29 August, 2011

Goodnight, Irene


The rain started late Saturday morning. Much rushing around, picking vegetables from the garden, bringing in plants and wind chimes, tying down furniture. Air conditioners out, screens up, storm windows down. Filtered water poured into jugs and refrigerated. Tap water filling buckets, ready and waiting.
Night comes on quickly. Blankets and pillows are gathered and spread on the floor as make-shift beds. The rain is falling harder, and the wind is picking up. On the tv, warnings and watches. Tornadoes have begun touching down. "Can we turn it off? Put on something black and white and quick-dialogued?" One last trip upstairs for a book to read. A loud zap. Two blinding blue lights out the back window. And darkness. This is only the beginning.
A candle-lit game of rummy. A can of wine. Watch the storm from the front porch. "They'll sound alarms if there's a tornado, right?" "I would think." "Good. I'll sleep better believing that." Decide to do just that before things get bad. Note the quiet: no cars, no trains, no airplanes flying overhead. Realize that the crickets are chirping louder than the wind is howling. Fall easily into a light sleep. Wake an hour later because it is so hot. The sky is oddly bright. Made brighter by successive flashes. Not lightning. But what? Power lines sparking, perhaps.
Sleep restlessly until five. Get up, go to the bathroom. Check the basement- there's water, but not too much. Deep in spots, but not wide-spread. Manageable. Discuss coffee, but decide to try to sleep a bit more. "Please, with the light! I'm trying to sleep." Surprise and euphoria at the restoration of power. Mayoral press conferences hinted at the possibility of this being delayed for weeks. Back up again to turn off what was forgotten last night. Open the doors for fresh air. The end is near. Fall, blissfully, into a sound sleep.
Wake for good a couple hours later. The wind has changed direction. Rain is falling hard, but it's moving away, onward and upward towards the north. The house is still standing, the yard is still there. We have been spared. Within hours, the sky has cleared to a brilliant blue. The sun is shining. And the wind is blowing as hard as you have ever felt it. Let it blow.

Hoping you have all fared well, and wishing you a week of clearing skies and peace.

26 August, 2011

Happy Weekend

Dear Readers...what a week it's been. A week filled with early mornings and little boys. And earthquakes. Which never happen here. And I missed it. I was pushing those little boys in their super-swank smooth riding double stroller, just marching along (at my usual near-jog pace), and I missed the whole thing.
I was undaunted by an un-returnable missed call from their daddy, figuring it was a butt/phone situation. I agreed with Nephew 1, who kept telling me about "big badumpadumps", because, yes! we were going over many a bumpy sidewalk. Budumpadump indeed! I thought the man standing in front of the cleaners might be trying to pick me up when he informed me that the earth had just moved, despite the stroller I was looming behind. It wasn't until a frantic text from my sister finally came through, asking if we were ok, that I started to suspect something might be amiss. The frightened face of Nephew 1 confirmed that suspicion.
An earthquake. A real one. And I missed it. The only proof I had were the few books and pictures that had fallen off of shelves, greeting me when I got home that night.

How can you possibly top a week that includes a rare east coast earthquake? Why, with a hurricane, of course! A hurricane looking very much like it wants to give a pretty direct hit to the Philadelphia area. A hurricane that has Mayor Bloomsberg talking evacuations in New York City. A hurricane that has me gathering candles and matches, and moving freshly moved-in things out of my floodable basement studio.
However exciting the week might have been, it's got nothing on the weekend ahead.
Stay safe, stay dry, and have a Happy Weekend.

23 August, 2011

The Babysitter's Here


You guys! Hi! I'm still here! Are you?
It's been a bit...hectic...around here. Last week, I devoted a HUGE chunk of time to pulling every single little thing out of my shop for a complete and total re-shoot. And then, since there were all of those listings all ready being edited, it seemed a fine time to change titles and tags to better work with all of the search changes Etsy's made. Which is a lot of work. A lot. So much so that I haven't had much desire to do anything else on the computer. Sorry 'bout that.
(I know bunches of you are also on Etsy, and I'm wondering, how has the change affected you, if at all? What are you doing to stay relevant? I'd love hearing your input and feelings!)

And then, this week happened. My sister went back to work Monday, nearly two whole weeks before she had planned on returning. Which has not made for a particularly happy sister. Add to that the fact that her husband broke his ankle a week before, and is still waiting for a real cast. Which has pretty much rendered him a throw pillow, all propped up in the corner of the couch. And here's where I fit in: help take care of her boys. All three of them. But mostly the smaller two. The smallest of which has spent the better part of his brand new life strapped to his mommy's side. So, we are all of us in the midst of an adjustment period. It's going to be a long week, but certainly not a boring one. I hope you can bear with me as we continue to adjust. I promise to return to normal posting next week, with a few pop-ins between now and then.

Have a good one, my friends.

16 August, 2011

It's All Greek To Me

One of my favorite places to eat in the city is a tiny little dining room tucked into a narrow row house in Old City. The brick walls are covered in old Turkish plates, and glass lanterns hang from the tin ceiling. The tables are covered in white butcher paper, and a rainbow assortment of crayons is tucked into ornate Moroccan-style glasses, nestled amongst equally ornate candle holders. The bar is very old, and very mirrored.

Above the restaurant is an tiny, narrow club, with an even tinier stage at the back of the room. In front of the tiny stage is a small grouping of tables. If you have tickets to an upstairs show, and reservations for a downstairs meal, you get to sit at one of the very few tables. And if you get tickets for a show, I highly recommend getting yourself a reservation downstairs.

Nearly every time I eat there, a meze platter is ordered: as an appetizer for a group, or a meal for two. Every time, as soon as the platter, heaped with Mediterranean delights, is put on the table, I bee-line for the tzatziki. The other night, I had a craving and a whole bunch of fresh-picked cucumbers. And despite the lack of ambiance, and the lack of warm, fresh pita, olives, or stuffed grape leaves, and despite the fact that, once upstairs, there was no music, just a bed and a basket full of laundry waiting to be put away, it was enjoyed, thoroughly and completely.


15 August, 2011

Six Months In A Leaky Boat...

Just off the Florida Keys, on an artificial reef 90 feet below the surface of the sea, a one-of-a-kind photo exhibit is taking place.


Andreas Franke, an Austrian photographer, is showcasing a dozen photos he took of the sunken ship that now serves as the reef, digitally enhanced with photographs taken of real-life models. The idea is to depict what life could be like, living on the ghost ship, amongst the fish and the coral. The results are surely stunning to anyone brave enough to don an oxygen tank and flippers to view the installation.


Have an imaginative week, Dear Readers!

13 August, 2011

Happy Weekend


Well, it's taken until mid-August, but finally, finally, summer has this whole weather thing figured out. It's hot, but not too hot. It's perfectly hot. There's no humidity. The sky is blue, and the clouds are whispy. And at night? It's cool. And breezy. And the rain in the forcast for the second half of the weekend is just fine. We need it. And people are walking around so happy and drunk on the good weather, that they're perfectly happy to take some of the not so good.
Wishing you all a perfectly balanced, silver-lining kind of a weekend.

11 August, 2011

Grown Oceans

Lately, I have been absolutely head over heels for aquatic shades of blues and greens looped through and around brilliant golds and shipwreck-hued antiqued brass. Perhaps it is a sign that I am overdue for a beach vacation (which is still weeks away).

1.Deuce   2.A Merry Mishap  3.Fortune  4.Balanced

Or perhaps it is because these color combinations are just plain gorgeous.
Happy Handmade Thursday, Lovelies!

10 August, 2011

Someone's In The Kitchen...

I spent a bit of much needed time this weekend with two very dear, long-time friends.
The first bit of time was spent with my Maude, my dear and trusty mixer. We haven't been spending much time together these past few hot and sticky months. It felt good to be back, measuring flour and breaking eggs. Even if turning on the oven did cause me to wilt, ever so slightly.

But it was well worth the wilt, for the time spent with Maude was time spent making a cake.
A cake baked for my dearest of friends, a friend who has been there for so long, she can still remember a smoky afternoon when baking was something I did so infrequently that I thought waxed and parchment papers were the same thing (they're not). A cake made to celebrate, with my dearest of friends, her new home, and a beautiful new chapter in her life.


09 August, 2011

Anatomy of a Shirt

It was love at first sight, that afternoon one of LeBestiaire's beautiful, delicately embellished tops first appeared on my computer monitor. And with each click of the mouse through this gorgeous shop, the love affair grew and grew. From the beautifully imagined shop announcement, full of fables and flowers and cabinets of natural curiosities; to the simple, elegant photographs, with the details of each piece romantically outlined en fran├žais.

Just a little something to make you swoon on a Tuesday.

08 August, 2011

Scribbles and High Art

I am absolutely smitten with the brilliant juxtaposition of
 art, fashion, photography, and doodled sketches in these gorgeous images
 by the amazingly talented Australian photographer Chelsea Millunchick.

{all images via Willow & Frank}
Wishing you all a brilliantly juxtaposed week!

05 August, 2011

Happy Weekend

{photo of Ingrid Bergman found here}
You guys. It's the weekend. And, it's been a week. Not a bad one. Actually, quite the opposite. But it's been a week, nonetheless. Have you ever had one of those? Where your head's everywhere and nowhere all at once? I'm totally in the midst of that right now. Must try to sort that out.
That's all I've got. Have yourselves a deliriously happy weekend!

04 August, 2011

Darkness On The Edge Of Town


My Dear Readers. I went into this week with plans.Plans for things that I wanted to share with you.Lovely things. But, as the days came and went, so did the plans. A lovely thing, one that I had planned to share with you, just didn't seem to fit the mood of the day. A lovely thing sat, waiting to be shared, but I couldn't seem to find the right words.

Late-ish last night, I sat on my bed, listening to a moderate rain fall. As I was listening to the rain, I was preparing a post full of lovely things that I had planned to share with you today. And as that moderate rain fell, and I gathered together my lovely things, very quietly, with no lightning strikes or thunderbolts of hoopla whatsoever, the power went out.

The power went out, taking with it the lights and the tv and the internet. And all of the lovely things I had planned to share with you today.

The power went, leaving me with darkness. And stillness. And quiet.
There were no air conditioners rattling in windows. No tvs making their tv noises. No machines running and whirring and buzzing. No neighbors awake to break the quiet.
Just the moderately falling rain, and an occasional distant rumbling of thunder.
Once or twice, very slowly, a train went by at the end of the street, whistle blowing to warn the darkness that it was coming.
I fell asleep listening to the whistle, and dreamed of far off lands.
And it was lovely. So lovely that I just had to share it with you.

02 August, 2011

Bright's Passage

I have been a fan of singer/songwriter Josh Ritter since the very first time I heard the song "Kathleen".
The man has a vast vocabulary, and he knows how to use it.
It seemed only logical then when I heard he had written a book.
Which I'm dying to read.
Even more so after hearing his friends and family read the first chapter.

{click here to watch video}
What about you, Dear Readers? What are you reading/looking forward to reading?

01 August, 2011

Mix Tape Monday, Volume Video Killed The Radio Star

A rain-soaked hello and a late day welcome to August, Dear Readers!
It is indeed the first day of a new month, and a Monday to boot, making today Mix Tape Monday. We're changing things up a bit this time around, because today marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of MTV. And though I was but a wee small girl on that long-ago day, I still have hazy memories of watching those first few videos with my dad and my mom's brother (who was living with us at the time).
Which begs the question-what was I still doing up at midnight? Who was in charge there?

I came out of the womb loving music. So it's no wonder that actually seeing the songs that I loved so much made such a huge impact on my formative years. So, friends, today I invite you to take a little trip down memory lane with me, and watch some of the songs that shaped who I am today.

The Pretenders, Brass In Pocket. There was really nothing special about this video. At all.
But my tiny self loved it. And has had a love/hate affair with bangs ever since.

Fleetwood Mac, Gypsy. I was obsessed with Stevie Nicks. I saw this, and my whole world changed.
To this day, I still answer the question "What do you want
to be when you grow up?" with these two words:
Stevie Nicks.

We didn't have cable for very long while I was growing up, so I missed a lot of videos. Jump ahead to 8th grade.
The Cure releases Disintegration, along with oddly colorful videos for a large number of the songs. Sunday nights are spent sleeping at friends' houses so I can see them all on 120 Minutes.
A new obsession has been born.

The Stone Roses, I Wanna Be Adored. A lifelong love affair with dreamy britpop began here.
And a good many hours were spent laying on the living room floor, listening to this album on the big headphones.

So there it is, a tiny slice of my life in music videos. I could probably have filled an entire day with little snippets of song, but these left the biggest mark.
What about you, Dear Readers?
On this MTV-aversary, what videos have made an impact on you?