31 October, 2011

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

{That's me. Wonder Woman. 1981.}

Trick or Treat, My Sweets.
As the song goes, this is Halloween.
And I need to tell you something about that-
it's not my favorite day of the year.
I mean, in theory, I think it's pretty fantastic: the black cats, the candy, the old school plastic pumpkin trick or treat buckets.
But in practice, it's just not my thing.
I really don't like wearing costumes. What's more, I'm terrified, absolutely terrified of other people wearing costumes. And not just on Halloween- team mascots, creepy mall Easter Bunnies, the dancing banana on the boardwalk- I steer clear of them all. But Halloween is filled with folks, young and old, in wigs and masks and full face make up. It escalates the fear to stratospheric levels.
And if you throw a clown in my direction, well, forget it. I really can't be held responsible for what might happen.
Fortunately, around these parts, trick or treaters are a rarity, and tend to be tiny princesses and firemen (not so scary), or high school students dressed as, well, high school students. But with pillow cases and an expectation for candy.
So I will rise above, answer their knocks at the door, and throw some candy in what I hope is their general direction. Or better yet- I'll let someone else do it ;)
Hope your week is filled with more treats than tricks.

29 October, 2011

Happy Weekend

Happy Weekend, my Dear Readers!
Perhaps it's a trick, and all of the weather people are in on it, or perhaps it's a pre-winter treat,
but snow, measurable amounts of it,
are actually in the forecast for this final October weekend. Can you believe that?
Sounds like a perfect excuse to stay in and bake and watch old movies to me.
How about you? What are your weekend plans?
Hope it's spooktacular, however you spend it :)

27 October, 2011

Golden Ink

I have always been drawn to things that are dainty, delicate, and not quite like anything else.
With Golden Ink, Melbourne-based artists Abby Seymour and Katherine Wheeler have created a collaborative line of one-off porcelain jewelry pieces that fit nicely into those aesthetics.

Necklaces, rings, and bangles of the most delicate porcelain are whimsically adorned with abstract shapes and lines, and cameo-esque painted ladies.

{All images Golden Ink }

I want them all.

20 October, 2011

To The Sea

It has become a sort of tradition for my family. After the season has ended, and the crowds and the vendors and the noise have all returned inland for the winter, we rent a house at the shore. Last year we were, for a few days at least, nearly two dozen strong, taking over two houses and a large stretch of beach.
This year, we were just a few, with a visiting aunt and cousins staying near by. My parents rented a house right on the beach, and the rest of us followed them to the coast like the obedient children we are. From the deck, just past dunes dotted with yellow flowers and butterflies, was our very own private expanse of New Jersey shore line.

Mornings were spent breakfasting on the deck, watching the sun rise like a ball of fire over the horizon. That first morning brought an endless stream of dolphins swimming by, occasionally jumping out of the water as if to say hi. The days were spent on the beach, digging in the sand and looking for shells. If you are two and the ocean is the greatest thing in the world, incidental things like water temperature don't matter a bit. Adults sat scattered about in various states of covered up, reading and napping and gossiping. Kites were flown, castles were built.
The sun fell, and the layers were piled on. Mugs were filled, either with tea or with beer. We watched the moon and listened to the waves, wrapped in blankets and stretched on lounge chairs. Endless hands of rummy were played, none of them in much of a hurry to total a score of 500.
At night, the only sounds in that deserted beach town were the waves crashing yards away from the windows, and the midnight ramblings of my tiny roommate: "6789!" "Whatcha doin'?" And a late night jaunt that had him stuck and calling for help, on his hands and knees at the bottom of the bed, stuffed duck in hand. He never did tell me where it was he was going to, on that journey in his sleep.
We have all grown accustomed to, and now savor, that late-season week by the sea. The chilly winds having long since blown away the crowds, leaving us virtually alone in the town to make our own amusement. And a long stretch of beach, empty of people save for family.

19 October, 2011

Hidden Memories

Have you seen the unbelievably gorgeous jewelry collection, Puur Andres, from Dutch designer Miranda van Dijk?

Vintage photographs are printed onto cotton fabric, which van Dijk then turns into breathtaking leaves and flowers. These leaves and flowers become the base for her beautiful and unique collection of brooches and necklaces, called Hidden Memories. You can find these lovely pieces available for sale here and in Miranda's Etsy shop.

{All images Puur Anders by Miranda van Dijk}
Hope you're have a memorable day, Dear Readers.

17 October, 2011

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Monday afternoon in the kitchen. The sunlight is slanty and warm, the way it should be in October. Listening to White Ladder: at one time overplayed; a decade later, a near forgotten gem.
Pulled from a dark shelf in the basement is a large jar full of vodka-drunk lemon peels and the frozen juice of the 18 lemons they once housed. My hands cramp at the memory of the peeling and the squeezing, 36 lemons in all.
Sugar is dissolved in water. Three liquids strained into the largest bowl I can find, mixing and mingling and becoming one. The bowl is near to overflowing, and I begin to wonder if there are going to be enough jars, or even enough shelf space in the cool dark of the basement.
Ladling the liquid into the largest jar, I can't help but note that it looks a bit like chicken broth sitting in the bowl, but that it warms the body in a wholly different way. Remembering an early morning somewhere between Rome and Naples, visiting a ceramic studio and sampling the homemade limoncello. Remembering giggling at the knowledge even then that we would always remember that morning in Italy we had limoncello for breakfast, drunk more from the travel and the adventure than the early morning booze. Snapping back from my daydream just in time to prevent the discarded lemon peels from going into the compost, lest there be drunk squirrels running around the yard.
Jars filled and sealed, and returned to the shelf in the basement to spend the next six weeks becoming mellow. A retreat, a sort of spa for cocktails. A new way to view an otherwise dark and dingy space underneath the house.
Tomorrow, more juice to thaw, more sugar to dissolve, and more jars to fill. There were thirty six lemons in all. I think I'm gonna need a bigger jar.

15 October, 2011

Happy Weekend


A very Happy Weekend to you, my Dear Readers!
And what a glorious week it has been. The first half of which was spent blissfully lounging on an unseasonably warm and sunny beach, void of tourists and crowds and noise.
The second half was spent just as blissfully indoors, sheltered from the rain and dropping temperatures with the first socks and sweaters of the season. Nothing to do and nowhere to be.
Free to bake and read and nap, with the music turned up as loud as I wanted, and the ringer on the phone turned as low as it would go.
A cleansing week for the mind and the soul, leaving everything fresh and clean and bursting with creativity.
Have yourselves a good one.

13 October, 2011

Collections and Curiosities

There are days when I walk down into my little work space, sit down at my table, and...nada. I am just plum out of inspiration. It is on these days that I am most likely to pull out all of my supplies, gather them into curious and sparkly little piles, and set about reorganizing them. There are neat little piles of flowers in white and blue and pink. Rows of headpins and eyepins and clasps of all sorts.
Sometimes, just this simple act of rifling and sorting sparks ideas, and the piles quickly get moved aside into little groupings of "things to make". Other times, well, at least everything gets organized and neatly put away. Either way, I get to walk away from my space with a feeling of accomplishment, even if it's a small one.
French artist Jean Sonnet is also a maker of curious and lovely piles. From his studio in France, he gathers like-minded items, putting them on permanent and neat-as-a-pin displays inside shallow wooden drawers.

{All images by Jean Sonnet, found here}

Hope your week has been passing in an orderly fashion.

07 October, 2011

Happy Weekend


My Dear Readers...the weekend is almost here.
 And this is one weekend I have been looking forward to for a long time coming. Why? Well, you see that lady up there, in the picture? The one sitting there, with her book, all wrapped up on some long ago beach?
Well, I plan on emulating her over the next couple of days. On a much more modern day beach, of course. But a beach cooled by autumn, none the less. Just me, my book, my bright pink chair, and my snuggie. One pocket for my iPod, and one pocket for my flask. And sleeves for easy page turning.
It's just for a couple of days, but what a blissful couple of days they shall be.
See you in a few.

06 October, 2011

Smelling The Roses

Something happened yesterday...I had this post in mind, half composed, mentally, in the shower (I do my best thinking in there, and wind up writing half of what you read while I condition my hair!). But something happened....
It was a lovely day. The sky was clear and blue, with a shining sun warming up the afternoon. The autumnal chill has yet to dip down low enough to shake the leaves and grass from where they've been growing since spring. The world looked fresh and alive and bright and shiny. It was all so...pretty.
Pretty enough to make all of the little mundane things that make up a day, like doing laundry, or going to the post office, down right enjoyable. And that's what happened. I got all caught up in enjoying the beauty of the day. I soaked up the fleeting last warm and summery rays of the sun while hanging laundry and walking to the store. I found a bit of beauty in the mundane, in the every day.
And since I can't bottle up a perfect day and share that with you, I figured it was a really good time to share a couple of artists who also find beauty in the everyday. Two immensely talented people who use as their medium simple objects we all have rolling around in junk drawers or sitting in broken coffee cups. Two people with the amazing talent of being able to transform the everyday, and share it with us in a new light. Enjoy.

Carved Pencils by Dalton Ghetty

Chinese Zodiac Carved Out Of Crayola Crayons. By Diem Chau

Have an extraordinary day, Lovelies!

03 October, 2011

Mix Tape Monday, Volume 6


Hello and Happy Monday, my Darlings. Welcome to October, and welcome to the sixth edition of Mix Tape Monday. And since this is October, and October is traditionally full of things like falling leaves, a chill to the air, and Halloween, I thought we'd celebrate this month with a collection of haunting cover songs. Cover songs seem to fit right in with Halloween in my mind. It's like the singer and the song are both dressed in the costume of another band. And to me, all of these songs feel like chilly night listening.
So pull up your wooly socks, fix yourself a hot toddy, and snuggle in. Happy listening.