to the sights and sounds of fall. Crunching leaves underfoot on a nature walk, gorgeous colors draping tree branches, the whisper of falling leaves in the forest. . This issue is all about celebrating our creativity, how we find it, keep it, and nurture it now that we're mid-bloom. That's mid-bloom, not middle age...we're not our parents, mid life shouldn't be where we start to wind down our lives but to continue on and expand our creativity. This issue is a collection of inspiring stories from women who are challenging themselves, to grow, to create, to make changes, to overcome, and to make the most of what life presents to them with. There's a manifesto for midlife, farm notes, learning to listen, starting over, and how turning 50 gives one woman permission to just be. We're celebrating life, no what age we are. Enjoy. Jen, and the team at RURAL magazine. Page 02

RURAL magazine

Photography Credits Pages 5 & 14 Joy O'Connor Canadian Garden Joy


Jen Vandervoort is the founder of RURAL magazine.. Find her at Jen. thelightlaughed on Instagram

Carolynn Anctil Artist and Agent of Whimsy." Visit her at her Etsy shop Carolynn Anctil Design.

Cindy Garber Iverson is an art photographer who shares her work on Instagram @cindygarber iverson

Sarah Huizenga is a photographer, writer and Chai Latte lover, she blogs at Paisley Rain Boots.

Susan Licht is a retired educator turned photographer. She blogs at www.Lichtyears .com.

Angela Guzzo is making 1000 Quilts and donating every 10th one to charity. Find her on Instagram @magpiestitches

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10 06 Â Manifesto for midlife Arriving


RURAL Contents P. 05, 14 Garden photography from Joy O'Connor P. 15 Stitching up a new beginning

P. 20 Listening

P. 28 Fencelines Changing a few things up on our site.

P. 02 Editors greeting

P. 03 RURAL Contributors

P. 27 RURAL market

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Autumn burned brightly Photos Joy O' Connor

Manifesto for Midlife

By Susan Licht

Much has been written about midlife, most of it having to do with the negative aspects such as menopause, weight gain, wrinkles, empty nests, and caring for aging parents. While it may be all of that, it may also be a wonderful time of selfdiscovery and reinvention. I’m a bit past middle age now,( although people tell me 60s are the new middle age), and I feel like I’ve “come out the other side” with a new outlook on life. After retiring from teaching at age 55, I rekindled my love for photography. I am my own boss, I create images that please me and if by chance others appreciate my work, that’s just an added bonus. There is a sense of acceptance and freedom in my life and work now as I no longer worry about what others may think.

Susan Licht Page 06

Susan Licht

I have created this Midlife Manifesto. It's a work in progress: I give myself permission; To retain that childlike imagination and sense of curiosity To be spontaneous, to run outside in my pajamas in the early morning to catch a shot, although my neighbors may think I’m weird. Weird is good. To say no occasionally, when things get overwhelming To embrace and celebrate solitude as something that is essential to creativity and well being. To live and work with less. I have no need for constantly collecting new toys or camera equipment. I strongly believe it’s the photographer and not the camera that makes the image.To not compete with others. As they say, life’s a journey, not a race Photography, as all art is subjective. Variety is a good thing and you can never have too much art in your life. To start each day with a clean slate, open to all possibility. To learn new things, to keep my spirit and zest for life strong. To accept and not dwell on the things in my past that can’t be changed. To move on. To be comfortable in my own skin, wrinkles and all. My body is a container, the most important things are inside. To surround myself with like-minded friends who appreciate, support and love me for who I am and to reciprocate that appreciation, love, and support. To prioritize, let go of all things trite, not to sweat the small stuff. Page 07

Susan Licht

"We can begin to reap all the benefits of what we’ve planted throughout our lives." I recently came across these wonderful words from Brené Brown, “Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.'' Yes, it’s that time. Autumn reminds me of midlife. Past baggage has been put away, the air is clear, the pesky mosquitos are gone and we can begin to reap all the benefits of what we’ve planted throughout our lives. The light is golden, the colors are rich, and we are heading towards our peak season. Page 08

Susan Licht

Carolynn Anctil

Love [those] Letters from the Farm Carolynn Anctil creates her art in a century-old farm house nestled between the softly rolling fields of grain in Saskatchewan Canada. Outside, her hens contentedly forage for bugs in the yard. Willow, her dog, keeps a watchful eye over them, while her cats, Luna and Teddy settle in for a snooze.   She creates watercolor illustrations for her handwritten letters that are sent out to her Tin Rooster Farm subscribers each month.  An accomplished writer and artist her Tin Rooster Farm notes enable her to combine a love of words with her art, evolving through an urge to share a sense of the peacefulness she experiences on her farm. To read more about her work, and subscribe visit her Etsy site Carolynn Anctil Design.

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By Carolyn Anctil

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For more information see Carolynn's Etsy shop. Carolynn Anctil Design or visit her FB page @CarolynnAnctilArtist

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And all at once


collapsed into fall Oscar Wilde

Joy O'Connor

Angela Guzzo

Stitching Up a New Beginning

By Angela Guzzo

This August, I finally realized that my business was failing. Not just “in a slump,” like I’ve been telling myself all year, but well and truly sinking. Sales have been down by a third, and August (usually our busiest month) was down by half. We’ve been covering our expenses with savings, thinking things would pick up over the summer. But the back-to-school rush has come and gone, along with most of our savings, and the business isn’t getting better. It’s time to call it.

I m 48 years old and I m starting over from scratch.

For the last three years, I've been running an online educational bookstore. Until this year, it was like a dream come true. My very own bookstore, working from home, caring for my special needs kids and having a life that included my work and my family. Everything was great. Until this year, all of a sudden, sales are down. Every month it’s a new low record, and not just for us. We've heard from others that they are suffering the same fate. At least one publisher in our niche is going out of business.

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The thing is, books have small margins and small margins require volume. Without volume you can’t make enough to cover expenses, let alone take home pay. That volume, for me, is gone. I don't know if it will come back when things change in the future, but I can't sustain it while we're waiting. Meanwhile, my kids need me. I started my family in my late 30s, I still have school-aged children at home. We homeschool so that I can accommodate their particular needs. I need work that I can do at home with them around. Signing up for a business where I’m on the computer 8 hours a day isn’t going to work. Maybe in the future, when my kids are grown, but not now. Now I need to help support my family while also caring for them.

1000 quilts, starting now. Angela Guzzo Page 16

My solution? I'm making quilts. I’ve always loved to sew. I taught myself when I was 12 so that I could have a Gunne Sax dress (homemade was the only option my frugal mother would consider). At 18 a co-worker at the local fabric store taught me to quilt, and I’ve never looked back. Quilting has been my therapy. Quilting helped me make friends when I was new in town, quilting helped me helped me get through my Dad’s passing and now quilting is going to get me through this. I am going to make 1,000 quilts, starting now. My whole family is helping on this new adventure. They help choose colors and fabrics, they help decide on bindings. Sometimes they even sew. They encourage me in the process of taking good photos, and they hold the quilts up so I can get just the right shot. (Watch for those little feet peeking out!)

Angela Guzzo

Along the way, I can give to people who need it most. Every 10th quilt will be donated (along with a picture book) to help children who are victims of sexual abuse.

It's a new and terrifying journey, kind of like jumping off a cliff. But doing it feels right. It feels joyful. When I am quilting, my heart is filled with love for the people who will snuggle with the quilt when it's done and that's not a bad way to spend your afternoon in my opinion. For more information on Angela's quilts visit her Instagram gallery @magpiestitches

Cindy Garber Iverson


By Cindy Garber Iverson

I spent my young adulthood anticipating “arriving” when I finally turned 50. But the year leading up to my 50th birthday caught me offguard riddled with feelings of inadequacy and regrets at dreams not achieved. And then the big day came. I was the big FIVE-OH. It was like a pressure valve was released. No more excuses. I. Am. Fifty.

I can’t make up for lost time now. Then permission came from somewhere deep inside me. Be true to yourself, it said. Be who you always were, it said. Reclaim the things you were passionate about when you were young and innocent, it said. You only answer to me, it said. So I listened. What did I love way back when? Dewy sun-dappled scenes of colorful flags and banners fluttering in the breeze; carnival lights; bees on bright flowers; and the feeling of being a kid lying in a grassy wildflower meadow while butterflies flitted about me. What else? Bright colors in a pastry shop; the glean of light reflecting off old-fashioned candies too pretty to eat; and the magical call of any body of water to my mermaid heart. Yes! Those were the images I wanted to capture. That’s how I saw the world then. Then came the realization, “Hey, I still do!” That is what will guide my creative journey now that I have “arrived” at 50. "Be true to yourself, it said"

Cindy Garber Iverson Page 19

Listening By Sarah Huizenga

Sarah Huizenga

As I sit here on the sun-warmed cement porch, my notebook is open on my lap to a long list of destinations to photograph today. I should be crossing this location off my list and moving on to the next one, instead I close my eyes and lean back against the white clapboard siding of the old farmhouse and listen.  The heavy engine of a garbage truck overpowers all other sounds as it passes on the paved road a quarter mile away. As the engine noise fades, and quiet returns, I focus on the other sounds around me. Left of me, I hear the buzz of a pair of bumblebees as they move from weed to weed in the unmown front yard. Page 20

Sarah Huizenga

In the side yard, I hear the distinct chirp of a Cardinal from an apple tree in the abandoned orchard. A light breeze ruffles the pages of my notebook. I open my eyes and see the inquisitive face of a striped ground squirrel, as he pokes out from a small hole in the porch foundation. I have been in love with this farmhouse since the first time I photographed it five years ago in the late Autumn sun. No one lives here, all the historic farmsteads in the area are owned by the United States National Park Service. I enjoy exploring and photographing all of the farms, but this one has captured my heart. The last time I was here, I was with my daughter. As I stood in the backyard between the freshly-painted red shed and the apple orchard, tears welled in my eyes. My daughter was wandering nearby with her iPhone in hand, my own Canon camera dangled by my side. There is something beyond words in this place.  

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Sarah Huizenga

Today I am alone. I tagged along with my husband on a business trip. While he spends his days riding with his salespeople visiting customers, I am free to take the car and explore wherever my heart leads. The problem is - my heart leads to too many places, evident as I look down at the list on my lap. This is already my second stop of the morning and it is only nine o’clock. I left the hotel before seven, just as the sun was coming up.   I turn fifty next year, my life is probably more than half over. This realization breeds a sense of urgency to go more, and see it all. These are the good years; finally free from the responsibility of daily parenting, both of our sets of parents are in good health, we are in good health, and we are blessed with the resources to travel. But the question I must ask myself is: What am I missing in the haste to see it all? I lean back and close my eyes again, I hear the ground squirrel scamper across the far end of the porch. This is what I am missing - the listening, the chance to feel, the opportunity to savor.  Without opening my eyes, I feel for the top page in my notebook, the one with the long list of must-see today destinations. I rip it out. Then I tear the page into four pieces, put them back in the notebook and close it. Picking up my camera from beside me, I set off to follow the ground squirrel.  Page 22

Sarah Huizenga

Autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen

Jen Vandervoort

Jen Vandervoort

Jen Vandervoort

RURAL market

Honeybee miniature measuring 4" x 4.5" CDN $20, plus applicable taxes and shipping. Available at Carolynn Anctil Design Page 27

Fencelines "We've decided to exchange our website for a new and more exciting visual way of reaching out to our readers"

Websites are great, but ours isn't pulling its weight, It's been languishing around barely doing any work at all.... RURAL is all about stories, both written and visual, that's inspired us to start a change over to a more visual format putting our RURAL Instagram feed, and RURAL magazine Facebook page to work, along with some other exciting new improvements that will be showing up soon.. Back issues of RURAL magazine will be available on our FB page soon. Please drop by and "like" our FB page, and join in our Instagram community, we'd love to meet you. Many thanks to our wonderful contributor's efforts and creations, and also you to you, our readers. Subscribe so you don't miss an issue. Enjoy the Autumn issue of RURAL magazine, and we'll see you in the spring. Find our Facebook page here:Â

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RURAL magazine - Mid Bloom issue Autumn 2017