07 August, 2013

Summer Lovin'

One of the great joys of summer is, undoubtedly, a good, juicy, beach read.
For me, this usually means becoming engrossed in a Patricia Cornwell novel.
Not exactly trashy, by most standards, but not exactly cerebral, either.
Just a mindless escape for a few hundred pages.
(After all, isn't the escape all we really want in a summer read?)
However, when it comes to warm weather reading, most, it seems, gravitate towards romance novels.
Don't believe me?
Take a look at the half concealed covers of those lazily reading on blankets in city parks; on beaches;
barefoot at the edges of fountains.
You'll probably find at least half of the word "Harlequin" and at least part of Fabio's face peeking out between fingers not quite wide enough to hide the whole cover.
That is, of course, unless that romance novel has fallen into
 the incredibly talented hands of Lauren Scanlon.
But it's what Scanlon, a paper cut artist, does with the inside of these books that really wows.
Using, fittingly, the floral motifs of vintage bedding as her inspiration,
she and her army of blades attack page after page of tales of burning lust and desire
with the same passion she used to read those same pages, given to her by her grandmother, as a child.
{all images Lauren Scanlon}
 Summer reading has never looked better.

31 July, 2013

It's All In The Details

When it comes to clothing, I am an absolute sucker for a quirky detail.
I swoon over a perfectly off set pocket or pleat.
Gasp at the hem stitched in a color that doesn't belong...but really, couldn't be more perfect.
And if something has a clever tag? Particularly one with a scrap of ribbon or a tiny charmed doo-dad hanging from the end?
No question, that particular garment will be finding a new home in my closet.
So you can imagine the breathless squeal I emitted when I happened upon these beautiful Isabel Marnat pieces with dreamy landscapes printed by French artist Emilie Faif.


And though these gorgeous scenes are concealed inside the garments, you can place a sure bet that, were I to see them hanging on a shop rack, and had the deep pockets it would take to make them mine, I would most certainly do so.
And I would feel especially lovely every time I wore them,
despite the fact that no one would see the details that make the pieces so special.

{all images via Emilie Faif}
Like my own private art collection.

30 July, 2013

Go Go Go! On An Adventure

I've been pretty quiet around here lately.
Ok, fine. Downright silent.
But not without good reason.
I've been busy...cultivating...other aspects of this handmade lifestyle.
I've added a slew of new shows to an already busy repertoire.
I've gotten the pretties into a few shops (VIX Emporium in Philadelphia, PA and Modern Charm in Terre Haute, IN...and maybe more to come ;)).
And with all of this cultivating and growing of opportunities to sell comes the need to develop and make more, and most notably, new, product.
So I've been busy doing just that.
Some of it has yet to catch on.
But some of it...well, phrases like "gangbusters" and "like wildfire" come to mind.
And all it took was a simple change to something I was already doing (always room for improvement; for change).
I've been making my pretty hooks since the beginning, but they've only really taken off in the last year.
But when I changed it up with the addition of a map?
It seems people have a fondness for a sense of place.
It seemed a pretty good recipe.
So I applied it to tote bags, too.

They pretty much sold out at the first show I had them available at.
So now, while I keep myself busy enjoying this virtual road trip traveled through accessories,
I am plotting my next big move.
Keeping busy.
On all fronts.


29 July, 2013

All A-Buzz

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to at long last introduce you to the newest member of the hive.
My niece, E., was born just shy of two months ago.
She came screaming into the world at a little under five pounds.
But don't let her size fool you- she has a head full of red hair and the sass to match it.
She's been letting everyone know just who's in charge since she was still in the womb,
and that hasn't changed in the short time she's been out.
She has each and every one of us wrapped around her long, slender fingers;
particularly her two big brothers, who are pretty certain the sun sets and the moon rises just for her.
And they just might be right.

31 May, 2013

Beyond the Sea

When I was a little girl, my grandparents, like so many of their generation who had spent their entire lives in the Northeastern US, decided to pack up the house that my grandfather had built, the one with the pool and the really big rock in the backyard, and move to Florida.
They built a new house, a rancher, with a screened-in pool and wall-to-wall brown pile carpeting- even in the bathroom. And this new house they built on the Gulf Coast of Florida was butted right smack up against a town with a really funny name: Weeki Wachee.
This new house that they built seemed to be a million miles away from here- we had to either take a plane or drive for days to  get there. But when we did, it was magical.
Because this far-off town with the funny name, the town butted right smack up against my grandparents' new home, had a pretty big claim to fame: it had a live spring full of just as live mermaids.
Real, honest-to-God mermaids.
And to a six year old girl  in the early 1980's, there wasn't much more wonderful than a mermaid (unless you could produce a unicorn).
The mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs has been running since the middle of the last century.
And I went to see it every single chance I got.
I almost think that I was more excited about seeing the mermaids than about seeing any of the various family members who had followed my grandparents' migration south.
For these mermaids were no mere mermaids.
They were also ballerinas, who danced their dance deep under the spring.
They ate bananas.
They drank bottles of Coca-Cola.
Under water!!!
They were about as perfect as things could get when you were a six year old girl.
Or even a slightly older girl,
who still believes anything is possible.
Even mermaids.

29 May, 2013

On The Road Again

{J.D. Salinger writes. At a nudist colony.}
Oh, hey there, hello again.
You're still here? Glad to see it.
Seems the last time I checked in, it was the dead of winter. And then this past weekend came, marking the official unofficial start to summer.
And that seemed as good a place as any to start this back up.
The perfect time to start an adventure.
And we can go on this one together. A sort of virtual road-trip; a meandering journey through cyber space.
Jaunts to far-off lands that require no passports; stopping along the way to admire things that are often pretty; sometimes wondrous.
An odyssey. An exploration.
A new beginning.
Buckle up.
Because off we go!

26 February, 2013

Quiet is the New Loud

The world is a noisy place.
Traffic. Construction. Crowds. Other people's cell phone conversations. Horns. Bells. Whistles.
It can be hard to shut that out; even if it is managed, there's still the noise within to contend with.
All of the thoughts, the plans, the ideas.
The never ending list running through your mind of all the things that need to be done, the things that have already been done: were they done well enough? Could they have been done better?
Searching through all of the memories, facts, useless information stored in the deepest recesses of your brain, trying in vain to find the punch line to the joke you were in the middle of telling.
The fragment of song that has been stuck on repeat for your ears only.
Not to mention the distractions.
Finding a moment of stillness, of quiet and peace, is fleeting at best.
But that fleeting moment is just what Mexican photographer Miguel Morales (Oidos Sordos) manages to capture in his beautiful, double-exposed portraits.
Superimposing nature scenes, cityscapes, and sunsets over top of human profiles, Morales creates images of internal stillness and reflection.


21 January, 2013

Metal Baby

I have spent the better part of this brand new year completely immersed in jewelry.
Turning old brooches into floral garden bib necklaces, the bigger the better.
Turning slightly smaller flower collages into corsage-like cuff bracelets.
Re-imagining old clip-on earrings, marrying them with natural stones to give them a more modern nod.
And just about anything not nailed down is now a cocktail ring; enough for every finger.
Rebuilding my collection; so much of what had been there found its way under the Christmas trees and stuffed in the stockings of lucky ladies all over Philadelphia and beyond.
The necessity for this rebuilding at such a fast and furious rate is the upcoming
 Clover Market Winter Market, which promises to be big.
And it's that promise that has me spending equal amounts of time staring into space in an uninspired panic.
 During those times of panic, I often find myself wasting hours online, clicking and searching and hoping to find that missing bit of inspiration.
And every now and then, I stumble upon something that grabs me and shakes me and makes me say wow.
Like these uh-mazing pieces by Taiwanese designer Heng Lee.
Combining metal pieces that look almost pixilated with embroidery inspired by traditional Chinese design, Lee's strange bedfellows make for the perfect marriage of modern vs. ancient, soft vs. hard.
And they are completely inspired.

09 January, 2013

School House Rock

Way across the ocean, nestled along the borders of Germany and France, there lies a school.
But not just any school.
For this school, this very special school, is shaped like a cat.
Designed by artist Tomi Ungerer and architect d’Ayla-Suzan Yöndel for the Europe Without Borders project, Le Jardin d’enfants Die Katze provides inspired education to 100 very lucky little boys and girls.

{images via}
Purrrfectly adorable!

07 January, 2013


I have had a thing for vintage knick knackery for as long as I can remember.
The number of things I collect is vast, but I try, try, to keep the actual collections in check.
And by in check, I mean finding a dual purpose for a pretty tchotchke wherever possible: flower festooned tea and biscuit tins hold batteries and spare buttons; a couple of the well-coiffed ladies from my head vase collection pull double duty as bookends.
I blame my grandmother for this particular obsession. She got the whole ball rolling on my first birthday when she gave me my very first Josef Originals Birthday Fairy, a tradition she continued for more than a decade. My little fairies are still proudly displayed to this day.
So it's no wonder that I fell head over heels for these kooky little lovelies from Amanda Smith.
Part girl, part bird, and completely awesome, Smith's Singing Bird Sculptures are made using out of production mid-century molds.
Her spot-on eye for color adds the perfect retro touch to these sweetly left of center figurines.
I want one. Or three.
Really, you can never collect too many things if they're completely wonderful...right?
{all images via Amanda Smith; available here}

02 January, 2013

Out With the Old

......and in with a bright, shiny, New Year.
A fresh start, a clean slate.
365 brand-spanking new days, each of them a blank canvas waiting to be filled.
And fill them, I will.
I have big plans for you, 2013.
New projects, adventures, possibilities.
Trials and errors.
So much to do.
So much to share.
It's gonna be a great year.