Families of Instagram #5: Home Sweet Homestead

“We hit the ground running most mornings, feeding and tending to the animals before the coffee brews or our eyes focus.” Julie Letowski (@homesweethomestead) talks beautiful mornings, handmade knits and allowing space for creativity…

Julie Letowski and her husband Craig are building a sustainable life for themselves and their six-year-old son, Gus, on a 10-acre farm in Waldoboro, Maine. They also handcraft ceramics and farm-functional knitwear, which is sold via their online shop, northcountryfolk.com

Our mornings are… never late, sometimes jarring, but always beautiful. We hit the ground running most mornings, feeding and tending to the animals before the coffee brews or our eyes focus. It can be a bit of a slog to pull on our boots and get at it, but there comes that moment when you walk around the back of the barn and see your beautiful milk cow silhouetted by the sunrise and boom – it’s OK to be up and out. In fact it’s really great.

My kid mainly wears… nothing or wool. It’s a very stylish wardrobe of extremes.

I cope with clutter by… waiting for winter and my ruthless post-summer cleaning streak.

Home Sweet Homestead @homesweethomestead - theearlyhour.com

I never leave the house without… a project, most often some knitting. There are so many things I want to accomplish that when I find myself waiting or hands-free while out in the world, I’m always so grateful for a way to utilise the time.

When no one’s looking I… have been known to milk the cow in the nude! It’s incredibly liberating and breezy.

I encourage creativity… personally, by keeping my hands busy and asking myself questions as I work: “Is this beautiful and useful? How could I enhance either or both of these aspects?” As a mother, I focus on following rather than leading, setting the stage instead of directing. Children are innately creative beings. I find what my son needs more than anything is for me to allow space for that creativity to unfurl naturally. He gets to fantastical places all on his own.

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I’ll never be able to part with… the sweaters I’ve made for my son. They’re the keepers of so many wonderful memories.

When all else fails we… get moving outside. All-season beach walks, dips in the lake in the summer, walking our land when the mercury isn’t too extreme in either direction. It’s the ultimate perspective shake-up. Everything – myself, frustrations, difficulties – becomes much smaller when put out into the big world.