Rachel Faucett - Hand Made Charlotte

In our effort to bring you even more varied points of view, especially when it comes to style, we're very happy here at Nonchalant Mom to introduce to you a new blogging partner: Rachel Faucett of Hand Made Charlotte. I've admired her varied interests and particularly stylish eye for a while now and was very pleased when she agreed to partner with us in sharing with you some of the things that she focuses on from day to day! Where she finds some of the things she promotes I'll never probably know. But, I'm sure excited by the idea and HAPPY that she is too!

So, in keeping with my wish to make things as familiar as possible we asked Rachel to sit down and answer some questions. I think you'll be inspired by her beautiful house and focus on natural living. But, more so, you'll be amazed that she has time to do anything while raising her small team of kids, and with another beautiful surprise on the way!!! Oh my!

Rachel, you've been busy - are you pregnant?
I am pregnant with my sixth child!!! My second child, Catherine Keeling died of SIDS when she was 3 months old. We miss her very much and I always include her with the rest of my pod! So.... Isabella (9), Jonah (6), Murphy (4), and Charlotte (2)!

Whoa! That's great news!
My husband Jonathan and I have been married 12 years. It was a 'love at first sight' kinda thing! We met, fell in LOVE, and eloped!

And where do you all live?
We live on Elsberry Mountain Farm in Dallas, Georgia - which is about 22 miles outside of Atlanta.

the house viewed from the lake

And how did you manage that piece of magic?
Jonathan's parents bought the farm that we live on 35 years ago. After we got married, we asked if we could live in/fix up a cabin his uncle had built on the property, and they said yes.We moved back and fourth from Atlanta for several years! Once we had children we decided life was best on the farm so we added an addition to the cabin (it's a crazy layout, almost like a cabin 'inside of a house'). The best part is our neighbors: Nana and Papa (grandparents), Jonathan's sister Suzanne, her husband Mike, and their 2 kids. The property has a large lake as well as a really cool mountain top where you can view the Atlanta skyline in the distance. We have lots of animals including Horses, cats, dogs, a ferret, a parrot, a pet duck, ring neck doves, roosters, a guinea pig...!

How do you think this all fits into Hand Made Charlotte?
I traveled a lot as a child and I've always enjoyed art! I have enjoyed all forms: painting, sculpture, candle-making, soap-making , mosaics , and knitting... I love it all! I sort of fell into the clothing biz. I have been setting up at antique markets and Flea markets for years selling my "junk"(anitque leather luggage, bird cages, furniture, etc.)! I started selling my own art and started getting more focused! I would set up my little tent like a 'home' and sell women's and children's clothing, jewelry, original paintings, etc. I was getting great feedback but I was scattered in too many directions. So, now I’m focused on little girls clothing! My favorite subject!

You've got a lot on your plate. How do you manage it?
I love our LIFE! My husband recently developed a new community in Vance, Alabama! www.discovernaturewalk.com! It is a test model for facilitating growth in a small community without destroying the existing core of the town. We're very much into supporting the local community. I have wonderful support in the home several days a week. 'Miss Diane' is our everything, she is a second grandmother and has been with us for almost 3 years. Jonathan works from home a lot more now and we have a ton of family close by!

Quackie the pet duck!

How's it look around your house on an average morning?
Of course the children are the first ones awake in our house! First thing we do is check in on the locals on our front lawn...... Geese,heron,deer,turkey,hawks,etc.! Isabella is becoming quite the 'short-order' cook at breakfast these days! I will join them a bit later and make sure they are having plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurt, etc.

What's for breakfast usually?
We like breakfast - we change it up quite a bit - but it's the most important meal of the day for us! Sometimes we do it 'Alabama' style with french toast, scrambled eggs, and bisquits. And then there's the famous 'Birthday Breakfast' with all the things the kids never get to eat like sugary cereals, donuts... you name it!

Do your kids go to school nearby?
My children are homeschooled! They go to a school for the arts one day a week . I really really LOVE it! We believe strongly in our Christian faith and this allows us an opportunity to focus on what is really important in our family.

Our school in the basement of the house

Naps and snacks, how do you work that out?
Charlotte is really no trouble, she justs hops up into the bed without being asked!! Of course, I'll lay down with her every once in a while - if I get the chance! For snacks, the kids like to pick stuff out of our yard to snack on! I try to keep plenty of fruits and vegetables around, preferably what we grow ourselves.

What's your team do for dinner? Is it hard to round everyone up?
We always try to gather as a family at dinner time and play little games to keep close. Sometimes we have a 'storybook' dinner where we go around the table and everyone adds a word or two of their own until we've strung along a crazy story! Or we might take on different identities and play a little 'role-playing' fun! We've actually eaten under the table before, but it's been a while since we have done that...!

Anything special about your typical entertainment?
We don't watch television, just the occasional movie. We have a ton of books, games, kits, animals, and crafts - anything but the T.V.!

How about bedtime, the kids must keep you busy?
We are still transitioning slowly from a 'family' bed! We usually end the day with an audio book (the 'Hardy Boys' are currently the favorite!).

You've got yourself such a lovely full house, any wisdom you want to share with other parents while we're at it?
All we need is love! I really love being a parent! It does get really crazy around here sometimes and I'm always praying for a little MORE patience and wisdom. I guess my advice is to relax and enjoy the 'moments' a bit more! This is advice I need to follow more!

We're looking forward to working with you Rachel - it's going to be GREAT! Thank you!
I'm SUPER excited! I absolutely LOVE your shop and your blog has such a refreshing perspective. It's nice to have a place to escape the 'mainstream marketing machine' and discuss parenting!