Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Harmony- Welcome Sandi Pike Foundas

The Winter Harmony blog series is our gift to our beautiful community to help inspire and support you to live in harmony with winter. Join us and some amazing guest bloggers M-F during the month of January.
Click here to see all the Winter Harmony posts in one place.

Get your own
Winter Harmony Mandala to bring a little peace and joy to your winter season this year and see what message it has for you.


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First let me say that I LOVE the four seasons.
Really Love Them.
I am always grateful that where we live here on the east coast on
Cape Cod in Massachusetts allows us to experience each of them in all their splendor.
But, this year... and this winter... in particular...have been a bit difficult
for me and my beloved husband for health reasons that have
taken much of our focus and energies.
Without going into detail I will say that he has needed me more than ever... heart, my love, my care, my strength, my energy
for a health journey that he has been on for the past few years
that has challenged us more in the past few months than any other time
in the almost twenty years that we have been together.

When Michelle and Jill Marie asked if I would write something for
the Winter Harmony series a couple of months ago, I was hesitant
to give them an answer...and they were gracious enough to give
me the gift of love, understanding and time.
I am grateful for that gift and now that I have had a chance
to catch my breath and center...I am here...
to share a few of the things that are helping to bring harmony
to my winter days this year...perhaps they will help you as well.

As always, it is nature that calls to my spirit...
And, although I would often prefer to stay indoors and snuggle in,
enjoying the cozy warmth of our home,
(I will be honest and say that the warmth of our bed in our
darkened bedroom each morning in winter
is especially difficult for me to pry myself from)
Yet, I am drawn to bundle up, layer sweaters, scarves, gloves and boots
and go outside... to breathe in the pure cold air and feel the
energy of winter. Feel the sensation of the air on my face, hear the
calls of the many birds that come for food at our many bird feeders and the
soft crunch of the ice crystals atop the snow on the ground as I walk...
and often capture a few photos of nature's surrounding miracles.

And Look Up...
So often it is the trees and their beautiful branches that call to my soul.
This was my view three days ago as I looked up on the
morning after a light snowfall during the night...
I am and having always been fascinated by the reaching of the branches.
Often climbing high into the branches of the apple trees in our yard as a young girl.
This amazing tree is on the little 9 hole golf course just behind our house now
and I have been in love with it since the moment I saw it when
we moved here ten years ago. I love how one of its branches simply rests
upon the ground, allowing mother earth to support it before it travels upward.
I once sat on one of its branches late one night, looking up
to the heavens at the beauty of an eclipse.
Trees. There is magic in them. There is sacred energy.
They often bend and give when harsh winds blow...
and playfully sway as their leaves dance with gentle summer breezes...
They have much to teach us with their gentle wisdom.
The light is different in the winter. Skies seem bluer and clouds
seem whiter with the contrast of the trees and shadows.
Keep your eyes open for hidden gifts in the shadows... a raven on a branch that lends its silhouette to a nearby tree.
There is also the gift of the quietude of Cape Cod during the winter months...
when the summer vacationers have left and the beaches now look like this
as I walk them to gather the sea stones that become the canvas for my work...
...and the amazing beauty of bare branches against gorgeous winter skies.
I am grateful for the windows in my studio of our home
over the garage for many reasons, and one of them
is because I am at the level of the higher tree branches...
I can often enjoy the circus acrobatics
of the squirrels scurrying from limb to limb only feet away while I create
on my sea stones and journals.
Winter has always made me want to slow go within...
feeling the stillness of the earth and the stillness within my soul.
And this winter has called my spirit to embrace stillness even more
as our days are often spent waiting hours in doctor's offices
and traveling long distances to and from appointments.
I will share with you here that there is also something else that has brought
an inner calm to my spirit this winter...and a peacefulness to my soul.
It is a broken branch.
A branch that had fallen in our back yard during Hurricane Sandy a few months ago.
As we were outside cleaning up the many broken branches that had fallen
during the storm, there was a branch that 'called' to my heart.
I could not throw it together with the others...and so I brought it inside.
I took it upstairs to my studio and I placed it gently in the
"Quiet Corner" of my studio. It fit perfectly in this space, with the slope
of the ceiling holding it snugly in place...
I loved it and I called it my "Branch Tree".
(I've always loved bringing bits of nature into our home so this
felt perfectly natural to me and I loved the way it 'felt' in this sacred space.)
A few days after I had placed it in my Quiet Corner I felt a little inner tug
to begin to wrap some beads on its branches...So I gathered some
tiny seed beads and brought them over to it with some wire to wrap them.
I knelt on the floor by the branch and began to slowly
wrap the wire and beads around the branches of this broken limb...
and the sweetest sense of calm came over me.
It was as if time stood still...and as I was on my knees wrapping
these tiny beads I was in the most peaceful prayer state.
I have come to this place many times over these past several weeks
(especially on days when my world seems to be unraveling)
...knelt down in the Quiet Corner of my studio...
... and wrapped more and more tiny seed beads around the branches...
feeling a profound peacefulness within...
I love each and every minute of
wrapping the beautiful beads around the limbs...
offering up peaceful energy and prayers for all those in need of love and healing...
family, friends, prayers for our planet...mother earth...the animals.
It is has become an ongoing loving, joyful time.
Now I call it my Peaceful Prayer Tree.
And it makes my heart smile.
I wish you peaceful Winter Days...and Nights.
Finding things that call to YOUR heart and spirit
that bring you your own Winter Harmony...
It can be anything ... really.
It can be as simple as a broken branch.
with love and gratitude,
Sandi Pike Foundas is the owner, maker, designer, curator, and Vision-Keeper for Love From Cape Cod.
Her  purpose is to bring a little extra love to the world...using lots of color. Her joy is found in the amazingly powerful and beautiful energy within the sea stones she work with...and the delight her heart feels when creating with mixed fabrics, ribbons, feathers, 'baubles and beads' on her hand-embellished journals and note books.
You can see her beautiful sea stones and journals at her Etsy shop.


  1. Sandi,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful world filled with natural objects. I love your photos, especially the raven silhouette and your gorgeous Prayer Tree. I truly enjoyed reading your post, and send love to you and your hubby.

  2. have touched my heart in so many ways over these past few months, but this Post ~ each and every word, photo, and idea ~ takes me to a place of deep connection with Earth and Sky. What a beautiful reminder that what appears to be broken...can still be such a source of beauty and strength in this world. Thank you...for more than you may ever know :)

    1. Jill Marie... Thank you (and Michelle) for allowing me to be a part of this Winter Harmony month. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the other's posts and am honored to have been included among these loving spirits.
      Bless you my friend... xxoo San

  3. San...what a beautiful post. You have also touched my heart with your pictures and creative writing. Cape Cod is such a beautiful place in every season, but winters are especially peaceful and quiet. Others are surely missing out by not seeing what you see when you look at nature. Creating a new home for a broken stick beautiful!....just like you!!

    1. My Sweet Friend...

      What a lovely surprise to see your comment here. You have touched my heart...

      with love...San

  4. Love your story, your beautiful pictures , your peaceful prayer tree and you!

  5. You are pure love...intimately connected to it all....reminding me to tune in and hear the direction of nature as it calls to my heart... You dance with all the colors like a humble paintbrush in the hands of Life...composing a sweet masterpiece in the symphony between nature and "man"....gently whispering familiar songs that reconnect us to our divine inheritance & makeup.

    .....A better feeling way of embracing the term "human nature"!

    Thank you for being the beautiful Vision-Keeper of Love that you are.
    Every cell in my being and every tear rolling from my face is experiencing a deep love & appreciation for this amazing mosaic of Winter Harmony.

    I know that you and your hubby are wrapped in Love.

    1. Oh Cindy...

      You have touched me so deeply with your amazing words and loving kindness.

      There are tears in my eyes too, after reading them. Sweet, tender and heart felt.

      Thank you dear Cindy for taking the time to come here and write what you have.

      My heart is filled with love and gratitude,


  6. Dearest Sandi..

    You always speak and create from you heart. Again and again you find and express the good in your life, people and our Mother Earth.

    You inspire me to do better!
    Love you, Deborah

    1. Dearest Deborah~

      Thank you. You so often inspire me to do better too.

      with love, Sandi

  7. Sweet Sandi,
    Your words are so wise and they paint beautiful, peaceful pictures in my head and heart. May you and your beloved John experience that peace and beauty each day as you travel this difficult health path.
    Love you!

    1. Thank you so very much Dianne...

      I know that things have not been easy for you...I'm glad that my words have painted peaceful pictures in your head...your translate them so beautifully to your canvases each time you create a painting.

      Sending love to you my friend,

  8. Hi Sandi
    Your words and pictures took my breath away and brought me to a place of stillness, peace and deep compassion and understanding for what you have been going through with your beloved John. Your courage shines forth along with your strength and amazing ability to see the beauty that is all around you and to be able to share it with all of us in such amazing and wonderful ways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. You are such a bright light in the world. Please keep shining and sharing and caring. Much love and many blessings, Veronica

    1. Hello Veronica

      Thank you for taking a few moments to write here. I always love the way you express yourself and am honored by what you have written.

      You know my heart and my prayers are with you each and every day my friend.

      love and blessings are going back to you...

  9. Sandi♥ Your post is so beautiful and full of inspiration. You find beauty in the simplest of things and it inspires me. You remind us to "look up" and never take nature's beauty for granted. I also adore your Peaceful Prayer Tree. You and John are in my heart♥ and in my Prayers...Love you


    1. Thank you Precious Dawn...

      It is good to 'see' you here my friend.

      love to you and your family.. especially sweet Lucy..

      xoxox San

  10. Sandi,
    Your words are so lovely, and I would not expect anything less from your gentle soul. You are a talented, beautiful woman. I hope your Peaceful Prayer Tree continues to bring you comfort, and when you need more, you know where you can come to receive more......Much love to you and John.

    1. Thank you Emily...

      I DO know exactly where to come when I need to receive 'extra' love.

      You are a treasure.


  11. Sandi,
    Such a beautiful post..... The picture you paint of you sitting on the floor while adorning your Peaceful Prayer Tree brought tears to my eyes. To me, it's an image of submission to that which is far greater than we. An image of what you exemplify - love. Sending you and John much love.... xoxo

    1. Denise...

      You know how much your words mean to me.

      Thank you for being oh-so-special you.

      God bless you. xoxox San

  12. Dearest Sand,
    You and your words are just as lovely and soulful as can be. Calming ..heartfelt...deliciousness!! thank you for sharing of yourself...always!! xx T.

    1. My Sweet Trace~

      Thank you...too, for so often sharing and giving or yourself my friend.

      You bring great beauty to the earth and my heart is very grateful for you.. and all you create.

      with love, San

  13. Sandi you are such an inspiration! I absolutely love what you say and your pictures are so great. That bird shadow, sunset and your sweet bead branch really stole my heart. I'm happy just knowing your glowing spirit is out there...sharing and spreading light. xoxo

    1. Precious Amy...

      Thank you for coming here.

      And.. you KNOW how much I love your work and the love that you put into every single piece that you create.

      Shine on sweet Amy~*~*~ xoxox San

  14. I have the absolute privilege of having sat with this amazing soul in her studio in the very corner where she wraps her Peaceful Prayer Tree with seed beads. Down on our stomachs in the woods between her house and the golf course, we have photographed fairy-like mushrooms and other woodland wonders. I have walked the beach with her, barefoot in the rain and delighted by the excitement of a summer lightning storm. I have watched her create her beautiful painted sea stones, amazed by the care and artistry she puts into every stroke.

    All of this she does in the midst of the significant health challenges that she and her dear husband are facing. From her I am learning the most important lesson of my life: that one can choose joy, beauty, love and wonder, no matter what is happening. That the miracles are in the spaces between what is happening in our lives; in everyday occurrences like the comings and goings of backyard creatures, the cycle of the day and the seasons, the shape and gesture of nature's designs. And that when we focus on the pleasure and profoundness that they bring, we are blessed with untold riches that pull us through life's rough spots, and we arrive at a place of deep peace, understanding, and fulfillment.

    To say that Sandi has seen me through some significant challenges of my own would be the understatement of the century, and I know that there are many others who have experienced her kindness, generosity and friendship. Her words here are golden nuggets of wisdom that are borne from a heart that is wide open and full of love. Her work is a perfect example of the way art can blend with nature to create something beautiful and inspiring. And her soul is a bright, shining example of one who has allowed the divine to shine through her and flow out from her heart, her hands, and her kind, loving eyes, into the world that so desperately needs exactly what she so freely gives. Thank you, Sweetest Goodest San, for the gift that you are, for this amazing post, and for all the ways that you inspire, teach, and model what it means to live each day to its fullest potential.

    With great love,

    1. Oh, My Sweet Rebecca...

      You are and always will be one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

      Thank you from my heart-center.

      ~with great love back to you....

  15. Hello Sweet Sandi! Thank you for sharing this post with me. I'd have been so sad if I had missed it!

    What a wonderful glimpse into a truly remarkable soul. This is beautiful, as are you. By reading this, I've had the distinct joy to learn more about you and it makes my heart sing.

    I too, love trees. There's a ton of maples trees around our complex but one right outside my window that I call "my tree". Your Peaceful Prayer Tree is beautiful. Everything you create has such a beautiful energy to it. It resonates within.

    Although we've never met, I consider you a kindred spirit.

    Sending many warm hugs and much love,

    1. Cindy~
      Yes, we are kindred spirits... I feel it too.
      (It does not surprise me that love trees.)
      sending love back.... Sandi

  16. Dear Sandi,

    So beautifully written; you have nailed the art of writing Sandi. While reading your piece, I felt that I was there with you and it also brought me some peaceful energy which was well needed after my very busy week.
    Love you dear one. xoxoxo
    Diane M.

  17. Dear Sandi,

    So beautifully written; you have nailed the art of writing Sandi. While reading your piece, I felt that I was there with you and it also brought me some peaceful energy which was well needed after my very busy week.
    Love you dear one. xoxoxo
    Diane M.

  18. Dearest Sandi,

    I truly love you. I love your soul. I love your spirit. I love your giving heart. You have blessed my life, my daughter's life, and my son's life with precious tokens of yes - your artistic brilliance - but also tokens that represent all that I love about you. I shall be forever thankful that we "stumbled" upon each other in this world.

    This is such a beautiful post that I will surely come back to time and time again for the hopeful and inspirational peace it offers. Thank you dear one.

    You are loved.


  19. Oh My Precious Kim...

    You have done it once again my friend.

    Brought me to tears with your words...and your loving heart. I treasure you so very, very much.

    Thank you for what you bring to my life.
    You are such a gift.

    You are loved, Sandi

  20. Such a lovely, lovely post! And I love seeing the photos and getting a little peek into your world. You are amazing and I just love how you spread love and light with all you do!!!! XOXO

    1. Kathy...

      Thank you for coming here and for your kind words.

      (Thank you too, for letting me know that "Unknown" was really You. :)

      You and Melody are amazing and I treasure both of you...and Brave Girls Club!

      love, Sandi

  21. oh san..i love that i can call you friend! and i too, along with rebecca, have been blessed to visit bluebird cottage. as a fellow "cape codder" i do appreciate how much you love and captivate our home. cape cod is a very special place..and more so because you are there.
    your artwork and photography bring me home. thank you.
    you and john are always in my prayers.

    1. Pam... I smile at you taking the time to write from Paris and share your love. We miss you, but are delighted by what you share with us during your stay there. Thank you for all that you are... all that you bring to us with your loving presence. xoxox I look forward to having you back at Bluebird Cottage in the times to come...

  22. Dearest Sandi - I read Rebecca's glowing and gifted words just now...Her thoughts are as true for the rest of us so blessed to be touched by you as they are for her. :)You are a miracle of joy to everyone. Peace.
    Mary Ann

    1. My sweet Mary Ann...

      Thank you precious spirit.

      I apprecitee everything that you are...and all the love you bring to earth.

      love right back to you... San

  23. sweet san ~ what a treat it is to see things through your eyes. winter is my most favorite season, so i enjoy every frosty bit. however, january & february have been a real challenge. i am loving winter all the same, but i have been so distracted with my day-to-day reality, minor emergencies, and cacophony of chaos that i have had to put the brakes on {put the kettle on} & consciously find my own winter harmony. i love seeing so many dear friends here in these comments... and rebecca's lesson from you: "that the miracles are in the spaces between what is happening in our lives." i love your bead-wrapped peaceful prayer tree - that it is a symbol of the destruction from your namesake storm which you have transformed {healed} with your heart and hands. when life gives you lemons... or broken branches : ) i am so blessed to count you as my very dear friend, wrapped up in your rainbow quilt. i love you beyond measure.

    1. oh, sweet Catie...

      I love you beyond measure too.

      I truly understand how your January and February days have been... (you know this) and am always grateful for the loving grace and wisdom you bring to each and every day with all your delightful creative ways and sweet nature.

      You are such a treasure in my life.

      always.... San

  24. Oh I just love you, sweet San..You and your rainbow quilt of love that warms us all. xoxo

  25. Awwww. . . Lovely San,
    Thank you for taking me on this peaceful winter's journey with you! Now more than ever, I need to use the winter harmony tools that you write about so poignantly.
    This is the time of year when I want spring so much, but snow is still falling and Arctic blasts are still blowing through our state. Your words and photographs help me to center myself, breathe, and embrace winter's beauty for as long as it is here. (maybe another month!)
    You make me remember childhood joys and appreciate nature's gifts as you write about the sacred wisdom of trees, frolicsome squirrels, and surprising bird silhouettes. The way you live every moment with grace and complete presence is very beautiful to witness.
    Your love for John inspires me to come from love more in my relationships.
    And your creativity is beyond measure! It truly is a part of your being. I admire the way you live so artfully.
    There is a very bright light shining from Marvelous Cape Cod out on this dear world of ours and making life full of goodness. It is you, precious San!
    Thank you for your prayers, creativity, healing, wisdom, and love. Your words touched my heart deeply and your photographs are magical.
    I send you a sprinkle of glittering snowflakes. . . a mug of hot chocolate. . . and a winter scarf with beads on it*~*~*~*~*~* Love you soooo much!!
    P.S. I also am enjoying exploring this blog and learning lots of new things from Jill and Michelle! The mandalas are awesome!