Buttercup Farm Journal


June 17, 2011

When I wrote the last LABF post called “REINVENTION” it was the word that most described the journey I have been on for a few years and greatly relates to the NEWS I am going to share today.

When I started this blog (this wonderful…first step into the world wide web…first time I went public with my photography and writing…first time I began the journey of creating a written history and what became the outlet for creating a writing ritual), I creatively designed it to reflect one aspect of my life, HOME (small farm, cooking, decorating, family). For a couple of years, the design was perfectly suited to the original mission. I loved every second of writing about those topics (and still do) but during the second year of writing LABF, my life started to change in many ways. In particular, I started feeling inspired to work my way toward a new career in the creative arts. Suddenly, the framework and design I created here didn’t always match what I felt inspired to write about and ultimately, I realized I needed to make a change.

It has been an amazing journey this last year. I have had lots of highs, lots of challenges, lots of fun, and lots of humbling moments. In the end, the journey has been so worth it because I feel like I have created something that reflects ME. Authentic Me.

Introducing my new website and blog home ShawnStratmann.com.


I invite you to come visit me on the new website/blog. I promise to share more about LABF, but in addition will also share lots of creative inspiration, my new on-line shop, and insights into making a major life change at 40.

Before, I sign off here, I want to say THANK YOU.


  • Thinking what I wrote was worth reading (over 1 million hits two years in a row).
  • Encouraging me here — I have received the most amazing support from many of readers and I love you for that!
  • Continuing to check in, even though I haven’t been consistent for the last year while I have been figuring all of this out.
  • Giving me a place to be creative, the best gift of all.

Lastly, I want each reader to know without the LABF experience, I would not be where I am today and for that I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL!!!!


Note: I will keep LABF up for at least a year.


February 25, 2011


Dear Friends,

I have not been here lately. I am on a journey of reinvention. I am reinventing my health, my dreams, my website, my business. It takes a lot of time to make BIG changes in life…sacrifices must be made. The time I had previously tucked away for writing has been reassigned to other things. Time with my family, time creating the framework, time to dream, time to workout, time to dance, time to LIVE. This makes me happy.

My new website and blog are coming soon. I am designing them to reflect how I want to live. Simple, authentic, free, and creative.

If anyone is still checking in on me…thank you. I hope you follow me on my next journey too.



November 12, 2010


“Everything looks great, except for….your cholesterol”, doctor says. “Any particular insight as to why your cholesterol is 267?”. “Well, um….does eating eggs five days a week impact that number? Or could it be the side of beef we purchase every six months?” , I asked jokingly. This is no surprise, my cholesterol was over 200 when I was 19 years old and weighed 98 pounds.

I have had this talk for over 20 years with my doctor but this time…more serious. I have six months to do lower my cholesterol on my own. Then we have to talk about “M.E.D.I.C.A.T.I.O.N”. Seriously????Really?????

I am taking this seriously….ooohhh a challenge…a goal to meet…..I am going to try to do it with some dietary changes. Starting with breakfast…..Steel cut oatmeal, almonds, banana….not so bad I have to say.

So long my favorite scrambled eggs with cheese….take care poached on toast….hasta la vista eggs benedict…it was nice knowing you!

New Experiences

October 28, 2010

newexp1“New Experiences” 11×14 mixed media/acrylic

The past few weeks have been amazing. I have packed my days with all kinds of new and exciting experiences. Experiences where I have learned new creative techniques and gained new computer skills. I have had experiences that have taught me lessons, and experiences that have tested whether I have learned my lesson. I have been gifted with the experience of teaching a group of kids weekly how to have a “Champion Attitude” and instilling in them that it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with winning.

These new experiences have made me feel like ME — WHOLE and RIGHT in every way. I am in a period of personal growth…off the charts….new territory….GROWTH…and I am learning day by day that if I CHOOSE experiences that are WHOLE, RIGHT, and AUTHENTIC…all is right with the world.


October 5, 2010

My oldest daughter is a competitive Irish Dancer and this past year we have had the chance to travel all over the southern region of the USA for competitions. We love the travel (especially when we go by car), we love the adventure of meeting a new city, and OF COURSE we love to try new restaurants.

This past weekend we had the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh and I have to say, I LOVED it. From the moment we left our home, until the moment we left the city, we found this trip to be full of good surprises!

If you love architecture, you will love this city. Interesting building, bridges, and churches make Pittsburgh Architecture worth the trip. The neighborhoods and homes were so charming and filled to the brim with cute restaurants and individually owned store fronts. The city is a leader in revitalization when it comes to cleaning up environmental damage and they have made great strides in turning around their water landscape.

Highlights of our trip:

  • Lunch with my best friends parents at their lovely home
  • Dinner at Point Brugge, a Belgium restaurant serving the most delicious mussels and frittes.
  • Ice Cream at Klavons, a yesteryear joint filled with penny candy and retro decor.
  • Parking at the Duquesne Incline and seeing a birds-eye view of the city.
  • Celebrating the competition with good friends.
  • Gaby winning her competition!

Some of my favorite pictures using my daughter’s point and shoot Canon SD780 in Pittsburgh:

Taking A Deeper Look

September 30, 2010


I have committed to myself that I will work on one question a week from my Fit by 40 post last March. There is one question on the list that I don’t want to tackle. It makes me uncomfortable to even look at it. What I know for sure though, is that in order to go where I want to go….a WHOLE lot has “GOTTA GO” and being honest about what those things are and ACTING on them could be hard…even painful.

The question I am working on right now is: What has GOTTA GO in my life?

I am not going to answer this question on this blog, but instead in written form through a journal. There are two reasons for this. First, some of these issues pertain to people and current situations in my life…enough said. Second, by nature, I am an optimist and I believe that what you think about expands. I don’t want to EXPAND the negative for myself or for others who might read this. These are personal issues that only “I” can do something about.

I came across this picture as I am pondering and processing the truths about what has “GOTTA GO”. This flower reminds me a lot of how this process feels. In this flower there are soft edges and sharp edges and there is something beautiful in the middle (a perfect red petal). There are times right now when my heart might be too soft and times where it might be too sharp and spiky. If I balance those thoughts and feelings, I might be able to find something beautiful in the middle.


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