Welcome to Sylvan&South!
I am a recent transplant to the state of North Carolina. I was born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania, an area known for its rolling hills, quaint towns, and quintessential bucolic scenes. For the past three years I had been living on a two-and-a-half acre homestead raising chickens and ducks, growing and canning my own produce, and trying to live as sustainably as I could manage, all the while taking on DIY projects and home repairs. I am a huge advocate of reuse and recycling, or as my family and friends may tell you, “obsessed” or “crazy.” Yes, I have gone through my trash to remove items than could be recycled or composted, and I am ok with that! But more on that topic later…
As you can probably guess, I also love thrift stores, flea markets, antique stores, etc, and the items I find play a huge role in my decorating style. Sometimes I am lucky to find something that is perfect as is, but a lot of times I need to put my own twist on the things I find to make them fit my home. Natural objects and elements are also very precious to me and I incorporate them into my projects and displays whenever possible.
Life in the South is a little bit different so far. The two most major differences are the landscape and my lifestyle. There are no hills in coastal Carolina! Instead of taking long hikes through the hills or along a rocky stream, I find myself strolling along the beautiful sandy beaches. The woods are different, too – the deciduous forests of my Pennsylvania home are no more, I have swapped them for coniferous forests dominated by long-leaf pines. I walk over soft, golden pine needles instead of crunchy leaves. Exploring these different environments has been wonderful so far, especially for an out-of-work biologist now stay-at-home mother. What has been harder for me is not being able to walk out my door and gather the eggs and produce that I grew myself and make a meal of it. My current home is a rental in a small development, which means no poultry, no digging up the yard to put in gardens or fruit trees, no painting the walls (or the ugly kitchen cabinets) in my house.
What can you expect from Sylvan&South? I promise you tons of DIY craft and furniture projects for a variety of skill levels, tried and true recipes for cooking and baking, canning tutorials, and sustainable living advice. You may even learn an interesting fact or two, as the scientist and nerd in me is sometimes hard to keep quiet. Please join me as I try to bring a little bit of the North to the South, and incorporate self-sufficient country practices into my new suburban life.