Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: grounded

{at least I like to think so...}

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

dear 2009

au revoir sweet friend; you were good to me.

you will be remembered fondly. while it wasn't all high times, your {sometimes brutal} honesty was appreciated. even your lows came with strong, if not forced, learning moments and were followed by comfort and growth. you gave beauty and blizzards and friendship and blue moons and laughter and rainbows and risk and kisses and play and stargazing and knowledge and so much more.

you helped me discover more of who I am and I will always love you for that.

your friend,

p.s. I hear you are friends with 2010...any chance you can put a good word in for me?

Monday, December 28, 2009

l'heure bleue

most mornings, I've been at work at least an hour when this light show is performing over and slightly to the left of where my head rests at night.

rarely do I sleep in; but what a treat it was yesterday morning to open my eyes and find myself in a world which looked very much like an underwater paradise briefly lit by the sun above.

it was like my own personal shimmery mer world. and it made it really hard to get up in the dark today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


call it whatever you wish...afterglow, drydown, linger...the purpose of the hazy time following grand moments of significance is to integrate back to normal with minimal re-entry damage. historically I have struggled in withdrawal after holidays, vacations, romantic dates and laughter-filled best girlfriend chatfests. each time I try to hold on to a tiny bit of the emotional perfection of the moment. the desperation can be palpable. do you know what I mean?

over time and out of necessity, I've learned that the transition is more easily accomplished when the big moment itself is tempered with reality. this is how the last few christmases have been for me. because they are not over the top full-on festivity, it becomes clearer that regular everyday life can be filled with the magic, dreaminess, togetherness, beauty and loving spirit of the holidays. like eating tuesday night tacos off the good china, everyday life becomes fuller with these moments once reserved for specific dates on the calendar. in return the actual big events become less pressured, more sweetly sedate. as celebration becomes a gentle routine practice of beauty and acknowledgement, regular life sweetly shifts from a boring midline spiked with dramatic events to an even and comfortable serendipitous journey.

like luminescent purpleblue filaments of bright lights dimmed, let's carry on with the incandescence.

{afterthought: I used two of my favorite words...serendipitous and one post. my apologies for the wordiness of it all. I am feeling immensely inspired. thank you for that.}

{afterthought #2: my most beautiful mister gifted me a new lens for christmas. this came at a time when my infatuation with photography was feeling a slight wane. the image above was one of the first shots I captured with this new beast. I am ridiculously thrilled and completely honored that it's featured on one of my most-loved blogs, decor8. and to top it off, the image is currently and happily posted in the numero uno spot on flickr explore. yet another sign that the wane, the afterglow, is where the beauty of life is.}

Thursday, December 24, 2009

wishing you




happy christmas dear friends.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

and still more

  • vintage christmas ornaments that hung on every tree of my childhood
  • sleeping like an indian princess in a bedroom newly painted the most lovely peacock blue
  • almond-flavored syrup in my coffee
  • sweet sparkly birds {love you krista}
  • a househusband for three glorious weeks while classes are on break
  • my friend pen tells fear to fuck off
  • each of you who visit, whether you comment or just look, I so appreciate you

Monday, December 21, 2009

more moments of grace

  • sunday: second day snowed in; cabin fever hits
  • took a treacherous walk to the market, contemplated sliding down hill on butt
  • organized the library by color {my favorite bit is where the blues transition to teal}
  • lars and the real girl; marley & me
  • grilled cheese sandwiches and soup
  • letting go of christmas shopping expectations
  • well wishes from lovely blog friends

Sunday, December 20, 2009

moment of grace

the silence after a storm.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


it's funny how life does an abrupt 180 when you were least expecting it. things are moving along and you make the mistake of pausing, exhaling and actually saying the words, "things are good"; you think you can relax, just sit and take in the beauty, enjoy all that you are grateful for. then everything changes in the blink of an eye.

I have a sordid history with content. so much so that when I feel it's candy-colored fog try to edge in on my anxiety, I formulate the next move, anything to keep myself in a state of readiness. rarely do I stop and smell the roses. I may see the roses, briefly appreciate their being, possibly take a photo. but the stopping and the smelling part has not been good to me. time and time again I have found myself lulled into a dreamy contentment and it turns out this was the moment I should have been most prepared for battle.

most often for me, gratefulness is laced with the vigilance of a warrior. this pattern (defense mechanism, whatever you want to call it) has been carefully honed through experience and a life filled will fallible human relationship. content leaves me vulnerable to the inevitable changes of life, good or bad. transitions are rough for me. even rougher when they are not of my design and hoisted upon me out of the blue. more brutal still when none of the available options make sense or even remotely look like what I envisioned my life to be.

so I toy a bit with trust and consider that the only choice is to surrender to grace and ride the wave. these words by anne lamott are whispered in my head which hurts with too many tears: "I do not understand the mystery of grace...only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

Friday, December 18, 2009

five senses friday*

  • awesomely exhilarated to see my photos on apartment therapy and used in an upcoming zine ad. it's kinda weird at the same time...
  • the big picture.


  • when I wake up in the middle of the night, it's so quiet outside I can hear the deer and squirrels going about their business, crunching the ground and munching their finds. {I hope they're deer and squirrel anyway.}
  • being at a conference and hearing the words "keep fighting for kids" and "don't stop talking about what's right" over and over and over again. affirming.


  • I preserved some lemons for a moroccan dish. the lemony spicy scent that floated through the house as they cooked was divine.
  • throw in a hint of a blooming paperwhite and you have the most exceptional fragrance. I wish there was a candle that captured this.


  • too much. the holiday indulgence crept up on me. and I was doing so well.


  • I'm obsessed with arm warmers. I've acquired about ten pair this season and wear them all day long. now when I take them off, I feel naked without their cozy warmth.

have a beautiful weekend my friends. we're expecting a big snow and I can't wait to cozy up inside by the tree with a cup of darjeeling and a good book. except there's that pesky last-minute shopping thing...

{*inspired by abby}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

and now back to blue december

so there was a bit of a detour from all the blueness of this brilliant month. I didn't have to push myself too hard to get back on track...december is just naturally tinted in cool shades of blues and purples for me.

a couple midweek links: first of all, I am over the moon with delight that my bebaubled chandelier is on apartment therapy. apartment freaking therapy!

and while I was visiting, I ran across this modern wreath that I can't wait to make this weekend.

if you want a fanciful spirited break, pop over to max wanger's site and take in all the sweet sassiness of his photographs. I get a little lost in the images and begin to feel they are illustrations for a modern day fairytale. each one sprouts a story.

Monday, December 14, 2009

on rare occasions

a neutral field of cream is my thing.

I find it to be cleansing in a way.

and a challenge to control my impulse to fill the void with color and shape and things of interest.

it's that kind of day today my friends: quiet. patient. open.

{the midcentury hanging light is the newest addition to my living room. it's like a ginormous sassy earring. I am in love. purchased at bohemian vintage.}

Saturday, December 12, 2009

pretty glass balls

too many for the tree.

so they are dazzling elsewhere.

making the whole house sparkle with color.

Friday, December 11, 2009

five senses friday*

  • the indigo blue and fiery orange of dramatic december sunrises
  • colored lights and sparkle everywhere


  • balsam
  • peppermint
  • clove-studded oranges


  • sparkly berry-red cava
  • pistachio/cranberry shortbread


  • much woolly warmth
  • the weight of added blankets on the bed


  • christmas music, too much too soon
  • the absolute silence of cold clear winter nights
*inspired by abby

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's so thursday

totally ready for weekend fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

the little blue man

talks a lot about compassion and acceptance.

I wish these came more naturally. I often have to remind myself. and then they are executed with some resistance. I wonder when the day will come when they exude from me with joy and ease?

or will they always be such hard work?

Monday, December 7, 2009

etsy blue

this weekend I really kicked into holiday mode: the tree is up and alight with color and I even decorated the blog. some of my shopping is done but I like to save some for the month of december. the balance of gift-giving is to be exclusively from local, handmade or vintage sources. etsy continues to be my shades-of-blue shopping paradise:

santa, if you're reading, any of these will do just fine.

happy monday sweet friends!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

wish jars + imaginary lives

thank you dear friends! I feel very full of good wishes and sparkly love and abundant gratefulness. it's been a lovely, lovely year.

so. the list.

been thinking about the list.

I appreciate the direction and organization that a list provides. and that this particular list provided a simple reminder to do something fun and good and then that really weird tingly feeling when I was able to cross something off.

but there was some pressure too. some pressure to do something that maybe I wasn't quite as interested in ten months after writing it down. my mind was saying, "no big deal, no pressure.", but my brain was saying, "it's on the list. do it." wishes become chores. not good.

thinking maybe I'm not such a list person after all. I need something even more visual, yet broader and more supple.

this year I was introduced to the concept of imaginary lives. I've been searching all morning to try and find the book this was in to give credit. I can't locate the exact source, but I believe it is the joy diet. the gist is that we try on different lives we think we may want to live: walk the walk, talk the talk, dress the part, do the get the picture. I rejected this idea at first because it felt a wee bit inauthentic and a whole lot wannabe. then I realized that this could be {and is} a really fun way to explore different roles and be creative and expansive and avoid sameness and boredom and atrophy. sounds like a great method of planning a really interesting year, right?

I also like the notion of using wish jars to hold ideas and's imaginative yet concrete {more list-like} at the same time. since little slips of random paper all mungled up in a single jar together makes me a little crazy, how about fusing the ideas of imaginary lives and wish jars? a jar for each role filled with things to do, create, become. multiple jars representing the areas in my life I want to explore. okay, now we're getting closer...

how many imaginary lives is too many? should we start with only one or have an entire shelf full? what are your imaginary lives?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

beatlemania, courtney love and me

we're forty-five!!!!

that's a lot of candles people. a lot.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

blue december

my junior high art teacher did this exercise beginning with, "what color is...?"; she would name off everyday things and ideas and the class would have a discussion about which color or colors best fit. I love this exercise because it helped our elastic adolescent minds stretch beyond what was obvious and concrete, training our imaginations and engaging our minds in higher level abstract thought. inevitably the discussion would evolve to include the qualities and personalities and energies of colors. sometimes we would assign shapes too.

some of these associations stay with me. when I'm trying to think of ideas, there is a rolling field of brilliant yellow before me. the sky is clear and mutable, a vessel for unassigned color in the world. and december is colored shades of blue and purple, with a dash of green.

to honor her, to thank her for showing me that color is not merely a tool, my december will be curiously colored in these wintry tones.